* Posts by batfink

682 posts • joined 10 Jun 2010


You think the UK coronavirus outbreak was bad? Just wait till winter: Study shows test-and-trace system is failing

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Re: Really?

I think that poor Cuddles really needed to put the <sarc> tags in there, as it's pretty obvious there are quite a few people out there not getting it...

Firefighters to UK Home Office: Yeah, maybe don't turn off emergency comms network before replacement is ready

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I keep saying it...

I'll bet the genius in Motorola who bought Airwave keeps getting a nice bonus every year. What an investment.

Report: CIA runs secret cyberwar with little oversight after Trump gave the OK, say US government officials

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When did this get the go-ahead?

So, any relation to the current waves of sabotage across Iran then?

Although I would be interested to hear how any cyberattack managed to set seven boats on fire.

I'm of two (maybe three) minds about these attacks. Are they (say) Israel trying to make sure that the Iranian nuclear programme is delayed, or is this the US trying to provoke a serious Iranian reaction just in time for the election?

I don't credit internal actors, as the targets seem unlikely for any internal group upset at the current regime.

FYI Russia is totally hacking the West's labs in search of COVID-19 vaccine files, say UK, US, Canada cyber-spies

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What? Surely not....

Am i to understand that spy agencies are spying?

Surely not.

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Re: re: 3M Facemasks

and did you ask when he bought the mask?

Chips for Huawei are fried: TSMC stops shipping parts to Middle Kingdom mega-maker this September

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Re: The sooner Trump is out of office the better

Yep - we can't be having people being paid reasonable wages. Bloody commie ideas.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

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Re: The future is behind you ....

Nah I've got the exhausts tuned just right....

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Re: The future is behind you ....

I do the same as AndueC but it's piped through my ICE. Traffic reports interrupt the playback as you'd expect.

July? British government could decide to boot Chinese giant Huawei from the UK's networks by this month

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Re: Trade Deal

Only if they secretly leave the containment shell out of the build. Nobody would notice...

The good news: Vodafone switches on first full-fat, real-life 5G network in the UK. The bad news: it only got sent to Coventry

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Re: Which applications exactly?

I've just been reading a Vodafone hype document which suggest that 5G "could" bring £150bn extra to UK output.

Being interested, I read the entire doc to find out where this £150bn figure comes from. As I should have expected, there was no supporting business case information. Instead, there was a great deal of vague hand-waving about exciting stuff that "could" happen.

Some of the suggested applications were interesting, such as how it might be used for remote farming (however they did have the grace to admit that this would take rather a lot of coverage...).

Some of them were things like autonomous driving, to which my reaction was "yeah, right...".

Some of them were just bullshit ideas, such as crowing that it would enable infotainment systems on buses, which ignores the fact that everyone already has an infotainment system in their pockets.

However, most of these, such as c&c in manufacturing, were IMO all just stuff we can do today with 4G/Wifi/fibre. Or the claim that 5G will enable continued home working, as if the existing networks aren't coping quite happily at the moment.

So, almost complete hype then. Usual bollocks. However I did wonder whether this was the start of a campaign to have the govt subsidise the 5G rollout, as it's going to be damn expensive for the telcos.

Link to the Information Age article, which has a link to the actual report: https://www.information-age.com/5g-shift-result-productivity-boost-worth-over-150-billion-123490085/

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

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So what are GCHQ doing with all their funding then?

So according to the (possibly misleading) available info, this was a bust led by the French, but the UK NCA claim to have "developed the tools" for this.

Why are the NCA doing this? We already have spy agencies, funded in the billions pa. WTF are they doing then? I thought that the reason we throw money at them was so they could catch crims/peados/touriststerrorists?

If I were the NCA I'd be holding my hand out for the other TLA's funding.

It would be a very interesting committee meeting if the TLAs were asked to present a return on investment case.

Microsoft takes tweaking tongs to Windows 10's Start Menu once again

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Loyal Fans

What - both of them?

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

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Re: Copyright?

With many of these image repositories/social media systems, the terms of use explicitly include clauses stating that you lose any copyright to images. In some of the more egregious ones, they explicitly state that the copyright transfers to the hosting party. Good luck with your copyright case under those circumstances.

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Re: What the hell is wrong with these Universities?

Ha! So you're wearing that mask so we can't ID you as a crim AC?

Details of Beijing's new Hong Kong security law signal end to more than two decades of autonomy

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Re: leave the country

The UK will of course! Except, er, the UK apparently hates migrants and especially asylum-seekers.

However, the UK govt has offered a Right of Residency for 5 years to some HK citizens ("up to" 3M has been reported). After the 5 years are up then those people can apply for UK citizenship.

Please note the careful use of the word "apply". IMO this gives the UK a nice route out if we've made up with the Chinese govt in the intervening years. If the UK govt was serious, it should let these people apply for citizenship immediately.

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Re: Terrorism Act 2006

You beat me to it Cynic - and it's that part about the evidence or basis of the accusation not being made available to the accused or his/her defence team that's horrifying here.

