* Posts by BillG

1484 posts • joined 29 Jan 2010

Everyone cites that 'bugs are 100x more expensive to fix in production' research, but the study might not even exist

BillG
Thumb Up

Re: For the love of God, stop saying "methodology" - these are all *methods*

Upvoted because sesquipedalian is my favorite word. Also, sesquipedalian is sesquipedalian.

Audacity is a poster child for what can be achieved with open-source software

BillG
Devil

Re: Calm down, people

...what is optional today will be mandatory tomorrow...

The mantra of Microsoft, Google, etc. We've seen this before. They don't take away all your privacy all at once, it's done in steps, like boiling a frog.

New mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional

BillG
Happy

Re: To Infinidash --

My Interocitor runs Infinidash 1.31 beta. I use it to make hot chocolate while I play fizzbin with my coworkers.

IBM President and former Red Hat boss Jim Whitehurst quits

BillG
Holmes

re: Titanic news

It's not the rats that are the first to desert a sinking ship, it's the best swimmers.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

BillG
Big Brother

John McAfee Tweet From Prison Oct 15, 2020

John McAfee @officialmcafee Tweet Date: Oct 15, 2020 -

I am content in here. I have friends.

The food is good. All is well.

Know that if I hang myself, a la Epstein, it will be no fault of mine.

https://twitter.com/officialmcafee/status/1316801215083225096

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility

BillG
Happy

Re: I remember a SciFi book about this.

Invisibility is theoretically possible, with selective bending of light. But the power cost is enormous.

Audacity's new management hits rewind on telemetry plans following community outrage

BillG
Devil

Re: Audacity have announced a U-turn on plans to introduce "basic telemetry" into the product.

He went on: "The response to PR #835 has brought about a realisation at Muse that the convenience of using Yandex and Google is at odds with the public perception of trustworthiness, so we will be self-hosting instead."

FIFY

It's too late and Muse has already publicly announced their intentions. I've got Audacity 3.0.2 installed, the last version before Muse assimilated the software into their anti-privacy collective, and I have no intention of ever upgrading.

Ex Netflix IT ops boss pocketed $500k+ in bribes before awarding millions in tech contracts

BillG
Devil

Obvious Evidence of Fraud

And September 2013, while getting paid as an advisor at Platfora, he signed a $250,000 annual contract to have Platfora provide software to Netflix. He then urged employees to find a use for the software, despite their objections and the fact that Netflix was already using and paying for a competing product.

Anyone who has been in the corporate world long enough knows if you already have a working product, and if you are being pushed to use a competing and inferior product, then there's either money or connections involved.

The real issue here is why wasn't this flagged and caught much earlier? Why wasn't this exposed during an audit? You don't get away with this type of open and obvious fraud unless more executives are involved.

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge

BillG
Megaphone

Satisfaction

Many years ago I was an FAE and had brought in some significant semiconductor business where I was owed a sizable bonus. My U.K. boss just flat-out told me over the phone, very coldly "I know you're owed this bonus, but I'm just not going to pay you."

I didn't not have the experience or the resources to fight the situation in court. Within a month I had secured a new job with a competitor which caused a panic with my boss who vaguely attacked me with non-specific threats. See, I had gotten those design-wins based on my personal relationships with the customer engineers who knew me from a previous employer. They knew I kept my promises and never once tried to B.S. them about the product's capabilities.

Without me, my previous employer lost the business I had secured. It gave me some small satisfaction, but I would have much rather had the commission.

Alexa, swap out this code that Amazon approved for malware... Installed Skills can double-cross their users

BillG
Megaphone

Re: There are so many reasons I won't let one of these in my house.

Finally, the researchers found that almost a quarter (24.2 per cent) of Alexa Skills don't fully disclose the data they collect.

They collect EVERYTHING!

Only suckers believe privacy statements.

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage

BillG
Facepalm

Re: @BillG

Snake, you made it sound like this was a Texas-specific problem in 2011. But the Wiki page you linked to starts out:

"The 2011 Groundhog Day Blizzard was a powerful and historic winter storm that affected large swaths of the United States and Canada from January 31 to February 2, 2011"

So while you tried very hard to make 2011 look like a Texas-specific problem, this was really a powerful weather system that affected over 100 million people in North America, including overwhelming locations up north used to dealing with extreme winter weather. It was not the same as today. You really should read what you link to.

