* Posts by Homeboy

36 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Apr 2010

Dido Harding's appointment to English public health body ruled unlawful


It's a shame that you didn't lead with the main conclusion rather than picking the single, least important point, where there was a process failure rather than a legal one. Here's the main summary of the report:

“The collective effect of the conclusions set out during this judgment is that the claim brought by Good Law Project fails in its entirety. The claim by the Runnymede Trust fails on Grounds 1 and 3; it succeeds on Ground 2 only to the extent that the decisions on the process to be used when appointing to the positions of Interim Chair of NIHP in August 2020, and Director of Testing at NHSTT in September 2020 were made without compliance with the public sector equality duty.”

You seem to have tried to avoid the phrase "fails in its entirety" and spun the single minor failure into something far greater than it really is.

Why is that?

DARPA plans thousands-strong satellite constellation Space-BACN sandwich


If the US military can piggy back on tens of thousands of commercial satellites to improve the redundancy of its networks then, to me, that sounds like a great idea. Disabling your opponents space infrastructure will be a key early stage in any major conflict. Making that very hard to do will give any aggressor pause for thought.

Businesses put robots to work when human workers are hard to find, argue econo-boffins


Organisations automate when the overall cost of employing a human becomes higher than that of the machines needed to do the job. It doesn't matter what the age of the workforce is, its all about keeping costs down......which is generally the driver most most business changes.

In California there was a major, lengthy protest to increase the minimum wage in MacDonalds "restaurants" to $15. After a long struggle the protestors achieved their goal. Very soon afterwards MacDonalds rolled out their automated ordering screens as these were now cheaper than the people that used to do the job.


Leaked draft EU law reveals tech giants could face huge 6% turnover fines if they don't play by Europe's rules


Re: 10 per cent of their annual global turnover or £18m, whichever is greater

For quite few years the UK's Competition and Markets Authority has already has the power to fine organisations operating in the UK up to 10% of their global turnover for certain breaches of the Competition Act. It sounds like this new proposal has taken a few ideas from that act.

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice


WAN you say it out loud...

Back in the 1980s I worked for a large US hardware manufacturer (which alas no longer exists) whose newest Wide Area Network software update was named the "WAN Kit". The female tech specialist who briefed us on this wonder spent her entire update glowing slightly pink.

San Francisco approves 'CEO tax', hopes to extract up to $140m a year from corps with wide exec-staff salary gap


Re: "this gobbledygook "

"We have one in San Francisco who does our taxes for us"

Might be interesting to speak to your tax lawyer and see how many different ideas he/she has already thought up for minimising or eliminating possible payments under this new tax without actually changing who is pay what.

The more complex the tax rules are, the more loopholes they have.

FYI: Mind how you go. We're more or less oblivious to 75% of junk in geosynchronous orbits around Earth


Re: One wonders what the future of satellites and space explorations is going to be...

We clearly need to build an orbital tower.

Now all we need is a gazillions tons of something really, really strong.

As we stand on the precipice of science fiction into science fact, people say: Hell yeah, I want to augment my eyesight!


If it can be done, it probably will be done.

The idea of not just repairing but improving/augmenting our bodies is being research in way too many places for it now not to happen. Whether we ever get as far as some of the SF scenarios of the far distant future is debatable. But there will be folk walking this earth with improved bits and pieces in the fairly close future. Not radical upgrades at first, but that is only a matter of R&D once the problems of integration with the Mark 1 human body have been solved.

Video encoders using Huawei chips have backdoors and bad bugs – and Chinese giant says it's not to blame


Hidden in plain view

"While most vulnerabilities seem unintentional (i.e. coding mistakes)....."

That's how I'd make it look as well.

NASA launches guide to Lunar etiquette now that private operators will share the Moon with governments


The article says ".....that all activities will be conducted for peaceful purposes, per the tenants of the Outer Space Treaty."

Does the agreement really say "tenants"?

Surely "tenets"?

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told


Re: Like SETI?

"nothing leaves the phone until you decide to 'out' yourself"

Of course you only have their word fof this.

Australian state adds AI number plate readers to GPS tracking of corona-quarantine busters


I'm absolutely certain that all this additional spying - sorry monitoring - will be removed the instant the WuHuFlu epidemic is over.

