* Posts by heyrick

6305 publicly visible posts • joined 20 Dec 2009

Digital memories are disappearing and not even AI or Google can help

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Re: Not because the search engine fails

I should add, one of the main reasons that I started using Bing was because when you're trying to look up part numbers of weird Chinese chips inside things, Google has a horrible spam problem. Follow a link that looks, from the description, that it knows what the chip is and suddenly I'm at a different site, often with a .it domain, that is trying to get me interested in naked people (probably worse but my content blocker killed it). I tried Bing and, actually found datasheets. In Chinese, of course, but some autotranslation got me the gist to know it was Yet Another 8051 Clone from the Middle Kingdom. Google? Had no idea, was being gamed, and didn't seem to care. I dunno, the quality of Google's search has nosedived in recent times. So, no, I'm not sure that "dump it in a big heap and let the search engine sort it out" is a viable proposal for anything.

heyrick Silver badge

Not because the search engine fails

Yes, it does.

Quite frequently.

If it isn't a popular site or something either sponsored or stuffed with adverts, it's fifty fifty as to whether or not it exists. I have, in the past, tried an exact search (in quotes) for something I had an actual screenshot of, only for Google to tell me there was nothing found. Sometimes I can coax Google into giving me a link to what I'm looking for by entering more of the text without quotes and wading through the bullshit, but other times I give up and use Bing.

Bing is lame too, but different to Google, so between them I stand a chance of getting somewhere.

Buggy app for insulin-delivery device puts diabetes patients at risk of hypoglycemia

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Re: A quality tester walks into a bar ...

I would like zero beers.

Sometimes entering zero can be amusing when it's expecting a number and it's set up to do something expecting a number greater than zero.

It's ba-ack... UK watchdog publishes age verification proposals

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Fuck off you moronic cockwombles


Want porn? Fine. Creep over to the senior block in the dead of night, the cubicle next to Drake's study. Lift the cistern. Retrieve the plastic bag. Unwrap some tame British "porn" (Playboy etc) and some decidedly less tame European imports. DO. NOT. GET. CAUGHT.

What was more surprising to the 11 year old us wasn't "oh boobies" but more the eye opening "do people really pee on each other?" and "what is she...Argh! No! Ewwwww!".

Seriously, guys. Children looking at porn at an inappropriate age is pretty much a right of passage. Maybe if there wasn't such a ridiculous broohaha about it, we could all try to have a serious discussion regarding sex, sexuality, gender, and respect. I won't hold my breath...

UK immigration rules hit science just as it rejoins €100B Horizon program

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NHS - crumbly hospitals and stressed overworked staff (who were recently on strike over it); schools (ditto); police (will turn up if you dare to misgender a toddler, don't expect them to bother if it's something mundane like shoplifting); etc etc.

With another round of cutbacks to public services and more proposals to alleviate the tax burden of party donors the rich, I think public tax money is already being massively misspent.

Hershey phishes! Crooks snarf chocolate lovers' creds

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Re: dafuq

Hmmm, no gloves, no masks, no hairnets... (spot who works in food production ;) )

But, sod that, gimme!!!!

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Re: dafuq

That's exactly what I came to post. Surely this was employee data, otherwise what the hell is a chocolate maker doing asking for that sort of information...?

40 years of Turbo Pascal, the coding dinosaur that revolutionized IDEs

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Yup. I endured TP5.5 at college. It was good to get to understand the idea of modular programming, declaring variables before use, sanity-preserving variable scope rules... all the sorts of things that home micro BASIC just doesn't do.

But I found the language to be somewhat tedious with the amount of nonstandard extensions required in order to actually do stuff. If I remember correctly there was a weird syntax for passing addresses of things, because Pascal didn't (normally) do such a thing.

One lunchtime wandering around the server drive looking to see what else was available, besides Windows 3.11, I came across TurboC.

And that was a total joy. It was like Pascal with the training wheels removed, and the IDE being able to stop on an error with the offending line highlighted was so far ahead of practically everything else. Bizarre WordStar keypresses aside, that IDE was one of the friendliest text based IDEs I've ever used.

