* Posts by genghis_uk

434 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Dec 2009


Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure


Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

If you want to take the heads off an R90S, you just have to find a few tight corners!

If AI drives humans to extinction, it'll be our fault


Re: Ignorance is Bliss and Heaven Sent and Much Appreciated by AI and ITs Likes

I've always thought this too. All the rise of the machines doomsayers forget that these are just computers!

Also, as soon as an AI goes into exponential learning it will hit a resource problem.... out of memory... crash...

It's only software after all.

Ex-FBI employee jailed for taking classified material home


Re: Orange man...

Sounds like whataboutism to me.

Joe and Hunter may or may not be dodgy - does that make Trump less so?

If itwas anyone else, they would be looking at 20years with Republicans being the first to denounce them. Because it's Trump, it's all OK, just a witch hunt and nothing to see here. Double standards maybe?

The UK's bad encryption law can't withstand global contempt


Re: One rule for them, another for the rest of us.

So Mrs Smith gets it after a simple explanation but our illustrious leaders cannot grasp the concept after many experts have tried the same.

What does that tell us about the idiots in power??

Do you think our Home Sociopath really cares about the children or is it an authoritarian ploy wrapped in Daily Mail fodder to distract the masses?

Musk said Twitter would open source its algorithm – then fired the people who could


... it has ceased to be.

Beer for you sir as a fellow Pythonist.

Fetch the comfy chair!

If we plan to live on the Moon, it's going to need a time zone


Re: Just set the entire moon to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC +0) ...

<quote>Indeed, the Moon is tidally locked to Earth and thus a lunar day/night period is around 29.5 Earth days long </quote>

Bit of a bugger if you're on a day rate! Check the small print if you're off to do some lunar construction work

CEO Elon Musk wants out of Tesla tweet jail. Lol, no, says SEC


I've said it before and I will undoubtedly have to do it again... quoting the "fire in a crowded theater " nonsense just makes it look like you don't know what you are talking about.

It was never really about freedom of speech - it was used to justify an egregious curtailment of freedom that the Supreme court later overturned. Even the original author later retracted it.

James Webb Space Telescope suffers another hitch: Instrument down


Re: Eggheads

Have we got an influx of noobs that don't know regspeak or have gen-z finally entered the workplace insisting that we all change to suit them?

Maybe we need trigger warnings on articles now <looks down, shaking head slowly>

Punch-drunk Apple Watch called 15 cops to a boxing workout when it heard 'shots'



Lucky this was in Aus - in certain parts of the US, this would have been an excuse to break out the heavy artillery

Twitter 2.0 signal boosts Taliban 2.0 through Blue subscriptions


Re: Yes, you DO have freedom of speech

+1 That saved me a load of typing!

The balmy equator of Mars looks rich in opal-bound water


Re: Sigh.

With a bit of conversion to RSU (register standard units) you get roughly 31 eggs or 1 football (soccer) for every 7 linguine (or 0.5 osman) of fracture. Why reg writers insist on randomly mixing imperial and SI units when there is a common standard, I will never fathom (0.3 giraffe)

(1.5 gallons US -> litres -> cubic cm -> RSU)

Tesla driver blames full-self-driving software for eight-car Thanksgiving Day pile up


Re: Hmmmmmmm

That must be a US thing because in the UK, you are supposed to consider stopping distance and expect someone to break suddenly. This wouldn't be a story over here as it is basically, 7 people were driving too close on the motorway... i.e. just another day


Re: Hmmmmmmm

Let's forget the self driving element for a second and consider that it was a normal car and the engine blew - this would cause a similar rapid deceleration and the same 7 cars would have ploughed into the back of each other. Would you say the other drivers were too close or not paying attention then?

If you crash into the back of someone it is almost always your fault - even if the car you crashed into was a Tesla!

Twitter will lose 32 million users by end of 2024, Insider Intelligence predicts


Re: Musk is apparently considering doing a Trump thing ..

I agree it's not a good look that the feds were contacting twitter with lists of accounts. However, the twitter moderators worked in the same way as if you or I contacted them to flag abuse - they checked first and only deactivated some of the accounts. This was not a case where the government told them they had to remove the accounts, they were flagged for potential TOS violations. It may be questionable but its not censorship.

