* Posts by Phil O'Sophical

5496 posts • joined 28 Oct 2011

Everyone back to the office! Why? Because the decision has been made

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Scheme

If they are jobs that need to be done from the office, or which are vastly easier to do from an office environment, then the impetus to do them from the office will be from the people doing them.

If only. In civil service thinking, if the job needs to be done from the office, then not being in the office obviously makes it impossible to do the job, therefore WFH has the twin advantages of getting paid, while not having to do any work. Win-win, unless you're a victim^H^H^H^H^H^H customer.

NOBODY PRINT! Selfless hero saves typing pool from carbon catastrophe

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Or just add one page of the 'other' colour to the top of the tray, thus resetting the sequence?

NanoAvionics satellite pulls out GoPro to take stunning selfie over Earth

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Alien

Re: Satellite

How do you get the satellite back from space if you get bored and wanted to sell it?

Buyer collects?

California's attempt to protect kids online could end adults' internet anonymity

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Joke

Re: I can see this working

they're probably all grown up

As is clearly obvious from many of the comments around here...

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: I can see this working

The internet will be fine, the Web may become unusable.

Not much of this actually from 'China anymore,' says Northern Light Motors boss

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Question

France also has "voitures sans permis" (sometimes known as "coffins on wheels") which can be driven without any license at all, as the name implies.

Whatever hit the Moon in March, it left this weird double crater

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Bouncy space junk?

Are there still operational seismometers on the moon, that might have recorded a double impact?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Watch and see who launches the salvage mission

The perfect crime – undone by the perfect email backups

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Context!

The amount of futilities and all kinds of banter logged in those chats dwarfed real work by 100 to 1

I think you'd find much the same is true of most current Slack sessions.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: re: deleting data from backups

And wouldn't that data also need to be deleted, as being data about you that they asked you to delete?

It's turtles all the way down....

NASA wants nuclear reactor on the Moon by 2030

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Pint

Re: Are you stupid????

Will there be a pub for me to spend it?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Are you stupid????

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but your chances of death are 100% no matter where you are.

Spain, Austria not convinced location data is personal information

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Start to publish politicians, judges and other "VIP" location data...

I'm assuming the court will have suitable justification to refuse to provide the information in each and every case rather than just a blanket refusal "because".

Indeed, and that raises the issue of the burden of proof. Does the phone's owner have to prove that the phone's location is their location, and hence location data must be released, or must the telco show that there is sufficient doubt that it's entitled to say no?

I would hazard a guess that the number of such incidents is tiny compared to the number of people who have it in their pockets bleating "here I am" to all and sundry.

Even so, courts can't provide rulings based on "it's probably true". If the owner can't prove that the data in question is their PII, I do think that under GDPR the court may have to prevent its release.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: shared office phone and the company wants to track the employee it is currently loaned to?

If the phone is owned by the company, it is free to install its own tracking software to locate it at any time.

Ah, but that's a very different scenario. If the employee knows the tracking app is there, then they are implicitly consenting to be tracked if they borrow the phone, and if they don't know it is there you're entering fairly murky waters of employment law.

Neither situation is really covered by GDPR, which explicitly protects the PII of a person, not of an object which they may or may not have with them.

it is still no reason to prevent the owner being granted all location data held by the telco

If the telco definitely has location data on the owner, that would be true, but if the owner can't prove that the data identifies their location I would argue that GDPR doesn't require it to be released. It may be someone elses PII, and that's usually enough for the courts to arguable that there is reasonable doubt.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Start to publish politicians, judges and other "VIP" location data...

I disagree. The court does not have a valid point because the issue is not if it a 1-1 correlation should be established between a phone and a person. The location data is being generated by *my* phone, which *I* own and hence, it is my PII.

I can appreciate your logic, but I'm not sure if GDPR is written to consider data of something you own as being your data. It is explicit that data subjects are natural persons, i.e. not entities like corporations.

As another example, imagine that you, as a conscientious parent, buys a phone for your teenage child so that they can contact you if they need to. You're undoubtedly the owner of the phone, and you pay the bill. Does that entitle you to get the phone's location, which is actually the location (and hence the PII) of your child, who also has rights under GDPR?

I don't think it's a clear-cut issue.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Start to publish politicians, judges and other "VIP" location data...

In this case, though, the argument isn't about publishing or selling the data, it's about providing it to the subscriber himself.

The given argument, that the phone may have been with someone else, does make it trickier. As a few examples, what if the phone in question (or the SIM, which is the same thing) is being used in a car and the subscriber wants to check where some other family member has been? Or if it's a shared office phone and the company wants to track the employee it is currently loaned to?

Essentially, what is being described here is the location data for the phone, not the subscriber, and GDPR does clearly say that it applies to data subjects which are "natural persons". There isn't necessarily a 1:1 correlation, so the court does have a valid point.

Intel demands $625m in interest from Europe on overturned antitrust fine

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Ban Intel from EU systems

True, although that might run foul of competition law. I can certainly see Intel lawyers rubbing their hands in glee at the thought of their legal fees to challenge it.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Ban Intel from EU systems

Just make the decision to not use any intel chips within the EU institutions.

Ah yes, like the German plans to drop Microsoft for Linux. Then they flipped back again. I can just see all those eurocrats being soooo pleased to be told that their Macs and Lenovos will be replaced by ARM-based Linux models.

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: magnum opera

Well, you know that saying about the fat lady singing...

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

A colleague once managed to delete the kernel binary from disk on his SPARCstation desktop. The system stayed up, but there were a few tense moments while he found another system running the same OS version, FTPed the file from it and rebooted.

Password recovery from beyond the grave

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Happy

Re: Write them down...

MTTR: Mean Time To Resurrect?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Write them down...

Always test that DRP.