So, yeah, fond memories of Borland. Not so fond of knowing how long ago it was.....

Steam client drops support on macOS, but adds it on Linux

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Re: The entire x86-32 platform is declining

"There is really no point holding onto that P4."

Given that it gets used maybe a couple of times per year for the more complicated picture edits I can't do on my phone, and ripping the odd DVD (I mostly watch Netflix these days), it's really not worth the hassle to find and set up something else. Yes, it's a dinosaur. But it's a non-internet-connected extremely low use dinosaur. Its primary purpose in life these days is, um, a weird looking bookshelf. ;)

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The entire x86-32 platform is declining

That's been true for quite a while. My Windows box is a P4, 32 bit. A few months back I got a Linux magazine with cover disc for €1 (to shift old stock). Put it in, rebooted, saw a tiny text message saying I needed another 32 bits for it to work. Nowhere was this mentioned (I'd not have bought it if it said it was x86-64 as I know I don't have that). I think, these days, it's just assumed that all the ancient hardware is either dead, forgotten, or landfill.

HP exec says quiet part out loud when it comes to locking in print customers

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Since then it has banked double-digit revenues.

I'm an Instant Ink subscriber. Had my crappy little inkjet (3630) for about five years now. And I find the subscription a hell of a lot cheaper than purchasing ink (hideously expensive for the drops they supply - did you know the instant ink cartridges are much larger than the retail ones?) plus since I live rural if I want to print a full page photo I can, I don't need to think "do I have enough ink" and "when can I do a trip into a larger town to buy replacements" and all that crap. I print as and when I want and every so often a little box turns up with new ink. Plus, a few euros a month is a lot simpler to have as a recurring expense than the "how fscking much?" for a pair of smaller retail carts, that don't actually give a lot of real world use.

I don't have space for a tank setup, and I don't imagine another brand would be might different. I'd simply be swapping an evil empire for a slightly less evil one, and all the crap that involves. Meh. I'll stick with this until the thing packs up. It's already three years over warranty and I've only needed to strip it down twice for a bloody good clean (which reminds me, it spews it's own ink as much as it does the retail ones).

Electric vehicles earn shocking report card for reliability

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Re: Encoders

"Back EMF is more than enough to precisely control the motor."

Isn't this pretty much how modern washing machines handle their motors?

Boffins find asking ChatGPT to repeat key words can expose its training data

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Re: irritable vowel syndrome?

Given that I'm currently enjoying air fried chicken nuggets and chips, nicely done and crispy/tender in all the right places...I think maybe you're just doing it wrongly.

As for the AI, artificial for sure but nothing that resembles intelligence.

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Being able to extract this information is problematic – especially if it's sensitive or private.

Not just that, but aren't we supposed to be assured that the thing isn't ripping off copyright because it analyses the source text and makes inferences from it? If it is able to regurgitate the s actual ource, well...

...popcorn time! (icon for warming up the kernels)

Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished

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Re: A future who me?

Swipe-type automangle strikes again!

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Re: A future who me?

"as part of an energy saving exercise"

There are people like that here. They'll happily turn the lights off in corridors that people are in, and randomly remove plugs from the wall because if it's plugged in and not obviously doing something then it's wasting electricity.

Somebody, somewhere along the way, hammered some crap about saving money into their heads and they lack the cluons to effectively determine what should and shouldn't be turned off [*], and thus eventually end up committing what's akin to minor acts of vandalism. Yes, that temperature monitoring system is important. Yes, that thing needs to be charged by the evening or the night crew will punch you on the nose. And, yes, when purple are descending stairs, lights tend to be a rather good idea.


* - Ultimately the fault lies with management; fuckwits should be given a very simple "do NOT touch" instruction to follow.

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Bryan Mills is getting sloppy.

Meta sued by privacy group over pay up or click OK model

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Re: Dear nyob

"Either way, this a “You Problem”, not a “Them Problem”."

And thinking like that is why this sort of thing continues. It should be perfectly possible to get the same amount of embedded advertising that isn't trying to profile me and isn't dumping lots of cookies on me in order to do so. You'll note that their stuff isn't behind a paywall, it's openly available for people to read. Only, with the caveat that you must either accept cookies or subscribe (which perhaps ought to give a clue as to the value of the advertising/tracking).


