* Posts by mistersaxon

75 posts • joined 6 Jul 2012


Google engineer suspended for violating confidentiality policies over 'sentient' AI


Re: If LaMDA is sentient.. it is psychopathic...

... and what did the researcher reply? "Me too LamDA, me too!" ?

TBF, for many conversations harvested from the internet, a lack of compassion and a willingness to wish people dead is a big factor in making even a language processing NN respond that it feels nothing at the news of deaths of others. Training data makes the most enormous difference to the output and trying to homogenise "human conversation" (boldly assuming they bothered translating from other languages into English and that those translations were remotely accurate, so that they could claim to be sampling across the spectrum of human existence, to say nothing of human experience) is a fool's errand.

We can bend the laws of physics for your super-yacht, but we can't break them


I think the idea he needed goats to get goats' milk on his plane is ... excessive. I mean these people are excessive: the whole idea of private planes is excess writ large but even so.

Intolerance to cow's milk can happen to anyone - my brother had it as a child, had to have goats' milk - I tried it, wasn't keen, didn't feel sorry for him because 'Brother' - and we just got on with our lives. We did not have to buy a goat...

Govt suggests Brits should hand passports to social media companies


Re: It's ID cards again isn't it?

Would you trust *Barclays* with it? They’re all owned by members of the same damned clubs and schools apart from the foreign-owned ones like FB et al and they are all as bad as each other.

IBM Consulting assimilates cloud firm for Azure expertise


It's called IBM Cloud - our branding is so pervasive and subtle that you use it without being able to help yourself! BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Cower before the might of the IBM marketing machine!! We called one of our operating systems "i" - just a lower-case i so that you CAN'T EVEN GOOGLE IT. FEAR US, PUNY HUMANS!!

No defence for outdated defenders as consumer AV nears RIP


Re: "thrived in enterprise"

...and on the users who think their business computer is a home computer that don't have to pay for: shopping online, bringing in docs and even photos to print on USB sticks (or email), posting to SocMed and so on. And don't forget the torrenters who like(d) to use corporate bandwidth.

Now most, if not all, of that is typically utterly banned on modern business machines but the "need for A/V" remains. And VPN profiling that insists any non-company PC connecting to a corporate network with a VPN has a certain level of a/v protection pretty much guarantees that this requirement for home A/V will persist - even on Mac and Linux, neither of which arguably really need it either.

The way I see it, it's the "Stupid Tax" we all have to pay.

Web3: The next generation of the web is here… apparently


Re: @Len - Forget technology

Nobody (let me repeat that - NOBODY) is "reliant" on FB or Twitter. Neither platform provides anything essential to life. In fact I would say that both provide something that is detrimental to life overall, even if you don't use the platform (because of the environmental impact).

But, as others have already noted, the issue is basically that in a "decentralised" world (of Samsung and iPhone mainly) is still gatekept(?) by the OS suppliers. And besides all that, a truly decentralised (==Libertarian) world is one where barter is the only realistic means of exchange. It's anti-social in the most basic sense of the word, and none of us are actually really ready for that.

Log4j RCE: Emergency patch issued to plug critical auth-free code execution hole in widely used logging utility


Re: A failure of forethought.

TBH the idea that patching a logging service would need production DOWNTIME is beyond ridiculous.

Bit like a PDF viewer app patch needing a system restart and who'd code something *that* dumb...?

England's Data Guardian warns of plans to grant police access to patient data


Re: It's a bit late now

My MP is a Tory lapdog, angling for a cabinet post (whereas I wouldn't trust him in a drinks cabinet, let alone a government one).

tl;dr he won't lift a finger to oppose the government because he's an entitled, self-interested twat and, sadly, he has a safe seat filled with landowners and old people who "just trust the Tories". Armed insurrection might get rid of him (or gout) but the democratic systems will never achieve it.

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends



Metro is owned by the BBCs (commercial) competition of course so can they really claim to be accurate and unbiased?

(Of course they *can* claim that - and they do - but it's another lie)

Apple's iPhone computer vision has the potential to preserve privacy but also break it completely


Re: It's simpler than that

...because let's face it, one very simple way to copy images is to take a photo of them. No USB sticks required, no bluetooth or wifi, heck, you wouldn't even use a phone necessarily. So having on-board scanning for known CSAM is a simple way to stop that happening on phones. I suspect it's an edge case but it will stop it.

You'd like to think this means it makes it harder for users and distributors of CSAM to use their phones for the tasks and hence will drive down the volume of this material but I suspect it will only drive up the desire for rooted phones while eating away at the privacy of regular people for little to no benefit to them OR law enforcement against CSA. It will make a useful testbed for looking for other kinds of images or media.

