* Posts by Smooth Newt

1139 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

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

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Pint

Re: I wonder why?

That's a very poor starting position. Functional programmes tend not to have all their bits set to zero. Start with it filled with random data. That way there is a "chance" it will work first time. In the unlikely event it doesn't you will hit one of the many possible solutions sooner than starting with all zeros..

I guess that is true. 00 is quite often a NOOP instruction - it is on ARM, MIPS and Z80 anyway - so an all zeroes initial condition could be a valid, but very dull, program on those but probably not on anything else.

Best plan would be some sort of very complex quantum computer that could try all possible bit patterns simultaneously.

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Pint

Re: I wonder why?

@Smooth Newt

Toss in a genetic algorithm and you might find your solution before the heat death of the universe.

I have a great technique for generating the genetic algorithm. First you take a block of memory and initialise it to all zeroes...

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Pint

Re: I wonder why?

As the late, great Eric Morecambe once said: I'm playing all the right notes, just not necessarily in the right order ...

The following simple technique can be used to address that. Decide how big your program needs to be. If you get that right then the technique is absolutely guaranteed to produce the desired bug-free program.

Allocate a block of memory of the necessary size and initialize it to all zeroes. Then:

1. Execute it as a program. If it does what you want, then job done.

2. Otherwise, treat it as one single very wide multibyte binary number and increment it. (first time round 000...000b->000...001b, second time round 000...001b->000...010b etc)

3. Go to step 1

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Joke

Re: I wonder why?

Linus' potty mouth notwithstanding, let's not forget that some of this shit is hard

It's all just ones and zeroes. If it isn't a one then it's a zero. How hard can that be?

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

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Trollface

...which describes the expensive experimental works that have been undertaken, the various new/modified experimental technology they've come up with, whether as prototypes to be tested, or as monitoring technology to test the prototype (because sometimes in research, you need to build the measuring device you need before you can build the thing you want to measure). Also there will presumably be various computer simulations/numerical models, probably run as parametric studies testing sensitivities to various parameters. And yes, I expect there will be a report. In fact, there will probably be many dozens of reports.

Oh God. It's been pissed away on some useless research project. The only questions that need answering are How Much and How Long. Why didn't they just ask the people who have already delivered GPS systems.

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Happy

Gravy train

Assuming you paid the smartest boffins around 100 quid an hour,

You are way too cheap on this. £300 an hour + VAT is a more realistic billing rate for a junior muppet from the sort of outfit the government uses. The people themselves get maybe 20% of this.

A senior management consultant will be much, much more expensive. And the government loves those. Think £12,000 per day + VAT. And they will have two or three junior people assigned to them just to carry their bags and fetch their coffee, and the government will be billed separately for those.

Expenses are on top of that, of course, and no-one is going to be exactly slumming it.

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

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Coat

Re: "aggressively investigating and prosecuting these crimes"

Goes to show that criminals are stupid, even when they have a doctorate degree.

Only the ones who get caught. Even then, they have to be very unlucky too.

e.g. UK clear up rate 7.8%, and that's of the tiny proportion of crimes that are even reported. Don't know what proportion of crimes are actually reported, but perhaps 1 in 50?

(Coat icon, because that's not his coat)

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

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Pirate

The problem is easy to express

It's the lack of compartmentalization in conventional web software frameworks. These should be analogous to Android and IOS where each software package runs in its own sandbox with access only to the particular set of features that it needs.

You are never going to be able to police and properly maintain all these software packages, so there will always be security (and other) bugs. And validating inputs only gets you so far - whilst a bit of simple syntax gets you past the stupid, simple problems like SQL injection, once you start thinking about context it can be enormously difficult. So a solution is to assume that these bugs are going to be present and design the framework in which they sit accordingly. Hence some security compartmentalization.

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

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Stop

every significant world power is overpopulated

"Now every significant world power is overpopulated,"

Don't you need a very large population to be a significant world power? That is why China, India and the United States are significant world powers and Greenland is not.

"Overpopulated" is also dubious. Perhaps you are just visualising the busy cities. But the United States population density is just 87 people per square mile. It is just that people like to bunch together in cities near the coast, leaving the boondocks empty. Wyoming has a population density of 6 people per square mile.

