* Posts by spold

602 posts • joined 8 Feb 2012


UK reveals new 'National Cyber Force', announces Space Command and mysterious AI agency

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Whatever the niceties of the agency, the plan for a 2022 launch of a domestic rocket from Scotland


The High Altitude Gchq Group In Space (HAGGIS)

...or possibly the High Altitude Gchq Group in Sheep (I didn't say that, sorry, sorry, very baaad of me).

Man found dead inside model dinosaur after climbing in to retrieve phone

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Re: To die for a phone

>>> The air could be fairly toxic in there as well.

Well if you have your head down a dinosaur's arse what do you expect?

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Last words... I can't get a signal in here

Extinction event

Oops, says Manchester City Council after thousands of number plates exposed in parking ticket spreadsheet

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The oops is....

It probably ties the ticket to a date and time and location. Excuse me dear, but when you were on that management retreat in Wales why did you get a parking ticket at the Shagadelic Inn in Manchester?

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

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Not surprisingly....

Apparently.... Many scholarly ancient texts show that Mars has always belonged to China...


Big right-to-repair win: FTC blasts tech giants for making it so difficult to mend devices

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Waterproofing and battery compartments

....standard screws and an O-ring should work well. Easy to isolate the compartment from the rest of the phone.

Apple faces another suit over its allegedly misleading water resistance claims

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SpaceX flings another bunch of humans into orbit in reused capsule atop reused booster

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Two crews

I'm thinking "Knock, Knock. Who's there?" and "Who's sleeping in my bed?".

Sucks to be you, any aliens living anywhere near Proxima Centauri's record-smashing solar flare

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Re: move the Earth to a higher orbit,

Cue up with the moon, I'll put the blue ball into the top-right pocket....

Ex IBM sales manager, fired after battling discrimination against subordinates, wins $11m lawsuit

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Sadly...at the end of the day...

...only the lawyers will be happy. "We always try to appeal".

Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the past six months

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Oh but don't forget....

In the US, they can also order that you do not reveal that a data subject's information was requested and disclosed... so you can add on your guesstimate of how often that happened...

Texan's alleged Amazon bombing effort fizzles: Militia man wanted to take out 'about 70 per cent of the internet'

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Re: As for sites going down....

...needed a hot fix?

IBM's CEO and outgoing exec chairman take home $38m in total for 2020 despite revenue shrinking by billions

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Re: That thud

A little harsh...Ginni does have to shoot another scene along with the vicar and the dalmation each time. It's an IBM best seller compared with most service lines.

A lot of things will have changed with Biden as US president, but an easier ride for Huawei is not one of them

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Xiaomi just won a temporary court injunction in New York blocking the Defence Department's attempt to block investment in them, on the basis that Xiaomi was likely to win a full reversal of the ban. Please don't downvote this, you may not like it, but it is a fact. Talk to the judge :-)

Surprise: Automated driving biz finds automated driving safer than letting you get behind the wheel

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Re: But... but... we are driving because we like it, right?

....and then there will be a special expensive insurance class if you want to drive it yourself.

EFF urges Google to ground its FLoC: 'Pro-privacy' third-party cookie replacement not actually great for privacy

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It would seem to give you less control

Mostly you have to give people choices about cookies these days (at least in GDPR-land, California, etc.) which means that typically there is an option in small print on the cookie banner to allow you to make more fine-grain choices - typically essential ones are prechecked otherwise the website will collapse in a heap of springs and cogs, secondly functional ones (meaning analytics, etc.), lastly advertising ones... you have to opt-in to last two categories they cannot be pre-ticked... OK, generally people will do the usual thing and click accept without going into the fine-grain options.

Ah, we have put you in with the other hamster-porn aficionados.

Hopefully, there is a FloC-off option.

Rookie's code couldn't have been so terrible that it made a supermarket spontaneously combust... right?

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Re: Back in the 90's...