BillG
Facepalm

Re: The Real Story from Texas

Snake wrote According to the news reports, about a decade ago Texas had a partial freezeover

"News reports"?

"About a decade ago"?

What exactly is a "partial freezeover" and what effect did it have?

[sarcasm=on] Thanks for the detailed information snake, you've certainly, uh, made a point [sarcasm=off] while proving mine.

BillG
WTF?

Re: @BillG - The Real Story from Texas

A. Coward wrote As far as I can see, according to your post the Texas power grid is great and all Texans should be fine so why are they complaining.

I don't think you read my post correctly.

BillG
Alert

The Real Story from Texas

Lots of misinformation here. I actually had a client two years ago involved with the Texas power grid. Most of the news & info on the internets, to put it politely, is just repeating "inaccurate" or "horribly biased" information.

First, Texas has a state of the art power grid and gets a lot of its power from renewables like solar and wind, up to 11% (not 7% as publicly stated), most of it wind. Despite performing all the recommended cold weather maintenance on the windmills most of the blades are iced over. If there is sufficient weight on the blades the wind turbine safeties will not permit the blades to turn. It's reported that only 10% of wind turbines are operational.

Second, a lot of Texas power comes from natural gas and a lot of the equipment has freezed up. If just the natural gas or wind had problems everything would be fine, but with both wind and gas curtailed it creates a power shortage.

The Texas power grid is CAPABLE of being completely independent, but despite what you've read online Texas regularly buys and sells electricity to surrounding states and anyone who tells you differently is repeating false information. In times of heavy summer demand Texas has purchased up to 15% of its power from nearby states and regularly sells power to other states. However, the news even in Texas has been incorrectly reporting that the Texas power grid is not connected to the rest of the USA. The reason for this deliberate misinformation is complicated and has nothing to do with the power outage, but today the CEO of ERCOT, Bill Magness, came clean and enigmatically said that electricity from surrounding states is "restricted", claiming that they also have frozen power delivery issues. This unusual restriction of neighboring states to supply power is now the subject of investigations, and in response these states might find power they buy from Texas to be more expensive in the coming months.

One thing Texas is great at doing is not repeating mistakes. Two or three years ago we had winter weather that caused frozen trees & branches to take down power lines. In response ONCOR waited until spring to examine all the trees near power lines (by helicopter & drone) and trimmed everything. Took almost a year to do it right. So I don't see a repeat of the present situation in coming years.

So the remaining questions are, 1) Why is Texas gas production really down, and 2) Why are neighboring states not supplying power to Texas? Once again, like the past year, I see what's really happening & then I see the news and internet report a fictitious account of reality.

Dev creeped out after he fired up Ubuntu VM on Azure, was immediately approached by Canonical sales rep

BillG
Devil

Privacy Statements are for the Suckers

@thames wrote: The whole point of social media is to mine your personal information

Exactly. A social media website will do whatever it wants with your data and the law be damned. Privacy statements are for naive suckers.

Nearly 70 years after America made einsteinium in its first full-scale thermo-nuke experiment, mystery element yields secrets of its chemistry

BillG
Go

Engieering

Science is divided into two categories - 1) Engineering, and 2) Hobbies

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

BillG
Thumb Up

Re: I found the learning curve

I agree, IrfanView is great for fast and moderately complex image edits. It's one of my most useful programs.

Down the Swanny: '2020 has been the most challenging year in my career' says Intel CEO as profit plunges 30%

BillG
Facepalm

History Repeats Itself

Intel shares dived today after it revealed a steep slump in enterprise and government sales of its server chips – and delays to its latest Xeons.

Isn't this what always happens when you replace experienced professionals with cheap college grads? This is not a surprise, this is history.

US Supreme Court Justice flames lower courts for giving 'sweeping immunity' to Facebook, YouTube, etc when it comes to harmful content

BillG
Mushroom

Do It Right

Yes it is a warning shot. It's a message to the lower courts to start interpreting Section 230 correctly or the Supreme Court will do it for you. Section 230 is meant to provide online content providers like Facebook & Twitter legal immunity from member's posted content & actions. Section 230 does not provide the same protection to content & actions taken by the content provider itself, including posts by officers of the company posting on their own website as well as moderation actions. The lower courts have been providing broad immunity by misinterpreting Section 230 to include all actions taken by the content providers. What Judge Thomas is doing is warning the lower courts to interpret Section 230 properly, as it is written, and not play textual words games to grant corporate immunity where it does not belong.

