* Posts by Steve Button

646 posts • joined 21 Jun 2007


Ever suspected bankers could just use WhatsApp comms? $1.8b says you're right

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Re: Fine bribe

Well indeed. And this sort of thing is more common that you might imagine.

A lot of people think that China is the worst country in the world for corruption (or the best?) but most of that is low level bribes. There's a lot of it going on, but the big money bribes / corruption are really happening in the west.

There's a fascinating Freakonomics Radio episode explaining it, well worth a listen.


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Re: They admitted to it...

You mean SnapChat?

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Re: They admitted to it...

With the amount of money at stake they probably have burner phones to hand over, plus another burner which is the actual ones they use for out-of-band comms. And very very small phones which you can hide in places that I'll leave to the imagination. If they can smuggle them into prisons, where an intrusive search is quite common, it would be far easier to smuggle them into a trade floor.

So, no need to drop them into salt water, just hand over the dummy burner.

I hope I'm not giving them ideas, I'm sure they have already thought of this, but if not I'm available for side projects in consulting.

Soaring costs, inflation nurturing generation of 'quiet quitters' among under-30s

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Re: What did you measure before?

Pretty dumb to blame hybrid and remote working for making it difficult to measure the team's output. It's pretty difficult anyway, but that's why we have these super spangly middle managers isn't it? That's literally the main part of their job. It's difficult, but it's not impossible.

It doesn't make any difference if you are in the office or remote, as they aren't going to be looking over your shoulder for the whole 8 hours or so, and even if they are you might spend a couple of hours goofing around and reading The Reg (like I'm doing now), but still manage to get more work done (the output part) than someone else. Because you are just, you know, quicker. But perhaps you work in small bursts of brilliant inspiration?

Watch the work, not the workers.

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Re: Their lack of experience – exasperated further by the pandemic

Perhaps Richard has quietly quit from The Reg, and is only doing the bare minimum. This really is basic level stuff from a journo. Did the intern write this article?

Tesla Megapack battery ignites at substation after less than 6 months

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Re: Look to Dinorwig

Crazy idea - but as the green movement have forced us to declare a Climate Emergency, could we use that emergency to push through new nuclear power plants more quickly?

BT CEO orders staff: Back to the office or risk 'disciplinary action'

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Couple of things.

"There is some concern that more will work from home on Fridays."

Why would that be a problem? If you want that "connection" then surely you need everyone in on the same days?

Secondly, if you piss people off like this then all the dynamic / good ones will simply go somewhere else. Which is probably what they want, as they are going through a spat of Voluntary Redundancies, and this saves them some £££ if they leave on their own. Only problem is you are left with the plodders.

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Re: Happening all over

Thumbs up for "Phonesturbating". I've heard it in EVERY single office I've worked in, but never had a word for it.

Climate change prevention plans 'way off track', says UN

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Thought about using nuclear?

Here's a great article from today, which explains why and has some lovely maths and physics to boot.


It's hard to fault it, but if anyone can then please point out the errors because I've missed them all.

Demand for software experts pushes tech salaries higher in UK

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Re: Over in the US, analysts at RBC Capital Markets!?

Ha! They fixed it.

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Re: Over in the US, analysts at RBC Capital Markets!?

They might, but when I last looked RBC CM was in Toronto.

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Over in the US, analysts at RBC Capital Markets!?

Is Canada technically in the US? I thought they were considered a separate country?

Meta's next-gen Oculus headset kit left in a hotel room

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Re: Kit was "left" in a hotel room

More of a "VR" stunt?

I'll get my coat.

Ad blockers struggle under Chrome's new rules

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So, we've got Vivaldi, Firefox, Brave. My kids love Opera.

I've been thinking of moving off Chrome for some time now. Partly because Google "do be evil" are just getting too powerful, and censurious and generally not to be trusted, and partly because Chrome is bloatware (or perhaps my too many extensions and 50-100 tabs open!?).

Any other suggestions? What about Safari (works on Windows too right?)

I guess the Windows one (wassit called?) which is based on Chrome anyway is not a great idea?

Google CEO Pichai: We need to up productivity by a fifth

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Re: Big Tech companies should simply divest

Does this also work with governments? Would it be better to shift the power / money / decision making out to regional sub governments? To what extent?

IBM wins contract to support NHS App

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Re: Mistake

What about being an IT consultant, perfectly au fait with technology and would actually like to spend less time on a smart phone, and therefore is trying (unsuccessfully) to move to a Nokia? That way he'll spend less time craning his neck, and therefore won't need to visit the doctor so often. Also, because mental health and spending too much time on social media.

Not anyone in particular, just an example. ;-)

California asks people not to charge EVs during heatwave

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Re: Har Har

Oh yeah, good point. But they do get plenty of sunshine too (and let's be honest, less humidity).

Not that I'd want to live there, it seems like a real mess recently.

