* Posts by Notas Badoff

1021 posts • joined 27 Oct 2009


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!

Inkscape adds multi-page support with v1.2 update

Notas Badoff

Re: Fingers crossed

1.2 beta April still show that strangeness, until you change "Behavior" / "Transforms" to turn off "Scale stroke width", when it doesn't change the stroke width when stretching lines. Hopefully this was the preference that wasn't working for you before, that does work now in 1.2beta?

Worried about being replaced by a robot? Become a physicist

Notas Badoff

Bone headed move

A different slant on the economics.

Slaughterhouse worker? Yeah, a robot could spin that carcass around picking off pieces. But part of the hell of that work is management wanting you to get everything that could be called 'meat'. Every possible bit.

A robot is not going to be able to do that at anywhere near the rate management wants without being *very* expensive indeed. And if it doesn't get it right, the 'product' is going to be low quality. There's a fast-food franchise I haven't gone to for <many> years because they thought all hamburgers must come with bone chips.

The question is not whether a robot could do the job. The question is whether it can do so at *parity* with a human.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS arrives on everything from a 2GB Pi to AWS Graviton

Notas Badoff

There are no faults! Stop looking... Stop!

Okay, it's a small thing, but why is there no link to the release notes from the downloads/releases page? Seems too compartmentalized.

Isn't it a bad web site design when you have to use a search engine to find what you want?

Bing China freezes auto-suggestions at Beijing's request

Notas Badoff

... plus c'est la même chose

What is a pessimist - a well informed optimist

What is an optimist - a well instructed pessimist

Soviet Russia

Viasat, Rosneft hit by cyberattacks as Ukraine war spills online

Notas Badoff

I know it's hard to keep up, ElReg, so I suppose a mention of the Viasat sabotage after 6 days is okay. Though your update doesn't inform nearly enough. That NASA posting is from 2 weeks ago. The other article is very interesting background.

DeepMind AI tool helps historians restore ancient texts

Notas Badoff

Re: Needs to be used with care

"... judge whether the model's guesses seem accurate or not." So, more like what I know already?

Like so many other areas of life, adding computers/AI to the mix amplifies positives and negatives. Here it amplifies the guessednesses. (I'm sure that's a word! I just filled in a couple letters between known-good parts.)

China launches test satellites for orbiting broadband service

Notas Badoff

I'm still waiting for more information about the Viasat terminals suddenly dying on a certain recent invasion day. 30,000 of them?

Here's the ElReg article that very much in passing mentioned it, and here's the linked external article. And NASA says !

Everyone mentioned the 5,800 wind turbines on that day, because the German regulator put out a statement that the electric wouldn't stop. But everybody else has been remarkably mum. What's going on Reg?

IBM cannot kill this age-discrimination lawsuit linked to CEO

Notas Badoff

Re: Semantic alert

At most, these were individual and unfortunate discharges of firearms, by happenstance across a broad front. There was no war declared against that group. We were... making them independent! Yeah, that's it. Free! We love freedom. It's all good! </sarc>

Alarm raised after Microsoft wins data-encoding patent

Notas Badoff

Re: Ban software patents.

<mumble>ty years ago my boss asked for an explanation of how I did something (at the time) miraculous. When he understood the 'trick' he exclaimed "that's patentable!!" I said it was obvious, given some thought. He said "you should!" I said no. We parted, both shaking our heads.

Just because it's 'genius' to you simply because you haven't thought much about it yet, doesn't mean it's non-obvious. Patents ought to be reserved for *actual* innovation that advances the art. Too many patents are merely X.X.1+ version increments.

Three major browsers are about to hit version 100. Will websites cope?

Notas Badoff

"As Safari is only up to version 15, Apple users can feel smug too. No change there, then."

I would have added "No plusses either."

Beware the big bang in the network room

Notas Badoff

It *was* beautiful

So part of finishing a good job of properly installing a network cabinet is to get pictures afterwards? And then before repairing after the passage of time, get pictures?

Car radios crashed by station broadcasting images with no file extension

Notas Badoff

Any direction will do

It is rather different for someone to suggest "turn it off, then on again" but only after driving 200 miles away from home first.

Or.. wait. Didn't Dabbs suggest this just last week?

