* Posts by trindflo

250 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Jan 2011


Taiwan bans state-owned devices from running Chinese platform TikTok

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A good start

Next define a standard for reasonable moderation (as in reasonable person) and block social forums that fail to perform it.

You get the internet you deserve

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Re: To be honest

LOL. Just 'yep'. Subtle joke. Have a pint.

Also, excellent article Nicole.

Rackspace rocked by ‘security incident’ that has taken out hosted Exchange services

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Re: Business Continuity

I recall hearing it as "never leave the mercenaries to guard the castle".

FTX's crypto villain Sam Bankman-Fried admits 'I made a lot of mistakes'

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The obviously corrupt officials

I agree with the general sentiment; have a vote.

What I think is missing is where to point the finger. The starting point is to get the unlimited corporate funding out of American politics.

The funding issue (barriers to effective participation) is far from new in American politics. Initially it was a handful of oligarchs - basically landowners - controlling the wheels. Somewhat like the house of lords. Voters needed to own land. In some ways that was a good thing as people in large numbers can be idiots.

Politicians have evolved into showpieces over time, owing their re-election to campaign donations and showmanship/demagoguery. Term limits in some ways just exacerbates the problem.

Prior to the court decision that corporations are the same as living people except immortal and with limitless secret funds to influence politics is just the most recent phase in political corruption in American politics. Prior to that, it was understood that it was neither solely the politicians nor the corporations completely in control, but also the political operatives in backrooms that were never voted for that held much of the power. With the political precedent that is typically referred to as "citizens united" the balance of power has been dramatically shifted to corporations.

So yes, there are problems. Showboat and greedy politicians are one of the problems, but not all of it. As P. J. O'Rourke pointed out in his book: "Parliament of Whores", if our politicians are all whores, we the people are the whoremongers. And we are increasingly ill-informed whoremongers as we have moved into the new fact-free reality.

The biggest issues I see in American politics today are corporate funding and click-bait driven popularity contests that increasingly look like the most sordid of reality TV shows.

ICE data dump reveals names, locations of 6,000+ asylum seekers

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Re: Separation of responsibilities

As a guess, if you're only tool is a hammer everything starts looking like a nail. Privacy and decent IT practices aren't part of their mandate. Catching people is what they do. Data is optimized for accessibility. A very blunt instrument. I'm sure there are plenty of decent individuals that work there, but I doubt their humanity is what gets them raises.

Elon Musk to abused Twitter users: Your tormentors are coming back

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Re: And so, Twitter died

Personal guess: Musk never wanted twitter and was only trying to troll. When he was forced to either buy the company or give twitter a significant influx of cash in the form of a penalty, he opted to destroy the company even if it was going to cost him to do it. He's throwing his toys out of the pram.

San Francisco politicians to vote on policy endorsing lethal force for robots

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Re: Machines controlled directly by humans

Robot has been corrupted by idiots to mean remote controlled toy.

If you are including industrial robots in your definitions of corrupted, idiots, and toys then you are at odds with the modern world. Words evolve. I would be interested to see a modern credible source for a definition of robot that requires it to be fully autonomous (without alternative definitions for partially autonomous robots).

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Re: Machines controlled directly by humans

Aren't LAWs Light Anti-armour Weapons?

The acronym I was looking for was LAWS and not LAWs and is correctly "lethal autonomous weapons systems". Thanks for the correction.

From Wikipedia: Military Robot

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Re: Remote control is not a robot


I have not accused you of being a machine, so your ability to climb stairs doesn't imply you are a robot. If you are going to be ridiculous just to argue, I won't answer again.

For a machine to automatically perform complex tasks, such as climbing stairs, without the operator controlling every motion is in the definition of a robot in a number of places.






You seem to be using an outdated meaning to the word.

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Re: Remote control is not a robot

Strictly remote control (e.g. most publicly available drones) is not a robot. If the machine has some autonomous capability, such as collision avoidance, you start to blur the line. Some of the machines mentioned in the article have the ability to climb stairs, which puts them squarely in the robot category.

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Machines controlled directly by humans

You may be right that "robot" conveys a notion of an autonomous robot to some people, but robots can be autonomous or semi-autonomous. Lethal Autonomous Weapons (LAWs) are robots, but not all robots are LAWs.

I think the term robot is being used properly here, and the general public will eventually get beyond science fiction notions of robots as only autonomous AI-driven androids.

