* Posts by Adrian 4

2168 posts • joined 18 Jul 2009

Delivery drone crashes into power lines, causes outage

Adrian 4 Silver badge

It was an attempt to keep the delivery package safe by perching on the wire temporarily. Works for birds, right ?

City isn't keen on 5,000 erratic, traffic-jam-causing GM robo-cars on its streets

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Just take their licence away

With an automated car, the license could be far more active.

Instead of allowing free rein until found to be non-conformant, conformance with the rules could be imposed electronically. The car would be responsible for spotting pedsetrians, interacting with the owner etc. But on needing to access some shared resource such as a freeway or busy city street, the car would have to announce its intentions to the city traffic management system and obtain permission for literally everything it did in real time, such as making a turn, changing lane etc.

The owner still retains control of the car - they can change plans at any time - but the car has to achieve them in a way that meets not just the law but the instantaneous traffic management aims. No illegal turns, speeding, misparking or contributing to traffic jams. If you ask it to do something that overloads the system, you can't do it.

Similar to the road-train concept for freeways where you join a train of cars moving together, but applied to cities.

Post-Brexit 'science superpower' UK still hasn't appointed a science minister

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Don't forget he did his best to kill us all and succeeded in adding another cycle of stay-at-home in his attempt to preserve business.

Because, apparently, business is more important than having anybody to conduct business.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Now, be fair.

For months, the tories had been telling us that Johnson was the best possible leader they could elect to do the job. Nobody else in the party could do it better.

Now, finally, they had to admit he was utterly unsuited to the job and would be better off in jail.

So, forced to choose someone else, it's quite clear that since Johnson was the best, anybody else would be worse. And so, indeed, it has proved.

And if they get rid of her, it will be someone worse still. Because every one of them is totally crap. They did, after all,. choose 4 crap leaders in succession. QED.

School chat app Seesaw abused to send 'inappropriate image' to parents, teachers

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Living in fear of a 2nd wave.

Maybe if you're so horrified by the tasteless display of an organ 100% of humans own, you should reconsider your priorities.

It's good to have some taste, but the lack of it is probably not the worst threat our species - even the young members still in full-time education - is facing.

UK lays world's longest autonomous drone superhighway

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Why can't air traffic control (aka time-division multiplexing) handle this ?

HP pays $1.3m to settle dispute over printer security chip

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: I've stopped buying HP anything

Elsewhere on this site :

"HP is putting together a recovery plan to counter a sharp slowdown in its PC and printer businesses, including yet another transformation program."

As you sow, so shall you reap.

Boffins build microphone safety kit to detect eavesdroppers

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Tick Tock is also the name of a redbush tea that existed long before the social media company.

And a tea is probably closer in usage to social media than a microphone-detector.

So I don't think Tik Tok would have much of a case, being name-thieves themselves.

Chemical plant taken offline by the best one of all: C8H10N4O2

Adrian 4 Silver badge

> At the other end of the scale orange juice was terminal.

As was beer.

Recollections of a calculator returned for repair from a brewery in Wolverhampton. A lovely machine with nixies all in a row and a hand-designed circuit board with swirly traces instead of modern straight lines.

And green stuff that shouldn't have been there.

Rest in peace, Queen Elizabeth II – Britain's first high-tech monarch

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: King right charlie

He's not inspiring.

But I'd rather have him than anyone in parliament.

I don't think 2022 will be remembered as the year Liz Truss was elected.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Many people learned to drive in the army and were grandfathered into the civilian system. I imagine the army had some sort of test but it was likely of the order of 'drive round that post and let the next man have a go'.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

> On the other hand, 15 UK PMs served under The Queen

The vast majority of them rightly forgotten.

Asus packs 12-core Intel i7 into a Raspberry Pi-sized board

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Product lifecycle?

