* Posts by batfink

877 posts • joined 10 Jun 2010


For a true display of wealth, dab printer ink behind your ears instead of Chanel No. 5

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£1369 a pint??

Don't let my local know. Beer's expensive enough there already.

Verified: UK.gov launching plans for yet another digital identity scheme

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That is all...

I no longer have a burning hatred for Jewish people, says Googler now suddenly no longer at Google

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Re: Anti-woke

So, people shouldn't have the freedom to be woke then?

Windows 11: What we like and don't like about Microsoft's operating system so far

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I'm mystified

Why is this being presented as a new version?

I've done a bit of digging to see whether there are any useful changes under the hood, which might justify the whole-number version increment. The only useful thing I can find is the DirectStorage stuff really, The TPM excitement kind of infers maybe there are security improvements, but if so, they're not telling us anything about them. The rest just seems to be cosmetic.

So if there are no actual OS changes, why the new version number? Why would anyone pay for this instead of just continuing to use W10? (Yes I know it's free for the moment...) Why would W10 support be ending if W11 is the same OS with a different skin?

I think I'll just put up with having old-fashioned left-hand-side start menu (tbf it's Start8) and square corners on my gaming machine a while yet.

G20 finance ministers agree plan to make multinationals pay their 'fair share' of tax

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But you have to have a profit margin of at least 10% before this applies

This new 15% corporate tax rate will only apply to those companies with a profit margin of at least 10%. Easily fixed with a bit of clever accounting, and the big tech companies can afford clever accountants.

We'll see them all on margins of 9.99% and all this much-lauded new tax will quietly go away.

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Re: Realities?

people missing the implied /sarc here...

Kaspersky Password Manager's random password generator was about as random as your wall clock

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Re: On a slight tangent

Just like lots of phones you see in TV shows. Our hero/heroine needs to read something off someone's phone, and all they seem to need to do is get hold of the phone to have complete access. Yes, even if the owner is now dead.

Although TBF there probably ARE a lot of people out there with 000000 as their passcode.

Robots still suck. It's all they can do to stand up – never mind rise up

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Re: Advantage: robots

It's the old problem. If we could sufficiently define what we want and how it works then we might be ok - but we can't.

I can't remember which AI pioneer it was who, when challenged that AI could never be intelligent, replied "You define intelligence and I'll build you a machine that does that".

NHS England staff voice concerns about access controls on US spy-tech firm Palantir's COVID-19 data store

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So the government has agreed not to expand Palantir's work without "notifying" the public

So that's alright then...

Brit firm fined £200k for banging on about missold PPI in 11.4 million nuisance calls

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What's the point?

There is no deterrent effect with these fines. The finees already know that they can just wind up their company and start all over again without handing over a penny. So, announcing these fines deters nobody.

It might make good publicity amongst the unwashed I suppose, but that's not the point.

@El Reg - perhaps an FOI request to find out how many of these fines over the last couple of years have actually been paid? That might make for entertaining questions in Parliament perhaps...

This always-on culture we're in is awful. How do we stop it? Oh, sorry, hold on – just had another notification

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Re: Just don't work for free

Agreed. It's common that organisations of all sizes rely on their workers giving them time for free. I stopped playing that game some years ago when I realised that all I was doing was giving my (large) company my free time so they could make a better profit.

It's been the case with several companies I've worked for where they say "you're not allowed to book more than 40 hours pw no matter how many you've actually done". It's just a way of hiding the fact that they're getting free labour.

This, of course, benefits the managers and the shareholders. It doesn't benefit the ones whose time is being given.

TL;DR: Pay me for my time or fuck off.

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Re: Not office hours? No contact

The proposed law doesn't restrict when you can work. It just restricts when you can be forced to work. If you want to do this voluntarily, then you would be free to do so.

A bit like the European Working Time Directive, which was misrepresented by politicians for years.

Radioactive hybrid terror pigs have made themselves a home in Fukushima's exclusion zone

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Re: How do you know whether one of these animals is radioactive?

