* Posts by tfewster

1217 publicly visible posts • joined 18 May 2007


From RAGs to riches: A practical guide to making your local AI chatbot smarter


Re: Progress of sorts

Is the documentation on Teams, Confluence, ServiceNow, the intranet, various generations of SharePoint, shared drives, Wikis...? An internal search engine that could index those repositories and just return links to the results would be nice.

Can platform-wide AI ever fit into enterprise security?



I believe that compliance with regulations for HIPAA (US), PCI (Global), SOX (US companies and global subsidiaries) [and probably other regulations] is audited and enforced.

Anything touching those systems/data will will also come in scope of the relevant regulations.

Though, in my experience, auditors are following a checklist and rarely look beyond that.

4 cuffed following probe into holiday scheme for cybercrooks

Big Brother

Re: 70,000 people?!

Are you criticising INTERPOL? Make that 70,001 people

Study finds 268% higher failure rates for Agile software projects


Re: "Waterfall can also be slow and costly, with changes challenging to implement"

Agile is ... intended to work with small teams that have all the disciplines & resources they need

Need hardware? The server team want sizings & sufficient lead times. Unless they have a lot of spare capacity just sitting around (Or pay a premium to use Cloud resources because they didn't know what you would need).

On the upside, every time I'm told "here's what we want*, and you're now blocking our project", I get to quote the 6 P's

[*] i.e. what we think we want today; It'll probably change tomorrow.

Millions forced to use brain as OpenAI's ChatGPT takes morning off


Has Copilot out-evolved Microsoft?

"On the subject of how to build a robust web service, Copilot was more forthcoming, with useful pointers on design, technology stack selection, and validation"

I just had to see that for myself. I bet it kills Microsoft that Windows/IIS isn't mentioned as a possible technology stack xD

Windows Subsystem for Linux gets enterprise friendly and plans a settings interface


Correct, it means "admins who don't know Windows", and can't cope with a structured config file (e.g. .ini, .conf) or even the Windows Registry.

A generic structured file editor might be handy.

Oh wait, I've got one - it's Notepad++. It doesn't tell me the available options, but a default/sample config file should include all the options, suitably #commented out

Windows 11 24H2 might call time on that old NAS under the stairs


Re: Another reason not to upgrade to Windows 11

There are plenty of good reasons not to downgrade to Windows 11. This isn't one of them.

Damn you for making me take Microsoft's side on anything. But even they get something right occasionally!

Activist investor pressures Texas Instruments to stop spending cash on fabs


Re: Priorities

If only there was the prospect of increased capacity being needed in the near future - some technology revolution on the horizon like self-driving cars or AI, or China invading Taiwan...

OK, so TI might not be able to make the high-end chips, but I'd bet there's plenty of pie to go around.

As said by others, "activist investors" aren't looking for long term growth.

Man behind deepfake Biden robocall indicted on felony charges, faces $6M fine


I'm glad to see this type of dishonest behavior seems to be covered by existing laws and regulations, instead of having to pass new whack-a-mole laws to close loopholes.

> ...felony counts of voter suppression, misdemeanor counts of impersonation of a candidate ... election misinformation and unlawful call spoofing

I'm slightly surprised that the perennial favorite of "wire fraud" wasn't used. "Fraud" isn't just about financial gain.

OpenAI tells employees it won't claw back their vested equity


For a new industry, they sure have some archaic feudal working practices.

Altman was fired at one point, so it should have been made clear to him then that he had a lot to lose in his lifetime enforced servitude to OpenAI.

Unrelated to OpenAI, but funny: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/articles/cd11gzejgz4o - Glue pizza and eat rocks: Google AI search errors go viral

Uncle Sam's had enough of Live Nation and Ticketmaster, sues to end monopoly


Re: Ticket fee...

As well as TicketMaster fuelling (and profiting) from scalpers by allowing block purchases that are then immediately re-listed at 2x the face value.

Read AI about it... OpenAI does deal with News Corp



AKA the banner? Or article headlines? Or the article contents?

I get that newspapers are usually desirable inputs, as they have to stick fairly close to the truth or face the consequences [YMMV*]. Unlike Reddit, where any yahoo can just make shit up with impunity.

