* Posts by Law

1128 publicly visible posts • joined 31 May 2007


Google says public data is fair game for training its AIs


Re: This will eventually go to the courts

Search results retain information on the source the the material and provide that information.

AI results give you responses with no context on that information, they lose where the information was slurped from and who owns the copyright information in the model.

That’s the difference. That’s where it’s no longer fair use and now copyright infringement- you’ve taken somebody else’s work, and offer it as your own, rather than looking at somebody else’s work and making it easier to find by pointing others to it.

Add to that, other company’s will be charging for this information (OpenAI) and I’m surprised people are even debating this.

Apple complains UK watchdog wants to make iOS a 'clone' of Android


I don't think that's the case, and as somebody who's flipped between winphone, android and iOS over the decade here's why:

- For a long time I switched to android because the new usability features were always on android first. But iOS caught up by creating some of their own features, and stealing others from android.

- Android is hit or miss for support after 18 months, my "premium" Pixel C tablet became slow and barely useable after 12 months of updates, even after a reset it was slow - then stopped receiving updates after 2 years, even security ones... so now it's a security risk. My base model iPad is the same age and still getting updates, app store apps still work for it.

- Consistent level of bloat... I won't call iOS bloat free (it's definitely not), but I don't have bloat installed that competes with the OS features. When I tried Samsung, I kept having to disable new samsung apps that replicated google play features baked into android (because play apps were a requirement at one point to license Android, not sure if that's still the case)

- Many people on iPhones that I know aren't on the latest and greatest... they wait several iterations to upgrade. Android, not so much (although they're usualy half the cost so why not?)

- People use Macs, Apple TVs etc, things like the built in password management features make it pretty easy to move from one to the other. Same with photos and files.

- Parental controls - it's so damn easy to control screen time for my kids iPads, and what they install. That's baked in, on Android I tried several parental apps (paid for!) and they never worked right on any of the various phones / tablets in the house.

Anyway, I'm currently on an iPhone 11 but I didn't buy it, it was gifted to me. I won't be upgrading until this one dies or stops getting updates. I also won't just be buying an iPhone as a replacement, I'll look around.

Edit: I should mention I agree with being able to have different web engines on iOS - I'm a firefox user, I'm not a fan of the kneecapped browser on iOS.

No more free API access, says Twitter: You pay for that data


Re: Rules of Acquisition!

Also for developers:

211 - Employees are the rungs on the ladder of success. Don't hesitate to step on them.

Google institutional investor calls for wider cuts: 30k jobs


Re: 50% not needed...

Musk has made a huge mistake and shown everybody very publicly how big of an idiot he really is. Twitter is imploding, they can’t maintain their apis so have locked out 3rd party apps, they’re not paying their cleaners so devs are cleaning the toilets and their workspace, advertisers have left in droves as many of those “useless devs” were gatekeepers and safeguards to stop really bad content on twitter, not all techs are devs.

The people left are mostly on visas and may as well be forced labour at this point as it’s either accept pay reductions and work 24/7 for musk, or risk getting kicked out of the country.

Also, it’s not a good sign when they have stopped paying rent for major offices either. It almost feels like Musk is deliberately running it into the ground so he can say he tried but it was beyond saving.

But yeah, seems to be going great. Yay Musk.

Amazon warehouse workers 'make history' with first official UK strike


“Employees are also offered comprehensive benefits that are worth thousands more – including private medical insurance”

We’re not the US, we have a half decent health service - I’m sure if the choice was pay rise or keep health insurance, they’d likely choose pay rise.

The insurance is probably counted towards their tax allowance too so actually costs the workers more money and most won’t ever use it.

Google Russia goes broke after bank account snatched


Re: Very bad idea

"... didn't wander around seizing the property and money of ordinary German citizens"

If anything, it was the nazis that liked taking property & wealth from ordinary (jewish) German citizens.

China’s GitHub clone makes all repos private pending mysterious ‘review’


They claimed to have 10 million repos and 5 million users just 2 years ago, so presumably quite a few.

How many of those 10 million were public I've no idea - seems hard to find any stats for the service.

£42k for a top-class software engineer? It's no wonder uni research teams can't recruit


Re: Wait. what?

Uh oh, sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays!

Racist malware blocks The Pirate Bay by tampering with victims' Windows hosts file


Re: Eh?

Except please come to the UK... I want a BS-free ISP.

Intrepid Change.org user launches petition to make Jeff Bezos' space trip one-way


Re: Never work

Yes please.

They spout so much hot-air, maybe we could use them to aid the rocket somehow.

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world


Re: "Mike learned an important lesson..."

It released a weighted companion cube for the test subject.

