* Posts by Paul 195

238 posts • joined 20 Jan 2011

Page:

Happy 'Freedom Day': Stats suggest many in England don't want it or think it's a terrible idea

Paul 195
FAIL

Re: SNAFU

"Breaking the power of the unions" - which is another way of saying "boosting the power of capital". Ever since then our society has become less equal each year, and more and more wealth has been locked away by the rentier class who own the capital and the assets.

The 60s and 70s were not perfect, but we didn't have a large precariat of people who were both in employment, but unable to feed themselves or access decent accommodation.

Waymo self-driving robotaxi goes rogue with passenger inside, escapes support staff

Paul 195
FAIL

Still not AI

It seems like we've reached an inflection point now where we are reaching the limits of what can be achieved with machine learning and other forms of "Arttificial Intelligence". The cliff-edge as shown by language systems like GPT-3, or self-driving like Waymo is that our technology is still just very fast clockwork, and has no contextual understanding or ability to reason. If something as novel and unexpected as traffic cones in the kind of largely predictable driving environment of Arizona is enough to confuse the car, I can't see them being ready for the roads of London or New York anytime soon.

* Yes, I know that talking about "reasoning" and "intelligence" brings a lot of philosophical baggage with it, but ignoring that, humans, and for that matter cat, dogs and many other animals, have capabilities we simply can't reproduce at the moment.

Free Software Foundation urged to free itself of Richard Stallman by hundreds of developers and techies

Paul 195
Mushroom

Don't defend the indefensible

Although Stallman's comments about one of the minors pimped out by Epstein was the trigger for his initial departure from the FSF, the fact is he has been making women feel uncomfortable for decades. If you are just focusing on that one tweet, and complaining about "cancel culture", you are missing the bigger picture. Which is that he behaves in an unacceptable way, that he thinks paedophilia "with consent" is OK, and that he is a misogynist.

So, if you want to stand up and say he is being unfairly vilified for all of that, go ahead, we now know where you stand.

Richard Stallman says he has returned to the Free Software Foundation board of directors and won't be resigning again

Paul 195
Paris Hilton

Re: I'm Back...

I think @tfb was possibly being snarky with their comment rather than genuinely belittling the considerable number of computer science advancements made by women. Although these days, it's getting harder and harder to satirize the trolls and arseholes of the internet as their own statements are often beyond parody, so who really knows for sure.

What happens when your massive text-generating neural net starts spitting out people's phone numbers? If you're OpenAI, you create a filter

Paul 195
FAIL

It's still just fast clockwork

Calling the spreadsheets generated through machine learning "Artificial Intelligence" is really an adman's definition of intelligence. The further AI moves from very specialised domains and towards more general ones, the more obvious the limitation of not understand context becomes. This article illustrates the problem almost perfectly.

Surprise: Automated driving biz finds automated driving safer than letting you get behind the wheel

Paul 195

Re: Something's wrong here

"It's very clearly true that self-driving cars are already safer than human drivers, although still not as safe as a good human driver who's actually concentrating, not overtired, etc"

I'm pretty sure that statement is incorrect, especially when you consider that self-driving cars are not really able to cope with navigating a car down (say) a busy town centre street on a Saturday. A self-driving car still can't make eye-contact with pedestrians and other road users, and use that to decide whose turn it is to move. Self-driving vehicles are being trained in environments that are much simpler than the average driver has to negotiate daily.

UK.gov awards seats on £2bn 'digital outcomes' framework to suppliers – one of which doesn't even have a website

Paul 195

Re: So..

Perhaps we are a tomato monarchy rather than a banana republic.

Bork to school: Apple kit management service Jamf pulls a sickie for IT crews trying to get pupils on iPads

Paul 195
WTF?

A management system like Jamf makes a lot of sense for hardware that you are going to hand out to other people. If you are going to hand it out to kids for education, you probably don't want a platform users can copy files to and execute programs on. You want a platform where you decide what's on it and what it can be used for. But that doesn't excuse Jamf for being down for days and not keeping administrators updated.

Pirate Bay co-founder criticises Parler for its lack of resilience

Paul 195

"Some very fine people on both sides"?

Fascists love to push a false equivalence between people opposed to fascism, and fascists. And unfortunately, a lot of people fall for it. It's not the same as arguing about levels of taxation, or how much the state should look after people. People promoting fascism explicitly want to give one particular group of people rights that another group of people don't have. The people promoting it come from that "in group".