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Re: Har Har

Very true. Which is why I was suggesting that a little climate scepticism doesn't make you a maga nutcase

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Re: Har Har

Please don't bring MAGA into the conversation, because then all rational debate goes out the window and everything becomes political and polarised.

Perhaps Trump, even though he got most things wrong, is actually right about some things. About Germany being dependant on Russian oil and gas? Tick. About the WHO being directed by the Chinese government? Jury still out on that one, and probably it's the American government too (behind Trump's back) because the NIH were funding research in Wuhan, so probably best we don't look there. Move along nothing to see.

About climate change being a fake story from the Chinese government? (or however he described it?) Probably not. But perhaps it's a bit dumb to go all electrical whilst simultaneously shutting down the nuclear power plants? Or do you think the solar and wind are enough? It's the "Sunshine State" after all, so you should have plenty of solar? Probably one of the best sites on the whole planet!? Why would a heat wave matter if you're getting 10 hours of sunshine every day? Surely that's enough to power all the electric cars and A/C you could possibly want?

If you can't make it work in California, then perhaps we should have a grown up conversation about how we transition to renewables in a realistic timescale, without causing mass blackouts in one of the richest states in the richest country in the world.

Also, is it possible that the modellers have got it wrong and we're not in the "emergency" that some seem to think, and we've got a few decades to transition? It does appear that the IPCC models don't match reality, and global warming has kind of paused for the last 20 years, instead of going up in the way Al Gore scared us all shitless with. Or do you think we should full on panic, "just in case"?

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Re: Does this apply to everyone?

Yeah very true. I was more meaning that the likes of Harry and Leo will expect others to do this kind of thing voluntarily, whilst doing no such thing themselves. Because they are mega rich, so why should they suffer small amounts of discomfort or inconvenience?

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Does this apply to everyone?

I wonder if the likes of Leonardo DiCaprio and Prince Harry will be switching their A/C up to 25 deg and not charging their cars to take them to their private jets or yachts, or does this just apply to the peons?

Tesla owner gets key fob chip implanted in his hand

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Is that the main objection to these thing? That you'll need dozens of them. Apart from that it seems like a small convenience. Probably best just to get a better phone, as others have said. Are there other disadvantages? I guess you'd want something that will last, as you would not want to keep changing it. I don't really like the idea, and I don't think I'll ever be getting one, but I'm struggling to work out exactly why.

Elon Musk 'buying Manchester United' football club

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Agreed. Never trust what "pedo guy" Elon Musk says.

Tesla Full Self-Driving 'fails' to notice child-sized objects in testing

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Re: You're supposed to keep your hands on the wheel and be able to take over at any time.

... aye, there's the rub. There is a massive chasm between "it drives itself, but you may need to take over at any time" and "it drives itself, and you'll pretty much never have to take over. On the one occasion every 10 million miles where someone has to take over the car stops safely first".

Crossing that chasm will squish a lot of meatbags.

Taiwanese military reports DDoS in wake of Pelosi visit

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Re: Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping?

My bad pun has been strangled to death, and now you are stamping on its corpse trying to kill all the humour out of it even harder.

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Re: Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping?

So "funny Asian names" are a bit frowned upon, but "funny British names" are still acceptable? Just checking as I'm not sure what the rules are.

Obviously making slanty-eyes is just not funny, it's just taking the piss out of someone's appearance. Not the same thing at all.

Funny voices? Again, I don't know what the rule are any more. I guess geordie or Scottish is fair game, but Asian or African are a no go area?

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Re: Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping?

Nothing to do with that. It's a bad pun on Low Ping (because they have had a denial of service attack).

It's ironic.

A bit like if Cris P. Bacon went and worked in a sandwich shop.

Or if Su Yu went on to be a lawyer (that one is real).

Sorry I had to spell it out like that, kind of ruins the humour.

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Cabinet spokesperson Lo Ping?

That's got to be a joke, right?

I mean he's just asking for it with a name like that.

Amazon's carbon footprint spread 18% in 2021

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Next decade?

A bit like the year of Linux on the desktop?

Apple ends corporate COVID mask mandate

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Re: The panemic is over?

Anecdotally I have heard about many cases of vaxxed people catching it FOUR times also.

This actually might make sense biologically speaking, because of the well known and widely accepted concept of Original Antigenic Sin (OAS) or Fixation, because the vaccine is against the original (pre Alpha) strain, and therefore your body doesn't cope as well creating new antibodies against new strains, compared to someone with no prior exposure (if there are any of those left?). Also, if you were lucky enough to have dodged Alpha, Delta, etc. and only caught Omicron you'll probably deal with that better.

This theory does actually seem to fit with the statistics in the UK (at least until they stopped publishing those earlier this year), but it's just a theory. It also fits in with Israel and some Nordic countries, who are more open with their stats. Worth further investigation?

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Re: The panemic is over?

And likewise doctors in the UK were heavily pressured to add Covid to the death certificate (back in 2020) again for political reasons. A few families pushed back on that because they knew the person had tested negative, and also died of something unrelated. Many didn't. Just as you say, you can't trust the numbers in EITHER direction.

