* Posts by veti

3434 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

Apologetic Audacity rewrites privacy policy after 'significant lapse in communication'

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"... improve our processes for releasing any information"

In other words, engineers are no longer writing public-facing documentation themselves.

Result, I'd say. Engineers in my experience hate doing that, and they suck at it anyway. I wouldn't be surprised to learn that they sometimes put these little bombshells in on purpose to persuade their employers to give the job to someone else.

UK celebrates 25 years of wasteful, 'underperforming' government IT projects

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Re: small proportion of permanent secretarieshave first-hand experience of digital business change

Haikus are too easy. No civil servant of senior grade would even contemplate anything less than a sonnet.

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Re: The apple doesn't fall far from the tree

No. They're shorthand for "the people paying the bills don't know what the hell we're doing, so let's see how long we can keep this gravy train going".

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Re: The main problem is...

Politicians should be trained in anything but politics.

Learning politics teaches you how to gain and hold power. That's the last thing we want those bastards to be expert in. Better if they have some actual beliefs or ideals, then we can decide which of them we like the most.

Anyone fancy a Snowmobile full of Bags O'Crap? It'll be on the list somewhere

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Re: Don't need

Sounds like a Suffolk chat-up line...

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon

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Re: Not the Halon!

Kinda hard to keep the halon under the official radar if you use it to dispose of people. Nah, there's no point in keeping it.

Nitrogen is much less incriminating, and - in the right concentration - just as dangerous.

NSO Group 'will no longer be responding to inquiries' about misuse of its software

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Re: This is a strawman.

"... nor to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

If it can be done to anyone within the USA, then citizenship makes no difference. Don't kid yourself. For laws to discriminate in favour of citizens is unconstitutional in itself.

Ad tech ruined the web – and PDF files are here to save it, allegedly

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Re: re-sizing and re-wrapping text

The thing about sanitised HTML - at a casual glance, it's very hard to differentiate from common, iQuery-infested HTML.

What he says is true: even good devs with sound instincts find it very hard to resist the lure of "diagnostics" or "feedback". I've done it myself. PDF avoids temptation.

The lights go off, broadband drops out, the TV freezes … and nobody knows why (spooky music)

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Re: What is this meter thing and cut-off valve all about??

Not just the government. Anyone with a crowbar can shut off the water and use that to coerce us. Much like anyone with a matchbox can set a fire upwind of the house to coerce us.

But there are some risks I'm willing to accept.

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Re: Shibboleet

It's called management by KPIs. This is the surest way to ensure that nobody gives a flying fig about anything except what's on the list of things they are personally responsible for.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker

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Re: "If" - Context

They could avoid the whole "being sued" experience by apologising and offering some appropriate compensation.

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Well, yes. But in practice, that's what will happen most of the time. Especially if you employ minimum wage bouncers.

If the software says it's 97% sure, you'd have to be both pretty sure of your own perception and confident in your own authority to overrule it. I imagine people employed for this purpose are rarely either of those things.

Report: 83% of UK software engineers suffer burnout, COVID-19 made it worse

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Re: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means

"Agile" has become confused and conflated with "scrum". Scrum appeals to management precisely because it allows them to maintain the same illusion of control as waterfall, but in truth it's not particularly well suited to agile development.

Anytime you hear about "sprints" or "standups" as part of "agile" methodology, this confusion has happened. But the inconvenient fact is that scrum works best, and produced all its greatest success stories, when it was parachuted in as an emergency measure to fix a failing waterfall project. Trying to treat it as an independent methodology that can replace all other development methods - misses the point epically.

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Re: Not convinced

With such a small sample size, the question of how the sample was selected is very important.

I'm ppretty sure that, given the resources of a smallish consultancy, I could arrange for surveys to show any level of burnout you care to ask for, just by selecting the interview subjects correctly.

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Re: Never ask a barber if you need a haircut.

That's what "testers == developers" really means.

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Re: "the same old type of business calling themselves Agile"

Oh, come on. When did certification ever solve - well, anything really? Are you trying to reinvent ISO9001?

Self certification is as good as its enforcement, which is to say, generally it takes complaints from suitably motivated agitators to make any improvement. How would you foster a climate in IT where whistleblowers are celebrated and welcomed by their next employer?