The reason for the warning & not ruling from the bench is nowadays it's not good for a judge's reputation to have the Supreme's overturn your decision - for example, it gives ammunition to defense attorneys. They're probably teased by their fellow judges too ("Hey, Walter! Wanna overturn those pancakes for me? Hahahaha!").

It also affects the stocks of the affected companies if the Supreme's are forced to set a hard precedent by interpreting Section 230 correctly, as opposed to having an appellate court rule against the same company.

Bad boys bad boys, what you gonna do? Los Angeles Police Department found fibbing about facial recognition use

BillG
Megaphone

Fibbing about facial recognition use?

I got news for you - EVERYBODY fibs about facial recognition use. Police departments, department stores, many restaurant chains - you name it.

It's easy and cheap using off-the-shelf turnkey solutions.

Take your pick: 'Hack-proof' blockchain-powered padlock defeated by Bluetooth replay attack or 1kg lump hammer

BillG
Happy

Groucho

You can fool some of the people all of the time

And all of the people some of the time

And from that you can make a pretty good living.

COVID-19 tracing without an app? There's an iOS and Android update for that

BillG
Devil

Repeat

This is not, repeat not, pervasive Bluetooth surveillance

This is not, repeat not, an El Reg comment.

Impersonating users of 'protest' app Bridgefy was as simple as sniffing Bluetooth handshakes for identifiers

BillG
Facepalm

Barn Doors and Horses

Just because an app says it's secure doesn't mean it is. In my experience if it isn't secure from the beginning, it can never be trusted again.

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

BillG
WTF?

"Suscicious Activity"?

A few years ago, I had a credit card I typically used for the usual household items and computer equipment. One day I used it at a household appliance store for a purchase much larger than I'd even used it for. The store got a notice back that the card wasn't declined, but I had to call a number to verify the purchase. The reason was the purchase was so many thousands of $$$ more than I'd normally used the card for it counted as "suspicious activity".

I'm surprised PayPal doesn't have a similar system for fraud prevention.

Twitter admits 130 A-lister accounts compromised to promote Bitcoin scam after 'social engineering' attack

BillG
Devil

Re: A foolish move

This reminds me of a line from the TV show Law & Order, "Never attack people with virtually unlimited money, for they can afford to be vindictive and indulge their whims."

SoftBank: Oi, we paid $32bn for you, when are you going to strong-Arm some more money out of your customers?

BillG
Mushroom

Re: SoftBank bought a goose that lays golden eggs...

When investment firms that don't understand semiconductor companies buy a semiconductor company, it never works out well for the semiconductor company.

I'm thinking of multiple examples here, including a company that had a batwings symbol.

Lawsuit klaxon: HP, HPE accused of coordinated plan to oust older staff in favor of cheaper, compliant youngsters

BillG
Happy

Re: This Is About As Shocking As The News That Bears Shit In The Woods.

Young people with limited experience don't understand that modern business consists mostly of 1) Fixing projects that go wrong, and 2) Preventing things that potentially go wrong. They end up doing lots of (1) because they don't have the experience to see (2).

Their main weakness is not understanding unintended consequences of their actions. That leads to mistakes which the experienced competition can gleefully take advantage of.

Das reboot: That's the only thing to do when the screenshot, er, freezes

BillG
Devil

Re: Funny that

Nothing matches the lazy manager and his sheer panic and desperation trying to coax support out of a company tech because I deleted all the games (solitaire, minesweeper, etc) off his computer - games he spent more time playing than clearing his backlog.

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

BillG
IT Angle

Microsoft Solitaire has done more to reduce worker productivity than any virus or hack.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

BillG
Megaphone

Re: I'll give it a go...

Microslurp.

Any name for MS should have some passing reference to the data slurping of Windows 10.

Atlassian to offensively price itself through the post-pandemic patch

BillG
Mushroom

Re: I wanted to adopt their Hip chat server a few years back...

It's bad enough we have to endure COVID19, but it is morally wrong to force anyone to have to endure the horror that is Jira.

Florida man might just stick it to HP for injecting sneaky DRM update into his printers that rejected non-HP ink

BillG
IT Angle

HP Printers are a Virus

My first and only experience with an HP printer is a familiar one. Back in the days of Windows XP I installed an HP printer "driver" that had a 65M installation file. Of course it slowed the entire computer.