[World War 2 Bomber Found on Moon, Sunday Sport, 14 August 1988]

I stumbled upon LLM Kryptonite – and no one wants to fix this model-breaking bug


Re: So,

Going public seems reasonable if you've exhausted other lines of communication, c.f.

- "Responsible disclosure" of a bug if you've given the vendor an adequate chance to respond. Anyway, apparently one vendor doesn't regard it as a security bug.

- Complaining publicly via social media. I'm less keen on this trend, but if the vendor makes it difficult to contact them then they're fair game for public shaming.

I'm only mildly curious. In my limited attempts to use LLMs, Copilot etc, the results have ben so inaccurate and/or unhelpful that I haven't wasted my time learning to "refine" (second-guess) the prompting mechanism. But I've never seen a complete meltdown.


But in giving [Mike] instructions was safer to use Loglan. If you spoke English, results might be whimsical; multi-valued nature of English gave option circuits too much leeway.

UK law gives green light to self-driving cars from 2026


Re: UK self driving car

As I mentioned above - If the car can't handle an unusual situation it encounters, it STOPS and THEN the driver takes over after assessing the situation.

A horse rider might wave you past because they can see over the hedges that the road ahead is clear - or a hand gesture might be "I'm turning right" or "Back off, you're scaring my horse".


Re: If a driverless car needs a driver ... what is the point?

The point is that the "driver" is not driving all the time - e.g. on a motorway, they could go to sleep and take over when the car/truck exits the motorway. A good and easy use case for automation.

If the car is rated for self-driving in an urban environment, you could read a book. If the car can't handle a situation it encounters, it STOPS and THEN the driver takes over after assessing the situation. No "Computer gives up, you handle this emergency situation".

John Deere now considers VMs to be legacy tech, Ethernet and Wi-Fi on the brink


Brilliant - You win the Internetz for today!

BT delays deadline for digital landline switch off date


Re: Pre-installation survey.

In my experience, installation as I wanted it wasn't a problem:

- Cable from the telegraph pole to the nearest point (front of the house) where the engineer installed a splice box

- Cable from the ONT inside my home-office at the back of the house, clipped round the outside of the house to the splice box. The biggest problem there was that the engineer was trained to use ladders but not certified to go on a flat roof, so I routed/secured that cable over the garage section for him.

So they're prepared to be adaptable on the day. Worst case, I imagine they would have to get a colleague to help complete the job..

I'd go ahead and book the installation, but add a note if you can to say where you want the ONT placed. At least you're giving them some warning ;-)

Destroying offshore wind farms is top priority for Trump if he returns to presidency



With the wars in Ukraine and Gaza, trade war with China, rise of AI etc. - Trumps first priority would be reducing electricity generation capacity?

No comment.

Apple crushes creativity and its reputation in new iPad ad


Re: Correction

The "Send corrections" link is at the top of the comments page.

But I'm not going to send a correction myself as a) I didn't spot it and b) it's hilarious when you do, so should be left in.

Has Windows 11 really lost marketshare to Windows 10?


Re: Win 11 unusable on ultra widescreen monitor

Sorry, yes, that makes better use of space on an ultra widescreen monitor. And it's the location I set on servers that I RDP in to, so I can have multiple sessions open.

(Windows Server 2022 is a retrograde step in terms of UI - borderless File Explorer windows FFS).

Anyway, you dodged many bullets by scrapping Windows 11 immediately.


Re: Win 11 unusable on ultra widescreen monitor

It takes mere moments to move the start button back to the left: https://www.wikihow.com/Move-the-Start-Menu-Back-to-the-Left-on-Windows-11

Unfortunately that's the least of the issues. Windows 11 is touted as "faster, more reliable and more intuitive". I'd say it's the opposite, and after spending a while making it usable, now I "only" waste about half an hour every day fighting with it on my company laptop.

Help! My mouse climbed a wall and now it doesn't work right


Re: "simply accepted the news silently and continued about his day"

Are Dilbert references still allowed since Scott Adams meltdown?

https://thecomicninja.wordpress.com/tag/tech-support/ as dilbert.com is paywalled

City council audit trail is an audit fail after disastrous Oracle ERP rollout


Mistakes happen. But that situation would come to light when the Finance Director or Audit committee demanded to see the audit logs prior to signing the system off to go live, during parallel running and at least monthly thereafter.

