* Posts by diodesign

2727 posts • joined 21 Sep 2011

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: 404

Ta -- when Biden was sworn in, the 45th president's White House site was archived and replaced. I've fixed up the link to the archived WH site.

C.

Over long US weekend, GitHub HR boss quit after firing Jewish staffer who warned Nazis were at the Capitol

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Skepticism

It was never our intention to tarnish anyone's reputation and I wanted to be very careful that we didn't. We felt that we were maybe only hearing half the story. And as it turned out that it really was a one-sided HR screw-up, we ran a second story and addressed our misplaced skepticism. At least we're being transparent.

There's very very rarely a perfect story in which there is a clearly defined good person and a bad person, and the good person has done nothing wrong, and the bad person has done everything wrong. Life is way more complex than that. Hence our concern.

But it turns out it really was that bad -- and we've followed it up and laid it out here.

C.

Signal boost: Secure chat app is wobbly at the moment. Not surprising after gaining 30m+ users in a week, though

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Oh, hi Mark

Dropbox basically decimates workforce, COO logs off: Cloud biz promises to be 'more efficient and nimble'

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Decimation

Dude, it's close enough.

C.

Dems to ISPs: You're not gonna hike broadband prices, slap restrictions on folks in a pandemic, are you?

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Ah, cool, we're at the outrage-over-an-imagined-scenario stage.

C.

If you're a WhatsApp user, you'll have to share your personal data with Facebook's empire from next month – or stop using the chat app

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Does this apply to the UK and the EU though?"

From WhatsApp's European Economic Area FAQ (which claims to include the UK still, updated Jan 4, 2021):

"WhatsApp also works, and shares information with the other Facebook Companies who act on our behalf to help us operate, provide, improve, understand, customise, support, and market our Services.

"This includes the provision of infrastructure, technology, and systems, e.g. for providing you with fast and reliable messaging and calls around the world; improving infrastructure and delivery systems; understanding how our Services are used; helping us provide a way for you to connect with businesses; and securing systems.

"When we receive services from the Facebook Companies, the information we share with them is used on WhatsApp’s behalf and in accordance with our instructions. Any information WhatsApp shares on this basis cannot be used for the Facebook Companies’ own purposes"

So, Facebook Companies can't use the info for their own purposes but can use it as Facebook-owned WhatsApp directs.

C.

Women are 40% of Indian STEM grads and in just 14% of tech jobs. Not good enough, says VP Naidu

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"women being in fewer numbers in IT than men is a social evil"

I wouldn't call it a social evil, but there are loads of reasons why it's a good idea to have a diverse workforce, and have more than just a vast majority of straight white guys in technology.

For example: realizing when features could be abused by stalker exes, when features only work with people of a certain color, etc.

I know a guy who wanted to build a glass-floor second-floor balcony for their house overlooking their nice view of the SF bay... which is cool except anyone standing underneath it, walking from the yard into the home, could look up and see up the skirts of any women standing up there. I like using this unintended consequence of his design as an example that you need more than just guys on your engineering team.

C.

Trump's overhaul of Section 230 stalls, Biden may just throw the web legal shield on the bonfire anyway

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

That TechDirt link

Apropos of almost nothing, that TD article is one of the most reader hostile things I've seen in years. It's not written to educate anyone; it's written so that people can show off to others that they know something better than someone else.

You don't teach people using the tone 'you're a f'king idiot'. Just my 2p.

C.

Lay down your souls to the gods of rock 'n' roll: Conspiracy theorists' 5G 'vaccine' chip schematic is actually for a guitar pedal

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

California

"20 million infected California"

It's 2 million.

C.

Techies start growing an Alphabet-wide labor union: 200-plus sign up, only tens of thousands more to go

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Alleged "bad info"

"So, $28835 / year divided by 2040 hours/year is $14.13/hr."

Which is more than the US federal min wage. These people won't be working in CA, I suspect.

"In 2015, I was hired as an SRE III/SWE IV. Salary, bonuses, and stock was >$200k. I have little doubt that our TPM was close to $300k."

Yeah, as the article says, the quoted numbers are base pay. Once you include bonuses and stock, it's going to be a lot more. And sure, $200k base is low when you get up to L6 and long-term L5.

The quoted base pay range is in the right sort of neighborhood, depending where you are, and experience. You get the gist: in engineering you get paid a lot, and outside engineering, not so much.

C.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"lead acid batteries are rechargeable"

Yeah, we know, it's fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong -- though tons of you did.

Happy new year.

C.

Larry Ellison says he's not following Oracle to Texas, prefers his private Hawaii pad

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Uh

People who might not have a choice but to move state?

C.