Absolutely positive.

Remember those infosec fellas who were cuffed while testing the physical security of a courthouse? The burglary charges have been dropped


So do these two innocent guys now have records showing that they were once charged (but cleared) of burglary?

If they do, it'll make using them in any other local, regional, state or federal work (and an awful lot of commercial contracts as well) pretty much impossible.

Over the Moon? Not quite: NASA boss has a good whinge about 'counterproductive' Authorization Bill


Three steps forward and two steps back.

I suspect by the time the US Congress gets a coherent human spaceflight plan together that lasts more than 12 months they'll all be able to settle down and watch a SpaceX ship landing on Mars.

Y2K quick-fix crick? 1920s come roaring back after mystery blip at UK's vehicle licensing agency


But...but....but that bug thing was just a big money making scam by the evil tech industry wasn't it?

I read it on the internet, so it must be true.

Second time lucky: Sweden drops Julian Assange rape investigation


I see the Swedish prosecutors are (again) having to cover their ar$e$ after not being able to come up with a case against Assange. He's been in only place for 7 years, they knew exactly where he was. So they've had years and years to get every possible piece of information and evidence prepared for the day hecame out but have totally failed..

Just as well Assange managed to avoid whatever faked case they would have put up against him, as once they had him in jail he'd never have been given any chance of having any form of retrial. Once the original charge was dropped and then reopened by a prosecutor with an axe to grind the whole thing has been politically motivated.

Wondering where the strontium in your old CRT monitor came from? Two colliding neutron stars show us


Re: Crt?

From my very far distant schooldays, isn't Iron the element with the lowest energy per nucleon (ie total number of protons + neutrons) which is why fusing lower mass elements together releases energy and fission of heavier elements into smaller ones also releases energy? Iron is at the bottom of the U shaped curve of energy per nucleon.

Trying to go in the opposite direction needs energy to be added to the final nucleus hence supernova, neutron star collisions etc.

The Tell-Tale Heart! Boffins build an AI that can tell your sex using just your heartbeat


Re: The black box nature of convolutional neural networks

That's basically what happens inside every human skull.

We can all recognise that a new born child has become an intelligent adult but we have no idea what went on inside the "black box" (aka skull) over the years while the change took place. Not sure replicating the problem inside another "black box" advances things a great deal.

Brits are sitting on a time bomb of 40m old electronic devices that ought to be recycled


Re: contain elements that could run out in the near future

One BBCNews reporter covering this actually referred to "endangered elements" which is an interesting concept.

Electric vehicles won't help UK meet emissions targets: Time to get out and walk, warn MPs


Re: The ones calling for it first.

There's zero chance of any of that personal sacrifice (aka a good example) happening.

These people are the very ones that take a taxi a few hundred yards to get to Parliament....and then stick it on expenses.

Please be aliens, please be aliens, please be aliens... Boffins discover mystery mass beneath Moon's biggest crater


Re: Joking aside, it's a reminder we should be on the moon ...

There are folk already thinking about exactly that....


Easter is approaching – and British pr0n watchers still don't know how long before age-gates come into force


After the year long anti Facebook (and all other social media platforms) rant by Damian Collins from his perch as head of the HoC DCMS committee, it was only a matter of time before, in response, the DCMS organisation morphed into the Department of Censorship, Manipulation and Silencing.

As the government keeps deciding it doesn't like more and more things people want to say, watch or do, it was only a matter of time before they moved yet further down the road of trying to stop people doing them.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?


Around 1980 I was the site engineer for a large 24x7 data centre in the midlands which was full of IBM and Amdahl CPUs and rows and rows of IBM and StorageTek disk and tape running all the usual mission critical work. It was a new, purpose build data centre, wide corridors everywhere, double doors into the dc itself one of which was usually kept locked and the other side was opened with a card key for staff to enter.

Everything was running fine, all the kit was up and running, lots of sounds of spinning things, until some new kit was being delivered during one busy day and the other half of the double doors was opened to allow it in. Yup - the (very new, recently installed) shiny red EPO button was not quite far enough along the wall and the second door hit it...cue sound of lots of spinning things slowing down.

The UK's Cairncross Review calls for Google, Facebook to be regulated – and life support for journalism


So do you trust the government (not just today but for the long term future), through its totally impartial and independent (cough) regulator, to control what you see, who shows you and what the permitted news sources say about the government itself?