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SFPD and the (sometimes radical) left-leaning San Francisco population and politics

Not taking sides on this one, but I think the history is worth mentioning. Notable examples:

Moscone/Milk Assassinations

Symbionese Liberation Army

There is probably more going on here than just a debate on what are the reasonable uses of technology.

Intel makes it harder for Gelsinger to earn beaucoup bucks as CEO

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"he must now increase Intel's stock price by 50 percent"

If the stock price goes up by 50%, is it necessarily a C-suite executive that does that? Certainly a C-suite executive can sabotage a company and prevent success, but not all success is attributable to the CEO and that is the issue I have with these awards.

HP Inc to lay off up to 6,000 staff, cut costs by $1.4 billion

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Optimizing for profit

Companies should optimize for profit, but long-term as well as short-term.

Removing dead product lines makes sense.

Giving up on innovation and shifting to only a mercantile model of charging rents on something that never changes is steering your ship onto the rocks in the long-term.

It isn't obvious to me from the corp-speak where they are going, but as an investor I would be suspicious.

US Supreme Court asked if cops can plant spy cams around homes

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Re: I'm calling them 'net curtains'

I think your mileage may vary on using net curtains. They block human eyesight pretty effectively, but there are cameras (e.g. infrared) that probably don't even register the presence of those curtains. Perhaps there is a market for something similar with metal fibers woven into the fabric.

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Big Brother

6' wall is no problem for google earth

A little off-topic, and I know that I saw the story break elsewhere, but right now I can only find it on the guardian without paywalls:


The question of whether the police can peer over a wall is all somewhat moot if police can purchase images taken by private companies and then use that to establish probable cause, even for petty things. My recollection is government agencies were looking to fine people for unregistered dogs for instance and saw no issue with using cameras in the sky to do it.

Google earth is not as personal as from atop a pole, but it goes to precedent where the government agency is simply buying the video from a private company. Also, if the pole belongs to a state agency there might be an issue, but if the pole belongs to a private company or the camera is attached to equipment that belongs to a private company it is likely fair game at the moment.

Privacy laws are a very thin veil. We're being sold the emperor's new clothes.

Republican senators tell FTC to back off data security, surveillance rules

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two words

Ajit Pai

Elon Musk reportedly outlines horrible Twitter layoff process

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Retroactive firing when possible

@Bob, You make an interesting point about the advantage to EM if he fires anyone he can, but if you've already begun the layoff process can you go back and retroactively fire them? Maybe in the states with the current SCOTUS this will become a new precedent.

The boss worked in a fishbowl, so office tricks were a treat

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Old enough to remember when it was OK to smoke tobacco at work. One cigar smoking electronics technician had a long piece of plastic tubing that he liked to run over to other technician's desks. Suddenly smoke would begin to rise from the gear being worked on. Tended to only work once per victim because cigar smoke is quite pungent.

Nobody pranks like firemen. Imagine a group of young men with a lot of time on their hands and 24-hour shifts.

I know a few and one of the more elaborate pranks I heard of involved cutting a hole in the ceiling precisely along the dimensions of the ceiling tile so it was effectively invisible and positioned right above the victim's bed. A hinge, and a catch were added. A bucket was cemented to the other side in the attic. A spring would pull the entire contraption into the ceiling and the catch would lock it in place...if the bucket was empty. When the bucket was filled with water a string run down to another bed to release the catch produced the nearly perfect crime.

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Re: Pranks and things

@Tom You're correct that pranks can quickly become bullying; however if I might quote Stevie Wonder:

"You grow up and learn that kind of thing ain't right. But while you were doing it, it sure felt outta sight".

now we see through a glass darkly ... kids messing up our lawn.

Happy Halloween.

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newfangled stuff

That was to simulate the crank sonny

BOFH: I know of a small biz that could deliver nothing for a fraction of the cost

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"How much you got in your man-bag?" the PFY asks.

Are those anything like gold man-sacks?

Linus Torvalds suggests the 80486 architecture belongs in a museum, not the Linux kernel

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Teaching tools

The only use I see for that architecture these days is as a teaching tool. Use freedos and maybe a DOS extender to demonstrate how to do certain things. Just looking at the difference between a PIC and an APIC reveals that interrupts stop everything in a single core processor. Linus is right to say so and maybe has been overly patient for waiting so long to say it.

20 years on, physicists are still figuring out anomaly in proton experiment

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Riemann sheet?

