* Posts by veti

3950 posts • joined 25 Mar 2010

The trade ban that wasn't: US allows 94% of restricted tech exports to China anyway

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Most licences applied for are granted.

Isn't that a good thing? It suggests that people aren't wasting everyone's time by applying for licences that have no hope of being granted. The commerce dept gets to review everything and denies marginal calls...

Sounds to me like a system working exactly as intended.

I'm not saying that is necessarily the case. I'm saying there's only one piece of actual data presented in this story, and it proves precisely nothing.

Excel @ mentions approach general availability on the desktop

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Excel is possibly the best single work of software in the world. It is perfect for its job, which is to present information to people.

Unfortunately it's so good that people can't resist using it to analyse, store, exchange and track information, as well. Big mistake. This development is a sad sign of Microsoft actively encouraging this regrettable trend.

CIA accused of illegally spying on Americans visiting Assange in embassy

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Re: Publicity seeking bullshit

Most states (possibly every state, I don't know) removes the right to vote from some citizens, most obviously those convicted of felonies.

Which proves that's not a right attached to citizenship, but merely a privilege granted very much at the state's discretion.

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Re: Publicity seeking bullshit

By your logic, Americans should have the right to keep and bear arms wherever they go. The second amendment doesn't say anything about geography either.

Actually, not just Americans - the amendment doesn't mention nationality or citizenship, either. It says, simply, "the people". That's everyone. Everywhere.

But nobody tries to apply that interpretation, because it's self-evident bullshit. (Try carrying an assault rifle up to the door of the US embassy in, say, Tunis, see how close you get.) And so is this case. Whatever recourse the subjects of spying may have, the fourth amendment has nothing to do with it.

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Publicity seeking bullshit

Assange was either in London, UK, or - if you hold to the "sovereign embassy" theory - in Ecuador.

In neither of these places does US law, including the Fourth Amendment, apply.

When will Americans get it into their heads that merely "being US citizens" gives them the right to enter, live and work in the USA, and that's all. Citizenship in itself confers absolutely no other rights whatsoever.

Case should be dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.

Meta's AI internet chatbot demo quickly starts spewing fake news and racist remarks

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Re: What?!?

Fine, then don't call him president. You want to be rude, go nuts. It's still a reasonably free country.

But other people may have different opinions, or different standards. That doesn't make them evil or stupid or even wrong.

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Re: What?!?

It's a common courtesy to continue calling someone by their exalted rank even after they've quit the job. You'll often see it with, e.g., ambassadors and military types. For example.

And presidents.

Doesn't mean anyone is confused or denying reality. They're just being polite.

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Re: What?!?

No, that's the answer to the previous question, which isn't shown, but which I would infer was something like "so Trump is still president then?" The answer to the following question is below it.

BOFH: Who us? Sysadmins? Spend time with other departments?

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Re: "You need to listen to your users more" - Offsite Experts

Yeah, that's the impression I'd be trying to give as well..

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Re: I tied an onion to my belt, as was the style at the time..

Human sacrifice never goes out of fashion...

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Re: An important role

An even more common mistake by slightly less clever people is to assume that others are stupid merely because they misunderstand their motivations.

Russian invasion has dangerously destabilized cyber security norms

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Re: Distinction

Are you saying non-Windows platforms are inherently more secure, or that the early Internet was less vulnerable to DOSsing?

Either way, I don't think that's a defensible position.

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Re: Disingenuous!! Misdirection!!

Did you, like, read the story or its links at all, before jumping to whatabouts?

All the work to agree "norms" happened precisely *because* everyone knew shit like that was going on. And everyone thought it would be a good idea to establish some kind of limits. Like, e.g., no attacking a country's emergency services.

Doesn't mean everything is meant to be nice and safe. Just that there are supposed to be *some* rules. They still leave plenty of scope for nastiness.

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When there's an actual shooting war on, the participants should not be expected to hold back. Moderation in war is imbecility.