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Meh

I have serious concerns on the long term effect on society of these videos being freely available.

Pornography has been freely available online for more than 25 years now, so we are in the long term and whatever harms there are should be evident.

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Meh

Re: What could possibly go wrong?

Anyway, it's not a new idea: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Evil_bit

It is closer to the existing "rating" HTML metadata tag.

< meta name="rating" content=value > where value is one of:

general

mature

restricted

14 years

safe for kids

Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses... but not your H-1B geeks, L-1 staffers nor J-1 students

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Happy

Re: L-1

What newly minted American STEM graduates are finding is that they are competing against H1-B workers who are willing to work at reduced wages and under strict contract requirements for many years in trade for a green card so that very wealthy corporations don't have to pay Americans competitive wages.

In 2016, college graduates backed Clinton by a 9-point margin (52%-43%), whilst those without a college degree backed Trump by nearly as much (52%-44%). I doubt this is intended for the benefit of college graduates.

Incidentally, the NACE salary survey for Winter 2019 projected a 4% rise in salaries for engineering graduates compared to 2018. A new masters graduate in computer engineering gets you a median salary of $77,000. You would not expect these sort of figures if there were more graduates than available jobs.

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Meh

Re: L-1

I can understand the motivation for stopping some of these visa types, but stopping L-1 would surely defeat the purpose?

It's not a policy based on a strategic analysis of the socio-economic consequences for the United States, it's about pleasing an increasingly disenchanted fan base. Nothing else matters for the impending election. All you have to know about the motivation is "foreners are steelin are jobs".

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC

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Meh

Finding that new particle might be the key to unlimited cheap energy

If you restrict yourself to only solving the little problems you'll never get very far. Finding that new particle might be the key to unlimited cheap energy, which would go a long way to solving all sorts of economic problems, including homelessness. We'll never know unless we try.

One of the problems with this sort of argument is that it ignores opportunity cost.

There is a very limited amount of research money. And a dozen ways that could be used to produce cheap energy that it could properly fund. Backing a complete outsider on the off-chance that it may turn up something useful is not good sense. It's like betting most of your money on the 1000 to 1 horse.

IR35 tax reforms for UK freelancers glide through committee stage: D-Day set for 6 April 2021

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Trollface

Re: IR35 Status - Furlough Status as Evidence

Surely being unable to claim under the Furlough scheme is evidence enough of not being a disguised employee?

No, because they are out to stuff you. Reality left the building a long time ago.

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

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Happy

Re: distance and signal strength

Better would be to use sonar. Send an ultrasonic 'chirp' through the phone speaker and pick up the reply via the microphone. The round-trip time of ~12ms is rather more manageable, though having the microphone live all the time would not be easy to sell...

Better to use a one-way ultrasonic pulse. Phone sends an ultrasonic burp and a Bluetooth broadcast at the same time. Bluetooth signal arrives at listening phone more or less instantly, and distance is proportional to delay before corresponding acoustic signal arrives.

The microphone doesn't have to go active until Bluetooth broadcast received, and even then only has to be live for a hundredth of a second. If the burp takes more than a hundredth of a second to arrive, then the phone is more than 3 metres away and we don't care about it.

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Flame

Re: with respect to the UK app

one suspects that two tin cans and a piece of string would seem totally world-beating.

If it is British then it will be deemed to be world-beating. Even if the string is missing.

They don't care - this is a public relations crisis for them, not a public health one.

Nothing fills you with confidence in an IT contractor more than hearing its staff personal records were stolen by ransomware hackers. Right, Cognizant?

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Meh

Re: Lol

Out of an abundance of caution...

What about an abundance of caution before this happened?

No surprise: Britain ditches central database model for virus contact-tracing apps in favour of Apple-Google API

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WTF?

I really wish they'd find some adults to take charge

Pandemic planning, emergency stockpiles, lockdown timing, care homes. ventilator challenge, personal protective equipment, school reopening, track 'n trace, UK entry controls only when it became pointless, and now the app

It would be amusing if it hadn't already cost tens of thousands of lives.

