* Posts by HMcG

79 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Nov 2010


Cryptocoin Ponzi scheme AirBit Club co-founder jailed


<Cryptocoin Ponzi scheme

Now there's a tautology, if ever I heard one.

Switch to hit the fan as BT begins prep ahead of analog phone sunset


Re: “Roads? Where We’re Going, We Don’t Need Roads” (Doc Brown)

There are supposedly 'technical' folks on this site that would moan about moving on from Morse Code and the telegraph system.


Not in my experience over the last 20-odd years. Any time the power went out the local exchange lost power too, which may be down to the power oruting.

Why can't datacenter operators stop thinking about atomic power?


It's only cheap until it comes to decommissioning. And the decommissioning cost overruns will no doubt be dumped on the taxpayer.

It looks like you’re a developer. Would you like help upgrading Windows 11?


Re: set up the OS in a configuration intended to delight software developers

Good luck making a living selling to that 2.7% of the desktop market - with a user base notoriously adverse to actually paying for anything.

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech


Re: Macs supported way more than 3 years

>Major macOS versions are only maintained for three years.

Yes, quoting the support period for a single version of MacOS without point out that version upgrades are free and support for older Macs last far longer (at least 8 years in my experience so far) is fundamentally dishonest.


Re: Dafuq?

The author ignored an awful lot more than that in pursuit of this advertorial for Google.

95% of NFTs now totally worthless, say researchers


I'm only surprised by the implication that 5% are still worth something.

Lawsuit claims Google Maps led dad of two over collapsed bridge to his death


>The complaint alleges that Google had been notified by concerned residents asking for the route to be struck off both years before the accident and following Paxson's death.

So all local residents , and presumably his friends, were fully aware of the collapsed bridge and nobody bothered to erect a barrier or warning sign, after the failure of the local authorities and land-owner to do so?

It is everybody's responsibility to protect others from harm where they can do so. This is a failure of the entire community, not just the landowner, and local authority responsible. Google are at the end of a very long list of those who's negligence contributed to this accident, but no doubt they have the deepest pockets.

Cloud is here to stay, but customers are starting to question the cost


Re: Right tool for the job

>there were switches in offices that were old enough to drink in the US

Electronic devices that have outlived their useful function but refuse to die when required is why electric cattle-prods were invented.

Intel thinks glass substrates are a clear winner in multi-die packaging


Re: Bigger and bigger

>I wonder if we'll all have small fridge-sized computers in our homes in a decade or two burning 2000 Watts or so.

Just like the good old days...

Schneider Electric warns that existing datacenters aren't buff enough for AI


Re: Because of course they did!

It's like asking a barber whether you need a haircut.

Buiding Excel-like UI for Uber's China ops exposed Microsoft calculation quirks


Re: Is Excel really the right tool for numerical analysis?

Wikipedia has a decent summary of Excel's numeric errors:


IBM Software tells workers: Get back to the office three days a week


Re: Hilarious

But I’ll bet that some manager earned a hell of a lot of air miles. And perhaps a few complimentary hotel stays.

Okay, SMART ePANTS, you tell us how to create network-connected textiles


… communicating information on individuals' location

With all the associated EMF emissions, that’s mostly going to be the wearer’s location, to the enemy.

Profits just keep rolling in at T-Mobile US. So only thing to do is axe 5,000 workers


Re: The ManSpeak / PR Department Seems To Be Fully Staffed

Personally, I've found you are as likely to have an arsehole for a boss in a small company as in a large one. And if your boss is pressuring you to be at work at 5am just because he is, without compensating you at least as well as he is benefiting out of it, then you're no better off than if you were working for a maga-corp with an equally odious boss.

Zoom CEO reportedly tells staff: Workers can't build trust or collaborate... on Zoom


Oh well, at least he has given all the competitors marketing departments plenty of new material for their next ad campaigns.

Microsoft may store your conversations with Bing if you're not an enterprise user


Re: John Deer'ing

> public at large …

Indeed. It’s hardly a surprise that AI’s have a tendency to just make stuff up when it suits them.

Maker of Chrome extension with 300,000+ users tells of constant pressure to sell out


> Anyone with sizable audience in this surveillance economy is invited to stuff their add-ons with tracking and ads.

I’m not saying this isn’t bad, but worrying about data-harvesting and tracking by Chrome extensions on Chrome seems like worrying about seasickness on the Titanic.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop


Re: Working on Windows

So your lack of familiarity with the operating system is making you form a judgment that it’s a poor operating system? And you wonder why Linux has never caught on with the vast majority of users?


You’re talking bollocks, I’m afraid. Office 365 lets let install locally perfectly well, The real difference is that Microsoft have moved Office to a yearly subscription model, it’s nothing to do with not allowing a local install.