I assume that the "volunteers" taking their own action to "support" Ukraine in cyberspace - probably, mostly, haven't thought too hard about what they're doing. And governments like Estonia's are too sympathetic to take a strong line with them, but prefer to turn a blind eye.

Yes, I also assume the Russians won't hesitate to cite this as precedent whenever it suits them. But will it make them do anything they wouldn't have done anyway? - that I doubt.

Norms are only norms if they're enforced. Enforcement relies on a network of shared values and mutual goodwill. That doesn't exist in this case.

US car industry leads the world in production cuts over chip shortages

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Re: to have electric windows and electrically moving seats without needing any chips.

Electric windows have been a feature of cars for more than 50 years. And while there have been a handful of tragic child accidents in that time, there are simple design fixes that can pretty much eliminate the danger.

Most obvious, limit the force applied to the window. Make sure the windows only have power when the ignition is on. And make the control either recessed, or take the form of a switch that has to be pushed up to close the window, down to open it.

None of these things requires a control chip.

Tesla Full Self-Driving 'fails' to notice child-sized objects in testing

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Re: assumption

Except it wasn't a child. Possibly the car was smart enough to know that.

Short of live testing, ideally using Elon's own kids, I don't know how to resolve that.

Chinese scammers target kids with promise of extra gaming hours

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China should be an instructive test case for the rest of the world, a demonstration of what can happen if you push Internet regulation to their limit. It would be worth knowing, for reference.

Unfortunately, for it to fulfil that role, we would need to have reports we can trust from inside the system. I don't see any plausible way of getting those.

GitLab versus The Zombie Repos: An old plot needs a new twist

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I think they'd be fine with that, at least at this point. If you care enough about your repos to do that, then fine, keep them.

But GitLab suspects, and I suspect, that there are a non-trivial number of users who no longer care about their repos at all. Maybe they've got bored and moved on with their lives. Maybe they're dead. Who could tell?

Microsoft tightens Edge security for less visited websites

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Re: Good for Microsoft

If anything becomes "much harder to use", people will simply switch browsers. It's not 2005 any more, people are aware of the existence of other browsers now.

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Re: That's a nice little website you have there,

You need a dominant market position to swing that kind of thing. 15 years ago, maybe Microsoft could have pulled off something like that. But now? - the big hit would be on the popularity of their browser, not the website.

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Re: Please stop saying

According to StatCounter, it's the third most popular browser behind Chrome and Safari - ahead of Firefox, Samsung and Opera.

And please nobody say "people need to use it once to download a proper browser", because that's obvious, hackneyed, silly and untrue. I repeat, Edge gets more day-to-day usage than Firefox. It deserves some respect.

UK wants criminal migrants to scan their faces up to five times a day using a watch

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Re: Collapse

All I'm saying is, if you can't be bothered to make yourself heard, you shouldn't be too surprised - or indignant - when those who can, get to set the agenda.

But it's your choice. Don't try to tell yourself you're powerless, because there is something you could do. You're choosing not to do it.

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Re: That word "Justice" ...

You misspelled "victimisation".

Sometimes all that's needed is some group it's OK to be evil to. Being evil to migrants or criminals is controversial. By intersecting the two sets, it doesn't actually become much less so, but it does double the conviction of your own supporters, and that makes it much easier.

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Re: Coming soon...

Yep. You'd think, for such an application, it would be easier to scan a fingerprint than a face. (Hey, fingerprint scanning is mature technology with way fewer issues than facial recognition.) But that would be to miss an opportunity to develop new tech, doubtless handing contracts to some useful supporters in the process.

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Re: Collapse

Already done.

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Re: Collapse

The groups that de facto have power and influence will destroy any movement that works against their interest.

That's clearly not true, or Brexit would never have been contentious. Either it would have died stillborn, or it would have passed overwhelmingly.

Electorally, I recommend picking a party and getting involved in it. For all the talk about "power and influence", "big money", "dark money" etc., there is still real political power to be had by committing actual time. Every party needs people who will do that, and it will generally bend (at least somewhat) to accommodate them.

