* Posts by JohnG

1566 posts • joined 27 May 2007

Somebody's Russian to meddle with UK coronavirus vaccine efforts, but GCHQ won't take it lying down

JohnG

Re: Infantile

"...unvaccinated conspiracy theory adherents will clog up the hospitals between steps B) get sick and C) die."

The NHS could be directed to refuse hospital admission to those who have previously refused to be vaccinated, when advised by NHS medical professionals.

The exodus continues: Less than half of contractors expect to stick with their employment set-up after IR35

JohnG

It is an unfortunate coincidence that the Chancellor introducing these IR35 measures has a father-in-law who is a founder and now chairman emeritus of Infosys, a large Indian multinational specialising in outsourcing - who might expect to gain from work that would otherwise have been awarded to contractors with PSCs.

Hydrogen-powered train tested on Britain's railway tracks as diesel alternative

JohnG

"Current hydrogen production methods are largely reliant on electricity from non-low-carbon sources.."

It's worse than that: hydrogen is not normally manufactured by electrolysis - it is normally manufactured through the steam reforming of oil refinery off gases. After that, as with petrol and diesel, hydrogen must be stored and transported until it reaches the point of use - and that storage and distribution is incredibly energy intensive and adds more pollution.

Given that railway electrification has been implemented sucessfully in numerous countries, this looks like a pretend green solution to a problem that already has a better, proven solution.

Bad news for 'cool dads' trying to bond with their teens: China-owned TikTok and WeChat face US download ban by Sunday

JohnG

The bigger problem with the TikTok app is all the data it snarfs from your phone and uploads to servers in China, not so much the stuff you choose to post.

JohnG

Regardless of what Mr Trump does or who buys ByteDance, the TikTok app is Chinese spyware, masquerading as a social media app.

We're not getting back with Galileo, UK govt tells The Reg, as question marks sprout above its BS*

JohnG

Re: Two chocolate teapots

There's an interesting article in a Russian journal, in which they discuss the replacement of their old terrestrial naviagation system "Chayka" with a new one called "Skorpion". In the article, there is a comment to the effect that "in the event of war, all GNSS (GPS, GLONASS, etc.) would be jammed worldwide" and that the Russian military would use their terrestrial systems.

JohnG

Re: LORAN?

I understand the Americans are looking at eLoran or similar, possibly in response to the Russian jamming of GPS during NATO exercises in Norway. The Russians already have two terrestrial navigation systems, in addition to GLONASS - so jamming GPS makes sense for them.

JohnG

Re: Hard Brexit

The EU has offered PRS access to the UK but only when the UK is engaged in activities that are coordinated with the EU and inline with the EU's geopolitical policies.

Before you buy that managed Netgear switch, be aware you may need to create a cloud account to use its full UI

JohnG

Does this mean that when you register the product, you get some sort of code to unlock the full feature set or that Netgear require these products to be managed via their cloud? If it is the latter, then the administrative interfaces of these devices would have to be exposed to the Internet and these products would cease to be useful whenever Netgear drops them out of it's cloud or their cloud is turned off. How utterly useless!

I can 'proceed without you', judge tells Julian Assange after courtroom outburst

JohnG

Re: Blackmailed

"For the extradition hearing, they need to show that what he is accused of is illegal in England or some other part of the UK."

Sadly, this is not the case. As was seen with the NatWest Three, the UK - US extradition treaty allows the extradition of UK residents whose alleged crimes were acts carried out while they were in the UK and were acts that are not illegal in the UK.

JohnG

Re: Blackmailed

"There needs to be a prima facie case for extradition for each charge."

Under the UK - US extradition treaty, the UK is obliged to demonstrate "probable cause", whereas the US has to show "reasonable suspicion", both of which are considerably less than presenting a prima facie case.

Like Uber, but for satellite launches: European Space Agency’s ride-sharing rocket slings 53 birds with one bang

JohnG

Re: ESAIL I'm confused

As I understand it, ESAIL is aimed at monitoring of ship positions for environmental/fisheries management, fleet management, security, etc., collecting AIS data from areas that are beyond the range of terrestrial monitoring stations.