For years, the internet giants have held on dear to their get-out-of-jail-free card. Here are those trying to take that away

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Happy

Bots and idiots

I'd supress bots for a start. Its not so hard to do by a series of measures, such as randomly requiring a Turing test for about one in twenty posts so that large scale bot farming requires significant human effort, and blocking accounts where the majority of posts don't come from at least the country that the user claims to reside in (and don't let them use VPNs).

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Megaphone

Re: Censorship is bad mmkay

Social networks should make an effort to surround those hateful, loaded, or misinformed opinions with competing opinions from the opposite end of the spectrum.

Much of the problem is the prolific use of bots to amplify and mainstream otherwise outlandish and hateful views. Adding more and more bots shouting ever louder at each other would just be a pointless arms race.

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means

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Unhappy

Re: What this is really going to be used for

Most people are smart enough to realise than unless someone sneezes or coughs directly on you the chances of catching covid when walking past someone in the street or supermarket are next to zero so we don't bother to distance in those circumstances.

Large numbers of low probability interactions mean that infections will still frequently occur. For example, if there is a 1 in a hundred thousand chance of catching Covid through a single interaction, then after 3000 interactions (e.g. average 30 interactions a day for 100 days) then a person will have a (1-0.99999^3000 =) 3% chance of catching the disease.

Another way of looking at it is that there would be about 30 new infections every day in a population of 100,000 interacting people.

Whose side you on, Nominet? Registry floods .co.uk owners with begging emails to renew unwanted .uk domains

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Boffin

Articles of Association

I'll just leave this here.

Articles of Association of Nominet UK (the "Company")*

...

Public Purpose

1A In exercising their duties to promote the success of the Company for the benefit of the Members as a whole the directors shall have particular regard to the impact of the Company’s activities on the general public.

1B The objects of the Company are to undertake activities, particularly (without limitation) as were formerly set out in the Company’s Memorandum of Association, and to do so for the public benefit.

Admission of Members

...

(for another 12 pages)

*https://media.nominet.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/11091511/Nominet-UK-Articles-of-Association-AGM-2017.pdf

Splunk to junk masters and slaves once a committee figures out replacements

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Happy

Re: Where will this end....

And, is it unfair to call irrational numbers "irrational" ?

Yes. Henceforth they must always be called "judiciously challenged numbers".

GitHub to replace master with main across its services

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Terminator

And robots too?

Nobody mention to the people who are pushing for the abolition of blackjack, master clocks and slave clutch cylinders that the word robot comes from the Czech robotnik "forced worker," from robota "forced labor, compulsory service, drudgery,". Ultimately derived from the Old Slavic rabu "slave,"*. And the word was invented for the play Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti, in which the roboti were synthetic, but emotionally and intellectually aware creatures, who were literally slaves.

When the inevitable happens and we have to choose something else, can I upvote "your plastic pal who's fun to be with".

*The word slave derives from the ethnic group Slav, so there is trouble brewing there too.

EU aviation wonks give all-electric training aeroplane the green light – but noob pilots only have 50 mins before they have to land it

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Trollface

Re: Does it have regenerative braking?

Is that the windmill thing on the front of it?

No, that's just a fan to keep the pilot cool. You should see how much he starts sweating if it stops turning.

Readers of a certain age will remember GPRS: Old insecure tech from turn of millennium still haunts 5G networks

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Flame

Re: All your networks are borked by us

At least, that is what would ideally happen. Mobile networks being what they are, the transition to 5G will be incremental and, in the meantime, that means backwards compatibility is needed with 4G and earlier standards, where GTP transmission remains highly vulnerable.

It is trivial for a reasonably well resourced attacker to bung up 5G coverage with a bit of jamming to force phones to fall back to earlier protocols like 2G, which makes just fixing 5G on its own a bit pointless.

I can't see 2G being switched off for a couple of decades. Older people who find a smartphone fiddly tend to still have 2G/3G phones, as do lots of tourists in the UK. It is still widely used in rural areas (i.e. that part of the country that isn't London) because of its better coverage at very low signal strengths. 2G is also used in many embedded machine-to-machine applications, and 2G/3G is mandated for smart meters and the EU's eCall car crash system. Smart meters have a minimum life of 15 years.

