* Posts by Notas Badoff

1053 publicly visible posts • joined 27 Oct 2009


Tiny bits of space junk reveal their wherabouts when they collide, boffins hope

Notas Badoff

Does this 'blip' make me look full of junk?

It would seem some equivalent of the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle would apply.

Somethings met and there was a 'blip'. You don't know how big they were (and are now) because the energy released would be partly determined by incidence angle. You don't know where they came from because you weren't measuring before the 'blip'. You can't measure where they then go because you still can't see them.

Sounds like all you'll get are frequency statistics - how many 'blips' per unit time per unit volume.

Hmm, might as well put up a STOP sign, wait for a bit, and count the holes.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

Notas Badoff

Reverse Autonomy?

(Didn't see this above)

Someone pays a premium to acquire Twitter/X from M,Elon.

Control Altman delete: OpenAI fires CEO, chairman quits

Notas Badoff

Re: Scandalous revelations coming out in 3...2...1

Is this the article and research about 'revelation' 4 ?

* Google researchers deal a major blow to the theory AI is about to outsmart humans (at businessinsider.com)

* Pretraining Data Mixtures Enable Narrow Model Selection Capabilities in Transformer Models (at Arxiv)

It's perfectly legal for cars to harvest your texts, call logs

Notas Badoff

Re: Consent

Not physically connected, rather bluetooth pairing for notifications, which show bits of text and who messages/calls are from. Which we thought was a benign service offering.

After injecting pop-up ads for Bing into Windows, Microsoft now bends to Europe on links

Notas Badoff

"can we" vs. "should we"

As perhaps a better comment on Microsoft's executive capabilities: "ill-advised"

Arc: A radical fresh take on the web browser

Notas Badoff

Myopia + hyperopia = dystopia

Ah me. Author waxes on about how they were able to use extensions with Firefox to gain their preferred appearance, showing how extendibility is a good thing. Then forgets to mention whether this new browser has any such thing. (sigh)

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding

Notas Badoff

You will not go to success today

Someone must have said this before, but is Elon handling Twitter proving that software is much harder than rocket science?

Amazon Prime too easy to join, too hard to quit, says FTC lawsuit

Notas Badoff

Re: Poetic Justice?

Counting down to someone mentioning a horse . . .

Smartphone recovery that's always around the corner is around the corner

Notas Badoff

Looking back (nothing to look forward to)

My S8 is dying, but so have my hopes for a decent new phone. Thinking about it last night, replaceable batteries are gone, expandable memories are gone, earphone plugs are gone, etc. etc.

Are they really thinking I'll spend BUCKs just to get a new battery? Cuz that's all the 'good' they're offering _me_.

Large language models' surprise emergent behavior written off as 'a mirage'

Notas Badoff

Not yet, anyway

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't do that."


Arthur Conan Doyle, after writing so much apparently intelligent text, asserted fairies were real. Willingly fooled by children. I can't think of a better cautionary tale. Can you?

Ubuntu 23.04 welcomes three more flavors, but hamburger menus leave a bad taste

Notas Badoff

It's a nature conservation area (for crickets)

Google news recently re-did their home page. With 80 pixels of blank dead space on the left side. No reason for that. It never contains anything but dead space.

I look at that and wonder - which of several negative conclusions about Google am I supposed to imagine?

Notas Badoff

But wait! there's more!

Think of it as a vertical elipsis. There's more to see, but it appears vertically downwards.

That's how I think of it. Though, what I'm really thinking is "why are you hiding the important stuff?"

Insurers can't use 'act of war' excuse to avoid Merck's $1.4B NotPetya payout

Notas Badoff

Over there, over here

Russia invades Ukraine. Grain exports get bottled up. Some regions need those imports to feed their people. Starvation ensues, people die.

A insurance company says it won't pay out on life insurance policies, because "act of war"?

IBM's motto is 'Think' – its CEO reckons AI can do that as well as some workers

Notas Badoff

↑ This ↑

I've had glimpses of the "foundation stories" of several coworkers. They didn't grow up with *any* experience of 'normal'. They are still flailing with real life and sometimes we (the bystanders) catch the blows.

Pick a particularly failing coworker - ask them what number marriage they're in. Or, conversely, ask them how many step-parents they have.

Military helicopter crash blamed on failure to apply software patch

Notas Badoff

Re: Inevitable, given current standards

This comes closest to the rather obvious non sequitur: a military helicopter that can't be used flexibly. That spends some of the day unable to respond to emergencies.