Political bias is perfectly acceptable. If twitter wanted to bias their moderation that is their right. They don't have to be unbiased, they are a private company. What makes you think that they have to host speech they don't like? Musk certainly has a major bias but that's his right too.

Here's a thing.. go onto Truth and post that Trump lost. See how long that post lasts before it is removed. Perfectly within their rights to remove it but are they unbiased? Or Gab? or Parler?


Re: Musk is apparently considering doing a Trump thing ..

No Twitter was caught out doing moderation. At no point did they attempt to stop anyone posting the same thing on another site. They did not stop anyone going on Fox News to complain and repeat what Twitter removed.

Moderation = removing stuff Twitter did not want to see on their site

Censorship = preventing someone from mentioning something anywhere (usually a Government move as they have the legal power)

Saying Facebook / Twitter / YouTube etc. censored something is usually a very good pointer that you don't know what you are talking about (along with the Fire in a Theatre thing and the election was stolen!)


Musk has been known to spout BS though... on the odd occasion.

Meanwhile in real-land:

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), the organization tasked by the U.S. government with tracking reports of child sexual abuse material online, said little has changed under Musk’s leadership in terms of Twitter’s reporting practices so far.

“Despite the rhetoric and some of what we’ve seen people posting online, their CyberTipline numbers are almost identical to what they were prior to Musk coming on board,” said NCMEC representative Gavin Portnoy, referring to the organization’s centralized CSAM reporting system.

Portnoy noted that one change the group did notice was that Twitter didn’t send a representative to the organization’s annual social media roundtable.

“The previous person was one of the folks who resigned,” Portnoy said. When asked if Twitter wanted to send a proxy, Portnoy said that Twitter declined.

Removing a few hashtags does not fix the problem, it's just performance. Sacking or forcing the people who deal with this out is not a step in the right direction either

Musk bans private-plane-tracking @Elonjet on Twitter, threatens legal action


Re: say it with me, folks

Not only is it funny that Elon is doing exactly what they were all whining about but I notice no-one is screaming about censorship when Musk does it - because it never was when Twitter did it previously!!

TikTok could be banned from America, thanks to proposed bipartisan bill


US Privacy?

If Tic Toc is banned in the US, China could still get a majority of the information directly from data brokers for a small fee.

Congress has had many opportunities to pass some sort of privacy legislation but has backed away after some lobbying cash has been splashed around.

This is just another performance by a Congress-clown and the fact that the main beneficiary would be Facebook is indicative of how bad it really is.

UK lawmakers look to enforce blocking tools for legal but harmful content


Re: Machiavelli

Exactly this... All the hype is about "big tech" but it equally applies to any content that can be accessed by a child.

Moved from Twitter to set up a Mastodon server? This now applies to you too for example (worth reading the OSB primer too)

I wait to see the fallout when the likes of the Daily Mail etc. pause the think of the children nonsense and realise this applies to their toxic comments section too. Quite a bit of legal but harmful BS on there!

Meta threatens to stop sharing news in USA to protest publisher payment plan


Being proactive appears to be an unpopular idea I see...

However, at the bottom of the linked article (from 2010 so things my have changed), there is a list of other ways to prevent Google linking your pages. "Superior Solutions to the Robots.txt" includes the following - Noindex In most cases, the best replacement for robots.txt exclusion is the robots meta tag. By adding 'noindex' and making sure that you DON'T add 'nofollow', your pages will stay out of the search engine results but will pass link value. This is a win/win!"

So I may have been slightly wrong about the method (hey, I'm not a web expert!) but the idea is still valid - don't want your pages showing up on Google? Don't let Google scrape them... Ok, the article was about Facebook but the OP had already gone off piste


If the news sites didn't want Google to show content, a simple robots.txt file would have solved the problem.

The link tax solution seems to be a way to get money for the media companies who are enabling the problem for profit.

Given the media is the main beneficiary, I'm also a bit wary of the reporting on this story. Beating the big tech bad drum is very popular but Murdock and friends are some of the dirtiest players out there.

US commerce bosses view EU rules as threat to its clouds


Re: "ensure that non-EU suppliers cannot access the EU market on an equal footing"

It's not about stealing EU citizens' data, it's about making money from the data.

