* Posts by batfink

1117 publicly visible posts • joined 10 Jun 2010


Half a kilo of cosmic nuclear fuel reignites NASA's deep space dreams


Wrong question being asked?

Am I the only one who is sceptical about the idea that the US has started making PU238 again - as noted in the article, a by-product of nuclear weapons - just for the convenicen of NASA?

Crypto exchange Kraken reportedly hunted by the Feds for alleged sanctions busting


Hmmm - interesting definition

Putting aside all the unsurprising other news about the crypto world being rife with scammers, thieves and sundry other crooks, I do find it interesting that this crew seem to have charged with "exporting" to Iran.

So, if there have been trades in entirely digital (supposed) assets, how does that become "exporting"? Are the Americans trying to say that the bits representing those assets have been "exported" to Iran, when the tokens may actually lie anywhere?

UK immigration systems delayed by extra Ukraine visa work


Ah yes..

The old "Operational Efficiencies". In other words, sackings of staff.

Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected


...plus the opportunity cost penalty from your in-house devs not doing whatever it was they were supposed to be doing instead.

British intelligence recycles old argument for thwarting strong encryption: Think of the children!


Re: Did I mention useless political posturing?...and perhaps a darker long-term goal?

Quote: "These safety systems will be implemented by the service owner in their app, SDK or browser-based access,"

OK, so how long would it take for the scumbags to start using some other "service" then?

As usual with these things, it's only designed to catch the honest crooks.

Big Tech bosses call for computer science to be taught in all US schools


Let's start here

Let's start with the concept of algorithms, shall we? Those are pretty universally applicable for problem-solving in any field.

Once we've got past that, THEN we might start looking at coding.

Remember the old adage: Months of coding can save days of planning.


...or we could add more hours, like some other countries do.

Is this you in this explicit snap? No, it's just Discord phishing


Danger to others

If someone somehow publishes an X-rated photograph alleged to be me, it's liable to be much more traumatic for any viewer than it is for me.

NASA wants nuclear reactor on the Moon by 2030



Although I have to assume that NASA do actually know what they're doing, 40KW seems low to me. My (admittedly energy-intensive) household runs at 2-3KW, so 15-20 times my earthbound requirements?

I suppose it will depend on how big the base is, where it is, what experiments are going to be run, what the life support/reprocessing/cracking requirements are etc etc.

However, if it was me planning to put a reactor on the moon, I'd be saying "Fuck it, let's just send the biggest sucker we can lift".

Businesses brace for quantum computing disruption by end of decade


Fuck me this shows ignorance

81% of these "business leaders" think that quantum computing is going to disrupt their business within 7 years? How?

It would be nice to know what businesses these "leaders" represent and why they think this will affect their particular businesses. i would also like to know why they think quantum computing will disrupt their businesses any more than advances in classical computing.

I can understand this being applicable to, say high-frequency trading, but even then you have other constraints, such as your comms speed. Meteorological forecasting, yes. Perhaps flow analysis, for F1 cars say, but seriously: build a model and stick it in a wind tunnel. Plus QC may not really offer any advantage to this analysis anyway.

For me, this is just another example of how little "business leaders" know about technology - and every large company is an IT company now, whether they understand that or not.

Nothing says 2022 quite like this remote-controlled machine gun drone



I don't know how accurate that photo is supposed to be, but that MG mount doesn't look as if it has much in the way of pan and tilt.

So would you have to find an appropriate ramp to be able to shoot at anything more than a couple of feet off the ground?


Re: Fortunately Useless

But if you're a wheeled vehicle in a building then you quickly run into the Dalek problem.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035


Nice conflation of different measures

In this article I see figures on the numbers of petrol vs diesel cars currently on the road beside percentage figures for new registrations. This smells of press release fudging.

If you're going to provide figures, please be consistent. What is the breakdown, by percentage, of petrol vs diesel vs EV? This will be a much more useful figure than past figures vs new registrations.

I also notice repeated inferences that there will be no further ICE vehicle sales past 2035, including one direct quote to this effect. This is just plain false - as we know, the ban will be on new vehicles. Unfortunately I see this same falsehood regularly in the UK national papers.

A bit more attention to detail please El Reg!



Really? Who are you accusing of not voting?

And "unelected politicians" - who are these exactly? Politicians in the EU are elected by definition. Try having an actual look at how the EU operates and stop with the tired "unelected" trope. Only your fellow Daily Mail readers fall for it.


Re: Queuing is the least of our worries.

So you expect the supermarkets, workplaces etc to just swallow the cost of all and sundry charging on their properties?