Digital pregnancy testing sticks turn out to have very analogue internals when it comes to getting results

JohnG

Maybe a moisture meter or a barcode reader.

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked

JohnG

One piece at a time?

Pass that Brit guy with the right-hand drive: UK looking into legalising automated lane-keeping systems by 2021

JohnG

Re: Lane Management Warning Systems Are Not Very Good

At present, these systems are only intended for use on motorways and dual carriageways.

JohnG

Re: This has to be subject to rules for automation

Tesla has had warnings about drivers needing to be alert and ready to take control at any time but they have been forced to introduce checks that the driver is alert by requiring the drivers to "exert pressure on the steering wheel" at intervals. Amazingly, some drivers have deployed devices to defeat the alertness check.

On a motorway or dual carriageway, these systems are fine, as long as they can "see" lane markings. If the car arrives to a point where the lane markings have worn away or when there is heavy rain/snow/slush, the lane keeping systems gives up and hands back control - the driver needs to takeover immediately.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

JohnG

Re: eCall only activates when there's been an accident

"In a recent murder case in Wales, the evidence against the accused was largely based on data sent from their Land Rover Discovery to LR's HQ."

The data was not sent to LR's HQ or anyone else - data was retrieved from the Event Data Recorder module. These modules store data for analysis after a crash and include parameters such as speed, accelerator and brake pedal positions, G forces, etc. But the data can only be retrieved by physically connecting the module to a computer with the relevant software, via a suitable cable.

JohnG

Re: It communicates the vehicle's exact location to emergency services

In an eCall module, there is a GPS receiver, which is operational whenever the vehicle is powered - it will continuously receive signals from GNSS satellites and calculate the vehicle's current position. Inertial sensors continously monitor G forces and the vehicle's attitude e.g. Is it upside down? There are also inputs to the eCall module for things like airbag deployment. If the eCall module senses an event or if the SOS button is pressed, it makes a voice call to the emergency number. Once connected, the eCall module sends a burst of data (car's WIN, orientation, location, etc.) in an audible stream (like an old analogue modem) and then lets the emergency operator speak with the occupants.

The eCall module doesn't have a conventional cellular data service and is not permanently connected with anyone.

This NSA, FBI security advisory has four words you never want to see together: Fancy Bear Linux rootkit

JohnG

Re: 85th Main Special Service Center

In Russia, I think the they are known as "Military Unit 26165" and according to their Rusprofile listing, they are engaged in "military security activities" and "other unspecified activities". The address given is the HQ of the GRU.

https://www.rusprofile.ru/id/7337085

Russia tested satellite-to-satellite shooter, say UK and USA

JohnG

Re: respectable clone of the B29

Our American allies were none too pleased about the RR jet engines sales to the USSR.

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

JohnG

Looking at Planefinder recently, I reckon the people that might fly on a new supersonic transatlantic jet would rather pootle to and fro in a smaller and slower private jet, to avoid mixing with other potentially infectious passengers.

JohnG

Re: Lost Opportunities

When talking about US industry, Jay Leno said "We're becoming like the British. We like noble failures". He wasn't wrong in his assessment of attitudes in Britain.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

JohnG

Re: What a surpirse. It's muppetry.

"The problem isn’t the analog receiver, the problem is the lack of a DAB receiver."

My car has FM, DAB, Spotify and Tune-In. I don't use DAB at all because it typically has either 1 - 5 stations or none, even in areas that are supposed to have good outdoor DAB reception. DAB is utterly useless in cars.

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

JohnG

"Giant datasets like ImageNet and 80 Million Tiny Images are also often collected by scraping photos from Flickr or Google Images without people’s explicit consent."

Data illicitly copied in bulk from the Internet turns out to have unethical content. Well, that's a shock.

If they included social media imagery and postings, it is hardly surprising that some of the imagery is associated with colourful language that is routinely used by some people of assorted ethnic groups. AIs may need to learn that the acceptability of using certain terms may depend on the ethnicity of those using them.

JohnG

Re: Copyright?

