* Posts by flayman

321 publicly visible posts • joined 29 Jun 2010

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Change Healthcare faces second ransomware dilemma weeks after ALPHV attack

flayman Bronze badge

No, THIS is nonsense. It will never ever fly. It goes against natural justice to turn victims of extortion into criminals for acting out of fear. I do not want to live in a society that deems this acceptable. Acquiescing to threats by simply handing over money can never be a crime.

Plus, we're actually talking about property, whether it's the property of the company or the property of the company's customers. The fact that it's digital doesn't make any difference. As a legal person, the company has rights with regard to property. It will also be legally obligated to safeguard its customers' personal data as far as practical. You have not thought it through.

You cannot force victims to rely on law enforcement. The idea that it's illegal to pay a ransom "unless authorised as part of a credible police sting" (as I've seen suggested) is laughable.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Legality of paying

That would be paying for goods and services or making donations, not paying someone who mugs you. Where duress is involved, I seriously doubt there could ever be the necessary intent ingredients, i.e. mens rea, to establish a crime.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Let that be a lesson

"Paying a ransom (unless authorised as part of a credible police sting) needs to be a criminal offence"

I think that's taking it too far. You might as well say that in relation to any extortion attempt. Paying the mafia to take out the garbage in your office building should be a criminal offence. Yeah, well failure to do so will get your legs broken. This is the nature of duress.

Good news: HMRC offers a Linux version of Basic PAYE Tools. Bad news: It broke

flayman Bronze badge

Re: License?

Sorry. Misunderstood.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: License?

Hang on. Let me Google that for you. It's licensed under its own open source license called the PSF (Python Software Foundation) LICENSE AGREEMENT, the terms of which you are free to read. You can always submit patches to the maintainers if there is source code available. They are under no obligation to merge them. There is of course source code available, otherwise the project could not really even pretend to be open source.

Not sure what point you were trying to make.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: It's 2024

Downvote me all you like, but that quote is incredibly insulting to the millions of people all over the world who are involved in Python one way or another. Not just Python, but any language effort that is not statically typed. It manages to be both woefully ignorant and elitist at the same time. This is like a debate at a student union. Plenty of old time programmers like myself have found our way to Python and we use it responsibly. The problem that this article mentions turns out to have nothing at all to do with Python. It was a locale issue. The Python 2 program, the language for which is four years out of support, still actually works. That's saying something.

Statically typed languages are great. I like C#, and dotnet runs well now on Linux. We mostly deploy apps to GKE here. We have some containerized stuff that was migrated from Windows server. It's fantastic that we could do that. And TypeScript is a good improvement over JavaScript. But mostly it's Python for the backend, and there is really no problem at all with that. Pytest makes it fun to write unit tests. They get run by the CI pipeline and ruff checks the formatting. JupypterLab is wonderful for prototyping. Application development has been steadily moving in the direction of cloud native for the past decade or so, I want to say. Desktop applications are on the way out. And Python is among the tools of our trade, so just deal with it.

flayman Bronze badge

I wouldn't use Java for anything. Certainly not Oracle Java. I have programmed in Java, but now I don't. It's extremely verbose and its class loading commands its own circle of hell. There are better alternatives.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: It's 2024

"Dynamically typed languages are for the lazy / uneducated."

Pure idiocy in action.

flayman Bronze badge

"The reason Python is "popular" is because it's the first language you learn on contemporary CS courses. A few years ago it was Java for the same reason. JavaScript is also very popular, but it just seems like Stockholm Syndrome for programmers where they've just spent too long unaware of the alternatives and their relative strengths or weaknesses."

No, I think you've got that backwards. You learn about it because it's popular and good, and you're likely to be using it professionally. I didn't learn about it in school. I'm 30 years out of education and Python has become my favourite language for most work. One of the reasons it has taken off is that it seems to have been very well suited for data science, and as a result the data science support has blossomed. What you say about scientists is true. I work with a lot of data scientists and they are not the best coders. But that's nothing against the language. You think this is bad? Try PHP.

On testing, you're off the mark there. Pytest is the best testing framework I've ever seen. No contest. And if you take a test driven approach, then you're writing tests at the same time or before you write your code. I'm a senior software engineer with over 25 years experience on all sorts of languages and platforms. I love Python and FastAPI for anything on the server and I love React with modern JavaScript for front end work. I don't know what you're talking about with testing the language rather than the logic. That has not been my experience, but again, if you approach unit testing and integration testing properly then that's not an issue. Every language has features that you're probably better off not exploiting. It comes down to experience.

As for OOP, it does have its issues and it's helpful to recognise them. Functional programming has a lot of inherent advantages. Interestingly, Python alleviates one of the problems with OOP by supporting multiple inheritance.

flayman Bronze badge

Python is the most popular programming language for a reason. Python 2 is not a good experience at all. Sorry about your miserable year, but I've been loving working with Python and all its great tooling for about five.