IMO that kind of thing has no place in the UK, but it's here and it has been used.

Having said that: it's whataboutery, and not in any way a defence of the Chinese approach.

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Re: Severely endangering national security

I'm not sure about that.

You're never going to get 100% of a population agreeing on anything. Where would you draw the line?

You could say that if 99% of the population agree with the Chinese government's policies, then they shouldn't need to clamp down on dissent, but given the numbers involved, that could still be ~1.4 million dissenters.

I'm not supporting suppression, to be clear.

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Re: "A society without free thought cannot flourish, cannot progress."

I also feel instinctively that this model of non-democracy is wrong, but I don't see that it's necessarily unsustainable - so I'm more inclined to your "otoh".

Serious democracy is only a recent invention, historically speaking, and there have been a lot of examples of long-lived societies with only token democracy (if any) in the past - we only have to look at Chinese history!

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Ah yes, the old "Endangering National Security" line

The same old line used by oppressive regimes everywhere: "refusing to do what we want"== "endangering national security".

Now it'll be the Uighur treatment for all the unruly Hong-Kongers.

That'll be the end of the Two Systems then. Just another brick in the nationalist walls going up around the world.

I would hope that the UK will now do what it should've done in 1999 and offer a migration route for the Hong Kong people who want to leave.

Alternatively, IIRC some genius in Australia proposed sawing off a bit of the Northern Territory, declaring it semi-independent, and inviting all the Hong Kong residents to come over and rebuild there from scratch. That'd work nicely IMO.

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

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Re: In the interim, the British government has been forced to adopt human-powered contact tracing

Hmm...thinks: maybe that would be a way of getting the contact details of that nice young lady I saw the other day...

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

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Who came up with the £5bn figure?

I keep hearing that it will cost the UK £5bn for a Galileo replacement. That seems nice, as IIRC Galileo will eventually cost €20bn.

I appreciate that we've already sunk a lot of cash into Galileo and can hopefully draw on some knowledge/technology from that work, but being able to do this for 1/4 the cost? Impressive!

Or is the £5bn just for the initial study perhaps?

NASA mulls going all steam-punk with a fleet of jumping robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter's mysterious moons

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Required accessories

I would hope that the development teams have been issued with the requisite top hats and goggles.

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

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IMO the political piece is irrelevant. It's all about control over people. Look at the fundamentalists in whatever religion you care to name* and you'll see the same thing - "we want to stop you doing things we don't approve of".

It's the old definition of Puritanism: that horrible feeling that somebody, somewhere is having a good time.

* Except for the Church of the FSM. Obviously.

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It couldn't happen here

If all trashy content, vulgar and/or scantily-clad presenters were banned from our TV screens it would be The End of Civilisation As We Know It. Rioting in the streets, statues of Lord Reith being torn down, stand-offs between Pro- and Anti-Love Island factions, dogs lying down with cats, etc etc....

Oh hang on - is the last one of those vulgar content as well?

Laws on police facial recognition aren't tough enough, UK data watchdog barrister tells Court of Appeal

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Re: There's several issues with sitting judges today

Agreed. As far as I can make out here, the judge seems to be asking whether the current legal framework applies, which is kinda irrelevant to the technology piece.

Big Tech on the hook for billions in back taxes after US Supreme Court rejects Altera stock options case hearing

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Re: just a reminder

In a proper capitalist system, that would mean they become uncompetitive. Unfortunately we have monopoly situations.

So the alternative is that they could take a decrease in profit. Oh no!!!!!

Australia's Lion brewery hit by second cyber attack as nation staggers under suspected Chinese digital assault

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Re: If China has nothing to hide...

You mean "people the US declares to be "enemy combatants"" don't you? You might also want tho think about the Black Sites as well,as well as the illegal renditions.

I also suggest that you educate yourself on the US prison system and rates of incarceration, and the ethic mix of prisoners there. You might also want to find out how much the prisoners are paid for their labour there, and how close you think that is to modern slave labour.

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Re: Horses, races run etc

Never mind the criticisms, just have a look at their sponsors

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

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As I keep saying

These 5G conspiracy theories are all wrong.

Obviously, the problem here is that 5G is deadly to the Lizard People. So, to cover the deaths and the source, they've invented this "Covid-19" and also put about the false theory that 5G causes it. Why else are so many humans seemingly immune?

Therefore the Great Unwashed are tricked into helping the goals of the Lizard People by opposing any further rollout of 5G (Huawei ban?), and burning down existing masts.

On the plus side, this might thin out the Lizard People.

Clearly, all the other theories are misinformation, and should be disregarded.

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Re: So basically ...

You mean, like (at least) some of our politicians?

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

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Re: with respect to the UK app

10 kilometres? What are you thinking man? 49 furlongs 7 chains, surely...

Windows 10 once more in print condition: Microsoft applies out-of-band fix to Patch Tuesday cock-up

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Re: BAD_POOL_...

Try adding more chlorine.

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Re: The current Windows dev process is horribly flawed...

