* Posts by tfewster

1092 posts • joined 18 May 2007

Page:

Mayflower, the AI ship sent to sail from the UK to the US with no humans, made it three days before breaking down

tfewster Silver badge
Unhappy

I'll try being happier if my cow-orkers will try being smarter.

Petition instructs Jeff Bezos to buy, eat world's most famous painting

tfewster Silver badge
Joke

Re: A lame excuse

Or persuade Italy to ask for the return of "their" painting, then steal it in transit in a Bond-esque plot?

Deluded medics fail to show Ohio lawmakers that COVID vaccines magnetise patients

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Strike out!

What do you call a person who just scrapes through medical school? Doctor.

Not "God". Although some consultants, politicians and celebrities think that their expertise in one field somehow qualifies them in other fields as well.

On the other hand, Socrates, PhDs and most Techies know that the more you learn, the more you realise there is to learn, even within your own speciality.

Dunning–Kruger strikes again.

Western Australia rushes out legislation after cops access contact-tracing data to investigate serious crimes

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Years ago ...

> the WA police use was legal...

I'm curious about how it was deemed to be legal under Australian law.

- At one extreme you can liken it to CCTV installed for the purposes of preventing or detecting crime. I wouldn't expect police to need a warrant to view or take a copy of the recordings under that purpose.

- At the other extreme, it's data collected for medical purposes and so is subject to doctor-patient confidentiality.

- At least, a judge should have been required to issue a "warrant" for the data grab and repurposing.

Norton dodges UK courts after telling Brit watchdog it will be nicer to consumers

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Eh?

I'm in favour of consumer devices being sold with pre-installed antimalware protection that just needs activation, plus autorenewals of subscriptions. We don't want home PCs to be easily compromised and end up in botnets, do we?

- If a vendor feels an annual subscription of, say, £50 is a reasonable return for their R&D + costs, and it's competitive, good luck to them.

- If a vendor is willing to give introductory offers to savvy consumers, even better. They've never tried to stop me re-using that trick each year. No "discounts only available to new subscribers" BS that insurance/mobile phone companies/ISPs use.

Subscription renewals have to be clearly communicated, and can't set a new minimum term contract. But antivirus companies are far from the worst offenders over subscription renewals.

'Vast majority of people' are onside with a data grab they know next to nothing about, reckons UK health secretary

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: 6 May PCC elections

We have enough Crime and Police Crime, I don't think we need to commission any more.

Sold: €15k invisible sculpture that's a must-see for art lovers

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Should get a better dictionary

Van Gogh only sold one painting during his lifetime. The rest of Van Gogh's paintings were not sold or made famous until after his death.

Apple settles with student after authorized repair workers leaked her naked pics to her Facebook page

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: How to tell if you're stupid.

There have been cases of technicians finding illegal materials, e.g. child porn, and reporting it - as you would expect IF they found something.

Though it was not clear if the illegal materials were found accidentally, or if the technicians routinely went looking (for themselves, or a fishing operation for law enforcement).

Cameras and/or managers overlooking the repair benches might deter snooping. That might seem intrusive and degrading to professionals - but I'd rather have proof I did no wrong than the unverifiable suspicion that I'd erred

Biden expands Chinese tech and military blocklist to 59 companies

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Mr. Biden, Tear Down This Wall !

S'funny, but it sounds rational when anyone other than Trump says it. But then, even a broken clock is right twice a day, so Trump got one thing right regarding China (and many things wrong - Best buddies, greatest trade deals, protectionist tariffs to protect uncompetitive US industries).

S'also funny how many Biden detractors have to come up with childish nicknames to try to tarnish the current President. It's almost like they can't come up with a coherent argument either.

Hybrid working? Buckle in, there's no turning back as survey takers insist: You can't make us go back

tfewster Silver badge
Thumb Up

My company won't class me as "home based" as they would then have to pay me expenses to travel to the office.

(In fact I think travel costs should be claimable against tax, but that's another argument).

As a Hybrid employee, I have a notional office base and I'll be there when needed. As my boss, most of my team and most of my work is in other countries, I doubt the need will arise often.

To be honest, I was mainly WFH for about 2 years before the pandemic, in return for working flexible hours. And my performance evaluations have been stellar ;-)

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Time flies

Wow, has it really been 10 years since Dom shook us awake with his first series of articles?

I'm not certain my CV has improved, but I certainly have a better understanding of The Enemy ;-)

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Is Firefox currently aimed at small-screen/mobile use, or large screen/PC use?