Asus ROG Phone 3: An ugly but refreshing choice – for gaming fans only

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: "Colours feel a bit washed out and saturated."

Should be desaturated, not saturated. It's been fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything weird or wrong so we can address it ASAP.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Was this article written by a bot?

No, it was written and edited by tired humans who are longing for a Christmas break to rest and recharge after a crappy 2020.

It's been fixed up in a revised edit. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you've spotted anything weird.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Any chance of any kind of consistency?"

Ah yeah, sorry that slipped through the edit. It's now fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything weird.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Corrections

> The Department of Redundancy Department obviously hasn't been furloughed.

That part's been trimmed.

> Aspect ratios come in Hz now, do they?

Should be refresh rate -- a brain blip where fingers type the wrong words. Now fixed.

> *Bzzzzt*. Contradiction.

Should be desaturated not saturated, and fixed.

> Cancelling my subscription, etc, etc.

I hope you can forgive these errors -- we're worn out, letting typos slip through, and looking forward to the Christmas break to rest and recharge. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong.

C.

AWS is fed up with tech that wasn’t built for clouds because it has a big 'blast radius' when things go awry

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Strange terminology

It's switchgear. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot something wrong.

C.

Japan pours millions into AI-powered dating to get its people making babies again

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

The cost of parenting

FWIW the article doesn't draw any conclusions on _why_ the birth rate is low, just that it is, and Japan's answer to it is... AI dating. There are probably loads of reason why people aren't having children, not just in Japan, that all aligns to fewer babies.

My wife and I are Xennials who don't want kids for various reasons.

C.

Oracle Database 21c bridges NoSQL gap with native JSON support, plays catch-up with relational rivals

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

MySQL v NoSQL

Yeah, MySQL. It's fixed -- and the Big Reg typo, too.

We're all knackered, to be honest, from this year, and our brains aren't as sharp as they usually are, and fingers are thus free to type the wrong words. We all need a Christmas break.

Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong so we can fix it ASAP. It's lower latency than waiting for us to read through comments.

C.

Twitter, Mozilla, Vimeo slam Europe’s one-size-fits-all internet content policing plan

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"This statement is disputed"

IMHO it's just a polite, non-confrontational way of saying "this statement is false". It's a way for organizations to say a statement is incorrect but we don't have the time and energy to get into a massive argument over it.

It comes down to this: we've got to start drawing a line again between reality and fiction. It's been blurred by the fact that anyone on the internet can say anything they like and demand it be treated with exactly the same weight as other statements -- even if what they are saying is completely untrue. And when their statements are disputed, they scream censorship. No, it's because you're talking bollocks.

We're in this mess at the moment because the line between reality and fiction is being blurred by those unhappy with the reality of the situation they find themselves in. They need something to blame. They need an explanation why things aren't going their way. They come up with a theory and they assert it as fact. It used to be one-night arguments in the pub. Now it's posts being shared to 100,000s of people if not more.

Fine, if you want to, let's get down to some definition of what truth is. But we have to get there and stick to it, or nothing matters any more. Nothing at all.

C.

Useful quantum computers will be impossible without error correction. Good thing these folks are working on it

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

A million qubits

The one-million-plus figure is the ball-park estimate thrown around by IBM, Intel, China, and others, in terms of building something generally useful.

C.

Oblivious DoH, OPAQUE passwords, Encrypted Client Hello: Cloudflare's protocol proposals to protect privacy

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: OPAQUE doesn't add any light

FWIW we've tweaked the article with a link to a fuller description of how it works. It's all about the salts involved. Here's a key part from that explanation:

"OPAQUE gets around this with the following clever trick. They leave the password hash on the client’s side, but they don’t feed it the stored salt. Instead, they use a special two-party protocol called an oblivious PRF to calculate a second salt (call it salt2) so that the client can use salt2 in the hash function — but does not learn the original salt.

"The basic idea of such a function is that the server and client can jointly compute a function PRF(salt, password), where the server knows “salt” and the client knows “password”. Only the client learns the output of this function. Neither party learns anything about the other party’s input."

C.

Seagate says it's designed two of its own RISC-V CPU cores – and they'll do more than just control storage drives

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"And does that matter to anyone?"

Uh yeah, it matters a lot. It's a validation of a design, for one thing. You're right that the fabs -- and by that, we mean TSMC, etc -- don't care about the architecture. That's not their job.

But people further up the chain considering using the architecture will think it matters. 'Can we trust that this tech works?' 'Well, Seagate just put XYZm into production.'

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Patents

FWIW I asked the RISC-V Int'l directors about patents, and they were pretty sure anything they spec out that Arm could claim ownership of could be traced back to pre-Arm days, or would be entirely new and novel.

