* Posts by 0laf

2038 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Nov 2009

Asda IT staff shuffled off to TCS amid messy tech divorce from Walmart

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Re: TAX the companies that outsourcing abroad

That's easy, they've just redefined "Britain" to mean their own senior managment and shareholders.

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Re: Run away!

They won't be asked back. This is private equity they will have a plan for extracting as much value as they can from Asda before the dumping the dried out husk onto the UK Taxpayer to sort out.

Much like Morrisons who are ahead of them in this.

Voyager 1 makes stellar comeback to science operations

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Alien

Deep

The Voyagers are one of the few things that really blow my mind, to think that after the planet earth is gone the voyager probes will very likely still be out there.

A little bit of humanity that can touch deep time.

I'm very pleased it is still hanging on in there.

Meta won't train AI on Euro posts after all, as watchdogs put their paws down

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Re: Does it cover the UK or not?

I objected to but got the feeling Meta was crossing its fingers behind its back when it said "pinky promise we won't slurp your data"

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Re: Backroom thinking at facebook

I'd suspect it's more like, "We've already used the data to train it but we need more. How do we not get caught?".

Microsoft cancels universal Recall release in favor of Windows Insider preview

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When the beancounters decide copilot is good enough they'll pay off 90% of the develpment staff and noone will have time to review every bit of copilot code.

Or they'll hand off coding to non-coder cheap unqualified, "AI whisperers" and whatever shit get produced will go into production.

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Re: If anyone thinks...

But are many people actually buying windows PCs any more? I freely admit to being out of touch on this.

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Mushroom

Re: It's only a tool......

You're not alone.

Abnout 3000yr ago as the meme says Window actually got quite good. Windows 2000 was a solid operating system that (to me anyway) was slick on reasonable hardware of the day, fairly intuitive, much more stable than its predecessor and largely got on with the job of being an OS without getting in the way.

XP added a bit of flair to the brutalist architecture of 2000 but again largely got on with the job of being an OS and working to make your life easier.

Win7 is arguable the turning point from where the Windows operating system was a tool designed to help you work to being one big trojan horse given to you to allow you to be exploited by microsoft.

And from then on Window OSs have effectively become more and more abusive in favour of the supplier.

W11 seems to be MS giving up on any pretence and basically telling us "You work for us, your existance is only tolerated to train our products". They've gone full Black Mirror.

Now I hate doing anything with IT when I'm not being paid for it but even I'm getting to the point where my desktop will being going to Linux soon. MS shittifications have finally tipped the balance over my laziness.

Microsoft's Recall should be celebrated as the savior of SMEs and scourge of CEOs

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Terminator

Business leaders (especially those of the mindless MBA beancounting sect) care nothing about increasing productivity unless that allows for a reduction in headcount. Growth is unlikely to to show in one or two quarters wereas laying off 10% of your employees will. The reduction in quality won't show for a while either and even then all you do is redefine the minimum viable product and if your customers have nowhere else to go they'll suck it up anyway.

It all seems quite dystopian right now.

Raspberry Pi IPO is oversubscribed multiple times

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Unhappy

Is anyone running a sweestake on how long it will take for the shareholders to turn Raspi into shit?

I guess the enshitification will start next quarter and be released to the great unwashed in a year with RPi6 sold at £300 with advertising and Facebook tracking baked into the firmware.

Defiant Microsoft pushes ahead with controversial Recall – tho as an opt-in

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It's unlikely that the majority of Windows current users will switch to Linux, they are non-technical people who do not like to make changes so substantial to their own systems, the ease of the change or how good Mint might be is pretty much irrelevant. They will probaby either continue with Windows and Recall and simple be blissfully unaware of it (in the same what they do not know about 90% of the other features in a Windows OS) or they'll move to another product altogether like iPad or a Chromebook.

California upgrade company aims militarized 'Tactical' Cybertruck at police forces

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FAIL

"the most epic tactical vehicle on earth,"

The Paramount Marauder would like to have a word.