Excellent. There goes this week's keyboard...

Hubble telescope in another tight spot: Between astrophysicists sparring over a 'dark matter deficient' galaxy

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Re: Forgive my ignorance but...

Ah I see - I sit corrected, thanks.

Yes Popper's stuff is about theories being at least theoretically disprovable. So, GR, Newton's/Boyles Laws etc are all "scientific", and still withstand all efforts to disprove them - which is what I now understand you were getting at.

Unlike, say, conspiracy theories, which will just mutate every time they are challenged, and therefore can never be disproven..

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Re: Forgive my ignorance but...

Hmm. If a theory is "really hard to disprove" then it starts to flirt with being non-scientific (in Karl Popper's terms*), and starts to become philosophy/religion/superstition (delete according to taste) instead.

However, I agree that we're probably between theories at the moment, both with Cosmology and Physics. The Dark Matter problem needs some testable assertions, and Quantum Physics has gaps that we're filling arbitrarily (even though it makes very successful predictions). So, I wait with eagerness for the new theories to come along, with better explanations.

* Interestingly enough, according to Popper's principles, Astrology can be called a scientific theory, as it makes falsifiable assertions ("you will meet a tall handsome stranger..."). It's just that it' keeps getting proven wrong.

Exoskeleton startup wants to slap robot arms on schoolkids

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"Exciting educational experience"

Kids with robot arms. What could possibly go wrong?

IBM's 18-month company-wide email system migration has been a disaster, sources say

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I wish

Can I have my email stopped for three days as well please?

Data collected to promote public health must never be surrendered to police

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As I always say...

With all of these things, the best approach is to say to the politicians "you first".

Let's start tracking the politicians' movements and making them public. Then we'll see how quickly this would go away.

Likewise encryption (publish all politicians' whatsapp messages), plus any number of other things you can think of - even declaring war. IMO if any politician votes to go to war, they should be issued a rifle and sent to the front line, in harm's way. I suspect this might make quite a change in attitudes...

UK arm of international charity the Salvation Army hit by ransomware attack

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Well I can understand that with (proper) charities, it's going to be a toss-up between spending money on IT services and doing the charity work.

Maybe some retired Commentards could go and run their IT for free?

Watchdog bans crypto super-exchange Binance from 'regulated activities' in the UK

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Binance isn't owned by a couple of South African brothers by any chance, is it?

Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU

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Does this mean I'm going to be stuck with square corners on my windows, instead of rounded? And old startup sounds?

Oh, the horror....

Backbench Tory campaigner promises judicial review of data grab of English GP patients unless UK government changes tack

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A good idea

...providing Judicial Review is still available at that stage. The current Dunning-Kruger Cabinet are threatening to kill the very idea.

Mars race: China dreams of nuclear rockets, manned bases, and space elevators

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Re: Here's the plan

"The enlightened Georgians were hoping a change of environment would reform the criminal classes into productive citizens"


No. They were just shipping their convicts to a dumping ground the far side of the world to use them as the basis for colonisation of a new land. This was necessary as the previous dumping ground had become unavailable due to the American War of Independence.

There was no chance of repatriation if someone did become a "productive citizen".

Russia spoofed AIS data to fake British warship's course days before Crimea guns showdown

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Re: To sadly turn this political

Hardly a "fishing fleet" they were facing there, but it must have been highly embarrassing for the Russians to sail their fleet half-way round the world to Tsushima just to have it sunk there.

It would have been much more efficient to just scuttle the fleet after the debacle with the British fishing boats on the Dogger Bank, and save everyone a lot of time, money and effort.

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Re: To sadly turn this political

Yes - to the accompaniment of much pants-wetting in the Sun and the Daily Mail.

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Re: Ally ?

"Enemy-held"? Are we at war with Russia now? I'll admit I haven't been keeping up lately but still I would've thought I'd have noticed...

