* Posts by AVee

99 posts • joined 11 Aug 2011


Thought the FBI were the only ones able to unlock encrypted phones? Pretty much every US cop can get the job done


Well, in a sense that's very true, it's the user that is the problem. And precisely because of that there is a valid discussion to be had about which users should be allowed to have access to the tool and under which conditions...

I mean, a passenger plane is just a tool too, but we're kinda picky about who is allowed to use that tool especially after 9/11.

Has Apple abandoned CUPS, the Linux's world's widely used open-source printing system? Seems so


Re: Postscript

Of course. But what was it you were investigating?

Happy Hacking Professional Hybrid mechanical keyboard: Weird, powerful, comfortable ... and did we mention weird?



Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in


Re: Nice

"100% coverage means that nothing can change without apparently failing a test and that's not maintainable"

For unit tests yes, but for generated characterisation tests? With the right tooling it should just generate a list of things that are changed and generate new tests to adapt to those changes. I mean, tests are supposed to fail when you change functionality...


Re: "Does what it says in the code"

While you are mostly right, it actually is "Still does what is said in the previous code.", or "Compared to the previous code these behaviors changed". That totally unrelated to functional correctness, but still useful information. Those humans you are talking about can add this as another tool in their toolbox.

Top 5 billionaires find that global pandemics are good for business – and their wallets


Re: Its all virtual

It's not just stock prices, pretty much any value needs to be expressed in terms of money or it doesn't exist. And to make things worse it's always aggregated as well, GDP, average buying power, style like that. Sadly very little of that relates to day to day live.

To quote Douglas Adams:

"This planet has - or rather had - a problem, which was this: most

of the people on it were unhappy for pretty much of the time.

Many solutions were suggested for this problem, but most of

these were largely concerned with the movements of small green

pieces of paper, which is odd because on the whole it wasn't the

small green pieces of paper that were unhappy."

Cops called to Singapore golf club after 'wrongdoers' use scripts to book popular timeslots


I know this is a leap so far I've practically already broken my legs and popped my knees, but it feels very much like "if it wasn't locked they can't complain someone let themselves in"

I wish people would stop using that argument where it doesn't apply. Actively setting up a webserver and connecting it to the internet is not quite the same as 'leaving the door unlocked'. It's more like a shop in a high street with an open door and a blinking neon 'We're Open' sign. You clearly advertise that people can send requests there, you can't then blame them if they do.

Of course you are still free to respond to these requests any way you see fit. But in this case people send the request saying 'can you make this reservation for me' and the response to that was '200 OK'. If they have a problem with the request there's plenty other possible answers, or you can do the rude thing and not respond at all.

Now people using scripts do get an advantage in a first-come first-served system. But so do people camping outside a shop or people hiring Usain Bolt to sprint to the counter for them. You may have a problem with that, in which case you should use a different system.

AI in the enterprise: Prepare to be disappointed – oversold but under appreciated, it can help... just not too much


Oh! Shiny!

"AI can allow you to do new things in new ways."

As opposed to doing old things in new ways, which would actually be an improvement? Or as opposed to doing new things in old ways which seems impossible?

Unexpected victory in bagging area: Apple must pay shop workers for time they spend waiting to get frisked


Re: This is all for nothing

Yes, they probably did save more money then they spend. Mostly because they didn't have to pay the employee's for their time and because of that didn't have the need to spend money on making those searches efficient.

But that will probably change now, it'll be interesting to see if they keep these policies now that it actually costs them money. They might well go to spot checks for example.

When low-balled projects go bad: Scottish pensions agency starts £10m procurement to buy the system Capita could not


The problem with public tenders...

Doing public tenders leaves very little room to reject a supplier because you simply don't trust them to actually deliver. This is part of the reason why companies like Capita keep getting projects like this. Whatever you say about them, they are really good at doing tenders, that is their main expertise.

I do see a potential way around this. If you where to keep track of the projects a company has done before you can determine a 'failure rate' and a percentage to go over budget on average. These two numbers can then be used in tenders, just apply the 'average over budget' factor before comparing prices and demand a failure rate below a certain percentage. That way you can take past performance into consideration, which generally doesn't happen right now. It also motivates companies to do a decent job because not doing so will harm their ability to win other tenders.

