* Posts by xeroks

295 posts • joined 27 Apr 2010


Three things that have vanished: $3.6bn in Bitcoin, a crypto investment biz, and the two brothers who ran it


Re: Company compliance officer

To be fair, a tech company run by a 17 and 21 year old with billions of other people's money is exactly the target organised crime would go for.

And with those rewards, they might not be too squeamish about how they did it. Computer hacking isn't the only way of doing this stuff: good old-fashioned finger hacking would do the trick too.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead


Suitable investment for a large company

Anyone any idea how much SCO - in its bankrupt state - have cost to buy?

If I ran a big, big linux using company, the idea of buying SCO might be reasonable, if only to minimise the legal costs associated with this kind of action. If I had less morals, I might use the purchase and start suing the opposition.

Hell, I daresay that I could pay linux licencing fees to my own company as part of a "tax management" scheme, and decrease my tax liabilities.

Scientists stumped by strange X-rays from Uranus


Uranians with sellotape.

Python Package Index nukes 3,653 malicious libraries uploaded soon after security shortcoming highlighted


Someone somewhere

Even with the libraries removed, someone somewhere now has a list of organisations who are vulnerable to this attack, along with the name of at least some of their private libraries.

Let's hope the someone is wearing a white hat, and will let the organisations know.

Seagate UK customer stung by VAT on replacement drive shipped via the Netherlands


It doesn't have to be this way.

Since the item was being replaced for free - I don't understand is why Seagate's UK subsidiary couldn't pay the VAT and reclaim it.

I recently bought a music thing for a German retailer, who have a UK store. I paid UK VAT at the time of purchase

The item was shipped directly from Germany. Delivery was about a week later than estimated due to "brexit related issues", which is better than I expected. I didn't, however, have to pay VAT again, and I didn't have to pay an admin fee to the courier.

Clearly the vendor has got all this sorted out. Apparently they previously had some issues with the forms they had to fill out, but they were resolved by the start of February.

If this German company can fight it's way through the quagmire of Brexit, so can anyone.

Nominet vows to freeze wages and prices, boost donations, and be more open. For many members, it’s too little, too late


Re: They only had one thing to do...

if any of those ventures had gone right, do you really believe the domain registration side would have benefitted? Or that the charitable donations would increase?

The only beneficiaries would have been the people on the board of that wing - ie the same old faces. You can bet the the subsidiary would end up claving off via a management buy out - to the same board members, no doubt.

UK Test and Trace chief Dido Harding tries to convince MPs that £14m for canned mobile app was money well spent


was this really the UK track and trace?

Scotland and Northern Ireland have their own apps based on the Republic of Ireland's one.

Sony launches ‘Airpeak’ drone division


Intersting to see which way Sony fall on this tech. They tend, as an organisation, towards being overly proprietary. Their solid state music players were lovely pieces of tech, but didn't play MP3s or something weird, only playing their own formatted files. Same for their readers.

I mean I understand why, given their history with video formats, but it has hampered them over the years as they've tried to move into other areas.

Apple cracks down on iOS terminal apps because they can download code


it's a conflict for Apple.

They, on the one hand would like iPads to be seen as "professional" and for working. But at the same time, the things that make iPads somewhat simpler to manage are the very things that get in the way of getting any work done.

I've tried coding on ipad a couple of time: previously using Textastic to code javascript. More recently using pythonista. Coding in both of these these was fine. I could even write and run tests in pythonista.

The main issue I had was source control. I understand git had to be removed from pythonista because it broke Apples rules ( it allowed people to download code)

There's a separate git application available now, but you have to import and export each file you change. It's very awkward, and not really usable on a multifile project.

FYI: NASA appears to have scooped dirt from an asteroid 200 million miles away and plans to bring it back home


Re: Interesting decision

They'll have decided in advance what to do given whatever range of masses they retrieve. I'm guessing, given the consistent "60g" message we've been getting, that's the breakpoint: less than that then they're going back. The risks associated with the landing are considerable: it's better to have 62g of dust than none at all.

Atlassian pulls the plug on server licences, drags customers to the cloud


Github Enterprise it is then.

I heard last week we were probably moving off confluence, I guess this is why.

