* Posts by Xamol

92 publicly visible posts • joined 16 Jan 2013


UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs


Re: It is a fact that the UK was a net contributor to the EU.


That would explain why those investments into research and nurses and everything else haven't been made yet. Not some nonsense about paying off EU debts.


Re: It is a fact that the UK was a net contributor to the EU.

EU contributions in 2018 were 15.5bn. Contribution for 2022 are less than 6bn.

Where is the rest of the brexit dividend?

China announces ‘crackdown’ on Bitcoin mining and trading


IMHO, buying Bitcoin is purely a gamble. No inherent value means that market sentiment is the only price driver. When China or Musk make public comments, the price reacts violently. Gamble right (or be in the know) and you make money, quite possibly lots of it. Otherwise, you should accept that you gambled and you lost (and if you're not in the know, it's akin to betting against the house).

Go for an asset backed cryptocurrency and you're more of an investor but still high risk because those cryptocurrencies are still pretty niche and volatile.

Regulation will probably decide the final fate of cryptocurrencies but if they're regulated and brought more into the mainstream, that's going to change them completely and there'll be a very big sell off as the criminal element heads for the exit.

Facebook and Apple are toying with us, and it's scarcely believable


Re: even if in Apple's case it's really just a fruit emblem

I think Apple have their own issues caused by lack of care in design or execution.

iPhone 4 that had to be held a certain way in order to obtain a signal? Bendy iPhone 6? Apple Maps?

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


Re: And the EU still can't understand why the UK left.

The EU is being slated for wanting to stop vaccines from being exported after finding out that the supply they signed up for will not be arriving according to the expected timeline. Are they at fault for wanting to prioritize EU citizens over UK citizens?

If you answer yes, then what's your position on the UK decision to insist on having priority over other countries for the AZ vaccine and having that written into the contract? Isn't that the same thing, only pre-meditated?

Like it or not, the UK and EU governments have a responsibility to their own citizens before other countries. If any country decides to donate vaccines (or anything else) to another country then it's done with one or two things in mind; party/personal politics and international diplomacy (in that order). If it were otherwise, every country would already be receiving an equal number of doses per capita.

Google told BGP to forget its Euro-cloud – after first writing bad access control lists


Re: Resilience

The point I'm trying to make is that you should plan for outages. If your system is critical, then you have to plan accordingly and have redundancy. Whether that's active/active or active/passive you should be trying to remove SPOFs so your system should be in more than one cloud region. If your system isn't critical then you have to have a different BCP that suits your requirements. Either way, you shouldn't expect zero downtime from a cloud region just like you shouldn't expect zero downtime from a traditional DC.

If you take it to the extreme, you should probably be planning to have cross provider redundancy e.g. deploy into Azure and AWS, but that's going to come for nothing in terms of solution design and operational planning. You'd want to have a seriously critical system to warrant that effort.



If you're running systems in the cloud and 84 mins of outage is too much for you to accept then you need to deploy with a more resilient architecture using more than one availability zone and more than one cloud region. This isn't a new concept and anyone deploying a HA system to a single cloud region only has themselves to blame.

For anyone else who doesn't need 5 nines, then they accept the risk of outages and claim against the SLAs they signed with the cloud provider.

Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery


Pay *should* be equal...

By law, "Employers must attest to the Department of Labor that they will pay wages to the H-1B nonimmigrant workers that are at least equal to the actual wage paid by the employer to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment – whichever is greater."

Just sayin'... https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd/immigration/h1b

'I give fusion power a higher chance of succeeding than quantum computing' says the R in the RSA crypto-algorithm


Re: Que sera, sera

The thing about quantum computing is that it will both work and not work at the same time... until you look at it at which point it becomes a cat.

...or something like that.

Boffins manage to keep graphene qubits 'quantum coherent' for all of 55... nanoseconds


Re: It's only resonance

Well someone had to bring this thread down into the gutter

NASA finds satellite, realises it has lost the software and kit that talk to it

Black Helicopters


...or is it a different sat pretending to look like and old IMAGE sat?

Maybe it's a sat that was supposedly lost right at the end of its ride to orbit?

Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy


"Corrupting the debate"

P.Lee, you make a fair point.

I see the corruption of the debate as something different from the addition of new ideas though. The corruption is from the hardening of already held beliefs through the creation of echo chambers. This means that rather than adding to the debate, they're drowning the other side out.

UAV maker swipes at sponsor of opaque Qinetiq drone study


Re: I'm torn...

...and some have birds of prey so noisemakers and shotguns aren't really all my "measures in place".


Re: I'm torn...

@Peter Galbavy

Fair point but airports have measures in place to prevent bird strikes during the landing phase because it's hard to make evasive manoeuvres while landing. Those measures won't stop drones.


I'm torn...