I've been speculating that the atomic nucleus is the result of folding space; that is the nucleus (or a single proton - a bare nucleus) is encapsulated in an event horizon. It explains the spin and some other things. I doubt it is an original thought now that I understand where I've been heading for a while. I'm certain it will be a long time before I put together math to substantiate or refute the notion.

Team Interpol: Metaverse Police

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Re: A Positive AI Recursive Feed Back Loop is Not Something to Mess With.

Thank you for translating Aman! It seemed like a BS justification to me as well.

I was thinking it sounded an awful lot like wankers wanting to wank on the public dime.

CEO told to die in a car crash after firing engineers who had two full-time jobs

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And the directors at tech firms SolarWinds, DynaTrace, Skillsoft, and Udemy...

Also on the front page of TheRegister:

The U.S. Department of Justice needed to threaten SolarWinds, DynaTrace, Skillsoft, and Udemy - supposedly competing companies - because they shared overlapping boards of directors, which violates anti-trust laws.

TheRegister article

You may recall SolarWinds being in the news and not because they were doing a stellar job.

China dumps dud chips on Russia, Moscow media moans

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Re: Russian SMO

That took me a little while to translate, but was worth the effort.

Shirley you're not suggesting the Russian military is impotent? <evil grin>

Water pipes hold flood of untapped electricity potential

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Re: Back to the Future

Not to mention that all the municipal pipes in the US leak; some badly.

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generating electricity in a shower-head

What could possibly go wrong?

Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler

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IT Angle

Being sent for tampons

Sending a young man after tampons seemed intentionally insulting. Volunteer organization with someone who might have been a little drunken with power? In any case my refusal was loud enough to be heard by other women and I never had to defend it.

Banks face their 'darkest hour' as malware steps up, maker of antivirus says

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Increasingly sophisticated thieves

Now all they need is some way into the network to get started. Maybe a drone... El Reg: drone-roof-attack

When are we gonna stop calling it ransomware? It's just data kidnapping now

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You are correct that with the right protection (and backups are not really enough; the data would need to be encrypted at rest for example), it would be wrong to pay the ransom because you have a way out of the situation.

But if the thieves have managed to catch you flat-footed, it can quickly become about people as you are forced out of business and all your employees get dumped into the street. Is it your fault if you get caught flat-footed? Yes. Does it happen? Yes.

If you are protected, why do you care if the buggers hit your windshield? The business that failed to plan is getting punished for being short-sighted (and might never get to make the mistake again). It would be great to see the thieves put out of business. Of course if the data theft business is a thin veil for state actors then profit isn't necessarily going to impact them all that much.

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Re: The problem with extortion-only datanapping...

I'm not aware of the criminal's boardroom discussions, but I'm certain I read an article recently describing multiple thieves hitting the same poor duck such that their likelihood of decrypting was about zero.

Dunno. What happens when two pirates hit the same ship? Do they share the booty and have a jolly time talking about crime, father-stabbing and other groovy things or does it devolve into a shark feeding frenzy?

Quit worrying about 5G C-band and crashing aircraft, US govt eggheads sigh

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did they look at all for someone intending on causing mischief?

From what I gathered reading the report, they tested equipment being used as intended. I didn't see where they looked for things that could be intentionally done to cause problems: e.g. a capacitor to the crystal. If you only need to shift the frequency a little bit...

Microsoft and Meta promise facehugger PCs piping cloud desktops into VR headsets

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One word: Bunnyburgers

Spy magazine performed a prank to see how willing marketeers would be to promote an idea that was utter nonsense: Bunnyburgers

IBM: Hey Joe, we make chips, too. How about some of 'em subsidies?

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Re: And it continues

It is the U.S. free enterprise over government issue. I'll happily champion free enterprise, but not when it is essentially corporate welfare.

It seems to me that if the government needs to step in to make chip manufacturing happen that the government should run the facility. Why shouldn't the taxpayer see a return on the investment?

Boffins hunt and kill cockroaches with machine vision laser

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Re: Not so new

Thanks for that! The John Cleese / Rob Schneider movie is due out shortly:


No, working in IT does not mean you can fix anything with a soldering iron

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Had a new rabbit go through the house and modify things. My son's special left-handed mouse among them. It was worth repairing mostly because I taught my son to do it and made him do all the parts that required young eyes and hands.