One requires a simplified UI and controls; The other should make use of the larger screen area to show useful stuff, e.g. the good old menu bar.

Personally, I hate having to drill down through hierarchical menus for frequently used functions (though I'm not a fan of how the Microsoft Ribbon works!)

Big Tech has a big problem with Florida passing a law that protects politicians from web moderation

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: California

Oops, I have no idea why I typed California, Florida is clearly mentioned several times.

Hopefully that was the only reason for the downvotes ;-)

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

IANAL, but it seems like the California governor is trying to control free speech by telling the private companies what is and isn't acceptable.

Private companies can't violate the first Amendment, as they're not Government. It's their platform, and they don't have to give anyone a soapbox to preach from.

Former IT manager from Essex pleads guilty to defrauding the NHS of £800k

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Separation of Duties is/should be standard - Finance vet and approve suppliers before issuing Purchase Orders, and Accounts Payable check deliveries. Which does not just mean forwarding the invoice to the budget holder!

I expect other heads will roll in this sorry situation.

Conflicting messaging overshadows NHS Digital's attempts to inform public about patient data slurp

tfewster Silver badge
Stop

Re: Come on Reg

https://www.nhs.uk/your-nhs-data-matters/manage-your-choice/ - As published in the previous article ;-)

Help wanted, work from anywhere ... except if you're located in Colorado

tfewster Silver badge
Joke

Top Tip

If you live in Colorado, rent a Post Office box in NYC so you can tell recruiters you're "in" NYC.

There's nothing to stop you from "moving" to Colorado later ;-)

Last time I was asked how much I was looking for, I gave them the figure for the average for the role in London, about 25% more than for the equivalent role in my area.

They agreed without question. In retrospect, as they also had equivalent roles in the US, I should have asked for the average for the role in the US as a starting point for negotiation!

Holy margins, Batman: Pandemic tech prices balloon as demand outweighs stocks and suppliers get greedy

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Greedy?

> ...a Logitech wireless combo MK270 mouse and keyboard that cost the supplier £13.71 and the central government customer £110...

You need to know the pre-pandemic cost to the end-buyer to put that in to proper context. It's expensive to set up a purchasing framework, so costs are added in to each item.

If the user were to buy one themselves and expense it, add at least £50 for the cost of handling an expense claim.

If it's done by purchase order, add hundreds to the cost.

Lessons have not been learned: Microsoft's Modern Comments leave users reaching for the rollback button

tfewster Silver badge

Re: "Modern Commenting"

I wonder - Once MS have everyone on a subscription model, there's no need to come up with new "features" to persuade people to upgrade or to deprecate older versions.

I'd switch if they promised long term stability! Maybe with plugins for features only a few people will use...

The UK loves cybersecurity so much, it's going to regulate managed service providers' infosec practices in law

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Two major omissions

For [1], in theory it starts at the top with Directors duties to "Promote the success of the company" and "Exercise reasonable care, skill and diligence".

In practice - You don't often hear about Directors taking the responsibility ;-)

Your private data has been nabbed: Please update your life as soon as possible while we deflect responsibility

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Let them go to the golf course - But they can be the tee for the day. A few whacks with a driver should retrain them nicely, rather than just replacing them with another seagull manager.

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

tfewster Silver badge
Coat

Re: Will Manchester United Council be doing the same?

Fair question, but MUFC are based in the City of Salford.There's only one premier-league football team in the City of Manchester.

Japan to start stamping out rubber stamps and tearing up faxes as new digital agency given Sept. 1 start date

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Do you mean the QNA page?

https://forums.theregister.com/forum/all/2021/04/23/something_for_the_weekend/

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all: El Reg takes Twitter's anti-mean algorithm for a spin

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Freedom of speech does not mean you are immune to the consequences of offending people.

If FOIP (Fist over IP) was a thing, users of social media would behave much more like people in a pub. You can talk outrageous bollocks when drunk, but be prepared to be barred or beaten up if you go too far.

Perl changes dev's permaban for 'unacceptable' behaviour to a year-long lockout after community response

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Life time bans....

A life time ban (or prison sentence) is only appropriate if [$JUDGES] don't think that that person will ever change their ways and can't become a valuable member of society again.

Of course it's Perls/Twitters/Facebooks playground, and they don't have to invite anyone they dislike in.

Google will make you use two-step verification to login

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: What about just plain Gmail?

It appears to me that Gmail already uses 2FA - the device you log in from is also a factor*. Because they send me a warning email if I log in from a new phone or computer.