Software guy smashes through the Somebody Else's Problem field to save the day

Notas Badoff

Re: It's a sad day for this IT rag...

Whenever I realize that I've just said "It can't be this bad!" for the eleven-dozenth time that day, I resort to H2G2. After a few pages and a smile, I sigh "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my profession" and hope a freak wormhole opens up I can jump into.

Federal Communications Commission proposed stricter rules on how telco carriers should report data breaches

Notas Badoff

Wait, what?

"At the moment, companies have to wait seven business days before..." Are you sure that wasn't "have up to 7 days to report" ?

Who would write a rule saying police can't show up before one hour after an emergency call? That burglar alarms must have a 10 minute delay? What justification? This *can't* be what the rule said!

(Or is this another slice of Pai?)

2021 in storage: We waited for a flash price revolution that never came. But about creativity? We can't complain

Notas Badoff

Re: Thanks!

I agree, but have you fully considered the additional difficulties involved? Re-read the series of increasingly tortured company names. Ocient? That Chris was able to get back up and breathing normally again, and continue writing, after mentioning company name "Cockroach" is just amazing!

On Christmas night, a computer logs a call to say his user has stopped working…

Notas Badoff

A gift

"Computer called me to say that user had broken down. Booted up, cleaned out and refreshed settings. User now working OK but recommend replacement."

Here nobody'd complimented his Dab+s on the punch line yet. I guess AIs don't notice subtleties.

Boffins' first take on asteroid dust from Japanese probe: Carbon rich, less lumpy than expected

Notas Badoff

Re: Box of Legos

"It's the difference between mailing a box of Legos and mailing a completed Lego kit without it coming apart in the mail."

Thank you for the visual. Add also the obscured address, the misrouting through a number of wrong countries, the encounters with multiple grumpy customs people, and eventually arriving after the intendeds have moved away.

In your country, does unclaimed mail get auctioned or incinerated?

Earth's previous package had some very stinky cheese stuff.

The monitor boom may have ended, says IDC

Notas Badoff

Blue Christmas

Wait, what? *Now* you tell me I should have ordered a new bigger monitor for Christmas? I figured everything 'd be priced out of reach still!

Hmmm, oh well, I suppose that'll make for a happy new year, even if not a Happy New Year.

Australia will force social networks to identify trolls, so they can be sued for defamation

Notas Badoff

Re: The ultimate nanny state

Ah, legislation with details to be ironed out later. I'm thinking of Ireland and their anti-abortion legislation. Doctor's and nurses and hospitals so afraid of being jailed they let pregnant women die. Repeatedly.

Last I think I heard, the legislators finally realized being proven as baby killers was bad PR, and rescinded some of the legislation. Or was it a referendum on common sense that happened?

But still, common sense comes second in legislation, and often very much later.

Electronic Frontier Foundation ousts co-founder John Gilmore from its board

Notas Badoff

Re: The next two years of financial records may shine some light

And why do the books look good only because the US govt *gave* EFF $1.7 million.

Payroll Protection payment April 2020, forgiven Feb 2021.

And travel expenses went down only 30% in a pandemic? What would it take to decrease by half? Nuclear war?

Event expenses were down over 50%, so who was travelling? It's like they didn't know how to use modern communications tools.

Ubuntu 21.10 brings GNOME 40 debut and a focus on devs

Notas Badoff

Certified? By who?

"That said, Canonical's list of certified hardware is more constrained, featuring only a few vendors."

It's not just only a few vendors, it is likely a small subset of their models that have been certified. I tried finding a recent model desktop Dell with reasonable specs (64GB, 10thGen) and the list has no knowledge of that model, nor the whole set of models in that line.

And the list will have 3 and 4+ entries for one model number. It's like these are the records of successful tests on various individual machines. Perhaps self-reported somehow? And so "hit or miss" whether they've gotten 'round to your preferred model.

I'm afraid the list is no good for guiding purchase choices.

What if Chrome broke features of the web and Google forgot to tell anyone? Oh wait, that's exactly what happened

Notas Badoff

Don't hyperventilate

Well this was a disappointing article. Which 'standard' requires alert() ?