The people who oppose fascism will come from both the "in-group" and the "out-group" and are pointing out that not only is fascism not justice, but that it always ends in tears. You might just as well argue that arsonists and fire-fighters are just different sides of the argument.

Welcome to the splinternet – where freedom of expression is suppressed and repressed, and Big Brother is watching

Paul 195

Re: They will ne fed with a proliferantion of batshit crazy too...

I'm pretty sure some of the conspiracy theories are being created by smart manipulators. But from the little we know, those manipulators are likely to be in Russia, and doing it for the purpose of damaging societies. In the case of the US, they have been aided and abetted by the orange one who has willing assisted in the weaponisation of social media as a way to screw up democracies. You can't have an effective democracy when a sizeable minority of citizens are unwilling to believe that their side lost an election.

Paul 195

Re: Starlink?

But does Elon Musk control it? How welcoming will it be to opinions that think he is an obnoxious bully prone to throwing out random accusations of paedophilia against those who upset him?

Paul 195
Coat

Does that mean that internet users in these countries are spared the endless proliferation of batshit crazy, and in the case of C-19 life-threatening, conspiracy theories? I don't think a balkanized internet controlled by repressive regimes is a good idea, but when you see demonstrators outside a London hospital telling everyone that there is no virus and the pandemic is faked, you have to wonder whether our own model for internet usage has been a roaring success.

What does my neighbour's Tesla have in common with a stairlift?

Paul 195

Re: EVs = bad for planet, bad for poor people, bad for practicality

I'm pretty sure the wind continues to blow at night too. And while lithium is the best option right now, expanding the market for electric vehicles will continue to drive innovation in storage technologies. It also seems unlikely that the alternatives to oil will actually be dirtier overall. Apart from all the crap burning it puts into the air, there's all the crap we've dumped into the oceans through oil tanker leaks, drilling platform disasters etc.

Doing nothing really isn't an option.

Paul 195
Paris Hilton

Re: If it was me...

But why be an AC at all? By providing a pseudonym, you can have Paris to watch over you.

Bloated middle age beckons: Windows 1.0 turns 35 and is dealing with its mid-life crisis, just about

Paul 195
FAIL

Windows UI left Mac behind years ago

I use the latest MacOS and Windows 10 regularly (work machine / home machine). And the claimed superior usability of Mac is long behind it. Home / End keys do the same thing in every text based Windows application. In Mac applications - inconsistent. In a terminal Home and End don't take you to the start and end of the line you are typing (that would be too useful), but to the top and bottom of your terminal session. But in some applications they do take you to the start and end of the line. It's nice to guess I suppose.

Don't want to use the mouse? Press Alt on a Windows machine, and underlines show you what letter to press for a menu item. Is there an equivalent on the Mac? Maybe, but it isn't very discoverable and I haven't worked out how to do it yet.

Snap a window to the left/right on Windows - Windows key + left/right-arrow. Want to do do it on a Mac? Either install a 3rd party app like Shift it, or aim for the small green button at the top left of a window and go for it with your mouse.

Having problems with (for example) your built in camera? Windows - open the Device manager and check that all is working, update the drivers if necessary. MacOS, cross your fingers and go through the arcane process for an NVPRAM reset.

Not on your Zoom, not on Teams, not Google Meet, not BlueJeans. WebEx, Skype and Houseparty make us itch. No, not FaceTime, not even Twitch

Paul 195
Facepalm

I've been on enough large voice only calls where I don't know the people and can't follow the conversation because of it, to really appreciate it when those calls are conducted over video. Even if not everyone switches their camera on, it's much easier to follow what's happening when you can see other people in the call. Which you can if you use something like the gallery view on Zoom.

It's easy to have a voice only call with three other people you already know and say "All this video stuff is a waste of time, I don't like it". It's much harder when there are 20 people, and you maybe only know one or two of them.

Worn-out NAND flash blamed for Tesla vehicle gremlins, such as rearview cam failures and silenced audio alerts

Paul 195

Re: Uh-huh

Well, that's pretty much what the article said.

UK state of the Internet report: Virgin Media 'fast', BT's PlusNet last

Paul 195
Happy

I'm using Virgin on their bottom tariff and we have three people in the household zooming and streaming with no real issues. Downloading big lumps like Visual Studio or Spring Tool Suite (Eclipse plus other bits) is fast. There have been occasional outages of a few hours, but nothing in the last year.

Sounds like Spotify and Epic have been chatting: Music streamer blasts Apple One service as 'anti-competitive'

Paul 195

There are a number of possible price points between 0% and 30%, and Apple should show some flexibility in negotiating one that is fair. Epic and Spotify aren't asking for a free ride, they are asking for something better than the school bully demanding a third of their lunch money every day.

