In the old.days we.got.news from papers. They were.entities.that often had a view, often censored themselves or were censored by govt. We had laws to protect us and so could sue.to.determine what was appropriate. They were private companies. Now we need and opinion from every one on a "we are not a publisher platform. But by censoring, they are essentially performing a publishing function. However the censoring is not challengable. It is also somewhat arbitrary. I agree personally that antivaxxers are harmful and distribute misinformation. However a light perusal of every political promise is a direct deceipt. Should we stop that? There are many more dangerous deceipts currently up and running without being taken down. Who in the social media world is capable and qualified to make those decisions? Have private companies for so large and government like in the sense that everyone buys into them, that they can now censor without impunity, but hide behind the "private company" to avoid responsibility? Dystopia, you are already here
89 posts • joined 16 Jun 2007
Ah yes. A wonderfully hopeful aim, laudable even. Unfortunately big Gov plus public money plus software plus people ensures the continuation of the usual outcome. Big waste of time and effort followed by a report from the NAO saying the same.
I promise to say I told you so, assuming I lived through the experiment
Credit where credit due please
All of the scandal was documented early on, almost as soon as it started, by Private Eye who have been banging on about this injustice for years. Long before anyone/business/journalist/ cottoned on to it.
The least you could do is give credit to worthy journalism. Possibly the only real investigative journalism going on in the UK.
Watch it go: World's smallest self-folding origami bird that reminds us we were promised nanobots at some point
So it appears some of you really don't want us to use the word 'hacker' when we really mean 'criminal'
There are all kinds of trite cliches to describe why it is never going to work. Main Stream media always gives the impression of a coherent professional approach. However MSM has degenerated into a ghastly barely reporting biased mess following whoever is giving them cash (El Reg and possibly Private Eye excluded)
The cat is out of the bag, it is closing the stable door the horse has bolted, it is VHS versus beta, PC vs Mac.
Nice to discuss, but pointless unless it has a topical hook like BLM, or Metoo, or even Arab spring (although not generally the best example given the long term outcome!)
Microsoft's Gooseberry is a dish best served really, really cold: Progress made on silicon quantum computing
Smartphones are becoming like white goods, says analyst, with users only upgrading when their handsets break
Why I don't upgrade
The mobile company I use stopped giving me an upgrade every couple of years. They keep offering "bargains" if I upgrade my plan. Understandably since I pay $45 CAN per month for unlimited texts, free long distance in Canada, and a cheap rate to the UK. Data? 400mb! I mainly use wifi, so use it when when I'm nowhere near a coffee shop and need to find my way because I'm lost.
I could go with buying a phone from them, but they don't seem interested. I have a Moto G8 currently (twin SIM) so my employer supplies up to 3G without questioning it, and I rarely use that anyway.
So the mobile industry is facing a crossroads. They basically have an everlasting income stream until something really disrupts access to the internet or whatever it will become. Up until now they had total control of how wide that revenue stream was. It was a smoke and mirrors deal with a manipulation of numbers and social engineering to make us believe something (normal sales behaviour)
Now customers have a certain amount of control of the width of that stream. At the same time they have caught themselves out. I can buy an reasonably good phone at a price less than they will charge. It will be mine from the start. As opposed to a monthly payment scheme which generally make me pay more for a limited range of phones and then try to make me buy some extra insurance.
Unless they really offer more value for what we are paying, then the big companies will stagnate. The may try to buy out upstarts and then raise prices again, but this is not a long term future.
They have to offer more or diversify for success imho.
150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'
What else can companies do?
This most publicly started with the credit card companies not processing transactions for Wikileaks and Assange. I thought that was wrong then, especially since banks and credit card companies bankroll drug/trafficking/taxevasion transactions, certainly at the "wholesale" level if not at the local level.
This is also wrong.
What next, Trump won't be able to buy gas at Shell?
Platforms have been arguing that they are not really responsible for content, and they certainly don't want to have a bureaucratic system in place and pay for that.
Accountability...where is that in this? Nowhere!
Researchers made an OpenAI GPT-3 medical chatbot as an experiment. It told a mock patient to kill themselves
Oculus owners told not only to get Facebook accounts, purchases will be wiped if they ever leave social network
US govt wins right to snaffle Edward Snowden's $5m+ book royalties, speech fees – and all future related earnings
Some are more equal than others
So the US can spend oodles of resources on one man's relatively meagre earnings, but cannot track or trace the billions of corporate tax avoidances by Multinational companies and individuals. Oh but wait, they also donate to the politicians, I forgot that was how it works in the supposedly greatest democracy.