Truck-to-truck worm could infect – and disrupt – entire US commercial fleet

flayman Bronze badge

"This included an exposed API that permits over-the-air (OTA) updates."

I wish I could say this is incredible, but it's not.

Firefox points the way to eradicating one of the rudest words online: PDF

flayman Bronze badge

Re: I don't mind PDFs

I can see that it wasn't clear, because there is an AC replying to another AC, but I was directing my comments to the original AC. I may have replied to the wrong one, but it should have been clear anyway, or so I would have thought. It's only months later (approaching years) that I've see this, so apologies.

OpenAI goes public with Musk emails, claiming he backed for-profit plans

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Re: OpenAI Musk and Microsoft

Arguably he is even more full of shit than an entire bag of the stuff.

Chinese chap charged with stealing Google’s AI datacenter secrets

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Re: On a national level...

Less related even than apples and oranges, as those at least are two subtypes of a thing.

Rapid7 throws JetBrains under the bus for 'uncoordinated vulnerability disclosure'

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"If they have family or assets in Russia they can be pressured into slipping backdoors in etc."

Riiiiiiiight. Big difference. Not just a simple case of Russophobia then. No, not at all.

And before you start, I know you didn't say that, but this is what you're coming out in support of.

flayman Bronze badge

You're full of shit, anonymous coward. You would put a black mark next to anyone who was born in Russia. We've seen this before. It should not be countenanced.

flayman Bronze badge

This kind of attitude frankly makes me sick. So we can't trust anyone who might know someone who lives in Russia? Is it worth all this?

flayman Bronze badge

"Doesn't JetBrains have ties to Russia?"

Oh for fuck's sake. Is this like don't use 7-Zip because it was written by a Russian? I have a Russian co-worker. Does that mean I have ties to Russia? What is this, 1958?

Linus Torvalds flames Google kernel contributor over filesystem suggestion

flayman Bronze badge

Way to make a story out of a non-story.

As per title.

X reverses course on headlines in article links, kinda

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

He has certainly of late made some bad business decisions, but the business arrangements I'm sure are in order. There has never been a recorded instance of a court piercing the corporate veil of a publicly traded company, but if it's going to happen anywhere I suppose it will probably happen in California.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

I just don't see it. You don't get to be the world's richest man (off and on) by being stupid with your business arrangements. Piercing the corporate veil is very difficult with publicly traded companies. In any case, there needs to be a demonstration of egregious actions taken by a shareholder or shareholders, usually an actual fraud. He'll just take the company into bankruptcy, escaping personal liability, and the former employees to whom he owes three months severance would have to join the queue. It wouldn't at all surprise me if all of this past year was just a deliberate plot to ruin Twitter because of some personal vendetta, but it would be really hard to prove.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Is It Even Worth That Much?

You're wrong about the valuation, but they'll never get at his personal assets. That simply doesn't happen. I can't even think of a motion that you're alluding to for the owner(s) or directors of a corporation to be personally financially liable for its failure outside of malfeasance. They can be held criminally liable.

Musk tells advertisers to 'go f**k' themselves as $44B X gamble spirals into chaos

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Re: Actually, I kind of agree with him

"Saves me some typing." is what you said. Yet here we are. Still talking about something that has nothing to do with what's going on.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Actually, I kind of agree with him

Seriously, I can't be arsed because it doesn't fucking matter. There were instances where they disagreed about the application of their ToS. They still behaved like a company with customers and a reputation. They, in legal filings, defended themselves against accusations. They didn't tell their customers to go fuck themselves. Can't you see the difference?

I've now looked a bit more closely at the material and it seems that an advocacy group was suing Twitter to gain access to an API that Twitter only provided to paying customers. Twitter wouldn't give it to them. The advocacy group were intending to use this API to produce statistics that might have shown Twitter in a bad light. That was Twitter's motion to dismiss.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Actually, I kind of agree with him

Sure, it was never perfect. Forgive me, but I'm not familiar with that case and I can't be arsed to read about. It doesn't matter. The exodus of advertising today likely has more to do with the controversial behaviour of the company's leadership. The Media Matters campaign was just another straw on the camel's back. IBM, and others, decided they'd had enough. It may not have even been the real reason for stopping. Just a reasonable excuse, not that any was needed.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Actually, I kind of agree with him

There should be an exercise in due diligence before entering into a commercial relationship. I agree. Exiting such a relationship requires none. If we're talking about the due diligence before advertising on Twitter, years and years ago, then that's something else. I don't think that's what the commenter was saying. The difference back then, of course, was that Twitter did its best to respond to that type of content by removing it and suspending accounts. Twitter had community guidelines and a department looking after that.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Actually, I kind of agree with him

"Well, there does seem to be a concerted effort to destroy X, and attack Musk. Should corporations be doing this? Does that have free speech implications? "

It does have free speech implications. A customer is fully entitled to choose to stop being a customer for any reason. Stopping spending on advertising is an act of omission. It can hardly be considered part of a concerted effort to destroy a company. It's more like slowly backing out of the room and closing the door. There are plenty of other places to adverstise that are not nearly so controversial, and brands always do well to avoid controversy.