Zuck says Facebook made an 'operational mistake' in not taking down US militia page mid-protests. TBH the whole social network is a mistake


Re: No need to tolerate intolerance

The price to pay for democracy is indeed allowing people to voice opinions that are pretty nasty, so they can be discussed and challenged. That's rarely happening on Facebook, so there is very little benefit from paying that price in this case. As such Facebook isn't really contributing to a functioning democracy.

As for laws against certain types of speech, some things will be banned, you can't commit fraud and hide behind freedom of speech obviously. Where the limits are is up for discussion in a democracy. But, and this is important, any measures limiting speech should always be after the fact and decided in a public court. Not by some moderator (or AI) at a commercial company. What is currently happening is that governments are looking to Facebook to do their enforcement work for them (as judge, jury and executioner), which seems a really bad idea to me...


Well firstly scale. Usenet never had the number of users Facebook has. And secondly, Usenet was fully public anyone could (and did) respond to anything. Facebook is actively creating bubbles of like-minded people so there is very little actual conversation going on. But it does lend itself very much to self confirmation and promotes extremism. (Extremism is what happens when nuance gets removed. Facebook doesn't do nuance because it doesn't fit their business model...)

That's not to say Usenet was perfect, but at least it wasn't this bad.

Fairphone thinks its fair to offer a not-very-major and slightly-more-recycled new model


Re: How long is the software support?

They released Android 9 for the fairphone 2 when it was 5 years old, when it was first released it ran Android 5. See https://www.theregister.com/2020/06/18/fairphone_support_comment/ I'd say it would be hard to find something better when it comes to long term software support. That's part of the ethics of the company, they strive to make their phones last long and know software is a crucial part of that. It's rather impressive what they get done being a relatively small company.

And they are relatively open towards their hardware, making it a good target for community versions too. It also runs Sailfish for example.

Chromium devs want the browser to talk to devices, computers directly via TCP, UDP. Obviously, nothing can go wrong


Re: Trustworthy?

True. And this shows that this level of control was the real reason the wanted to get rid of plugins like Flash and Silverlight in the first place. If you try to replicate all functionality of those plugins right in the core of the browser you will run into all the same issues. And Google sure seems to be eager to do that...

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!


Re: Dress Code

Well fair enough, it makes sense to dress according to the job your interviewing for. But the OP specifically expected people to show up in a suit, which (for my type of jobs) I'll never wear on a normal work day. That just seems senseless to me. Sure, showing a bit of effort for an interview is the right thing to do, but a suit is overdoing it in a lot of cases. And assuming someone doesn't care about a job because they don't overdress seems weird to me.

Maybe I've just met to much people that wear a suit to compensate for a lack of content lately, so it might just be me...


Re: Dress Code

Hmm... When I go for an interview (which has been a long time ago) I expect to be judged on my abilities, not my appearance. I've never worn a suit to a interview, it really helps to select the companies that care about the right things. You know, because I care about the actual job...

LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'


Re: "Personal Edition"

Not sure, a specific build for which a certain party provides commercial support can still be fully open-source. So Non-Libre won't cover all cases.

Frankly, I'd drop the marketing and lawyer speak. Just be honest and add something along these lines: "Open Source software, free for all uses, but comes without any warranties or support. For commercial editions see <link to vendor list>."

It's clear you don't need to worry about using it. It's also clear other options are available (and where to get them).

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO


Re: mad internet

What's happening right now is good old mob justice. This used to be a pretty common thing for centuries, but generally considered a bad thing. So it was gradually brought under control with things like police, judges, prosecutors, lawyer. And principles like due process, innocence until proven guilty, etc.

And now it's coming back, so why could that be. Are the things that are supposed to replace it broken perhaps?

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


I was thinking the same thing. However, if you need 45 minutes to figure all that out it's risky. Anything can happen in that time causing more permanent damage. If you know how to do it on top of your head it surely is the better option, but if it's going to take time to figure out it quickly becomes scary...

CSI: Xiaomi. Snappy Redmi Note 9 Pro shows every fingerprint, but at least you get bang for your buck


Re: NFC - at least get the figures right

And a Fairphone costs £400,- which over 6 years is £67,- per year. And you can actually replace the battery on that one as well as use a Micro-SD. So That beats both by quite a big margin...

Facebook's $500k deepfake-detector AI contest drama: Winning team disqualified on buried consent technicality


Makes me wonder...

