* Posts by alain williams

2102 posts • joined 29 May 2007

Not much of this actually from 'China anymore,' says Northern Light Motors boss

alain williams Silver badge

Sourcing everything from the UK

I approve of that - it is barmy that we drag a lot of stuff ½ way round the world when we should make it here. Reducing dependence on an increasingly aggressive dictatorship is also a good idea.

Unfortunately stuff from China is often cheaper. Is this just that wages are less there ?

Tech companies ready public stances on Roe v. Wade

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What when helping a women get an abortion is criminalised ?

This is what will happen in some states. Helping pay for a flight or even driving someone to an airport to go get an abortion will open you to criminal proceedings. Will these nice sounding policies survive an onslaught like that ? I hope so, but ...

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash

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So when one of these things is junked ...

should it not it be standard procedure to disconnect/remove the battery ? I do realise that this might not be very easy if the EV is all bent & twisted after some accident.

Cloudflare explains how it managed to break the internet

alain williams Silver badge

Re: More than just their users affected

An important idea within DNS is to have multiple servers so you should have had slave servers with other providers. 8.8.8.8 would do nicely or even have a few your own, it is not hard.

US lawsuit alleges tool used by hospitals shares patient data with Meta

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Publish Zuck's medical information

That would be a fitting punishment.

Concerns that £360m data platform for NHS England is being set up to fail

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Data grab

This worries me about working with Plantir, how can we be sure that they, or the other bidders, will not quietly add what they learn to the profiles being built about us. Especially so for USA based companies that are subject to the Patriot Act.

Why is it that I always misread Peter Thiel as Peter Thief ?

Fusion won't avert need for climate change 'sacrifice', says nuclear energy expert

alain williams Silver badge

"US government has promised around $1 billion in investment in nuclear fusion over five years"

Ie $200 million/year. The 2022 USA military budget is $715 billion, some 3,500 times as much. It seems to me that the priorities are not quite right here.

OK: I know that increasing funding can only speed up R&D so much but given the huge cost of impending climate change - surely we should be investing more; we being more than just the USA.

Sick of Windows but can't afford a Mac? Consult our cynic's guide to desktop Linux

alain williams Silver badge

"overly cautious approaches to updates and upgrades"

This is something that I like. I want my computers to be boring - ie just work and not have things fail because of some improvement (ie update) that breaks the way that I do things. This is why my servers run RedHat (or Rocky) or Debian - long lifetimes. I can keep the base OS but run the current version of PHP or similar -- so get the best of both worlds.

Linux Mint for my laptop and what I recommend to friends.

OK: I will also run bleeding edge (Arch) in a VM as I am a techie and want to see what is coming down the line. If I was not I would not.

The one thing that I would like stable OSs to update is the latest Unicode glyphs - so that I can understand what friends are saying when they send an email containing a new emoji.

Amazon puts 'creepy' AI cameras in UK delivery vans

alain williams Silver badge

Does Besos have a camera

above his desk, does it impact his pay if he does not work hard enough ?

Microsoft tests ‘Suggested Actions’ in Windows 11. Insiders: Can we turn it off?

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What does it say ...

if you start downloading a Linux iso ?

At last, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 9.0 slips out

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desktop

This is why I went from CentOS 6 to Debian on my desktop - so that I could run Mate.

Watchdog rubber-stamps cavity-detecting neural network for dentists

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Should not the headline ...

have talked about the AI drilling down through the data ?

$10b National Security Agency contract re-awarded to AWS

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How much tax ...

will Amazon pay on that $10b ?

Former NHS AI leader joins US spy-tech firm Palantir

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How do we verify ...

that information given to Palantir will not then be used for non NHS purposes or given to USA spooks ?

British motorists will be allowed to watch TV in self-driving vehicles

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Will it be allowed to drive me back from the pub ?

When I have had a jar too many.

IBM not cooperating with discovery, say attorneys in age-discrimination case

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It makes me wonder ...

what have they got to hide ?

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop

alain williams Silver badge

What you are used to is perceived as best

No-one (or almost no-one) wants to dig around for a third rate alternative to the software they've grown used to.

Also: no one wants to learn to use a first rate alternative to the third rate software that they've grown used to.

Unlike many here most people have zero interest in software, many stare blankly at you when you ask them which web browser they use - it is "the Internet", they are unaware that there is a program that they use to get there.

