* Posts by frank 3

107 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jun 2009


Lenovo’s folding portable ThinkPad grows to 16.3in, adds keyboard

frank 3

Re: "M1 has both"

In real life, my m2 just widdles all over my i7, performance wise.

The battery lasts also lasts all day under normal conditions.

I was very sceptical when I heard the hype, always am about Apple.

But by god it's an impressive bit of kit.

By all means snark at Apple for their sealed box non-upgradeable nonsense, alongside their cultish control freakery, but the m2 silicon is truly impressive.

USB-C to hit 80Gbps under updated USB4 v. 2.0 spec

frank 3

What part of UNIVERSAL do these people not understand?

This was the WHOLE PROMISE of USB, that it would be, well, universal, ffs.

It's got me cross enough to start randomly capitalising words. Never a good sign.

I suppose we should, at least, be grateful that they haven't introduced yet another form factor to the dozen or so that already exist, but good grief people.

Ex-Brave staffer launches GDPR sueball in Germany over tech giants' real-time bidding for ad inventory

frank 3

Re: Previous approach

There are two schools of thought in the ad industry about how to advertise effectively.

Let's call them 'Brand' and 'Performance'

Brand advertisers say you should broadly target the whole market segment with your dollar-dollar. Sure, do a bit of hyper-targeted stuff, but most of your money should be about creating some kind of awareness and positive feeling towards your brand, so that when people come to think about buying, they think of you among the 2-5 options most people consider. These guys are winning at the moment. Byron Sharp (How Brands Grow) and Binet & Fields 'The long and the short of it' are the go-to studies. They purport to show that over the long term, hyper-targeting doesn't create demand or grow brands, and they don't do a bad job of it.

The other school is the 'Performance' ads. The hyper-targeting of people based on lots and lots of data, with 'buy now' type adverts aimed to convert. It works, but generally when people are more or less ready to buy, to make sure you buy it from place X instead of place Y. In the short term, it harvests a lot of sales, but it's a race to the bottom for both privacy and sales: you don't create demand like this, you can only harvest existing interest. And most advertising agencies hate it because it 'fucks with the magic'.

The point of me saying all this, however, is to highlight that most of the ad industry doesn't particularly like hyper-targeting except in those 'buy-now' moments. And if you leave it to those buy-now moments, then your aren't doing your job of creating future demand. I don't think most of the ad agencies would shed many tears for the loss of behavioural ads.

Samsung shows off next-generation big-pixel camera sensor tech, coming to an Android phone near you

frank 3

Re: "You don't want quantity – you want size"

That 400D will be outperformed by a modern smartphone, cos its sensor is quite ancient tech now. I noticed a big jump when I went from a 450D to a 700D. But its also a different thing. DSLR's capture what's there, smartphones do a mass of processing behind the scenes to create a particular aesthetic and compensate for the user's lack of skill. I have to process my DSLR images in lightroom to get the image feel that I want. And that's what gives you the flexibility to create your own style away from that idealised iPhone aesthetic.

But sensor-wise, sorry fella, that 400D is past it nowadays :(

Proof-of-concept open-source app can cut'n'paste from reality straight into Photoshop using a neural network

frank 3

Re: Unintended consequences

'Taking a comfort break?'

Christ on a bike. This is an English publication, so let's not despoil it with ugly, squeamishly coy Americanism euphemisms for ordinary everyday things.

It's a poo, a dump, a crap, voiding ones bowels, emptying the chocolate whizzway, dropping some kids off at the pool, going for a shit and so forth.

And if you want to be really, really boring, you could call it 'going to the toilet'.

'Sophisticated' cyber attack on UK Labour Party platforms was probably just a DDoS, says official

frank 3

Interesting wetware hack

Think of it like building a SQL table relationship in the brains of people not IT literate.


I mean, Johnson and dodgy Russian money is a racing certainty. Those oligarchs would have to pay tax under a Corbyn govt. and they hate that idea. Tax is for the little people. Democracy 'Hacks' and Russia is a well-proven thing. So, it's just linking all these up in people's minds into a cloud of hazy emotional notions. Kind of like the daft corbyn is terry wrist. But in reverse.

Even if it wasn't a sophisticated hack, it's been on the front page of the Beeb all morning.

So, it is indeed a sophisticated hack, of the news if not of a computer system.

'Hey Google, remind Greg the locks have been changed, and he should find a new place to live. Maybe ask his mistress?'

frank 3

Re: Dystopia, one improvement at a time

On a long enough timeline, all companies become the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation.

