* Posts by sjsmoto

170 publicly visible posts • joined 9 May 2012


Through many dangers, toils and snares.... SpaceX to send amazing GRACE to spaaaaace


Spaaaaace trash

I'm getting annoyed with the first stage trash that's allowed to be dumped at the bottom of the ocean like a bunch of large cigarette butts. Come on, find some way to make these things always recoverable. The more space flight happens, the more trash we'll get.

And this isn't even counting the satellite trash. Everything released into space should be built to return and be burned up in the atmosphere if it can't communicate with a ground station after x months.

So when can you get in the first self-driving car? GM says 2019. Mobileye says 2021. Waymo says 2018 – yes, this year


"The race really is on."

Yes! That brings to mind having all of the companies' driverless cars racing together on a circular track for 500 miles to see what happens.

Supreme Court to dig into Google's very cosy $8.5m deal with lawyers over web search leak


I don't care if the payout is only four cents per person - I want mine! I would rather get pennies than see schools crank out even more lawyers.

El Reg needs you – to help build an automated beer-transporting robot


If it ends up breaking every bottle, I would name it BrUber.

Facebook exec extracts foot from mouth: We didn't really mean growth matters more than human life


Seems like Facebook should buy Uber or vice versa, their ethics are identical.

Fatal driverless crash: Radar-maker says Uber disabled safety systems


Reading here and on social media about the inevitability of deaths from driverless cars so we can be on our merry way to less deaths from cars is grotesque. So I'm going to rant a bit.

I agree with others who have stated that nothing less than no deaths is acceptable.

Here's my take on requirements for this thing.

1. It's my unsubstantiated guess that these cars are programmed to be in a state of "go" unless there is a good reason to slow down or stop. I would mandate the opposite - their normal condition must be "stop" unless there is a good reason to go.

2. If the software is in a situation where it cannot accurately determine what's going on, it must immediately signal the driver and begin to slow to a stop or pull over and stop until the driver takes over. Continuing on with the "thought" that it will figure out what's going on is dangerous.

3. Companies developing self-driving cars must, for a minimum of two years, equip electric golf carts with the same software and detection equipment and let them continually drive around their offices (except when recharging). If you need a number, let's say 5 golf carts per floor. Incident reports must be maintained. After a period where there has been two years of no accidents, the company will be allowed to place their software and detection equipment on a car, and let the car drive around their property (including parking lots). After a period where there has been one year of no accidents, the company will be allowed to place one of these cars on a public road. (And so on.)

4. Company executives will be personally liable for accidents and deaths from their driverless cars.



Uber wrote the software? I'm surprised the car didn't erase the video and hide the body.

Dear Uber: Do you want to make sure your driverless cars are really reliable? Then have a dozen of them circling your executive parking lot 24x7 at 100 mph.

Prof Stephen Hawking's ashes will be interred alongside Sir Isaac Newton, Charles Darwin


How booorrrring! He at least should be placed in a rocket aimed at the big black hole in the center of our galaxy.

Uber hopes to butter up Brit transport chiefs with lots of lovely data


A year from now:

"Uber regrets that the data it provided to TfL was entirely made up. We have put guidelines in place to ensure something like this will never happen again."

IBM gives Services staff until 2019 to get agile

Black Helicopters

Exec One: "How can we fire programmers on a whim and get cheaper people in without a long ramp-up time?"

Exec Two: "I just read something about Agile, it looks like a great way to dump and load."

Exec One: "Great, let's make it a company initiative and pretend it's for those nitwits' benefit. Then we'll can them."

UK worker who sold customers' data to nuisance callers must cough up £1k


Re: How much do I get?

If there was a class action suit you'd get a coupon good for $10 off your next accident repair.

Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish


Just load him into a diplomatic mailing crate and send it to Ecuador. Or the South Pole.