External certification means a whole framework of oversight board, advisors, auditors... Who would pay for all that, and why?

Basically, the big effect of either one is to favour the bigger established players who can put the appropriate effort into making sure the required boxes (and only those) are checked. Most startups and smaller players - including, most likely, the most genuinely exciting companies to work at - would be excluded because they've got more interesting things on their minds.

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Re: Empty coffer

You want to go on strike, nothing is stopping you. You get right on that. Let us know when you've brought your employer to their knees.

Lenovo says it’s crammed a workstation into a litre of space – less than three cans of beer

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Deprecated, maybe, but measures are never truly "withdrawn". Just forgotten.

q.v. "hogshead", "cable".

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The most important question

What kind of "beer" are we talking about here, where it takes three cans to make a litre?

Smuggler caught with 256 Intel Core processors wrapped around him in cling film

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That's 80% of the new retail price, for a second hand product presumably without warranty. Doesn't sound that cheap to me.

You, robo-car maker, any serious accidents, I want to know about them, stat – US watchdog

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Maybe in ten years or so. Right now it's still in its infancy, and nobody wants to mandate some restriction that could warp the whole industry.

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No, the PR droids will be on 24/7 call. With commensurate pay, of course.

US Navy starts an earthquake to see how its newest carrier withstands combat conditions

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The Zero was an amazingly fast and agile opponent, and it's quite understandable that the US pilots in their big clunky Wildcats and Avengers and Buffaloes felt hopelessly outmanoeuvred by them.

But the Zero was agile because it had no armour, unlike the Americans. It's like the old saying, "You may be lucky fifty times, but I only need to get lucky once".

The way America won the Pacific war was a wonderful illustration of why military preparedness - doesn't actually matter that much, if you're as large as that. The USA was actually better off for not having a large pre-existing military establishment - it meant it could gear up its unmatched industry and produce the right equipment for the war it actually found itself in, rather than one some strategist had dreamed up twenty years earlier. Japan never had a hope in heck of overrunning the USA - a brief glance at any atlas would have told everyone concerned that much - and without doing that, there was no way of stopping them from eventually out-producing Japan.

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Re: Three explosions to be followed by six month's maintenance ?

Really, you'd need to do a very thorough inspection just before the test, to separate the test damage from the "gremlins" you speak of. Might be easiest to give it two six-month overhauls virtually back to back, with the test in between.

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Number of military engagements involving the US navy since 1945: ~22.

Number involving "a powerful enemy": ~0.

Aircraft carriers are exactly what the USN needs, for the actions it actually gets involved in.

US Air Force announces plan to assassinate molluscs with hypersonic missile

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Re: Keeping schtum

Yeah, I wanted to ask about that...

How exactly does one ask Tectus niloticus for a comment? Do they have an embassy? Or did you just leave a message on David Attenborough's phone?

'Set it and forget it' attitude to open-source software has become a major security problem, says Veracode

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To an extent, just about every article you see on El Reg (and every other trade-related news outlet) is somebody trolling us. In this case, Veracode [who? - Ed] has done a study for its own purposes, and decided to release the findings in the hope of drumming up business for themselves.

The difference between open and closed source in this context is about your relationships. Closed source comes from an identifiable vendor, if they're shipping shit you can do something about it (complain privately, complain publicly, take legal action, shift vendors, stop paying them, whatever). Open source doesn't allow for any of those remedies, the only thing that "works" is to fix it yourself - at unknowable cost, and then you have a potentially difficult choice about whether to fix the source library (so that your competitors can also benefit from your hard work) or not (so that your version becomes forked, and you won't benefit from anyone else's fixes even if they do happen).

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Re: The Solution is Simple for Those who Mislike Open Source

I've been saying for years that "maintenance" is by far the largest and most lucrative part of the software lifecycle. A company that neglects to maintain its own commercial products - is pissing away its best asset.

A lot of software engineers hate to admit this (because maintenance is both boring and hard, much harder than writing sexy new code), and I expect to attract the usual downvotes from those people. But it's true.

Updating in production, like a boss

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You absolutely should do all that, yes. But if you're sure of what you're doing, you've already made several changes without a hitch, you're anxious to get home early. .. It's possible to get sloppy.

And even if you don't, all it takes is to miss a line in the part of your query you highlight before pressing F5. Been there, done that.