So they could enforce 2FA at the point I log in from a new device. Which would be spectacularly unhelpful if my phone is stolen when I'm away from home as I wouldn't be able to register a replacement.

* Of course, as my username/password will be stored on the device to log in to Gmail automatically, it's only 1 factor in use 99% of the time

Highways England seeks vendor to replace Windows 2003-based pavement management systems

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: pavement == road

In which case, the acronyms HARMS and SWEAR (Assessment rather than Evaluation) would be more appropriate

More than 1,000 humans fail to beat AI contender in top crossword battle

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Influencers

deepfake satellite imagery - Is this really a problem? Would Google Earth or the military use images from untrusted sources? Of course, Google Earth redacts images of sensitive areas themselves..

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!

tfewster Silver badge
Joke

Yes, exchanges, green cabinets and telephone poles are known COVID hotspots. And Openreach care so much for their staff, they won't send them in to such risky situations.

The pandemic has become the new excuse for bad service.

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Some fair points there, but we're not all lusers. The ISPs are just as full of shit.

- Wait 5 minutes to see if it fixes itself. If not, don't expect the ISP to notice a problem.

- Try other devices (wired & wireless), check router diagnostics, reboot router.

- Check the ISPs status page from my phone. Nope, no known problems.

(Oddly, one weekend the ISP was upgrading the network across Greater Manchester, which affected me. The next weekend I had a similar outage during network upgrades in London - apparently my house had moved?)

- Phone the ISP, wait through the lie that COVID is affecting their ability to use technology (which replaces the worn-out "unusually busy at this time" lie) and the suggestion to use their unreachable website.

- Eventually get a human being - well, someone who can read a script - and repeat the tests I've already done.

- Get to the point in the script where I can ask them to test the line. Quite often this "test" will magically fix the connection and they can deny there ever being a problem.

- After some badgering and waiting on hold for them to check, they may admit there's a fault in the area. No ETA for a resolution. The status website will never get updated.

- Otherwise, I have to agree to an Openreach engineer being sent out, with dire warnings if the problem is past the demarc. In fact, the engineer never even knocks on my door, but the connection starts working around the time they are due, and they probably deny there was ever a problem.

- No-one offers an engineer to check the router. They may offer to ship a replacement, hoping that someone else has fixed the real problem by the time it arrives.

48 hour fix SLA? Understandable it it's just one connection. But if it's affecting many connections, 48 hours is a stupid SLA

US Supreme Court puts a stop to FTC extracting big bucks from crooks to refund victims

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

How strange

The DOJ could have confiscated the proceeds of the crimes the perps were convicted of. Else the victims would have had to sue individually to get their money back.

Surely it's better for the FTC to sue as a "class action" on behalf of consumers?

Something went wrong but we won't tell you what it is. Now, would you like to take out a premium subscription?

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Not just phones or "apps"

So they can't maintain a website with genuine FAQS and useful guides (with pictures!)

But they can afford to staff a social media/PR presence to try to engage with you when you've just expressed your displeasure publicly. And (hopefully) put off hundreds of potential customers from making the mistake of buying their crap.

"QNA" describes most "FAQs" perfectly.

Huawei wins big intellectual property case in Europe – against fashion house Chanel

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: I have to agree with Huawei here. Uurgh, now I feel dirty.

What does it say for Chanel's target market, that they might confuse a U for a C and try rubbing electronic kit into their skin?

Home office setup with built-in boiling water tap for tea and coffee without getting up is a monument to deskcess

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Get a b'desk!

Oh, that's the tablet? I thought it was the kitchen sink, they're built everything else in.

And I was just about to tell my boss, "Sorry, I can't work today, my mouse fell in the sink".

Their 'next job could be in cyber': UK Cyber Security Council launches itself by pointing world+dog to domain it doesn't own

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Why?

Let's get the Department for Education involved as well so even more time can be wasted.

By the way, the press release contains other howlers. Did you know that "infosec professionals" are (apparently) actually out-of-touch, incompetent amateurs? Never mind, the UK Cyber Security Council will sort them out!

Dutch watchdog fines Booking.com €475k after it kept customer data thefts quiet for more than 3 weeks

tfewster Silver badge
Flame

Ninety-seven of these included the card verification code

What part of the PCI rule "never, ever, store the card verification code" did they not understand?

Hopefully their bank will levy an even bigger fine for breaking card processing rules.

Huge if true: If you show people articles saying that Firefox is faster than Chrome, they'll believe it

tfewster Silver badge

Re: XX is faster than Yy ?

For me, Firefox is much faster than Chrome, precisely because I have ublock & NoScript installed.