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A couple of things here

HMS Defender "happened" to have both a BBC and a Daily Mail journalist on board. I don't have a picture of what's normal on RN ships, but I'd guess this isn't, which points to the idea that this whole affair was premeditated. Now it's interesting that it's all being downplayed by the UK government, which makes me wonder about the whole exercise. Surely if the UK is making a point about freedom of navigation and support for Ukraine, then downplaying it is the wrong approach?

I agree with the previous poster that Putin's response to the coup in Ukraine caught the West off-guard. Had the coup worked properly, it would have been a strategic masterstroke - cutting Russia off from the Black Sea and gaining control over the Nordstream pipeline and therefore the Russian gas supply to Europe. Now it's all a bit embarrassing, as can be seen from the US's frankly hysterical reaction to the building of Nordstream 2 (FFS not only sanctioning Russian companies for building a pipeline carrying Russian gas across Russia but also threatening to sanction the mayor of the German town where it's coming ashore). There's not going to be any way short of military action that Putin's going to leave the Crimea, so in the long term we're just going to have to live with it. Bugger.

Unfortunately, I think that we'll see Western support for Ukraine fading over time now, particularly once Nordstream 2 starts pumping gas into Germany. What's left of Ukraine won't have much strategic importance to the West, and the old troubles with corruption there haven't gone away. It's a pity - it would be nice to see a whole, clean, independent Ukraine, but I can't see how that can happen now.

Treaty of Roam finally in ashes: O2 cracks, joins rivals, adds data roaming charges for heavy users in EU

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Re: Really don't care

Yes - the Telcos used to love Roaming Charges, as they were a very nice revenue stream. Nobody offered a cheaper rate for this demand back in the Good Old Days when this was super profitable, before the charges were banned - why would they now?

Hubble Space Telescope may now depend on a computer that hasn't booted since 2009

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Re: The mirror replacement spacewalk was streamed.

Also amazed that there were so many little screws to undo, which meant that the designers hadn't thought about the circumstances under which it might need to be repaired?

UK watchdog fines biz £130k for 900,000+ direct marketing calls to folk who had opted out

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Another ineffective fine

Yet another fine on a company which will just fold and reappear under another name, and carry on as before. The fines should be on the Directors, not the Company.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer

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Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

It's not just the US. Australia is the same.

Dozens of Iranian media websites devoured by the Great Satan, apparently

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"The sites were commandeered for spreading misinformation and propaganda"

If that was the true reason, then the US authorities have a big job in front of them...

Pub landlords on notice as 'Internet of Beer' firm not only pulls pints, but can also clean the lines

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Re: No surprise there...

When it sends its beer back because it tastes shite?

Facebook granted patent for 'artificial reality' baseball cap. Repeat, an 'artificial reality' baseball cap

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Style Question

Do I assume that with the Top Hat version, you get a monocle rather than the ski goggles?

UK health secretary Matt Hancock follows delay to GP data grab with campaign called 'Data saves lives'

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Data Saves Lives

Therefore ALL of your data should belong to us. Let's not fuck about with just your (confidential) health data.

Hubble Space Telescope sails serenely on in safe mode after efforts to switch to backup memory modules fail

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Re: Wishful thinking...

Hmmm. You'd need a special Space Hammer for 3)...

Ex-NSA bigwig Chris Inglis appointed America's national cyber director by Senate

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Unfortunately, I'd guess that the other 2/3 were just getting their Risk/Reward calculations wrong.

I've been in a lot of places where Those On High run their businesses with a lot of risk - for example, not spending money on proper security. The rewards of that approach can be high for them, providing they don't get hit during their incumbency. Sometimes I have actually wondered whether they actively take this approach, or just stick their fingers in their ears and hope.

Even more unfortunate is the fact that they will get to keep the rewards and it's the company who pays for the impact of the failure.

TalkTalk was the classic example. The downside of the TalkTalk hack was that it demonstrated that the C-Level crew can get away with even such an egregious failure, with a few lies about "our customers' security is our highest priority". The TalkTalk debacle doesn't seem to have done Dido Harding's career the damage it should have done.