Where are we now? Microsoft 363? 362? We've lost count because Exchange Online isn't playing nicely this morning
Help! Desk approaching
Our org just went full tilt 365 with huge restrictions for most users.
When the outage occurred, not one announcement mentioned the global outage, but simply that users were having difficulty signing on and they were investigating. I had already figured out where the outage was.
I certainly heartily agree with
In the meantime, folk were left twiddling their thumbs and pondering the wisdom of a leap cloudwards versus an on-premises service, staffed by engineers that could be yelled at face to face.
I was one of them!
Oh yeah, we had just gone through a seemingly pointless email address change.
Do we actually do any work other than grappling with IT issues? Boss of mine once said, "We never had these problems with typewriters!"
UK.gov to propose new rules for online political campaigns after last election marred by an avalanche of fake news
So the proposal is to put some kind of "kitemark" of authenticity on the obviously truthful and transparent claims of legitimate politicians.
Or in other words, a rubber stamp on "political" statements in a campaign.
Or in other other words, only official lies are to be allowed!
This is 2020, not 1984, right?
Oh sure, we'll just make a tiny little change in every source file without letting anyone know. What could go wrong?
Trump played the long game. Democrats in disarray and harmless. The most dangerous was Biden. Called Zelensky, knowing it wasn't private, knew it would be public. He's an expert confuser that knows confusion works and has the Senate won. End result? Pleases base and ensures they will vote. Biden fights for 3rd place having been the front runner. Trump sure knows how to play the political game better than the politicians!
Please note, applause for playing the game is not an endorsement of the player!
Chrome suddenly using Bing after installing Office 365 Pro Plus... Yeah, that might have been us, mumbles Microsoft
My company is transitioning us all to 365. Most of us have not yet been transitioned and unusually in the grand tradition of IT not telling users useful info as to what is happening until it actually has happened, they informed us of this change to Bing and even more unusually informed us of how to get Google back! My respect for our IT has soared. However, I haven't actually been told when my transition is going to happen, but I am thinking that Sod's law will ensure that I will be on vacation at the time!
You know the President is able to shut down all US comms, yeah? An FCC commish wants to stop him from doing that
Ironically this will not actually be used by Trump, but my sense of political history makes me think it would be Democratic President that will end up doing this. After all it was a Democratic President who took out an enemy of the state, Osama bin Ladin. Despite all the hoo hah about Bush et al removing democratic systems post 911.
You heard it first here folks!
The IoT wars are over, maybe? Amazon, Apple, Google give up on smart-home domination dreams, agree to develop common standards
Finally I'm an old fuddy duddy
Having been THE tech person since dial up for family and work, I am afraid that the IOT is the line in the sand for me. I had thought is would be a fad and a nice thing to have if you had a couple of brains cells.
Having seen the massive data breaches and the utter failure of anyone to do big IT systems and make peoples lives insecure and in many cases miserable for years (Horizon in UK, Phoenix in Canada, any hospital, any medical system aiming at integration, etc) my fear level is now exceeding my excitement for idealistic possibilities.
Revealed: NHS England bosses meet with tech and pharmaceutical giants to discuss price list of millions of Brits' medical data
Data+ computer systems+ government = Perfect Storm
Problem 1 - Very very few health professionals have good records
Problem 2 - most people don't care about data, they just stuff it in what they think is an appropriate place without thought for retrieval. Hence my wife was told by a receptionist that btw her prostate results were ok.
Problem 3 - not an IT project on earth with government involvement works.
Problem 4 - Most doctors just care about their patients rather than the fiddly job of records, or indeed any of what we used to call paperwork and delegate it without proper thought to underqualified, untrained personnel. That's in practice and in hospitals
Problem 5 - There is no-one going to properly negotiate with the jackals of capitalism.
I could go on.
The one thought that lets me sleep is that the level of incompetency will overcome the greed. However it is a fitful sleep because the innocents will pay both in finance and fitness
WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?
I am sure they won't miss my business. Personally, I just can't give that message out. For similar reasons I dont patronize the F-t B--t--d food outlet. It's a free country and there folks will be free of me. I guess I'm not in their demographic. I prefer my humour to be a bit more clever than that. And yes, I know I sound patronizing.... that's my right too!
Judging by the number of Teslas I see on my relatively commute through relatively affluent Toronto, I am surprised at the relatively large quarterly sales. The number of the loss on those sales is not that high really and the price needs a bit of tweaking. Perhaps the subsidies from various governments is drying up, as it ought to, as the product in theory should stand (or run) on its own four tires (tyres).