Share and Enjoy!

It's Prime Minister Boris Johnson: Tech industry speaks its brains on Brexit-monger's victory

frank 3

Re: Disaster

Pretty sure it's the right-wing press owned by unpatriotic tax-dodging foreign billionaires that's doing the job of making the most right-wing tory party in history look moderate, but whatevs :D

Ignore the emotional flim-flam that passes for news in this country and look at the policies of the main parties. You'll find one party is fresh-out of ideas apart from moar tax cuts for the rich (seriously, BoJo has suddenly found a mult-billion magic money tree for this), no-deal brexit and, errr... that's it. Oh no, we have the bonfire of employment rights too (disguised as 'cutting red tape').

And you'll find the other party full of widely supported, moderate, sensible policies.

If only their leadership did a better job of selling them. But then, see the opening sentence.

Hey China, while you're in all our servers, can you fix these support tickets? IBM, HPE, Tata CS, Fujitsu, NTT and their customers pwned

frank 3

Re: Huawei

Personally, I'd rather have my kidneys than a house, but you pays your money and takes your choice I guess.


Except of course in China you don't get a choice.

And if you believe in a flying spaghetti monster, you get to attend a concentration camp, so your housing is FREE! Yay!

Euro consumer groups: We think Android tracking is illegal

frank 3

And maps complains every 30s if you don't allow it access to body sensors and your phone contacts.

Google is taking the pish, so good to see this suit.

UKIP flogs latex love gloves: Because Brexit means Brexit

frank 3

What's the age limit?

For being a member of UKIP's youth wing?

Is it the under 65s?

'90s hacker collective man turned infosec VIP: Internet security hasn't improved in 20 years

frank 3

99 bugs on the board today

99 bugs on the board today, 99 bugs on the board.

Take one down, fix it quick,

103 bugs on the board today...

ICO smites Bible Society, well fines it £100k...

frank 3

Re: OK if they pro-rata the fine when its applied to big business

"My calcualtions (sic) are the compliance for any small business is now over a one man-year task.

Accounting, Tax forms, Pension, GDPR, planning, H&S, I could go on."

You could go on, but please don't, because you would be talking from your fundament. Most business regulations don't apply to micro-businesses (fewer than 10 people). But either way, as a small business owner, I can absolutely confirm that your statement is not accurate, so please don't spread FUD. We have the Daily Mail for that.

UK age-checking smut overlord won't be able to handle the pressure – critics

frank 3

Re: The Government* response?

Ummm... you may have noticed that Labour no longer gives a crap what the Sun and Mail think. It's open warfare between them - which is why these papers devoted over 30-pages of their 2017 election day editions attacking Labour. Unpatriotic foreign tax-dodging billionaires deliberately trying to subvert British democracy you say? Surely such a thing would never be allowed.

Oh dear, Capita: MPs put future UK.gov outsourcing in the spotlight

frank 3

paying dividends when the pension fund is in deficit.

Paying dividends when the pension fund is in deficit.

How can this still be allowed?

Tata Steel, BHS, Carrillion, Crapita. Always the same stories: paying out to shareholders is made a far higher priority than meeting its obligations.

Should be a law (etc).

Destroying the city to save the robocar

frank 3

Re: Obviously the solution is....

Anyone who's ever looked after a horse will be lolling right now. They are time and money pits :D

Apple agrees to pay £136m in back idiot taxes to UK taxman

frank 3

VAT is a consumer tax. We pay it. The companies merely collect it on behalf of the taxman and pass it on to HMRC

Open World? More like closed world: Women sue Oracle for 'paying them less' than blokes

frank 3

Re: Note to plaintiffs

So, don't ask for justice or fair treatment you worthless scum! Suck it up and just be happy your lords and masters see fit to pay you the pennies they do. It's more than you are worth!


Programming in the Middle Ages: Docker makes a lovely pair of trousers

frank 3

Two silver coders preparing to go out for lunch...

Is it windy?

No love, It's Thursday

Aww, I just had a cup, why didn't you say?

Q: How many drones are we bombing ISIS with? A: That's secret, mmkay

frank 3

"Part of the three-judge tribunal’s unanimous decision that the public interest was not strong enough to order disclosure rested on reasons given in its closed judgement."

That's the really crappy part - can't even challenge the validity of their judgement because the grounds on which they made the judgement are secret. Huh. Love a secret kangaroo court, me.

