* Posts by Tron

734 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Feb 2010


Samsung creates a group dedicated to inventing whatever comes next

Tron Silver badge

The future is distributed.

And everything will be remade accordingly. You don't need the backing of such a large company to be part of GAFA 2.

Ransomware-hit British Library: Too open for business, or not open enough?

Tron Silver badge

One cheap, simple solution for reducing the impact of this sort of thing.

The race to digitise has seen stuff that doesn't need to be digitised made easily nickable.

We are not a police state (quite yet). The Tories have cut the numbers of police too much. So why does an employer need passport scans? It's the BL not MI5. OK if they want to look at passports as part of an interview check do so, but why scan them and hold them (apparently insecurely). Worst case scenario, photocopy them on to paper, and put it in a folder in a locked cupboard in HR.

Once something is digitised it is inherently less secure. Data is very portable. So don't effing digitise stuff like this if you don't need to. Paper is not evil. Paper works. The BL is proof that paper works quite well.

Lose the idiot push to digitise absolutely bloody everything into an easily liftable pdf or jpg files, and then it won't get nicked by hackers a thousand miles away.

Plus those who attack public sector services should be taken down as terrorists. What the hell are our governments doing if they can't even do that. Get on with it.

Black Friday? More like Blackout Friday for HSBC's online and mobile banking

Tron Silver badge

Not everyone is just like you.

I received a cheque in the post this morning, and deposited another in a bank last week.

The belief that something isn't important and can be ditched because someone doesn't personally require it or use it is what led to Brexit seeming like a plan to millions of people who knew absolutely zip about economics. That shaved 25% off sterling and gave the UK third world inflation, undermined the labour market and half emptied supermarket shelves.

German budget woes threaten chip fab funding for Intel and TSMC

Tron Silver badge

In UK, chips are sold with fish.

The US sanctions on exports to China and Chinese allies are going to hamper the US chipmakers, making them reliant on the sort of subsidies that only the Chinese and US governments can afford to hand out (because they were never going to win in a free market). Germany has just discovered that it might not be big enough to go head to head with the big boys on Chinese/US state funding terms. No EU nation may be, although the EU as a whole probably could.

Pre-Brexit, the UK was on course to overhaul the German economy. Now relegated to the lower leagues, post-Brexit UK can't go head to head with them any more and are paying the Japanese and the Germans to build cars here and the Chinese and Indians to make steel. The latest idiot Tory scheme is to block all sub-£35k wage immigration, which will wipe out the care home sector and much of the agriculture and hospitality sectors. It's as if we have been invaded on the quiet by an enemy power, pretending to be Tories, intent on wiping out the UK economy.

US nuke reactor lab hit by 'gay furry hackers' demanding cat-human mutants

Tron Silver badge

Cat girls have been around for ages.

They are often sighted in Tokyo.

How to give Windows Hello the finger and login as someone on their stolen laptop

Tron Silver badge

Not secure anyway.

If the user was asleep, unconscious or had had an unfortunate accident, you could just use their digit to access their stuff.

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

Tron Silver badge

Re: Ooh ... so could we have an AI in the cabinet ?

It would be an improvement. Having an artificial intelligence in the cabinet would be better than having no intelligence at all.

Tron Silver badge

Re: Ooh ... so could we have an AI in the cabinet ?

Herd immunity was inevitable in the end. It always is with anything like Covid. Suppress it and it just takes longer, plus the rest of the collateral damage that played out due to lock downs. We still don't have honest stats on deaths as every country recorded them differently. The UK recorded you as a Covid death if you tested positive before being run over by a truck. I wouldn't call that 'clinical'. Nobody will be raising that issue in the inquiry.

If they had locked down sooner, I'd have been stuck in Japan for 2 years (yay!) rather than having to sit at home watching the UK fail in slow motion. Japan had no lock downs (they just shut the izakayas a few hours earlier) and recorded a reduction in mortality over seasonal norms in the first year of the pandemic. Yes, a reduction. [See: https://academic.oup.com/ije/article/51/1/75/6413683]

The purpose of the inquiry is likely to be a mechanism that closes the borders at the drop of a hat, when someone, somewhere gets something nasty in the future, as soon as scientists ask for it. It's easier than shutting down the airports every couple of months when someone at NATS has a tummy ache and they are 'short staffed'.

Tron Silver badge

So they broke Britain with Brexit but will fix it with AI. Mkay.

How come the UK is run by the least able people in it? Not just people who are a bit sub par, but the sort of people that you wouldn't trust to boil an egg.