And you can bet your hairy arse that those nice subsidies for buying an EV and installing a charger are going to disappear PDQ, further tilting the economics.

Apple’s M2 chip isn’t a slam dunk, but it does point to the future


My question exactly. It's all very well to say that your CPU drags less power at full usage levels, but that's no help if it drags more power at idle - which is where it's likely to spend much of its time.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


Re: Age and beauty


'Red-rated' legacy IT gets refresh in UK as US battles theirs with bills


"Digital Boot Camps"

I will be interested to see whether these "boot camps" can actually get across to these 6500 senior public servants the actual complexity of business-supporting large systems, and the inherent difficulties of both maintaining and replacing them.

Or are they just going to be taught a bit of HTML?


50 of the most frequently used digital government services will be upgraded by 2025

So these will all be done over the next three years then? Best of luck with that.

It'll take 12 months to set up the teams, especially as it'll need to be outsourced. Then they expect to analyse the existing business processes and the legacy systems that support them (including finding the non-existent/out of date/contradictory existing documentation), work out how it needs to be done now, code that up, test it and move it all into Prod over the next two years? For 50 of the "most used" systems? With doubtless the usual suspects like Craptia at the wheel?

Maybe I'll come out of retirement. If this is going to happen they will need to be throwing a hell of a lot of money at it.

No more fossil fuel or nukes? In the future we will generate power with magic dust


Ah that takes me back

..to the heady days of LISP

FBI warns of North Korean cyberspies posing as foreign IT workers


How big an actual problem is this?

Ok I can see the possibilty. However, how are these evil DPRK spies getting these jobs in the first place? I can't imagine that the English (or other) language skills of your average DPRK dev are all that good, given their education system and lack of (official) access to actual foreign language speakers. How are they passing interviews? So how successful is this "posing"? How many actual cases have there been?

This sounds a bit like "Furriners! Can't trust them you know" to me.


Re: Outsourced development

He was simply following the example set by many large companies in outsourcing his labour requirements to a cheaper source.

Lawyers say changes to UK data law will make life harder for international businesses


Re: 'Fingers crossed the gov do an overall good job'

@Codejunky it's weird that someone is downvoting the fact that we agree on something!

Obviously that's not allowed...


'Fingers crossed the gov do an overall good job'

Well, as they say, there's a first time for everything.


Re: Any business experience in government?

Was that the one where Shapps was operating under the false name of Michael Green?

Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests


Re: So technology works as intended...

It's rather like the French approach to intersections.

It's clear that intersections are dangerous places, as there are a lot of accidents at them.

Therefore, one should approach any intersection at speed in order to minimise one's time in such a dangerous environment.

The end of the iPod – last model available 'while supplies last'


Works fine for the car

My old (10+ years?) one just lives in the car and does a fine job a supplying my music to the car stereo. Every now and again I bring it inside to update it with anything I've bought recently. The sound (with high bitrate recordings) is good enough for the car, as any imperfections are hidden by the road noise anyway.

When it dies I expect it'll be the spinny disk, so I'll just go the SD card replacement route and continue with it until it dies completely.

Legacy IT to blame for UK's inflexible benefits system


Re: Wasn't Fujitsu

Past behaviour is explicitly prohibited from being considered as a factor in evaluating UK government contracts.

I wonder why?

US Cyber Command shored up nine nations' defenses last year


California Army National Guard?

California has its own army?

SEC adds Tencent, JD.com, China Mobile to group facing potential delisting


Are these questions only for foreign companies or do they also apply to US corporations?

Phishing operation hits NHS email accounts to harvest Microsoft credentials


Re: Too little, too late.

Really? And how many of those things don't apply to large private sector organisations?

Smart contract developers not really focused on security. Who knew?


66% identified functional correctness as important?

WTAF? So a third of these people didn't think correctness was important in a system to (permanently) implement a contract?

Indian government hauls Infosys in to explain non-compete clause


Profit margins?

The article helpfully provides Revenue figures, but nothing on margins, which might be more interesting in light of their obvious reluctance to pay their staff what it takes.

Yes, I know that accounting smoke'n'mirrors would make the figures questionable, but even so...

BT starts commercial trial of quantum secured London network


E&Y? Why?

This seems a bit sledgehammer/nut to me. What is it that E&Y do that requires this level of security?

Yes, traffic about its customers should be encrypted in transit. However: what's the threat here? Are E&Y worried that someone with nation-state capabilities are going to want to read their correspondence, and therefore they should be implementing the interception detection as an additional security level?

The Tax Office(s) and the FCA might be interested in their workings perhaps, but neither of them would have the budget...