> Tell me, are you running Office 2019/2021 or Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) at a cost of at least $70 a year?

The writer seems to be suffering a fundamental misunderstanding about Microsoft 365 actually gives you, which is the ability to install the full Office suite, locally , on 5 computers , with no sign in restrictions other than a one time activation.

Now, I’m not a huge fan of Microsoft’s move to a yearly subscription rather than one time purchase, but the idea that Microsoft are forcing Office users to move to the cloud is just pure havering by the author.

And no, they don’t try to hide the local install option, it’s right there on the account page in huge font with a big ‘Install’ button.

Linux may catch on for the home desktop sometime, but it’s not going to happen by Linux fans spreading misinformation.

Thames Water to datacenters: Cut water use or we will


The problem in the UK is the rank corruption and bribery that is politely termed 'lobbying' and 'political donations'. Water companies will never pay significant fines, because it's cheaper to pay off Ministers and MPs, as we have seen all too clearly over the last 15 years.


Re: Usual rip off

>but they do have the problem that a lot of their leaks have this thing called London on top of.

That's only a problem because they are still repairing water pipes the same way we were repairing water pipes in the 1950s. Technology has moved on in most other industries. There has been cock-all investment in remote robotic repair, directional drilling etc. that could make repair easy and cheap, because that would affect the shareholder dividends in the short term., even though it would pay back manyfold in the longer term.

Douglas Adams was right: Telephone sanitizers are terrible human beings


Re: Agree but...

Honestly, that's as much the fault of whoever installed the router as the boiler engineer. If it's critical to the companies function, it should have had a dedicated connection or socket installed, not just lazily commandeering the only mains socket and expecting everything to be fine.


Repurposing telephone cables without clearly labelling what you have done and why. Then blaming the telephone engineer for your own fuck-ip. Great work, Walt.

If it’s not labelled, you haven’t finished the job yet.

Social media is too much for most of us to handle


If you think following someone on Twitter is a social connection (in terms of Dunbar's) then you don't understand social connections.

1 in 4 Brits are playing with generative AI, and some take its word as gospel


Re: Garbage In, Garbage Out.

You are correct, LLM's are not good at answering elementary arithmetic questions. In which case, they should not attempt to answer such questions, instead of answering them incorrectly. As they do not do so, and hallucinate incorrect answers instead, we certainly can measure their usefulness by such questions.

Unix is dead. Long live Unix!


Re: Are you ok?

Or they just consider that reams of copy-pasta without crediting the original posts from Adequacy, on a subject entirely unrelated to the topic, doesn't actually contribute anything to the discussion, particularly when then poster is anonymous.

Samsung warns of imminent profit plunge



I've also been very disappointed with Samsung's security. In particular, I purchased a new, just released phone with a promised minimum 2 years of updates, only to find that Samsung's idea of security updates was 2 to 4 months behind Google's releases. Effectively this meant that any hackers could analyse Google's patches, reverse engineer the exploit, and have 2 to 4 months of opportunity before Samsung would get round to addressing them.

OpenAI pauses Bing search feature over paywall bypass abilities


What's the problem?

I thought ripping off copyrighted material and republishing it without authorization or crediting the original source was the whole modus operandi of LLMs?

Open source licenses need to leave the 1980s and evolve to deal with AI


Re: How far do you take it?

Software copywrite infringement cases have been won by the copyright holder simply because the accused developer had access to the copyrighted source code. That's why, back in the day, IBM PC clone manufacturers licenced in 3rd party bios software (notably Phoenix) rather than rolling their own- the BIOS software itself was not difficult to reproduce, the difficult part was reproducing it in a legally provable clean-room environment where no previous exposure to the BIOS source code was possible. If OpenAI and it's ilk won't reveal in detail all the source code the model was trained on, I suspect it's because they know they will fall foul of this..

Time running out for crew of missing Titanic tourist submarine


Re: Transponder

"That has to be interpreted as a strong vote of confidence on his part;"

I would interpret it as reckless bravado and a lack of a proper engineering understanding of the subject matter.


Re: Transponder

Or even just a coat of orange paint, to make it visible on the surface. White is almost impossible to see at sea, as it is lost in amongst wave crests. That's why lifeboats are orange. That's why fishing buoys are orange.


Not only possible, but industry standard. The current generation of USBL transponders used throughout the oil industry is the Kongsberg cNode family of acoustic transponders, which are rated to 4000m. Newer HiPAP systems are capable of positioning to 0.2- 0.3% of water depth, so roughly 10m. Dive bells are required to have a minimum of 2 emergency transponders, in addition to operational ones. There is no reasonable excuse for not having a similar number on this thing.

