* Posts by Barry Mahon

135 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Jun 2007


Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors

Barry Mahon

Re: Psssst

The USCGS is part of the 'armed forces' in the formal sense. They might not have actually known how the Navy knew, but they sure as hell knew they knew.

Barry Mahon

If I recall, many of the 600 were from Egypt, were they not?

Egypt has now got a military government, hasn't it? It may not be actual soldiers, but permitted by......

What is their beef? I don't recall many were attacked and killed by the ruler, like the UK trained medic did.

It is a political mess, nothing new there, the UK has had three PMs.....

So, what to do? Stop treating the likes of Egypt and many other countries in that corner of the world as 'friends' and, much more important, stop providing them with arms.

Barry Mahon

Re: A fitting epitaph

Surely they are no currently approved?

Barry Mahon

Re: A fitting epitaph??

Imagine quoting McArthur in this context.

He was the 'victor' in a war which used a nuclear bomb to end it. A "no-risk" situation? he broke what rule?

The reality of the consequence of the defeat of Japan was that the Japanese stopped believing the Emperor was god.....

That is the best memory, it bears NO relationship to someone who wants to be remembered as an entrepreneur.

The most common French interpretation of entrepreneur is opportunity taker. This 'explorer' took serious risks he was warned about.

Parisians say au revoir to shared e-scooters

Barry Mahon

Not just Paris

Not just Paris, on a recent visit to Rome for the rugby plenty of footpath riders, plenty of drunk rugby 'supporters' and several accidents.

Dublin is gearing up, our Green minister has OK'd no insurance requirement, no helmet....


Mike Lynch loses US extradition delay bid: Flight across the Atlantic looks closer than ever

Barry Mahon

Re: Let the chuckles ring out!

I spent a good deal of my working life dealing with the results of suggestions on how to get good information on which to make decisions, starting with science and technology, which was fairly well supplied with publishers and database suppliers who actually checked their material and had good tools to improve the quality of searches.

Of course that was when the quantity of information available was relatively limited and was well organised.

Then came the computer, long before my time I must say, but it's application to information retrieval was generally well invested and genuinely improved quality.

Then came the claims that the computer could solve everything..... we know that wasn't and isn't true, but it didn't stop the claims.

The came Autonomy, out of the brains of Oxbridge, no less, based on the brains of a vicar from the 18th century, or was it the 17th?

The claims were outrageous, unless the datasets were simple stuff, such as names and addresses, and even there there were hiccups. All grist to the Autonomy mill, as long as you paid money to have your dataset massaged to fit the software. Even more outrageous claims were the result.

The funniest part of the story is that HP, the darling of the garage sales, or was it the garage size? paid seriously outrageous money in $ which were worth something at the time, to add Autonomy to their stable. Problem was the horse couldn't run....

$28m scores mystery bidder right to breathe same air as Amazon kingpin Jeff Bezos in Blue Origin flight

Barry Mahon

Has nobody suggested that the whole thing, including the flight, is an Amazon PR setup, or is that too obvious?

Android, iOS beam telemetry to Google, Apple even when you tell them not to – study

Barry Mahon

Re: Never mind the width feel the quality

Slurpage = income for the telecoms?

Probably a handy revenue sharing arrangement.

Come to think of it unless the fruity and the big number have only paid for lines they get incoming for fee??

And now for something completely different: A lightweight, fast browser that won't slurp your data

Barry Mahon

A definite up arrow for The Reg

The best part, because it doesn't contain any jokes, are the comments. To a retired tech such as meself they are mostly comprehensible.

My takeaway, this is a technically interesting development device. It does some of what it should say on the tin. However, however brave the developers are, they will never satisfy certain Reg nerds.

We got it! Japanese space agency confirms its probe has Ryugu asteroid samples

Barry Mahon

Message found in the capsule

"On an undecipherable date, due to an unknown calendar, this object bashed a bit of rock off Ryugu.

The fine for this is 1x10 to the power of a million, in the finder's numerical system.

Payment only accepted in Solar Pal to the following SRL sppl://ryugu.universe.1/bashedrock.dontdoitagain.?"

DuckDuckGo cries fowl after being expunged from Google's Android search preferences menu for most of Europe

Barry Mahon

Re: DDG != Bing ?

You found the answer using the same search terms? I've had some issues with DDG, but usually I change the search logic and find an answer. Notice "an" not "the"

FWIW search algorithms are not foolproof, but I am sure you know that.....

India connects submarine cable to islands where some still live in the stone age

Barry Mahon

I hope they are not British or ever were.