If so, we'll be migrating off bitbucket too. And Jira. What a pain in the arse.

Shame, I quite liked them.

Years after we detected two neutron stars crashing into each other, we're still picking up X-rays. We don't know why


Re: "the emissions are 100 billion times brighter than those from the Sun"

DNA reference <nods>

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets


Re: What should I use instead




upvoted because for decades my goto DIY tools were a medium sized swiss army knife and a pair of mole grips.

I have other tools now, but they dynamic duo get regular outings.

As for excel. Microsoft did try to upgrade it, calling the results Access. We all know how that went.

The perils of building a career on YouTube: Guitar teacher's channel nearly deleted after music publisher complains


playing with the big boys.

copyright is a bugger.

In this case the complaint is probably correct.

I recall back in the day a free musicican's magazine called Making Music, which had a guitar lesson feature as part of an in depth look at the recording of a recent hit - Kylie's version of The Locomotion. They featured tab and the lyrics to the song. There would be a similar article next month, they promised.

Next month, there was an EXTREMELY humble note to say sorry to the publisher and they would never do it again and thankyouverymuchfornotputtingusoutofbusiness sir.

Funnily I don't recall subsequent editions ever doing anything similar.

Let's go space truckin': 1970s probe Voyager 1 is now 14 billion miles from home


Re: Not even coronavirus can stop Voyager!

I did not know of the existence of this book.

That's one Christmas present sorted out.


Oh no! There are more of them. Lots more.

This may require several Christmases...

Cops called to Singapore golf club after 'wrongdoers' use scripts to book popular timeslots


Re: Is it hacking?

IIRC when the police turned up at his door, he initially denied accessing the charity's website, which he later backed away from. I don't know if that was a case of him lying, him answering a technically incorrect question correctly, or him simply forgetting he'd done it.

I understood this denial was the main reason he was prosecuted.


Re: Why would that help?

Ticketing systems which allow scalping like that are also discriminatory and should be fixed using a lottery/auctioning system.

I also think ticketing systems should make it easier - much easier - to sell tickets on to other people while protecting the event organisers of course). but that's another story.


I disagree completely.

It is perhaps, a different use from the intended workflow. But I'd say the problem is that the intended workflow does not consider the real world where humans don't have to slowly type stuff into a website.

Apart from anything else, a time-critical workflow like this discriminates against all sorts of people: people with physical disabilities, people whose internet connection breaks, people who are unable to spend the time at the exact critical seconds etc.

There are obvious fixes: you put your name down for a slot in advance, and when the slot becomes available, the system decides which of the applicants wins it. Alternatively people (or bots) can only apply after the slot becomes available, but the applications are stored for a fixed time period before the system decides the winner.

The decision proces re who wins could be lottery, but could also be an auction, or a combination.

Space station update: Mystery tiny but growing air leak sparks search for hole


Re: how to find the leak though.

came here to say this

Ex-Apple engineer lifts lid on Uncle Sam's top-secret plan to turn customized iPod into 'Geiger counter'


Re: Supposition!

think you're right about the geiger counter being a plausible lie for children. Less sure about it being a simple bug. In 2005, there many ways of doing that without this level of complexity, but I suppose it would be useful if someone was liable to be searched for a wire.

Given they didn't come back, it may have been a general toolkit: that their software changes would have allowed for a variety of hardware.

Trump administration labels WeChat, TikTok ‘threats’ to national security, bans transactions with both


entirely expected step towards the endo of the internet.

It was more of a question of when than if the fragmentation of the internet would occur. This is just one of the steps that move us all in that direction.

It's not hypocritical for the US to deny other countries access to the data they themselves access, it's just a recognition of the truth: data is king.

Amazon gets green-light to blow $10bn on 3,000+ internet satellites. All so Americans can shop more on Amazon


Re: Kessler effect

Never underestimate the size of airport car parks.

IT giant CSC coughs up $2m after helping New York City bill Medicaid for child therapy rather than insurance cos


Re: I am somewhat confused by this statement

I understand they're saying 2 different things in that statement:

1: CSC themselves have not been accused profiting from monies recieved from medicaid.