The open internet repels its most insidious attackers. They’ll return

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I finally think I get it

I finally think understand the amanfromMars 1 service, and I truly understand it to be a service. It seems to be triggered by histrionic twaddle then applies semantic rules to reword and repeat the thoughts.

There are things that always give aman away, and I now understand that to be intentional. The bot seems incredibly sophisticated to me. I have no doubt the obvious flaws could be patched. You're supposed to notice it's a bot.

When there is stuff that seems so trite that it could have been generated by a bot, our friendly bot pops out and does a sort of parody, complete with pratfalls, to wake us up and remind us there are bots out there attempting to yank our chains.

Thanks mate! Cheers!

FBI: We tracked who was printing secret documents to unmask ex-NSA suspect

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Pro spymaster tip:

Do not hire Renfield or Inspector Clouseau.

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Re: Maybe the truth?

Close. What got him arrested was sticking his head into a honey pot like a drunken pooh-bear, putting the exact amount of his ill gotten gains into his personal account, and politely running back to the honey pot the next time the dinner bell was rung.

It doesn't sound rational, but rage rarely is.

FCC takes on robotexts. Good news if your dad thinks IRS gives SMS rebates

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How much e-crime will this prevent and at what cost?

First, huzzah! Great something is being done. Where are we going with this?

The last I heard there are a small number of scams coming from known locations. This new policy prevents an important vector for the initial contact by blocking entities from known bad areas that won't identify themselves from making robotic text messages and phone calls.

If the FCC does nothing further it will still have an important effect (on my sanity if nothing else), but I'm not sure how well blocking that important vector will be long-term when the internet is still available.

More could be done if we want to leverage carriers to enhance enforcement: tie a particular scam, "lonely hearts" for instance, to particular call / connect patterns such as point of origin, time, duration, frequency, etc. Follow up with a police visit instead of a disconnect notice.

If there is a will to really go after the crime there is a lot we can do now. I don't know that the majority of people would be comfortable with anything quite that Orwellian, and sometimes that just means it goes on quietly behind the scenes in that grey area where criminals don't get the rights they don't deserve. If you mostly guess right, people might not get too upset.

So again, I'm loving the first step and wondering what is next. This box wasn't delivered by a girl named Pandora was it?

Uncle Sam to unmask anonymous writers using AI

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"while also disguising an author's identity by subtly altering their words"

I view this as yet another example that the US DOD cannot harbor the idea of defense when offense is an option. This aspect of the project makes it seem like it is not about stopping anonymous trolling, but rather about owning the weapon.

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Re: Jumping Well Ahead Normally has One Leading or Floundering in Virgin Alien Territory

This brings up a really good point. amanfromMars has been experimenting with this technology for years. If they were really serious they would start by hiring him!

California Governor signs child privacy law requiring online age checks

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Re: Simple way to dispense with the need for an age check

It doesn't read like consumer restrictions to me. Websites aren't required to register you in order for you to see certain content; they need to make sure you are an adult in order to track you. I'm not getting the downside for consumers. It does restrict website operators...from doing things that most of us would like to see stopped.

Samsung sued for gobbling up too much personal info that miscreants then stole

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Re: Any bets what Samsung will say?

D. We are complying with authorities and cannot comment further because of the ongoing investigation.

Australia asks FBI to help find attacker who stole data from millions of users

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"In coming days it's expected laws will impose consumer protection"

Now that 38% of the possible personal data in existence in Australia has been leaked, by all means assign troops to guarantee the barn door stays shut.

Removing an obsolete AMD fix makes Linux kernel 6 quicker

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Re: The older the OS...

DOS isn't really an OS so much as a program loader and some device primitives, many of which are wrappers for BIOS calls.

As such DOS can be faster at doing a single thing.

If you want to service interrupts at the same time, and you have a CPU with multiple cores, you benefit from an OS that can manage multiple cores and can service an interrupt in one core while the other cores are doing something else. DOS can't handle multiple cores (although I think there are some DOS extenders that can).

So I agree with you for very simple use cases. For most real uses, I think DOS gets left in the dust pretty quickly.

The next deep magic Linux program to change the world? Io_uring

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Re: Perfect for hackers :)

As @teknopaul alludes, if you are only transferring data across the shared buffer it is not inherently more dangerous than read/write.

The article describes a circular buffer to speed I/O. It isn't hard to make something like that safe.

It isn't hard to make it really dangerous if you allow control information across it either. Communicate the index to a jump table and you should have your fingers broken.

Icon: you are playing with this.