The last Brit islands in that corner of the world, in the Indian Ocean, are now the largest US base outside the continental bit. Diego Garcia, 'provided' by the Brits after they had unloaded the natives to Mauritius. Even though the UN said that was, and still is, illegal, the Brits have told the UN to f off, presumably 'cos the US told them to.

Maybe after brexit they'll unload a few other places, NI, for example.

The Empire strikes back?

MI6 tried to intervene in independent court by stopping judge seeing legal papers – but they said sorry, so it's OK

Barry Mahon

Re: Rather like those superinjuctions

So there was another crisis in the middle?

Was that revealed in a secret tribunal?

Barry Mahon

This is getting stupider and stupider

Is it not time we called this for what it is, a throwback to another world, which even then wasn't that important.

There is a sort of omerta about anything which is labelled 'security' In effect it enables certain agencies, with impunity, to do what they like.

There may be certain illegal activities and associations which require investigation, in private, at the time. However, the definition of them is nowhere to be found.

A good deal of what is covered is 'revealed' when the agencies and the police etc., say it is covered by security requirements. One can then conclude that whatever it is is 'security' related. In many cases it is later revealed to be untrue.

A heck of a lot of it is related to previous and current government activities and/or policies.

Very handy....

Eight-hour comms lags and shock discoveries: 30 years after Voyager 2 visited gas giant Neptune

Barry Mahon

Exactly, unfortunately, even JPL has to answer to the bean counters.

For me the image near the end of the documentary film Voyager which shows the earth as a miniscule dot in an equally miniscule environment of millions of stars tells the tale of how arrogant we are about ourselves.

We are just that, a tiny dot.

Fix LibreOffice now to thwart silent macro viruses – and here's how to pwn those who haven't

Barry Mahon

Re: LibreOffice Version Is Current

Mine says 6.2.1 is up to date ??

The tech lawsuit of the year: HPE v Mike Lynch and Sushovan Hussain

Barry Mahon

Never mind the details, what are the bookies saying?

Iceland starts planning for new undersea internet cable to Europe

Barry Mahon

Meanwhile the Irish gov has yet to spend the money on a national broadband network, after 10 years of supposed 'planning'

Maybe people in rural Ireland could ask Iceland to help?

Should the super-rich pay 70% tax rate above $10m? Here's Michael Dell's hot take for Davos

Barry Mahon

Aha, "drive them away" to where?

If we didn't have handy corners and atolls with no rules we could, and should, have a global tax system.

That way, we could avoid the nonsense of of foundations, false tax 'residency' etc., etc.

I imagine that, if there was a balanced global system then the likes of Dell (and he is not the worst, by a LONG way) would not have the opportunity, and maybe not the interest, in hiding money.

We might need a better way of controlling how 'national' money is spent, to ensure a fair system, now there is an objective to look for.

I always wonder what the super rich do with all the money, after all they can only eat three meals a day, like many of us.....

Ex-Autonomy boss Mike Lynch, finance VP Stephen Chamberlain charged with fraud in US

Barry Mahon

Autonomy was a piece of software that was supposed to sort out information. Or, more precisely, analyse and organise data to become information.

It required, depending on the raw material and it's format, significant pre-work and sampling, before being "installed" i.e. run with a full or partial data set.

So, a sales invoice for the product was made of several parts. There was a down payment, not necessarily the "price" of the whole package, and a significant x time basis to do the analysis.

Afaik, the charge is that the money element of newly signed contracts was inflated to a significant extent, to take account of the potential effort required to get the product to run properly. The other aspect is that there was a significant % of future income included in the sale announcement, without a dependable basis of the calculation

European Commission: We've called off the lawyers over Ireland's late collection of Apple back taxes

Barry Mahon

Re: So does that mean that Apple had indeed received preferential treatment ?

Ah, that explains why it has been paid to the EC, answers the question posted above. Original posting was misleading.

Barry Mahon

Re: Helping out a mate?

The article says the money was paid to the EC....??

Why?? Was it not due to Ireland?

Last attempt to find MH370 starts this week

Barry Mahon

Re: "With the Southern Hemisphere’s winter closing in"

Where? what latitude? I assume you don't live in the Southern Ocean? 26deg means very little without location and climatic data.

Autonomy ex-CFO Hussain guilty of fraud: He cooked the books amid $11bn HP gobble

Barry Mahon

Oh yes it is. Autonomy made software, technically still does. Hussein overvalued it.

Irish eyes are sighing: Data protection office notes olagoanin'* up 79%

Barry Mahon

Facebook now requiring EU based customers to accept new terms, aligning them, in principle, with upcoming EU data protection rules. Two things, only in principle and what is the situation with customers elsewhere?