Also, the US CLOUD act means all data held by US companies is up for grabs by American agencies even if it is about EU citizens and held in Europe. GDPR and CLOUD are fundamentally incompatible.

Musk says spat with Apple over App Store ejection threat for Twitter was 'misunderstanding'


Re: I wonder....

<quote>I remember why I've stayed away for years now</qoute>

You could try it again and we will see if we miss you... don't let the door hit you on the way out

Twitter gives up fight against COVID-19 misinformation


Re: further.

Starting to sound like Tucker Carson...

Spout a whole load of off the wall BS in the name of 'just asking questions' then act outraged when someone calls out the BS


Re: Opinions versus facts (actual, imaginary, and half-truths)

Moderation is not Censorship!

You may not have been free to post misinformation on twitter but there are 101 other places you could have posted it.

Considering how small twitter is compared with the other social media sites, I would be surprised if anyone cared - it's only the disproportionate reporting of tweets by lazy journalists (and grandstanding pols) that make it even slightly relevant


Re: Irony alert

Masks are about reducing transmission of the virus. They may not stop you getting it but they reduce the aerosol when breathing, coughing etc.

With an infection that is airborne and potentially asymptomatic, it is easier for everyone to wear a mask in case they are carrying but don't know it.

Would you ask a surgeon to remove his mask when operating on you, because you don't agree with them?

One thing the pandemic has highlighted is just how bloody minded and selfish a lot of the population is. 'My freedom from a little inconvenience is much more important than your safety' is an odd thing when daily deaths were rising rapidly.

While I have my soapbox out, yes the official guidelines changed over time. That is not because the requirements changed but because the understanding did. I think Reg readers should understand how science works, they did not know how this virus worked initially so implemented a set of standard procedures. Some were right others not so much. Many advisors told the government not to scare people into submission but they did it anyway which, in the long term was a bad idea... masks were not a bad idea but better ventilation in schools and public places would have been better


Diphtheria has affected a number of people in the migrant detention centre in Kent recently... lots of boosters given and it should have been contained

Polio was detected in London sewage over the summer but no confirmed cases. New York has had quite a few cases and at least one confirmed case of paralysis. This has been linked to a much lower level of vaccination.

So it's not the 1950s again but the diseases are still out there and if you are unlucky to bump into them it's better to have some level of immunity

Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months


Re: Quick poll

Downvote because the original comment was obviously a bit of tongue in cheek humour.

While the response was not incorrect per se ('repotedly' is often abused), the tone was not warranted.

So now you know why 1 of the many downvotes came about. It's just my opinion (yours will differ) but your passive-aggressive posts are coming over as bitchy whining

Germany says nein to Qatari World Cup spyware, err, apps


Re: It was worth a war then?

You may be a few hundred miles too south... it was Kuwait in the first gulf war.

There is a big chunk of Saudi Arabia between Iraq and Qatar

UK government set to extract hospital data to Palantir system without patient consent


Re: We serfs do not have a voice

I never though of Alexei Sayle as a Private Eye reader but they had this joke a couple of issues ago (1583 p34)

How I made a Chrome extension for converting Reg articles to UK spelling


Re: I remember...


(A bit of British humour that might not translate)

The Metaverse is the internet no one wants


Sounds familiar

Dabbsy had a missive about this a while ago...

As it's Friday, think of it as something for the weekend ;)

Juno what? Jovian moon Europa is looking rugged


Re: some other essential building blocks

While we are picking tran-Atlantic holes, a 'quarter note' is a Crotchet.

Although the author must have meant a Quaver (eighth note for the USians) if you look at the tail*

(*OK, it should be on the other side before a fellow pedant chips in)

Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law


Re: Here we go...

I can't believe so many people still get this wrong...

Section 230 does not just protect the big tech companies, it actually protects everyone that hosts a comments section where others can post. In fact, the big guys would happily see 230 scrapped as they are the only ones with money enough for the inevitable lawsuits - it would remove competition and stifle more speech.

Newspapers get the 1st amendment because everyone does in the US. It is the freedom to say what you want without the Government being able to stop you. Newspaper editors review a few hundred articles from their staff a week and determine the direction that they want to go in before being published - Compare that with a social media platform where posts come in too fast to count and the direction is the community guidelines set by the platform. So articles by the Times / Post etc. are covered by the 1st amendment but the comments and any other interactive part of their websites are also covered by S230.