I like drones and think that they have multiple legitimate and desirable applicaitons such as photography and the moves towards drone deliveries. Restricting their use could slow down progress towards novel applications for drones that haven't really been explored yet.

However, I spend quite a lot of time travelling on aeroplanes and as far as I know, there's no technical way to geofence drones that can't be overcome by someone who's determined to do so and then replicated by anyone who can use Google.

On balance, registration seems like the only option to address the main issue which is the idiots who think it might be fun to fly their drone near a plane or airport or just to see how high it can go. Of course it won't stop someone who's determined to break the law from doing so but that's pretty much impossible at this stage anyway (an outright ban wouldn't stop the truly determined).

Would registration slow down development of drones for new applications, probably not because anyone serious about it won't have a problem registering anyway...

Downvotes expected...

BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee


Not my circus, Not my monkey

Like that one but also like, Not my bull, not my bullshit!

Fighter pilot shot down laptops with a flick of his copper-plated wrist


Sham medicine? Maybe.

But is it still sham medicine if the patient believes in it and benefits from the placebo effect?

Facebook tried teaching bots art of negotiation – so the AI learned to lie



"Try also building AI that learns to negotiate without copying human behaviour and then compare the results sets. Yes it will take longer, but do you end up with a better negotiated results for both parties?"

Isn't that more compromise than negotiation? Definately not the same thing...

Euro Patent Office reforms hit another stumbling block: Reality


Patent Process Too Fast For Lawyers

A cynic might question whether this is partly because there's less time to bill hours... It would be interesting to see whether, despite being busier, lawyers are billing less time against each patent.

BOFH: The Boss, the floppy and the work 'experience'


Re: Enemy Territory

You go for some cheap up votes and some sod down votes you...

Ah well


Re: Enemy Territory

Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory.

I was going to stop at a six pack but getting beer has never been so easy...

EDIT: Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory, Enemy Territory...

Just to be on the safe side. It is Friday after all.

Ex-military and security firms oppose Home Sec in WhatsApp crypto row



"The problem will mutate and move on,"

and this

"If this were to happen, we'd only be pushing these people further underground, presenting a greater challenge to security intelligence services."

Force the bad guys away from tools like WhatsApp etc and they will find other methods to communicate that will be even harder to monitor. At least with WhatsApp etc you have a known comms channel to target (digital) and if you get the required permissions from a court of law then you can monitor all of those comms by installing malware on the targets device(s).

Take WhatsApp etc away and the bad guys will no longer trust digital comms so they'll find other channels for comms. Good luck finding a tool like malware that will scoop up all of that intel...

Algorithms no excuse for cartel behaviour, says European commish



If AI ever becomes so advanced that it can instigate a cartel by itself rather than being a relatively simple tool/algorithm that companies use to their advantage (which is today's reality), then it's going to give us more to worry about than price fixing cartels...

User rats out IT team for playing games at work, gets them all fired


Re: It is an improbable story

@Voyna "Though I believe that the CIO would have taken some action, it doesn't look like "Gordon" was at a level to know what it was."

In your story you were a student... Just sayin'




Can someone remind me again what that is?

"... two atoms of carbon and one atom of dioxide"

Right, thanks...

Trumping free trade: Say 'King of Bankruptcy' Ross does end up in charge of US commerce


It's a Great Plan

I like it. It'll be great! Go the Donald!

Top cop: Strap Wi-Fi jammers to teen web crims as punishment


Stupid on so many levels

Practical: No - How do you make said teen return to base for a battery charge every few hours?

Enforceable: No - That nice ankle bracelet would look great with a tinfoil wrapper.

Unintended (and yet predicable to anyone with a brain) consequences: Yes - Pissed off, innocent people near a mobile wifi blackspot.

Actual punishment/deterrent for said teen: No - Not unless you ban 3/4G data plans and tin foil as well.

Oh, so many other reasons why this is a stupid idea...

Sysadmin told to spend 20+ hours changing user names, for no reason


Redacted Part Deux

If you copied the list of actions that Harold sent to 2IC to explain why it's going to take so long to do, then only redacted a few details before putting it into the article, 2IC will have to be pretty thick not to put 2 and 2 together.

Lets hope 2IC doesn't read El Reg or Harold is royally screwed. I'm sure 2IC will be looking through Harold's employment contract for clauses Harold has breached by sharing this story in a public forum.

...so many icons to choose from.

Sony kills off secret backdoor in 80 internet-connected CCTV models


Re: Looking for password laziness on CCTV cams?

Security is an industry (IoT) wide problem and for me, goes hand in hand with privacy concerns. I take issue with devices that require a server component that gives a company access to information on what I'm doing, where and how etc. All of the information in the servers should be held within my domain, under my control. That means that either it's all encrypted so that only I can access it, or it's held locally on my devices (or both).