"Maybe he's saying IBM was wrong not to do some due diligence and acted prematurely after Media Matter's hatchet job." No, that is almost too idiotic for comment. Due diligence? IBM is not obligated to be a customer. There is no due diligence involved. X is not entitled to any revenue. It has to earn it. You don't earn it by making bad impressions. You don't earn it by telling your customers to go fuck themselves. Seriously belief beggaring shit right there.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: The corner of...

This is off the mark. The free speech of the 1st Amendment is not right wing, or anything like that. It is in some ways purer than the free speech concept embraced by Europe, which gives equal weight to the freedom to receive information and ideas. European free speech is more circumscribed by proportionality.

In the US, money is equal to speech. The Supreme Court more or less endorsed that view in Citizens United. So it's acceptable to drown out the marginal voices. Plurality used to be valued, but that seems to have gone out the window with the shelving of the FCC's Doctrine of Fairness. I'll bet you wouldn't guess that it was Obama who did that. Not his finest moment.

The 1st Amendment concept of free speech has its roots in the American Revolution and the publications of the Sons of Liberty, who distorted the truth in order to gain support for the rebellion against new taxes and other similar grievances. Truth and accuracy were never part of it.

flayman Bronze badge

No, fuck you, dude-bro.

Edited to add something of substance:

No idea what you bought. Continually alienating both the user base, which is the product, and the advertiser base, which along with the data is the ENTIRE FUCKING BUSINESS. Keep it up.

Brit borough council apologizes for telling website users to disable HTTPS

flayman Bronze badge

Dear Reading council...

Don't assume I'm using Chrome. It is not the only browser. Just saying.

Sam Altman set to rejoin OpenAI as CEO – seemingly with Microsoft's blessing

flayman Bronze badge

It simply doesn't work like that. It was naive to think it could. And the board overplayed its hand. Microsoft owns 49% of the for profit company, and they were not about to sit there and let that investment be sunk. The structure was created to give first priority to the lofty goal of developing AI for the maxiumum good of humanity, whatever that means. There is not zero responsibility to the company. Without a company, then what are we even talking about? Well, now the ethicists have no control and the board is run by the CEO of Salesforce, so well done.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Mmmmm the nature of boards.

That's all well and good, as far as independent board members being a check. But you do that in the boardroom, not in public. Regardless of the paper being dry and academic, Altman is right that any amount of criticism coming from a board member carries a lot of weight. That's not all though. Her suggestion that the board have no responsibility whatsoever to the welfare of the company and its 750+ employees, let alone the 29 billion dollar assets developed with private investment, is a petard that she hoisted herself on.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Mmmmm

For me, the question is how on earth did Helen Toner manage to convince a majority of the board that she should stay on after publishing an academic paper that was critical of the company she was meant to be serving as a governor? She must be pretty damn persuasive. There can be legitiimate disagreements as to how far the company should go in ensuring that AI cannot be misused, but keep it internal. Once you go public criticizing the company you serve as board member, that seat is untenable.

I gather that Toner and her clique are idealists in the extreme, bordering on fanatical in their adherence to Effective Altruism. That she would actually tell the assembled company that it could be aligned with their mission objectives if the company were destroyed shows how unfit she is to govern.

flayman Bronze badge

Extremely naive and fundamentally misunderstanding her role as a governor.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Mmmmm

New York Times has a story on it which goes into more detail than other reports I've seen. It seems that the board have been divided, with Brockman siding with Altman, for the past year or so over AI safety concerns. This culminated in an academic research paper published by board member Professor Helen Toner, which was critical of the company. Atlman took exception to this and tried to get her removed from the board. I have to say, I agree with him. You cannot sit on the board of a company and publish papers or even speak critically against it.

Somehow Toner managed to convince a majority of the board, including co-founder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever, that Altman was the problem. It's an understatement that they were not prepared for the backlash.

https://www.nytimes.com/2023/11/21/technology/openai-altman-board-fight.html

Strike over? US actors may return to work with top-tier 'progressive AI protections'

flayman Bronze badge

How do you prove I used AI?