According to the paper, in addition to the copyright issues, some of the images may be non-consensual and/or inappropriate images of children.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

JohnG

My family origins are in both Devon and Cornwall. When I was young, it was customary to serve clotted cream cool but not at fridge temperature. In this state, clotted cream is somewhat runny and jam should be spread before cream. Nowadays, people tend to serve clotted cream straight from the fridge and it will have the consistency of butter => cream first, then jam.

As for the Cornish, there were no signs of clotted cream in Cornwall in the 1960s and 1970s, until they noticed that several places in Devon were making good money selling cream teas. Twenty years later, the Cornish were claiming they invented cream teas.

Detroit cops cuffed, threw a dad misidentified by facial recognition in jail. Now the ACLU's demanding action

JohnG

Re: The problem is not the AI, it's the police

"The fact that the police went out and arrested a black man without second thoughts probably reflects racial bias of the police."

From what was in the press, it seems the surveillance footage was enough for the police to know their suspect was (as their innocent victim put it) "a big black guy" - but it seems they just went and arrested the first "big black guy" they could find.

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

JohnG

Re: An sensible response, indeed

There was a story (possibly apocryphal) that the Russian minister responsible for Internet, online security and the like had responded to some Russian spammers, telling them to stop sending their crap. They responded by flooding him with spam. He responded by ordering the spammers to be found and in short order, they were all on the receiving end of SWAT style raids and long prison terms.

The state of OpenPGP key servers: Kristian, can you renew my certificate? A month later: Kristian? Ten days later: Too late, it’s expired

JohnG

Re: Abdul Abulbul Amir

I felt compelled to check: someone has registered "screwed.af".

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

JohnG

I cannot see anything of this nature working. While some porn providers may operate within the law (of the jurisdiction in which they are located), it is a fairly shady industry and many website operators are likely to have no interest in marking all of their media, especially if they happen to be located outside the UK.

This idea also fails to address the problem of social media/media sharing/messaging sites/apps being used to transmit porn, not least by teenagers themselves.

I reckon the only effective method is to constrain use on the user devices. The snag is, many of the parental control apps/features are not that difficult to defeat. It doesn't help that many ISPs still insist that customers use the ISP-supplied broadband routers, which typically have limited parental control features.

JohnG

Re: "Because no kids have ever circumvented parental controls."

"Only those much smarter than their parents."

,,,plus those children smart enough to find and follow the instructions on a YouTube video about how to get around parental controls on <xyz> hardware. Of course, TV manufacturers have made this child's play by putting a YouTube button on the remote controls of most TVs.

Russia lifts restrictions on Telegram messenger app after it expresses ‘readiness’ to stop some nasties

JohnG

"All that crypto irked Russia..."

Not just Russia. Before the Russians were irked, there had been talk of "Telegram being used by terrorists and criminals" in the UK and USA.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time

JohnG

Re: My first modem..

Yes - quite a few multi-function printers still include a fax modem and the associated "scan and fax" functionality - but I don't think many people connect them to a phone line any more.

It could be 'five to ten years' before the world finally drags itself away from IPv4

JohnG

Re: Simple solution?

"What it needs therefore is for a major trading block (the EU or the US from a western perspective) to mandate that all devices brought onto the market after a given date only use IPv6."

Why? There is no business imperative to do this - if there were, businesses would already be migrating to IPv6.

JohnG

Sure - but ordinary folk don't know about the whole IPv4 vs IPv6 thing and wouldn't care about it anyway. They just want access to the popular social media sites/app, Youtube, Amazon, etc. The number of people who care about this is probably a lot less than the number of remaining IPv4 addresses.

JohnG

Re: "It's ok for me so i dont care about anyone else"

"In developing countries this is not the case, you are stuck behind CGN and have a second class connection. You are an outside viewer, you are not part of the internet."

Most people don't know about this and wouldn't care if they were told. The vast majority of Internet users can function quite happily without a unique registered address - as long as they can use their choice of social media apps, Youtube, Amazon, etc. they are happy. IPv6 is a solution for a problem that they do not have.

JohnG

Most individuals and organisations won't expend the effort and resources needed to switch to IPv6 because it (still) doesn't provide them anything that they need and don't already have with IPv4 and NAT.

