* Posts by monty75

305 posts • joined 24 Mar 2010


Alibaba Cloud reduces RAM, disk size and price of some cloud servers


Lower specs, higher prices and the opportunity to have all my data inspected by the Chinese government. Where do I sign?

Microsoft to Cortana: you’re not going out dressed in iOS or Android, young lady!


Re: "Cortana’s incarnation in a Harman Kardon smart speaker will end"

My LG TV's main "smart" function now is popping up alerts to tell me which in-built app will no longer be working.

No wonder Brit universities report hacks so often: Half of staff have had zero infosec training, apparently


Chop one hand off each time they click on the phishing test. If they manage a third time they're probably beyond help

Twitter says hack of key staff led to celebrity, politician, biz account hijack mega-spree


They need to put a child lock on his phone


Given the batshit stuff he posts publicly, Elon's DMs must be next level crazy

CEO of motherboard maker MSI dies after plunging from headquarters' seventh-floor


Re: :-(



Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October


Great timing

Just as the world is realising that it can do business without having to leave home. Still, at least we'll be able to spread the next pandemic at supersonic speeds

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing


Indeed. Might have to go rummaging in the loft for my white plastic iBook now.

Once again, racial biases show up in AI image databases, this time turning Barack Obama white


Re: this is not bias

It's not my definition, its Merriam-Webster's.

The bias is in the training. The GAN learns from the training data what a face looks like. If it sees 90% white faces it will favour white skin in its definition of "face". This isn't a new revelation - it's a well-known phenomenon as the journal article referred to in the Reg article states. It's basically a manifestation of the old maxim "garbage in, garbage out"


Mine are a kind of beige/yellow. Think I should probably clean it.


Re: this is not bias

Bias : "systematic error introduced into sampling or testing by selecting or encouraging one outcome or answer over others" https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/bias

I'd say that definition pretty much covers this case.

Email innovator Hey extends an olive branch in standoff with Apple, tweaks code to make the iGiant appier


So bored of hearing about Hey and their desperate attention-seeking behaviour to get some free advertising

Bricks and mortar chemists take down Indian contact-tracing website


Kind of ironic that they're complaining of a breach of the regulations when any medicine shop in India will hand over whatever prescription medicine you ask for regardless of whether you have a prescription or not.

Ah lovely, here's something you can do with those Raspberry Pis, NUC PCs in the bottom of the drawer: Run Ubuntu Appliances on them


Re: What about sheevaplugs ?

Now there's a name I've not heard in a long time

Legal complaint lodged with UK data watchdog over claims coronavirus Test and Trace programme flouts GDPR


Re: Conspiracy time?

What's the point in being married to a Tory MP if you don't get to stick your snout in the public sector trough every now and again?

Hoverbikes, Hyperloops and sub-orbital hijinks: Yes, the '3rd, 4th and 5th Dimensions of Travel' are coming soon


That's the secret to futurology: always predict ten years into the future. It's close enough to feel imminent but far enough away that by the time it arrives everyone's forgotten what was predicted.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police


I'm sure if you listen in the "right" forums you'll find the same argument about this case too.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War


Re: Great name, great beer

At the moment, everywhere is too far away

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


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


Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt


Someone registered TrumpBleach.com a couple of days ago. Could be the same guy.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


"To declare yourself infected, you need to enter a special code from a healthcare provider after testing positive"

So it solves the trolling problem but introduces a bottleneck around the testing capacity which is part of the problem it's supposed to solve. What about the large number of people who contract the disease but have relatively mild symptoms requiring some bed rest and recouperation? Are we expecting everyone who has a bit of a cough to make their way to a testing centre "just in case"?


Re: Stupid Decisions

It’s got scope creep baked right in!

Happy birthday, ARM1. It is 35 years since Britain's Acorn RISC Machine chip sipped power for the first time


Somewhere in your phone, something is humming 'Happy Birthday to me'

Presumably it's washing the hands on the end of its Arms

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS


Re: What's wrong

216 web safe colours, thank you very much.

Just because we're letting Zoom into Parliament doesn't mean you can have fun, House of Commons warns Brit MPs


Re: UKGovt hacked in 3,2,1....

" As of the publication of this blog the issue appears to be patched."

Not that that proves it's secure now. Zoom have had a rather cavalier attitude to security.

Stuck inside with nothing to do? Apple fires out security fixes for iOS, macOS, wrist-puters... and something weird called iTunes for Windows


Re: iTunes is still a thing ?

Obviously they've already proved themselves to be masochists by running Windows

UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house



So, does fighting for toilet rolls in Tesco count as shopping for essentials or does it use up my one-a-day exercise ration?

Coronavirus pandemic latest: Trump declares 'two very big words' – national emergency – and unexpectedly ropes in Google to help in some form


"We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for COVID-19 testing."

"Dr Deborah Birks, White House coronavirus response coordinator, presented a chart indicating that the alleged website will allow people to log-in through some undisclosed mechanism and check their symptoms."

All of which sounds an awful lot like the one the NHS has been running for weeks now. I bet they managed with considerably fewer than 1700 devs.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING


Re: unpacking order...

Please tell me this isn't related to the Vaseline comment made above

Uber takes a downer as ride-sharing app service crashes


Re: I forsee an up lyfting experience

Uber Eats is staggeringly expensive. They wanted to charge me £100 for a Chinese takeaway that costs £60 if I get off my arse and go collect it myself.

After 1.5 million days of computer time, SETI@home heads home to probe potential signs of alien civilizations


Re: Ahh, fond memories...