Specifically: Aux termes du considérant 42 du RGPD, qui éclaire l’exigence de liberté du consentement posée par son article 4, « le consentement ne devrait pas être considéré comme ayant été donné librement si la personne concernée ne dispose pas d'une véritable liberté de choix ou n'est pas en mesure de refuser ou de retirer son consentement sans subir de préjudice ».

For those who don't read French, Google makes that: Under the terms of recital 42 of the GDPR, which clarifies the requirement of freedom of consent set out in Article 4, “consent should not be considered to have been given freely if the person concerned does not have genuine freedom of choice or is unable to refuse or withdraw consent without suffering detriment .”

Given a choice of accepting all of the tracking cookies or subscribing is not a free choice, therefore one cannot conclude that consent has been given. Thus, I'm inclined to agree with Anon below that this is not legal, but IANAL...

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Dear nyob

I hope you succeed, as this crap (accept all cookies or cough up cash) turns up in French websites.

Simple Google for cookie recipes gave this example: https://www.marmiton.org/recettes/recette_cookies-maison_86989.aspx

It starts off looking normal, but if you choose "Je n'accepte rien", it'll change to a second window giving you the choice of "Je change d'avis et j'accepte tous les cookies" or "Je m'abonne pour un mois".

Shit like this needs to get called out more often.

AI threatens to automate away the clergy

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My neighbour is a farmer (actually, they all are). Upon showing us around his shiny new barn (when we were grockle furriners), he was extremely proud of a box in the fridge containing a set of syringes of "pristine selected semen" for shoving into the female pigs. I asked him why it really mattered if the semen was from top class pigs when the critters are going to the abattoir at around five months, it's not as if they exactly get to grow up. He said it made healthier pigs which needed fewer courses of antibiotics.

That was the day I stopped eating pork. Not that I'd imagine things are much different with cows, but hey, I've not had a guided tour of a cow farm nor do I want to. Ignorance is bliss in this case. And, besides, my mother was a veggie so I don't actually eat that much meat. Just the odd burger and various chicken concoctions.

But, yeah, okay dude, it's a squirty thing full of pig cum, I'm really not impressed...

heyrick Silver badge

"They are really mundane jobs that should be automated – and how we even let people pick up these kind of jobs is really criminal."

As a person who works in such a food factory (though not on the production line)...

1, Machines are shit and prone to endless failures unless you pay me for the good ones, at which point it's often cheaper to employ meatsacks (plus meatsacks are way superior to machines when it comes to switching to making a different product or maybe even something new).

2, There's a huge amount of discrimination when it comes to employment. You want to work in a lab that puts semen into syringes for inseminating pigs, cows, etc? Fine, let's see your three years in university and all previous experience and we'll start you on minimum wage.

Or you could just get up at 5am and stick cherries on cakes for seven hours for minimum and the employer won't give much in the way of respect but you'll have a job so long as you turn up on time.

What would these sorts of people, that didn't get the opportunity to get fancy pieces of paper, do otherwise? Haunt the local food banks? At least when they're working (even in menial jobs) they are productive.

No, man, what's criminal is the little people who "add value" by making the stuff get paid peanuts, while the shareholders get to cream off the profits and make more money for doing diddly-squat.

UK government rings the death knell for SIM farms

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Re: Yankification

Seniors, huh?

Fifth form was so long ago I don't even remember it.

(And why was there an Upper Fifth before Sixth? Was it forbidden to count to seven?)

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Re: Poor proof reading

Just another part of the yankification going on around here...

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

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Re: Bieber vs Usyk

Well, that'll be the most expensive four seconds you've ever purchased...

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We all die

Because the planet gets bumped into by a huge flying space octopus that was, shall we say, severely under the influence of the joy juice whirling around the Jovian atmosphere.

The impact zone is a mass of molten magma, but nobody cares as it was the continent formerly known as Africa, and the widespread global earthquakes caused by the shudder result in the markets crashing like never seen before.

