* Posts by spold

520 posts • joined 8 Feb 2012


Microsoft confirms pursuit of TikTok after Satya Nadella chats to Donald Trump

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Looking forward to....

Bytedance buying Microsoft China...

Douyin users worrying about their data ending up in the US...

Uploading your TikTok videos to LinkedIn...

Lip-syncing to Satya's shareholder briefings....

Once considered lost, ESA and NASA's SOHO came back from the brink of death to work even better than it did before

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Re: If it ain't broke

It's a tribute to the engineers... these days if something is designed to last two years - like a washing machine - you can bet your ar** it will be f**ked around then - there is money to be made in the replacements. Kudos to all, that from soup to nuts, they made the highest quality something, within whatever budget was negotiated, and that has performed well beyond spec... and to the peeps that have continued to do help it do that.

UK govt finds £200,000 under sofa to kick off research into improving mobile connectivity on nation's crap railways

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200K later...

The interim solution will be a new pop-up... "We are sorry your data is being delayed - leaves on the line at Crewe".

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

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Re: mind control chip?

It runs Windows ... and the mind control software is in a hidden coronavirus.bat file of course.

An axe age, a sword age, Privacy Shield is riven, but what might that mean for European businesses?

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Re: The point of the EU

>>> EU wants privacy for its citizens, and the USA doesn't.

A root aspect is that the US interpretation of "privacy" is more connected to things like confidentiality, data protection, encryption - data security concepts that ideally can be overridden/broken, as determined by the courts or authorities. It's about things like securing credit-card numbers.

They don't get that in Europe privacy is about allowing citizens to maintain and exercise a fundamental human right.

From 'Queen of the Skies' to Queen of the Scrapheap: British Airways chops 747 fleet as folk stay at home

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Re: Bloody awful

I've found the 787 a complete pain in the arse, not teh seats, the fact that cabin crew frequently overide the stupid window dimming thing to make it dark even though it is a daytime flight, what's the point in booking a window seat? Some crew are willing to unlock your window (woo-hoo), I suspect they hope everyone sleeps and stops bugging them for stuff.

(...and every time I fly one I have the worrying suspicion they are made by the same manufacturer as the Joo Janta 200 Super-Chromatic Peril Sensitive Sunglasses).

Privacy Shield binned after EU court rules transatlantic data protection arrangements 'inadequate'

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Re: Standard contractual clauses

Most larger companies will now be completely pissed off after previously having gone through Safe Harbor being struck down. They were reluctant to do Binding Corporate Rules because it was lengthy and expensive This option will now look much more attractive than relying on standard contractual clauses and having those torpedoed in the future, and will decide to suck it up. This may well overload many regulators' work capacity.

Bad news: Your Cisco switch is a fake and an update borked it. Good news: It wasn't designed to spy on you

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Backdoors... who needs 'em

I am assuming the term excludes the genuine product's built in Lawful Intercept; to quote Cisco "Lawful intercept is a process that enables a Law Enforcement Agency (LEA) to perform electronic surveillance on an individual (a target)".

More info and (example device) how to configure it here https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/td/docs/switches/lan/catalyst6500/ios/12-2SX/lawful/intercept/book/65LIch1.html

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027

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Re: Terrible Decision

Indeed - Huawei should have hired a really credible Global CISO to counter some of this fud, even better someone who might know GCHQ chappies.... oh wait... https://www.huawei.eu/profile/john-suffolk

TomTom bill bomb: Why am I being charged for infotainment? I sold my car last year, rages Reg reader

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...does he have a colleague called Bodge?

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...so he should now submit a "Delete my data" request as facilitated by GDPR.

July? British government could decide to boot Chinese giant Huawei from the UK's networks by this month

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Somewhat perplexing....

...about all the security stuff when their global CISO used to be the CISO for the UK government, and their US CSO used to be a CSO at the US government.

Oh and much of their Shenzhen business/IT consulting they have purchased was delivered by IBM GBS consultants many flown in from the US. The Huawei product development methodology even has the same name as IBM's since I'm guessing no-one bothered to change it... and IBM sold them this stuff they didn't need to steal it.That likely says something about IBM GBS!

We may not like this, and I'm not defending them at all - this is just context. (So no gratuitous downvotes *please* just because I am pointing this out).

Think of a number: A tale of iffy discount codes, supermarket loyalty cards and Hotels.com

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Re: selling the discount codes for between £200 and £750

Tesco Everyday Value

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years

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Re: So start legislation...

