* Posts by lotus49

269 publicly visible posts • joined 26 May 2010


Tesla board members to return $735M in compensation settlement


It appears you are not familiar with the difference between exec and non-exec board members.

Non-exec directors do largely just attend quarterly meetings, ask a few questions and trouser their pay.

Exec directors, which are much commoner, are the most senior people in a business and often work very hard and very long hours. I work for a very large UK company you will all know and I know three of the exec well. They work very hard and while they are very well paid, they earn their money.

Linux has nearly half of the desktop OS Linux market


Re: ChromeOS rocks

I have a super duper 16" MBP but I also have a Pixelbook, which I bought in 2017 and I still use it most days. It's secure. It's light and it's compatible. If all I'm doing is surfing the web, it's the perfect device. If I want to play on my fpv drone sim, I need to use a powerful machine. That is not a big proportion of my time and my Chromebook still does what it should very well after 5 years. That's well over twice as long as I keep my phones for.


Re: ChromeOS is a fake linux

What did Linus Torvalds ever do for us? Eh?


Re: @Zolko - If ChromeOS is Linux...

xorg.conf and the monitor timings was the only example I've personally come across in a 40 year career in technology were a configuration might destroy hardware. Fortunately, I never did but there were a few occasions when I didn't like the noise coming out of a monitor and quickly unplugged it.

Metaverse? Apple thinks $3,500 AR ski goggles are the betterverse


It's a long time since Apple has pushed a complete turkey so perhaps it's time.

If it were a tenth of the price, I still wouldn't be interested. I'd be embarrassed to be scammed out of $3.5k for something like this.

Twitter now worth just a third of what Musk paid for it


Re: Crazy valuation??

Many years ago, a friend of mine said that any sentence that starts with the word "surely" goes on to say something that is absolute nonsense. In the 30 years since he said that to me, his dictum has proved to be correct every time.


Re: Lesson on use of the sed command

I'm almost certain this is serious. I know the opinion stated is so stupid that you'd be forgiven for thinking it was some sort of a clever joke but I suspect it's too clever for whichever coward posted this.

One of the world's most prominent blockchain apps looks like being binned


Snake Oil

I am the CISO of a large UK company and I've been interested in crypto for decades. Earlier in my career, PKI was the "next big thing" and I narrowly avoided nailing my career colours to that mast. It quickly became apparent that clever and interesting are not the same as practical and useful. It never lived up to the wild claims of some crypto enthusiasts.

Decades later, along came blockchain. Again it was clever and interesting and again, it was not practical or useful. Numerous vendors tried to persuade me that we needed blockchain this, that or the other. Working in cybersecurity you develop a good nose for snake oil and wildly optimistic claims from vendors. It was immediately clear to me that blockchain is largely snake oil. Yes, it works but its usefulness is limited to some quite narrow situations.

ASX has finally come to its senses. I hope whichever idiot kicked this off isn't still working (either at ASX or anywhere else).

Twitter rewards remaining loyal staff by decimating them


Re: Funding

The same thing is happening to one of my old employers, Morrisons. Morrisons has traditionally had a strong balance sheet but the PE takeover put paid to that. It is now saddled with large debts just as interest rates are rising, limiting the amount they can invest in price which has driven customers away. Morrisons had been the 4th biggest supermarket for a long time. Now it's 5th and it can only be a short time before it's 6th.

If it were still publicly quoted, I very much doubt this would ever have happened.



I think that is the first time I've seen the word decimate used correctly for at least a decade. Well done.

Spotted in the wild: Chimera – a Linux that isn't GNU/Linux


Too much for one person - it won’t last

Perhaps there was never an intention that Chimera should be a long-term distro as opposed to a one-off making a point, but maintaining a distro is a lot of work and this simply won’t survive for more than a few months if it’s a solo project. Perhaps a few hardy techies will try it out of curiosity but it would be a brave person who decided to do anything important with Chimera.

Twitter gives up fight against COVID-19 misinformation


Twitter has been been down the toilet for a long time swirling in shit. Now Musk has pulled the chain. How dare Apple not want to jump in after Twitter.


Is it time to block COVID tin foil hattery on The Register? It appears so.

Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months


Re: The problem with bad journalism

The integrity issue is with Musk. The way it was reported was precisely the way Musk intended it to be interpreted.

