* Posts by scrubber

788 posts • joined 18 Jun 2009


Apple warns developers API tweaks will flow from style guide changes that remove non-inclusive language

Black Helicopters

Re: Black or black

But it's not pejorative - when Johnny Walker whiskey is Black label, or AMG has a Black series edition, or bands have their Black albums, gaming chairs, CPU coolers, folding bicycles etc. etc. these are seen as the best, coolest, highest quality versions of regular products.

Or even helicopters...

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree


Re: A far better money making scheme...

No one was jailed for shorting airline stocks around September 2001

Detroit cops employed facial recognition algos that only misidentifies suspects 96 per cent of the time

Black Helicopters

Re: What's the false negative rate?

@veti You're OK with 24 innocent people being surrounded by armed police on the basis they were wrongly flagged as a terrorist suspect (NB. SUSPECT), dragged off to a cell, denied civil liberties because 'terrorism', their houses ransacked, families and friends spied on (three hops = Kevin Bacon) their finances gone over, their computer equipment and phones taken and not returned, their livelihoods likely taken away from them, and even after they have been found out to be not the SUSPECT that was being sought, they are still on the no fly list?

All so the cops can finger a single suspect who is not only presumed innocent but, given the police's ineptitude, probably is innocent.

Nokia's reboot of the 5310 is a blissfully dumb phone that will lug some mp3s about just fine


Re: Would this be a good 'phone to have ...

"refarm 2G spectrum...'

Depends what they re-use the spectrum for. TV receiver? Emergency services broadcast scanner? Auto-driving disaster maker?

UK's Ministry of Defence: We'll harvest and anonymise private COVID-19 apps' tracing data by handing it to 'behavioural science' arm

Big Brother

No such thing as "anonymised"

"Even if it really is anonymised"

It cannot be anonymised and work. Given access to even few data points GCHQ and/or Google could narrow down who the person is to a few hundred in the UK. With access to CCTV they could not only know who you are but track your movements for the past month and predict with a decent success rate where you are going to be next Tuesday at 3pm.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


nom de plume

Desktop Doyens

Big Plastic

Zune Slingers


Xerox Copiers

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told


It's almost like it's not actually for the disease...

Burner phone

Download NHS app

Use public transport

Tell app you have Covid19.

Rinse and repeat.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy



Can I give it access to my banking app so it can just automatically withdraw the fine whenever I'm out too long or near too many people or not moving fast enough to count as exercise or whatever else they have decided that was not against the law is now against the law.

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


Re: Spirograph

Most gods roll dice, but Fate plays chess, and you don't find out until too late that he's been using two queens all along.

But then there's The Lady, and she has Rincewind.


Re: Theory?

There is no proof of a theory, or law, in science, merely evidence that fits predictions which fail to disprove the theory, which in turn bolsters it. Theories and laws are simply the best fit for the available evidence that we have at this given moment and are always open to be disproven or improved upon.

For example Newton's Law of gravitation is an approximation (i.e. limited in scope and accuracy) of Einstein's general relativity which itself is almost definitely an approximation of some yet to be discovered unified theory of everything.

UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house

Big Brother

Re: Three weeks

"debated and renewed"

The debates will stop fairly quickly, but the renewals will be rubber stamped.

This level of power is intoxicating for everyone involved: protesters getting annoying in front of Parliament? Police have full dispersal powers. New political party making waves? No more than two people are allowed to gather together. Want to track the public? Monitor all mobile location data and see who has been meeting with who.

Lest we forget, the "emergency" terrorism rules were used by everyone from dog catchers to councils looking for fly tippers and the majority of those laws are still in place.

Assange lawyer: Trump offered WikiLeaker a pardon in exchange for denying Russia hacked Democrats' email


Re: Bollocks

"The repeated extradition warrants when Obama was President"

Why would there be an extradition warrant when he was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London while being sought for an extradition warrant to Sweden where the UK courts would have been reluctant to send him to Sweden if there was an existing US warrant that the Swedes would act upon where the death penalty could apply?

Did you miss the whole story? The US, under Obama, were not going to make an extradition request until he was in Swedish custody. The only reason there is now an extradition hearing is because Sweden dropped their charges and the only way the US could get their hands on him is directly from the UK.

Also, and more importantly, Obama's administration tortured Bradley/Chelsea Manning with the intent of getting evidence that Assange/wikileaks actively encouraged and abetted Manning to access, export and pass on confidential information.

Crazy idea but hear us out... With robots taking people's jobs, can we rethink this whole working to survive thing?