A machine learning algorithm is largely the result of its training data. Take away the training data and there isn't much left. As such, you might make the argument it actually is a derivative work of that training data. If anyone makes that stick in court there could be some really interesting consequences :)

As Uncle Sam flies spy drones over protest-packed cities, Homeland Security asks the public if that's a good idea


Re: "lol they're just using them for surveillance"

> "... order of battle ..."

As a none US person that kind of terminology baffles me. Where's the war? I though it was 'to serve and protect'...

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


Re: BTW: How did that work out?

Sure, my source is crap. I'm well aware of that. Which is exactly why I said I expected you to come up with proof that was better then mine. But even given this very low bar you still fail to come up with anything at all to back up your claim...

(Never mind that Canada and Russia are in that list, if those are not major countries the UK isn't either..)


"...and context really does matter."

Not just context, personal perception too.

"Users are loosers."

Now I bet the majority of readers here didn't think about drugs first. Yet some non-IT person from the US that was around during the Reagan era would associate it with drugs instantly.

And that's whats happening here as well. If you are working software all day your first association with a term like 'master' will be purely technical and therefore neutral. If you are working on racism/slavery related things all day your first association will be very different (and not so neutral).

I'm fine with being accommodating to people for whom those terms are loaded with a different meaning. But at the same time it's rather offensive when use of technical terms like that which to me are perfectly neutral is labeled as racism, because that's just not fair.

So if anyone really wants to do something about racism, take some time to understand the different perception someone else may have. Otherwise you are just contributing to the "Us vs Them" mentality which feeds most racism in the first place. Be better...


Crap, does that mean that I won't get my master's degree if I commit my code to the master branch?


Re: BTW: How did that work out?

2) The UK is the least racist major country in the world. If you think there's another, name it and explain why.

Excuse me? You make a very bold statement there without any explanation at all. How are you demanding explanation by others?

But I'll bite and name a few: Morocco, Algeria, Philippines, New Zealand, Russia, Albania, Puerto Rico, Uruguay, Norway, Jamaica, Panama, Paraguay, Netherlands, El Salvador, Ukraine, Costa Rica, Finland, Ireland, Switzerland, Denmark, Bangladesh, Portugal, Canada, Kenya, Poland, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Nigeria, Singapore, Ghana, Tanzania, Rwanda.

And here's why: https://www.indexmundi.com/surveys/results/8

So, now show me your proof, which I fully expect to be a lot better then mine...

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?


Re: You supported a system...

Well, that's pretty much the same as in the UK then...

Thing is, it's not the two-party system that's the cause. The two party system is actually is a almost inevitable result of a district based system. This raises the barrier of entry for a new party to join the fun pretty much beyond being reasonably possible.

If you look at the latest UK election results you'll see that the Conservatives got 56% of seats with just 43% of votes. In my mind that's not a majority...

But the worst stuff is at the bottom of the list. LibDem got 11 seats with 11.5% of the votes, while the SNP got 48 seats out of just 3.9% of the votes. Similarly, Plaid Cymru got 4 seats with 0.5% of the votes, while the Brexit party got nothing even though they got 4 times as much votes.

The UK clearly isn't as bad as the US yet, but the pattern is there. You might get somewhere with a strong regional party, but that is going to be inherently limited. Any alternative party based on a political position is going to be severely underrepresented. And similar to the US, the system hands full power to a party which isn't actually supported by the majority of the population.

'I wrote Task Manager': Ex-Microsoft programmer Dave Plummer spills the beans


Re: Today's Taskmanager

And even more amazing, they even included the "XBox Live Game Save Service" for all your gaming needs...

Linus Torvalds drops Intel and adopts 32-core AMD Ryzen Threadripper on personal PC


Re: AMD's new marketing slogan: "Intel outside"

I used to peel of those 'Intel Inside' stickers when I came across then and stick them onto the nearest thrash can...

Find your wallet, Apple: Ex-engineer adds eight more patents to lawsuit seeking credit for his developer work


Re: Agreed - software patents, like business process patents, should not be allowed

"This implies that the idea already existed within Apple prior to Mr. Eastman's email to Mr. Cue."

It also implies they idea is obvious to someone working in the field and therefore should not patentable. However, neither Apple not Mr. Eastman will ever say that out loud...

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot


Re: Simple solution

I agree completely.