Terraform Labs and crypto bro Do Kwon face $57 million court case in Singapore


That is certainly not the case in English law. Doing something that had previously failed again to a new group of gullible (and, it has to be said, deserving) investors but misrepresenting it at safe (and most of us probably know how flawed the whole idea of stablecoins is) is at least reckless but more likely knowingly dishonest. It's pretty clear from the facts which this was.

Establishing these facts would generally be sufficient in an English court. I am not familiar with Singaporean law but I do know that the Singaporean legal system and law is very much based on English law so it's unlikely to be fundamentally different.

Bias toward office staff will cost you: Your WFH crew could walk, say execs


Not all roles are easy to measure

It's absolutely true that lazy buggers are lazy buggers in the office just like they are at home. However, there are a lot of roles that are difficult to measure. If you can measure productivity by how many lines of code someone writes or how many customer calls they field, great.

A lot of roles (probably most) have both qualitative and quantitative elements. If my team has a good throughput of tasks but pisses everyone off in the process, that's partly easy to manage and partly difficult. If they are in the office, I can see how they deal with people. If they are at home, it takes a lot more of my time to assess that and I often end up having to wait until someone complains, by which time it's already too late.

Over a long period, say a year, it's easy to tell whether someone is doing a good job and there is a limit to how long someone can hide. Howefver, carrying someone for a year is bad for their colleagues and bad for their employer and it often takes that long to find out that someone is doing some parts of his/her job badly.

There are too many people in technology that hate people and the constant toddler whining about having to do their job where they get paid to do it got old two years ago. If you all want to go to work elsewhere, good. Most of the pointy heads on the Register couldn't manage their way out of a wet paper bag but are happy to shout about how people should do a job they aren't capable of doing themselves - that's why they aren't managers.

Management should be sensible and my team does balance its time between home and the office but it's total bollocks to suggest that all jobs can be done equally well remotely and that it's simple to measure productivity.

Er, Musk's trial hasn't stopped, no matter what he told Twitter, says judge


Re: Reheat the popcorn

It's not as simple as that.

There is no reason to believe that any of that money would have found a more beneficial home, depositors can go elsewhere, creditors have themselves to blame and most of these banks aren't financed by pension funds and other borrowers can and should go elsewhere.

Why should most of us care if Space X or Tesla for that matter go bust? I know I don't.


Re: Reheat the popcorn

My thoughts exactly.

I despise Twitter and Musk and I don't have a lot of time for the banks either. I hope it ends badly for everyone concerned.

You thought you bought software – all you bought was a lie


Re: Public Domain

Just because a program is public domain does not mean that the source code is available. Public domain software can be totally open but it certainly doesn’t have to be.


Nothing wrong with services

I pay for numerous services. I caught the train home from King’s Cross today. I didn’t get to keep a piece of the train or the track but I got to where I wanted. That seems like an entirely sensible arrangement to me.

Software can be a service and as long as the price is reasonable, I have no issue with that. There is no reason to be obsessed with ownership.

BT CEO orders staff: Back to the office or risk 'disciplinary action'


If you want to make as much money from your business as the Linux developers have (ie £0) then by all means, adopt that model.

Big Tech silent on data privacy in post-Roe America


Re: Yes, I am ashamed of my country

Because America and Americans don't give a shit about the rights of women. There isn't even a constitutional guarantee of equal treatment for women. Unfortunately, this is reflected elsewhere but at least in civilised countries women's rights are guaranteed in law, even if this doesn't translate into reality.

It's a dark day for womens' right. I used to believe that progress might be slow but at least it would only go in one direction. The last 5 years have been disastrous for womens' right in the US and the UK.

Woman accused of killing boyfriend after tracking him down with Apple AirTag


I am constantly surprised to find how few people knew that such devices have been easily available for years - long before Airtags existed. You had to buy them on AliExpress rather than your local Apple shop but it's been easy to track people if you really wanted for years.

This is not Apple's fault.


Incel spotted.

Take your tiny penis and troll elsewhere.

Tesla sues former engineer, claims he stole Dojo supercomputer trade secrets


Re: but most of their competitors are years ahead of Tesla

There are a lot of Teslas around where I live and I started to look at the panel gaps round the doors after I noticed a brand new Model 3 that looked like its door was sagging on its hinges.