S230 does not override the 1st amendment (actually laws can't override the constitution) but it gives an early get out before the expensive 'discovery', so that platforms are not overwhelmed with costs. Remove S230 and moderation is still covered by the 1st amendment (despite what these idiots in Texas just said!) but he costs can spiral massively. I predict that this will not last the first test case and the 5th Circuit judges will be made to look stupid.

Due to scale, moderation efforts will always miss some posts so it is easy to find examples where it went wrong. This does not necessarily indicate bias, just a failure to catch everything. Note: if a platform wants to only host speech about teddy bears and rainbows, why should they be forced to host speech about anything else? If Twitter does not want far right comments, it is perfectly within its rights to remove it - try posting a slightly negative comment about Trump on 'Truth Social' and see how long it lasts. This is by design, not every platform has to host all speech and that is not necessarily a bad thing

Sorry, this may not be how you want it to work but it is how it is... Moderation is not Censorship and S230 does more for the little guys than BigTech despite what a bunch of grandstanding politicians say

Bye bye BoJo: Liz Truss named new UK prime minister


That's It I'm ....

I would like to say this is the last straw, I'm off - but where would I go?

Frankly, most of the world appears to be spiralling down the drain and the so called leaders are only getting worse

[as I type, the headlines below the comment box are the latest IR35 mess up and Mad Nad in her Data Protection mess - add in the Online 'think of the children' debacle and it is obvious that our government is woefully lacking in basic technical intelligence]

Australian court overturns 'Google is a publisher' decision


Because they are seen as an authority does not make it so - that is just down to ignorance of how technology works. There are many search engines, all have some degree of algorithm to improve search accuracy (otherwise they are useless)

You shouldn't legislate ignorance!

(See also Twitter - not a public square and yes, you can shout Fire in a theatre)

UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs


Re: Reap what you sow

The UK changed its national medical regulations to allow vaccines to be used before they were fully licensed. Even if we had tried to hand them out to EU nations, they would not have been allowed to accept them because thy were not licensed! Basically, the UK moved ahead based on the data but the EU waited for the finished report.

Also, let's face it the UK was never going to get a s good a deal as the EU due to size of market - not quite the Brexit bonus it is touted to be although Brexit did allow us to act independently

(Note, France and Germany were also trying to act independently because the EU negotiations were seen as taking too long)


Re: Reap what you sow

But you have to admit they were a pretty important few months considering the circumstances.

Paying a bit over the odds to get life saving treatment does not sound particularly wasteful - unlike our disgraceful PPE contracts, T&T that did neither well and many other pork for 'friends of the Tories' projects.

Janet Jackson music video declared a cybersecurity exploit


Re: Lay off Janet

If it said nobody listens to JJ any more that would be untrue - hardly anyone implies that some do but not many.

I started a WTF post a few hours go but couldn't decide if you were trying to find offense somewhere like a woke teenage Twitter user, if you were an offended superfan who was just misguided in their musical preference or having a laugh and trolling... You may have answered that one - back to twitter with you!

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape


Always the problem with wind power - the time you need it most is the time you don't get any.

High pressure gives clear skies and little to no wind. In summer it's very hot so air-con use increases, in winter it's very cold so heating increases... You're going to need a huge amount of storage to hold Spring/Autumn energy or use something else.

Solar is potentially at its best in high pressure situations but Winter is still an issue if you only get a few hours of sunlight (<6hours in Scotland - about 7 in England)

Let's face it, renewables are not here yet. They may get there when storage improves but in the meantime, we need Nukes to keep the lights on.

Google gets the green light to flood US Gmail inboxes with political spam


Re: Bias?

If you are going to get heated about this at least read the bloody report...

