* Posts by Harry Kiri

91 posts • joined 12 May 2010


UK's Newport Wafer Fab now under Chinese ownership

Harry Kiri

Re: A fortune for pennies

It's interesting to hear what the younger 'woke' generation think is 'nice'. There's an organisation you need to hear about called Amnesty International. They have some quite good examples of what 'not nice' is.

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/ (It's in large fonts for the hard of thinking too.)

You might realise what a lovely fluffy bunny world you live in, compared to, well most other places. And how you would be treated if you visited there...

Survey of astronomers and geophysicists shines a light on 'bleak' systemic bullying

Harry Kiri

But unless she has specific history with this individual

It has to be this 'unconscious bias' thing we hear about so much in the news...

Proposed amendments to UK Finance Bill target rogue umbrella companies ripping off contractors after IR35

Harry Kiri

Re: Pennies and Pounds

No, because you pay Corporation Tax on dividends (as well as income tax) which fluctuates around the 20% mark (currently 19%) so in the grand scheme of things it is pennies.

If you're a contractor believe me you feel like you're paying tax all end up, mainly because you are.

China hauls in 13 web giants for ‘supervision interviews’

Harry Kiri

Re: Ethereal AntICQs

Well done, I didnt get past our inscrutable Chinese Wu Mao friend's first sentence! Still 12.5 cents a paragraph will keep one in rice and face masks for a few days.

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Harry Kiri

Re: Can you really get a version that says "Bringing on........

It is a fantastic piece of free software with some very clever algorithms and plug-ins. A lot of comments relate to it being difficult and a steep learning curve and that's fair, but complex things are hard to learn - personally I've plugged away and got it to do what I want, not always on first go.

Complex things either prescribe how you use them, in which case its a pain to get them to do anything different from the author's intended approach, or they provide a tool-kit of options that you have to figure out, gives that steep curve, but is far more flexible. For beginners, gimp and photoshop are similarly complex...

America's democracy on the brink, Brexit looming, climate crashing... when better to get the first fast radio burst from our own galaxy?

Harry Kiri

Re: Not even close.. let me guess, not an American...

"Not an American? Then mind your own f*cking business."

Correct - this is not an American web-site - it's quite worldly. You have a lot of anger, some of which is understandable, but rant somewhere relevant or cool off as you're doing no-one any favours.

On a more relevant note, if anyone is interested in magnetars this is quite an entertaining 15 min explanation (I have no connection to this, I just enjoy his videos).


AI me to the Moon... Carbon footprint for 'training GPT-3' same as driving to our natural satellite and back

Harry Kiri

Re: 190000kWh...

The tragedy of the commons....

190000kWh is a staggering amount of energy that doesn't produce anything tangible. If people using gpt-3 or any other ai are 'clever' then they should be responsible enough to account for the impact of what they're doing.

I've read an estimate that data centres account for 3% of global emissions - the same as air travel. Yep there are error bars there but these things have a cost that needs some recognition.

IBM: Our AI correctly predicts onset of Alzheimer’s 71% of the time, better than standard clinical tests

Harry Kiri

1. The supposed increase in performance uses a different data set. You cannot claim an increase in performance for your technique if you use different data.

2. You also cannot claim an increase in performance if the false positives aren't stated - just saying everyone is of class X, correctly identifies everyone may be in class X. They may not have Alzheimers or they may have something else as Screwed rightly points out.

Huawei launches UK charm offensive: We've provided 2G, 3G and 4G for 20 years, and you're worried about 5G?

Harry Kiri

Re: The bigger issue is rising Chinese power

"El Regers might know some code, but very little about the world. Do more research, children."

Get you - read one little red book and that's your entire education.

BT reopens £90m UK High Court case over 1970s VAT 'overpayments'

Harry Kiri

Re: Meanwhile in IR35 land...

"Get a job with a Company" - This isn't Russia - why should my small Company be picked on to the benefit of the Qinetiqs, PwC, KPMG, Leidos et al?

"Put your rates up" - thanks, hadn't thought of that. The problem with the Putin tax is it is so swingeing you cannot commercially put rates up high enough to compensate.