Back in the 90s, I worked in a 6 story building leased by a computer company with Incredibly Borked Management. One Bank Holiday, when the place was empty, thieves broke in.... they didn't access the office spaces, which had badge access, but they did steal all the security cameras!

ESA mulls sending waves of robot explorers into dark depths of lunar lava tubes

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NASA: Wanted: Astro-troglodytes, must love green soup and blue string pudding.

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

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I was just going through some old boxes and found my "A course on programming in Algol 60" by Reeves and Wells! (1970 print edition). I wrote Algol code (on paper-tape) for an ICL 1902 - second programming language I learned! ... the first being Basic, ok a smattering of Cecil (the ICL was old and had been donated to my school by United Bread - now toast).

Wells Fargo patent troll case has finance world all aquiver so Barclays, TD Bank sign up to Open Invention Network

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Some history

In the early 90s I actually was the project manager for IBM's project with Barclays for Image-based cheque recognition. The actual technology wasn't actually in-house IBM, it was a third party out of the US (Something like Check Decisions but I can't be accurate). It was a bolt-on option for the IBM 3890/3897 cheque sorters. These were amazing machines to witness working as thousands of cheques whizzed through them - primarily they were sorted by the FI number.... is it ours "on-us" or another bank. In the early hours of the morning then little trucks would tour the City in London carting the other bank's cheques over to them. They would then stuff them through their 3890s again to sort down to branch level. The image-based system had a couple of aims - stop moving trucks of paper everywhere, secondly introduce signature recognition to help with fraud. The general process was called "truncation" - the other aim was to get rid of staff in branches that would inspect/handle cheques. Also, they could introduce the little pictures of your cheques in your monthly statement instead of sending you packets of your cheques. The fun part, and the almost but not quite happened wheeze I came up with was based around the fact that American signatures are actually slightly different from UK ones (don't ask me why), so this affected the signature recognition confidence accuracy. Obviously, you can't go pulling cheques out of the banking system for long, and they had some stupid rule about using old cheques. So I proposed grabbing 100,000 cheques out of a Friday night batch, sticking them (and me) on Concorde to the US, stuffing them through the vendor's signature training systems, and then putting them and me back on Concorde to have them back in the system before Monday. The whole thing didn't fly (haha) because British Airways would not guarantee the integrity of the "cargo" for the flight. I thought it one of my better ideas though.

Forget about an AI stealing your job, even pigs can be trained to use computers

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Not surprising

Pigs and Pong have always gone together

Samsung floats autonomous ships as ready to sail in 2022

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Re: Boarders!


Harmed by a decision made by a poorly trained AI? You should be able to sue for damages, says law prof

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Re: Theory and Reality

The context of the article was in the dear old USA,,, but on the other side of the pond there are some useful levers to pull....

The GDPR has provisions both on profiling and automated decision making (without any human involvement).

You can only carry out that type of stuff in very limited circumstances. You have to identify if the processing of your data falls into that category, if so, then you have to give the data subject information about that processing, as well as provide the ability for them to request human intervention and challenge any decisions made. It's mostly in Article 22 if you want some bedtime reading. Also, there is a more extensive article on this from the UK ICO.

However, this is also in the category of people bothering to read the information, the usual lie "I have read and understood....<Click>".

ThinkPad T14s AMD Gen 1: Workhorse that does the business – and dares you to push that red button

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Re: Price point

I still have my T430s that is 7+ years old. The T series has always been the most dependable, unlike the cheapo E series (bargepole territory). While slim, being carbon fibre enhanced it is a tough as old boots. I've taken it seven times around the world (literally) on trips to China, uncountable numbers of transatlantics... it's been stuffed under airplane seats and crammed into luggage racks. I've probably hit a number of irritating junior consultants with it ;-) If you spec' them well at the start they last for donkey's. Yes I have another nice new shiny blade thing but these are business workhorses.Only thing I had to do last year was swap out the HDD for a SDD, should keep it going for a while longer.