And of course the HP uninstall programs were incomplete (remember?). It took me days to remove all the additional files, hooks into the system, and registry entries. The entire time I repeated in my head the invocation "I will never buy another HP printer again." I was pretty good at IT back then but no expert. The computer ran better but still had glitches. It eventually took an OS reinstall to finally restore it to it's pre-HP glory. I also learned the value of system & registry backup programs and installed one on every computer I was responsible for.

I kept my promise - I never bought another HP printer - or HP anything - again.

CFOs are crossing fingers and hoping a second wave of COVID-19 does not appear, says Gartner

BillG
WTF?

Re: Gartner Goop

Yeah, Gartner - these are the people that used to double- and triple-count their survey responses. I didn't think anyone believed them anymore.

The Adobe Flash Farewell Tour 2020: LibreOffice to axe export support for .SWF in version 7

BillG
Megaphone

Export to HTML5?

How about an option to export Impress to HTML5, including animations?

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data

BillG

Re: Salvation from Commentards

Most people recover. So anecdotal reports don't prove anything.

Most people recover. Is that anecdotal?

Or is it, you don't like the reality of what I wrote so you INSIST it must be anecdotal, right?

It's like the story of the patient who insisted he was a corpse. Doctor asks him "Do corpses bleed?" Patient replies "No, of course not." So the doctor pricks his finger & the patient bleeds. Patient looks at his finger & says "Well I'll be damned - corpses DO bleed!" ¹

.

.

¹ This story is anecdotal.

BillG

Re: Salvation from Commentards

When I wrote "hydroxychloroquine saved my cousin's life", that is based on what he texted me from the hospital, which is directly based on what his doctor told him. I trust that the doctors knew what they were doing when they gave it to him. I'm not going to post the his text word for word & I don't really care what you think - what matters is what the doctor thinks when examining you based on experience. If God forbid you end up like my cousin I don't think you will give a flying frack about the doctor's politics, or that you will tell the doctor "don't save my life with hydroxychloroquine because orange man likes it".

Hydroxychloroquine is a bad choice for people with some heart troubles, so they thoroughly checked out his heart & did blood work before approving the drug for him.

OTOH if your attitude is "hydroxychloroquine is bad because orange man likes it", then you are a very cold person & you should re-examine your life. The very same people here that are quick to attack ignorant people's computer decisions, are now quick to make ignorant medical decisions.

BillG
Unhappy

Salvation from Commentards

Only the science on chloroquine isn't so good. You don't want the cure being worse than the disease after all?

I wasn't going to say anything but I need to jump in. My cousin & uncle tested positive for the virus. Five days on hydroxychloroquine saved my cousin's life and got him out of the hospital after he was weaned off the respirator. But due to his age my uncle probably won't last the week & to make matters worse I can't hop on a plane to be there. They described the NY hospitals as overcrowded and understaffed and yet got excellent care from heroic staff. El Reg can contact me to verify this.

Screw you. Screw you all that don't have family in the hospital and are terrified whenever the phone rings. Enjoy your spittle-filled political "orange man bad" rants while you did nothing. The thing about doing nothing is that you can do it perfectly, then with perfect 20/20 hindsight you can attack with a smile those that did something & were right 90% of the time - while you gleefully savage the 10% of the effort that wasn't.

Paul 195 wrote: The problem with the much touted Hydroxychloroquine treatment is that no-one really knows whether it works

I'll be sure to tell that to my cousin.

Call for netizens to demand scraped pics from Clearview, ML weather forecasts, and Star Trek goes high def with AI

BillG
Facepalm

Re: Can't trust them

He had to provide Clearview with a picture of himself along with a copy of his driver’s license

Which Clearview will conveniently keep on file. "If we didn't have you on file before, we do now" is Clearview's motto.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella talks hardware supply chains and elasticity: 'Bigger issue' is what happens around US and Europe's 'demand side'

BillG
FAIL

Re: Supply Chains

Are you smoking crack, or do you live somewhere with a huge propaganda engine?

To put in politely AC, you don't know what you are talking about. I'm in distribution, I know the numbers.

BillG
Alert

Supply Chains

Distribution hardware supply chains are booming in the USA. Since the Chinese supply chains have fallen apart due to the Wuhan Coronavirus, Chinese manufacturers are ordering from U.S. distributors for shipment to China.

In the USA electronic distribution have also been designated 'essential services', components are needed for medical equipment so Avnet, Arrow etc. are all open.