"Work for more than 2 people per month" - you haven't a clue about IR35, have you? Its on a role by role basis. You can work for one day and still be within IR35.

"The issue is, you're effectively an employee" - if I'm an employee, then EVERYONE who contracts to another company is an employee, so EVERYONE should be caught. Defence Prime supplying the MoD? Well, you're acting as pseudo-employees and working under supervision - day-rates get hit by 63% tax. You provide a service contract? Employee by definition - bang 63% on your service charges. You do design? Then you're acting as a pseudo employee design team - 63% off of your company charged day-rate. Then take it out of the employee wages - maybe that will focus a few minds which are coming over as a bit blunt.

Review of IR35 is in: Quelle surprise, UK.gov will forge ahead with controversial tax reforms in the private sector

Harry Kiri

Re: Not really a suprise.

In the last 10 years, there have been 16 IR35 court cases that HMRC have instigated. Just 2 were won by HMRC, and 2 were split decisions. In 75% of the cases that HMRC took to Court, they were proved wrong. Any other body that was wrong 75% of the time would be deemed as unfit for purpose.

This doesn't include where they've investigated, shown a contractor is outside of IR35 and not pursued legal action - I know of a fair few of these.

Deliberately and spitefully manipulating the system so Contractees force a punitive tax regime on Contractors shows the HMRC is rotten to the core. Virtually all contracts have become IR35, not because they are, but because of a fear of HMRC investigation and that's not something fit for a democracy.


Don't worry, IT contractors. New UK chancellor says HMRC will be gentle pushing IR35 rules

Harry Kiri

Re: HMRC reckons that only one in 10 contractors

Er - you might want to check your maths - in the last 10 years, when there's been better legal understanding of IR35 legislation the HMRC have chased up just SEVENTEEN businesses, won 2 judgements and had 2 split decisions. Splitting the draws this gives about 84% in favour of contracts NOT BEING IN IR35.

Remember HMRC will only go to court if they think they've got a case, I know a fair few people who have been investigated for IR35 compliance and found outside - these figures do not include those and are not publicised by HMRC either.

Harry Kiri

"The clients have no one with my skills in the company, so IR35 does not apply."

You plainly do not have a clue. This has never been a determination for IR35. Substitution and MOO have been the main discriminators.

Unless this nonsense is sorted industry wide you'll be hounded out soon. Maybe you'll last longer or maybe you won't, but the doors have slammed shut and no-one is listening.

If you're in a position today where you can decide on your clients, then woop-de-doo, but make the most of it because this industry changes fast and so will your prospects.

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms

Harry Kiri

Re: BAe

That's a very good point and soon Contractors within IR35 will be suing Agencies and Contractees left, right and centre - the first time someone is seriously ill and needs a substantial time off (or paternity leave, or even bank holidays) there'll be legal action, someone other than contractors are going to get stung and this thing will either be dropped or a dose of realism put in place.

Harry Kiri


Well I'm waiting for the determination from BAe at this very moment. The agent won't push as he's scared of upsetting them. HMRC have made sure that there is no incentive for Contractees to come up with an accurate determination, if you put everyone inside you're fine, there is no punishment if you falsely over-tax - and what exactly is the path for Contractors to get a review? There isn't one. This is not how a democracy works. This is not how a fit-for-purpose HMRC would work.

Still, if HMRC go after the PwCs, Andersons, Mckinseys, Sercos next (a service contract must surely be disguised employment), plus they tax Amazon, Facebook and Apple at 65% of turnover then at least all things will be equal.

Sir John Redwood backs IR35 campaign, notes review would have to start 'immediately' before new off-payroll working rules kick in

Harry Kiri

Try contracting before commenting on it.

I've heard so many employees think IR35 is good (taking contractors down a peg) as they have overpaid rates. The simple fact is its a dumb arbitrary rule to extort cash from small businesses. You go to somewhere like NATS where contractors work identically to say Leidos staff (but contracted in to NATS and answering to NATS staff) workers. Do the revenue bust Leidos' day-rate? Of course they don't. Why not? Explain that little conundrum.

