* Posts by goldcd

770 posts • joined 12 Jul 2010


Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker


Bit hard to comment without more details

Looking at the pictures in the linked story - the girls to look pretty similar, so I could see the same mistake being made without AI

(However, I'm white, and we're all notoriously poorer at differentiating people of different races than our own)

Richard Branson uses two planes to make 170km round trip



Seeing them get all snippy, makes the whole Virgin thing worthwhile.

New mystery AWS product 'Infinidash' goes viral — despite being entirely fictional


Entirely sensible

Enables you to select for the more modest time-machine inventors - I mean can you imagine having to work next to the guy who invented the time machine, and likes to drop that into every conversation?

Ganja believe it? Police make hash of suspected weed farm raid, pot Bitcoin mine instead


Is massive amount of excessive heat still a sign of cannabis cultivation?

From casual research, LED panels are now available which have a way lower power consumption than the traditional sodium grow-lamps.

Now I don't for one moment think criminals have 'gone green' (well not in that way) - but excessive, even if 'free', electricity consumption generates a lot of heat. A lot of heat needs to be disposed of - and lights up the building to IR cameras and requires venting which puts out that distinctive smell.

Also, whilst definitely not condoning theft of power - I'm always a little dubious of the legality of getting a search warrant for one suspicion and bagging the criminals for another crime entirely. I'd have thought in this case the difference between the observed heat radiation and paid for power would have been enough.

ASUS baffles customer by telling them thermal pad thickness is proprietary


Sure I remember people complaining the wrong thermal pads were shipping on their GPUs

Just wondering if Asus' refusal to state what the dimensions of the part are, are because it doesn't meet the spec - and would be euqivalent to saying they'd shipped thousands of cards with defects.

Nvidia nerfs RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti GPUs to shoo away Ethereum miners


Which makes sense

I've got a 2080 for gaming - and I'm just leaving my PC (powered by renewables) on 24x7 for mining.

Makes ~£30 a week. Not a life changing amount - but if you'd stretched to buy a gaming PC, it quite handily chips away at the outlay.

Or looking at it another way - quite handily covers the depreciation of buying the latest and greatest.

In case you were wondering, no, AMD hasn't managed to fsck everything up. It's still making lots of money


I'd agree - but supply's been patchy

Also worth looking at the prices they seem to be getting.

When I bought right at the start of last year, my 3900X was ~£400 and the one above 3950X was ~£600.

Those prices have stuck there for over a year now.

New range has 5900X at ~£600 and the 5950X is ~£800

i.e. Their new chips haven't replaced their old ones, they're co-existing with a old with offset price points

My guess is that without demand, they'd have just positioned the new models at the old price points, and discounted the old.

Beloved pixel pusher Paint prepares to join Notepad for updates from Microsoft Store


Re: I'm pissed off...

I see that, and raise you https://ninite.com/

Has 90% of the apps I want on a new install - and makes the process for getting them incredibly simple.

Odd apps I don't recognize are pretty good way of discovering something better.

City of London Police warn against using ‘open science’ site Sci-Hub


Except a lot of hard research isn't paid for by the university.

Huge amounts of time and effort is spent trying to attract funding - and then walking the fine line between what you want to research and what the money wants you to research.

Additionally just 'publishing' is easy - you can fire up wordpress and do it for free yourself.

Publishing in a respected journal is hard, as you've got to convince them what you've done is accurate, innovative and useful.

Managing to get your work into a respected journal is what's going to keep you employed by the university, as it's what helps you bring in more money.

Now I do agree that the system is slightly screwed up - but the alternative (everybody doing what they want and getting paid for it, and just dropping your results on your blog (and blocking the comments of your disagreeing peers) isn't the solution.

Crafty: Cricut caught out by user revolt, but will cloud stop play?


Problem is that your hardware is bound to their software

and this fact and this attempted monetization, should now be featured in every Cricut review.

I've idly pondered buying one and now I'm less likely to buy.

I can understand their need to generate revenue for on-going software development and server costs - but they really shouldn't have got themselves into this position.

I'm familiar with 3D printing where the printer is just an appliance and the user has a choice of modelling tool and slicer. Some are Open Source/Free - and others you pay for. Some (such as the very popular Fusion 360) now provide a free trial with limitations until you pay. Some such as Simplify3D have always been pay for perpetual license. Reason this ecosystem can exist is that the pipeline from idea to print are handled with interchangeable file formats. As a user when you hand over money, you know you're getting something back. Nothing is ever taken away from you (or at least you can understand it when Autodesk gives you a nudge into giving them some money).