Death Response Plan?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Legal issues

Along the lines of "horses sweat, gentlemen perspire, ladies glow" ?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Re: Not happened to me, but

I would have tried that and passed on all unawares.

Carry On.

Leave that sentient AI alone a mo and fix those racist chatbots first

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Re: Brilliant

Out of cheese error...

UK Home Office signs order to extradite Julian Assange to US

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: While ya'll

the US is trying to prosecute someone for doing the job of a journalist.

Calling Assange a journalist is an insult to journalists. His primary aim is to make himself look important, anything else is just collateral damage.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: We are in the wrong business...

That cable included in one leg a one ohm resistor in parallel with a power diode

Ah, a unidirectional audio cable with low-inductance carbon feedback. Only £100/metre.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

Untrue.

When you digitise, you lose information, based upon the sample rate.

Note that I said "no discernable loss". Certainly you lose information at frequencies above half the sample rate, but if that's beyond the range of human hearing you can't hear it, so it doesn't matter. Analogue recording, vinyl or tape, follows the same principle.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

I remember the arguments in the early CD days, where all-digital ("DDD") recording and processing was said to be so much better than part-analogue ("ADD" or "AAD"), so I'd agree that most older LPs, up to the 1980s at least, were probably wholly analogue.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: That vinyl sound

It "sounds better" for much the same reason that gold-plated oxygen-free copper cables "sound better". The owner has paid a lot of money for it, and has to justify it.

With good A-D and D-A convertors there is no discernable loss or change from using digital techniques, that can be proven mathematically. It may well be that people prefer an analogue reproduction, because they like the way it changes the sound, but it isn't objectively "better" than a digital recording. That's not unlike the way that a studio recording can sound "better" than a live experience, because it's been tweaked to sound better.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: In other words...

this is just going to create massive upward pressure on used ICE vehicles.

I expect it to create a whole new industry for refurbishing used ICE vehicles to bring them back to as-new status, while still being considered "used" and therefore sellable. There's very little in a modern car which can't be refurbished and restored, since bodywork doesn't rust away as quickly as it did in the 70s and 80s.

NHTSA upgrades Tesla Autopilot probe, could lead to recall

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Don't stop at autopilot

undermining the effectiveness of the driver's supervision

They should extend this investigation to cover all the so-called "driver assistance" devices.

Vivaldi email client released 7 years after first announcement

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Why is it so hard to find a good email program?

By default, Thunderbird has keyboard accelerators enabled, there's a raft of easy-to-hit-accidentally keystrokes that will send, file, or otherwise disrupt your mail. First thing I do on any install is to disable them, which solves most such problems.

Tough news for Apple as EU makes USB-C common charging port for most electronic devices

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

When carrying anything like that sort of voltage

The statement was 240W(atts), not 240V(olts).

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Happy

Re: Micro-USB

Getting bored of it?

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Probably a huge part of modern productivity and living standards arises from standard interchangable common parts.

True, but that's mostly been driven by industry-related standards bodies which understand the technical issues. Mandating such things by government fiat, through bureaucrats who have little or no technical knowledge, rarely works.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Re: Charge the chargers

Anything that enters the customs union with the correct CE paperwork doesn't get inspected at the border

Unless it's going from GB to NI, of course.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: The only nation that nominated English as an official language of the EU was the UK

I don't think so.

You would be wrong not to do so. From https://european-union.europa.eu/principles-countries-history/languages_en

English remains an official EU language, despite the United Kingdom having left the EU. It remains an official and working language of the EU institutions as long as it is listed as such in Regulation No 1. English is also one of Ireland’s and Malta’s official languages.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Next week:

EU bureaucrats. Fuckwits to a man.

FTFY

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Re: The BS 546 Brexit connector next

Scullery maids are better when used in parallel.

UK Home Office awards Oracle a deal extension worth tens of millions

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

They're probably also assuming that they now don't need to do backups or have DR, like so many businesses which assume that it all happens by magic in the cloud. It'll all end in tears after the first ransomware attack.

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

Doesn't UDP make address spoofing easier, though? Since there's no ack/connection, it's trickier to validate the source address in a packet. That would have to be done at a higher level, not that of the IP layer.

Japan's asteroid probe reportedly found 20 amino acids

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

No, you just forgot that the UK is still in Europe, just not in the EU.

Engineer sues Amazon for not covering work-from-home internet, electricity bills

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

To this day, I've never owned my own mobile phone.

I've never taken the company up on their kind offer of a phone, I only use my own. That way no-one can tell me not to turn it off or ignore it when I decide that work is done for the day. My bosses have always been fine with that approach.

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Clutching at straws

("mél" for email, pretty harmless, and nobody uses it)

"courriel", as a contraction of "courrier electronique" (literally "electronic mail") seems to be catching on, I quite like it.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: French terminology

in French "pet" stands for "fart".

In English, pets & farts are also closely linked.

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: "French guy here"

And "un short" for a pair of shorts, on the basis that a pair of trousers is "un pantalon".

When management went nuclear on an innocent software engineer

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
Coat

Re: Don’t know about you

My policy was do not touch under any under any circumstances unless given explicit permission. Even the gear I maintained.

And always mount a scratch monkey?

Beware the fury of a database developer torn from tables and SQL

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Back in the '80s...

I knew someone who called his desktop system "elvis", just so he could type "ping elvis" and get the response "elvis is alive".

Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

Re: Just a quick question.

a language can't be separated from the culture to which it belongs

Very true. It's interesting to compare French and Canadian French, for example. The Candian variety tends to use more active constructions (like English), French French is often more passive.

In a similar vein, the farewell recording on the Eurotunnel trains says "We hope you had a pleasant journey" in English, but in French it's "We hope your journey was pleasant". A small difference, but glaringly "unconventional" to a native speaker if you get the wrong one.

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