I... I... think I'll shut down now as my brain is overheating... See you tomorrow.

Scientists speak their brains: Please don’t call us boffins

Notas Badoff

Re: Old fart (Must be male, according to 'logic' ?)

Yah, but that's the weekly summary of commentary delights. The *original* comment cannot be found by Google. Hmm, perhaps they have retroactively instituted "history off" against ElReg?

Notas Badoff

Old fart (Must be male, according to 'logic' ?)

Thought I'd drop in this oldey, from El Reg comments, from 2010 (but I can't Google the original article? Hey, ElReg?!?)

Arrests were made after an argument over stolen cake led to a fight among scientists studying sea birds on an Arctic island, in a muffin stuffing Baffin puffin boffin biffing cuffing.

VMware turns 25 today: Is it a mature professional or headed back to Mom's house?

Notas Badoff

Re: customer for ~23 years

Glad that their product evolution has been of service to you. My oldest order is dated 2000/12, for Linux and Windows products. I even bought a copy for my brother-in-law in 2009 to save him boots to DOS for some software he was reviving.

But what brings me here is: "The company started life serving developers with a desktop hypervisor so they could more easily test their work in multiple environments."

And so I last bought VMware in 2014, when with lack of support, dropped features, and inflation of prices they left this developer behind.

I understand that it's a cutthroat world out there. And the stock market demands more and more revenue/profit. But this developer customer thought I was supporting the company. Instead we were the throw-aways on the road to victory.

GitHub claims source code search engine is a game changer

Notas Badoff

Re: Why?

On the other side, looking at other people's code is finding out how 'standard' APIs really work. Sometimes, *if* they really work. Heck, *if* they are really utilized by anyone!

Programming blindly gets you pokes in the eye. I don't trust documentation to call out the pain points and gotchas in real world usage. Do you really think you can duplicate years worth of painfully discovered production oddities in your pitiful few 'tests'? I'll search through the code of successful mature projects to find "here be dragons" warnings. Long time ago reading jQuery source convinced me R.O.U.S. exist!

I'm not trying to copy their code, just avoid their gray hairs.

Microsoft injects AI into Teams so no one will ever forget what the meeting decided

Notas Badoff

Missing in action

An AI helping at improving organization seems likely to fail, when such organization doesn't already exist.

My "to wish for" standard of meeting notes looks like this: [CSSWG] Minutes Telecon 2023-01-25 [css-nesting] [css-text] [css-pseudo] and like this: www-style@w3.org from January 2023 by date

But that requires people being organized when coming to a meeting and a commitment to actually making progress. If not already true in your environment, new 'magic' won't work.

It's hard to implement a magic bullet when your company is more into political paint ball tournaments.

Former Facebooker alleges Meta drained users' batteries to test apps

Notas Badoff

I seem to be running on 'empty'

"... would mean intentionally draining the batteries of users' devices without their consent."

This "negative testing", what would it prove? How would it be evaluated? I'm at a loss to understand.

Would it be thus: person was using our app daily for X hours a day, and now they use our app less, and less often? Do you *ever* *want* to turn off your users?

Apoptosis: a form of programmed cell death. (Sometimes hoped for in anti-cancer treatments)

Apple releases Lisa source code on landmark machine's 40th birthday

Notas Badoff

Re: Architecture and Morality.....anyone?

Paraphrasing: The path downhill is paved with good inventions ...

Lawyer mom barred from Rockettes show by facial recognition tech

Notas Badoff

You see me, I see money

A corporation (having money) pissing off lawyers (wanting money) sounds like just the prescription for what ails us - invasive technologies.

London cops break into gallery to rescue lifelike art installation

Notas Badoff

Re: Miracle at the Art Gallery (click here)

Wait, you're the one writing those trash clickbait articles that have spread all over the net?

Google once again stalls Chrome content-blocker shakeup

Notas Badoff

Horseshit before the cart before the horse

Shouldn't they have started with a list of functional requirements from existing extensions, especially the most visible?

You can keep saying you've thought of everything, but you're not actually doing any checks against reality. You're just moistening your finger and sticking it up where you won't feel a breeze. Pull it out, your design stinks!

REvil-hit Medibank to pull plug on IT, shore up defenses

Notas Badoff

"dubbed Operation Safeguard"

With a new admin password BarnDoorClosedCorrectly?