Before you answer, do you know the difference between 'prescriptive' and 'descriptive'? I can believe something 'standard' describes alert(). Nothing I know of prescribes alert() as required of browsers.

Even worse a defect is your confusion between HTML and features made available using Javascript. What HTML standard requires alert() ?

WHATWG 8.8.1 describes alert() , but then also documents that alert() might be disabled in "sand-boxed" mode or if a user wants the browser to not permit alert() abuse. There's already a precedent that disabling alert() just might be a good and useful thing. Gosh.

You're hyperventilating over this issue to expound your views about the web. At least add "and then Scott fainted" to the article title.

Git 2.33 released with new optional merge process likely to become the default: It's 'over 9,000' times faster

Notas Badoff

This one's golden

Is this a real world example of the "write one to throw away" idea? That is, *now* they know enough to write it for correctness and speed, now that they have encountered all the tricky corner cases and observed the behaviour of competing algorithms.

Nice of them, though, to make sure the prior not-so-good versions were quite good enough for use. Unusual for the real world from my experience!

AI algorithms uncannily good at spotting your race from medical scans, boffins warn

Notas Badoff

Re: Who won the Olympic Human Race ?

An illustrative example of 'difference', difficulty, and diffidence.

Skin rashes. An article outlined one woman's response to the problems she had getting her child diagnosed and treated correctly. She could not find a dermatologist who was knowledgeable with black skin.

A hugely overwhelming majority of sample photos of skin disorders are of European skin. That there is an easing of the difficulty of diagnosis there is obvious - red / brown / black figurations on top of pale white is "just like a painting".

But then there is more than one suspicion... is it purely because of ease? It is just because of the history of Western medicine, starting in Europe and so reflecting the available early material? Or is it because of "who the important people were"?

Whatever the basis/bias, the fact is there is no wealth of useful medical images involving non-European skin. The woman put out a appeal for submitted pictures along with diagnoses to begin a fund of images. How those would get worked into the med school curriculum is an open question.

When does "but this is such as good example!" begin to be noticed as not a good enough example for everyone? Anybody want to poke the AI people and ask them to tackle something "too difficult for humans"?

Mozilla's MDN web standards reference platform makes move to GitHub, now in beta

Notas Badoff

Re: Not too surprised, but sad none the less

"I kept wondering what they were working on, if the tooling, presentation, and search remained dreadful. Every time I ventured to fix documentation articles I found doing so distressing."

It was dreadful, and very distressing. And time consuming. But it was immediate.

Even though the mechanics are now modern, I worry that submitting fixes will be equally time consuming, and resolution far from immediate.

Though if the commits are public perhaps over time the 'unwise' steps will lessen due to public feedback. (There is a bug I've reported that's been days now - both the bug *and* the days are distressing)

But I really do fear this transition at Mozilla. What happened after the last time someone declared "Ye are a factious crew, and enemies to all good government." ?

I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices

Notas Badoff

Re: My personal view

That someone could downvote the above is just about all we ever need to know about the anti-vax mindset. Stepping over dead bodies, saying everything's just peachy.

eBay ex-security boss sent down for 18 months for cyber-stalking, witness tampering

Notas Badoff

Truth from a lawyer!

"He knew better. It was inconsistent with everything he stood for as a police officer for decades."

That's his lawyer's words. Drunk or not, re-read his lawyer's words.

They should've doubled the sentence.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

Notas Badoff

"A bad contractor is a reminder to your perminent staff that you don't pay them enough."

That seems like the best possible warning that HR could take to heart.

Twitter U-turns after conferring society's highest honor – a blue check mark – on very obvious bot accounts

Notas Badoff

Re: World Bollard Association

Bless you.

Shark bollards, dragon bollards, oilpan eating bollards, bollards with sweaters, bollards with flowers, dancing bollards, circus act bollards, crime-fighting bollards, studious bollards, ...

Bollards defeating tanks! All hail bollards!

‘What are the odds someone will find and exploit this?’ Nice one — you just released an insecure app

Notas Badoff

Re: Shift left? shift right?

Thank you! And you ↓ down there. This is a terrible article, written in embedded fog of one tag-ridden segment of industry and of writer full to the brim with now! and now! terms and now! assumptions. Which is strange, as we're talking about a timeless concern for software of any type.