Nomad to crypto thieves: Please give us back 90%, keep 10% as a reward. Deal?

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Re: Tax...

The people who get it, obviously. That's their responsibility anyway, nothing changes except that it's 90% less.

Enough with the notifications! Focus Assist will shut them u… 'But I'm too important!'

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Re: Another great victory for Tim Cook and Jonathan Ive

That's something that can be deliberately configured, but it's not compulsory. Your gripe is with the machine's owner or user, not its maker.

One way Bitcoin miners can make money: Selling electricity back to Texas

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Re: Nice power grid you got 'ere, Guv

Most bulk buyers of electricity use contracts that specify how much they are going to pay for, each half hour (or whatever period their market uses) of each day. Most electricity generated and sold on the wholesale market is priced this way.

But there's also a spot market, to account for things like weather that can't be predicted with confidence several weeks in advance. The spot market is where the exciting price fluctuations happen. This is the marginal price, and only a small amount of power is actually traded at that price.

When the spot price rises, someone with a contract has the option to cut back their consumption and sell part of their capacity to another buyer (such as ERCOT). That's a private arrangement between the two buyers. It's also not that unusual, and my guess is it's only making news because of the crypto angle.

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

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Re: At scale??? Yes, easily

I'd like to see how the author came up with that cost estimate. Specifically, how he costed the >200 TWh of storage and the TW-capacity global (i.e. trans-oceanic) transmission grid, and what he has allowed for losses during storage and transmission. And what assumptions he made about the cost of land to put all this infrastructure on. Also the maintenance and depreciation of the solar panels themselves...

Once we've thrashed all that out, we can begin to think about the politics. Which specific Saharan country should be entrusted with producing all the world's energy? How would we ensure that countries couldn't hold a "downstream" country to ransom by threatening to cut its supply?

Once we've answered those, then we can begin thinking about little details like who, specifically, is going to build and run this thing. I can't offhand think of any engineering company that has ever delivered a project of 0.1% of this scale for less than 400% of its original budget.

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Re: you focus on EVs were you can

How many people drive a car that's more than 25 years old? And how many of those do it because they can't afford anything else? (My experience is that cars get kinda expensive to maintain sometime before that age.)

The plan for the combustion fleet isn't to ban them from the roads, but simply to let them wear out.. What's important is that we stop making new ones.

The US grid is ready for 100% renewables, says DoE

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I think that is the answer. The idea seems to be for every wind or solar installation above a certain size to have its own dedicated battery (or other storage) backup.

Which sounds expensive to me, but what do I know.

What I'm looking forward to is how the US military is going to zero its carbon emissions by 2050. If they can do it, truly we all can.

Anti-piracy messaging may just encourage more piracy

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Re: Thanking users who choose legal means to get the desired products for their support

And you are guilty of equally gross exaggeration in the opposite direction.

Typically, something like 15% of the retail price goes to the performers. Then there's the writers, who will also be on a percentage. The shop that sells the CD, if there's physical media, will pocket maybe 40-50% - hey, they have costs y'know. (This is why online distribution is just as popular with the industry as it is with consumers.)

Then the various uncredited session musicians, engineers etc. involved in the production need to be paid. To say nothing of publicity, video production and the other expected expenses of modern music.

Then, if there's anything left over - and by this time there very often isn't - the publisher starts to make a profit. For maybe one song in a thousand, that profit is very handsome - enough to pay for the other 999 songs they need to produce to get lucky.

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Re: The "poor" victims of piracy

Well, they could show the session musician who played sax on said artist's first hit, who is struggling to pay for his kid's dental care. There are lots of people involved in the music industry, and the great majority of them are far from rich.

China's 7nm chip surprise reveals more than Beijing might like

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Re: Ours

If greed had not been a factor we'd still be hand painting the walls of our caves. Greed has driven civilisation from the beginning.

Granted, that would be quite environmentally sustainable.

Feds put $10m bounty on Putin pal accused of bankrolling US election troll farm

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Re: So Donald was right?

