* Posts by JohnG

1544 posts • joined 27 May 2007

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

JohnG Silver badge

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 Silver badge

"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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

"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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

"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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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



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

JohnG Silver badge

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 Silver badge

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.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

JohnG Silver badge

Internet radio better than DAB

Given that cellular data coverage is typically better than DAB and the wide choice of content on the Internet, DAB appears doomed to failure. Like some other car manufacturers, Tesla cars have Spotify and TuneIn. Mine also has DAB but I never use it.

Reg fashion special: Top designer says 'video chat accessories' are in for spring!

JohnG Silver badge

The organisations I am working with all have policies to disable video, in favour of desktop/document sharing, because many people are finding their broadband and/or the organisation's videoconferencing setup can't handle so many people simultaneously using video.

JohnG Silver badge

..until you go for a piss and forget to turn off your video before you stand up.

Cops charge prankster who 'corona-coughed' on aged officer and had it filmed

JohnG Silver badge

I think the appropriate action for this sort of stupidity should be to take the claim of being infected with Covid-19 at face value and quarantine such a*holes with people who are known to actually have the virus

Confused why Trump fingered CrowdStrike in that Ukraine call? You're not the only one...

JohnG Silver badge

Re: President of the US clueless

"One might conclude from this that Trump thought Ukraine politicians were corrupt, which coincidentally is what Putin keeps saying."

That the majority of Ukrainian politicians are corrupt (regardless of their political persuasion) is regarded as a fact of life by most Ukrainians (regardless of their political persuasion).

HMRC claims victory in another IR35 dispute to sting Nationwide contractor for nearly £75k in back taxes

JohnG Silver badge

Judge Hyde wrote: "The right to substitution was fettered with Nationwide having the final decision and effectively a right to veto."

It is fairly obvious that any organisation would want to the contractual right to reject specific personnel sent by some services company, if they felt that that the individual concerned lacked the relevant skills, qualifications, experience or other some other requirement. It is no different to a customer being able to reject a product that doesn't meet requirements. Without such clauses, large service companies would routinely substitute experienced and expensive personnel with less experienced cheaper people.

Broadband providers can now flog Openreach's new IP voice network in bid to ditch UK's copper phone lines by 2025

JohnG Silver badge


Personally, I swapped out my ISP's broadband router for an AVM Fritzbox, which has analogue and ISDN phone ports, an answering machine and can act as a DECT base station, in addition to the normal router/switch functions.

In the past, I have used a small Linksys ATA and a Siemens Gigaset DECT ATA with an answering machine (but the voice menus were in German). Beware of any devices that are locked to specific VoIP providers.

JohnG Silver badge

The phone socket on the router will work the same way as a phone socket i.e. you can plug in a few phones, a fax machine and an answering machine.

JohnG Silver badge

I guess the plan is to provide broadband routers that incorporate VoIP features, so your analogue phones would plug into a suitable socket on the router.

JohnG Silver badge

In Germany, Deutsche Telecom has been selling "NGN" services for years - essentially, VDSL with a broadband router that incorporates a VoIP adaptor. The user just plugs their analogue or ISDN devices into the relevant ports.

Brexit Britain changes its mind, says non, nein, no to Europe's unified patent court – potentially sealing its fate

JohnG Silver badge

The ECJ is the court of last resort within the EU and for matters of EU law - which won't apply in the UK after the the end of the transition period. In the same way, when assorted British colonies became independent, they were no longer under the jurisdiction of UK courts or UK law. The UK is a member of the UN and the WTO but is no longer a member of the EU.

MPs to grill Post Office and Fujitsu execs on Horizon IT scandal after workers jailed over accounting errors

JohnG Silver badge

"MPs to grill Post Office and Fujitsu execs on Horizon IT scandal after employees jailed over accounting errors"

Sub-postmasters are not employees of the Post Office - they are more like franchisees.

Surprise! Plans for a Brexit version of the EU's Galileo have been delayed

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Can't we just...

The issue is not about the commercial service - it is about the secure Public Regulated Service and commercial organisation will not have access to this.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

JohnG Silver badge

Re: "they were entering into one-and-a-half month's of pre-redundancy consultation"

If they jump before they are pushed, they would not be entitled to redundancy or unfair dismissal payments.

JohnG Silver badge

If the jobs are being/have been advertised in India and the company is retaining a presence in the UK, then it would appear that the roles are not actually redundant and TUPE should apply. If Maersk has not offered alternative employment or relocation, this could be seen as unfair dismissal. But IANAL.

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Who was responsible

Direct Line gives a 5% discount for Tesla cars that have Autopilot, which I guess they based on empirical evidence.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Heretic!

"Just go look at the Tesla forums and you will see the vitriol that is spouted when anyone dares to criticise something (such as rust) on their Tesla."

Product fanbois brutally mob product critic in online product forum shock

From my experience, postings on product forums are people complaining that the product or customer service is useless, fanbois saying that the product and company are wonderful and other people asking a question asked every two weeks, the answer to which is in the product manual.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: I am grateful for all the testing that these idiots are doing for Tesla

"... disabling the vehicle by moving to the side of the road when the user has stopped monitoring the AI."

The system does do this - but after warning the driver a few times. The gap between warnings is based on distance travelled.

One problem has been that of stupid drivers using devices designed to defeat the detection of the driver holding the steering wheel, so that they can play video games, watch films or do other things that they have been told they should not do when driving.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Tesla never said it's driverless

"About 2 minutes in he's talking about the various options on the car and says something like "...or pay an extra $7,000 for the full self-driving capability"."

FSD is an option which provides some features to Tesla cars now but promises to provide "Full Self Driving" at some future but as yet unknown date. Buying the option would cover any software or hardware upgrades needed to achieve FSD, if it ever becomes reality. But a fair proportion of Tesla owners consider FSD to be a unicorn that will never be seen.

JohnG Silver badge

Re: Tesla never said it's driverless

"All Teslas required large oil burning machines to pull the various battery metals out of the ground and ship it to the processing plant & then on to the factories. It can take a very long time for an electric car to become more 'green' overall than a petrol/diesel motor, (German Teslas run on about 30% coal & lignite)."

UCUSA reckon it takes from 6 to 16 months of driving for an EV to have offset the increased impact of it's manufacture, compared with an ICE vehicle.


JohnG Silver badge

Re: Tesla never said it's driverless

"Autopilot" or similar systems in aircraft and ships do not provide autonomous flying/sailing and crew are required to be ready to take control at all times - just like Tesla's Autopilot.

Autopilot does not provide autonomous driving, flying, sailing, etc.

Vodafone: Yes, we slurp data on customers' network setups, but we do it for their own good

JohnG Silver badge

IANAL bit it seems extremely dodgy for a service provider (with whom you have a contract) to demand that you agree to having your personal data handed to some third party (with whom you have no contract,no legal relationship and no contact). It sounds like the sort of thing that should not happen by default and not without a customer's explicit permission.


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