Repair store faces hefty legal bill after losing David and Goliath fight with Apple over replacement iPhone screens

JohnG

Around the world, refurbished automotive components are bought and sold every day - and they will typically have markings and labels from the OEM and the motor manufacturer concerned. The motor manufacturer's labelling is typically used to determine if a part is genuine and no motor manufacturers have been suing about the use of their trademarks in respective of refurbished original components - that would be plain silly.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

JohnG

"The user prompt, however, is a blue "$" and the superuser prompt is a red "#", so what would that make it? A VT240?"

Maybe VT340, for colour.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

JohnG

In addition to being the major shareholder in Bioshield, Anna Grochowalska is also the major shareholder in another British company (albeit, under her full name, Anna Krystyna Grochowalska): Immortalis Distribution Ltd. Their website, immortal.is, touts some anti-aging product, which looks about as reliable as the bioshield.

While waiting for the Linux train, Bork pays a visit to Geordieland with Windows 10

JohnG

Re: ISO27.... So what?

Maybe their point is that they put so much time and effort into getting their ISO 27001 accreditation that they did not have enough resources/time to adequately test and fix the bugs in their products.

Insider threat? Pffft. Hackers on the outside are the ones mostly making off with your private biz data, says Verizon

JohnG

Re: 86 per cent of the breaches were financially motivated

For some people, politics might be sufficient motivation.

You can't have it both ways: Anti-coronavirus masks may thwart our creepy face-recog cameras, London cops admit

JohnG

Re: Lookie likey

"Expect new legislation, coronavirus masks (and religious/cultural face wear) must have your name & address on with a bar code."

How about everyone has a QR code tattooed on their forehead? The police could generate more fun if all the codes have a checksum of 666

Tales from the crypt-oh: Nvidia accused of concealing $1bn in coin-mining GPU sales as gaming revenue

JohnG

If Nvidia management were hiding anything, it was that miners were ignoring Nvidia's mining gear and using graphics gear intended for gamers instead and that developing the mining gear may have been a waste of time and money.

Nvidia are rather well known for the graphics cards/chips and the use of their GPUs for cryptocurrency mining was widely reported, even in the mainstream media - how would anyone investing in them be unaware of the mining fad and the probability that this fad would end? I hope they are TTFO by the court and made to pay Nvidia's costs.

As Brit cyber-spies drop 'whitelist' and 'blacklist', tech boss says: If you’re thinking about getting in touch saying this is political correctness gone mad, don’t bother

JohnG

I guess connector genders will be addressed at some point - having only male and female connector genders is bound to annoy somebody with an agenda.

Billionaires showered with wealth as experts say global economy set for long and deep recession

JohnG

Re: Don't forget the hard done by Billionaires....

Perhaps he should ask the BVI government for a bailout, where he chooses to be taxed.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly

JohnG

Even worse was Kanye West, tweeting a photo of his browser with tabs that showed he had searched for "50 best VST/AU plugins" and downloaded Serum (costs $200) with the help of PirateBay.

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule

JohnG

It is probably worth mentioning that Singapore open sourced a substantial part of their efforts in this area:

https://bluetrace.io/

https://github.com/OpenTrace-community

Watch out, everyone, here come the Coronavirus Cops, enjoying their little slice of power way too much

JohnG

What really pisses me off about all this is that the police apparently now have enough resources to pester sunbathers or people sitting on park benches and some chief constables have been talking of searching shopping trolleys, in their Easter egg hunts. But only a few months ago, they were saying they didn't have enough resources to deal with shoplifting or other thefts under £200 value and anything less than tings like serious assaults, murder or rape. And why is they can now tackle sunbathers in a park mob-handed but have previously been unable to send anyone to deal with the drug dealers and alcoholics in the same damn park?

When all this chaos is over, there ought to be an overall of policing in the UK.

JohnG

Re: Reality check

There was a thread on twitter yesterday about a woman being stopped when travelling to work on the Tube at 7 am. The police apparently demanded to see ID and proof that she was an essential worker. Some folk were arguing that she must be able to produce ID and that only essential workers can go to work (neither are in the relevant legislation). Worryingly, one policeman posted something to the effect that she could have been arrested if she failed to produce ID. Some of the police seem to be making up new laws and new powers as they go.

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