Tesla panel gaps are absolutely terrible. 1970s British Leyland would have been ashamed to make cars like that. The Tesla charging network may be good but if I were to pay £70k + for a car, I'd expect something better than Trabant build quality.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


it sounds like my background is similar in terms of experience to the author. I have been using Linux since kernel version 0.21 - before there was a desktop and therefore probably longer than the author. In all that time, I've seen article after article saying Linux is easy. It may be true now but 25 years of "Linux is easy" when it wasn't has put anyone who cares (which is not many people) off. Linux supporters are the boys who cried wolf and now, no-one will listen. The other big thing is software. No-one (or almost no-one) wants to dig around for a third rate alternative to the software they've grown used to.

Linux has shot its bolt and missed as far as the desktop goes. Linux has taken over the server world but non-techies are not interested in learning anything new and nor are they taught to use Linux at school (or work or home) so they won't. I am very familiar with it but I have given up mainly due to the lack of software support and now I'm Mac all the way (although I do still use Linux for specific tasks on a regular basis).

Linux may genuinely be easy now, but it's too late.

Fujitsu gets £250m extension on HMRC work dating back to 2017


Re: Typical

The impact of the failures with the Post Office systems were so severe with many innocent people being treated appallingly, being hounded by the Post Office for nothing and being wrongly branded as criminals. There is no way another contract should be awarded when the supplier consistently and wrongly said that there was no fault with the systems, even when they knew very well that there were.

It's an absolute disgrace.

UK internet pioneer Cliff Stanford has died



I first encountered Cliff Stanford on the tenner a month Usenet group many years ago when Internet access wasn't a thing for private individuals. I got the 7th IP that Demon Internet issued (I still remember it even though I long since stopped using it) and it transformed my use of computers and was one of the factors that led to my pursuing a career in IT. I'm now the CISO at one of the UK's largest companies. Perhaps it would have happened without Cliff but I suspect it wouldn't.

I was sorry to read of the legal issues he had later on but thank you, Cliff and RIP.

Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing


Re: Automation Issue

Management doesn't get to decide what the cause of aviation accidents is and I have no idea why you think they might. What you say is completely untrue.

The FAA (which does get to decide what the cause was) states (here https://www.faa.gov/data_research/research/med_humanfacs/oamtechreports/2000s/media/200618.pdf) that 60-80% of commercial aviation accidents are the result of human error so there is some evidence. There is plenty more if you wish to look for it yourself.

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


Double jeopardy only applies to criminal law. In addition, this litigation was never resolved as SCO went bust before the case was played out so the principle of double jeopardy would not be relevant here in any case.

Dell: 60% of our people won't be going back into an office regularly after COVID-19


Re: I get I'm in a microscopically small minority, but...

I absolutely hate it too. I was three months into a new job and it was going really well. I achieved three times as much in the first three months than the succeeding four and I can't wait to go back. I do not believe for a minute that people are as productive. That may be true for some people (typically those who tried to avoid human contact anyway) but very few. Added to which, many jobs simply cannot be done remotely. Try putting out a fire, caring for an elderly person or arresting rapists over Zoom.

Working from home is a great way to hide and measuring by results is difficult in many jobs and I do not think that the novelty will last. Anyone who values their career long-term will get back into the office as soon as reasonably possible.


Re: I would hate to own commercial real estate

I work in the insurance sector and no policy I have ever seen would pay out because of the indirect consequences of changing work patterns. That is not what insurance is for.

Author of infamous Google diversity manifesto drops lawsuit against web giant


Re: Hypocrisy of feminism

It's disgraceful the way Google discriminates against bigots. How very dare they.


Good. Another bigot has his moment in the sun and then runs off with his little tail between his legs.

I hope his legal costs are substantial.

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: Its all binary

Pi is not proven to cover all possible number sequences.

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address



I still remember mine, I was part of the very first batch.


I was one of the initial group of people (number 7 if the allocated IP addresses were anything to go by) who had been following the tenner a month Usenet run by Cliff Stanford. I committed to spend the requisite tenner a month and got my first internet connection as part of the very first group. Prior to that I'd been using UUCP. It was a huge step forward for me and now I'm the CISO at an insurance company and I don't think my career would have progressed the way it did had it not been for my first internet connection provided by Demon.