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In that case, you don't need them to write it. You can do it yourself.

"Per your request, we will be making these changes in production with no rollback mechanism." If you can show you sent that email, that's as good as receiving it.

New York congressman puts forward federal right-to-repair bill

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Re: Common Sense Repairs

If "funky screwdrivers" are your biggest obstacle, just get on with it. You can buy a screwdriver with 40 different shaped bits for like $20.

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Re: It'll die on Party lines.

Partisan bullshit.

In 2019-2020, Congress passed at least 250 bills with broad bipartisan support. (Meaning, a clear majority vote including significant numbers from both parties.)

I haven't found any figures for the current Congress, but I don't see why it should be significantly worse.

Of course most of these bills died without ever being tabled in the Senate, but that's another story.

Mayflower, the AI ship sent to sail from the UK to the US with no humans, made it three days before breaking down

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Re: "With no one onboard to fix it"

Two days of fully autonomous operation is still two days. Not bad for a start.

For comparison, the Titanic had more than 900 crew, and even so that only lasted five days. And failed to make it home.

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

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Re: Not only but also, truck mirrors

So, we need invisible mirrors too?

Great idea, what could go wrong...

UK spends £36m on 18 little 'bullet-proof' boats to protect Royal Navy assets

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Re: No sign of armament

Presumably, run away.

They don't have guns for the same reason the Hercules transport doesn't, or the Airbus A320. That's not their job.

Realizing this is getting out of hand, Coq mulls new name for programming language

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Yes, there are a lot of words in a lot of languages to avoid. I believe international trademark lawyers have a helpful database, so it's perfectly possible to avoid them if you're prepared to put the work (and money) into it.

Law prof: New Chinese data regulations make it 'very hard for foreign firms to comply'

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Well, sure. And while you're at it, probably better to stop doing business in Russia and India as well. And the EU, UK, Australia, Japan, and every other country that thinks it's "above" good ol' American law.

Of course companies will do what makes money. That's their entire job description.

Dealing with the pandemic by drinking and swearing? Boffins say you're not alone

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Re: A potted history if 14 units alcohol/week

Unfortunately, evidence is not enough to suggest whether there was any truth in the story, or whether he simply made it up. Maybe the professor was fed up with arbitrary limits too, and the story was a way of venting that frustration.

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Re: rein in their language in the presence of children?

Well, you can't regulate every influence on your kids, and much less so on grandkids. But you can set an example.

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Re: about swearing

Sounds about right. "Motherfucker" has been diluted by extensive use in American pop culture. "Cunt" has yet to take off in that particular culture, so hasn't had the same exposure.

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Re: The 5 rules of problematic drinking

No, that means the bottle is added to the list of "appropriate" containers - but only for Guinness.

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Re: rule nr. 4

Depends on the size of your glass and the strength of your wine. Both of these have been trending upwards (in average) for many years, and are now about 50% higher than the average levels when I was a kid. (Which, compounded, means "a glass of wine" contains more than twice as much alcohol as it did.)

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

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Re: The knob......

"Black dust and gunk" sounds like an accumulation of quite-possibly-toxic mould. I hope the system was thoroughly cleaned within the next couple of hours.

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Re: The light..

Or the bulb has gone.

Whatever you've been doing during lockdown, you better stop it right now

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An office microwave only needs one button, whose function is to run the device for precisely 30 seconds, then stop. If you want longer cooking time, press the button again - but only once it's stopped.

That means, the culprit will always be nearby.

McDonald's AI drive-thru bot accused of breaking biometrics privacy law

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Re: Success Rate

It's rare, but it can happen. I know at least one of our border worker cases came about that way - or at least that was the conclusion of people who spent hours on end watching CCTV footage to try and figure it out.

That thing you were utterly sure would never happen? Yeah, well, guess what …

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Re: Ah, will you not have a cup of tea father...

You don't "use" those phrases, you can only utilise them. You need those four extra letters to distract from the vacuity of the other words.

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

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About 20 years, seems to be the average wait for those.

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Well, how quickly would you have fixed it?

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful

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Re: Mother knows best

I can't be the only person who's noticed: the iPad is functionally a portable TV.

(Though come to think of it, my iPad actually has at least four buttons, not counting the screen.)


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