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report

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Happy

Re: Hassle and cost

That is a really selective set of figures you have chosen. You can get an electric car that is way cheaper than the petrol equivalent depending on what stats your are looking at. I mean a Tesla Model 3 can go 0-6 in 3.2seconds. Try to find an ICE which can do that with the same tech and still carry 3 children and the same luggage space - you'll be paying a lot.

Electric motors have high torque at low speed, and petrol engines have high torque at about 4000 rpm, so an electric vehicle will have high acceleration. Back in the world most people inhabit, however, the low cost of the fuel for electric cars does not really offset their high purchase cost unless you are expecting to drive a great many more miles than is typical.

The problematic refuelling that you think is something to debate at a different time is a real issue, and is actually the show stopper that has prevented me from buying one. I quite like the idea of having one and I'm not particularly fussed about the cost. It's the simplicity and the potential for not using fossil fuel that appeals to me, rather than the 0->hospital in 3.2 seconds. But if I can only drive the bloody thing 70 miles out and 70 miles back without having to try to find somewhere on the way where I can plug it in and hang around for an hour waiting for it to charge then it is a non-starter.

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Headmaster

Re: Free parking for electric cars

Pedant point - Beeching was a civil servant charged with formulating the plan under instructions from his boss, the Transport Minister Ernest Marples, the co-founder of Marples Ridgway and Partners, the road building company.

Pedant point to the pedant point. Richard Beeching was an executive at ICI,* until he was seconded from the company to be chairman of the British Railways Board. After his five year stint he returned to his job at ICI.

*Imperial Chemical Industries (ICI) was one of the largest British manufacturing companies in the 20th century. Like most large British manufacturing companies, it has long since been sold off abroad, in this case to Akzo Nobel N.V.

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Boffin

Hassle and cost

I expect the idea is that people who've just bought a new car will want to drive it, thereby encouraging them to go places, which means they'll spend money. I'm not suggesting its the best use of a £6k tax cut mind, only that it's not just about the car, it's about the services the new owner uses.

The UK Government plug-in car grant scheme has been in place since 2011, when it was £5,000 (at that time it covered all ultra-low emission cars). It has been reduced over the years and is currently £3,000 and for electric cars only. See this on the Government website. I assume you won't get both grants simultaneously.

Electric cars aren't particularly popular because low and mid range model purchase price is about a third more than petrol, for far worse performance. They have a much smaller range, take problematic amounts of time to refuel during a journey and are considerably heavier. This estimate shows them as saving only about 10% total cost of ownership per mile.

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Trollface

Re: Buy more cars - drive them less

To be equivalent, everyone would need a petrol station on their drives that fulls their car up overnight.

To make your petrol-station equivalent drive, you need a drive.

People who live in flats, shared accommodation, even houses that aren't set back from the street by at least a car length etc are going to have a bit of a problem. A great many people don't even have adjacent on-street parking. Maybe they could use a very long electrical extension lead?

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

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Happy

Re: BTW: How did that work out?

2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

You are Boris Johnson and I claim my £5. Not sure how you are going to send it to me though, as you might make a dreadful mistake trying to post a cheque since burqa-wearing Muslim women apparently look like letterboxes.

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Meh

Re: Shut it

Green and orange will cause you trouble in Ireland.

In the 2000s there was an Orange mobile phone shop in the middle of Belfast. I used to regularly walk past it. It prominently displayed the then-current Orange UK slogan of "The future is Orange". I often wondered at two things - why its windows remained intact, and how profitable it must have been.

If you were on the Loyalist divide in Northern Ireland and of a certain mindset, then there would doubtless only be one mobile phone to have. And you probably applied strong, perhaps kinetic, pressure on everyone else in your community to do the same.

I imagine most of the people living in Republican areas went Vodafone though.

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

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Holmes

Not a book

It is 22 pages long according to the Amazon listing. https://www.amazon.com/Unreported-Truths-about-COVID-19-Lockdowns-ebook/dp/B089P216NP

I would put that about an order of magnitude shorter than a Book. How about a booklet - the term the author uses - or a pamphlet.

BTW Anything with "truth" in the title is not going to be scientific. Truth is a big word for scientists - so big they never use it. Science isn't about finding the "Truth" it is about finding more accurate understanding of the world - so nothing is ever the final word as there is always a better theory around the corner.