Barry Mahon

Didn't I read somewhere that the Irish Gov are shuffling about to get a derogation from the strictures of the upcoming EU data protection stuff?

Ireland needs to offer sub rosa guarantees to big (us) corps that their data in the country is protected from prying. Viz. this issue of the Reg report on MS v the US Supreme Court.

Mad Leo tried to sack me over Autonomy, says top HP Inc beancounter

Barry Mahon

Whilst I agree the Autonomy books were cooked, the reported shutdown of the cross examination illustrates how the US law protects it's own.

Nope, you're still a transport biz, top EU court tells Uber

Barry Mahon

I always wonder what is the story with insurance if you and your car are an Uber "product"?

Any info??

OTOH, this decision, like so many of the ECJ's decisions, reinforces the EU'role as the arbiter of nearly everything. That might be ok, in the sense of creating a common market, but the proposals/decisions on directives are mostly created on the input of vested interests, not the man in the street.

Apropos of insurance, why is it a requirement to have, effectively, a local insurer? You cannot insure a car in Ireland with a French insurer, even if it is an international insurance company.

Electronic Frontier Foundation chap John Perry Barlow has died

Barry Mahon

I tried to get him to come to Europe in the mid 80s, for a conference, but he said he could not "because I know nothing about data in Europe"

I don't know if he ever did come, or if he ever did learn anything about data here. Of course it was in the days of the monopoly, so not many people knew about data here, some still don't.

Bye, JP

Long haul flights on a one-aisle plane? Airbus thinks you’re up for it

Barry Mahon

Re: The Golden Age of flying is over

I object in principle to paying for a seat except long haul. I buy aisle seats, one in the centre section, one on the side. So, in single aisle, that can be done also.

The result is you have the possibility to get in and out easily, or at least more easily. Biggest bugbear with single aisle is food service, cannot even get to the loo.

When will some smart ass offer food service row by row, at the front and/or back?

Thar she blows: Strava heat map shows folk on shipwreck packed with 1,500 tonnes of bombs

Barry Mahon

Did I see a comment somewhere that the RAF base on the Falklands is on the heat maps, from runners there? Described as a "secret" base. On the Falklands? Sure every sheep there must know about it.

£60m, five years late... Tag criminal tagging as a 'catastrophic waste' of taxpayers' cash

Barry Mahon

Re: I concur

All winced out.

Quote from the NYT today -

"Elsewhere shares in Capita, a firm strikingly similar to Carillion, have lost two-thirds of their value since 2015."

In a very interesting commentary on the UK's obsession with outsourcing.


Facebook, Schrems case cost Irish data watchdog €2m – reports

Barry Mahon

Re: “In essence, if you don’t have a couple of million, you’re out of luck.”

Just a point of clarification, eir is now French owned, not sure if that means the HQ will stay in Jersey. However, latest info is that it might be "owned" by a new (legal?) setup, who's directors are lawyers in Dublin.....in a structure designed by the mix of holding companies who seem to have bought eir.

Probably means it cannot be sued at all.....

HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Barry Mahon

Gratuitous Insults not welcome

"a leaky gland seriously affected the carrier’s ability to operate"

Thanks for your insult to anyone who happens to suffer from a minor problem..... NOT just your oldies....

Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

Barry Mahon

Re: Increased my interest in Vivaldi

Yep, I'm off to Vivaldi, I was an early adopter of Opera, dropped off it when the (admittedly voluntary) support only worked for nerds. But I saw a piece about their privacy stuff and decided that I have had enough of the google monster.

Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Barry Mahon

Yep, those were the days

Blasting in from the past all that.

Goes the way of the good things of the time, Byte and Jerry Pournelle and all that stuff.

Funny, seems I had more time to shuffle around Compuserve for hours, don't seem to have time to read all my mail now....

Yeah, Autonomy's ex-chief financial officer is still up for wire fraud

Barry Mahon

Re: That wasn't it......

Due diligence is an oxymoron, both words. Due should mean you do it when it needs to be done; diligence means you do it properly. Accountats don't do either, they are always in after the facts and they are not paid to be diligent, they are paid to be a facesaver.

In addition, the board of HP and their sherpas are supposed to be experienced. If they were when they looked at the deal they should have known that ALL software sellers puff up sales as soon as the contract is signed. That is when the work starts, not when the operation actually works. In the case of Autonomy there was a requirement to spend x months with consultants massaging the software against the data to be managed.so that it MIGHT work.

Interesting that someone mentioned another puffed up outfit that went down the toilet, Enron, they were an autonomy user.