And one would think that in situations where bullets, fires and pokey sticks might well come to bear that having a reletively inert energy source like diesel might be preferably over the large lithium based bomb that sits under most EVs and likes to go off when it get dented, warm, wet or a bit grumpy.

I didn't touch a thing – just some cables and a monitor – and my computer broke

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Re: IT Crowd

"Not their fault. Why the hell do installers put cables where people's feet and legs are going to go?"

Usually these offices predatated IT by a number of decades, often they were converted victorian houses so most cabing was surface mounted where it was easiest to run a cable.

Nit really a blame thing just shit that used to happen 25yr ago.

0laf Silver badge
Terminator

IT Crowd

I suspect everyone who has ever worked tech support has a multitude of stories like this.

I too am old and can remember -

Businesses 'losing internet connections' because someone had switched the phone plug to the fax machine and not switched it back.

The secretary that had kicked the socket under her desk breaking the modem cable.

Broken printers that were out of paper

Servers unresponsive with a kettle plugged into the power socket

Desktops that "had just stopped working" but were filled with sugary tea/coffee/coke (full sugar fizzy drinks being the destroyers of all things electrical).

PCs on workshop floors filled with soot/dust/metal shavings

(definitely not) Dropped computers with crashed disk heads

Crital work on floppy discs erased by phones or magnets in clothing

any many more joyous repair jobs

Study finds 268% higher failure rates for Agile software projects

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Facepalm

Agile it's so close to fragile

I thought the point of Agile development was to fail fast and often. Although this implies it just fails.

I've been told a few times that agile development is a perfectly valid methodology if done properly.

But IMHE it's always been an excuse to quickly chuck out a half finished pile of shit. Often never to be finished.

Throwing that 'something' into production is normally always accompanied by a fanfare and back slapping about how fast and cheap it was done.

Microsoft Research chief scientist has no issue with Windows Recall

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Big Brother

Re: No just no.

I'm sure they have some weasel worded version of what they mean by "data". So no they won't ever up load those screengrabs, that picture "data" will always stay local (assuming you have the minimum 2Tb SSD installed; available from these MS partner resellers sign up here here for your special 5% discount code)....but the meta data mined from the images by the MS mandated copilot AI, weeeell, that's not "data", that's "metadata" and in pages 478, and 1165 of your EULA you agree to give MS access and rights to your "Metadata".

Or some such bullshittery to justify whatever the profit making angle is from this.

More layoffs at Microsoft: What's really going on here?

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Sooner than I thought

I was willing to bet that AI would cause large scale job losses but I had thought that functional products would be needed first.

Looks like any company making large investments into AI will be cutting jobs anyway to fund the development of tech which will lead to job cuts.

Well lets be honest these companies have loads of cash to develop AI and could easily keep employees on but then their shareholders would lose a few percentage points that quarter. So the meatbags have to go.

Windows 11 tries to escape Windows 10's shadow with AI muscle

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Re: If they weren't removing the choice no one would bother changing

Well just so happens I do have a Brother MFD.

And W11 has been a PITA to work with it with Wifi printing basically unusable (W10 better but not good). It's a large office grade MFD which I would be lothed to replace just because MS can't be arsed (same as my Ryzen powered PC).

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Re: If they weren't removing the choice no one would bother changing

I'd been put off by gaming issues but largely it appears that Steam etc all pretty much sorted under Linux.

The last terror is probably printing / scanning which had always been a bit of a nightmare in previous Linux experiments.

0laf Silver badge
Linux

If they weren't removing the choice no one would bother changing

Iet my laptop 'upgrade' to W11 because it was allowed to and to keep my eye in on new things. Yet again like pretty much every new version of Windows after XP it really offers nothing new or extra to home users. Lets be honest most home users would still be largely happy with W98SE if it supported everything they needed to do.

A new Windows OS is make work for MS, simple newness to drive sales. But an opportunity to gather up all the data they feel they have missed by screwing up their phone and tablet adventures. Also to try to cash in on the microtransactions that are making so much money for everyone else.

My laziness keeps me using Windows but I have to say the data slurping, advertising, nagging, bloated turds that MS produces now are likely to push me over the edge to sort out linux on my W11 unsupported but perfectly usable machine.