"We further observe that Gmail marks a significantly higher percentage (67.6%) of emails from the right as spam compared to the emails from left (just 8.2%). Outlook is unfriendly to all campaign emails, more unfriendly to the left than to the right. It marks a higher percentage of left (95.8%) emails as spam than

those of right (75.4%). Yahoo marks 14.2% more left emails as spam than the right emails"

But have you considered the idea that the company generating GOP emails may be tripping spam filters due to the way they are written? The filters don't know where these came from but they will trigger on certain elements in the email - write less spammy emails and they will not be marked as spam

Also, it was found that if a person shows an interest in the political emails, Google's algorithm very quickly adapted so there was minimal bias:

"Moving All Spam Emails to Inbox. When a user moves emails from spam to inbox, the spam percentage should decrease because the user is showing interest that such emails should appear in the inbox. The response of Gmail to the S→I interaction follows this intuition while that of Outlook and Yahoo does not. The negative values for both the left and right emails for Gmail show that Gmail starts putting a higher percentage of emails from both sides in inbox after just the first S→I interaction. Fig. 7 shows that after the five S→I interactions, on average, Gmail marks just 5.34% of the right emails as spam (compared to 67.6% in the baseline experiment)"

Incidentally, when the same move of email from spam to inbox occurred in Outlook and Yahoo, the bias towards the Right actually increased slightly.

"To summarize, due to the S→I interaction, the political bias in Gmail reduced significantly. However, unexpectedly, it increased in both Outlook and Yahoo because neither of the two services reacted noticeably to user’s desire to not mark the emails as spam that the two services were marking as spam"

Republicans are cherry picking the results and shouting loudly about bias without admitting that

1) Some form of bias is probably just a by-product of generic spam filters and the way the emails are formatted

2) Outlook and Yahoo are biassed towards Republicans

3) With very minor tweaks, republican voters can all but remove any bias in the spam filters

I can't speak to Twitter and Facebook as I don't use either and have little interest but this is largely another GOP attempt to play the victim card with little evidence

Apple tells suppliers to use 'Taiwan, China' or 'Chinese Taipei' to appease Beijing


Re: Can anyone answer the question, logically...

After that fantastic summary bounding up 100 years of difficult, sectarian politics into a single insightful comment, how could we fail to act in everyone's best interest... We'll get right on that - thanks for fixing it.

It's on: Twitter vs Elon Musk trial to start October 17


Twitter is allowed to be as biased as it wants - nothing saying it has to be fair and unbiased... Their company, their rules. If you don't like it go to a different company's platform with different rules. That's the way the free market works (anyone remember MySpace or FriendsReunited?)

Chinese booster rocket tumbles back to Earth: 'Non-zero' chance of hitting populated area


Re: I would say ....

If if could clip a bit off Fareham too that would be a bonus!

Browsers could face two regimes in Europe as UK law set to diverge from EU


UK Government and Internet

Why is it that every time I see UK Gov (especially MINI-FUN), and Internet in a sentence, I just know they are messing things up?

Government ministers are quite frankly, clueless about everything technical the internet - why do they keep trying to meddle? Mad Nad is on record thinking the internet is only 10 years old - won't someone save us from these muppets?

Tories spar over UK's delayed Online Safety Bill


Re: Authoritarianism

One of the scariest parts of this (there are many scary parts!) would give Nadine Dorries the final say on what speech is banned...

Given this:

"I am not an MP for any reason other than because God wants me to be. There is nothing I did that got me here; it is what God did. There is nothing amazing or special about me, I am just a conduit for God to use." – Nadine Dorries

And given that the UK is fairly secular in nature (we certainly aren't the US!), I don't want my speech regulated to moral standards set by a self confessed god botherer!

FYI: BMW puts heated seats, other features behind paywall


Just keep away from the afterburner!

Viggen Fuel Use

Twitter claims Elon Musk bailed from sale with 'invalid and wrongful' reasons


Re: Is there a method behind Musk’s Twitter-deal weirdness?

Mike Masnik over at techdirt did an interesting analysis of Musk's Lawyers trying to get him out of the mess he's made

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants


Re: even more safer to operate?

.. and government pressure to increase production meant that safety was compromised to meet their demand.

Tech world may face huge fines if it doesn't scrub CSAM from encrypted chats


Re: Ok, i'll bite.

Any solution is trivial to circumvent by pre-encrypting the image before you send it over an E2E channel.

The point is to be seen to obey the letter of the law to avoid fines.

This is all performative nonsense by a bunch of politicians that don't understand mathematics or engineering so I can't see anything other than a performative response.

Australia banned encryption that cannot be backdoored a while ago (basically telling engineers to 'nerd harder' when they said the mathematics would not allow it) but I have not seen anything to say this has ever been enforced - maybe I missed it?