There's always a coronavirus angle these days: Honor intros new smartphone with built-in temperature sensor

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Happy

Re: Why not, when you travel there you get checked

Instead you could self isolate, go and get a test, go to hospital.....whichever is most appropriate.

Or just go outside, find some shade and cool off.

The correlation between core temperature and skin temperature is not very strong - and is particularly bad at the forehead, which seems to be the most popular site for this type of measurement. There is a large contribution to skin temperature from the environment - hence lots of false positives or negatives depending upon how long people have queued in the sun, the ambient temperature and air flow.

Spending watchdog doubts UK is capable of managing Brexit and coronavirus info campaigns at the same time

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Happy

Re: Combined

You can't have two sets of slogans at the same time. That just confuses people. They will have to combine them - e.g.

Plan for Covid

Plan for Brexit

Buy a coffin before the price goes up

Privacy activists prep legal challenge against UK plan to keep coronavirus contact-tracing data for two decades

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Stop

Re: Democracy in action!

Oh dear, letting your emotion think rather than use your head...

It doesn't matter what the incubation period is, it is most certainly shorter than the length of time the social networking data contained in the data set will be useful to researchers.

If they want to use data about individuals for research then they should be seeking informed consent from the participants. See the Helsinki Declaration and the European Convention on Human Rights etc.

From a practical perspective, the success of the test and trace project is dependent upon public trust, and anything that further erodes that trust will lead to more death.

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Meh

Democracy in action!

The 20 year retention period is so ostentatiously excessive that it might be deliberately provocative. For one thing it is a dead cat that most people are focusing on at the expense of all the other stuff in there - which will consequently get waved through without comment.

And perhaps the Government actually wanted five years. After that time the data is probably too stale to be useful for identifying the friends of people deemed troublemakers. It's still vastly excessive for the infection control purposes stated, so there would still be the firestorm of criticism if they demanded that up front. So they stick 20 years in and then will eventually begrudgingly compromise on ten years. The Government gets everything they want and more, and at the same time fool the plebs into feeling that the Government has listened to criticism, bowed to public opinion etc. It will look like democracy in action.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

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Happy

Re: Oh No Surely Not...

My Wife is a track and tracer and is employed by the NHS and is certainly not doing it at at minimum wage. There are also no targets.

Good for her. I assume she is one of the 3,000 trained professionals. The other 83% of the contact tracing workforce - 15,000 of them - are Contact Tracer Customer Service Advisors on £9.42 per hour, which is minimum wage + 70p. See for example, https://apply.staffingplatform.co.uk/vacancy/preview?id=33951

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Unhappy

Re: Oh No Surely Not...

In a decidedly low-tech scheme, the plan is for those testing positive for COVID-19 to get phone calls from NHS tracers, who will ask them who they have been in contact with.

Oh God, this means that the NHS tracing scheme is going to be riddled with bugs and open to abuse too.

Pretend NHS tracers, griefers who finger anybody they don't like, and contacts with unknown names or phone numbers who would need actual legwork to track down just for starters.

And since most of the tracers are being paid near minimum wage, and probably have to meet some sort of targets, they are going to mess up big time too. Just count the ways - they are going to be getting names wrong, phoning the wrong people, misunderstanding what they are told, gaming whatever target system they have to meet (let's hope it isn't "you have to lock down an average of fifty people a day to keep your job") etc.

Switzerland 'first' country to roll out contact-tracing app using Apple-Google APIs to track coronavirus spread

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Thumb Up

Re: Contact tracing?

I guess some government advisors just thought that even if it did happen, they could just drive around and it wouldn't be a problem.

Are you suggesting that some government advisors took such a short-sighted approach to the prospect of pandemics that they needed their eyes testing?

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

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Unhappy

Re: You supported a system...

It's not an outdated system. It's the only one that makes any sense in a federal system. The US is a federation of states, and we don't have a national government. We have a federal government (more akin to the EU than the government of any of the countries within the EU).

Perhaps someone should explain that to the Austrians, since those poor benighted fools directly elect their president despite their country being a collection of nine federated states.

Contact-tracing app may become a permanent fixture in major Chinese city

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Childcatcher

Public Health is the new Think Of The Children.