Telco CEO quits after admitting she needs to carry rivals' SIM cards to stay in touch

Tron Silver badge

Re: DR Strategy

It should be standard practice for anyone to have 2 SIMs from different networks in their dual sim phone, if they are invaluable to the operation of their company. Plus always carry cash.

Washington pours $3B into silicon smackdown to outpackage Asia

Tron Silver badge

The EU will be chuffed.

The US having spent years complaining about Chinese state funding, is now copying them. So much for the free market.

Anyone planning on relying on USG cash will have to consider what a future Trump regime would do.

And once the US have onshored the entire Taiwanese chip industry, how safe will Taiwan be?

Microsoft dials back Bing after users manage to recreate Disney logo in fake AI-generated images

Tron Silver badge

My new AI killer app, exclusively revealed on El Reg.

It's a hardware/software combo delivering to the public the AI tech that they want and need the most.

It's a keyboard with an extra key - The F-Off key - that turns all the AI off.

If anyone out there has $200m to invest, I'm open to offers, bribes and honey traps.

Tron Silver badge


quote: And this is why corporations should not control AI output.

So you think governments will be more transparent and honest?

What planet are you from? I'd like to visit it one day.

What's really going on with Chrome's June crackdown on extensions – and why your ad blocker may or may not work

Tron Silver badge


quote: an essentially lost decade, where nothing much happened

Always good when companies like Google take a holiday from ruining stuff for a period of time.

Do people really care that much about blocking ads? I don't even see them anymore when they are directly in front of me. More folk will be concerned about any loss of video downloaders.

Rights warriors claim online ad auction data a danger to national security

Tron Silver badge

These people are paranoid.

Given the opportunity, they would ban the entire internet.

Royal Mail’s recovery from ransomware attack will cost business at least $12M

Tron Silver badge

Is it still going on?

Because I don't see how else it need take so effing long to get my parcels from the US through customs. You get a track scan from a parcel taking off for LHR and then toss all for a week or two.

Clorox CISO flushes self after multimillion-dollar cyberattack

Tron Silver badge

Re: When not if

There is a lot that could be done but often isn't, more intranet use with no internet access, crimping networks to very low speeds if that is all that is required, modular systems, unattached from each other, airgapping with carbon-based lifeforms, and having an unattached duplicate system to secure and then flip to (hardware costs aren't that high). I do like the honeypot idea.

If I was at GCHQ I would be boasting about a new, infallible encryption protocol and storing large files of random data where the 'state actors' could get at them. Knock yourselves out, guys.

X fails to remove hate speech over Israel-Gaza conflict

Tron Silver badge

Stop being scared of free speech.

Censorship is a slippery slope.

If people want to yell at each other on the internet, let them. They aren't banning you from saying stuff, so why are you trying to ban them? Do you want to live in a dictatorship where speech is controlled?

Tool bag lost in space now tracked by garbage watchers

Tron Silver badge

Re: Spanners

I have never required more than a screwdriver, a pair of long-nosed pliers, gaffer tape and a bit of swearing for any hardware job.

NCSC says cyber-readiness of UK’s critical infrastructure isn’t up to scratch

Tron Silver badge

Basic errors.

The problems are not Chinese or Russian, but failures in the UK.

Too much stuff is connected to the public internet when it really doesn't need to be. Use intranets more. And too many basic security errors are being made.

Brexit Britain now has a weak, undeveloping economy and lacks the money and staff to deal with this. The Tories can take credit for that.

Why should anyone encourage their kids to do STEM courses when so many tech folk are losing their jobs?

quote: While we don't believe, right now, that anyone has both the intent and capability to significantly disrupt infrastructure within the UK.

Tell that to the British Library.

Impatient LockBit says it's leaked 50GB of stolen Boeing files after ransom fails to land

Tron Silver badge

That may be what ransomware folk are targeting.

Corporations will pay to hide their own criminality and corruption. They don't care that much about their customers.

Journalists need to trawl through leaked data as with Wikileaks and the Paradise Papers.

It will be interesting if they start releasing government e-mails. A better level of transparency than having to pay millions in public money to fund an inquiry, years later, to discover their incompetence.

Ransoming hospital and school data makes them unpopular. Improving transparency in government would make them hugely popular.

Tipsy tongues tell all: How your sloshed speech could snitch to Siri

Tron Silver badge

Slight flaw in this.

By the time this hits the market, aren't we all supposed to be owning cars that drive us home from the pub?

Probably not in Britain though. At the current rate there will be no pubs here by then.

I prefer my scream detector to shut down industrial robots and equipment. You could do that on a Pi and have it out there in less than a year.