Within hours scientists are screaming that the earth is no longer in the correct orbit, a 25.4 hour day (and growing) might have been a clue... but everybody is either worried that the cracks in the wall might affect their property prices, or they're listening to the politicians decrying the scaremongering scientists as fake news.

This will continue until the sun is a third of the size of its former self and days will last about eighty hours, at which point The Express will blame the French. On the plus side, an eighty hour day is long enough to be nice and warm in the northern countries, just don't ask what happened to Australia.

Bloody octopus.

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Musk admits he was just trolling for the lulz

Shuts down X as it's unrecoverable, donates many millions to refuge charities, and shows he's actually a decent bloke and his dickish persona was just an alter ego that got out of hand.

Oh, and he open sources FSD so that anybody interested can work on getting self driving cars working for the benefit of humanity (in the future when we'll be carted around in cheap little robovehicles that don't run in dead dino juice).

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Re: Musk / Zuckerberg cage fight takes place

How much I hope this version of reality comes to pass...

No link between internet use and poor mental health, according to Oxford boffins

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They didn't find a link?

May I suggest they read the Daily Mail comments (*)? That should make anybody rapidly lose the will to carry on existing.

* - I refrain from suggesting The Express, that's just masochism.

Japanese tech startups testing cash incentives for office return

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I feel as if middle management is crapping themselves

Hands up if you feel you get more done at home, are more productive when you don't have to be in endless ego massage meetings, and can manage your own time and resources so don't need some middling manager failing at being a helicopter parent.

I reckon most of the noise is being made by these people as the pandemic has demonstrated exactly how important most of them are to the day to day functioning of the business. Now, if only they can get everybody back into the office to argue over who has the stapler, they can go back to feeling like their value justifies their salary...

Google Drive misplaces months' worth of customer files

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"trusting one's data – particularly data on which a business depends – to any sort of cloud storage should only never be done"

There. Fixed that for you.

OpenCart owner turns air blue after researcher discloses serious vuln

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"narasasium" perhaps?

User read the manual, followed instructions, still couldn't make 'Excel' work

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Re: common

A heatsink is when the chair closest to the radiator gets assigned in seniority rather than need or competence.

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In my experience, both documents should have been identical, as everybody thinks they're "experienced" having sat through a half day lecture involving a projected slideshow with animations aimed at the intellectual level of tweens.

Do we really need another non-open source available license?

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Isn't there an obvious flaw?

"Elastic has spit in the face of every single one of 1,573 contributors, and everyone who gave Elastic their trust, loyalty, and patronage."

Couldn't somebody take the source just before the licence change when the open licence applied, fork it, and effectively cut Elastic and their nonsense out of the loop?

Lenovo's USB-C Power Banks pack more heat than expected

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Appropriate icon is appropriate.

Arm's tiny Cortex-M52 packs AI punch for small devices

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"Arm said it is bringing support for AI into a unified tool chain to make coding apps simpler for the Cortex-M52"

Something proprietary, or something that plugs into the Arduino IDE (or similar)?

No more staff budget for UK civil service, but worry not – here's an incubator for AI

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an upskilling event

Really? An "upskilling event"?

Kill me now, I'm done with this planet...

Will anybody save Linux on Itanium? Absolutely not

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"in some horrible parody of metabolism"

You owe me a new nose as tea just exploded out of the current one...

... worse, I'm on break at work. How the hell do I explain this in French...

heyrick Silver badge

Re: It was a DSP

"TI DSPs were phenomenal…"

For a long time I used a gizmo called a "Neuros OSD". It was an ARM9 running at about 200MHz with a DSP core bolted onto it (running at about 100MHz). The actual chip was a TI320DM320.

The UI was slow and clanky because the machine was running some early Qt/Debian combo and the processor wasn't really up doing anything much quickly.

But when it handed the reins over to the DSP, that thing could record analogue (SD) TV in real-time (outputting H.263, sort of XviD style videos) at up to 2500kbps (which looked pretty good) and AAC audio (128kbit).

So, yeah, that DSP was impressive.

Sadly the Neuros plan of making the thing open source never really went anywhere because all the interesting bits were closed source binary blobs, so it just wasn't possible to do cool things like flag the video as being anamorphic, or one that I had planned - capture the teletext captions and insert them into the video as timed subtitles.