UK.gov cloud fave Amazon comes under fire for tax bill

frank 3

They buy the laws they want

'But it's up to the lawmakers to make better laws'

The existing laws are working *exactly* as intended by those who wrote them.

They just wrote them in the interests of the rich, not in the interests of the rest of us.


Yup, that's a story about the US. It's exactly the same here.

Slapping crap bosses just got cheaper: Blighty's Supreme Court nixes tribunal fees

frank 3

Re: "graph shows how much access to justice was damaged"

That was covered on R4 today programme this AM.

Sucessful prosecutions *should* have risen as the vexatious ones were stripped out.

The sucess rate was virtually unchanged, suggesting that access to enough money to pay fees was the differentiator, not strength of case

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

frank 3

more needed than ever

And when the googlopoly becomes apparent even to the meanest intelligence, it will be there to pick up the mantle, probably under a different name and in a different form.

Online ad scam launders legions of pirates and pervs into 'legit' surfing

frank 3

Actually, ad agencies are just as concerned as the advertisers. Measured by results: sales increases and the like, most agencies loathe this phenomenon. Yes, full disclosure, I work for one (I know, I know: here, have some snake oil). Anyway.

We frikkin HATE this crap. I spend my day deep in analytics, trying to work out how get the right ads in front of the right people and have shit like this to deal with. I'd rather buy 1 piece of adspace and have it go to people who actually care about the product my client is selling than have to try and navigate this bewildering world of crap. Yes, it affects our bottom line (media spend goes to Google instead of allowing us to do a better job on the actual ad), so yes we hate it. Yes, it affects our bottom line because our clients don't have trust in targeting, so are tempted to spray and pray whilst bitching about cost per acquired customer: as if that's something we have any control over (because of scams like this). And you suffer because you get a million completely irrelevant ads that clutter up your browser.

Yes. I really would rather make just one ad and send it to exactly the right people. You'd get fewer ads, we'd get to make better ads (better engineered, faster loading and less buggy too because we'd have the time/money to spend on it) and our clients get the customers they need.

And if you don't think advertising is necessary for the modern economy to actually run then you have *never* run a business. I have.

Today's WWW is built on pillars of sand: Buggy, exploitable JavaScript libs are everywhere

frank 3

It's like this conversation is happening in outer space

Because anyone who suggests that you don't use Javascript in a website is in reality denial. I can count on the fingers of one ear sites that don't. Good luck explaining to your customer why NONE of the things they want, work.

And yes, everything should be constantly patched and updated.

Good luck explaining to your customer why they should pay for it (in an age where you can get a wordpress site designed and built for under £500).

The only solution is for it to be fixed at source: for the libs to be secure and the version number to become irrelevant: no local copies and the CDN always serves up the latest version which is *always* backwardly compatible.

But good luck with that too. Unpaid devs. contributing to OSS in their spare time using version numbering systems that make sense to the community aren't going to change how they work anytime soon.

There is no solution: you are lumbered with the insecurities.

Blue sky basic income thinking is b****cks

frank 3

UBI has issues, but there's a better solution.

The NHS has not made me particularly careless of my own health.

But it did de-risk at least one aspect of launching my own business.

And that's the point.

UBI frees people to fulfill their actual potential, without having to worry about failing.

Still, I don't think UBI is the right solution as it puts you at the mercy of the state.

Far better is a model around capital homesteading, whereby you gain an actual ownership of the services you use over time and derive an income from it. Think about it like this - every month you pay for your mobile phone contract. And in return you get a phone line + a tiny ongoing share in the business' profits. Over time that accrues and you start to build an equity stream.

Like a mortgage instead of rent: over time you accrue equity.

It's not a new idea, but it is a good one. Like UBI, but without the need for an all-powerful state, a revolution or a 'big bang' change.


If only our British 4G were as good as, um, Albania's... UK.gov's telco tech report

frank 3

is anyone surprised?

A person of my acquaitance who is well placed to know assures me that Vodafone don't maintain *any* quality of service data from any of their masts, so I have a low, low, low opinion of the efforts that they go to to ensure coverage.

In 2016, you *still* can't get a consistent signal on the west coast main line to london.

Angry user demands three site visits to fix email address typos

frank 3

Well said, have an upvote

because we have more than enough bigots around at the moment.

Facebook pays, er, nope, gets £11m credit from UK taxman HMRC...

frank 3

Re: Blame Game

And yes, systematic change in how tax is levied and collected is the only option. Requiring transnational co-operation and continent-wide organisations focused on that laudable goal.

So, the closest we had to that was the EU.