...not to mention I can buy a new printer cheaper than getting a new toner cartridge, and that many printer manufacturers have toner cartridge chips that are just designed to interfere with using re-cycled or OEM cartridges.

Boffins baffled as supergiant star just vanishes – either it partially blew itself apart or quietly turned into a black hole

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Re: Two alternative options

...no Pag's fault again - Slo-Time envelope.

Nice game of Cricket anyone?

Russia returns to space tourism and offers a first citizen spacewalk

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Spacewalks for Space Tourists...

I'm sorry our records show that your reservation was only until today.... [shove]

Maybe there is hope for 2020: AI that 'predicts criminality' from faces with '80% accuracy, no bias' gets in the sea

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Re: Training data?

...they are always stealing hearts.

Fujitsu, Japan strong-Arm their way to the top with world's fastest-known super: 415-PFLOPS Fugaku

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...they found Gene Amdahl's diary jottings in the cupboard.

(one for the IT historians)

The girl with the dragnet tattoo: How a TV news clip, Insta snaps, a glimpse of a tat and a T-shirt sold on Etsy led FBI to alleged cop car arsonist

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Re: Tut....kids today....

We identified him by his rather unique Prince Albert

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

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Let's clear the fences and not get stuck in the ditch

At Kentucky Fried Colt you cannot bolt to the finish line. At Mad Cow Donald's horses are permitted to be ON the menu and at the drive-thru.

This helps to ensure the Mad'CD's customers in the neigh-borhood have a stable diet. Their straw-poll of customers confirmed it. Nay-question no 4 faults on their part.

What could possibly make a cranky crocodylomorph more terrifying? How about one that chases you on its hind legs?

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Pretty obvious really...

If they weren't so quick, big, and bitey we would expect to have seen far more evidence of fossilised handbags.

(Yes don't quibble about the timing of them being around about 100M years before us and many dead by 75M before us) I'm sure the resident aliens would have made handbags instead).

Singapore to distribute wearable contact-tracing device and won't rule out making it compulsory

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Care and maintenance

When you receive it remember to ensure it is dry by placing it in the microwave briefly (ideally someone else's).

IBM quits facial recognition because Black Lives Matter

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Re: Or...

...it might not improve though as they will have just RA'd everyone in the facial recognition business unit.

Smart fridges are cool, but after a few short years you could be stuck with a big frosty brick in the kitchen

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there's a risk hackers could co-opt unpatched fridges...

All your banger are belong to us

Amateur astroboffins spot young brown dwarf playing with planet-forming hula hoop just 102 parsecs from Earth

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Somewhat confusing....


making for a dim object that is tricky for astronomers to observe


So, as dwarfs go, does this make it Dopey or Bashful?

This'll make you feel old: Uni compsci favourite Pascal hits the big five-oh this year

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Re: I remember it in the early 90s

...and even in the 80s - Apple Pascal on my Apple II (an upgrade from my Commodore Pet) - indeed very happy days.

China's Tencent to order ONE MILLION SERVERS as part of $70bn digital infrastructure splurge

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What could possibly go wrong....


The Shenzhen-based company needs all those servers because on top of WeChat it runs a colossal gaming business, video streaming services and a small-but-growing cloud. To house it all the company recently completed construction of a 51-hectare data centre complex in Guizhou province that will house tens of thousands of servers. The development includes more than 30,000 square meters of tunneling inside a hill,and a bomb shelter guarded by robots.


1. There is a big freaking pile of excavated mud on the top of a hill. A rare risk situation due to an obscure thing called gravity.

2. Robots with laser guns... 'nuff said.

IBM cuts deep into workforce – even its Watson and AI teams – as it 'pivots' to cloud

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Re: Cut loose, foot loose

Funny you should say that. The Risc System/6000 (RS/6000)s were the first systems to use IBM's Power/PowerPC processors. I was product manager for the IBM venture into immersive virtual reality systems in 1995 (yes what is old is new again) using some technology from a company called Virtuality PLC. The IBM graphics bit consisted of a PC card stuffed with 4 of these processors that crunched all the graphics processing on the fly.... Some of the appications were semi-serious business apps/ virtual world demos... some were actually games!

Apple, Google begin to spread pro-privacy, batt-friendly coronavirus contact-tracing API for phone apps

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You can pay extra for ad-free versions....