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

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Never let....

...the lawyers get their hands on anything more technical than a kiddie activity centre. A bunch sent me a redacted word document where they had highlighted the bits in black. Select all... un-highlight...

Open the door, get on the floor, everybody walk the dinosaur: Expect an ad, get a bork

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Re: I only came here for the headline

I'm glad I came for Lake Poo-Puke, sounds very inviting.

Got Surface Hubs? Better get cracking: Windows 10 for Whiteboards to resume rolling out in February

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Ummmm.... so 2019...


a big screen with a camera on top makes a handy tool for bringing remote workers virtually into the room.


But if everyone's is remote, and there is no-one in the meeting room to use the pricey hardware (except for the squirrels that have moved in).... is that what was meant as "problems following installation"?

A "somewhat limited" market of people that are concerned at the moment (unfortunately).

The Novell NetWare box keeps rebooting over and over again yet no one has touched it? We're going on a stakeout

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And your backdoor

When I were but knee-high to a grasshopper I was PMing a roll-out of a new networked in-store terminal system to a now-defunct electrical retailer. The sort of thing the salesy people would use to tell you it was out of stock until next year. The logistics went fine but the customer was not happy as the whole thing would collapse in a heap of springs and cogs at random points in the day. Great effort was spent trying to debug/diagnose everything to no avail. So, similar to this, I got an engineer to sit in a store all day and watch.... after a couple of hours, sure enough, it fell over... the culprit... every time they got a new delivery of a telly or a fridge they opened the rear electric wind-up door to move it in, the motor thing created huge spikes on the mains at which point the server had a wobbly and went tits-up.

Trump's gone quiet, Parler nuked, Twitter protest never happened: There's an eerie calm – but at what cost?

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...I assume that's what permanently suspended means as opposed to deleted. It may persist as a matter of record, but it is not generally accessible nor active.

ESA signs on the dotted line for ESPRIT, Europe's Lunar Gateway module

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Great - circle a rock

Ultimately the moon does not make the best business continuity plan for mankind. We know it is a rock, future missions are best directed further afield. Why not set up a gateway at one of the stable Lagrange points L4 or L5 - things can sit there forever and if you want a staging area, shipyard, colony, or whatever these would be much better places to put them.

Loser Trump is no longer useful to Twitter, entire account deleted over fears he'll whip up more mayhem

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@realDonaldDumped - Awwww no more Covfefe :-(

Trump silenced online: Facebook, Twitter etc balk at insurrection, shut the door after horse bolts and nearly burns down the stable

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Re: Twitter permanently suspendes Trump

.... @realDonaldDumped....

Welcome to the splinternet – where freedom of expression is suppressed and repressed, and Big Brother is watching

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In a mobile device world....

If I buy a mobile device in China then I have to show a passport... my identity is recorded... and it is now bound to my International Subscriber Mobile Identity (IMSI) number, and my International Mobile Equipment number (IMEI). As data flies through switches it may be subject to access through Lawful Interception Gateways (LIG ports)... in many countries... and is identifiable using these numbers. Depending on the encryption provisions, I may or may not be able to see the data, however, I can see who is talking to who or accessing what, I may get additional data from your ISP (who also has your real identity).

Dodgy procedures doomed Arianespace's Vega before it even left the launchpad

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A matter of deduction....

When faced with all the evidence, and you have eliminated the most likely causes, one has to conclude that what is left, is actually right....

45 million medical scans from hospitals all over the world left exposed online for anyone to view – some servers were laced with malware

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Not just images and metadata...

Many DI systems have free-text annotation fields that doctors may use...

"This is an image of Meg's broken leg, after her husband Bob pushed her down the stairs".

We got it! Japanese space agency confirms its probe has Ryugu asteroid samples

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Just a 0.1g scrap of papyrus...

...with a message..."All these asteroids are yours - except Ryugu. Attempt no landing there."