Cisco wriggles out from $2 billion bill for ‘willful and egregious’ patent infringements

Notas Badoff

Having the previous judgement end against you to the tune of $2B should call for more attention, and it won't be just the existing attorney fees that will double, the number of attorneys will double, with much higher hourly rates for the added outside ones.

Liquid and immersion is the new cool at Supercomputing '22

Notas Badoff

Smells like those chips are past done

Mmmkay, 'non-conductive' fluids

Are they also nonflammable / incombustible fluids ? Asking for a friend's PTSD...

Twitter layoffs were bad but Meta's mass ejections could take the cake

Notas Badoff

The unkindest cuts

It is terribly revealing if I'm only worried about what will happen to the React crew? That is the only part of Fᵦₘeta that has any value for me.

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs

Notas Badoff

Re: Windows 12?

There will be a delay while Microsoft tries to figure what number to use next. Even more people would work to avoid Windows 13. They might opt to name it Windows 12bis?

If Microsoft sales dept goes with 13, I'm betting it will be released in 2026. They have three different Friday the 13th's to announce on.

And then the SEC said, we'll claw back bad bonuses

Notas Badoff

Re: Good on the SEC

I too find it hard to believe that requiring 50000 people to actually care about honesty and competence within their company is a bad thing.

A few epics of woe from dozens of non-C-level execs unfairly penalized by shenanigans at the top will ensure the SEC has a steady back-channel of information from inside in the future.

Microsoft leaves the Office, rebrands everything as 365

Notas Badoff

Busy bees squeezed in their cells

It's a honeycomb cell in a vise. Motivation they call it. Productivity they call it. Then they kick you in the buzzer.

Google delays execution of doomed Chrome extensions

Notas Badoff

Gonna need a bigger hat

Where's the status page that says NoScript will work on V3? How about AdBlockPlus? How about the other extensions we need to defend ourselves?

Gonna need a bigger hat than V3

Billionaire CEO tells Googlers 'we shouldn’t always equate fun with money'

Notas Badoff

In the real world, but not with their head in the real world

It would have been so simple and much more useful for him to have said "We don't know what's coming up soon with the economy and so we need to step lightly for awhile."

But instead of saying "we don't understand" he says "you don't understand". Click-head.

US accident investigators want alcohol breathalyzers in all new vehicles

Notas Badoff

Every which way but loose

The same AIs that can't drive are now going to be able to prevent me from driving?

"I'm sorry Dave, I'm afraid I can't let you do that."

"I think you know what the problem is just as well as I do."

Academic publishers turn to AI software to catch bad scientists doctoring data

Notas Badoff

But that's normal smell for code like this!

There are multiple places that track this issue. Retraction Watch is one such example and here's an example that specifically calls out image problems. "An institutional investigation has concluded that Figs. 1b and 2e are unreliable and that much of the additional data in the paper cannot be reliably verified from records."

Whether data problems result from sloppiness, time pressure, or simple dishonesty, research and academia *must* better their vigilance.

I could wish our industry had capable appraisers also.

Retbleed slugs VM performance by up to 70 percent in kernel 5.19

Notas Badoff


How strange. ElReg has accidentally stuffed the same article twice into the front page, using different URLs.

Retbleed fix slugs Linux VM performance by up to 70 percent

Retbleed fix slugs Linux VM performance by up to 70 percent

I *was* seeing double

BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM

Notas Badoff

"The Boss runs from the room holding his ears."

Too much OOB data.

US court backs FCC decision to let SpaceX fly Starlink sats at lower altitudes

Notas Badoff

Re: Altitude

Yes, someone's very confused here. Launches 'til now were to ~550 km region. SpaceX had previous approval for launches to an additional 1100-1300 km region, but had not done any yet (?). The new request was to allow the additional (?) satellites instead (?) to target (oops) the original ~550 km range. But (IANAE) I am not an enthusiast, so this may deviate from the ring of truth.

Janet Jackson music video declared a cybersecurity exploit

Notas Badoff

If you refuse me I will be blue(screened)

I'm amazed no one has mentioned "Indian Love Call". It figured rather prominently in a movie about failing heads...

Modeling software spins up plans for floating wind turbines

Notas Badoff

Re: Now this is more like it

Guy lines like that make my head spin.

Four charged with tricking Qualcomm into buying $150m startup

Notas Badoff

Re: Where were the lawyers?

Proprietary this, patent that, all high tech stuff to be sure.