US Space Force unit to monitor region beyond Earth's geosynchronous orbit


19th Space Defense Squadron

So what do the other 18 do then?

Debian faces firmware furore from FOSS freedom fighters


Re: Hard choices.

A bigger hammer?

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


Re: too poor to ever own a car.

£30 per year??? Where's that - I want to move there.

If I needed a parking permit where I am (fortunately I don't) it would cost me north of £500 per year.


Re: too poor to ever own a car.

Yes - between the dropping of the purchasing rebates and the introduction of some other method of taxation to make up for the £25-30Bn/yr the government get from fuel taxes, I think EV drivers are in for a bit of a shock in a few years.


Re: Step #1, define your terms

Regulation (EU) 2019/2144 specifically states the any speed limiting facility can be turned off.



Yes - it's bad enough out there already with all the numpties and incompetents behind the wheel, without adding flaky AI to the mix. Add that to the demonstrably false idea that an inattentive "not-quite-driver" can take over immediately when the Ai goes wrong at high speed halfway through an episode of Bridgerton (never mind having a free hand if they're watching something less wholesome) and it's a recipe for total disaster.

Still, "Transport minister Trudy Harrison" won't have to worry - it'll be her driver's problem.


PR hack to spread the bullshit?

They'd want to be "highly skilled" in order to get anyone to think this is a good idea.

Netflix to crack down on account sharing, offer ad-laden cheaper options


Re: Netflix is over

Thank you Cornetman - yes exactly.

I know well how markets work, but I'm a subscriber to the Warren Buffett style of looking at the underlying value of a business, rather than the school of buying shares in the hope they will rise because of others' stupidity/cupidity - otherwise known as the Greater Fool Theory.

It's the latter who have been bailing out at the first sign their bubble may be bursting.


I'm still happy with my Humax Fox-T2, plugged through my amp into the TV. Dual tuners for free-to-air but the streaming services on it are pretty slow, so I use the native tv apps for those.

Don't get the Humax Aura box though - it's a UX mess, plus not Netflix.


Re: Netflix is over

For what value of "over"?

Last year (most recent figures I can find) they made a profit margin of 7.88% on $7.7Bn.

The media and market panic that we're seeing now is only based on the fact that Netflix subs have stopped growing for the first time ever. As with many listed companies, the stock market investors seem to think that growth is infinite and if you're not growing madly then you're a failure. Like many companies, Netflix remains (very) profitable and is a viable business.

Yes they were stupid in their predictions. However a drop of 25% in the share price is just silly.

There have been interesting reports in the UK press lately about subscription services, as people start to make choices about what to spend money on. It looks like Netflix and Prime are going to be the ones to stay, with Disney, Britbox etc likely to be dropped. Obviously, mileage will vary in other markets.

UK Prime Minister, Catalan groups 'targeted by NSO Pegasus spyware'


Re: Civil Servents must really hate Boris.

It's quite possible that the security services weren't allowed anywhere near his phone, particularly if it was his personal one (even though he was probably using that when he should have been using the official one).

If in the (surely unlikely) event that he was using his phone for purposes he shouldn't have been - organising piss-ups perhaps? - then he wouldn't want any servants of the state getting their hands on the proof.

I don't know if it's the case in the UK, but in Australia politicians don't get vetted and/or cleared. Yes ok, state-supplied equipment should be secured when handed to them, but keeping it clean thereafter would be a struggle.

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP


Agreed Bob. It appears to be just a skin makeover, with no substantial OS change. Some of the Win10 releases have been more change.

The only reason I can see for MS calling this a new "version" is to try to suck money out of the punters.

Why the Linux desktop is the best desktop


Re: The joys of Linux

If you're running a large estate then your devs will want to know what's changing in advance of deployment so their (usually unnecessary) "clever" tweaks can be tested against the New Thing.

Allowing OS updates to just happen as soon as they're available is a recipe for lots of pain.


Yes I agree that it's an advantage rather than a pain for us, but I also think this is a large reason why there is never going to be The Year of the Linux Desktop.


Re: ... and to a racing driver, F1 isn't hard, either @batfink

YMMV of course, but I'd argue that almost any of the other "server" (well "mainframe" at the time) OS's were more comprehensible, because they hadn't gone out of their way to name the commands in as obscure ways as possible. Of course, knowing the obscure and non-intuitive ways of early Unix separated us proper nerds from the wannabes.

On the (eventual) PC side, CP/M was ok IMO. I never got that close to OS/2 so can't really comment on that one. The various flavours of DOS were ok as far as they went, but that wasn't very far.