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there

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...and unlocked doors

I have occasion to do security reviews for companies from time to time. As well as confidentiality and integrity of data, availability is the third component. Reviewing a company just outside Toronto I delved into the power side of things.... oh we have a new UPS they said. This UPS turned out to have been housed in what was intended as a small underground car-park in the building. Ummm... what happens when it rains? (Thunderstorms and huge amounts of rain from them are not uncommon in the summer).... well they had thought of that... the UPS sat on a couple of 2x4s (2 inch by 4 inch planks translating into English, and I won't go into why they are not actually 2 inches by 4 inches here). This was just in the corner of the said garage with an open ramp to ground level. I asked some questions about it and they obviously clued in as to where this was going. When I came back a week later, there were 2x6s, and there was a security guard in full uniform sitting outside at a small table and chair that had been positioned at the top of the ramp (I'm sure hired for the day since they knew I was coming back). I didn't ask if he had an umbrella and a bucket....

HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

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I use re-manufactured (3rd party refilled) toner cartridges for that reason....

Why? Because every time the toner got low it was cheaper for me to junk the printer and buy a new one rather than buy a new HP cartridge, I'd just keep an eye on the sales, and when a deal came up buy a new printer and store it until needed. Sticking a perfectly good printer (except it had no toner) out with the garbage made me feel like an environmental terrorist (I know - if you feel like one why don't you indulge yourself and have one).

HP also had this "green" send your used cartridge back to us for free scheme... so I requested the return, they promptly couriered me a 3ftx3ft shipping box with a pre-paid return label. So I dump 1 used cartridge into it to rattle around and drop it off with the courier (who gave me a lot of strange looks of course). So you still feel bad since they shipped you a box involving all the transport that required (it involved air-transport from a different city), and then shipping the humongous box with 1 toner cartridge in it all the way back again.

Mysterious metal monolith found in 'very remote' part of Utah

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Christmas tat you regret buying....

...it's one of those interactive smart home-gym mirror thingies. By boxing day you realise the monthly subscription costs more than a trip to Jupiter, and you pay a man-ape to take it away and dump it in the desert.

Apple's global security boss accused of bribing cops with 200 free iPads in exchange for concealed gun permits

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Failure to understand fundamental motivations of your audience...

200 iPads - fail!

200 doughnuts - success!

China prepares for launch of Chang'e 5 mission to Moon, which would make it third nation to return lunar sample

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...world's most expensive Chinese take-out?

Never mind the White House. At least we know who's going to Spaceport America. Virgin Galactic to fling ship into space again

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Bow chicka wow wow


We will, however, leave it to others to make the comparison between the frequently broken or blocked toilet facilities onboard the Space Shuttle and International Space Station and what tends to spew from certain lawmakers


We are looking forward to seeing the pyrotechnic ejaculations.

OK, perhaps not.

Suspended sentence for bank IT worker who broke into his boss's webcam because he didn't get a payrise

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I love that this was delivered with wonderful British pathos.... which has to be supported.

"To say you have behaved utterly stupidly is almost a grotesque understatement."

Days before the US election, phishers net $2.3m from Wisconsin Republicans

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Fake news

NSA: We've learned our lesson after foreign spies used one of our crypto backdoors – but we can't say how exactly

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Big Brother

Re: Valve ? Why are you dragging Valve into this ?

Username, password, billing info.

You are playing violent games.

You are on our terrorist watch-list now, we know who you are, and we are coming to get you.

Did Arthur C. Clarke call it right? Water spotted in Moon's sunlit Clavius crater by NASA telescope

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Re: The poles should be better

I'm packing my surfboard and my ice skates then. Ok perhaps some gin'n'tonic and a lemon.

How the tables have turned: Bloke says he trained facial recognition algorithm to identify police officers

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By skipping the middle step of translating to English first, the meaning of sentences are less likely to be lost in translation.


Mon aéroglisseur est plein d'anguilles



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