The range of the electric vehicles is not large, which may account for the lower maintenance, and they are luxury/status items which I might suggest are used less and more for showing off.
I am less convinced that electric vehicles are going to be really viable in colder climes, like Canada, so we have a ways to go. My impression is that historically, the leader will start the pack off, make all the mistakes, and eventually fail economically, but succeed reputationally. Coming second is nearly always more profitable!
Whistleblowers always suffer
In terms of trusting the system/Grand Jury, given that Manning has, from her pov suffered greatly, there is little trust in the system. To her either way, she will be punished somehow. Even if theoretically she won't, in practice she will and has.
If the stuff she revealed was in the public domain and so worthless, this just highlights the inequity of her treatment.
As Private Eye often reveals, whistle bowers suffer, because people in power who do wrong things themselves, are embarrassed and can't stand it. So they use their power to crush the whistleblower. Even Doctors, who arguably are some of the most powerful in society.
Bullies win, those who stand up lose. No matter how many cutesy stories we get form well meaning, but wrong, teachers etc
We had a Doctor who did not take blood pressure at the visit, even though we had high blood pressure and one of us had kidney disease. On the exit interview the enticement to stay was that they were adding extra services. Our responses was that if you can't get the basics right then why would we stay. They then asked if we wanted to see the doc. They looked at the calendar and suggested one 3 weeks hence. At that point we said point made and never darkened their doorstep. Why this matters is that software is the same. If it doesn't work, repeat business is lost and so are the future recommendations and reputations.
Sounds like the remnants of a cigarette lighter. Alien lands, has a cigarette while looking around at an empty lifeless planet, drops lighter, flies off to find life elsewhere. Explains why it was so easy to find. Timing is everything because it was so long age there was no life on earth either. Just spaceships passing in the night!
Its about communication
Having "communicated" with IT over the years, I have noticed that we all speak a different language. And given the number of published examples of IT helpdesk idiot customers, there is a communication problem. Do you really think after having miscommunicated all these years the suits really want to tangle with IT? My experience that consulting IT help desk is saturated with them not appreciated just what is being communicated to them and not caring to understand. So when IT starts to approach with expertise, I'm less inclined to listen, never mind even hear what is being said. BOFH is not so far from the truth, even though I like to laugh at it. So when IT can really help, it is a perfect storm of imperfect understanding. And nobody is listening to anyone. And of course there is the next stream of joky idiot customer examples.
Lots of comments about how NASA doesn't keep records blah blah etc. Let's take this one closer to home. Just how many of those complaining are running businesses that have good records about procedures, accounting, machinery, processes from 10 years ago? And just how many of us could actually access a particular digital photo, even real photo from a family event? Yup, I have about a mile of slack that needs cutting here
You know what DOESN'T work?
There are some people for whom technology doesn't work well at all. I know one person not a million miles away from where I am sitting, who has a problem at least once a day. And it is always weird. We even bought Oyster cards once at the same time with the same value. We went on the same journeys exactly. That person said, it won't work for me. Of course it will was the response, with hope and a prayer sent off. Yup. On the third journey, after lulling me into a false sense of security, bing. I got through the gate and she didn't. (Didn't I mention it was my wife?). Once again her electricity field had mysteriously caused a personal mini emp. And once again I resigned myself to a life of tech support to the anti-techno mage. After all, a good cook is hard to find. (Yes, I know it's sexist, but it happens to be true!)
Now for yet another press of the reset button
I am no geek, although family and work colleagues think I am, but W10 is the only OS I have had to reset back to original settings on several computers at work and home.
If they could get me to not fear another update that makes my network printer settings go completely haywire; or make it so that updates will update; or....etc. THEN I could maybe anticipate some of the more exotic pleasures of Creator or whatever stuff tey want me to dream about. I've spent tens of hours beyond my paygrade and capability fixing and bodging things up. W95 come back all is forgiven.
Who knows really
I would like to believe GCHQ but for a couple of things. Surely silence as a policy is the best option, as previously followed. And wasnt GCHQ part of the second up the WMD Saddam thing. Not to mention that US under a previous non aTrump administration actually bugged Angela Merkel. What's a poor boy to believe
Given that the planets are so far away, how come we have some fancy coloured pictures of them? I am supposing that we don't know enough, but NASA has generated some computerised coloured representations, but just how deceptive is that? And does it really matter since we aren't going there t check any time soon.......back to the crossword for me!