Yet the resemblance for me is to the art world. People ooo and ahh about some new artist and their 'vision'. Suddenly large amounts of money flow to the recent unknown (and gallery owners).

Later, sometimes much later, some slob pipes up with questions: doesn't this piece look derivative from X Van Y's charcoal sketches of 16xx? And that piece looks copied from something by a little-known photographer. And then things blow up.

When 'experts' tell you the newly flung is bling, how are the lawyers supposed to object? Until the subterfuge is revealed, it's all about reputation (and insider placement).

Node.js prototype pollution is bad for your app environment

Notas Badoff

This is a very confusing or incomplete description. If I understand correctly, this is not just the Object prototype pollution problem, which has been known for ever. Saying it is an object prototype pollution problem is misleading.

Rather (reading between the lines) it is miscommunication/misdirection, stuffing admittedly bad information into Object that is then looked at by other software. That software is not verifying that the information came from the expected place, package.json say, but picking it up from the Object prototype.

Oh dear, does reading JSON not use a clean Object.create(null) object?

Anyway, the helpful notes in the NPM package situation mentioned would be - here are all the parameters you must fill in in package.json or else some software may be pulling answers out of a hat.

Copper shortage keeps green energy, tech ventures grounded

Notas Badoff

Re: Bloody batteries and solar panels

Down votes without enlightening comments demonstrate pique power?

Intel's net positive water use only tells part of the story

Notas Badoff

You put your left foot in ...

"Net positive water, as Intel defines it, means the company is returning more freshwater to local communities than it takes in."

If this is possible for them, then a closed system is possible for them. And Intel would not have to "take in" any local water. I call Hokey Pokey.

NYC issues super upbeat PSA for surviving the nuclear apocalypse

Notas Badoff

I'm all upside down

This "Get Inside", "Stay Inside" has me crying. When all the windows are broken and the doors blown in and the roof is off, where is 'inside' ? And where's the water for the suggested 'shower' ?

These people are a joke that makes you weep.

Toyota, Subaru recall EVs because tires might literally fall off

Notas Badoff

"As it's only been out for two months, a bZ4X recall this early could be bad news for the auto maker."

No, no, they've simply adopted the "fail early" paradigm. Recalling n K units is lots better than recalling nnn K . Agile manufacturing at its best!

Amazon fears it could run out of US warehouse workers by 2024

Notas Badoff

Re: elon to the rescue?

Robots as a solution? Not this decade, not with those warehouses.

"Each one of those instances where I was taking too long to find an item counted against me, ..."

The job requires accuracy, flexibility, and speed picking items from shelves. In a chaotic environment, yes? This requires people now and for the foreseeable future.

Until they can completely redesign the environment to make it possible to use robots for tasks. Which will require replacing or gutting the existing facilities. Which will cost $$$$$. Oh, and newly designed robots. Which will cost $$$$.

*This* is what has been missed by commentators. It's cheaper for now to hire cheap people to make miracles. It will *still* be cheaper to hire people even when they're not so cheap.

If they don't balance the economic equations correctly they won't be able to get people while they still can't get robots. More HA-HAs to come!

Amazon’s Kindle bookstore to quit China

Notas Badoff

Is "The Brick" a modern Tarot card?

"But after June 30, 2024, Kindle devices in China won’t be able to access content."

This is the part that makes me never want to buy any of the "magic boxes" on offer. The disappearing trick...

Google opens the pod doors on Bay View campus

Notas Badoff

Re: WTF is going on in that picture??

That got my attention also, but notice that there are two floor levels pictured here. The 'slide' is a stairway up-down. At least, that's my hope...

The boxes... Well, given my work history, that's where the managers retreat to. They may be _labeled_ meeting rooms, but we know what'll happen.

The roof under the roof, two possibilities. First, the nature lovers still wouldn't want to be blinded by the sun, so I gotta believe they are sunshades. Second, like opera and concert houses, you want the noise diffused, so strategically place curved ceiling panels. Of course, I can't stand open plan offices so this looks more like a mega-McDonalds than a workplace.

As for the Dalek, and the explosion beyond that, these are all aids to mental concentration I'm sure.

All in all unless this is solely where accounting or management are supposed to be playing, upon walking into this I'd walk straight out again, saying I've got actual work to do so call me at home.

BTW: I'd assume that surveillance cameras will be used, else there'll be slingshots and marbles ho-ho! Paintball too teehee!