It's well suited to particular classes of jobs as, probably is this board. Higher computing power (especially in the light of related energy problems) isn't a good thing in itself.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Register unit of computing power

Now we've abandoned the teraflop in favour of the raspberry pi as a unit of computing power, what will the units of electrical consumption and thermal output be in el reg articles?

In honour of the now-obsolete Watt, maybe it should be related to steam and kettles. Journalist cuppas-per hour could be used for both electrical usage and temperature increases, though both size-of-Wales (or whales) and Hiltons might be relevant. I guess the reg unit system needs some unification.

Amazon drivers unionize after AI sends them on 'impossible' routes

Adrian 4 Silver badge

> Clearly this must be costing amazon in time and fuel so it needs sorting out.

Apparently it doesn't : that's the contractors problem. So what's the incentive for Amazon to sort it out ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

> Generally the goal of IT,AI etc is not increased efficiency, or overall productivity, but just to push the wealth up the food chain and to concentrate it.

Has been since Arkwright.

A refined Apple desktop debuts ahead of Wednesday’s big iThing launch

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Should run nicely under emulation on a raspberry pico

If only we knew how to shrink keyboards without losing functionality

Bye bye BoJo: Liz Truss named new UK prime minister

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Please don't take this the wrong way, but

Or Ms. Trussed?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

I'm slightly puzzled by all these cries of despair. Were you hoping Rishi would win ?

Given the choice, there wasn't going to be a good outcome.

Both options were members of a failing cabinet, and both were members of a party which for a long time believed Boris was their best member.

And the same selection process that produced Boris has produced Truss. Why would it do better this time ?

GitLab versus The Zombie Repos: An old plot needs a new twist

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Just because the owner has lost interest or died, doesn't mean the code has lost all value. It could still be widely used.

Python tops programming love list – but if you want a job, learn SQL

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Python-- a transition from v3.9 to v3.10 breaks things

Putting a manually-curated wrapper around every piece of code to satisfy its unique dependencies is not a scalable solution.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Python--

If that were the problem, I would.

But it's not people I work with, it's python that's distributed as allegedly working applications.

What are the standards to which such shipped stuff should conform ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge


My experience of using other people's python is that it's almost universally crap, with the few exceptions being where it's deeply embedded in a larger package. It may be easy to write, but it's difficult even for machines to read.

Python learned nothing from the 2.7 -> 3.0 debacle. In fact, the compatibility situation got worse, with multiple step releases within 3.x making scripts written for one version unusable on another and with incomplete dependencies that make it very difficult to find the problem.

Forth, and to some extent Perl used to be decried as write-only languages. Python is rapidly outdoing them.

What's the solution ? Not venv; like any containers, they're a bodge to overcome the compatibility problems that shouldn't exist in the first place (and don't, in a well-regulated language like C). But with inaccurate dependencies, they don't solve the problem either - and in any case, need to be automatic rather than an optional extra if they're to make it usefully portable.

UK's largest water company investigates datacenters' use as drought hits

Adrian 4 Silver badge

How well would that work out when the unpurified water is contaminated by sewage ?

NASA selects 'full force' for probe into UFOs

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Rumour had it....

Pretty sure any level of fake AI would be better than what we have now

Software developer cracks Hyundai car security with Google search

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Are you suggesting those aren't random ?


UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Bankrupt the country so you can sell it to Rishi's father in law

Have you not been paying attention ? That argument was roundly trounced.

This tiny Intel Xeon-toting PC board can take your Raspberry Pi any day

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Not the same.

So, for the appropriate sort of compute job, how does the Aaeon compare with 20 Pis ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: You forgot to mention...

Aren't there any cheap router boards any more ?

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

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Other car manufacturers are available.

Don't you have any consumer protection law to force price visibility in left-pondia ?

Google tells Apple to 'fix text messaging' in bid to promote RCS protocol

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: leave SMS alone!

Agreed, except for delivery notification (though your own protocol is fine).

I want to be in charge of replying.