The day the Revenue chase PwC, Fujitsu, Leidos, BT or any other big subby that puts someone on a desk doing what is an employee role, then we can chat.

Contracting is a completely different mind-set and set of skills to being an employee. Remember, contractors are there because your company cannot cope without them. The moment they can, we're off.

SAP bet the house on S/4HANA but most users aren't ready to move

Harry Kiri

"Only 8 per cent said the company was a trusted advisor;"

They'll learn.

Montezuma's Revenge can finally be laid to rest as Uber AI researchers crack the classic game

Harry Kiri

I salute the people in white coats

for eventually coming up with a custom guessing algorithm to solve a custom problem.

Creep learning: How to tamper with neural nets to turn them against us

Harry Kiri

There's a lack of understanding

About neural networks, what they are, what / how they 'learn', what they do and what the limits of their performance are. I really thought this was all understood 25 years ago, but a new generation has re-sprung nnets into magic and 're-discovering' basic properties.

And while we're at it 'researchers' should also understand how the front-end features contribute to the overall classifier performance too.

Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at

Harry Kiri

Goodbye cookies

Someone mentioned on el Reg about a week ago a cookie delete add-on for Firefox which I then started using. It deletes cookies 15 seconds after you close the tab. That sorts out cross-site advertising.

What is amazing is some sites can have upto 250 cookies tracking your activities and the moment GDPR kicks in I shall be having a word as to why a site needs to inform 250 third parties about your activities...

Mine all the data, they said. It will be worth your while, they said

Harry Kiri

If anyone offers you a lot of answers

and you're left to figure out the questions, ignore them.

Trying to come up with useful emergent properties of things from random observations is a fools errand.

This applies to monitoring (including surveillance data), EA models, SysML models, endless cyber-security SIEM 'notifications' etc etc etc...

Euro Patent Office fails miserably in key accountability case

Harry Kiri

Re: Irish Referendum Coming up ...

"I presume you'd prefer a model in which every country has a separate Patent Office and businesses have to file their patents in every single one?"

Yeah, once you go ad hominem I give up listening.

Harry Kiri

Re: Irish Referendum Coming up ...

Anyone that threatens to diminish European harmonisation by a 'European' institution will have their arm twisted by the EU. So yes, they will have something to do with it.

Unification only goes one way and the EU will not have anything that looks like a fracturing of European unity.

Harry Kiri

Re: Irish Referendum Coming up ...

You really think that you have an option on this?

Vote the wrong way and your friendly EU will twist your arm until you come up with the 'right' answer. It'll impose punitive measures on your resistance until you toe the line. Ireland has done quite nicely out of the EU so I cant see your nation rocking the boat anytime soon.

So what happened with the patent judge and the Euro Patent Office?

Harry Kiri

Every so often

Someone comes along and just does exactly what they want and no-one stops them.

Blair, Campbell, Putin, Blatter, etc, etc.

Its strange how this chap seems to have immunity from real criticism and heads up a fairly important organisation.

You're SAP-ing my will to live: Licensing debate lumbers on as ERP giant tries to rebuild trust

Harry Kiri

The business benefit of SAP

must be staggering. I've only ever seen clunky-doesnt-quite-fit-but-it'll-do, usually after several years of wangling business processes into shape etc.

MIT boffins build AI bot that spots '85 per cent' of hacker invasions

Harry Kiri

Research. Not a product.

Having looked at this, its incredibly heavy on human intervention. It has pre-set ideas of what a 'hacker invasion' should comprise (much like SIEM with 'if this and this and this' alarming, brilliant for detecting the last war).

And yes, even with differing test/train data you can still tune the system.

I'd like an explanation as to what it is classifying and why it is missing 15%? Is it to do with the PCA? If you do PCA, why do you need a neural network (apart from being sexy)? Why not use linear combination (at least you can see which dimension(s) are contributing).

My suspicion is the way they 'fuzz' the features and the classifier means that the performance cant get much better. You always need fine structure to get really good pattern matching, and they get shot of it.