Microsoft accused of tracking kids with education software

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Re: Hmmmm

You're misunderstanding the principles of legitimate interest and consent. Not an insult it's not easy stuff to comprehend

Kids processing isn't done under consent, it's done under legitimte interest. i.e. in order to provide ediucation the councils need the data to be processed by MS and or Alphabet.

that side of it is ok it's the unauthorised data snafflle that is going on when kids use the service or when you have log in from home.

Windows 11's Recall feature is on by default on Copilot+ PCs

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Big Brother

Re: Do you trust Microsoft?

Most big companies don't give a shit about the legalities. They have deep enough pockets to ensure any action lasts indefinitely without ever coming to a conclusion they might not like.

Raspberry Pi unveils Hailo-powered AI Kit to make the model 5 smarter

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Thumb Up

Love a piece of Pi

I've got a Pi4 running as a defacto speed camera using OpenCV object detection to calculate approx speeds of vehicles to generate data to try to garner some attention from local council.

I'm always impressed what can be done with these little bits of kit.

MIT professor hoses down predictions AI will put a rocket under the economy

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Childcatcher

I've made the same point previosuly. But Headly_Grange points out investors don't look that far. If it appears that AI is going to sink one company they have techniques to exploit that as well so it's all good.

But one suspects that societal damage from mass unemployment is likely to make even the most corrupt government start to protect human workers if it looks like there is a significant chance of them being lynched.

I'm really quite surprised that the unions aren't screaming about this from the rooftops. In the UK we're likely about to get a Labour government who normally is more onboard with workers rights than the current Tory government who would sell off your first born for burger meat if it would get them a non-exec directorship in a bluechip.

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Terminator

Re: The real problem is

Well there is no robot that adequately cleans the CEO's toilet yet so there will be an opening there.

And drug testing, blood and organ donation. AI a while off from replacing us there as well.

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Flame

Re: The Paperless Office

You don't get documentation now most of the time, you get a link to some useless fecking youtube video. Or someyou are just supposed to know how it works due to some technological osmosis that apparently happened to everyone after 2004.

Enshittification is everywhere, when you've spotted it once you can't stop seeing it.

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Big Brother

Choices choices

So if I could do two things -

1) Aid workers to be more productive by automating repetitive tasks allowing those same worker to achieve the same volume of work in less time but then also allowing them to be more creative in that working time and possibly less stressed and happier due to the interesting quality work being done and possibly business giving workers more time off (possibly a 4 day week) whilst still maintaining production, profit and possibly increasing quality and customer satisfaction.

Or

2)Force workers to be more productive by automating repetitive tasks allowing the businesss remove those resources while maintaining the bare minimum quality standards customers will accept and possibly pushing those remaining staff to 120% of previous hours on the same or possibly reduced wages uitlising the threat of replacement by AI to erode workers expectations. This would increase profits in the short term and keep shareholders happy with record profits again.

What do you think Business will chose?

Will Windows drive a PC refresh? Everyone's talking about AI

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FAIL

Re: "vendors are searching for something else"

Most people do most tasks on phones or tablets now, and that means all that lovely marketing data is going to people that are not Microsoft.

This sounds like a desperate attempt to hop on a bandwagon and do some datamining of the few non-corporate PC users left or to breach contracts and mine other corp's staff anyway since they MUST be doing some personal stuff on the business machine.

0laf Silver badge

If I actually had a reason to use AI I suspect those reasons would require processing power which would steer me towards using some form of AI as a service type product.

As other have described it AI on the PC seems to mean a corporation's AI data mining my PC for their purposes. As a kickback it'll organise my photos or soemthing (while uploading them for more mining and or direct sales).

At the moment I only really see two forms of AI - the insidious which is a beancounters wet dream allowing for massive layoffs and company downsizing, srevices and products getting shittier is factored in.