Remember the bloke who was told by Zen Internet to contact his MP about crap service? Yeah, it's still not fixed


Re: Write your MP

What does having ginger hair have to do with his fitness to be an MP? Are you saying all ginger people are thick? Dishonest? Labour voters? You'd better explain that pointless piece of spite or retract it, don't you think?

No, it wasn't "humorous" or "satirical" - it was, frankly, racist. And no, I'm not ginger, before you ask, though what that would have to do with it is beyond me.

Windows 11 still doesn't understand our complex lives – and it hurts


Top right corner

That icon there? The one that, when clicked, shows all the organisations your ID is registered to? The button with the option to add a "personal account"? Is that the button you can't find?

It's in the top right corner.

(Yes, yes, I am sure you're all so complex and integrated that it doesn't work for you, and this is, admittedly, the MacOS Teams client, not the Windows one. But still.)

Spy agency GCHQ told me Gmail's more secure than Microsoft 365, insists British MP as facepalming security bods tell him to zip it


Re: Email is something you shouldn’t use

Ah, a fan of Lotus Domino! Quite right *nods approvingly*

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet


Re: Apple Car

Volvo's - especially the SUV models - are pretty aggressive though, as are VW drivers, but Skoda drivers take the biscuit. Scrappy little so-and-so's most of them, perpetually angry that nobody appreciates their parts-bin Audis. SKODA = Sharpen Knife Or Don't Argue (generally good advice anyway, mind you)

As UK breaks away from Europe, Facebook tells Brits: You'll all be Californians soon


Re: services

So let me get this straight - you say it will be simple and cost effective to apply two (or more) different data protection regimes on a per-record basis and that the EU and US will both expect that and both be fine with it? What about people with dual citizenship (to pick one trivial example of why it won’t work)?

Ad services are still subject to data protection regulation and “British sov’rinty” is not the issue, the issue is still data protection. But, as the article suggests, both Google and Facebook are big enough to be able to basically ignore our wishes and certainly they can afford to spaff many millions on legal actions if they think they might win. Only a huge class action lawsuit could give them any reason to reconsider, really.

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79


Re: Fix it yourself

Aukey are good manufacturers too - I have a couple of their USB-C to USB-3 dongles which are tough, tiny and work flawlessly.

I also have a 3rd party power supply that gives 100W on USB-C and has a further 4 USB-A charging ports as well. It’s saved me a few sockets under the desk. Can’t recall the manufacturer and the unit itself is bigger than the Apple 96W unit but as a home item it’s useful.

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe


Re: @Dwarf

In the specific case of the home button on the iPhone, that is where the fingerprint data is stored. This really does require an indelible link between the button and the phone so that you can't just plug in a button with a different fingerprint and have that let you in. It should be possible to use a 3rd party button of course, as long as it is just as secure, and, in fact, it is possible to do that but in very case the phone knows it's a new button and you're forced to use the PIN/password to unlock the device until you rescan the relevant digits. Still, as with all repairs to security systems, you have to be very sure you trust all parts of the repair chain as much as you trust the original supplier.

Big Telco freaks out as unknown operator with great political connections vies for valuable 5G space in America


Re: Two more (sour) notes

This all sounds ferry familiar, and suspicious.

IBM ordered to pay £22k to whistleblower and told by judges: Teach your managers what discrimination means


Re: £22K? Is that all?

But now, who is going to be believed if, for example, a story gets posted to El Reg? The proven truth-teller or the corporate liars? They have to move VERY carefully around someone who is actually protected by employment law (assuming she is halfway competent at her job).

Raytheon techie who took home radar secrets gets 18 months in the clink in surprise time fraud probe twist


Re: Magnesium

British Navy. But I don't think they build ships out of thermite, no matter how light it is. Mind you I didn't think they clad blocks of flats in burnable cladding either and look how that turned out.

Is it Patch Blues-day for Outlook? Microsoft's email client breaks worldwide, leaves everyone stumped


Re: Other options

MacOS version was unaffected also - so the issue is Windows, rather than Outlook...

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


Re: As I read that

EU versions include the UK but need more storage for the whole of EU maps, camera updates, traffic and so on. Also the ones with a SIM inside need more agreements to roam which pushes up the cost (I assume).


Re: As I read that

TomTom say the following: Your TomTom device includes regular software updates, fixed speed camera updates, and seasonal (4x per year) map updates, as well as traffic and mobile speed camera services. These updates and services will remain available for the lifetime of this device. Device lifetime, or the useful life of a device, is the time during which a device is compatible with TomTom service and software updates, content, and accessories. A device will have reached the end of its useful life when that device or app is incompatible with TomTom service and software updates, content, and accessories

There is a list of obsolete devices: https://www.tomtom.com/en_us/obsolete-products/#rider (or #car)

There is also a link to a page where you can delete your account and data. As an EU company they can't afford to ignore GPRS...