Linux-fight! Dev's plan to bundle kernel patches sparks debate

Harry Kiri

Good on him

I like the 'its your fault if the update process cant handle things'.

I've seen multiple kernel updates in one week. Its lucky that IT support are sitting around waiting for this to happen, implement system-wide regression tests on the test system before system-wide roll-out which naturally will be faultless.

Still the proof of the pudding is in how many people will sign up and drag down his feed. Good luck to him for making other people's lives easier.

Holding out for a Jobs: Tim Cook still auditioning for position of Apple god

Harry Kiri

All about money

Steve Jobs wasn't interested in the user experience. He was interested in the perceived value of his products. Good user experience doesn't let you charge 500 for an i-thing. Branding and value perception do that. He was very good at making things look like they had fairy dust on but it was all about increasing the perceived value.

Good user experience is a differentiator but it doesnt account for the value.

Gov to take axe to big IT contracts soon, will hand chunks to SMEs

Harry Kiri

I almost bid for some Home Office work. Then in the small business T&Cs they wanted all foreground IP (OK, you're paying for that) but then all the background IP (so all of the expertise and specialist knowledge that makes us useful as an SME).

The only reason? We get your knowledge and hand it over 'to someone who is capable of delivering the work'.

We gave up at that point as being an SME our knowledge is our secret sauce...

Bone-dry British tech SMBs miss out on UK.gov cash shower

Harry Kiri

Re: Yes but @ Harri Kiri

Evidence please.

Harry Kiri

Re: Yes but

9 down and 1 up?

You lot need to research what Innovate UK is actually about.

Harry Kiri

Yes but

IUK isnt about (re)generating geographical areas. Its about generating and exploiting potential ideas, primarily for exports. If you can show that the North is prejudiced against, thats a story. Most likely its due to more (and better) applications from down south on the M4 corridor. Not that there aren't good ideas up north but the stats are against them.

If you're not doing well in getting money (grants or clients), you might be terminally unlucky. But its more likely other people are better than you. So improve. IUK aren't fools when it comes to technology or business cases.

Microsoft beats Apple's tablet sales, apologises for Surface 4 flaws

Harry Kiri

Re: Mission impossible...

Good point. I usually have a combination vicodin, mogadon and tramadol.

Nokia, ARM, twisting Intel bid to reinvent the TCP/IP stack for a 5G era

Harry Kiri

Good point, there's more than just TCP/UDP in the IP world. How about XTP which is free and open. I coded one in a BSD stack in 1999, oddly nuff to optimise comms for a Telecoms company as TCP didnt cut high throughput, high/low latency etc etc. And then I did it again in a linux stack for a SatCom operator.

Funny thing is TCP has lasted incredibly well, all things considered.

Sysadmin's £100,000 revenge after sudden sacking

Harry Kiri

Re: James is a dick...


Once a company kicks you out, you have no ongoing responsibility to function or plan for them. If a company kicks you out then its up to them to replace your skills or accept they don't need them.

And presumably he had better phone calls to make to ensure he could 'continue to eat'. I suspect they wouldnt pay him for any information he had.

Android gets biometric voice unlocking

Harry Kiri

Re: FFS When will people learn?

Not true. It depends on the ratio of the intra to inter-variance of the parameter being measured. Finger-prints are unique, but the parameters that measure them are finite. If you can measure accurately a fingerprint, it can be better than a password of some aribitrary complexity. If your fingerprint parameters can only differentiate 10 different prints then you have a problem.

The issue with speech is the parameters have a lot of intra-variance such that when you speak you map onto other peoples patterns. Its not necessarily that your voice matches, its the parameters that represent the voice that overlap.

US Army plots new petascale monster and 'tactical cloudlets'

Harry Kiri

Re: "100 petaflop battlespace computer"

You're on your own there!

Harry Kiri

This is a very good way to justify a huge defence budget without getting shot at.

Sir - I salute you!

Best quote:

"Expertise in scalable algorithm development on heterogeneous parallel computing, neuro-synaptic, quantum annealing, and distributed"

When I put words like this in a funding bid people laugh!