(<Deity(s)> forbid she actually gets the job of heading the NHS. If that happens, I'm leaving the country.)

Roger Waters tells Facebook CEO to Zuck off after 'huge' song rights request

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Insufficiently succinct

I wonder whether Roger Waters was being too polite, and held back a bit. Maybe he should have said what he REALLY thought.

UK product safety regulations are failing consumers online, in the IoT, and … with artificial intelligence?

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So people are happy to buy substandard electrical items provided they're 50% off? Sounds like Darwinism at work, but it might be a too bit slow to be effective.

Three million job cuts coming at Indian services giants by next year, says Bank of America

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Re: More and more profit for less and less people

In the current recipients' lifetime, yes.

And that's all that matters, unfortunately.

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Re: No contradiction

It's funny that these bodies never publish analyses showing whether money was actually saved by outsourcing over time, instead of just the year in which it was done.

It's almost as if nobody wants to look, and that comes from Ministerial level down.

And then you get the situation where the UK Treasurer is married to the daughter of Mr Infosys...

Deluded medics fail to show Ohio lawmakers that COVID vaccines magnetise patients

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I'm impressed that you've taken your disk apart to test the magnetivity of a spoon. What read/write rate were you getting?

What Microsoft's Windows 11 will probably look like

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It's clear why the new version is coming

There are a lot of people out there who actually own their copy of Win10. That goes against the "we want to be on your direct debit list" philosophy that M$ is trying to pursue (along with most other companies).

So, they've realised that they've fucked up with declaring W10 the "last version". That means that those people don't need to give M$ more money. So, now they're going back to their old habits of releasing new versions regularly so the people who own a copy then need to pay again.

NATO summit communiqué compares repeat cyberattacks to armed attacks – and stops short of saying 'one-in, all-in' rule will always apply

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Re: Dear China,

I'm not "justifying" at all - I'm very clear that the Chinese treatment of the Uighurs is appalling and should be challenged and penalised. Likewise their approach to pervasive surveillance, social control etc.

What I am doing is pointing out that there's plenty of instances on "our" side that also need challenging and penalising, and we seem to prefer not to look at those.

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Re: Dear China,

Correct, China does all those things, and we would all like to see them stop.

It's a good thing that none of the countries on "our side" also do those things, is it? Therefore we can criticise you with a straight face. (Quick look at the Middle East) Oops - sorry!

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We believe in an International Rules-Based Order

...providing they're our rules, and they only apply to you.

Brit IT firms wound up by court order after fooling folk into paying for 'support' over fake computer errors

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Companies wound up huh?

Companies wound up? No sign of any penalties against the director? That'll learn 'em. I'll bet this will act as a huge lesson to any other would-be scammers, who will immediately mend their evil ways.

Tech contractor loses IR35 tribunal appeal: 'Right' to substitute didn't mean he could, say judges

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A couple of things here I'm surprised about

1. "Hypothetical" contract? No. Ours are ACTUAL contracts. Signed & sealed. Surely calling them "hypothetical" is an error in law then?

2. Substitution: The quoted impediments to substitution - end client approval, vetting etc - also apply when the big boys provide staff. Then surely this means all of the people provided by TCS/Wipro/Crapita/Accenture/whoever are also disguised employees of the end client?

We've been shown time and again that strong encryption puts crims behind bars, so why do politicos hate it?

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Re: The argument is a bit beyond Priti Patel

"Russian spies bringing nerve gas and explosives" - really? What decade are you in? What makes you think Putin even gives a shit about Britain?

Yes we've had Russian spies here recently - busy trying to kill a Russian double agent. Yes, completely innocent British people were harmed or killed, but it was hardly an attempt to bring down Britain. Imagine some of Our Brave Lads sneaking into Russia to off some notorious British double agent (unfortunately killing/harming some innocents). What would you call that? An attempt to bring down the Russian government?



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