And they tended to be on the side of the fat cats anyway. Bugger.

I genuinely don't know how you might change this.


frank 3

Re: Blame Game

The big 4 accountancy co's (who also do the tax auditing of these big companies), spend a *huge* amount of time lobbying and gaming the system. Google's lobbying is very well known: they love-bomb the US and UK legislators and executive constantly to ensure the 'right' laws are passed. I'm less familiar with Facebook's activity in this area. Might well be that they are (ironically) 'free-riders' on the lobbying effort. Suspect not.

Don't forget, too, that Theresa 'hit the fatcats' May's cabinet contains 27 millionaires. Are they going to vote against their financial interests? I'm inclined to doubt it.

Both US presidential candidates have benefitted from hugely complex tax law too: Trump famously 'possibly' not paying income tax for up to 18 years. And then he pointed out that the Clintons did exactly the same. They are all in it together. And we aren't.

frank 3

Re: The grew the business...

That at least, is actually straightforward. If you invest £10bn now, with the hopes of makeing £50bn over the next ten years by building, say, a datacentre, then you lose £10bn now, but grow the business by taking a loss.

frank 3

Re: Blame Game

That's only sort of true. In fact, it's true, but completely misleading and beside the point.

These enormous companies can hire battalions of accountants - often the very same accountants that *wrote* the tax law a year previously to find all the ways through the maze.

And then, of course, they have huge lobbying efforts to make sure that the politicians don't pass any laws detrimental to their interests. They game the system top and bottom.

So, in saying that it's the responsibility of the lawmakers to ensure the laws make them pay is at best naive, and at worst, well...

I hesitate to suggest that an anonymous coward might be employed by a PR company to put out a line that sounds trivially plausible but is in fact designed to mislead. I really do. Truly. That would never be the case, surely.

Apple puts on its grey suit: Firm, 40, keen to meet corporate types

frank 3

Comedy gold

The fruity one has been tacking consumerwards for nearly a decade, now wants to play nice in the enterprise? Apple OSX server can't even do SMB properly. No user serviceable parts. Apple Open Directory has a fraction of the capabilities of AD.

I have to manage a small network of apples. God it sucks. Give me windows back any day of the week.

EU ends anonymity and rules open Wi-Fi hotspots need passwords

frank 3

They have made their ruling, now let them enforce it

Wandering round this lunchtime, I passed abotu 40 open hotspots, many of which provided as free wifi by the great city of Manchester.

So yeah. That's gunna work.

I'll just type my passport number into this unsecured network to verify my identity shall I?

What could possibly go wrong :D

Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

frank 3

Re: It's pretty minimal cost

yeah, and I work for an agency with about 100 sites to look after.

For each one, I have to cost this for the client, discuss it with them, agree the timings, execute it, test that the site still works as expected with no SEO impacts and then keep track of all those certs in a year's time.

So that's a couple of weeks up the swanny.

For *no frickin' benefit to anyone*.

Oh, and my clients will blame me because I'm the messenger. Cost to them for no benefit. Yay!

The ones that stored personal data already had certs. *sigh*

Thanks for massively wasting my time Google.

Google breaks heart, White Knight falls off horse

frank 3

What an odd right-wing rant this 'article' is.

US broadband is known to be dismal and most of blame for that lies in monopolistic behaviour from the telco's. In the cases of a clear market failure, it is the duty of the state to intervene to ensure that competition can flourish. And yet, this ranty article seems to completely ignore that. How odd.

Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings

frank 3

Re: Councils

Wow, they ploughed a whole 1.7% of their roads capex budget into bike facilities. The other £58m will be spent on new roads.

Yes, I can see why you are aggrieved.

Nevermind that most people don't bike in cities because they are scared to. So, separating out cars and bikes will encourage cycling: reducing congestion and therefore is a win-win for both driver and cyclist. You are definitely right to be angry.

How does one spell 'massively entitled bellend' again?

Oh: just like that.

Amnesty International accuses tech giants of battery bastardry

frank 3

The real affect of Fairtrade is that it shifts the whole debate from a commodity-focused trading issue to being about people and behaving with basic decency and fairness.

This is a generational shift that takes decades to embed, but ends up benefitting all.

Mars, for example, is on the cusp of announcing that all it's cocoa will be fairtrade.

All because of consumer pressure to do the right thing.

It's a slow, messy and imperfect process, but one which is about doing the right thing, today, here, now, in the best way you can. And when enough people join you, it eventually becomes the new normal.