What, the beancounters didn't do the basics on that either? What a surprise.

Red Hat tries on a McKinsey cap in quest to streamline techies' jobs


identify and remove mundane tasks

Did they try asking the engineers before spending millions on CONsultants (A portmanteau of "con" and "insult")

Bernie Sanders clocks in with 4-day workweek bill thanks to AI and productivity tech


[Obligatory] You got a drink? Bloody luxury.

But you try telling that to the kids of today, they won't believe you.

Job interview descended into sweary shouting match, candidate got the gig anyway


"George was an awesome tech" - Not this George then - https://www.chroniclesofgeorge.com/

Spam crusade lands charity in hot water with data watchdog



"Penny Appeal has 30 days to stop sending marketing comms for which it doesn't have valid consent"

What? No, stop sending marketing comms UNTIL you've checked consent has been given. It's not like they're first time "accidental" offenders.

Bloody chuggers (Charity muggers).

AI to fix UK Civil Service's bureaucratic bungling, deputy PM bets


Re: All mouth and no trousers!

Is that 'right' as in "correct" or as in "move further to the right of the political spectrum"?

Amazon overcharges shoppers with Buy Box algorithm, fresh lawsuit claims


No merit

I'm not defending Amazon, but based on the blurry "evidence" screenshot posted in the article - the other sellers price is higher anyway.

And Amazon do make the effort to show alternative sellers prices for a specific product, as well as comparable products, after you've selected a product from their (crap) search results.

(I mean, search for hand SANITIZER, then select a hand SOAP displayed in the "featured" results?)

CERN is training robot dogs to spot radiation hazards at Large Hadron Collider


Re: Might be useful in low radioactivity environment as well

I think I've seen that movie. The robo-dog becomes radioactive as well. And develops superpowers to take revenge on its cruel masters.

Raspberry Pi Pico cracks BitLocker in under a minute


Re: Less than a minute?

It's still quicker than typing in the BitLocker recovery key if you've locked your laptop

US research body sues chip tech company Japan’s government plans to buy


It's "At the heart of the case", so I guess it bears repeating ;-)

AI models just love escalating conflict to all-out nuclear war


Re: Unsurprising....

> War is a failure of diplomacy.

Clausewitz disagreed - "War is the continuation of policy with other means."

Return to Office mandates boost company profits? Nope


Re: Measures

If you're going to read it, please tell me if anyone considered that pissing off employees by making them RTO might negate any possible benefits of RTO?

Or course, the employee will still be the scapegoat. Manglement couldn't possibly be wrong!

Biden will veto attempts to kill off SEC's security breach reporting rules


Re: Veto he should -- and must

When the tougher CISA rules are up and running, the SEC rule can be lifted.

So what's the problem if an established organization can provide some interim protection for the shareholders it represents? Especially if it has the side-effect of protecting others, such as customers personal data.

Mall cops may not be "real" cops, but they serve a purpose.

OpenAI's GPT-4 finally meets its match: Scots Gaelic smashes safety guardrails


Re: Pretty easy stuff

If you hop over the guardrails surrounding a cesspool, you're literally in deep shit.

The problem is not the guardrails being easily circumvented They're there to stop workers falling in accidentally, not to stop crazy people. It's the cesspool being accessible by crazies/idiots.

I thought we learned these lessons in the early days of the Internet?

UK Civil Aviation Authority ponders vertiports for flying taxis


They're not taxis

"travel between cities and airports" - More like a shuttle service between approved vertiports than a go-anywhere taxi.

Besides, being VTOL, they don't need to taxi to a runway ;-)

HP's CEO spells it out: You're a 'bad investment' if you don't buy HP supplies


Strange words

That's an odd use of the word "investment", unless printer hardware is a loss-leader to get users to buy consumables. And in that case, I'd use the word "con", making customers think they're getting a good deal when the cost per page is a rip off.

The IP argument is pretty weak too, the ink formulation or delivery system may be IP but they're not checking for that, they're checking for a HP-branded chip. If I want to put cheap ink in MY printer and run the risk of wrecking it, that's between me and the ink supplier.