Epic Games files competition lawsuit against Google in the UK over Fortnite's ejection from Play Store


"Al those who hated MS, we the reason we only have two ring fenced mobile phone OSes is down to you"

Oh shut up - I actually had a 1020, and trust me when I say it wasn't people buying into Google and apple that was the problem here. Initially the experience was alright, but every update broke something.

Want the main reason the platform died though? The app store was dead. The app store was a sea of lookalike apps that were not by the original service providers and just web portals to the actual service. The reason for this was Microsoft rewrote their API every update - making it incompatible with the previous version. So rather than maintaining 3 mobile apps over 3 platforms, app providers would end up writing a new winmobile app every year. So, they didn't.

I'm a father of 2 and it's next to impossible to manage my kids windows devices these days. Microsoft pushes Skype, several edge versions, and a load of other bloatware to their devices - as well as resetting or outright removing privacy options to not search on the web when they type in an app name into the search bar to load it. They're not "better these days", they're the same Microsoft as always, just a bit more open sourcy in their approach to developers.


Re: They want a free ride

Apple do have an advertisement platform too, though I doubt it's anywhere near as profitable or insidious as Google's.

'It's really hard to find maintainers...' Linus Torvalds ponders the future of Linux


Re: re: where to begin


Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?


"While its predecessor, effectively a translation layer, was the technological tour de force, WSL2 did the previously unthinkable and dropped a Linux kernel into Windows."

No they didn't, they dropped the Linux kernel into hyperv... They basically made it a full VM because subsystems are hard. Sure, they've integrated it a bit to make it seem part of windows, but it's just a VM. Because it's hyperv based, that also stops you using their competitors virtualisation software like virtual box or VMware. It's very clever from a marketing point of view.

Fyi I had seemingly integrated desktop applications from Windows running on a Mac on 2008 thanks to VMWare Fusion using unity mode.

Join us on our new journey, says Wunderlist – as it vanishes down the Microsoft plughole


Re: Kanban boards FTW

Love Trello - but they're now owned by Atlassian so I expect the quality to go down soon enough.

Pentagon beams down $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft: Windows giant beats off Bezos


Re: Article about JEDI shows picture of Spock

I can confirm, as a trek fan it upset me greatly.

Then I read the article, and the idea of Microsoft running the DoDs cloud strategy scared the crap out of me. But as Spock says... Fear is the path to the dark side.

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block


Re: Yay!

I'm a parent - I pay attention to what kids do. We do run a bit of a trust system in the house, but also have mechanisms to raise an alarm and shut down their access if there are breaches of that trust.

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack


We've migrated to Teams too... I find browsing histories and searching to be a pain, but other than that it's alright. Use it via the browser when on Linux, bit of a pain but better than nothing at all.

Tesco parking app hauled offline after exposing 10s of millions of Automatic Number Plate Recognition images


Re: Bastards

I once got told I'd been in a McDonalds carpark for 24 hours once... turned out they'd seen me on day 1 going in for my drive through morning coffee... not clocked me leaving on day 1... then missed me on day 2 going in for my coffee, but seen me leaving... hence 24 hours.

I worked for a CCTV company at the time, and offered court-grade proof I was in the work carpark 5 minutes after the coffee stop on day 1, but they refused to listen to reason and upped the fine. I tried again, this time including McDonalds on the conversation. Again - they upped the fine and threatened legal action.

In the end, I told them to take me to court then just ignored them. As (at the time at least) fines on private land aren't enforceable, I heard nothing from them again.

Pretty sure you could just ignore the fine... private fines not enforceable... only fines issued by companies on behalf of the council are enforceable I think. But, INAL... so might be talking out my arse.


Re: Shuttered?

Trump is no doubt waiting to make his offer after the 31st October.

Scotiabank slammed for 'muppet-grade security' after internal source code and credentials spill onto open internet


Re: You see Dev's

"This is why your IT guys and gals are "being obstructive" when they make sure you follow procedures. But hey don't bother with them, just use 'the cloud", far easier."

Whatever... where I work it's management and IT driving us into the cloud, because it'll solve all those pesky issues of IT having to maintain servers or deliver a usable internal network for our build infrastructure to run on. But hey, why not blame all the developers...

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date


Re: That's Chromebook right out of my buying list then

If it makes you feel better, our 6 month old car has had no map updates over the air - the maps with the car are over 2 years out of date, as we've since had new major A roads built close by.

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?


"of course it's not an actual programming language where you can write loops and stuff."

So... not a programming language at all then...

But what do I know, I'm just getting old. I thought yaml was "yet another markup language" - I've been thinking of it that for what felt like just a couple of years. When I seriously thought about it, and remembered where I worked when I started using it, I realised it's been well over a decade.

Firm fat-fingered G Suite and deleted its data, so it escalated its support ticket to a lawsuit


Re: Place files in cloud - surprise - can't reach'em anymore

"and you would be wrong."