However, the question is if that result can be achieved by just a ruling of the Supreme Court. They first and foremost need to apply current law as it is right now. Of course they have some room to decide what is a reasonable interpretation of the current law in this case, perhaps enough. But changes are a change in law is needed to actually get something like this sorted properly.

Prank warning: You do know your smart speaker's paired with Spotify over the internet, don't you?


Re: Happened to me

I'd do that. I changed jobs moths ago and still have access to the Sonos in my old office.

An you know, once I've got access to someones speakers my motto is "Never gonna give you up..."

Forget tabs – the new war is commas versus spaces: Web heads urged by browser devs to embrace modern CSS




Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule


Yeah, I'm hearing very little of that in all these discussions. I didn't dive deeply into what they build, but at first glance it seems pretty sensible. And even where it isn't sensible according to our standards, it's open source so it can be adapted where needed.

But somehow most countries seems to insist on reinventing the wheel...

Stack Overflow banishes belligerent blather with bespoke bot – but will it work?


Re: Stack Overflow is dead anyway

They used to have quality content, way above average. Yet they don't seem to understand why that was the case. Now they want to engage as many people as possible, so the quality of the content will move towards the average. It's stupid commercially too, they completely owned their niche but are giving it away to compete in a larger market where they don't have any advantage over the competition. You can get 'average' in lots of places.

Also I'm not sure about correlation and causation here:

"Our data shows that people who receive the comments flagged by the robot disengage at higher rates and take longer to come back and post again."

It may be the case that people who don't have any commitment to the quality of their questions or answers are both more likely to disengage and more likely to receive 'unfriendly comments'.

Either way, it shows the mindset. They don't want to provide high quality content, they want to capture as much people as possible. Good luck competing with Reddit, Facebook, etc

If you use Twitter with Firefox in a shared computer account, you may have slightly spilled some private data on that PC


No shit Sherlock

"...and to be cautious about the personal information you download on a computer that other people use."

You don't even need this bug to track what other users are doing on a system with shared user accounts. If it's a system you can trust, this doesn't matter much. If not you can get screwed in many other ways...

The one case where it might matter is if someone gains access to your system after the fact. In that case something may be stored on disk which shouldn't have been there. Although I doubt a bit of cached data from Twitter is going to be your biggest concern.

Absolutely everyone loves video conferencing these days. Some perhaps a bit too much


Re: Paris...

Oh man, how I hated those AZERTY keyboards. I spend a few weeks in France once running around a factory doing stuff on all sorts of systems. I was switching between AZERTY keyboards on the local machine's to the QWERTY keyboard on my own laptop all the time.

The worst thing was a pretty random password that was nicely committed to muscle memory, so much so I needed to visualize a keyboard to actually be able to spell it out. That password was needed fairly often, and contained a Q. Getting it right at the first go became a rare thing.

The lunches where very nice though...

Hypochondriacs – are your eyes all blurry? It's just YouTube trying to cut video-stream quality worldwide amid the coronavirus pandemic


Re: Virtue signalling.

It probably isn't costing very little, more likely it's actually saving them money on bandwidth and processing costs...

Iowa has already won the worst IT rollout award of 2020: Rap for crap caucus app chaps in vote zap flap


Re: Short Message Service

That, or a simple voice response system where people dial a number follow instructions and punch the numbers in. And for $60K you can probably have both so people can use the method they prefer.

What if everyone just said 'Nah' to tracking?


Re: But How ?

Why would I allow Cloudflare (or any other DNS-Over-HTTPS) provider to collect and sell my data instead of my ISP? Worse, my ISP will still mostly be able to collect the same data from the traffic (yes, the may be multiple sites behind a certain IP, but SNI headers will be nicely visible to the ISP). So switching to DoH just means there's now two parties with the ability to track me. (see also: VPN)


Re: But How ?

I'd say feeding them invalid data is just as effective as blocking, also for an individual. It protects your privacy, wasn't that the primary goal? If on top of that it annoys the advertisers a bit, that's a nice bonus.

Besides, they are constantly trying to hide the fact they are tracking me. I think it's fair game to hide the fact you are blocking them by just sending crap, it doesn't even need to be believable to achieve that.

Tracking President Trump with cellphone location data, Greta-Thunberg-themed malware, SharePoint patch, and more


New (York) Times

The article is well worth the read. I was left with the warm fuzzy feeling there are still journalist that care about our privacy. All may not be lost yet...