It's already quite clear if you regularly sample a few news sources from across Europe or the USA that what goes on in their countries and how it's reported here are two hugely different things as our broadcasters and other media all have quite strong agendas that they always push...and that's without a new totally impartial and independent (cough) regulator sitting above them to ensure the state approves of what we can see.

I'd rather we made sure that no media group, be it the BBC, Sky Facebook, Google or something not yet created, is allowed to dominate/control/edit/censor news sources and that no external news sources are blocked.

We'd be better off putting a "First Amendment" into law than tinkering with who we can access.

Amazon meets the incredible SHRINKING UK taxman


Re: Just say No to Amazon

What utter drivel.

The company pays all the tax it is required to pay. Why on earth would they pay any more?

Wwen you go shopping do you decide that the VAT rate isn't high enough and send a few extra pounds to the Chancellor? Of course not. So why should Amazon?

If you want corporations top pay more tax get the House of Conmen to change the tax laws. It's realy that simple.

Indictment bombshell: 'Kremlin intel agents' hacked, leaked Hillary's emails same day Trump asked Russia for help


Re: Politics 101

Looking from the British side of the pond I (mostly) agree with you.

I find it amazing that anyone is surprised by the fact that Russian spies....spy. It's what they do, it's what they always do and they've been doing it to everyone for years. You only have to look back through British history and you'll find names like Philby, Burgess and McClean who were senior British intelligence agents...spying for the Russians (USSR in those days). From time to time we still see Russia "diplomats" expelled for various activities "incompatible with their status" i.e. they've been caught spying.

Its still going on in the US, look up the "Illegals Program" which caught a group of Russian sleepers/spies in the US and resulted in a prisoner exchange with Russia in July 2010

To spend umpteen millions on a total time wasting witch hunt run by a Democrat with a team of bitter Democrat lawyers to find out, gasp!, that spies spy is ridiculous. They spy on everyone all the time....especially if the targets run a server with zero security.

We don't want a war.You don't want a war. Russia doesn't want a war. The only person that does appears to be the defeated, bitter Clinton. Time to move on.


Re: poor security

I think the total lack of security on her "home brew" server is well known. For example Podesta's password was "pas$word" - not exactly bombproof is it?

Trump's Supreme Court pick will decide critical tech issues for decades – so what are the views of the contenders?


Women in positions pf power.

Well you got the one you least wanted. No surprise was it?

One thing I disliked about the article was the casual way you let your anti Pres Trump bias cloud your judgement. In the second last paragraph you wrote "....because she's a woman and it's fair to say Trump seems to have a big problem with women in positions of power." Which is b******t.

So far he's appointed:

Nikki Haley - UN Ambassador

Ivanka Trump - Special Advisor to the President

KellyAnne Conway - Counselor to the President

Sarah Sanders - WH Press Secretary

Gina Hasel - CIA Director

Elaine Chao - Transportation Secretary

Betsy Davos - Education Secretary

Kirstjen Nielsen - Homeland and Security Secretary

Linda McMahon - Small Business Administrator

Mercedes Schalpp - WH Commuincation Director

For a guy that "doesn't like women in positions of power" he's not doing very well at keeping them out of positions of power is he?

Maybe you should think harder about your casual bias in future.

Don't forget that 66m Americans voted for Pres Trump and many more folk around the world think he's doing a pretty good job getting his country back on track. In contrast, be honest, we don't exactly have much to boast about here in the UK do we?

Creep travels half the world to harass online teen gamer… and gets shot by her mom – cops


Re: I thought of the child(ren)

I think Mom needs to trade up to something heavier. Theb no-one would have to waste time and money on this wannabe kidnapper's trial and imprisonment.

A .22 doesn't really have enough stopping power to deal with an intruder.


Re: I thought of the child(ren)

What bystanders?

The ones in your head or real ones that somehow aren't mentioned?

BT agrees to legal separation of Openreach


He who pays the piper

The BT Openreach decision has created all sorts of comment about what it will do to improve the independence of the company. Basically, it'll do nothing.