I don't want my phone to tell the sender I've read the message until I'm ready to respond.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Boat Missed?


Freedom from commercial lock-in is a big deal, and interoperability enables it.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Why would they ?

Universality is far more valuable than sparkly interfaces.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

We already have a universal messaging system : email. It's practically instant from some providers and works eventually with the rest.

Why do we need a bunch of incompatible IM systems too ?

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Dear Google . . .

But Signal refuse to deny that they were backdoored by the americans.

Whether this means they're untrustworthy because they have a backdoor, or trustworthy because they don't lie and pretend to be independent, I don't know.

You'll soon be able to ghost a WhatsApp group without making everyone hate you

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Much of SM is a mystery to me (or makes me intensely cynical) but I can see how this started : in a live chatroom like IRC you get notifications that someone has gone, and it avoids you addressing a comment to them. This is fine.

However it appears Whatsapp doesn't distinguish between 'gone to bed' and 'walked out slamming the door behind them' , and as being online 24/7 has become the norm, one has mutated into the other.

Whatever. A change for the better.

Now my cynical side looks for a less socially acceptable reason for the change.

GitHub courts controversy by suspending Tornado Cash developers and reneging on cookie commitments

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Sanction ?

it's an odd word.

Would that be sanction as in 'allow, permit, approve'' or sanction as in 'order, punish' ?


(stack exchange has a post with many examples)

Midwest universities unite to support US chip industry revival

Adrian 4 Silver badge

"The intention is that the institutions taking part will be able to make use of each other's existing research, learning programs, .. .

So it's a goverment-funded sharing system. Isn't that un-American or something ?

Google hit with lawsuit for dropping free Workspace apps

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Offer it at a loss

'The first one is always free' is a popular technique with certain businessmen. It's no surprise that Google is one of them.

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

Adrian 4 Silver badge

In Brave, that appears to be in

settings->privacy and security->site and shields settings->Notifications->default behaviour

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: You do write a log, don't you ?

Then how about a button that, on the request of the developer, the user pushes to see the last few error messages ?

Or better still emails them (on command, to avoid privacy issues) but I accept that may not be possible, especially as many failures will have broken connectivity.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Thank you for this!

In Brave, that appears to be in

settings->privacy and security->site and shields settings->Notifications->default behaviour

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Thanks for reminding me about notifications .. every time I go to a new website it asks if I want notifications. Obviously I always answer no, but this finally motivated me to search for the setting in the browser that prevents them even asking.

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: As an application developer ...

Why not look in the logfile ?

You do write a log, don't you ? Not just ping up unmemorable messages and expect the user to do your work for you ?

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: At scale??? Yes, easily

The problem with solar orbit sats is that although they have a vast amount of space (how much of earth's orbit does earth occupy ?) and no nightside, there isn't any CO2 or water in solar orbit.

I guess maybe we could spit out power pills at them as we pass. Maybe with an electrically powered rail gun. But that's another semi-available tech to rely on.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: About what I expected

Wavelength is affected too. So it may also turn from pink to green.

Or since Zuck is an alien, perhaps green to violet.

I've been fired, says engineer who claimed Google chatbot was sentient

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Bad judgement

I really hope we do have this discussion sometime. But not now.

But I think his view might say more about his manager's abilty to pass as human than laMDA's.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: It just moves

It can be seen to create a market for devices that claim to circumvent spies : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANOM

Adrian 4 Silver badge

Re: Only the Guilty?

"One wonders what MI5/MI6/GCHQ really think of that arrangement if it so easily and quickly can lead to wholesale chaos with parties in conflict and opposition. Common sense and a greater wisdom would dictate that they totally ignore the prohibition and discover all that is necessary for a true picture of events be produced and directed for subsequent daily media presentation and virtual realisation."

I would imagine they would completely ignore it, just as they did the law for ordinary joes.

Then when they need to use something incriminating they disguise it's source. This has been the practice since the interception of Ultra in WWII.


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