Brexit border-line issues: Would you want to still be 'testing' software designed to stop Kent becoming a massive lorry park come 31 December?

Paul 195

Re: Stockpile your popcorn

Even before C-19 hit we had moved from being near the top of G7 for growth to the bottom following the referendum, not to mention the collapse in value of the pound (mainly visible as a steep rise in fuel prices). And this is before our trading arrangements have actually changed.

Old and busted: Targeting servers and web bugs. New hotness: Pwning devs with targeted poisoned stacks

Paul 195

Re: Not quite so simple...

"Experience suggests that once found, they are fixed faster in FOSS environments than closed. proprietary environments."

The "once found" is crucial. No bug bounties for reporting errors in FOSS. Heartbleed was around a long time before being "found" and named publicly.

Paul 195

This comes down to management priorities. If developers are being judged on speed to market, that's where their focus will be. And frankly, Javascript scares me from a security point of view. It's much harder to do static analysis on than Java, and a typical Javascript front-end project pulls in about a zillion dependencies.

Having said which, some organizations have security policies which are overbearing to the point that it becomes impossible to do anything. In the long run, this weakens security as there are an overwhelming number of requests to be approved, which means there is no time for scrutiny of the ones that might matter, and a tendency to look for "workarounds", because no one can get their job done.

In an ideal world, developers would be on their own network domain, with relaxed security rules, but allowed nowhere near production other than via approved CI/CD pipelines to push updates.

ANPR maker Neology sues Newcastle City Council after failing to win 'air quality' snoopcam project bid

Paul 195

Meanwhile...

Central government continue to dish out lucrative contracts to their mates without any scrutiny, because the pandemic makes it more important than ever to throw money at the incompetent rather than letting local governments or hospitals scale up the things they already do rather well. https://www.theguardian.com/business/2020/aug/11/uk-government-serco-contact-tracing-contract-leaked-memo, https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/coronavirus-councils-develop-track-trace-22476383

How is Trump's anti-Chinese rhetoric playing out? 70% of smartphones sold in the US are – surprise – made in China

Paul 195

I'm not convinced more expensive devices would be a bad thing. It would greatly slow down the environmentally damaging upgrade cycle, and would lead to a push to devices that are more repairable and supported with OS updates for longer.

Let's face it, at this point the actual practical advantages of a 2020 device over one from 3 years ago are minimal.

Apple's at it again: Things go pear-shaped for meal planner app after iGiant opposes logo

Paul 195
Mushroom

Might is right

Apple Computer is a repeat offender when it comes to trademark violations. Apple Corps, the record label started by the Beatles, complained about Apple and their use of an apple shaped logo back in the 1970s. The eventual settlement was that Apple Computers could keep the name and logo, provided they didn't go into the music business. Apple Computer then violated that agreement on two more occasions: https://sites.udel.edu/cisc356/2014/04/21/apple-corps-v-apple-computer-1978-2006/

Hypocrisy scarcely comes close to describing Apple's behaviour.

At historic Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google CEOs hearing, congressmen ramble, congresswomen home in on tech market abuse

Paul 195

Re: Only Jeff bothered to find an interesting room for the video-chat hearing ...

Classic "anonymous coward" can't accept that some women are more competent than some men.

Paul 195
Mushroom

Re: Only Jeff bothered to find an interesting room for the video-chat hearing ...

He specifically said that the people grandstanding, asking unfocused or irrelevant questions were men. He said that the women present had done their homework and stayed on topic. You didn't read the article properly and are getting cross about something that didn't happen. I call "grandstanding".

IDE like an update, please: JetBrains freshens IntelliJ, adds improved GitHub integration, Java support

Paul 195

In IntelliJ a project can consist of multiple modules - each of which can be a separate maven or gradle project. IntelliJ projects are more like a Visual Studio solution or (shudder) an Eclipse workspace, being capable of containing multiple projects each of which builds to a single executable. You can also have multiple intellij projects open at the same time, in separate windows. I've never used Netbeans, but IntelliJ is *much* better than Eclipse.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

Paul 195

As one of the richest men in the world, Gates may be symptomatic of all that is broken in modern capitalism, but I don't think he can be held solely responsible, and unlike a lot of other very rich individuals (for example rocket whizz kids Bezos and Musk) he at least has some recognition that there is a problem: https://www.foxbusiness.com/money/bill-gates-higher-taxes-rich-americans .