I think there's going to be a patent royal rumble at some point. One side - and not just Arm or a RISC-V member - is going to crack and it's going to kick off, and we'll find out that once again IBM has the patent on adding 4 to the program counter each cycle.

C.

Senators, net neutrality advocates rail against looming lame-duck confirmation of new FCC commissioner

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I know I'll get in trouble with the admins for this...

Yeah one day we'll set up a form. In the meantime, please email corrections@theregister.com so we can fix this stuff as soon as possible, please.

C.

Channel Isles cop sacked after abusing police database to track down women drivers for Instagram 'comic' page

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

PC

Well, the article does kick off with "A police constable" so we kinda thought that would set the stage. But fine, we can do officer or something.

C.

Four or so things we found interesting about Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888, its latest 5G chip for high-end Androids

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"all of this looks a bit mediocre"

I have to say that does appear to be the case. Apple's set the gold standard in what's possible with Arm CPU design - from big caches to large reordering buffers to optimizations for reference-counting-heavy code.

I didn't want to call it until outside benchmarks and tests are available. And I still totally appreciate that this level of chip, the 888, takes a lot of patience, skill and time to develop. It appears Qualcomm's poured a lot of that effort into things like the camera capture processing and GPU/AI in hope that that makes up for where it doesn't match Apple's A14.

C.

Arm at 30: From Cambridge to the world, one plucky British startup changed everything

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: British?

It's still headquartered in Cambridge, UK. It's acknowledged in the piece that it's owned by Japan's Softbank.

FWIW, an Arm PR once punched me in the arm - how apt - after we called Arm a Japanese chip designer in an opening sentence in a Register story. That jab didn't lead to us calling Arm a British company this week, but it reinforces my feeling that we sufficiently made the point of its foreign ownership.

Arm was created in Britain, bankrolled by non-British entities, now owned by a non-British entity, but still headquartered in the same city it grew up in. It's British by nature, Japanese owned.

Basically, we didn't say Arm is British-owned. We said it's British. And that's something we decided ourselves.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Sophie Wilson

Click the second link in the article, and you'll have a nice surprise.

Also, the article's mainly about Arm the company (from 1990), not the original Arm team. Sophie, IIRC, remained at Acorn all the way to the Element-14 days, working on things like Acorn Replay (tho consulted for Arm Ltd).

Trust me, we've covered her -- see the linked-to articles.

C.

Amazon’s cloudy Macs cost $25.99 a day. 77 days of usage would buy you your own Mac

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"comparable"

Yeah, well, you know what we mean: close enough.

C.

QEMU brings back its one-OS-a-day virtual advent calendar

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Link

The project announcement was linked in the penultimate paragraph, though to make it more obvious, I've now linked directly to the calendar at the start of the article.

Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything weird -- we can fix it right away.

C.

Bare-metal Macs-as-a-service come to AWS. Intel for now, M1 silicon in 2021

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"This is AWS trying to score some cheap points"

It's a bit more than "some cheap points" -- it's Mac hardware available in the largest cloud on the planet, allowing it to be managed and used alongside whatever fleet of rented systems you have in AWS, with some storage plugged into it.

We've acknowledged the likes of MacStadium in the piece. If MacStadium was as big as AWS, it'd have its own story, too.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Strange how terms get redefined"

In the context of cloud computing, bare metal means you get an actual physical host to yourself, not a virtualized one shared on a host with other customers. You run the OS and stack on the bare-metal of the server, not on a hypervisor (or god forbid, an emulator).

In other words, you are booting software of your choice on the bare-metal of the machine, a Mac Mini. The software in this case happens to be limited to recent macOS.

C.

Your laptop may have just survived 2020 – but is it ready for 2023?

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: I'm confused

For the avoidance of doubt: it is a registered trademark, and the advertiser asked that its marks be recognized in the sponsored article copy.

C.

I work therefore I ache: Logitech aims to ease WFH pains with Ergo M575 trackball mouse

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Pretty sure these existed back in the late 1990s early 2000s"

Yeah, they did, and we're taking another look at them.

C.

Study: While text-generating AI can write like humans, it lacks common sense

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"I really really really don't understand how this isn't obvious"

A lot of science is proving or demonstrating the obvious so that it's proven, or demonstrated, and not assumed.

C.

Hard to believe but Congress just approved an IoT security law and it doesn't totally suck

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: It looked good until...

Congress can force a bill into law if there's a great enough majority supporting it.

C.

Google yanks Apple Silicon Chrome port after browser is found to 'crash unexpectedly'

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Apple Arm SoC v Apple Silicon

We try our best to say it's Arm compatible, or it's a desktop-grade Apple Arm-compatible SoC, and it's a case of whoever's working on a story remember to including it. We've written about the M1 a few times this week that it might be a given, but in case not, we've tweaked the piece.