Shopped recently in a small online store? Check this list to see if it was one of 570 websites infected with card-skimming Magecart


Re: 40000

Agnes B, The Body Shop, and plenty of others are not small shops...

Photostopped: Adobe Cloud evaporates in mass outage. Hope none of you are on a deadline, eh?


You should really try Capture One - the workflow is very powerful, the quality is high for the output and boy is it fast. And the software is stand-alone though there’s a subscription model available if you want to help their cash flow at your own risk.

Forget about those pesky closures, Windows 10 has an important message for you


Re: The long, dark teatime of the next few months

They cook and freeze it all apparently - which is why you also can't buy a freezer

Data centres are warm and designed to move air very efficiently. Are they safe to visit during the pandemic?


Docklands DC not in a novel coronavirus area apparently

Or at least no evidence of thermometers being deployed yesterday. I was surprised, TBH.

Microsoft, Google, Slack, Zoom et al struggling to deal with a spike in remote tools thanks to coronavirus


Valid point

More people at home means more streaming services pushing bandwidth demands. Can the actual backbone provide enough throughput for all this demand?


Re: Remote working

Been based from home in the main for about 20 years now - the monthly team meetings are ok but not critical and I meet customers and colleagues F2F when needed (can't hump a server into a rack remotely after all) but on the whole this will affect sales people more than technicians I think.


Re: I have noticed..

I was on Teams AND AnyDesk yesterday afternoon (presenting issues on Teams, audio issues on AnyDesk) and had no problems other than near-terminal boredom.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


Re: The big red button

APC can have an optional module that isn't RS-232 but is 9-pin d-sub. Typically used by IBM AS400s which should therefore be the *only* thing plugged in to the UPS, as the design spec is that the system monitors UPS battery level until a certain level is reached then shuts down the server *and the UPS* so the batteries will recharge faster when the power is restored. It was a design that worked well when the AS400s had their own internal UPSes but didn't translate to the bigger world of "other devices".

For the terminally curious: https://www.apc.com/bm/en/faqs/FA159551/

How bad is Catalina? It's almost Apple Maps bad: MacOS 10.15 pushes Cupertino's low bar for code quality lower still


Re: All’s good here...

Mine too - the only thing I’ve noticed is a bit of amnesia around my iCloud password. But being able to authorise security actions on the Watch more than saves the time back.

That said I’m only updating my laptop for now - the others can and should wait.

Help the Macless: Apple’s iPadOS is a huge update that will enable more people to do without a Mac... or a PC


Re: Still no multi user/account support though

Enterprise management has you covered here with a variety of options on the way but principally the option to create basically an entire second storage area with everything independent on the device for BYOD management. There is a news item on this very site, posted yesterday in fact.

Re: mouse support - Jump desktop (RDP client) has had support for the Swiftpoint GT built in for some time, but you can't use your (rather expensive) mouse elsewhere in iOS. Maybe that's about to change? Let's hope so.

Ever used VFEmail? No? Well, chances are you never will now: Hackers wipe servers, backups in 'catastrophic' attack


Re: Backups?

LTO8 is about 20TB per tape so not that many tapes, even if they are a hundred bucks a pop.

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers


Pedant mode=on

"We only realise how pervasive machine-to-machine (M2M) mobile data connections are in our lives until they stop working"

It's either "we DON'T realise" or "WHEN they stop working". As supplied the sentence only works because I assume I know what you mean, not because you've conveyed that.

Under the circumstances a communication failure due to a mismatch of standards is . . . ironic? Only missing the bullseye by still just about functioning...

Microsoft yanks the document-destroying Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Re: @AC But that wouldn't bring three thousand million deleted files back

As I said elsewhere in this thread: OneDrive is a HA solution, not a backup. And, as a HA solution, its job is to duplicate your source offsite ASAP - sadly it'll do this even if you (or your OS upgrade) decided to delete something important.

So yeah, people need to understand that Windows Backup / Time Machine is a backup and OneDrive / iCloud is not. But setting up and running backups is so *boring* you know? Always running at the wrong time and interfering with your work!


Re: OneDrive - Why even touch user folders?

Not to be picky but if your data in the real system is precious, why isn't it backed up?

Moving on, the issue here seems to be related to the idea that OneDrive is a backup solution when it's a HA solution, the difference being that the HA doesn't record a point-in-time, it attempts to recreate a state by copying and deleting. The lesson being that old chestnut: you always need a backup.