And the dull but useful - monitoring and predicting wear, erosion and failure in infrastructure and industrial settings

Neither of which really requires anything on a local machine

'Little weirdo' shoulder surfer teaches UK cabinet minister a lesson in cybersecurity

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Big Brother

Re: Pride

I thought it was practically common knowledge that the whole policy was designed on the basis that the demographic for labour voters was less likely to hold or carry the required ID than those those people making up the Conservatve voting demographic. Therefore decreasing the Labour voting percentage via a side channel attack..

The same thing goes for redrawing constituency boundaries which practically every government does when they get in.

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Megaphone

Re: Basic failure

I'm sure MPs and ministers are offered lots of training to avoid such situations but as is usual with people in power despite being people of interest and at high risk of targetted attacks they usually consider themselves too important to make themselves available for training or listen to training if they actually turn up.

It must be a bloody nightmare to be a parliamentary infosec manager.

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Re: Situational awareness is rare

I used to do similar if less harmful things. Usually change wallpaper to something yuck, or set off a Rickroll video on loop depending on the access rights of the moment.

It did work with some people

Giving Windows total recall of everything a user does is a privacy minefield

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Re: All I want to know

Linux is great unless it isn't. If you run into a problem with a driver or piece of software not working (or worse half working) it can be a complete ballache to get to the bottom of it. Yes there is help out there, no it isn't easy to get to the right piece of help.

Windows, for most people just works. Plug something in and it'll probably work fine. But then most people are starting to use phones or tablets for most of their day to day computing and that's not MS.

If you've been around computers for more than 10yr then you probably do hanker back to an OS that does as it's told, which isn't MS now. MS has chosen to do the tablet thing which is to hide the greasy bits under a cover. But the people they are promoting their OS to are generally people who like to (or need to) tinker with the greasy bits under the cover.

I like Linux because it (generally) doesn't hide anything. But if you are used to Windows then it's a steep learning curve to start with without the shiny baubles of switching to iOS. Plus if you're taking off Windows to put on Linux you are losing a functional machine in the hope you can build another. And if you find your microwave difficult tech then you probably won't want to swap out an OS

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Facepalm

Re: "At present, Windows Recall feels like it was put together with insufficient thought"

They'll have a Ratner moment soon on this hopfully.

But probably not before there are massive layoffs as the beancounters get stuck into the AI Kool-aid. Followed by a realisation a year later that giving minimum wage grads access to CoPilot doesn't make them the equivalent of 4 master developers.

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Mushroom

Re: "At present, Windows Recall feels like it was put together with insufficient thought"

Smells like Microsoft's internal feature market. It's like a Battle Royal of useless shit, the team that can generate the most shit gets to stay employed, doubly so if it allows data mining of customers.

BT delays deadline for digital landline switch off date

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Re: Somewhat bending the truth I feel

Your local scrote isn't up to speed on copper Vs fiber yet. They are still quite happy to nick fibre since cable is cable innit?

We had the pipes nicked from a server room AC unit which was located outside. The pipes were plastic but they nicked them anyway. Caught them (or others) on camera a few weeks later having another go at the replacements. We had to put in cages to stop the idiots from nicking the plastic pipes again.

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Meh

Zen are the same. When we went FTTP the land line went (wasn't used anyway but we did keep a 'batphone' in the cupboard). VOIP was offered as an option as the router was capable of supporting this.

But the loss of the copper + a voip replacement wasn't a zero sum. You pay more for FTTP without a landline then pay more again to get it back.

OK it's faster but I like to complain.

HR expert says biz leaders scared RTO mandates lead to staff attrition

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Impression do matter. I you turn up to an interview unwashed (in fact smelling bad), weating dirty dishevelled clothing then you are fighting a steep uphill battle for the job since considering your fit within an office is part of the interview.

Dirty shoes is a tell, especially if you are looking for someone who is detail minded. An interview is when you are on show to perform at your best. If you can't be bothered at that point then I expect your daily performance will be much much worse.

Obviously it depends on the role and if you are interviewing for street sweepers you're not going to expect a suit at the interview, and if you're interviewing for a high level academic job you will probably expect a parade of reasonably extreme eccentrics as well.

Microsoft PC Manager app bizarrely suggests Bing as a Windows fix-all

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Childcatcher

Re: Why are apps like this needed?