Never knowingly under-digitally transformed: Retailer John Lewis outsources tech function to Wipro

Paul 195

It's up to Amazon whether they pass the cost of extra taxes onto their consumers or not. Right now Amazon pays far less tax than their competitors with high street stores, giving them an unfair advantage. It's no longer the case that Amazon is substantially cheaper than those competitors, so if they pass on their increased costs directly, they'll have to make do with fewer customers.

Since Jeff Bezos could afford to upgrade the entire Amazon fleet out of the change down the back of his sofa, I suspect that Amazon could pay a lot more tax without putting its prices up.

Paul 195

Very shortsighted move. A lot of financial institutions that went through big outsourcing exercises a decade ago are now looking to rebuild inhouse expertise as they've realized they can't innovate that fast when everything has to go through several layers.

GitHub is just like all of us: The week has just started but it needed 4 whole hours of downtime

Paul 195

Re: Eggs and Baskets

Your repo is distributed, but the chances are your CI/CD pipeline isn't. And it relies on your origin repository which everyone agrees is the "source of truth" for your codebase. So lots of pipelines break if github is down, even though individual developers can carry on working just fine.

University of California San Francisco pays ransomware gang $1.14m as BBC publishes 'dark web negotiations'

Paul 195
Flame

Defund the Troll Farms

Who are these people shouting "defund the BBC"? The biggest beneficiaries of such a move would be: 1) media moguls, 2) Russia Today and other Kremlin outputs. It would certainly do very little to help a world splintering into little social media bubbles who do not share any beliefs about what is and isn't real.

In fact, you've really got to ask yourself who is behind this recent movement aimed at one of the most trusted sources of information in both in the UK and in the wider world.

If you really, really are a British citizen, why would you want to destroy what is still an important source of "soft power" for this country? Let's face it, with Brexit, we're going to need all the assets we've got.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Paul 195
Mushroom

Shouldn't an overloaded power supply shut down safely, or at worst blow a fuse, rather than bursting into flames?

Honey, I built the app! Amazon's beta no-code dev platform is great for ad-hoc stuff, but not much else – yet

Paul 195

Re: See also...

I remember the huge splash and fuss made about "The Last One" when it came out. There have been so many of these no-code/low-code things built over the years, and generally everything built with them ends up as unsupported/unsupportable legacy.

Skype for Windows 10 and Skype for Desktop duke it out: Only Electron left standing

Paul 195
Windows

Dropping Skype for Business is a good idea. It never had any real connection with the consumer version of skype, and was not as good. Dropping (Consumer) Skype seems less likely as it is a brand with good recognition and value. Teams is OK, but by trying to be an uber-app that does everything, it's a video app that isn't quite as good as Zoom, a chat app that isn't as good as Slack... and so on.

Developers renew push to get rid of objectionable code terms to make 'the world a tiny bit more welcoming'

Paul 195
FAIL

Re: Predictable responses? WTF...

Judging from your comment below, you will get reported to HR for offensive behaviour long before you ever use the well-known term BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic). How exactly does reminding us that Rudyard Kipling was a racist cast any further light on the matter under discussion? Thank you though, for living up so beautifully to the techie stereotype of someone ready to expend more energy complaining about inclusive language than the actual effort of using it.

Paul 195
WTF?

Predictable responses

I had a little bet with myself that a lot of the responses on here would be along the lines of "politically correct claptrap" moan moan. And I was right. A lot of pearl clutching and fainting over what is a pretty harmless change to terminology. What's the harm in replacing whitelist and blacklist with allowlist and denylist? The new terms are just as concise, and far more descriptive of the actual intent.

I can't speak for BAME people any more than I can speak for all white people. But given the context of US history, why should anyone be surprised if at least some people find terminology like master/slave offensive, even if no offense is intended? Most of us are IT professionals, we work with computers every day, we know that it isn't really that hard to go through a codebase and remove terms that regarded by some as problematic. Why do so many professionals who claim to be calm, reasonable people arguing simply from a position of logic get so upset about this?

And as for some of the other arguments I've seen on threads below, they show a distinct lack of empathy, understanding, or attempt to put yourself in someone else's position. The claim that there is no racism unless it is intended is patently ridiculous. Who remembers Danny Baker tweeting the picture of posh people with a monkey in children's clothes after Meghan Markle gave birth? Danny Baker probably didn't meant that as a racist jibe, but it sure as hell looked like one to a lot of people. Because it so closely resembled many other provocations that *were* meant as racist. In the furore that followed that incident, and his sacking from the BBC, there were lots of (mostly) white folks explaining to (mostly) non-white folks how wrong they were to be offended, and missing out the fact that whether meant as racist or not, the tweet was genuinely offensive.