And this is why the Updates are now just flung out into the wild for the punters to find the bugs. It's much cheaper than paying a proper QA team.

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

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"When we see the landscape at Jezero Crater for the first time"

For about seven minutes...

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

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Re: Me too

Agreed on the beer, but I would venture that 500ml and 1 litre would be good sizes for wine bottles IMO. I think that 500ml is enough for a glass each for two people, or enough for one person over dinner. Twice that if you're going to get more serious. However I find 750ml falls unfortunately somewhere in the middle.

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Re: Me too

Thank you Noodle for referring to me as one of the "younger people" :)

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That's because they're never used...

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Re: Me too

Why does referring to your weight in kilos make no sense? There are plenty of countries around the world that get by just fine with kilos.

I'm the opposite. I have no idea what my weight is in the strange system of stones and pounds. Why would you go with something like "13st 10 pounds" rather than something like "87.3kg"? Even the American system of just using pounds makes more sense.

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But none of that is Base 12. Base 16 (or 8x2 if you like) for ounces->pounds, then 14 for pounds->stone, then 8 for stone->cwt.

And I notice you're steering well clear of the area measures, which are a horrible hash of several different systems.

There's nothing like consistency. And that's nothing like consistency.

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It bugs me too, as a furriner who has lived in the UK a long time now.

"The size of a football pitch" shouldn't be used as a measure. Officially in the UK, football (soccer) pitches are anywhere between 90 and 120m long and 45 to 90m wide. So (scribble, carry the four...) that's somewhere between 4,050m2 and 10,800m2. Doubtless the pub quiz experts here can tell us who has the biggest/smallest pitches.

I've been arguing for many years with people who want to keep the Imperial system - particularly the area measures - rather than a sensible system. My usual ploy is to ask them "well how big is an acre?" and the standard answer seems to be "the size of a football pitch", which in fact vary from 1-2 acres, depending on whose ground you're playing at.

Of course the correct answer to my question is "240 square rods, or or one furlong by one chain".

Looking for a home off-world? Take your pick: Astroboffins estimate there are nearly 6bn Earth-likes in the Milky Way

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Nice science but...

I should point out that both Venus and Mars would be considered to be in the "habitable zone" around our own star.

TBF the authors probably had a bit more detail in the original publication, such as an actual definition of "earth-like", which I suspect was along the lines of "rocky planet with the possibility of liquid water". Fun to think about though.

Tens of millions of Internet-of-Things, network-connected gizmos at risk of remote hijacking? Computer, engage shocked mode

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How many of these things actually have a mechanism for firmware updates?

Ok, so your Samsung TV probably has a facility for firmware updates, and Samsung probably have servers to do the pushing. But what about the other tat? Baby monitors? Lightbulbs? "Security" cameras? Doorbells?

Not to mention access - baked-in admin passwords? Or if not, do they rely on the user not having changed the admin password? Either way, you're in trouble.

Qualcomm looks to hook the masses to 5G... if it arrives: Snapdragon 690, X51 modem to power mid-range gear

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That'll be handy

...when I ever find a use case for 5G on my phone.

Ex-eBay security execs among six charged with harassing, threatening bloggers who dared criticize web tat souk

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That's awful

Imagine sending pornography to live cockroaches. What kind of twisted mind would come up with such a thing?

After IBM axed its face-recog tech, the rest of the dominoes fell like a house of cards: Amazon and now Microsoft. Checkmate

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Re: Ooooo...

And the whole point here is that the system is supposed to identify criminals, not identify crimes.

So yes, there may be more crime at the Notting Hill Festival, but there aren't necessarily more criminals there.

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Re: FR is still the age old: 'Chelsea Flower Show' v 'Notting Hill Carnival'?

I've been to both. Different kinds of crime.

There's also the old problem of bias of finding crime where you're looking for it. If you look for criminals at the Notting Hill Carnival then you'll find some. If you don't look for criminals at the Chelsea Flower Show, then (funnily enough) you won't find any there.

While Huawei burns, Ericsson lands plush new O2 contract to help push 5G in Britain

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Stoltenberg tells us to panic. Again.

At least it's nice to hear Stoltenberg giving his normal "The Russians are coming!" a rest. Now it's "The Chinese are coming!" instead, which at least has the virtue of being a slightly different tune.

I'm all for the NATO alliance, but every time I see Stoltenberg stand up it always sounds like job justification to me.

Count how many times the Feds checked Chinese telcos in America weren't spying. Only one hand needed

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Re: "The vid-conferencing biz said it was following Beijing's laws"

Nah - the NSA listened in, then the Chinese found out from their backdoors into the NSA, then the Chinese govt told Zoom to close the account...

Remember that backdoor in Juniper gear? Congress sure does – even if networking biz wishes it would all go away

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Juniper kit should be removed from all networks, now its shown to be insecure. The US should be refusing to share intelligence with any country still using it. Hello? Hello?

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher

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Re: Lawyers... start your engines

Grumbling and replacements for cheap crap, maybe. Grumbling and replacements for that expensive television, maybe not.



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