Good news, everyone: Ransomware declining. Bad news: Miscreants are turning to crypto-mining on infected PCs


I'd like malware scanners to offer the option of letting it run but allowing me to accumulate the money. Why not? If I don't notice any slowdown on my PC, I wouldn't mind letting it run for my own benefit.

Facebook invents new unit of time to measure modern attention spans: 1/705,600,000 of a sec


From the headline I thought FB figured out how long it took people to skip their ads.

Apple: The exclusive sales channel for an, er, AI toothbrush


Meh. Let me know when there's a tiny Roomba for your mouth that works while you sleep.

Destroying the city to save the robocar


The Roads Must Roll

Forget moving vehicles, just make the roads move.


Who's that at Ring's door? Why, it's Skybell with a begging cup, er, patent rip-off lawsuit


This is the first time I've EVER heard of Skybell, and regardless of their case, their introduction is "Hello, we're asses."

If you won't use your brain our machine will use it for you, Nissan tells drivers


I'd much more like wearing VR goggles that makes it look like I'm driving in Mad Max while the car is actually driving safely to the destination. THAT would be "exciting and enjoyable.”

Mozilla's creepy Mr Robot stunt in Firefox flops in touching tribute to TV show's 2nd season


"Our goal with the custom experience we created with Mr Robot was to engage enrage our users..."

FTFY and you met that goal.

Bitcoin price soars amid technical troubles for exchanges


I admit I'm confused about this Bitcoin thing. It looks like a decentralized stock to me. Who wants to get paid with a stock that can reduce or crash at any time? I'd rather get paid in real money.

Denied: Uber's request to skip to UK Supreme Court to appeal workers' rights


I can see Uber trying to use convicts next. They'll say the front portion of the car's interior is the jail so they can make the drivers work for free.

Battle-weary Tosh, WDC mull peace treaty to end war over flash chip fab


I predict Toshiba will win their damages suit, and - just like consumers would get in a similar suit - they will be awarded a coupon good for $10 off a WDC Passbook of their choice.

Used iPhone Safari in 2011-12? You might qualify for Google bucks


"In all my years speaking up for consumers, I've rarely seen such a massive abuse of trust where so many people have no way to seek redress on their own," said Lloyd.

I guess he's never heard of Uber?

Night before Xmas and all through American Airlines, not a pilot was flying, thanks to this bug


Re: Managers too slack to do their job

The cynic in me sees this as a way for slack managers to get bonuses for saving the company money.

"Oops, all 20 of my staff are out. Hm, nothing's crashing, everything's fine. I think I'll can 15 of them."


"We have reserve pilots to help cover flying in December, and we are paying pilots who pick up certain open trips 150 percent of their hourly rate – as much as we are allowed to pay them per the contract."

I love how they make it seem like the company really really wants to pay them more, but golly gee, that darn contract is getting in the way.

Unreal, man: Amazon pitches new 3D VR kit at dev newbies


Great. Can't wait for the auto-playing 3-D ads.

I hope we can turn this mess off.

You're such a goober, Uber: UK regulators blast hushed breach


"To Uber":

1. To screw someone over and give an empty, self-serving apology;

2. To hire someone while plotting their demise at the same time (for example, with self-driving cars) and working to reduce their income (for example, with software that secretly reduces their fares).

Uber: Hackers stole 57m passengers, drivers' info. We also bribed the thieves $100k to STFU


I want any business claiming they've improved their data security and it won't happen again to store the personal bank account information for their board members and managers in this newly secured database as a way of showing their own trust in it.

Prosecute driverless car devs for software snafus, say Brit cyclists


Driverless car liability and responsibility are too vague to me. If it's driving in a taxi-like mode where I don't have to pay attention, why should I be liable? Or if it's driving in some kind of enhanced cruise control, am I liable if I have my hands on the steering wheel and I expected it to slow down because the manual said it's smart enough to do so, but it didn't?

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs


Re: Forth

For some reason I really liked FORTH. I have no idea why. Maybe it's because Leo Brodie wrote a fun book to read.