Economic Basics

Comparative advantage. Labour vs Capital. These are not new concepts and neither is capital replacing labour. What we have now though is an opportunity to seriously consider what to do with the excess returns on capital and whether a UBI or similar might enable a better standard of living for the vast majority rather than a temporary move to slave wages by those displaced by automation.

Somewhere, Google's financial bods are playing on repeat... What do you want from me? It's not how it used to be...


Collateral Damage

"an analyst asked whether Pichai had considered revising Alphabet's business structure to further insulate profitable Google businesses from speculative ventures like Waymo that could become a legal liability – if its robo-cars started running over pedestrians, for example."

This is the problem with massive, multination limited liability companies with multi-layered corporate structures. Individuals can only sue a loss making subsidiary with no assets when they are harmed by a company worth over $1tn. Why isn't this the story?

You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that


Re: Did Trump turn off your editor's internet?





He had a list of people, including US citizens, that he decided to allow his military and/or CIA go kill without any kind of due process.

Look at his killing of Awlaki, and worse, his 16 year old son...



Did Trump turn off your editor's internet?

Obama had a kill list that included American citizens, but let's get in a panic about Orange Man being able to turn off social media.

Kill. List.

Remember the Clipper chip? NSA's botched backdoor-for-Feds from 1993 still influences today's encryption debates


Re: here we go again

"Gun control has been demonstrated to be effective in reducing death rates everywhere it has been introduced"

Not in the UK where we have been increasingly restricting gun ownership while homicide rates have increased from 300ish per year in the 1960s to 800 per year in the 2000s. Figures are from the ONS. Correlation clearly does not equal causation, and it is very possible that homicide rates would have been even higher with less gun control, but we should be careful making blanket statements.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games


Re: But on the other hand...

I can't believe it's not something else.

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


Secret communications should always be available

We should ban whispering.

Apple tipped to go full wireless by 2021, and you're all still grumbling about a headphone jack



Proprietary induction charging?

Apple are ahead of the curve on the solar highway.

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'


Re: Ooohhh ! We're back to sneakily dreadful.

Or realigning the verticals.

Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?


Facebook is a greater threat than crypto

The data biz stresses that Facebook Pay is not connected to its Libra cryptocurrency plans which have been met with widespread alarm from financial regulators and lawmakers

The reason there was alarm about Libra was because Facebook was involved, not because it was a cryptocurrency (hint: it would not be a cryptocurrency if it were ever put into practice)

Don't miss this patch: Bad Intel drivers give hackers a backdoor to the Windows kernel


Re: Trust Me. I'm a Microsoftie

The United Kingdom has not had a King for over 60 years. And it's not very united.

The Outer Worlds: Ever wished Fallout 4 was more like New Vegas? Here ya go... in spaaace


Re: Value

I see my Robocop reference went over your head, maybe I can make it more relevant by using septuagenarians: I'm currently playing like Bernie, but want to try it again like Trump.



Barely started, but can already tell I'll be playing through on "OCP Dick-mode" second time round to see how the story changes, so add another 50% on to play time. That makes it incredibly good value. And good fun.

Republican senators shoot down a triple whammy of proposed election security laws




From their website:

Ultimately if advertisers and broadcasters persistently break the Advertising Codes and don’t work with us, we can refer them to other bodies for further action, such as Trading Standards or Ofcom.

So, if you don't obey their rules they might tell on you to another agency? Sounds like they can't 'insist' on bupkis.

Help! I bought a domain and ended up with a stranger's PayPal! And I can't give it back


Re: Or

If your house is on a railway line you have bigger problems than trespassing individuals trying to close your door.


Re: Or

be done for trespassing

There is no crime of trespassing in the UK, it would be a civil matter.

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else


Drive wear

If the fridge cannot write logs does it get bricked?

Oh dear... AI models used to flag hate speech online are, er, racist against black people


Re: Racist AI or offensive and crude slang? You decide...

Are you the hiring manager for Perspective API?

BBC said it'll pull radio streams from TuneIn to slurp more of your data but nobody noticed till Amazon put its foot in it


Re: GDPR? & "personally identifiable"

Not paying for a license is not a crime.

Not paying for a license and watching or recording live TV, or using the iPlayer's catch up service, are the only things considered "crimes".

Allowlist, not whitelist. Blocklist, not blacklist. Goodbye, wtf. Microsoft scans Chromium code, lops off offensive words



And country is an incredibly misogynistic word...

Researchers studying Facebook's impact on democracy decry lack of data access, warn: We'll walk...


A bulletin board ate my election

Facebook didn't impact the election, and if it did then the people don't deserve democracy.

Uncle Sam is asking Americans if they could refrain from slapping guns on their drones


Re: When someone gets the tech to operate killer drones from thousands of miles away

That's what people thought about using long bows,

And about people wearing camouflage.