2. there has been no accusation that NYC received money they weren't entitled to.

my reading is that the only thing CSC did wrong was to wrongly bill mediaid, when in fact the money should have come from insurance companies.

Mysterious supernova is blasting far-flung galaxy with flashes of UV light – and astroboffins don't know why


Re: Hmm ...

Djinn N’tonnix? And he was able to pick up a wrench? Either this guy has the constitution of an asteroid donkey or this is made up.

Segway to Heaven: Mega-hyped wonder-scooter that was going to remake city transport to cease production


Re: Initial Hype

I understand the Segway was very different to whatever was on the original NDA'd presentations. I guess what was presented was impractical or too revolutionary at the time.

i'd love to see what it actually was though.


Re: In the UK

from the research I've read, both alcohol and tobacco are worse for you than canabis.

By worse IIRC they are both more addictive and their effect / side effects are more likely to kill you.

China's internet watchdog freezes 10 too-trashy online video services before they undermine socialism


on the other hand..

If you've followed the problems Naomi Wu has had from western companies - big ones - you'll see that capitalism plus conservative activists can have the same effect.

(If you've not heard of her, she's a Shenzhen - based tech polymath: vlogger. maker, coder, designer. Her tech content is pretty awesome. But she has people gunning for her pretty much permanently, and it's almost entirely from the West. While there's a big dose of good ole fashioned misogyny, it's exacerbated by people who don't like the way she dresses (or doesn't)

GitHub to replace master with main across its services


weird comments section for the register?

I was very surprised to see how the comments section of this story has gone. not so much the comments, because people have different viewpoints and vive la difference etc.

It's more the voting: people with entirely valid, reasonable viewpoints being heavily downvoted. It would be interesting to see how often these voters take part normally, or if vested parties have been targetting what shouldn't be a hugely contentious issue.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen


Re: Full source code

also the device should easily allow the user to change the "home" url to allow them to swtich to a 3rd party supplier.


Re: Win 7 anyone?

to be fair the sony "smart" TVs and blu-ray players were so unresponsive it was unbelievable.

I have a feeling they only talked to sony servers, which acted as a very slow intermediary for iPlayer etc.

Fancy watching 'Bake Off' together with mates and alone at the same time? The BBC's built a tool to do that


Re: But...

you can watch reruns from the BBC2 days, maybe.

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial


used webex at the weekend

for a family catch up. I was trying to wean the folks off of zoom for <waves hands vaguely> security reasons.

The ui was a bit clunky, but better than I had expected. Last time i used it it was voice & screenshare only.

They seem to have apps for the main platforms: ios, android and what was the other one?

It wasn't as user friendly as Zoom, people found the audio linking confusing. On my Ipad it maxed out at 6 people onscreen at a time, and they were moved around constantly. You had to scroll to see the remaining participants.

On the up side, the call quality was considerably better than when we'd used zoom the previous week (I think they must have had a lot of traffic at 7pm on a saturday).

Also the free account gives unlimited length meetings, at the moment, which beats Zoom's annoyingly short 40 min calls.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI


Re: Well, this is all fair enough, but...

It doesn't stop him paying its human for his services.

The question is: is the AI a slave or a valued colleague?

(also note that companies regularly assert rights over their employees IPR, which is kind of part of the discussion)


Re: Plus ca change

Thaler doesn't sound like a nut-job to me. He's clearly the human front for an alien AI.

Seriously, his points will become valid later this century in relation to human created AI. It all boils down to: which entities (humans, AIs, aliens, animals) have no rights and can be enslaved, and which have rights and cannot.

Snapchat domain squatter loses comedy £1m URL sellback attempt


do you feel lucky, punk?

The tone of that message suggests to me that he maybe received a friendly letter from snapchat's lawyers, possibly outlining in simple terms the implications of them taking him to court. like being asked to pay costs when they inevitably won.

With some realistic numbers attached, shit would have gotten real, I reckon.

In-depth: Deloitte and accounts expert both cleared what HPE described as 'contrived' Autonomy sales


Re: it's the chicken

fair cop guv, it's chlorine dioxide.

The point still stands.


Re: Is this the best HP have?