It's COBOL I despise. It's like programming with Miss Manners. Here is what the code looks like to me:







Open source sets sights on killing WhatsApp and Slack


"We have this idea of easily, when you reply, seeing their online status, and chat instead..."

I'm wondering about the great opportunities here for spammers. I don't need more work trying to prevent something I didn't want in the first place.

(insert pessimist icon here)

Azure fell over for 7 hours in Europe because someone accidentally set off the fire extinguishers


Re: > hear about ... problem ... didn't affect anyone

@JimC - I don't know... when these kind of problems keep happening, you'd think a company (especially a smaller one) would be very happy to get noticed by saying a crash affected no one.


When was the last (or first?) time we heard there was a major cloud problem but it didn't affect anyone because the rollover performed flawlessly?

We experienced Windows Mixed Reality. Results: Well, mixed


A house for apps? So basically it's a 3-D Bob?

Top tip for all you insider traders: Don't Google 'insider trading' from your work PC


Wife's search at work: "How to bury a body in the basement."

Florida Man to be fined $1.25 per robocall... all 96 million of them


Put him in a cell for 10 years with someone who can't stop making knock-knock jokes.

Google to remove private medical data from search results


"DeepMind has consistently said that patients’ data is safe, and will not be shared with its parent company, as well as emphasising the benefits Streams has for patients."

Something you never read: "As a way of showing their trust in its security and use, all of DeepMind's executives have added their own personal medical history into the system."

Uber sued after digging up medical records of woman raped by driver


Uber should be required to show, on their app, where their former and current executives are at all times so you can go up to them and kick them in the ass.

White-box security webcam scatters vulnerabilities through multiple OEMs


Looks like we need an Underwriters Laboratories for checking internet connection safety in devices.

It was bound to happen: Amazon launches first grocery store


I guess it'll work

"Customers who bought Cheapy's Hot Curry Spread also bought Cheapy's 20-count Bog Rolls."

Facebook fake news: Sort it out yourself, readers


It's "Facebook" not "Factbook". Why should I expect anything on there to NOT be fake?

Hard-pressed Juicero boss defends $400 IoT juicer after squeezing $120m from investors


Re: ahhh buzzword bingo.

Yes! I was waiting for mention that the fruit packs will be delivered by drone and the presser plays whalesong.

It gets worse – now WD says Toshiba memory business sale breaches joint venture terms


They make laptops and have no nuke buyers. So why not make nuke powered laptops? They'd never run down, and you'd never have to charge them.

Pennsylvania sues IBM for fraud over $170m IT upgrade shambles


Management never learns

"Big Blue's representations that it was the only vendor with the type of proprietary databases capable of providing a totally integrated computer system."

That's what happens when you don't invite tech people to the sales pitch.

Stop the press: Journos not happy losing jobs to journo bots, say journos


Will the bots get bylines? I'll want to follow those that don't mention Russian election hacking or global warming.

Move over, Bernie Ecclestone. Scientists unearth Earth's oldest fossil yet: 4bn years old


I'm probably the only one that gets annoyed with scientists and astronomers having to append to every discovery a Rimmer-like gush about alien life. Like the recently impressive find of seven nearby Earth-sized exoplanets - sure, that may be cool, but it's nothing compared to the possibility there may be ALIENS!

IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again


Step 2

Now that you're all here together, you can begin training your replacements.

Pack your bags! NASA spots SEVEN nearby Earth-sized alien worlds

IT Angle

I tried the "travel poster" link and it shows the message "Web application could not be started" along with all sorts of info like the application root directory, environment variables, user and group info, ruby config settings, and load and library paths. To me that's like showing phpinfo() for a crashed php page. Why would it do this?

Is your child a hacker? Liverpudlian parents get warning signs checklist


We need hacker kids

Without them we wouldn't have gotten shows recorded on those old VCRs you controlled with confusing buttons on the front. Or got our car clocks reset. Or got the TV violence chip turned off.

(Insert old-fart icon here.)