RIP Demon internet, you were great.

From July, you better be Putin these Kremlin-approved apps on gadgets sold in Russia


It will all be fine

Government mandated apps. What could possibly go wrong?

UK Info Commish quietly urged court to swat away 100k Morrisons data breach sueball


They weren't legal highs. It was phenylalanine, a dietary supplement.


These facts were examined at the first trial and by the ICO and Morrisons was found not to have breached its responsibilities under the DPA by the High Court and the ICO.


Re: Anyone surprised ?

Not a single person lost a single penny as a result of the unauthorised disclosure. There were no losses.

If this had been an action in tort, there would have been no question of damages as there has been no loss. The DPA includes provisions for claiming for distress, which is the basis on which this claim is being made.

Unlike the ICO, I have read the legal submissions. She isn't missing anything.

Morrisons is to blame for 100k payroll theft and leak, say 9,000 workers


This is correct. Morrisons bought the UK subsidiary of Safeway which was still trading under its own name in the US the last time I visited.


Re: Resistance is futile

Complete bollocks.

Firstly, there is no way of knowing whether someone is trustworthy and secondly, the court did not find that Morrisons was either at fault nor was it found to have breached its DPA obligations, something with which the ICO concurred.


Re: Time in chokey and a big fine

Again, this is factually and legally incorrect. See my comment above. Morrisons was found not to be at fault in the first trial and this verdict was neither appealed nor over-turned.

The finding of the first trial and appeal was that Morrisons was vicariously liable for the actions of its employee but was explicitly found not to be at fault.


This is legally and factually incorrect.

The first judgement (which I have read and you clearly have not read) made it absolutely clear that Morrisons had not breached its responsibilities under the Data Protection Act. In addition, the matter was fully investigated by the ICO which took no enforcement action nor required any remediation.

The issue is purely whether Morrisons is vicariously liable. Morrisons has been found not to be at fault and this verdict was not appealed.

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow


It's a shame there isn't a dick icon and you could have used it for your post and it would have been doubly appropriate.

McKinsey’s blockchain warning irks crypto hipsters


Blockchain is the new PKI

I used to be a consultant at one of the Big 4 firms and one of my areas of specialism was asymmetric key cryptography, Public Key Infrastructures and Trusted Third Parties. It was a fascinating field. It was technically challenging, which I loved and there was a huge number of potential uses.

Fortunately, I went on to specialise in information security more generally because despite all the hype, PKI never took off in the way that many people (including me) hoped.

The issue with a lot of crypto technology is that the underlying principles are often elegant and reasonably easy to explain as long as you don't get into the maths. The same could not be said for the implementation. Cryptography is often extremely hard to implement in such a way as not to break anything. The implementation details mattered and in the long run, they were very often a major stumbling block when going from a simple POC to a full implementation.

Blockchain looks very similar to PKI from where I'm sitting.

Scumbag who phoned in a Call of Duty 'swatting' that ended in death pleads guilty to dozens of criminal charges


Re: "Sure, so where does that put let's say Swiss police?"

I saw the word sheeple and automatically knew that whatever the rest of the post contained, it was written by an incoherent extremist nutter so I stopped reading.

IBM bans all removable storage, for all staff, everywhere


Re: Or maybe they just want to spy on the contents of your files

You may not but it is my job to want to know what's in our staff's files (or at least anything they share).

You surely must have heard of the Data Protection Act and the General Data Protection Regulation. Companies are required to implement "appropriate technical and organisational measures". Doing nothing is not an appropriate technical or organisational measure.

The files to which you refer are the property of the company, not the individual. As the person responsible for protecting data belonging to our customers and to our staff, I have every right - both legal and moral - to examine what people share and that is a right I exercise.


Re: Humm, did they forget about Cell phones??

We didn't.

I made sure when we introduced a similar policy that not only is all removable storage (which includes phones) banned from corporate devices, we installed a DLP agent on corporate laptops that blocks certain types of data being copied by any mechanism.

It's not foolproof but it would stop the vast majority of our staff doing anything I don't want them to do.

It's also worth pointing out that simply defeating the control is not sufficient to protect a malefactor. I have personal experience of several instances where controls were in place but were circumvented. In every case the culprit was identified as a result of a forensic investigation.