Multinationals hiding more than half a trillion from G20 tax collectors

frank 3

Re: Greed knows no boundries

Oh right, but the biggest thieves are the companies that absolutely rely on our economies having advanced education, infrastructure and rule of law enforcing strong property rights but pay nothing towards that. So... they must be socialist then? The ultimate free-riders trying to get something for nothing.

frank 3

Love this:

Small market traders and shops setting up the same tax dodges as the big multinationals to expose how these guys take and take and take and give nothing back.


As one local trader put it: "We do want to pay our taxes because we all use local schools and hospitals but we want a change of law so everyone pays their fair share."

Bill Gates again world's richest, tops in US for 20th straight year

frank 3

Re: It is impossible to have a billion dollars without that fact in some way helping others.

"if the billion was earned on the free market (no state involvement or corporate welfare"


If the billion was earned by my team of pet unicorns.

Because both ideas are complete fantasy.

London Underground cleaners to refuse fingerprint clock-on

frank 3

Ah, so if you can't have dignity, then no-one must.

frank 3

Re: Think of the children

Aye, let's get 'em used to being treated like crims from an early age.

Report: Secret British spy base in Middle East taps region's internet

frank 3


Odd way to start a paragraph 'Left-wing newspaper...'

As though that was relevant?

Do you routinely start sentences with 'Right-wing newspaper' when describing the Torygraph, or 'Risible comic-book wank-rag' when describing the Sun? Not that I've seen, but maybe I'm wrong.

Weakens your reporting if you chuck in irrelevant canards like this.

Oh, those crazy Frenchies: Facebook faces family photo tax in France

frank 3

and they past huge amounts of tax in Bermuda...

And the fortunes of the richest 100 people in the world increased by $2.4bn EACH last year.

But of course, they paid their fair share in tax, right?

Oh dear, seems not. No-one actually knows how much money is held permanently offshore in tax havens, but I've seen estimates ranging from about 10 Trillion to about 32 Trillion.


Nokia flagellates self further to quell fake cam ad Twitterstorm

frank 3

just waiting for the crash

I watched the whole advert from behind the sofa, cringing in fear: just waiting for them to ride into something big, painful and sudden.

It's what happens if you don't look where you are going on a bike.

And then I realised, they are impossibly well-styled hipsters.

And then I wanted it to happen.

Korean boffins discover secret to quick-charge batteries

frank 3

Re: Fast charging

Interestingly, I went back in time to 1905 and attended a public debate on the introduction of motor-cars to our roads.

It was funny because there was a gentleman there who said: 'It's all very well having a fuel tank that can be refueled in a minute, but that assumes that you have big storage tanks that can hold all that petrol. You're not going to find that in a domestic setting. I doubt that many coaching inns that would pay to have these expensive fireproof tanks installed on their premises either, at least initially'

And yet, here we are....

Chinese feel pressure to work longer hours

frank 3

Re: Unions, eh?

Gosh, I hope you don't take any statutory sick pay when you keel over sick, or statutory holiday or enjoy employment rights of any kind. If you do, then you have unions to thank.

Is your 6 year-old not apprenticed to the local mill? If not, then you have unions to thank.

Even if you are freelance, you benefit from all that because you can and do price in the risk of not having those, secure in the knowledge that the employer has to pay for that for a permie.

Higher productivity through capital accumulation can be a good thing, but there need to be checks and balances to ensure that those accumulating the capital don't just exploit people like slaves.

Even a cursory reading of history will show you that those at the top of the heap aren't generally very good at sharing with those at the bottom of the heap. Unions help redress that problem. You may not like them, but boy are they necessary.

Browsium rescues HMRC from IE6 – and multimillion-pound bill

frank 3

Re: How I liked the simplicity of tables.

Javascript that worked?

When was that around?

Oh, you mean when NN and IE had completely different DOMs so you ended up writing each script twice?

Yeah, none of this 'standardised library' nonsense that we get from jQuery.

Sheesh. Get yer facts right.

And tables.

Tables are for the display of tabular data. Not for layout/styling. That's what styesheets are for. Y'know, so you can reskin the site in 2 years time without having to edit every line of code on every page with <font color='green'> or somesuch rubbish.

The good old days? They were shit.

CD: The indestructible music format that REFUSES TO DIE

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methinks DJ2 doth protest too much. Most of the DJ-orientated stores such as beatport offer uncompressed 44.1k wavs, which are identical in quality to CD. Some places even offer 96k 24-bit files, much better than CD.

It's not just mp3s anymore.