...and then I opened the web debugger and saw all the network requests to all sorts of different domains. Turns out they are contributing to this whole endless tracking habit as much as everyone else. We've build an entire economy around this, it's not going away unless we loose our addiction to 'free' content.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


Re: Run the numbers?

I'm not an expert on what is for sale on the airplane market, but I guess the whole recertification/retraining issue is a really big deal for Boeing. It's probably not just the extra costs for both Boeing and the airlines, if it's a different plane and not just a new version of an existing one the buying decision changes. Customers forced to buy a different type of plane where they must do the retraining of crew anyway will suddenly start comparing all options and may decide to switch to a different manufacturer. Once that happens Boeing has lost that customer for the foreseeable future.

It also might indicate Boeing is not capable of producing a really competitive plane and relies on the deep buy-in of it's existing customers to survive.

Tesla has a smashing weekend: Model 3 on Autopilot whacks cop cars, Elon's Cybertruck demolishes part of LA


Re: I Can't Stop Myself

You seem to imply there is a moral side to this. That's where you go wrong.

Firstly we're probably living in a simulation anyway. Pedo guy said so himself on multiple occasions, so it's probably not even real humans being killed. (Let the implications of that sink in for a bit...)

Secondly, progress has always required sacrifices. That how it's always been and the fact that the progress is just for the shareholders and the sacrifice comes from others is no reason to change that.

Irish eyes aren't smiling after govt blows €1m on mega-printer too big for parliament's doors



That's not how dealing with government clients works. The mechanism is simply, they write a tender, you read that, estimate how much you can charge for the stuff the didn't specify and then you respond with a price based on that. Once you win the tender you either do the bare minimum forcing then to pay for extra stuff to get a working solution. The customer either pays up or cancels the whole thing in which case you claim breach of contract and get your money without doing the work. In both cases there will be outrage and newspaper articles, but that doesn't matter because with the next tender they will hire you again if you manage to be the cheapest on paper.


Agreed as well. There a plenty of hard working, knowledgeable and well-intending government workers. But there also are plenty which aren't any of that. I've got plenty of counter examples, ranging from ignorance and stupidity to huge indifference and downright fraud. The uncomfortable truth is that despite all the rules it's still pretty easy to 'persuade' government officials to certain buying decisions. In some case it might even be easier as there are so many rules to hide behind.

Googlers fired after tracking colleagues working on US border cop projects. Now, if they had monetized that stalking...


Re: I find the argument bizarre

There are only just two approaches if you live in a black and white world where everything has to go to the letter and nobody is capable of making a judgment call. You are suggesting two systems in which common sense does not apply. I'd rather live in neither of those, but in one where common sense is applied.

In a lot of places something which clearly goes against the intention (though not the letter) of a law is still illegal. So you can strike a balance 'What isn't allowed by the law is forbidden, anything which clearly goes against the intent of the law also is forbidden, everything else is allowed'. In this case, if the intention of a set of rules is to create a work environment where people feel save and you do something which clearly makes people feel unsafe, even though not specifically forbidden, it can still be a violation.

Also, the potential abuse is why 'those in power' should not be the same people as those making judgments. It's called 'Separation of powers'. Now in corporate environments this separation rarely exists, and I don't see it in this case either. Usually there is just one 'power', called money. (For an other example, see what happens if the president gets to appoint the head of the FCC...)

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


But the sites that matter lag behind:

$ host -t AAAA theregister.co.uk

theregister.co.uk has no AAAA record

They are 'working on it', like everybody else...

UK Info Commish quietly urged court to swat away 100k Morrisons data breach sueball


Re: Duty of care

Having a duty of care and not succeeding does not automatically mean there's a liability. Stuff happens and you can't reasonably prevent everything all the time. Their only obligation is to take care, not to succeed in all circumstances.

But yeah, they do have a duty of care, and stuff happened. So now it's up to the judge to decide if they have taken sufficient care or if they could reasonably be expected to have prevented this from happening.

Double downtime: Azure DevOps, Google cloud users put the kettle on


The German solution

It seems like Microsoft resolved the Azure issues using the tried and tested German solution: "Reboot macht immer gut."

From https://status.dev.azure.com/_event/157751654:

"We identified the issue with identity calls and our engineers rebooted the ATs to mitigate, which has brought the system back to a healthy state."

So that's fixed, it probably won't happen again...



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