If Cricut want to make hardware, they just need to open their API and a lovely ecosystem will emerge (and seem to be a few 'cutting' packages out there that support other brands). If Cricut want to make software, then they can do that - and they just need to make it better than the competition.

Can we exhale yet? EU set to rule UK 'adequate' for data sharing in post-Brexit GDPR move


Re: If UK data rules have not changed ...

I do have the niggling feeling that - who's actually checking for me now?

Someone tried to poison a Florida city by hijacking its water treatment plant via TeamViewer, says sheriff



Scanned for Teamviewer instances and then just hammered the 1 key a couple of times to see if a field was writeable.

Hollywood drone pilot admits he crashed gizmo into cop chopper, triggering emergency landing


I was just wondering how a drone would react to a full sized helicopter appearing over it.

Suspect it's not a scenario that was anticipated in their design.

Was wondering if a massive helicopter sized down-draft would knock the lighter/smaller drone down, and it would automatically respond to by switching to 'full power' (maybe causing it maybe to rocket up above intended height-ceiling into the pocket of slightly lower pressure directly under the body of the helicopter).

But reading the other comments, I shall read those from others who seem to know what they're talking about.

Watchdog urges Tesla to recall 158,000 Model S, X cars to fix knackered NAND flash that borks safety features


NAND has a finite life

Can only cope with so many read/writes.

I've currently got an old-ish Samsund SSD in my PC bleating that I should 'raise the over provisioning partition' - basically lower the usable space, so it has a buffer to reallocate the failing sectors.

Not something I'd thought about when I switched to SSDs - but makes sense when you look at how NAND works.

Slightly scary thing is that maybe this was never considered when building Smart Cars. You can separate the OS out all you like with perfect security - but this is a whole layer below this.

NAND degrades in your car like the tyres, brakes etc. Not an issue if wear can be monitored and the part replaced when it degrades. Very problematic if say the chips are soldered to the brains of the car.

Your no-socket Powerbook might get replaced after 5 years, but cars need to last longer.

NHS COVID-19 app is trying to tell Android users something but buggy notification appears stuck on 'Loading...' screen


I'd always assumed

(and we know what assumption is) that the 'check-in' feature was just to provide a degree of partitioning between bluetooth signals.

i.e. If you check into your barber, you can probably pick up BT from the cafe next door.

If somebody later tests positive who'd checked into the cafe, you wouldn't get an alert. If the person in the cafe hadn't checked in in, or had and you hadn't - then you would - as app doesn't know you were close, but in separate shops

Checkout time isn't too important, as the proximity covers that.

UK network Three hikes pay-as-you-go rates by 400% to push punters to buy 'bundles'


They have a a large amount of active competition...

The issue with mobile operators, is that their main costs aren't actually related to you using the service.

If I had to wildly guess is might be pandemic related, with all of us sat near our WiFi more.

If you pay for a bundle, you've just used less of it. If you're paying per MB of data, then you'll have been using less, paying your operator less - and this less doesn't come close to offsetting the cost of them not carrying that MB.

ZIP folders were originally a Microsoft engineer's side hustle until bosses figured out he worked for Microsoft


I think the zip folder story is rather great for all involved

You think your official product is missing something, your employer doesn't agree, but lets you build it on your own.

If it's a failure, well collectively you learnt the market doesn't want it, and it just cost one engineer some spare time.

If it's a success, you get a Corvette and your great idea is maintained whilst you get to grind your next annoyance.

Which also reminded "powertoys!" not thought about them for years - and google tells me they are still a thing.

Tim Cook 'killed' TV project about the one website Apple hates more than The Register


I don't quite follow the logic.

Gawker outed Thiel - not illegal, he didn't sue, but they made an enemy.

Gawker published Hulk Hogan's sex tape - this was illegal, but they assumed he wouldn't be able to afford to sue them.

Thiel backed Hogan to sue Gawker and won - Hogan got his justice, Thiel destroyed his enemy.

Lawsuits are expensive - this is the problem/weapon.