I'm not sure how they will use it to ban porn, but their fertile minds will think of something - e.g. causes a serious shortage of toilet roll in times of national emergency.

Coronavirus masks are thwarting facial recognition systems. So, of course, people are building training sets from your lockdown-wear selfies

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Happy

Re: Web scrapers

Just excluding selfies doesn't really work. You have to be considerate towards other people and exclude their faces too.

Smiley, obviously, because I am saying "cheese"

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

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Happy

Re: Doesn't mean they are ignoring it

Smooth Newt said "If you receive a letter saying "we have decided not to take forward your job application", it means that the company isn't going to hire you, not that they are going to hire you in a couple of weeks time."

Conveniently overlooking the phrase "UNTIL THE SITUATION IMPROVES". Which puts a completely different spin on things when it's added to a statement...

"We have therefore decided not to take forward any job applications until the situation improves" doesn't mean you have been hired. It just means no-one else has either.

The sentence they used was "We have therefore decided not to take forward any complaints that require organisations to take action or respond to enquiries from us until the situation improves." You hope the sentence means that processing of complaints is deferred but it just as easily means that complaints will be binned until the situation improves.

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Meh

Doesn't mean they are ignoring it

They are not ENFORCING it at the moment. Doesn't mean they are ignoring it. Deferring is better wording.

The Wired article quotes a letter received by a complainant from the ICO. "We have therefore decided not to take forward any complaints that require organisations to take action or respond to enquiries from us until the situation improves."

If you receive a letter saying "we have decided not to take forward your job application", it means that the company isn't going to hire you, not that they are going to hire you in a couple of weeks time.

It the ICO isn't processing these complaints until the end of the Covid crisis, but the complaints will be saved up an actioned after that, perhaps they should have actually said that instead of writing in ambiguous euphemistic bollocks management speak.

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Thumb Up

Re: CVV should never be held

The PCI DSS security standard for handling credit cards mandates this. If easyJet (subs note sp) were doing so (about as unlikely as storing their site password in clear text), they'll be in a world of trouble. The standard also requires all CC data to be strongly encrypted.

Flaws in encryption are almost always around key management. Encrypting a block of data is just a library function call, but key management is a tricky design problem fraught with potential difficulties.

Open letter from digital rights groups to UK health secretary questions big tech's role in NHS COVID-19 data store

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Stop

Re: Privacy and data ownership are critical for wide support

I will not be installing this app on my phone under any circumstances, even if they try to make it mandatory. If they try to prosecute me, I'll use the Human Rights Act on the basis that my phone is my private property, and HMG has no authority to tell me what I should, and should not, have installed on it.

If they make it mandatory, then you have to find a sneaky way out or hope for mass disobedience to make enforcement impossible. Being private property is no reason for the government not to be able to mess with it - see laws on planning, building work, environmental protection, obscenity, tax, drugs, firearms, wireless telegraphy etc etc.

"I'll use the Human Rights Act" is easy to write. The magistrate fines you, then you get jailed for contempt or something. You appeal through a succession of courts, but of course you are still locked up. This requires you to gamble half a squillion quid, and you'll get a final decision in five years time.

First prize is getting your criminal record expunged and your money back, but you don't get you jail time back - second prize is you lose all that money and time.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

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Thumb Up

Re: No love for CORAL 66?

Spookily my first programming experience was of Coral 66 running on a PDP 11/44 so way more congenial than yours. Those were the days.

'COMMENT' My first job was Coral 66 on a PDP 11 too. I thought it was quite a good language - far better than the Fortran IV I had used at university. The only thing I really hated was that all the comments had to be done like this;

NHS contact tracing app isn't really anonymous, is riddled with bugs, and is open to abuse. Good thing we're not in the middle of a pandemic, eh?

Smooth Newt Silver badge
Trollface

Re: Why, oh why...

So, some time before the heat death of the Universe, there just may be a proper application that does what it says on the tin.

Governments have jumped to the "let's have an app for that" stage before knowing if the thing they can measure (Bluetooth signal strength) reflects what they really want to measure (likelihood of droplet contamination). They also don't know how it will modify people's behaviour - will common sense be "I've got the app, so I'm safe" and encourage riskier behaviour.

"Garbage in, garbage out" would apply until heat death of the universe.

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