If you consider yourself as a well-meaning liberal who is "beyond race", then at least have the decency to stop telling other people when they should and shouldn't be offended. And if you are genuinely racist, then at least own it rather than gaslighting everyone with your insistence that you aren't.

Ex-Dell distributor in Lebanon ignored ban on suing US tech giant. Now four directors have been sentenced to prison in the UK

Paul 195

Prison sentences over what is essentially a civil dispute? Seems rather heavy handed.

5G mast set aflame in leafy Liverpool district, half an hour's walk from Penny Lane

Paul 195

Please, don't keep spelling it "idealogies". The word is "ideologies". I'm not engaging with the rest of your content though, which strikes me as the ramblings of someone with a narrow viewpoint pretending to be open-minded. And respect is something you should give to everyone, until they demonstrate they aren't worthy of it. This kind of "prove to me you are worthy of my respect" thing is pretty arrogant, don't you think?

PowerShell inventor Jeffrey Snover gets new gig driving ‘modern workforce transformation’

Paul 195
Trollface

The Return Of?

"“Applying the most important new technology (AI) to one of our most important assets (everything in O365).”

Clippy meets Skynet?

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

Paul 195
Windows

Your number one competitor for almost any application you can develop is Excel. As well as the things it does well, it can be made to do *almost anything* to varying degrees of success.

Zuck loves free speech so much Facebook will censor 'anti-state' content in Vietnam after telcos 'crippled' access

Paul 195

Silicon Valley companies are deeply committed to building a better world that does not interfere with revenue or profits.

Stop worrying – Larry Ellison and Prez Trump will have this whole coronavirus thing licked shortly with the power of data

Paul 195
Facepalm

Re: Salvation from the Devil

The problem with the much touted Hydroxychloroquine treatment is that no-one really knows whether it works. Or what the dose should be for treating Covid 19. We do know that since Trump started using it to cover for the complete failure of public health policy in the US, that people have gone to hospital with chloroquine poisoning, and that patients prescribed Hydroxychloroquine for other serious conditions (like Lupus) are finding it hard to get their medicine. All without any real evidence that it helps treat Covid 19. See here https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/23/africa/chloroquine-trump-nigeria-intl/index.html, and here https://jamanetwork.com/channels/health-forum/fullarticle/2764607 .

But @Bob, carry on believing what the orange man tells you. After all, the guy who had a full-blown toddler tantrum in front of the press today must be a more reliable source of medical iinformation than all those doctors saying, "hold on a minute".

Infosys fires employee who Facebooked 'let's hold hands and share coronavirus'

Paul 195
WTF?

Re: Misfiring joke?

I wonder why Muslims dislike the Indian prime minister? https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-50670393

Your unsubstantiated accusations about Muslims suggest that perhaps you share the prejudices of the thuggish BJP. Perhaps thuggish seems like a strong word? Then again, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/jan/13/attacks-delhi-universities-modi-muslims-allies

Not call, dude: UK govt says guaranteed surcharge-free EU roaming will end after Brexit transition period. Brits left at the mercy of networks

Paul 195

Re: Let's....

I'm looking forward to telling disgruntled Brexiteers who complain about higher charges, not being able to retire to Spain, etc: "You won, now get over it".

Dell slathers on factor XPS 13 to reveal new shiny with... ooh... a 0.1 inch bigger screen

Paul 195

Re: Hang on...

I've not found the combination of fingerprint reader/power button to be an issue at all on a Dell Precision 15 (last year's model). The power button only does anything if you actually push it, but it will read your fingerprint if you just touch it lightly. It's neat, tidy, and I only have to remember to push/touch one thing to get my laptop running and get into it.

No wonder Bezos wants to move industry into orbit: In space, no one can hear you* scream

Paul 195
WTF?

What about the workers?

99 comments on Bezos' implausible ideas about space, and nothing about his appalling attitudes toward worker safety. Or the fact that Amazon is apparently big enough to suborn the inspectorates meant to keep them safe. You don't need a good day to bury bad news, just a shiny object.

Bad news: 'Unblockable' web trackers emerge. Good news: Firefox with uBlock Origin can stop it. Chrome, not so much

Paul 195
Mushroom

GDPR

Since this is in breach of GDPR when can we expect to see some large fines being handed out? And since it requires the active co-operation of sites hosting the adverts, those organizations are presumably in breach and therefore also liable to fines?

Page:

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021