Boeing 787s must be turned off and on every 51 days to prevent 'misleading data' being shown to pilots


Re: Am I surprised?

@Fluffy Cactus: You're even closer than you realise - Boeing is the Anglicised version of William Boeings German fathers name, Böing

Will AI take our jobs? That's what everyone is talking about at Davos right now


Re: “ Generative AI tools are infamously perfect” ?

I sent it to the Corrections [link at the top of the Comments page], not thinking it might be deliberate snark

Post Office boss unable to say when biz knew Horizon could be remotely altered


Re: s/unable/unwilling/

Read has been CEO for over 4 years, after the issue became public knowledge. Maybe not his mess, but as CEO he should been digging in to it and ready with answers.

I'm slightly confused by the difference between the Parliamentary Committee and the Statutory Inquiry. A summary of the evidence for the Inquiry should be good enough for the Committee.

(A cynic might say a Parliamentary Committee is for the government to be Seen To Be Doing Something, and a Statutory Inquiry is to bury the issue [As per "Yes, Minister"]).

I'm also uncomfortable with the Government rushing through special laws to address this. Why not just pardon everyone, have the Post Office repay all fines/clawbacks etc. and bring new prosecutions if appropriate. Not got the evidence to prosecute any more? Tough!

Microsoft prices new Copilots for individuals and small biz vastly higher than M365 alone


Re: Microsoft 36x

Just thank $DEITY the "copilots" are optional.

Michael Dell: Don't worry about AGI, after all we solved that ozone layer thing


Re: New nouns, old tune

Dell are selling the tools in the AI gold rush - the proven way to get rich from a fad.

However, to take his analogy to the ozone hole - What we did was stop using CFCs. Is he saying we'll stop using "AI" once there's overwhelming evidence it's bad for the human race (Hallucinations, power usage, etc.) ?

What if Microsoft had given us Windows XP 2024?


Re: 1% of the 1%

It brought tears to my eyes. A fast, responsive, intuitive OS that did its job as a platform rather than trying to be a "user experience".

Good contrast and clear borders between windows - Ah, the good old days.

All those principles lost in time, like tears in rain... Time to switch off.

Code archaeologist digs up oldest known ancestor of MS-DOS


I'm amazed that 40 year old floppies are still readable, even if you have a working, connectable 8" floppy drive.

SEC charges ex-medtech CEO with fraud for selling plastic fake implants


Re: Sound business principles

The SEC's remit is confined to Securities fraud, it's not that they're heartless. And they can go after company officers, whereas patients can only sue the company (which promptly went bankrupt after being exposed).

It sounds like a number of employees were complicit in this scam, but I don't know what criminal charges could be brought against individual employees.

Doom is 30, and so is Windows NT. How far we haven't come


Re: Word 6

Don't be naive. Want WYSIWIG? Graphics and print drivers. Want a mouse or USB devices? Drivers.

Windows has been a great platform for unifying and abstracting apps from the hardware level. And credit to Microsoft/Windows/MS Office for standardising control keys and options.

But back to the topic of the article - what has Microsoft done for us since then?

(Commence corrections & downvotes in ...3.2.1...)

Windows 11 23H2 is a Teams effort but Microsoft already spoiled the best bits


Less is more

> On work or school machines, users could find themselves in the slightly confusing position of having a pair of Teams links on the taskbar.

Ah, that explains it. I uninstalled the crap version so Windows didn't keep pushing it when I wanted to use the work version.

Infosys co-founder calls for youth to work 70-hour weeks


Re: Rich man says what?

You jest - but slave owners tended to take care* of their "property", feeding and housing them so as not to waste their "investment".

Contrast that with free workers - Free to starve, live on the streets, be fired etc. as employers push down real wages.

* Obviously I'm not endorsing slavery or making a serious comparison, just pointing out that free workers can be cheaper to employ.

Ask a builder to fix a server and out come the vastly inappropriate power tools


Re: Once

Once had to remove a server from its rack that had been installed at an angle - the right hand side was one hole lower than the left.

I don't know how they managed to get the bolts in, but I ruined my favourite ratchet screwdriver getting them out. If I'd had an angle grinder, I'd have used it on the previous engineer.