Google, Amazon among big names in tech axing jobs this week

Tron Silver badge


Politicians: We are short of IT skills so we are shifting funding to STEM subjects.

Tech industry: Here's your P45. Security will escort you to the exit after your strip search.

Google dragged to UK watchdog over Chrome's upcoming IP address cloaking

Tron Silver badge

Just switch user-derived content to a distributed model.

Whilst delivering advertising directly according to users' preferences.

CEOs of crashed tech upstart Bitwise accused of swindling $100M from investors

Tron Silver badge

Pro Tip for all you millionaires out there.

If someone asks you to invest money in their venture, ask yourself whether it is actually possible to make money doing what they plan to do. If the obvious conclusion is that it is not, don't invest.

Google mulled offering paid-for no-logging private Search subscription

Tron Silver badge

Not worth it.

Not if you only get a couple of pages of irrelevant pop culture links, ignoring most of your search terms, as you do now.

The logging is not a problem unless you are paranoid or likely to get tortured by your government.

I'm old enough to remember when Google was good. An unlimited number of results, specific to your search query, global, language-blind, no censorship. That was a search engine. We could do with someone relaunching the original style of search, doing it distributed, and adding all the bells and whistles - persistent searches, multiple contexts, crowd-sourced results.

The internet we have now isn't worth the money. Someone needs to start building the next gen distributed stuff. A whole new world.

Robot mistakes man for box of peppers, kills him

Tron Silver badge

Re: Who cares about interlocks?

Maybe it would help to have a scream detector to turn all the mechanics off.

Tron Silver badge

This is not an AI/Terminator/tech story.

The 'robot' was presumably just a machine that moved boxes. If you stand in front of a machine that moves boxes, where the box would be, and turn it on, you will be moved. If you are not box-shaped and as tough as a box, it will hurt.

The 'killer robot' flavouring was added by the hacks to spice up the article and increase their click count.

Ironically, one of the best TV series featuring our interactions with things that are or are presumed to be robots, is Korean - the kdrama 'I'm Not a Robot'.

Maybe in future they should put a label on the front of their machines reading 'Think Twice before doing that' in Korean. But not 'Think about Twice'. Completely different thing.

RIP unwise tech person.

FTC interrupts Copyright Office probe to flip out over potential AI fraud, abuse

Tron Silver badge


The manner in which governments are developing and releasing policies and restricting technologies... raises concerns about potential harm to consumers, workers, and small businesses.

Someone needs to explore the risks associated with government policies and restrictions, including violations of consumers’ privacy, discrimination and bias, and turbocharging of deceptive practices, imposters schemes and other types of scams.

EU lawmakers scolded for concealing identities of privacy-busting content-scanning 'experts'

Tron Silver badge

Brexit means Brexit.

Re: Investigatory Powers Bill amendments act.

It doesn't have to be possible to do stuff. The law is simply there to scare everyone off. The internet equivalent of a 'Beware of the dog' sign, even if you haven't got a dog.

Brexit is only complete when none of that nasty foreign software can be used in the UK, and no foreign websites can be accessed from the UK. Borders sealed, online and offline. Tribe protected. All UK web content appearing under state license. No fake news via web 2.0 or social media. Just official news from the BBC, telling you what happened yesterday, what is happening today, and what will be happening tomorrow. It worked in China, so surely it will work in the UK too. The EU will then follow suit, keeping their rather larger tribe secure from bad words and other triggers. One unhappy 14 year old is one too many, as I'm sure you will all agree (unless you are an enemy of the people).

Digital democracy or IT anarchy? Gartner flags the low-code revolution

Tron Silver badge

Another way to look at it.

Tech is a broad church. IT depts. are good at core services, but maybe not so much use with specialist analysis.

IT would never complain or demand control if Sales employed a consultant and that consultant used a data analyst.

Now Sales may feel that the data analyst can work directly for them.

Not a good idea to run with the turf war school of corporate politics. Ends up toxic.

Time instead to ensure a better understanding of security prevails whenever tech is used, throughout the entity. Maybe should have been like that from the start.

Uncle Sam snooping on US folks? Not without a warrant, lawmakers agree

Tron Silver badge

Keep 702.

Why should Americans have protections that they are happy to strip from foreign citizens?

Major telco outage leaves millions of Australians disconnected

Tron Silver badge

Who carries cash anymore?

I do.

Tech is fragile. Much less resilient than physical alternatives. Yet nobody seems to have any form of Plan B.

In the UK a school had to shut because of a 'system failure'. It's pathetic.