Chrome is for the few (trusted) websites that selective enabling fails on.

Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Dunno why you were downvoted for a simple statement of your experiences. Or maybe you're using the wrong printers ;-)

I still wonder why a device driver should be able to crash the kernel. I guess an onion ring design is harder to implement than it sounds.

Google's ex-boss tells the US it's time to take the gloves off on autonomous weapons

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Autonomous weapons need to be internationally banned.

Banning Eric Schmidt would be a good start.

Wasn't it he who said "You have no privacy. Get over it"?

While Reg readers know the difference between a true hacker and cyber-crook, for everyone else, hacking means illegal activity

tfewster Silver badge
Headmaster

When you see how inaccurate the popular media (Newspapers, movies, TV) are about topics you know something about, you have to wonder if they're just as sloppy about "dramatising" other areas, e.g police procedures.

But hack/hacker/hackneyed were used as pejoratives before computers were invented, so to some extent it's our own fault for appropriating the term and misusing it to mean "a clever kludge".

Which doesn't stop my blood boiling whenever I hear a "Technical" term (mis)used by knowlessmen.

Prime suspect: Amazon India apologises for offensive scenes in political thriller

tfewster Silver badge
Joke

Re: mocking religion is just wrong!

...made jokes about social media...

Social Media are the new gods, and may not be mocked.

Nobody expects the Twitterati!

(With apologies to Neil Gaiman and Monty Python)

HPE urges judge to pick through Deloitte-bashing report it claims demolishes Autonomy founder's defence

tfewster Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: report demolishes Lynch's defence ... not sure.

Thank you, I hadn't picked up that it was as high as 20% of revenue being from (low margin) hardware resales. That certainly changes the multiplier/model.

However, if both sides (and their advisors and auditors) know the tricks it's still a fair game. It doesn't absolve the seller, but it makes it even more important that the buyer does their own research.

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: report demolishes Lynch's defence ... not sure.

I haven't read the report, but it seems curious that a few million in hardware sales could wipe billions off the value of the company.

Were the Tribunal under pressure themselves? Maybe to absolve HP's board of any guilt?

Mr Lynch may be guilty of being a sleazy salesman, but that's a long way from being a fraudster.

You want me to do WHAT in that prepaid envelope?

tfewster Silver badge

Re: Oh Dabbsy, you're my muse.

Be responsible - remind them to change their DNA immediately after posting, in case the sample becomes compromised.

Citibank accidentally wired $500m back to lenders in user-interface super-gaffe – and judge says it can't be undone

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Interesting legal argument there....

When I bought my last car, instead of waiting for a cheque to clear or getting a bankers draft or even using a card terminal as previously, I was asked to transfer the money to their account.

So I started with a £1 transaction, and insisted they confirmed receipt and could identify the payer before transferring a larger amount.

The car salesman seemed bemused. Why should he have to make it safe and easy for me to give him my money? He almost lost the sale right there.

Big Tech workers prefer 3 days at home, 2 in the office. We ask Reg readers: What's your home-office balance?

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Bandwidth issues

If only there were such things as "servers" that could host and process that data and you could remote into them, rather than exfiltrate data from the Company network...

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Yep, which office? I'm UK based, but working TZ-shifted hours on projects in the US and Japan as needed.

Occasionally I flew over to the US for a week of touchy-feely time at HQ with my "peers". Meh.

One day a week in the office might be useful if there's a schedule of essential face-time for that day. Otherwise it's a waste of time/fuel/makeup

Just 2.6% of 2019's 18,000 tracked vulnerabilities were actively exploited in the wild

tfewster Silver badge
Joke

Re: Counterpoint

Patch your systems?! Heavens no, Kenna and other Vulnerability Management vampires want you to "manage" vulns, with pretty graphs and steering committees, not actually fix them!

UK dev loses ownership claim on forensic software he said he wrote in spare time and licensed to employer

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: No evidence of a license

"...was paying Penhallurick a salary and cut of sales in payment"

"Penhallurick resigned in 2016... in January 2018 ... MD5 stopped paying him for the code."

That looks like evidence of some sort of agreement at one time. Though maybe not what you would call a "licence" agrement

Wells Fargo patent troll case has finance world all aquiver so Barclays, TD Bank sign up to Open Invention Network

tfewster Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: The greed of banks

Yes, pardon my cynicism, but I find it hard to imagine Barclays as a victim or a contributor to free software. The headline could so easily have read "plucky inventors band together to get some of what they are owed from bank cartels".

The patent system corpse allows leeches to feed on all sides.

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021