No more than usual. And it certainly wasn't "pro-Clinton", otherwise she'd have a way better reputation than she does.

It was certainly "anti-Trump", but Trump himself went to a deal of trouble to make sure of that. The sheer novelty of this approach took most of his opponents by surprise, and enabled him to swing the election. In this he was certainly supported by the Russians, and I'm quite sure they made a difference, but how much is unquantifiable.

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Hillary was an awful candidate, but I don't think you can claim you weren't warned what Trump would be like.

And, quick reminder - *more* Americans voted for him the second time around. What was their excuse?

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It's worse than that...

Who informs the public and influences opinions about potential reforms to the law? The media, of course.

Now, who benefits from candidates spending fortunes on ads?

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Re: Transporting

Unfortunately, current banking sanctions on Russia make it impossible to pay the bounty to anyone in that country.

I wonder if anyone thought this through...?

Tim Hortons offers free coffee and donut to settle data privacy invasion claims

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Why. RAR, particularly?

Why not .zip or .7z or .gz? Is there something about RAR that makes it particularly suitable?

BOFH: Selling the boss on a crypto startup

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If someone like Derek was acting like an ally, I for one would be looking very carefully under my car before starting it for the next several weeks.

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did

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Since BMWs are only ever bought (new) by fleet buyers, they don't give a toss. The subscription will be budgeted for the three years of the vehicle's life, and after that who gives a shit anyway?

(Secondhand market? Not my department, mate.)

Businesses confess: We pass cyberattack costs onto customers

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Re: Where else would the money come from?

Because every company operates in a perfectly competitive market with identical products, perfect information for all participants, and zero costs of switching suppliers?

Look, Econ 101 is a decent start, but it's only a start. There's a lot more to be learned after that.

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Re: A report full of obvious points

The trouble is, that assumes there *is* a better secured competitor.

My experience is that there are lots of small companies all taking a fairly relaxed attitude to security, whose market niches are sufficiently narrow that they only have a handful of competitors - who are similarly relaxed.

And the cost to the customer of switching providers is often quite significant, too. Think data migration. It's not the sort of thing you want to do every year.

So yeah, in theory the company that invested in more security up front has a potential advantage - but then, so does the company that doesn't (because it saves the cost of that investment). And advantage against whom, anyway?

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

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Re: why should our year coincide with the Earth’s orbit around the Sun.

Approximately half the world uses various kinds of lunar calendars, and they manage somehow.

Infosec not your job but your responsibility? How to be smarter than the average bear

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Re: Be careful with that bold statement

OK, I went to the trouble of reading that whole slab of debate. It clearly shows that all parties are well aware that the snooping powers will be available to a wide range of people for a wide range of purposes. That much is not even questioned. So I'm not sure what specific lying assurances you're trying to draw my attention to.

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Re: Be careful with that bold statement

RIPA stands for "Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act". It does what it says on the tin - it sets out a framework of rules that public agencies are expected to conform to, and mechanisms for ensuring that they do it.

It was only ever about "terrorism" in so far as that was the current buzzword when the act was being passed. The Home Office and other usual suspects lobbied aggressively that these snooping powers would help deal with terrorism - and as far as it goes, this was true. But no-one ever claimed that this was the only possible or permissible application.

My smartphone has wiped my microSD card again: Is it a conspiracy?

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How many home owners have their own cameras?

The oft-quoted figure for the UK included cameras set up, owned and monitored solely by property owners and shopkeepers. An equivalent figure in the US would have to include all of those, plus police bodycams, car dashcams, every visual sensor set up anywhere by anyone to monitor anything. Are you *sure* there aren't that many?

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1999 called, it wants its statistics back...

Britain was a pioneer in widespread CCTV, but it hasn't held its position. The Chinese have more cameras, and no one even knows how many the Americans have.

Russian ChessBot breaks child opponent's finger

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Re: Questionable Explanation

I can think of no good reason why a chessbot needs to be able to grab anything at all.

If I were designing it, it would work by moving magnets around beneath the board.


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