Self-driving truck boss: 'Supervised machine learning doesn’t live up to the hype. It isn’t C-3PO, it’s sophisticated pattern matching'

BillG
Megaphone

Re: Finally, a proper description of what the media dubs "AI" actually is

Trying to model every scenario is not only impossible but expensive. “In fact, the better your model, the harder it is to find robust data sets of novel [new] edge cases. Additionally, the better your model, the more accurate the data you need to improve it,” Seltz-Axmacher said.

In other words, AI is really G.I.G.O., proving once again you are only as good as your data set.

Boots on Moon? Well, the boot part is right: Audit of NASA's Space Launch System reveals more delays, cost overruns

BillG
FAIL

@Peter2 wrote:

I'd like to disagree here. The Space Shuttle (while iconic) cost over $1 billion per launch.

According to NASA an average shuttle launch cost $450 Million. A straight resupply mission to the ISS would have cost less.

The currently used Soyuz rocket costs something like $20-40 million per launch

The exact cost of the launch is unknown as the Russians do not publish official figures but a guesstimate is $120 Million. According to El Reg the cost to a nation or individual that wants a seat is currently $86 Million. [ref]

In November 2019 a report from NASA’s Office of Inspector General estimated NASA will pay $90 million a seat to fly with Boeing and $55 million a seat to fly with SpaceX.

BillG
Joke

I'm Shocked, Shocked!

Audit of NASA's Space Launch System reveals more delays, cost overruns

What?!?!? A government program that is behind schedule and over-budget?!??

That's NEVER happened before!!!!

Check Point chap: Small firms don't invest in infosec then hope they won't get hacked. Spoiler alert: They get hacked

BillG
Mushroom

Email

"Email's been around for 50 years," he said, cheerfully cursing as he continued: "But it's been around 50 years and we're talking about the same attack vectors: phishing; malware; manipulations; and all other delivery mechanisms. Email makes it so easy to deliver. And we still haven't dealt with it."

Working on my own I can afford the time to look at each incoming email. But when I was a Product Manager at a large company I received over 200 emails a day & I was expected to clear each of them before EOD.

The most common attack today is probably the phishing email, sent to an overworked middle-manager, at the end of the month, with body text containing enough insider language to seem legit at a glance.

Clearview said to be chasing every mugshot taken in the US over the last 15 years to paste into its facial-recog system

BillG
FAIL

Re: We know where this is going

Although a few US cities in California and Massachusetts have banned local government agencies, including law enforcement, from using the technology,

Hahaha.... Massachusetts freely uses facial-recognition technology live on the streets, including Boston, in defiance of local laws. They are "testing" the technology - get it?

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research

BillG
IT Angle

Re: And in comparison...

A smart privacy-aware user using a KitKat phone, is more secure than a dumb user that will install any cool app on the latest and greatest version of Android.

My phone is running KitKat, it's rooted with a firewall & privacy manager. The only game is chess. It's a utility phone for work and communications. I don't walk the streets with my head deep inside the screen. I install a new app maybe twice a year & only after checking the permissions. It can run for three or more days without needing a charge. I'm more secure than any "user" that cheerfully installs an 8MB flashlight app with full phone permissions,

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal

BillG
WTF?

LTE Data Plans

Those that did buy new drones would need to buy a monthly data plan for their flying machines: something that would likely cost $35 or more a month, given extortionate US mobile rates.

I'm paying $10/month for a 1GB 4G LTE data plan (no voice). You can buy a 10MB data plan for only $5/month which should be more than enough for GPS data polled every five seconds.

If you're writing code in Python, JavaScript, Java and PHP, relax. The hot trendy languages are still miles behind, this survey says

BillG
Holmes

Bah. I once had to program an 8-bit 4KByte OTP MCU without a compiler. I wrote out the assembly, translated it into binary according to the user manual, then to a hex file to burn into the OTP.

Months later a young programmer decided to write the same application using a C compiler after ragging on me for writing code using "bear skins & stone knives". He got code 20x larger than my assembly that was also too big to fit in the available OTP memory.

Cyber-wrath of Iran for top general's assassination hasn't progressed beyond snooping and nicking logins... yet

BillG
Devil

Crocodile Tears

General Qasem Soleimani was a real threat to the political power of Iran's leaders. They weren't exactly sorry to see Soleimani go, but they at least have to put on a good show of it.

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