Roaming charges drop smacks O2 daddy Telefonica in the profits

Barry Mahon

What is the "best" deal now? The comments on the options hurt my head. Link(s) please to intelligent comparison sites

Ex-Autonomy CFO begs court to toss out US fraud allegations

Barry Mahon

I worked with buyers of Autonomy. There was a very significant amount of consultancy built in to the purchase, but this depended on what Autonomy assessed you needed to make the software work.

The actual amount of work was not determinable in advance but Autonomy publicised sales at revenues based on consultancy estimates, not on actual purchase price. It is this fiction that HP bought.

Hussein is accused of puffing up revenues.....

Ancient fat black holes created by belching Big Bang's dark matter

Barry Mahon

Yep, too many known unknowns, so, theories are the flavour of week. Good, we need thinkers not skeptics.

Did the Earth move for you, too? Grav waves sensed from black holes' bang 1.8bn LYs away

Barry Mahon

Incredible stuff, as the Nazz says.

My take, FWIW, where did it all come from? Big bang is too easy a term to describe the entities involved in this discovery.

Sci-Fi titan Jerry Pournelle passes,
aged 84

Barry Mahon

Re: @AC

I still have, somewhere, a collection of Byte + Jeerry on CD. A blast from my past, but his descriptions of adding and installing new hard and software at Chaos Manor were inspirational to me and many others, I suspect. A legend, not a word I use lightly, bye and thanks for the fun Jerry.


Legal boffins poke holes in EU lawmaker's ePrivacy proposals

Barry Mahon

Have we been here before?

Am I missing something?

Didn't the ECJ throw out the previous e-whatever stuff, or part of it, because it contravened privacy rights? Is this any different?

Also, doesn't that nag about cookies cover some of the territory? Of course these proposals are bigger, but the principle remains.

Now you can 'roam like at home' within the EU, but what's the catch?

Barry Mahon

Couple of things -

1. Don't bother quoting gross revenue of telcos, it means very little.

2. Like the airlines, telcos use a statistical algorithm to analyse quid pro quo revenues. The clearing methodology is designed to balance out ins and outs. Overall, apart from some anomalies identified from time to time, no money is exchanged between companies.


It has been obvious for some time that telco revenues are tending towards a cost+ model. where the + has been reducing. The free loaders offering service based on renting space on someone elses network will be first to go. Already there is consolidation.

The important thing is that the EU or someone keeps n eye on monopoly creation. Under present arrangements Vodafone et al can create separate organisation to offer service in different countries, but there are moves to create "supra country" entities, which allows for fudged monopolies.

Don't install our buggy Windows 10 Creators Update, begs Microsoft

Barry Mahon

Fucking wonderful, W10 installs it almost without asking, cannot be avoided.

Capita swallows £50m blow after writing down historic contracts

Barry Mahon

The Irish post code is another of their cockups. Not compatible with GPS.

It's official: Ejit – sorry – Ajit Pai is new FCC boss (he's the one who hates network neutrality)

Barry Mahon

Re: "From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs."

@jwg ????

Don't quite see what dirigisted net neutrality would do to stop Hulu, etc.

Congrats on the gongs you got, makes for a preconceived notion of what should be done with technologies, in my experience.

Prior to TCP/ip we had CCITT standard setting, a closed shop of PTT techies, moving at snail's pace. If we hadn't broken the monopolies we would still be using ISDN.

Post Trump FCC will be in line with big business interests, not neutrality, but more opportunities to make money will be the norm.

Ex-Autonomy CFO pleads not guilty to charges he inflated the company's value

Barry Mahon

Re: I've seen it before, overvalue prior to buyout

In "the business" where Autonomy sold their products, the information retrieval sector, they were recognised as curates egg, good in parts, that is where the data was already structured, such as personnel records, etc. Where implementation work was required Autonomy billed significant consultancy fees, in addition to the leasing/per seat fee. Under UK accounting conventions, note, not rules, the consultancy fees, not yet collected, could be put on the books.

The cockup by UK auditors was not requiring sight of contracts for sales. If they had they would have seen the contracts were surrounded by ifs and buts.

Murder in the Library of Congress

Barry Mahon

Let's face it, the advances in technology have usurped the original concept, protection and recognition of the original author/artist/performer.

It is so easy to copy today that the idea is toast.

In order to protect and reward originators there needs to be a quick and easy way to pay, even a nominal sum, for the use. The original ITunes concept was that but was hobbled by the big music interests which led to widescale piracy, added to by torrent, etc.

The really unfortunate part of this story is that it is another example of how big business gets its way. I would have hoped that the Obama administration was above it, but obviously not

EU U-turns on mobile roaming fees: No 90-day cap after all

Barry Mahon

Why "go up" ? If they have any sense they will market their cheapness and pocket the extra revenue.