They buy a PC/laptop and just accept whatever it comes with to use the Internet. Everything else (eg view an image, open a document) just happens - they do not think that programs are involved, even less that there might be a choice as to which program to use.

We are the strange ones: those who think about such things.

(Speaking as someone who got into Unix 40 years ago and now just uses Linux)

Swedish firms ink deal to make green hydrogen with wind power

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Oxygen by product

Will they do anything with it or just let it gas into the atmosphere ?

ESA's Sentinel-1A satellite narrowly dodges debris

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100 meters at 50,000 kmph

is not a lot of room for error. I am impressed.

How large was this bit of debris ?

EU law threatening 'commercially painful changes' for tech out tonight

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What data do they take ...

they must be forced to fully describe what data they take and what they do with it. Eg none of this sort of games by Google.

Users must be allowed to say "no" to this data grab in a way that is just as easy as re-enabling it; the default should be "no".

If this is broken the penalty should be a large fine AND jail time for the programmers & their managers all the way to the top.

Android's Messages, Dialer apps quietly sent text, call info to Google

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Re: GDPR

The only way of stopping this sort of thing from happening again is fines levied on individuals: a sum about equal to 1 year's salary would be about right. This should be paid by the: programmers, their managers all the way to the top.

If it is a find paid by google then little will change.

Biden says Russia exploring revenge cyberattacks

alain williams Silver badge

Re: It all smells like "WMD" to me...

The latest pretext to draw the West into conflict.

What is the advantage to Putin to start a punch up where, at best, everyone gets a bloody nose and at worse we all get destroyed ?

Unless the thinking is "I am going down, I'll take everyone else with me."

I always assumed that politicians had some sense of history: how will they be viewed in 200 years time, hero or villain ?

FIDO Alliance says it has finally killed the password

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I do not trust my smartphone

and do not like biometrics (I cannot change my face).

Passwords work

Are we springing into a Y2K-class nightmare?

alain williams Silver badge

Re: USA change its date format ...

I do remember in the early 1970s the TV cook The Galloping Gourmet measured wine in "Slurps". I never worked out how much that was.

alain williams Silver badge

USA change its date format ...

that would be nice.

How about also adopting the same paper sizes as the rest of the world ?

Ireland: Meta fined $18.6m for breaking EU's GDPR

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'the fine was "entirely disproportionate."'

Correct, the fine should have been 10 x as much: €2,250 million

Where are the (serious) Russian cyberattacks?

alain williams Silver badge

Re: "Putin may not be insane"

I think that it is unwise to label someone who is dangerous as insane as we then downplay, to ourselves, how they can act: sometimes very rationally. Thus we might not take it as seriously as we should.

We need to understand that he has a plan. This plan is long term and has been worked on.

I suspect that the plan has feet of clay as none of his advisors wants to be the one who tells Putin of invalid assumptions, etc, that the plan is based on.

Having said that I am fearful that, when his back is to the wall that, he might show little restraint and start chucking nukes around. If he feel that he is on the way out then why worry about anyone else being blown up.

Russia mulls making software piracy legal and patent licensing compulsory

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So Russia looking at China

and doing as China does.

How much of a change will this be anyway ?

Deutsche Bank seeks options as sanctions threaten Russian dev unit

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'fast-track "knowledge transfer" from developers in Russia'

In other words "not everything is documented". This is monumentally stupid ... although commonly happens but no one speaks about it :-(

The zero-password future can't come soon enough

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Re: "the charge into a passwordless future"

If one of my passwords gets compromised, I can change it. I can't change my fingerprints.

+1

Maxar Technologies: The eye in the sky tracking invasion of Ukraine

alain williams Silver badge

Eye in the sky until blinded

Would Putin be able to blind it by pointing a powerful laser at it ?

Do the satellites have some protection to stop the cameras being so burned out ?

Does Putin care ? As long as he controls the media in Russia it does not matter what sky eyes tell the rest of the world.

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies

alain williams Silver badge

They want a passport ...

I suspect that any passport will do. How do they verify that the passport that I give them is mine ?

I think that we should all submit that of Nadine Dorries or Nick Clegg - depending on which gender we decide that we want to be today.

Like that we would stop SM sites from data mining our passports & joining up everything we do on-line; before it all goes AWOL in a huge data breach or is sold to some future Cambridge Analytica.

Dutch govt issues data protection report card for Microsoft

alain williams Silver badge

What about mandatory account for windows 11 ?

This is a new slurp of personal data. Why is it necessary, how long is the data held, who is it shared with ?