Sci-fi author 'writes' 97 AI-generated tales in nine months


El Reg, routinely criticising the LLM / AI hype train, while also jumping onboard and yelling “Choo-choo” as loudly as they can. :-(

Will LLMs take your job? Only if you let them


I'm old enough to remember when VisiCalc for the Apple II was going to put 90% of accountancy & finance workers out of a job.

Then WordPerfect was going to put 90% of secretarial and administrative workers out of a job.

And still unemployment hovers around the same level it did back in the 1970's.

The first real robot war is coming: Machine versus lawyer


Re: who does JK Rowling sue?

Aye, but J K Rowling was smart enough not to regurgitate "inspirational sources" verbatim, and ChatGPT isn't.

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


Re: Just do a text search

That's not so much a reason, as it is an excuse.

UK becomes Unicorn Kingdom, where AI fairy dust earns King's ransom


* Like I always said to my boss: you can have 2 of these 3 things: fast, cheap, good

If it's a government contract, you will be lucky to get one of those, because government contacts aren't awarded on merit, they are awarded on cronyism.

Guy rejects top photo prize after revealing snap was actually made using AI


"The creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image making from cyanotypes and rayographs to cutting-edge digital practices,"

Cutting edge digital practices. The catagory was open to any form of digitally manipulated image. That's what AI image generators are. I don't see how a additional special catagory for AI is required.


"The creative category of the open competition welcomes various experimental approaches to image making from cyanotypes and rayographs to cutting-edge digital practices,"

I don't see how this was someone behind the competition getting his knickers in a twist. It was open to all forms of digital image manipulation.

It sounds more like the winning photographer thought he would get a reaction when he revealed it was an AI manipulated image, and when the organisers said "Cool, that's fine" he went off in a huff

ChatGPT is coming for your jobs – the terrible ones, at least


Re: Underwhelmed

The smart move would be to get ChatGPT to hack a quick interface between Mechanical Turk and ChatGPT, and profit from the ChatGPT / Mechanical Turk cost differential before the corps get round to it.

Payments firm accused of aiding 'contact Microsoft about a virus' scammers must cough $650k


" "The FTC will not hesitate to use its law enforcement powers to stop them."

Well clearly that's not true, or the fine would not have been reduced from $49.5 million to $650,000. Because $650,000 is just the cost of doing business for a scammy parment processor on a %.

Student requested access to research data. And waited. And waited. And then hacked to get root


Re: In Code We Trust

" the Administrator password he had didn't work on my PC "

So you didn't offer him a shot of your handy-dandy bootable CD that would solve that problem for him?


Re: Not caught either...

I worked regularly for a client whose IT team locked down every PC on their network with a passion close to insanity. This was probably survivable for office work, but wasn't useful at the extremely remote, barely connected, industrial control locations I was contracted at as a 3rd party specialist support engineer.

Particularly on one occasion, where the user rights were so limited I couldn't even disable the screensaver from coming on after 5 minutes on, on banks of industrial

control PCs monitoring critical processes that required constant supervision, or Bad Things Would Happen.

Luckily, they provided remote support, eventually, by connecting via VNC and logging in aa admin at the standard Windows login. A quick Atl-Tab just after they typed in the user name then tabbed to the password field, and they would usually type in the full password before they noticed the cursor was in the username field, and so not obsc****.

I don't know if they ever figured out they should setup VNC to lock out local keyboard and mouse functionality on connection, because I was certainly never going to tell them.

Japan, Netherlands reportedly join US in China tech export ban


Re: Well Done

Sure, China can develop its own solutions, but that will take time. An optimistic timescale (from China's point-of-veiw) would be a decade, in which time state-of-the-art will have move forward a decade. It's not that they cannot develop their own AI etc, it's that it will lag US.

It's not about existential threats, it's about trade dominance to the rest of the world.

Uncle Sam OKs vaccine that protects honeybees against hive-destroying bacterium


Having some experience in agricultural medicine, the most likely reason is that the vaccine requires fairly careful storeage and administration to be effective, and the 'may' is to cover the company for ineffective treatment due to hard-to-prove violations of those requirements.

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building


Re: Concrete dust = Kryptonite

Given that stone dust is heavy and unlikely to remain airborne for any length of time, I suspect the association of the drive failures with the drilling of concrete is not due to dust ingress, but vibration.

It's likely that the drilling was carried out with an industrial hammer-action masonry drill (or similar) while the servers were live. If not fully suspension mounted, that could easily cause minor head contact with the platter surface , leading to longer term failures as the metal oxide released from the 1st crash caused cascading head crashes. It would also be a much more probable cause of any immediate failures, as mentioned in one of the posts.