Judging by your comment and all the down votes, I guess not.

I am but a humble dev, forgive my ignorance. :)


Re: Place files in cloud - surprise - can't reach'em anymore

While I agree putting all your eggs in one basket is a bad idea, you'd expect an enterprise cloud solution to be equivalent to an in-house system... So backed up and recoverable within a day of catastrophic failure / mistakes.

Just a little FYI: Filtering doodad in Adblock Plus opens door to third-party malware injection



"So Firefox is affected, IE not so (no support for the $rewrite function?)"

Well good news is the new chredge (Edge branded chromium+ms services) will support Chrome extensions, so we'll have the benefit of potentially nasty plugin flaws with Microsoft OS integration to boot... Yey! :)

Wonder if Ghostery suffers from similar issues... Anybody know?

It's alive! Hands on with Microsoft's Chromium Edge browser


"If you are setting up a new Windows 10 installation, what would be the advantage of installing Chrome vs changing the default search engine?"

When it stops working every other week because one of the Microsoft services they replaced the Google services with breaks because Azure's buggered up again...?

+1 for Vivaldi, though I still use Chrome at work.

Is your kid looking at GCSE in computer science? It's exam-only from 2022 – Ofqual



"while ((grade < 'A') && (days_before_exam_submissions_close ≥1)) {

grade = show_tutor(coursework);


I'm afraid you failed your exam... Here's the following marks breakdown:

- Variable and methods not camel case

- Opening brackets should go on the next new line

- Operators should have a single space either side

- variable names should not be overly long

Of course, this is exactly why judging understanding of programming basics at GCSE shouldn't be exam based... Not because it's harder, but because even if the student gets it right fundamentally, the exam board will eventually make sure assessment is so narrow you will need to parse a style guide and be a robot to get full marks.

Bloke jailed for trying to blow up UK crypto-cash biz after it failed to reset his account password


Re: A note to USAian authors

"An American tourist once asked him (with no obvious signs of taking the piss) if York was "named after New York?"."

Had a similar experience at the Wallace monument in Stirling (Scotland!)... they were amazed by it, exclaiming "Wow - all this for a movie?!"

The Notch contagion is spreading slower than phone experts thought


Re: Charge by wire

"Try using your phone whilst charging. If you mobie is flat and you urgently want to use it, you're basically stuck hunched over some stupid flat thing"

Or use your Bluetooth headphones... Or speaker phone... Or message them. :)

Personally though, I'm happy with fast charging over usb c... then again, my phone normally has 70% charge at the end of the day so maybe I'm not the target audience anymore.

'Alexa, find me a good patent lawyer' – Amazon sued for allegedly lifting tech of home assistant


Re: Alexa replies : There are only evil patent lawyers

"Extra fun came from some IBM folk getting upset at the thought of code being changed on the fly."

Must admit, I'm with IBM... Your description (while technically cool) had made my spidey senses tingling.

Reminds me of a recent graduates pull request at work, I had to block the code from being merged as it had a script with a sed call that altered itself, then recursively called itself again.


Re: Lightsaber.

"In the case of a Lightsabre, there is prior art even if the device was never produced"

So we can throw this one out too then right? Startrek TNG had natural language queries in the early 90s.. then there's Scotty in the 80s when looking for whales... Keyboards being "quaint". If I wasn't half asleep I'd come up with a dozen more examples from earlier sci-fi. :)

£12k fine slapped on Postman Pat and his 300,000 spam emails


Now who's able to fine them for posting other junk through my real-world letter box?

Despite being on the MPS (and TPS) the postie still pushes about 15 leaflets a week through my letter box, he'll go out of his way to get a bundle through the door, even when I have no other mail.

It's infuriating!!

Wanna work for El Reg? Developers needed for headline-writing AI bots


Re: Already started work

Not forgetting....

// Yahoo! Related! Article!

if article.contains("yahoo")


title.replace(" ", "! ");


Huawei joins Android elite with pricey, nocturnal 40MP flagship


Re: *Points in disappointment*

"Can someone tell me how much a standalone compact camera, of similar size and with similar image quality, would cost?"

Well my SLR cost about the same, but that only gets taken out on special occasions or for deliberate photography sessions... The rest of the time it's my phone that's the main camera for photos of kids and random things when out and about.

Like it or hate it, having a decent camera on your phone is extremely convenient and it's how most images are taken these days... People who rate that as an important feature are more likely to pay the extra... I'm not really one of those people anymore, most smartphone cameras are "good enough" to me now.

Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser


Re: And from a recent El Reg article...

"Not saying there aren't flaws in other browsers"

You pick your browser and deal with the risk. By ignoring this explicit choice on the users part (remember, edge is default initially), Microsoft is opening the risk of security issues to two browsers on a machine, not just the one the user chooses.