Those innocent days when stealing computing cycles from your employer meant looking for little green men instead of cryptomining for greenbacks.

UK.gov lays out COVID-19 guidance as the tech supply chain considers its own


Re: Government Guidance

Except this isn't flu and there isn't a vaccine

Call us immediately if your child uses Kali Linux, squawks West Mids Police


Re: I told my Dad I use Kali

Did you have any luck with penetration testing?

What do we want? A proper review of IR35! When do we want it? Last year! Bunch of IT contractors protest outside UK Parliament


Re: Sajid Javid

Remarkably effective protest. Can they go and protest at Boris now?

Startup Mycroft AI declares it will fight 'patent troll' tooth and nail after its Linux voice-assistant attracts lawsuit


Self-hosted, local server is a work in progress https://github.com/MycroftAI/personal-backend

Wake me up before you go Go: Devs say they'll learn Google-backed lang next. Plus: Perl pays best, Java still in demand


Re: To be taken with a grain of salt

It also doesn't take into account aptitude. It's quite hard to find a programmer who doesn't claim to know Javascript but ones who actually understand Javascript beyond installing some npm packages and linking them together are considerably more rare.


My job title should probably be "bloke who glues open source libraries together to satisfy the whims of people who don't know what they want"

Shouldn't Uber freeze app accounts to prevent spread of coronavirus by drivers and fares? Oh, OK, it already is


Re: Well whaddya know

I'd hazard a guess that was a bottom-up action.

You mean, there's a suppository that cures nv coronavirus?

This episode of Black Mirror sucks: London cops boast that facial-recog creepycams will be on the streets this year


They're playing fast and loose with the statistics. They say 70% of wanted people who walked past the camera were matched. How do they know that? That would presume that they know exactly how many wanted people walked by and were able to identify them all by some other means. It doesn't take account of how many people who were on the watchlist sauntered past completely unnoticed by computer and by plod (the "unknown unknowns" in Rumsfeld-speak). What they actually mean is that *at least* 30% of wanted people were not spotted.

As for the 1 in a 1000 false positives, we're meant to take that as meaning it's right 99.9% of the time but it doesn't consider the number of false negatives (wanted people who are not identified) and as I said above that presumes that we know how many wanted people are actually in the crowd to start with.

Then there's the fact that they are talking as if all people are uniformly likely to be picked out in error. As regular Reg readers will know, facial recognition is notoriously bad at identifying non-white people so while the overall false positive rate might be 1 in 1000 that could be something like 1 in 100,000 white people but 1 in 100 or even 1 in 10 black people (depending on the makeup of the crowd). Being stopped every tenth time you step out the house could get really annoying really quickly.

Finally, we are meant to just assume that everyone on the list is there because there is some genuine need for the police to stop them. They don't tell us anything about how accurate and up to date their data is. Sure, they may identify 7 out of 10 people they're looking for but if those people aren't actually wanted by police then the efficacy of the facial recognition system is greatly diminished. GIGO.

Addendum: finally finally, there's no comparison given for this facial recognition system against other methods such as, you know, giving coppers a bunch of mugshots or even just randomly stopping people and fingerprinting them.

This is also a system for GPs, right? UK doctors seek clarity over Health dept's £40m single sign-on funding


Re: WTF are they doing ?

My phone and laptop have automatically connected themselves to Eduroam networks at other unis all over the U.K. and also in Germany. It’s not always welcome as the phone sometimes decides to stop using 4G when it can see a weak Eduroam hotspot at some educational establishment or another a mile or so away.

Apple calls BS on FBI, AG: We're totally not dragging our feet in murder probe iPhone decryption. PS: No backdoors


Re: Hypocrites

Applauding Apple’s stance against the US doesn’t preclude one from deploring its actions vis-à-vis China.

Black Helicopters

US Government : “Don’t buy Huawei products. They have a government mandated back door to spy on you”

Also US Government : “Buy our American products with a government mandated back door to spy on you”

Microsoft wields ML to catch child predators, city drops 7-year facial-recognition experiment after no arrests...


A network of 1,300 cameras embedded on smartphones and tablets manipulated by staff recorded over 65,000 faces from 2012 to 2019.

Did they just stop because they were using a 16 bit integer to count the faces and it was about to overrun?

We won't CU later: New Ofcom broadband proposals mull killing off old copper network


Re: A Pedant comments...

I'm glad to see I'm not the only one with this almost unique brand of pedantry

Sir John Redwood backs IR35 campaign, notes review would have to start 'immediately' before new off-payroll working rules kick in


Re: let the shafting begin

Has Boris Johnson published that report on Russian interference, the one he blocked before the election but promised would be released afterwards? I must have missed it. Maybe Dominic Cummings' russian handlers decided best to keep it under wraps.

It was approved for release almost immediately after the election - odd that isn't it? We still have to wait for the technicality of the appropriate committee being reconstituted before we get to see what has been allowed out unredacted.


Re: Dear Vulcan

Just imagine what he could have achieved if he'd been doing something worthwhile all that time. He could have fixed global warming or something.

This week, we give thanks to Fortinet for reminding us what awful crypto with hardcoded keys looks like


Or dates of birth

London cops seeking £600m mega IT contract to knock 'towers' sprawl into 'one throat to choke'


MPS awarded its contracts to Atos, BT, DXC and Accenture.

Yeah, I think I can see why this didn't work.

I'm still not that Gary, says US email mixup bloke who hasn't even seen Dartford Crossing


Re: TV

oddly shaped vegetables

Actually we prefer the term "commentards"



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