'Arm compatible' is deliberate because Arm has, last time I heard, little to no involvement in the development of these cores. Apple follows the spec.

We have to use 'Apple Silicon' at some point in the article so that people searching with that term - in an outside engine or our own site search - will find this article.

There's biting the hand, and then there's blowing our brains out.

C.

The revolution will not be televised because my television has been radicalised

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Here we go with the name calling again"

Pretty funny given the "fuck your feelings" ethos of the MAGA movement.

Same movement that had t-shirts with "Rope. Tree. Journalist. Some assembly required" on them. Can't forget that.

Trump spent at least four years encouraging, among other things, intolerance and boorish behavior. I'm surprised you can't take what you've dished out.

C.

Election security fears doused with reality: Top officials say Nov 3 'was the most secure in American history.' The end

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"in spite of Trump's Republican 80% approval rating"

Approval or not, the vast majority of Americans understand the concept of democracy.

"Nearly 80% of Americans, including more than half of Republicans, recognize President-elect Joe Biden as the winner of the Nov. 3 election"

Source.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"Out of interest, which judges have thrown this out?"

"Out of interest". Sure. It's been all over the news.

There's been about a dozen lawsuits at last count, all but one or two are doomed or dismissed, with the so-called successful legal challenges, such as in Pennsylvania, having no effect on the outcome.

They have so far failed to show any election fraud.

Edit: Pennsylvania court rejects five Trump campaign, GOP legal challenges to ballots

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

PDF

You know this is virtually all fantasy and nonsense, right? That virtually every judge so far has thrown this all out, and that there is no hard evidence of actual fraud, that this is just time wasting?

Please don't spread misinformation in the comments.

C.

Ericsson warns investors: This Biden fellow coming into the White House may look to resolve China trade dispute...

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Re: Probably, but jumping the gun

As you said, "probably." And we're not jumping the gun: Biden is the projected President-Elect.

C.

Amazon makes big bet on New Zealand to crack Indian market

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"I wonder how this makes sense then."

It doesn't -- it was an error that's now fixed. Don't forget to email corrections@theregister.com if you spot anything wrong so we can address it right away.

C.

Zoom strong-armed by US watchdog to beef up security after boasting of end-to-end encryption that didn't exist

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"So which video services actually do offer true end-to-end encryption"

Well, Zoom now says it's doing proper E2EE after earlier trying to claim its use of vanilla TLS was E2E. Here's its statement:

"Zoom’s E2EE offering uses public key cryptography. In short, the keys for each Zoom meeting are generated by participants’ machines, not by Zoom’s servers. Encrypted data relayed through Zoom’s servers is indecipherable by Zoom, since Zoom’s servers do not have the necessary decryption key. This key management strategy is similar to that used by most end-to-end encrypted messaging platforms today."

Take that into account as you will.

C.

Let's Encrypt warns about a third of Android devices will from next year stumble over sites that use its certs

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Manual install

Thanks -- added that to the piece. We'll also see if it's possible for Chrome to include the necessary certs, too.

C.

Shopping online for Xmas? AI chatbots know whether you want to be naughty or nice

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"how do people get away with stealing cryptocurrencies?"

They launder it through other crypto-currencies, exchanges, and marketplaces, so that the trail stops. Until they do that, you can follow the movement of the funds, and there are companies out there that make a living out of tracing coin transfers for the cops and others.

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

Blockchain uses

I'm not defending the blockchain hype but if you consider it to be what it is -- an append-only data stream -- it has uses beyond cryptocurrencies, such as log file storage in which any tampering can be detected due to the cryptography involved.

You can do this with other approaches, of course. If you think of BC as an append-only data stream, it melts away the hype.

C.

San Francisco approves 'CEO tax', hopes to extract up to $140m a year from corps with wide exec-staff salary gap

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"I presume that lowered your rent considerably?"

More like lowered theirs. Did want to put up a banner on the window saying 'The Reg is watching' or something similar

C.

diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

"this gobbledygook "

Ah, it's not. Gross receipts and work attributable to the city are defined things in SF city tax code, so if in doubt: consult your tax lawyer. We have one in San Francisco who does our taxes for us.

When Google fills in its taxes for the city -- it has an office on Spear St -- it will declare its gross receipts attributable to the city and the city will tax them on it. This boils down to:

* Receipts involving property, of multiple kinds, and sales and services in the city

* Payroll in the city

If it feels complex, it is. It's tax law. See https://sfgov.org/sfc/san-francisco-gross-receipts-tax for info.

Edit: I've added a link to more details on GR tax in the article.

C.

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR WEEKLY TECH NEWSLETTER

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2021