And about snipers.

And about dropping bombs from planes.

The history of war has always been about reducing your own side's risk and that normally means being unseen which normally means being farther away. While the other side (and some traditionalists) whine about how it is not sporting, or fair, or some other nonsense about the 'rules' of killing your fellow humans.

NSA asks Congress to permanently reauthorize spying program that was so shambolic, the snoops had shut it down


The constitution is not supposed to be optional

Jail these scumbags. Jail their enablers. Jail the politicians that are supposed to be doing oversight.

PIN the blame on us, says Monzo in mondo security blunder: Bank card codes stored in log files as plain text


vs traditional banks

Did they sign me up for an expensive product I didn't ask for?

Did they get me to take out useless insurance for financial products?

Did they launder money for terrorists and drug cartels?

Did they wreck the economy a decade ago?

Do they overcharge me when using my card abroad?

Do they lobby politicians to give them tax breaks and stifle competition?

Do they view fines from regulators as simply a cost of doing business?

Do they hire politicians into well paid fake roles in order to encourage current politicians to treat them nice?

Do they hire regulators and place staff into regulators?

Did they take people's homes fraudulently after the financial crisis?

British ISPs throw in the towel, give up sending out toothless copyright infringement warnings


Re: Entertainment is a problem

I bought a blue ray once, but getting the Steve Irwin off it out me off

Literally rings our bell: Scottish eggheads snap quantum entanglement for the first time


Competing theories

As good as this is, does it disprove any of the hundreds of competing quantum theories?

e.g. I believe, and could easily be wrong, but this is completely in accordance with the multiple worlds hypothesis. So may actually not be beneficial to programming at all.


Someone had to ask

"with considerably increased compute capacity"

Can it play Crysis?

Oh good. This'll go well. Amazon's Alexa will offer NHS advice


Amazon bought Pillpack, an online pharmacist

Alexa will diagnose you, recommend some pills, Pillpack will rubber stamp the prescription and send it to you.

What could possibly go wrong?

DoH! Secure DNS doesn't make us a villain, Mozilla tells UK broadband providers


Re: or with Corbyn should the worst come to the worst.

So it's the idea of someone thinking of the proles that's so distressing?

I thought the whole point of Brexit was to get rid of the proles?

White House mulls just banning strong end-to-end crypto. Plus: More bad stuff in infosec land


Compatible with what now?

That ship sailed a long time ago.

USA PATRIOT Act, NDAA 11+, torture, border searches up to 100 miles from any border, civil asset forfeiture, war crimes, not prosecuting or investigating war crimes, executive branch able to declare and launch war, no congressional oversight, overuse of the espionage act, criminalisation and demonisation of reporters, free speech zones, etc.


Re: Sigh

baddies being able to communicate securely with impunity is not a good thing

Sorry, but until proven otherwise the "baddies" are actually innocent citizens and the only way the government can ensure to listen in to these "baddies" is by listening in to everyone.

Before we lose our minds over sentient AI, what about self-driving cars that can't detect kids crossing the road?


self-driving cars that can't detect kids crossing the road

Can't? Or won't?

Decoding America's spies: What does the NSA's cryptic memo really mean? Citizens illegally spied on again


Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

> "you need to remember that spy programs aren't set up with evil intent"

That entirely depends on what you consider evil.

I would consider it evil to use citizens' money to pay for a scheme that stores, processes and uses information collected from said citizens in order to further various political, legal and societal goals that the people being spied on may not agree with, but I'm just some kooky libertarian I guess.

*Spits out coffee* £4m for a database of drone fliers, UK.gov? Defra did game shooters for £300k

Big Brother

Drone license

Are Capita going to bid to come round folks houses to ask if they have a drone, or the capability to fly a drone, and strongarm people into buying unnecessary drone licenses?

Click here to see the New Zealand livestream mass-murder vid! This is the internet Facebook, YouTube, Twitter built!


"it has no place on the internet"

The internet is exactly where it belongs. Some people will avoid it, others will watch it and be outraged by it and others will masturbate to it. That's the point of the internet.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months


Software error

Maybe someone was entering too much text in the IFE.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow


Re: Power unchecked

@ThomH I'd love you to show me the UK government that got over 50% of the popular vote, or candidates who do.

You, likely, come from a country with an unelected hereditary head of state and FPTP electoral system that all but demands tyranny of the minority masquerading as a huge majority and yet slag off the country that managed to throw off the shackles of medieval thinking.

Northern UK smart meter rollout is too slow, snarls MPs' committee


Conspiracies abound

"Capita run..."

I'm now thinking this is the taxpayer paying to assist a private company in collecting money for the BBC.



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