European Union takes China to WTO over smartphone patents

alain williams Silver badge

Take them to court outside China

Get a court injunction in the EU, USA, ... to prevent the Chinese made goods being sold in the EU, USA, ... on the grounds of IP violation.

Internet connection now required for Windows 11 Pro Insider setup

alain williams Silver badge

Illegal under the GDPR

The GDPR has several things to say about this.

* Right to be informed Does MS say what it does with the personal info, how long it keeps it, etc, and be concise, transparent, intelligible, easily accessible, and it must use clear and plain language ?

* necessary Why is this data necessary for the PC to work? It has not until now, so what has changed ?

The EU might take MS to court - but until then MS may refuse to let your PC work.

UK regulator 'broke international law', says Facebook

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Pot calling the kettle black

If the CMA did break anything in the first place.

Linux tops Google's Project Zero charts for fastest bug fixes

alain williams Silver badge

Raw bug counts are not very meaninful

Project Zero is about security vulnerabilities but not all vulnerabilities are equally bad: some are harder to exploit, others have limited impact.

A vendor should, rightly, prioritise fixing some bugs over others.

Russian 'Minecraft bomb plot' teen jailed for five years

alain williams Silver badge

Will they be in a real prison

or one in Minecraft ?

Reality check: We should not expect our communications to remain private

alain williams Silver badge

Do not have a poll with a negative in it

We should not expect our communications to remain private

It makes it easy to click on the wrong yes/no. I know that the el-Reg readership is by & large intelligent but we can be busy or rushed.

The question would have been much better worded "We should be able expect our communications to remain private"

World's top chipmaking equipment maker claims Chinese rival may infringe IP

alain williams Silver badge

Its all lies they will tell you

Push them and the Chinese government will claim that it is a lie -- just as they claim for everything else that they do but pretend that they do not.

France says Google Analytics breaches GDPR when it sends data to US

alain williams Silver badge

Also consent not sought

Before taking personal data the GDPR also mandates that the user be clearly informed and their consent sought. This does not happen with any of these things.

UK government gifts new £250m hosting contract to its own joint venture

alain williams Silver badge

This makes sense in so many ways

A Wiltshire based company so easier to do a security audit & keep on so.

Based in the UK, so out of reach of things like the USA patriot act, increase UK based skills.

A joint venture: good for audit and stop bleeding profits overseas.

UK science stuck in 'holding pattern' on EU funding by Brexit, says minister

alain williams Silver badge

Why not borrow from the NHS Brexit bonus ?

As far as I am aware most of the £350 million/week has not been paid to the NHS - so surely a little can be taken from that.

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

alain williams Silver badge

Backup disk full

I wrote a script to do automated backup of a Linux box at night to a remote (NFS) disk. Old backups were removed to not fill the backup disk.

The script sent an email saying what happened. My customer did not want to pay for me to check the emails, so to him only.

Several years later some gremlin removed a bunch of files. I was asked to restore from backup. The backup disk had gone full as what was being backed up had grown.

"Did you not see the error emails ?" I asked. He had got bored with the backup emails and set a rule to automatically save them somewhere so that he did not have to look at them.

Too clever by half!

Website fined by German court for leaking visitor's IP address via Google Fonts

alain williams Silver badge

Will google have to remove

the information that we now learn it obtained illegally ?

It does not matter if it was google's fault, it has personal information obtained without consent.

Even if google says that it has removed the information, do we trust them to be truthful ?

alain williams Silver badge

Faster web sites

will be a beneficial result of stopping all of this linking, little of which is really noticeable to the user.

New York Times outlays seven-figure sum for 1,900 lines of JavaScript – yes, we mean Wordle

alain williams Silver badge

How long before 1,900 lines becomes 19,000

and includes google analytics and all that sort of crap ?

UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules

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Clause 1 of the bill

Banning in the same sentence the phrases "party" and "Downing Street".

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

alain williams Silver badge

Re: If that wasn't bad enough...

Still, I'm struggling to understand how he can be extradited while the UK fraud case is unresolved.

Because the USA government wants to give a USA company its money back. Money that it lost as it did not do due diligence before it bought Autonomy. Once he is in the USA he will be found guilty no matter what is the outcome of the UK fraud case. He will prolly be offered a plea bargain: admit guilt or risk 200 years in prison.

alain williams Silver badge

Re: 1,500 pages? Damn that's huge.

But why a 2 year delay ?

Who is being pressured ?

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