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Re: The panemic is over?


I'm guessing you must be the boy from Sixth Sense, all grown up now, but still seeing dead people ... all the time?

Nearly all protein structures known to science predicted by AlphaFold AI

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Re: AI

The Register has asked DeepMind for further comment.

DeepMind replied "All your base are belong to us"

Apple network traffic takes mysterious detour through Russia

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BREAKING: Reply has come back from Apple.

The Register asked MANRS whether anyone there had heard anything from Apple since its post was published and a spokesperson replied... "вся ваша база принадлежит нам"

Meta approves four programming languages for workers and developers

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I'm surprised that Bash isn't mentioned, even just "community supported". It's pretty handy for small tasks, and I'm unsure which of the others I would choose for that. (I suppose Python, but that would really slow me down, if I just need to move a bunch of files around, tar them up, scp them, things like that)

Having said that if "community supported" is anything like "community guidelines" then you could find yourself ejected from the building at any time, with no explanation given.

James Webb, Halley's Comet may be set for cosmic dust-up

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If only there was some way we could have known?

Oh wait.

"I don't like sand. It's coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere."

Chinese chipmaker workers told to sleep at their factories

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Re: zero, as in understanding

"Then vaccination buys you the ability to protect those who can't be vaccinated, by surrounding them with non-spreaders."

Actually no it doesn't. It neither stops the spread or stops you from catching it. And that's our one. The Chinese one is even less effective.

I'm all for Working from Home, but I don't think this Homing from Work (HFW) is going to catch on!? And will "just one week" spread into "oh, just one more week".

It takes an exascale supercomputer to drive carbon capture

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Wooden houses?

Why don't we build our houses (and even skyscrapers) out of wood? This would be a massive carbon capture. Would have to be as fireproof as bricks and mortar, which they can now do apparently. This would be a massive reduction in emissions from the amount of cement and bricks that would not be needed on top of the carbon stored in all the wood (more would be absorbed when new trees are grown). Hey presto?

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

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Re: Don't know if it's just that my coffee hasn't kicked in yet...

You really couldn't make it up. Too good to be true!

Oh, hang on. It's not possible that "Rich" made the whole thing up?

Tesla jettisons 75% of Bitcoin holdings, boosting cash balance by $936m

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Twitter fine?

That should take care of a large chunk of the $1bn that Elon will have to pay to back out of the Twitter deal.

It's mere pocket change anyway.

Baidu crashes the cost of robo-taxis by 75 percent

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What time to be alive. ®

Don't worry that might not last too long. If the AI is given the instruction to reduce emissions, it won't take it long to work out the best solution is "kill all humans"

Russia fines Google $374 million for letting the truth about Ukraine be told

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Re: unusual for Google

I didn't know that.

I had heard differently, but that was years ago, so could well be wrong. Thanks for the correction.

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Re: unusual for Google

"Nice to see them refusing to give in for once"

This is all about money. They give in to China authoritarian censorship because it's a massive market for them, and they don't want to miss out. Whereas Russia, while also doing "bad things" is a pretty tiny market in comparison. The double standards are pretty shameful.

James Webb Space Telescope looks closer to home with Jupiter snaps

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Re: Very disappointed

They will, when they get around it it (perhaps not Pluto)

Beijing residents blast COVID surveillance device

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You sure?

"The wristband is connected to a phone via the internet and monitors body temperature every five minutes."

Haven't you got that the wrong way round?

ALSO: If you are required to wear them 24x7 I wonder how well they work in the bath? Particularly if you gently prized open the sides. Presumably you would legally have to keep it on.

Get over it: Microsoft is a Linux and open source company these days

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Re: Sometimes, it's the little things.


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Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

The benefit of OSS is that if you put "all kinds of telemetry" into your software, everyone would know about it, plenty of Geeks would notice and pretty soon no one would use it.

You need to move on.

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Re: 'The Evil Empire' hasn't been evil for about eight years now

I'm not that worried about MS these days. I even got asked a few weeks ago if I wanted a Mac instead of my Dell Win11 PC running WSL2. After the faff of setting it all up, I can't be bothered to switch back now, as it does the job well enough (and Teams + other tools crash less on the PC, compared to the previous Mac)

I'm far more worried about Facebook, Google and Amazon, but it's hard to know which one of them is the more evil these days.

Bank of Google? Not exactly. But fintech's future is in Big Tech's ecosystems

Steve Button Silver badge

"In the more than 20 years ...

we've evolved alongside Apple, Google and Amazon, and the slightly less than 20 we've lived with Facebook,"

Well in that time I've learned that I can't trust them with my photos or my personal information, so there is NO WAY I'm going to trust them as a bank. I kind of naively bought into the whole "Don't be Evil" thing around 2000 but I've wised up a little.

As for Andreessen Horowitz, they are all in with NFTs and Web 3, and they also invested in Theranos so you make up your own mind about them.



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