BT are getting rid of UK landlines that work in power cuts, just as climate change is causing more of them, just so they can save cash, their chums in government supporting them.

Every service and institution we have seems to be run by greedy, incompetent morons.

Wipro: Get back to the office for three days a week or else

Tron Silver badge

Office work may become a necessity for security.

Governments (China, UK, EU) are implementing laws that tap online activity. The only way to avoid being monitored by the state may be to work in an office on an intranet. Any data that touches the public internet may be decrypted and tapped by governments. If you have staff abroad, you may not want their government to monitor your industrial secrets and IP.

This is more important now that governments are treating the business community as a threat to their power and a free revenue stream to patch over their economic failings.

Bad eIDAS: Europe ready to intercept, spy on your encrypted HTTPS connections

Tron Silver badge

Germany may be spied on again by the US.

This would give the US access to EU-wide data courtesy of any single nation, on the sly. As happened here:

U.S. spied on Merkel and other Europeans through Danish cables.


UK may demand tech world tell it about upcoming security features

Tron Silver badge

Starting soon.

Microsoft, Google and Apple are going to have ensure that their software updates, especially virus checking (which might block snooping) fully geocheck before working, so they cannot function in the UK. So no updates for UK users on their operating systems or browsers. The USG will support this, as they don't want a foreign power to have a back door into their systems, even an ally.

The aggressive stance against backwards compatibility in browsers will soon lock UK users out of much of the net.

It will be an issue for UK banks, as users will rapidly have browsers that are not secure, so a reversion to offline banking will be required - cheque books, paper statements etc.

Foreign companies operating in the UK would not be able to use insecure systems that allowed the UK government to snoop on them, and most software would no longer be available here anyway, so they would have to up sticks and move out.

Privacy will be an issue for things like medical data, if a back door is enforced. The NHS, which isn't that secure as it is, will have to move back to paper records, and it then won't be flogging data to US companies. Unless it pays folk to type it all in from paper records on disconnected systems.

You could still develop next gen tech in the UK (if you were crazy enough, or too poor to do it elsewhere), but should not release it in the UK, as it wouldn't be considered safe internationally and insurers wouldn't permit it for corporate use. Again, geocheck out functionality in the UK with an ISP check, with GPS as a second line of defence.

There could actually be a few quid to be made licensing code that reliably blocks functionality in the UK, if you get your skates on.

Tron Silver badge

Won't work.

Tech companies just won't release stuff in the UK. Post-Brexit, it is an easy to isolate market.

You can buy personal info of US military staff from data brokers for just 12 cents a pop

Tron Silver badge

Not worth it. No need. Why bother?

America's gun laws ensure that Americans kill more Americans than terrorists could.

The US government regularly hits an impasse and stops working as the two parties hate each other.

The culture wars and political divide there is as much a tinderbox as the Balkans.

Ukraine is running them out of ammo.

US government sanctions are reducing their access to resources and markets.

The national debt is stratospheric and will only get worse as they seek to replicate everything China does domestically.

The America First policies and subsidies that both parties support are antagonising their allies.

They are taking down their own tech sector, which has driven their economy and their global power for decades.

They are removing Chinese access to US tech, which will block their own ability to spy on China via back doors in it.

So there is nothing that terrorists or enemy powers can do to the US that the US is not doing to itself, far more effectively.

Italy seizes from Airbnb $836M in alleged unpaid taxes

Tron Silver badge

No AirBnB, no visits.

I'm happy to avoid anywhere that bans AirBnB. No interest in staying in hotels.

Ebay collects tax on behalf of HMRC, AirBnB will have to accept that they have to collect taxes from hosts. Especially in Italy, which this case suggests is full of tax dodgers.

Shock horror – and there goes the network neighborhood

Tron Silver badge

Re: The last time I heard a loud noise and things were restarting...

If you buy a printer and it works well, buy a spare. When your first one eventually dies, you can port across the cartridge with unused toner.

Why would a printer need an internet connection to work? Or perhaps, why would anyone buy a printer that needed an internet connection to work?

FWIW, I also use Brother lasers.

Home of the world's longest pleasure pier joins public sector leak club

Tron Silver badge

A solution! Low data traffic neighbourhoods.

Council data transfers could be limited to 10Kb per day, 4 days a week (in computing terms, analogous to the speed at which council workers generally do stuff). That should give plenty of time to check and prevent the wrong sort of data from leaving. It will also improve wellbeing and help save the rainforests.

Musk thinks X marks the spot for Grok AI engine based on social network

Tron Silver badge

Leveraging our Orwellian future.

So tech has to be acceptable to the government of Singapore before it can be released?