Telco heavyweights pass packets in NFV demo

Harry Kiri

Bit complicated

I like the idea of commodity hardware underpinning your infrastructure (both server and network) but mixing the network chain up with the functionality looks really complex to get right and maintain in anything other than a toy demonstration.

It seems a bit: "NFV rediscovers why functional programming is difficult to maintain".

HDS: Storage? Pah! We're working on a SMART CITY OPERATING SYSTEM

Harry Kiri

Smart City Operating System - yeah, er, what does that do again? I missed the bit about what it does. Or is going to do. Or its inputs or outputs.

BlackBerry chief vows: We'll focus on 'core devices' and on, er, not losing money

Harry Kiri

Re: Chesney Hawkes

You dont need a tardis to predict the future of RiM - here comes the science:

'very interesting' != 'commercially successful'

But feel free to bet your house on the future Blackberry cash cow...

Harry Kiri

Re: What's the need they're trying to fill?

You've hit the nail on the head - the USP when they were a success was 'a real keyboard'. That problem no longer exists.

They were cool, the 3 year refresh came around, someone elses new toys were better. Woolworths, Xerox, Kodak....

Harry Kiri

Chesney Hawkes

Blackberry hit a sweet spot, thought themselves enduring, but were really a one-hit wonder.

Improving JavaScript: Google throws AtScript into the mix

Harry Kiri

Re: Ooops

Nope, its not absurd - have you heard of assembly? Why do you think we have compiled high level languages in the first place?

Rather than retype common sense, check out: http://stackoverflow.com/questions/2684364/why-arent-programs-written-in-assembly-more-often

Perl can be a dog to maintain and thats due to its features.

The practicality of code is that its hardly ever documented and pretty much the documentation is wrong (usually APIs are well documented but the code behind isnt).

And yes you can write poor code in any language - but pound for pund, I'd still rather not have to deal with well written js.

Tesla's Elon Musk shows the world his D ... and it's a monster

Harry Kiri

Re: I dont get it.

No-one said it would create more pollution. It displaces pollution. So the cities (generally) get cleaner but the areas around power generation facilities get more polluted. For the UK this could increase pollution on the continent.

The whole-life cost (such as upgrading the power grid, new power generation facilities, lithium cell construction and renovation, rare earth metal extraction and processing) is a lot more complex than 'Ooo, electric cars that run on magic!'.

I do like your comment 'Crack the fusion power station problem or get reliability in the delivery of renewables'. Renewables will never be reliable and if all we need to do is sort fusion then we're nearly there!!!

Anyway, back to reality.

PS For all the posters going Solar! Solar! Yeah, that works during the _day_ - most people charge their cars at _night_.

Harry Kiri

Re: I dont get it.

Yes, there is displacement of pollution. Electric cars arent 'free'. Looking at the Tesla page (I presume thats 'spouting the same old rubbish', eh Piro?) and they recommend a 22kW charging link. Thats pretty much 88 Amps. Most domestic houses are rated at 100A input, so charging your Tesla stresses your input supply quite nicely. Or pay to get multi-phase supply in, if you can get it (not easy for a lot of people).

Oh did you want a second electric car? Or a third one? Then you'll have to get up in the middle of the night to swap the plugs over.

So whilst it would potentially reduce pollution by using up surplus nighttime electric power (but not from those solar panels folks!) we wouldnt be able to support mass changeover to electric.

As for Norway - there aint that many people there - population 5million, density 15.5 per sq/km.

Have you heard of somewhere called London? 8.5m, density 5300 per sq/km. There's another 56 million here too. You'll need grown-up power for this so yes there is an issue with pollution displacement and the need for beefed-up infrastructure.

UK.gov lobs another fistful of change at SME infosec nightmares

Harry Kiri

Yeah, this is like the DSTL cyber research money for SMEs.We need SMEs involvement. Right until the point we need to give them cash.

Then we'd prefer to give it to the primes.

Akamai warns: SMB security remains major risk

Harry Kiri


SMB - server message block - potentially interesting article.

But I think they meant SME.



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