It may not be there quite yet, but AI voice generation based on samples does a good job of making dialogue sound like an actor's voice. This is being used right now in a lot of free community game mods that add new content to existing games. Is that covered? How do you prove someone used AI? Maybe I hired a cheap but talented voice artist who is able to sound like John DiMaggio. Let's call him Freddy Foo. He doesn't have an IMDB page or website. He gets all his work through word of mouth. Yeah, that's it. That's what I'll put in the credits. Done.

FBI boss: Taking away our Section 702 spying powers could be 'devastating'

flayman Bronze badge

Wray undermines his own case

"Wray's objection in his written testimony [PDF] that a warrant rule for US person queries 'would amount to a de facto ban' is hyperbole, and the type of easily debunked comment that shows how out of touch the FBI is on this important issue," Laperruque said. "It's simply ludicrous to claim the FBI could never obtain probable cause that queries will return evidence of a crime for the 200,000-plus queries it conducts each year."

It's a silly argument to make, because if that turns out to be true it only goes to show the extent of the fishing problem. It's not true though. The FISA court has been very deferential. It's just a gum in the works. The FBI would not be able to run the searches they like as soon as they like.

CompSci academic thought tech support was useless – until he needed it

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Donald Knuth, on the other hand...

Donald Knuth, author of the multi-volume The Art of Programming and recipient of the Turing Award, doesn't use email (ever since 1990). He has a secretary who prints out all his emails for him to read and to type replies when necessary. Maybe not all the emails.

Why? Because he is a very diligent guy who cares about being helpful and correct, and it was eating hours of his day.

Asahi Linux goes from Apple Silicon port project to macOS bug hunters

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Yup.

Then they can take it to the Genius Bar when they eff it up, because that's effectively a subsidised BYOD. How do you manage network security compliance?

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Why, Apple?

Really, really, really daft.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Yup.

"I would guess these same devs aren't actually coding for an OSX target - Windows if there is any justice. ;)"

Three main types of (mostly lovely) MacBook wielding techies in my organisation. These are front end app developers, cloud and platform engineers, and OpenGL application developers. The latter two are the ones who insist on it. The front end people will use whatever you tell them to but prefer Mac, if for no other reason than the company issued Macs are a lot less restictive.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Yup.

Now I'm laughing that this got a downvote. You guys really are special. Don't ever change.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Why, Apple?

"...by enabling pro motion is is storing a screen resolution in a format which the recovery mode doesn't understand."

Then any sensible recovery mode should fall back on a sensible default resolution. And if this is due to NVRAM, then zapping that should be a solution. I'm left to wonder why it's not.

flayman Bronze badge

Re: Yup.

I'm laughing at the fact that this has had a downvote. One of those dickhead Mac fanbois dev types, no doubt. Sensitive.

Intel's PC chip ship is sinking with Arm-ada on the horizon

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Re: Conversely . . .

AMD has 34.6% of the overall x86 market in Q1 2023, up from 14.8% three years ago. You're calling that a bare fraction?

https://www.tomshardware.com/news/amd-and-intel-cpu-market-share-report-recovery-looms-on-the-horizon

flayman Bronze badge

Re: So what's the strategy?

Aside from the observation that Intel is now to the CPU market what IBM would become to the PC market, I don't understand why we're discussing IBM right now.

Your ex isn't the only one stalking your social media posts. The Feds are, too

flayman Bronze badge

That's not good, but I don't see how it's barring people. If you are working in UK education then you have a right to enter and remain. A sovereign nation has the absolute authority to deny entry to anyone who does not have the right to enter, but we should not be happy about the government of a supposedly liberal democracy monitoring speech like this.

On your UK stories, we still have the Data Protection Act in force here. Even though communications are made in public, storing and processing these communications to draw unfavourable conclusions about people is a data controller and data processor activity. This makes it subject to the DPA. The Information Commissioner's Office should be all over this.

flayman Bronze badge

"Why would someone in their right mind, want to travel into USA, in the first place?"

I dunno, maybe for a wedding or a funeral? Like, I do have family there.

Devs learn rival Godot engine in a week to poke fun at Unity

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CEO needs to go...

...As I wrote today in a comment under a releated article. No ifs or buts. He fucked the company with a laughably cynical business plan post IPO. He comes to Unity from EA, where trust has also been heavily eroded by the EA App, a poorly implemented DRM system which replaced Origin. His experience is in sports retail, not the games industry. That might have seemed like a interesting fit for EA, but it does not fit with a company whose primary business is focused on a gaming engine and development platform. Fire the asshole CEO and pray. That's all I can suggest, but I suspect it's too late.

Unity apologizes, tweaks runtime install fees after gaming world outrage

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CEO should go...

No ifs or buts. He destroyed all trust. Devs are fleeing. Share price got hammered. Absolute shit show.

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