Here's what the UK government say about Singapore:

On-the-spot fines are common and can be given for a wide range of behaviours which are tolerated in the UK. You can be fined for littering and for smoking in some public places. It’s also illegal to import chewing gum to sell into the country, except for certain medical chewing gums. If you’re arrested, you may be detained for up to 48 hours. You won’t be allowed to speak with anyone, not even a lawyer, during this period.

Why didn't they go the full Monty and add China to the list of governments with a veto on new tech?

YouTube cares less for your privacy than its revenues

Tron Silver badge

So nobody did economics in school?

Online services need to cover their costs. A free online service is typically paid for by advertising, just like ITV and other TV stations. So why should you be allowed to freeload? Pay for the premium service or mute the adverts and wait for them to finish.

Despite working on it for years, the personalisation of ads is still really crappy. You shouldn't be afraid of it as 'spyware' because of this. The extra value (that advertisers are charged) isn't matched by the quality of the tracking. GCHQ are never going to use stuff like that to identify you, because they know it is bollocks. So stop whining. You are not superior to the majority of users who just accept adverts in return for free content.

Governments want to abolish the ad-supported model that offers free content. If they do, everyone has to pay, and they can track every user when they pay. So complaining about the ad-supported model plays into the hands of governments and ensures that you will be tracked and monitored by the state in the future, when all access has to be paid for.

UK throws millions at scheme to heat homes with waste energy from datacenters

Tron Silver badge


When they do this, do they force people to have heat pumps? Because they are noisy and involve a lot of intrusive work. You need an internal water storage unit and may have to change a third of your radiators, plus extra piping. Is it legal to forcibly do this?

World leaders ink AI safety pacts while Musk and Sunak engage in awkward bromance

Tron Silver badge

Pathetic theatre.

Stop being scared of the future. And stop using it as an excuse for state control of tech. Leave that to the pros in Beijing, not the halfwits who destroyed our economy and services in less than a decade.

AI is just an extension of ordinary coding. Trusting it is unwise as idiots who do will find out. After the usual moral panic (of which this is just the latest) and a burst of interest, it will drop down the prolefeed league and hardly get a mention - like BitCoin.

You can trust me more than Musk. I haven't lost about $20bn of asset value in the last year like Xitter has.

You can trust me more than Sunak. I haven't taken 25% off Sterling like his party has.

Ex-GCHQ software dev jailed for stabbing NSA staffer

Tron Silver badge

Re: Stabby stab

Blaming social media for this and demanding censorship is ridiculous. Maybe instead ask why GCHQ had such crappy vetting of people it was employing.

Pentagon seeks government gossips to dish dirt on UFOs

Tron Silver badge

BS, distraction politics and prolefeed.

Despite phones having cameras that can take photos of the surface of the moon on a clear night, all this 'evidence' still appears to be being captured on a 1980s camcorder by a drunk.

Just get 'The X-Files' box set, enjoy your weekend, and get back to grim, crappy reality on Monday morning.

Europe bans Meta from using personal data to target ads

Tron Silver badge

There are easy solutions.

Getting (badly) targeted ads is less annoying than getting untargeted ads. FB can offer people the option of ticking boxes to ask to see specific types of ads and not to see others. I can't see a rationale for legally blocking that.

If this causes EU citizens to lose their social media, EU governments will be hated by large chunks of the population, who will process their loss and unchoose their elected leaders at the next election. Particularly if it equates to censorship by the back door and the wiping out of free web 2.0 services.

El Reg readers are a sniffy bunch of social media haters, but the majority of citizens enjoy it and use it daily. Having it taken away because of a government law may see protests and perhaps a few nooses appearing near government buildings. Governments aren't popular as it is. The Tories will be lucky to retain their deposit at the next election, and French people may finally accept a few years of Neo-Nazis or Communists, if that is what it takes to get rid of Macron.

Taking the things away from people that they enjoy in countries where people have a vote, doesn't end well.

Help, Android 14 ate my Pixel! Bug causes endless reboots, loss of storage access

Tron Silver badge

Tell me more of this 'local storage'.

They don't have SD-RAM card slots. Which is why I've never bought one, and never will.

Canada to remove China’s top messaging app WeChat from government devices

Tron Silver badge

Re: Once again

It's not a 'government device'. It's an Android or Apple device. I wouldn't be surprised if the NSA had a backdoor in all of them.

Anyway, aren't the British government getting rid of proper security, as it stops them spying on people? Soon there will be no secure apps, in the name of national security.

And which 'everything' app would you trust more? The Chinese one or the Musk one?