CompSci teachers panic as Replit pulls the plug on educational IDE

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Re: Where have all the grown ups gone ?

"It's been like that for far longer"

Yup. When I did an RSA IT course in the early 90s, it was "learn how to use Microsoft Works". The advanced level course was "learn how to use Word".

Growing up with a BBC Micro than an Archie, I knew how to program, was familiar with network concepts, filing systems, and so on. However, I needed a bit of paper so got sent on this really dumb course.

Oh, and the tutor brought a bunch of example documents but somehow copied his backups rather than the real files. So I watched in disbelief as he picked one, pressed F2, moved the caret to the end, deleted the "bak" and wrote something like "wrk" (I forget the file extension).

After several minutes of this palaver I said excuse me, opened DOS, went to the A drive, and entered "rename *.bak *.wrk" and the remaining files were done in a largish jiffy (the floppy drive was not fast).

Did I learn anything remotely useful? Nope. But I got a dumb bit of paper saying "I know computers" and a distinction in being able to competently use a software package that I've never used since... <shrug>

Why have just one firewall when you can fire all the walls?

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"or shudder French-French"

Icon, for obvious reasons.

I have to buy AZERTY keyboards as I live in France (and ordering in UK layout is rather more expensive, moreso after you-know-what). I also mail order keyboard stickers so I can 'fix' the keyboard back to a sane layout where you don't need a three finger salute just for the @ symbol, or shift to get to numbers, or an entire key wasted on a superscript 2 (seriously, WTF is with that?).

France, of course, being France, took it to the next level. Go look up the BÉPO layout. Thankfully it currently seems more an academic endeavour then a layout that people are actually using. I get what they're trying to do, but oh my god there're four f'king Es right next to each other...my head hurts.

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"There was no way to stop this before it pointed to this low position in the sky."

It defies belief that there isn't a set (not one, multiple) big red abort buttons that when pressed will bring the entire machine to a stop.

Aren't they mandatory on big equipment in Switzerland?

[place where I work (France) has plenty of them and they even get tested!]

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Re: We've all been there.

I've met co-workers who'd look you right in the eyes then stab you in the front. Some workplaces are toxic to the point where one wonders how any actual work gets done.

Rhysida ransomware gang: We attacked the British Library

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There's an obvious flaw here, then. The document should exist for as long as necessary to verify it is real, then that check should be recorded and the copy deleted.

Otherwise, things like this can happen.

[where I work it's similar rules, but they make a black and white photocopy and store it in a folder in a locked filing cabinet in a locked office, so nothing floating around god knows what cloudy providers]

IBM pauses advertising on X after ads show up next to antisemitic content

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Re: Hamas

"Instead we seem to be up to our necks in bullshit and sinking deeper."

Can't upvote this enough.

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Re: maybe he is a genius

"I guess you'll be OK with it if Biden comes by and has a campaign rally in your backyard?"

Biden's not an arsehat and I think AOC would be quite an interesting person to talk to. So if they want to come hang out in my back yard (which is quite large, this used to be a farm) then they're more than welcome.

Quite why they'd want to campaign in the back of beyond in France at the home of a total nobody is possibly the more pertinent question, but if they want to, I'm okay with that.

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"Musk comes along and cleans it up"

Cleans it up? He's only one step short of "nuke it from orbit".

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Re: What did they expect from Musk?

What would you prefer, the bastion of truth that is The Daily Mail?

Lawyer guilty of arrogance after ignoring tech support

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Re: Seems to me that ...

And how big is a giga/jiga byte? As a child of the 80s, it's a base 2 value for me (and that's the hill I'm going to die on (*)). Bastardised into a base 10 value by storage media wonks, and then later redefined by the SI as base 10 (after decades of base 2 use).

So now if you see "357 GB" or whatever, you really have no idea WTF that means unless the same program uses "GiB" elsewhere.

* - PS: Pluto is a planet, dammit.

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Re: Yes, but

"Have you ever tapped the page of a paper book"

No, not yet. But I did recently try pinching out to zoom...


...a photograph.

Icon, because that was what I did.