I'm getting tired of companies making shitty decisions to push their shitty products, then saying it's for my own good. Microsoft aren't the only ones guilty of this, but they are one of the worst offenders.

Brit retailer Currys PC World says sorry for Know How scam


Re: Sharp Practice

"I chose this one because all the others have torx screws"

What's wrong with torx?!

El Reg is hiring an intern. Apply now before it closes


Re: I've made a few tweaks to the copy so the intended audience will understand

But will there be hella noms, lots of dranks and the best beats?

Microsoft gives all staff a marked-up 'Employee Edition' of Satya Nadella's new book


Re: @Updraft102 FN+F5

Fn+F5 reduced brightness on my asus too... so guess similar to the Dell layout.


"this sounds like a cure"

Sometimes the cure is far worse than the condition.... don't do it man!!

Fewer than half GCSE computing students got a B or higher this year


Re: IT snobbery

"I have zero qualifications in computing yet earn my living from it."

Up voted you because of course you're correct, but I think you're the exception, not the rule. The norm is my auntie in law, who's been teaching gchq ict for decades (mostly word processing, but now the other stuff). She can't even secure her own WiFi router, never mind explain how it's different to 4g, or even ethernet. She also forwards cool messages like this on Facebook : "don't accept friend requests from anon1234, he's a hacker and has a computer connected to your account. Once you accept his friend request he'll take over your computer and empty your bank account. Forward to all your friends." :(


Re: Teaching IT doesn't have enough money

"What I want, what business wants, is for schools and universities to build a solid foundation on which I can add business specific skills and training."

I don't see that reflected in job advertisements.

I know most of it driven by HR departments not understanding how it all works, or agencies... But all jobs seem to run similar to this now:

"Graduate level post: You will be a full stack web developer, 10 years embedded c experience required. Some C# and Java knowledge essential. Mobile development experience desirable. You will be a thought leader and agile evangelist, with experience of teaching others the benefits of XP and scrum. Conference speaking a bonus. £18k + 12 days holiday + bank holidays."

Kremlin's hackers 'wield stolen NSA exploit to spy on hotel guests in Europe, Mid East'


Re: Curious to know

"How do you patch a Windows system so that it's safe to click on a .doc file, and how do you open it without clicking on it."

An older lecturer at university when I was a student refused to use any gui based email or word processing software, this was around win 95 / 98. His reasoning was it was much hard to "catch a cold" using command line based email... he had a point.

Google, Mozilla both say they sped up the web today. One by blocking ads. One with ads


Re: Paradox. Everyone hates ads. Everyone wants stuff for "free".

"Now it strikes me that if there were a central fund - maybe a subscription or akin to a TV licence - that publishers could tap into based on page impressions we could get around reader apathy"

Wouldn't work - the good / small guys would get next to nothing, while the big guys start using any dirty tricks possible to game the system in their favor. I'm happy paying subscriptions (which I do)... I won't ever pay the TV license again though, I use none of the BBC content, yet they get the majority of it.

I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to


In the office I need my earphones on... there's nothing playing on them, just to cut out the talking/calls of other people. It also discourages people from talking to me for just "being there" because they'd need me to remove my earphones to acknowledge them.

Occasionally I'll need to play music through them to cope though. I'm lucky in that I can code with music playing or not, but it's the distractions and interruptions from people that slow me down, takes me ages to get back to what I was working on.

I have all my email notifications turned off these days too, I just check it 3 times a day now (morning, post-lunch and before leaving the office.

At home I work without earphones on, but I'll occasionally have music playing in another room just so I've got some noise.

Ever wonder why those Apple iPhone updates take so damn long?


Re: @SuccessCase

"Basically if you like your Apple juice sour, Reg is the place to order it."

Good to know I'm in the right place! :)

Wannacry: Everything you still need to know because there were so many unanswered Qs


Re: Wasn't "But we had to have SMB for our internal shares on the network" the NHS problem?

"Surely a familar scenario for many remote workers?"

No - our VPN has security checks in place that won't let you connect fully until you've:

a - got the recent antivirus definitions

b - fully patched

c - had a recent scan

In the past, if you'd not logged in for more than a week it'd require you to go on site to get the updates... these days you get to update without being fully connected over vpn, so no trip required.

As a dev, I've mostly got control over the machine, but there are several group policies I don't have control over. Certain services are blocked, ports as well, and I can't disable security features like virus checker, or the software deployment software.

Being a remote worker isn't an excuse, or necessarily any riskier than on-site staff. Unsurprisingly we've not had any WannaCry infections in the multinational organisation of 10k people, with many remote workers.

Creators Update gives Windows 10 a bit of an Edge, but some old annoyances remain


Will it let you remove apps like groove music? It's neither essential or wanted, yet, I can't uninstall this crap and many other nonessential uwp apps.