The key thing isn't where the lines on the corpration's org chart go and whether they're solid or dotted. After this proposed change BT Openreach will still be part of BT Group no matter how everyone tries to spin it. If its owned by BT it will still continue to favour BT no matter what internal rules are put in place. He who pays the piper will inevitably continue to call the tune.

The only way to get separation and independence is for the shares to be sold off so BT Group is no longer the owner (BTW, no other telco should be able to have a significant share either). It's got to be owned by shareholders who aren't part of the industry Openreach is providing services to otherwise nothing will change.

US Army trials Iron Man super-trooper exoskeleton

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Starship Troopers'R'Us

Absolutely...getting closer now.

...and spot-on about the movie - utter dross compared to the book!!

BBC chief acknowledges DAB flop & internet radio

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Same old, same old

I'm amazed that it's taken so long for the BBC top brass to realise their strategy had failed.

As usual with civil servants making strategic decisons on technology, they got it totally wrong. Even 10 years ago DAB was a dead technology. The UK opted for it, but no-one else did...not even our European "partners".

So whether or not the BBC went ahead, the UK was always going to be number 1 on a list of 1 for DAB usage while the rest of the world sailed away, over the horizon on a completely different system. At least t'internet has reopened the door to the BBC to deliver global, standards based broadcasting - now all we have to hope is that they manage to stagger through it.

BT strike ballot halted over possible 'technical breaches'


Right strike is safe

This move does not in any way "raise questions over the right to strike". All it means is that the unions need to make sure they obey the rules.

If they're incapable of managing to do that, despite the best efforts of very highly paid officials and legal teams, then the members should begin to wonder what use they are.

Adobe bakes secure P2P into Flash


P2p kneejerk reactions

Having sold their souls to the media industry, the almost hysterical reaction of the current government when anyone even mentions P2P should lead to some interesting squirming from the Home Office when legitimate companies/products start to use P2P services on a widespread basis.

It will no longer be able to automatically demonise any and all users of the technology and may actually force them to think about what it is they are actually trying to achieve rather than just provide air cover for corporate copyright revenue streams.

The IT management impact of home working

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Homeworker of many years standing

I've been based at home now for around 15 years and have seen the equipment, facilities and support provided by my various (major corporate) employers change radically in that time. I started out with a dumb terminal on the end of a 32kbps dial up line and now have the same facilities as in an office. Essentially there is now no difference for me in working in an office or at home.

The company has provided me with some office furniture, home printer, external screen and keyboard and phone so I am properly equipped. Today I would be very, very reluctant to move to an employer that would expect me to go back to 9-5 office hours, the daily commute and a working style that is more last century than this.

I now have a laptop that is my only machine, it goes with me to any company office, external meeting etc. I also have a PDA which is synchronised with it so that I have access to all key information wherever I am or while I'm travelling whether or not the laptop is with me.

In our offices I log in identically wherever I am, there's no difference between being in the HQ building or any of the other buildings. Its the same at home, a VPN gives me access via my home broadband. I use WiFi whenever I need it, same access as everywhere else. So as an employee I am equally able to work in any environment......and, no, my employer doesnt mind when/where I do my work or what I'm wearing(!) just as long as I meet my targets. They measure output not activity!!

Many of the older apps I used to use have been upgraded in the last couple of years so much more of what I do is browser based, keeping support issues to aminimum for the IT group. If I have a problem there's a single number for all queries and phone support of everything from o/s to apps to comms is equally well dealt with. 95% of problems are fixed first time on the phone, occaisionally (hardware usually) either a home visit or office appointment is made for the following day.

Software updates, new software installs and patchesare controlled centrally to keep the laptop stable and stop folk causing too many self-inflicted problems. The laptop is locked down and update bundles are fed to me on a controlled basis. I can postpone these a maximum three times so they dont interrupt important work so no-one can get too far behind the standard build.

Consumables are ordered online from an outsourced corporate catalogue and couriered to home the following day. So replacing paper, printer, pens, cartridges etc is actually easier than in an office where you have to find the key or owner of the stationery store which never has what you want anyway.

My hardcopy post is delivered to a virtual mailbox on company premises so I dont have to hand out my home address. It's bagged up and sent to my once a week.

So assuming the type of work is suitable for this approach, if the employer is serious and provides the proper support there's now no reason for many people not to work at home/remotely most of the time.