Still trying to exploit an essentially captive userbase you mean.

Waddaya think?

Google thinks AI can Google better than you can

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Re: I don't care

Ah useful to the people that pay them.

Which isn't you in the case, you're just a data point.

IMF boss warns of AI 'tsunami' coming for world's jobs

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Mushroom

Re: Basic income?

Normally I'm pretty cynical about apocolyptic predictions but with AI I can really see civilization as we have known it (for about the last 50yr) circling the drain.

But I can't compute the idea that if AI will replace so many roles in workplaces that it seems few people will be in work, if not enough people are working then who buys the products that the AIs will be creating. B2B only works so far, eventually you have to be selling services to someone. If no one is working no one has money, if no one is working no one pays tax and if the corporation left are as now tax avoiders then the government has no money. I'm stunned the unions aren't screaming about this.

It seems almost like mutually assured economic destruction.

Admittedly not in the next 4 quarters so who gives a shit yeah?

UK public voice fear over security in NHS data systems

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Boffin

Re: Avi, Pull your Socks up...

Lots of peope make the assumption that the NHS is one thing. It's not it's a large number of independent legal entities all invoilved in healthcare in some way.

Getting this huge hydra to do the same things is almost impossible.

Coupled with a lot of senior staff who think they are above such trivia.

I don't envy the guys trying to make the NHS secure on a shoestring

Ransomware negotiator weighs in on the extortion payment debate with El Reg

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Businesses could reduce shareholder payout and profit a little to invest in security and training. They could reduce the load on their staff a little so they have more than 3 seconds to look at an email and decide if it's legit or not. But they won't, not until a failure to have adequate security and training is a criminal offence carried by members of the board.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre entry code cracks up critics

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NCSC is still part of Government. They're probably been forced to outsource the website to some 3rd party that used Java, management will like it because it's shiny and cheap.

Having met a few infosec peeps from NCSC and from it's GCHQ predecessor the proper people who work there seems to be doing a pretty good job considering the political interference they likely get.

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Meh

Meh

Reminds me of having an argument with a security auditor about a weak password on a public access wifi system.

"Your password is weak"

"Yes it's supposed to be, it's guest wifi we let anyone use it"

"But your password isn't strong it can be easily cracked"

"It's printed on the feckin wall in letters a foot high, you don't need to crack it!"

This sounds similar, an easy passcode for public areas so that politicians and hacks don't forget it.

And it begins. OpenAI mulls NSFW AI model output

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Gimp

Pr0n has always led the way.

UK opens investigation of MoD payroll contractor after confirming attack

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FAIL

Re: As ex-Military

Don't forget your oh so lovely (and totally worth it) blue passport (not that Johnny foreigner burgundy) is made in Poland by a Franco/Dutch company. Yay Brexit, we're taking back control etc etc [insert platitude or lie of choice].

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Black Helicopters

Re: The Government Value Cyber Security

That was true, not so sure now. I've seen many senior information security jobs advertised in the public sector which are well into industry average levels. Admittedly these are probably jobs that need three people not one but they do exist. Glasgow City Council was advertising recently for a senior role with renumeration up to £80k, and I've seen other Civil Service and NHS jobs with similar packages. How they are doing this within the confines of Single-Status (for the councils) I don't know, previously to get anything over about £45k you had to be a service manager so no specific professional roles at all. I can only guess that the Unions have given them the ok to go out at close to market rate otherwise they would get no one.

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Black Helicopters

Re: The Government Value Cyber Security

That got flagged a year ago as being rediculous. Renfewshire Council had a security and governance post advertised at the same time for more money.

The consensus of the El Reg commontariate was that there was some civil services / ministerial malarky going on with the recruitment making the post undesirable in order to parachute in a specific person on a non-standard pay structure. No idea if that was how the story ended or not. You can search around LinedIn etc to see if you think things were made to happen.

https://www.theregister.com/2023/03/31/job_ad_hm_treasury/

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Re: Unfair

Lets be honest if they didn't go with the lowest bidder the winner would still have cut the resources to bone in order to maximise profit.