Yes, Apple could back 1000s of libel cases against El Reg, and this would be bad - but this isn't what happened here. Thiel didn't back 1000s of cases against Gawker to grind them down with legal costs (and you'd hope if he did, punitive costs/counter-suits would be awarded against him for frivolous and baseless actions - although sadly not normally the case).

The 'expensive lawsuit' problem in this case was that Gawker felt they could get away with illegally publishing the sex tape, as Hulk wouldn't be able to afford risking legal action.

i.e. They wouldn't have published a sex-tape of Thiel, as they knew he was rich enough to sue. They published it as they thought they had more funds available than Hogan - and came a cropper as they were wrong.

Cayman Islands investment fund left entire filestore viewable by world+dog in unsecured Azure blob


Sortof - yes

You've got to get a qualified person in to install it, following sensible rules such as not using bell-wire, joining with sticky-tape or using a nail as a fuse.

Then maintenance - yearly inspection.

Then you have to plan for "electricity going wrong".

Legal physical stuff like ensuring you have sprinklers/extinguishers in the office. Then legal personal stuff, like ensuring you've got people trained to turn off power first when somebody's electrocuted, how to treat them, how to evacuate the office etc.

I guess my point is that companies using electricity have stricter rules to follow when procuring it and nice recurring line-items on budgets.

Maybe better term would be "An IT (or electricity) dependent business"

In this case, it sounds like they procured their external IT services from the equivalent of a "Bloke in the pub that did it on the cheap" - and then they just crossed their fingers that nothing would burst into flames.

Congrats, Meg Whitman, another multi-billion-dollar write-off for the CV: Her web vid upstart Quibi implodes


I see you've never worked for a corporate..

I'm sure somebody did some research and it looked 'hopeful' - elevator pitch isn't actually that bad.

Just once you've recruited everybody and started spending - nobody's going to stop until something external stops them. Death or Glory (except it's not really death, it's just having to get a new job)

Excel is for amateurs. To properly screw things up, those same amateurs need a copy of Access


As a student I had an occasional job for Virgin Megastore.

Periodically they did a stock take of all their stuff - so they'd flood the place with students looking for a bit of cash for a nights work.

You'd get a print out of what should be there in a section of alphabetised CDs, and note down anything that wasn't there and fish out anything incorrectly placed there.

Notional idea was to spot 'shrinkage'/what had been stolen, but often as not you'd find excess stock - but as there was no way of adding stock back into the inventory, it just got given away as a bonus to us at the end of the evening.

(and suspiciously entire stock of some albums, seemed to have managed to distribute themselves randomly across the store - meaning they both got recorded as stolen, and also distributed to the stock-takers as excess stock)

Revenues from in-app purchases swelled 32% to almost $30bn for Q3 2020 – and Apple snaffled most of it



So 30 billion and apple took 2/3rds.

Then took 1/3 of the 20 billion... I mean I'm sure it's a ton of work managing an app-store, but.. that's a lot of 'free' money.

If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition doesn't make you a fan, we don't know what will


Re: confused

Reason they make sense to me is that for reading at length, you're probably going to flip it to landscape - and when typing in portrait less of you screen area (relatively) is eaten up by the on-screen keyboard.

The perils of building a career on YouTube: Guitar teacher's channel nearly deleted after music publisher complains


The real issue is that youtube/google just acts as a match-maker

But most of the time, there isn't just one exact match for you.

e.g. If you want to learn to play Smoke on the Water, and google connects you to a video explaining it, then a tiny bit of money flows and everybody is happy.

If there was just a single video and it got pulled, then no money flows and nobody is happy - google would put effort into trying to keep that video up.

Reality is there are maybe a dozen equally serviceable videos - and if one gets pulled, google seamlessly directs you to one that's up, and the same money still flows (just to another producer rather than the original one). Google just needs one video that keeps your eye-balls on the screen for 10 mins - the rest is just 'nice to have' (and an overhead to deal with). Take that to the logical conclusion and huge swathes of youtube could be deleted without any real impact to the consumers - balance is probably that it provides a bit of extra coverage (90% of videos probably add 10% more information) and it helps keep producers in their place - better to have 10 that are great than one that is excellent (and has you over a barrel, similar to some of the streamers on twitch)

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 debut derailed by website glitches, bots, lack of supply


If I had to guess

The purpose of this release wasn't to sell cards - it was ensure the world knows nVidia make the 'best graphics cards'

Now normally, it would all have been about selling - but this time, they're both a significant leap beyond the current gen and priced relatively sensibly (which doesn't make much sense from a business perspective, when you don't have many to sell and are only really competing with yourself).