When the ads change from hydroxychloroquine to undertakers you know there is a problem....

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree

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Re: .. never used .. ?

Yes would have been an ICL 1902 or 1903.

I used it on the 1902.

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Re: .. never used .. ?

Algol 60 on an ICL 1902 around 1980 here; How many freaking errors did you get because of missing semicolons?;

As for PL/1, IBM also had its own extended versions (confidential for some reason), used for internal mainframe code development, called PL/AS and PL/DS.

p.s. ADA anyone?

The ultimate 4-wheel-drive: How ESA's keeping XMM-Newton alive after 20 years and beyond

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Re: That is the frikkin' coolest Satellite/Telescope I have ever seen

...more likely at at a beery Friday night engineers social..."I bet you can't put a huge dildo in orbit and get it past management without them noticing"....

Red Hat’s new CEO on surviving inside Big Blue: 'We don’t participate in IBM's culture. It’s that simple'

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...and the only IBM culture grows in the bottom of the coffee cups that the RA'd left behind.

ATLAS flubbed: Comet heading our way takes one look at Earth, self-destructs into house-sized chunks

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April 6th - Trump signs executive order establishing U.S. policy on the exploitation of off-Earth resources, a couple of weeks later a comet breaks up. I expect an immediate launch of Space Force (now in Supermarionation) armed with picks and shovels. Got to mine it before the Mytsterons get it.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

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outstring("ALGOL notably ALGOL 60 International Algebraic Language (IAL) is the common ancestor of all modern programming languages including all the C ones");

outstring("I was programming this when you were but knee-high to a grasshopper");

outstring("Why do you think the f***ing semicolon was invented?");

outstring("SIMULA - 67")


I can't even remember if this would parse correctly - error at line 42

p.s. don't forget Fujitsu Visual Cobol

UK Information Commissioner OKs use of phone data to track coronavirus spread

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Ah well. There's always ankle monitors like for prisoners on supervised release...


Should be OK in Australia where the early (foreign) settlers were pushed off a ship with a ball and chain attached....

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson, health secretary Matt Hancock both test positive for COVID-19 coronavirus

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Re: I like the idea of such fellows running their work via Video-Conferencing...

There has never been a time in history where we have so needed Luck and Flaw

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Re: The emergency regulations...


National Police Chiefs' Council, a semi-official police body that decides which laws are enforced and how, this morning endorsed Derbyshire Police checking on people going for walks in empty stretches of the countryside via drone.


What could possibly go wrong?

Why not add some facial recognition.

The essential part is to have "Sunset clauses"

(and I don't mean spotting people engaged in evening outdoor bonking - with possible arse recognition)

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Re: The emergency regulations...

I assume there exceptions for world leaders... like he could meet Trump soon???

Drones, apps and packed lunches: The latest on big tech's COVID-19 response

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Drone Version 2

....will have a laser gun - better get granny in the retirement home a tinfoil hat and a Guy Fawkes mask

Stockholders, assemble. HP's latest argument: Do you really trust Xerox to take us over during a pandemic recession?

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Re: Cue the jokes!!

The takeover is probably not a good idea... it could lead to more copies of the virus.

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Black hole quasar tsunamis moving at 46 million miles per hour

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Re: Mindboggingly fast

I believe that is around 5151989755 furlongs/fortnight

Forget James Bond's super-gadgets, this chap spied for China using SD card dead drops. Now he's behind bars

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Re: Stupid

Steganography - plenty of free tools - send it in a bunch of cat pictures

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem

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Re: Timing is off..

Incidentally "Presentation Manager" was mostly coded at IBM Hursley Park in Hampshire, leveraging a lot of programming experience from the IBM/370 Graphical Data Dispaly Manager (GDDM) coupled with the interface work done by Xerox PARC. Some of the other related work was obviously done by Microsoft, a very boutique company at the time... I had to make a trip to IBM Boca Raton to dig into the build & integration methods they (Microsoft) used (basically "we will chill out mostly until the day before the build, then drink extreme amounts of caffeine and code like fuck"), because they were rather alien to IBM at the time.

A bunch of the IBM OS/2 Presentation Manager stuff was folded into Windows NT.

Disk stuck in the drive? Don't dilly-Dali – get IT on the case!

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Re: Dwarfs or dwarves?

...but when it comes to that usage, I happen to know that 6 out of 7 Dwarfs are not Happy.



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