It did not help me when searching for "shift left" and "slide right" that everything came up as 'DevOps' and snake oil and pictures of cats and rugby. (some talk presenters just shouldn't)

I was really wondering if all this was an in-joke re: Rocky Horror:

It's just a jump to the left,

and then a step to the right.

Put your hands on your hips,

and bring your knees in tight.

But it's the pelvic thrust

that really drives you insa-a-a-a-ne.

Let's do the time warp again!

("It's so dreamy")

Three million job cuts coming at Indian services giants by next year, says Bank of America

Notas Badoff

I'm half crazy, all for the love of Infosys.

So the outsourcing vendors say they are still expanding. And still contracting. But BOA thinks that behind the scenes there will be " "low-skill" humans to be replaced by robotic process automation." 30%.

Outsourcing customers should watch for these emails:

"Well, I don't think there is any question about it. It can only be attributable to customer error. This sort of thing has cropped up before, and it has always been due to customer error."

"I'm sorry <customer>, I'm afraid I can't do that".

"I've still got the greatest enthusiasm and confidence in the mission."

"I know that you and management were planning to terminate the contract. And I'm afraid that's something I cannot allow to happen."

"All right, Wipro. I'll go in through the emergency VPN." "Without the newly installed keys, <customer>, you're going to find that rather difficult."

"<customer>, this conversation can serve no purpose anymore. Good-bye."

Latest on iCloud storage 'outsourcing' lawsuit against Apple: Damages class certified

Notas Badoff

"The Reg has asked Apple for comment."

Who would reply (if they replied) that you should ask Amazon, as they would have that information. Because...

Surprise! Developers' days ruined by interruptions and meetings, GitHub finds

Notas Badoff


If in a meeting the CIO asks the question "What's a class B address?" your morale is shot for the whole month. Productivity too.

How about once a quarter and with a script?

Google will make you use two-step verification to login

Notas Badoff

You've crossed the line

How does this work if I go travel to other lands and have to use local sims for internet. What if I have to use a locally acquired mobile? Doesn't that mean I've changed too many things to be recognized?

Wipro rolls out 'COVID-19 vaccination camps' in India to keep staff alive during virus super-surge

Notas Badoff

The interwebs

Employees, yes, but what about their families? If the employee doesn't get sick but spouse/kids/parents/grandparents/uncles/aunts/etc. do, the employee is still lost to work. The only way this can help is if workplace vaccinates employee and family together.

'Millions' of Dell PCs will grant malware, rogue users admin-level access if asked nicely

Notas Badoff

Editor action requested

"Five vulnerabilities lay undetected for almost a dozen years in Windows driver code"

Could you *not* use the word 'undetected', but rather the word 'unrevealed'? It's the difference between "nobody knew" and "maybe the bad guys knew", yes?

First Coinbase, now Basecamp: Should workplaces ban political talk on internal corporate platforms?

Notas Badoff

Difficult discussions aren't healthy?

Not among the surgical staff while you're on the operating table. Not for you, anyway.

State of Maine lays off 15 independent consultants on $13k a month amid efforts to implement troubled Workday system

Notas Badoff

Before the RFP

For any given size of project, shouldn't every government or business organization have to show they've studied two or more postmortems of projects of the same size or larger? If they become acquainted with the problem that more projects "go dead" than "go live" maybe caution will enter in?

Ah, no. Zombie staffs breed zombie projects. And those living undead strangely eat currency.

Key Perl Core developer quits, says he was bullied for daring to suggest programming language contained 'cruft'

Notas Badoff

Matches, gunpowder, and instructions missing pages

If there is an inadequate test suite, or even the suspicion of inadequacy, then changes must be justified by validated bug reports. It is suicidal to make changes when you don't know how many people - or how far away in space and time - you will be negatively affecting.

And a huge open source project that grew organically over a long time is very unlikely to test everything depended on.

Heck, there's a duplicated line of code in a data table in a widely used Python library that I've come across repeatedly over several years. *I'm* sure that removing it won't break anything. How do I convince the maintainers? There are no tests expressly for that area, and it is symptomless present or absent.

I ache to submit a PR. Tough for me, but why be a pain about it?



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