My reasonable guess is that this is all because AMD are announcing their new cards next month, and rumour-mill suggests they're competitive with nvidia's upper-end for the first time in many, many years. nVidia *does not* wish to be sandbagged by AMD, in the way AMD are currently thrashing Intel.

AMD might launch next month with an amazing card, it might be priced to be amazing value - but those of us with deep enough pockets, might hang on for a few extra months for nVidia to sort out their supply chain.

Nvidia to acquire Arm for $40bn, promises to keep its licensing business alive


I would also have accepted


Three middle-aged Dutch hackers slipped into Donald Trump's Twitter account days before 2016 US election


If you check on https://crackstation.net/ (as I just did, as I was curious)

That would appear to be correct input to SHA1 the hash in the article.

I can't believe that was his password though.. even Trump wouldn't...

Entity list? Pah! Huawei rolls out updated laptops, including a pricey i7 ultrabook


I'm not sure the i7 is the top-tier

The AMD chip is a significantly faster CPU and the onboard GPU absolutely destroys the Intel one.

Intel just pulls ahead with single core performance, but that's about it.

I won't be ignored: Google to banish caller roulette with Verified Calls


You missed the really evil/smart part though

The company calling you, has to add a note as to why they're calling you - and google pops this up on the screen when your phone rings. A "subject line" for the call.

Quite smart - say my mobile company calls me with "possible fraud" I'll answer, if it's "upgrade offers" I wouldn't. Presume they'll be a system put in place where when I do answer, I can provide feedback on whether or not the subject line was accurate.

Where this benefits google is that it gets a glimpse of what's going on in your life, much as it does by scanning your gmail.

i.e. If you get a load of calls from banks to "discuss loan", or car garages with "discuss pricing" - those are some lovely high-value key words they can add to your profile of ads you're more likely to consume.

I do have to admire google's helpful-evil

In the market for a second-hand phone? Check it's still supported by the vendor – almost a third sold are not


Re: LineageOS?

Unfortunately not always the answer.

e.g. I had an old nVidia tablet that stopped receiving official support, so switched to Lineage. Was a bit buggy, but was now getting updates - and then Lineage dropped support. In the end just went back to the working, if old, stock OS.

Maybe one approach would be to allow you to pay for specific items to be supported.

e.g. I pledge a £1 a month to support device xyz, and if somebody commits to supporting it, they get that shiny pound of each user each month.

Google employs people to invent colours – and they think their work improves your wellbeing


I quite like painting with it

pigment rich and goes on beautifully.

Still, it is getting a little 'common' now - rows of the stuff at homebase.

Little Greene is my middle-class paint of choice.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs



Although they seemed to have adopted the much simpler approach, of buying back their own shares.

I've no idea why this isn't seen as a giant red-flag.

You, as a company, have say 500 million you're not quite sure what to do with. Traditionally you'd leverage your resources and expertise to invest in new research/manufacturing with a view that you'll get a decent return on the investment, and ultimately an increase in your share price. Current approach is to just buy your own shares - same result to share price, but a lot easier.

Logitech G915 TKL: Numpad-free mechanical keyboard clicks all the right boxes


Corsair do a reasonable one

K93 - Cherry Reds, RBG-free lighting, about £75

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears


3 years?

Maybe could be sentenced to an OU physics degree.

Dickens' forgotten spaceship classic: A Tale of Three Missions


Only tangentially related

but there's a great video showing ULA's rocket building from SmarterEveryDay - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0fG_lnVhHw&t=1082s

Remember that clinical trial, promoted by President Trump, of a possible COVID-19 cure? So, so, so many questions...


Quite a fun analysis of his paper (and his previous questionable stuff)


Broken lab equipment led boffins to solve a 58-year-old physics problem by mistake


I just loved "the nuclear charge is slightly potato-shaped"

I'm sure there's a 'correct' word - but well I'll never look at anything the same again.

Alleged Vault 7 leaker trial finale: Want to know the CIA's password for its top-secret hacking tools? 123ABCdef




Here's a bit of Intel for you: Neri a day goes by that HPE doesn't feel CPU shortage pinch


Which is why AMD is using "chiplets"

Pry the heatsink off the top, and you'll see chiplets with a load of CPU cores on them, clustered around a central IO chiplet.