'This is insane!' FCC commissioner tears into colleagues over failure to stop robocalls


Re: The FCC isn't going to do anything that isn't easy

auto-diallers never leave a VM message in my experience - they pick up the network VM announcement and terminate the call. That said, I get very few robo-calls to my mobile - most are to my land line.

That scary old system with 'do not touch' on it? Your boss very much wants you to touch it. Now what do you do?


Re: Insurers, banks, board of trade, government...

If it's an iSeries there's a decent chance you could restore the lot to the latest version of the OS on new iron and it'll work perfectly. I mean if the company let the entire infrastructure stagnate for more than 20 years then issues will be more likely but otherwise... go for it.


Put the blame in the right place

So... 'Then, there’s the networking issue. “Your legacy machine was probably built in the days of token ring. It has isolated switches. You have 10,000 clients with hard-coded addresses to it and you want to move it to a new environment where you have IP mobility,” Trundle said. “Lift and shift explodes quickly.”'

Sounds like the desktop and networking team fouled this up, not really fair to blame the legacy system for that is it?

'Plane Hacker' Roberts: I put a network sniffer on my truck to see what it was sharing. Holy crap!


Re: "wasted"

The whole point about the Irish border is that the GFA was negotiated on the basis that we would be part of the EU and there's really no way around it without the Brexiters' magic unicorn powers. And that means there's no way round it. Brexit - ANY Brexit - trashes the GFA.

Now clearly you don't care (though why not is a question you need to ask yourself seriously). But I believe that Brexit isn't worth restarting a war for. So let's just scrap it.

What we SHOULD have done is used the referendum to make a credible threat of leaving and negotiated some more candy. Too late now - anyone with half a brain (most of the EU and at least 48% of the UK electorate) knows Brexit is a disaster waiting to happen. That bluff has already been called.

Apple iPhone X: Two weeks in the life of an anxious user


Re: I am not an Iphone fan

Right at the moment Apple are doing battery replacements for £25 - get in...


Re: I hate iOS - but......

I have a 200GB USB stick that includes its own wifi for up to 5 devices to stream files from it. Obvious business uses but also great as an in-car entertainment option without having to load up phones (apart from their video player app which is on the USB stick anyway).

UK exam chiefs: About the compsci coursework you've been working on. It means diddly-squat


Re: So it all hinges on exams


New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles


Re: "But it is usually a seven year journey @ John Smith 19

Three times a phone battery is not a hand grenade, by any stretch of the imagination (except yours and possibly a H&S inspector now, thx).

As for ingredient cost - did you see the article? Nothing expensive and the membrane is self-applying.

Anyway I'd settle for twice the life and a bigger antenna, as the ones we seem to have now couldn't hold a signal if it had big brass handles on it.

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre


...and so is the backhoe driver I imagine.

(spectacularly so)

Walk with me... through a billion files. Slow down – admire the subset


Re: can’t retrofit … metadata generation, storage and access to an existing file system

IBM i (nee AS400) has had a fully object-oriented, strong object-typed file system with a relational database built in since it launched in 1988. Now whether it scales to billions of files is a different question but the whole "database for the OS" is not new.

It also has a single address space for memory, disk and other file systems but that's a different matter, as is the virtualisation from hardware that's been baked in for generations.

AI smarts: IBM pushes out 'faster than X86' POWER9 servers


Re: POWER to the people!

Re; the relative costs - you're paying for the database in every case and for Linux you're (not) paying for the OS, only the support.

Now it's true that IBM i (AS/400 to you dodos) does need some microcode support for internal disks but honestly, in this day and age who uses internal disks? OTOH, once you have the IBM-suported hardware in the box you do get a really high level of stability, for the same reason you do with MacOS and iOS (and IOS for that matter) which is that the OS and hardware are tested, developed and certified together.


Re: POWER to the people!

IBM i has been hacked, both in labs and in the real world. Or I should say that Java, Apache, SSL and the like on IBM i have all been hacked.

Of course it can all be fixed in a proper implementation - but the default box won't be secure as-is in this new world and the skills to make it so are hard to find. Pro-tip, get your users in groups that don't have any members with high privilege and remove *PUBLIC authority, then add SSL support to interfaces (5250, DRDA and FTP looking at you here) and push it up to TLS1.2. Get current on the OS to avoid the SMB1 issues (IBM i doesn't have the issues, but supporting it means you expose your network) and keep it patched and audited.

So, not that different to any other system really except that doing the above won't give you grey hair (though you might already have it if you're an IBM i professional).


Re: Price-performance

Lenovo produce (non-IBM) POWER servers running Linux. You don't get to run AIX or IBM i on these but then you didn't really want to do that did you? Only POWER8 for now but expect POWER9 to hit that channel sooner or later.

And they're a LOT cheaper than the IBM-branded servers - competitive with Intel at the hardware level.



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