To take a purely theoretical view:

Imagine company A has a sale in the offing with company K, which has said "of course we want to buy your product, but I need to ask the boss next quarter. The boss will definitely, definitely approve it, which is why I need to wait and ask."

However Company A wants to book that sale this quarter, for whatever reason.

What would stop someone creating a brand new, burner Company C and using that as an intermediary? If Company K's boss agrees to the purchase, Company C gets a cut, if the boss disagrees, Company C goes to the wall, and Company A writes off the loss.


it's the chicken

The problem with chlorine washed chicken is not the chlorine, it's the chicken.

The chlorine is there because the US has very low standards re. the rearing of poultry, so an attempt has to be made to sterilize the chicken before it hits the food chain. It doesn't always work, which is why the US has relatively high levels of food poisoning.

The EU has much higher standards, so the chicken doesn't need to be sterilized during production.

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries


Re: Beware survival bias

i always wondered why capacitor-based power tools disappeared.

My use case for electric screwdriver is that it's ony used occasionally, with brief flurries when I use it a lot.

I had a battery screwdriver which was flat every time I needed it, or sitting charging pointlessly. When that finally died, I found a capcitor screwdriver. Takes about 1 minute to charge from flat.

Yes, it doesn't take long to go flat, but then it's only another minute to recharge again.

Five years in the clink for super-crook who scammed Google, Facebook out of $120m with fake tech invoices


Re: He should of just hit normal people

As I understand it, money laundering return rates are very poor, so I'm guessing it's not as going to be as much as that.

You're drinking morning coffee in 2019. These eggheads are in 2119 landing drones on their arms like robo-falconers


guess the next step is to include instant recharge facilities on those landing pads

Halfords invents radio signals that don't travel at the speed of light


Re: Definition

I came here to say this. I know - and takepart in the pedantry here at el reg - but it's obvious someone has tried to take the concept of "higher frequency radio allows data to be transferred at a higher rate" and translate it into non-technical language.

it's like all science teaching: "lies for children" it gets the basic concept across. If someone's interested, they can can learn more later.

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers


Re: getting rear-ended

also note that there is a one-second "do not react" delay in place, presumably to prevent the car's continual panic alerts from affecting the driving.

Thought you were good at StarCraft? DeepMind's AI bot proves better than 99.8% of fleshy humans


Re: Want to play a game?

I think we can be fairly sure t has.

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship


Love Film?

I'd always assumed the demise of video rental shops was down to postal services like Love Film. That one was killed off by Amazon a few years back, presumably because it was far superior to their streaming service.

Luckily www.cinemaparadiso.co.uk is still on the go, and has a way better selection of films than any of the streaming services I've seen.

So, what's fashion going to look like on the Moon in 2024? NASA's ready to show you the goods


Re: Orange is ...

this was my first thought too.


The helmet colour & design isn't quite right yet though. All those years of development and all they needed was some spray paint and an off the shelf motorbike helmet.

Lies, damn lies, and KPIs: Let's not fix the formula until we have someone else to blame


Re: bigwigs had spent the last year working on ... "numbers totally unrelated to reality"

I thought - at first - you had got them the wrong way round deliberately. All you needed to do was add "/s" to pull off a double bamboozle.

Watch out! Andromeda, the giant spiral galaxy colliding with our own Milky Way, has devoured several galaxies before


survival is the real issue

The spearhead of the invasion force began to cross the 5,000 light years of intergalactic space in an attempt to form a bridgehead for the main force. Their forecasts of chaotic stellar trajectories updated in real time and fed into a matrix of plans and contingencies a million years in the making.

"Conquer... or be conquered!" had been the rallying cry which had brought together a galaxy in turmoil. Thousands of star systems had been sacrificed, converted into materiel for the conflict ahead. And there would be conflict, because they could see similar preparations being made on the other side of the gulf. They could surmise the strategies behind the out-of-sequence supernovae, stars perceptibly changing course and so on, but were more concerned about what they couldn't see.


Re: Could it be?

"I've always like a mental model of space being like a balloon that is being slowly inflated, with the universe (in 2D) on the surface of the balloon."

but are we on the inside or outside of the balloon? And what's on the other side?



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