One benefit to AMD is that if say one core core on a quad chiplet fails, and they don't sell a 3 core CPU, they don't have to bin it. They can pair it with another 3/4 success and flog it as a 6-core.

RuneScape bloke was wrongly sacked after reading veep's salary details on office printer


Re: Personal Usage

I think the OP should have said "At an employer you'd want to work for..."

Anecdotally, we've still got some lovely HP printers in our office, and I'm unaware of anybody using them for anything other than the odd personal printout for years.

My employer may not be able to offer a subsidized canteen, sleep-pods or at-desk massage - but providing a decent printer as a perk has meant we could all chuck our home ones in landfill and reclaim some domestic space.

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'


Re: There’s a reason people say

But Apple is "the Apple of Speakers"

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row


Surely it's just a bit of civility

If he/she wants to be referred to as she/he - then why is it such a big issue to go along with it?

Sure mistakes will happen and both sides should overlook it, but I always feel a bit queasy when people "want to make a point of it". That's not a mistake, that's a statement you're making about your refusal to recognize a request from the other person.

I dunno - way down the spectrum from that teacher who insisted on calling the child "Robert" (as that's your proper name) even though they'd told everybody they preferred to be called "Bob" (as that makes you sound common).

US government sues ex-IT guy for breaking his NDA (Yes, we mean Edward Snowden)


As an idle thought, on the topic

I had an idea that maybe this "you can't benefit on something that's illegal" could be extended.


I'm sure today there's a dev working within the NSA who's been asked to do something that they have personal qualms over the legitimacy of that they're doing.

That's a tough place to be. I'd presume your current justification is that this "isn't your problem" - NSA asked you to to do it, you did it, and you believe they'll "cover you ass"

Imagine an alternative world. You share what you've done, it's marked as being illegal, your salary is clawed back (you shouldn't profit from breaking the law).

Biz tells ransomware victims it can decrypt their files... by secretly paying off the crooks and banking a fat margin


Same thing's happened in the Art world for years.

Somebody nicks something worth say £10M - that's what the premiums were paid for, and that's what the insurer has to pay out on.

Thieves can't actually shift the art for £10M though - traditionally you'd get a very small percentage to give it to a hooky investor who'd look at it in his vault, or just used as portable collateral for criminal deals.

Point is - painting is only worth £10M to the insurer who paid out the £10M.

So art recovery specialists exist.

They'll 'manage to recover the art through opaque means' for say 20% of the value. Now maybe they're more resourceful and have greater powers than our police services... or maybe it's just that they can discreetly say they'll hand over a million in cold-hard-cash for the recovery, no questions asked.

Everybody's happy - except I guess people paying premiums on their art..

Owner gets their art back, insurer saves 80%, recovery specialists have a million profit, criminals have cash and nobody still coming after them.

Important piece is the art-recovery specialist, as the third-party that bridges between the legal and criminal side. Gives a nice legal line item in the insurer's accounts.

Must watch: GE's smart light bulb reset process is a masterpiece... of modern techno-insanity


It might make sense though..

hear me out..

If you've got a large number of bulbs installed somewhere that's hard to reach (for example 36 in a high ceiling) and for some reason you want to re-set them all (e.g. the thing they all were paired to is kaput)..well the paper-clip in the hole isn't really practical (36 trips up a ladder you need to move each time).

Allowing them to be reset with power, allows you to happily stand on the floor, flipping the switch they're all slaved off - and they're all re-set in one go (or in the handy sets, that map to your handy light-switches).

Of course, if this bulb's just in a table-lamp, it's just stupid.

Das geeks hit crowdfunding target: IBM mainframes are coming home


A white vinyl ElReg vulture would look lovely on that red

If they say wanted to offer some sponsorship..

Legal bombs fall on TurboTax maker Intuit for 'hiding' free service from search engines


Sorry - did I miss something?

This seems to be getting a little bit silly - seems entirely fair that a company can ask not to have pages they don't want indexed... not indexed.

Would we want to reverse this?

Now if those pages existed due to a government requirement they existed, well then the government should point the right people to them.

I hate stuff like this where "I loathe both sides" - but in this case one side did something sensible and one side didn't.



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