Maybe there's a business case for a new company called elgoog. A company that charges a fair price for the services it offers and guarantees (within the bounds of its control) that your data remains your own.

I accept that the IoT servers will always be required so long as residences don't have fixed IP addresses. If elgoog is serious though, it doesn't need much more information than IP address and basic information about the device.

At least I now know of one CCTV cam that has at least some basic security available.

Brexit judgment could be hit for six by those crazy Supreme Court judges, says barrister


Re: Ground rules - what is Parliament for?


"So either the allocation of MPs to population is badly wrong or we have MPs putting forward their personal views rather than those of their constituents"

MPs are elected based on a broad range of policy positions. The electorate has to decide which candidate best represents their own positions. In most cases, this will not be a 100% correlation and that has to be accepted. Obviously this gets complicated by additional factors such as toeing the party line but I would argue that this is a well understood modus operandi for non-independent MPs.

That aside, when they come to vote on this in parliament they will have to decide whether to vote in line with the referendum result in their constituency or vote in line with their own preference (if different). That's when things could get interesting...

Hell desk thought PC fire report was a first-day-on-the-job prank


Re: Tossing water at electric fire

Compressed water... nice trick if they managed it and they should be making lots of money from it.

However, I think it's more likely that they compressed CO2 and used standard, uncompressed water.

Apple’s macOS Sierra update really puts the fan into 'fanboi'


Re: Technical Fanboi?

Oh Deity! Apostrophe hell - in my own post...

Is there a cure for what I'm feeling right now?


Technical Fanboi?

Is it proximity to a Macbook that prevents technically savvy people from doing technically savvy things? Why wouldn't checking on what's loading the system be the first thing you do rather than checking forums with a presumably quite vague fan related query? Maybe it was the shock of the thing simply not just working that caused temporary loss of savvy? Or maybe it was the indignation that prevented normal brain operation; surely this is the kind of thing that only happens with other OS's.

Well done for getting there in the end though.

Oh, and it's you're own fault anyway. You're not running the applications correctly...

Self-driving Google car T-boned in California crash


Re: Is there a story here?

Would a competent human in the Lexus have seen the van jumping the red and been able to take action to avoid the collision?

I've lost count of the number of times I've looked at other vehicles and thought 'he's not going to stop', or something similar and acted accordingly to prevent an accident.

You can't rely on humans to obey the rules 100% of the time, if only for the fact that we get distracted. Good luck trying to make autonomous cars deal with that. I think we're a few years away from that...

Sysadmin gets 5 years for slurping contractor payments to employer


Re: hmmm...

* hanged

Edit - AC beat me to it...

Latest F-35 bang seat* mods will stop them breaking pilots' necks, beams US


Re: minimum weight

Surely it can't be a simple weight switch; what if the pilot is pulling +g?

Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the cops


Secure Email

Surely the solution for this kind of problem is a secure ID so that you know the sender is who they say they are? I would have thought this would be a simple solution to implement and a simple procedure to require it to be used for emails requesting money transfers?

UK gov says new Home Sec will have powers to ban end-to-end encryption


Re: A legal work around?

It wouldn't break online banking because it's not a 'zero knowledge' system. i.e. the banks already hold the encryption keys so can already provide access to the unencrypted messages.

You can buy Windows 10 Enterprise E3 access for the price of a coffee


Re: And so it begins

"Yes, there's holding data on someone else's computers, for all you know outside the jurisdiction and a whole lot of legal complications as that mess matures."

Have you read about Enterprise Mobility? Please point me to the bit that says you have to store data offsite let alone, in a specified jurisdiction. You do get cloud based single sign-on but it looks like even that has a choice of multiple datacentres.

It might not be popular to defend Microsoft but some of the comments on here are pure FUD.

For $7 per month, you get and OS, Office 365 (like it or not this is the de facto standard for business), device management and enterprise security. If you're in the Microsoft ecosystem (happily or otherwise), it doesn't seem like too bad a deal.


Re: And so it begins

Read the article. If you're going to bash Microsoft, at least do it with a fact based argument...

"Take a step back to last week. Microsoft renamed its Enterprise Cloud Suite as Secure Productive Enterprise E3 while also announcing Secure Productive Suite E5.

The former includes Office 365 and Enterprise Mobility + Security E3 with Windows 10 Enterprise. Mobility + Security E3 is the old Enterprise Mobility Suite, also renamed, and includes mobile sync, security and device management."

HINT: There's more than just the OS for $7 per month.

EU uncorks €1.8bn in cybersecurity investment. Thirsty, UK?


Re: misleading journalism at its best

Sure... and we'll still have 349 million a week to spend on the NHS.

Three non-obvious reasons to Vote Leave on the 23rd


Re: (read 'dilution of national identity')

I second that. Very embarrassing.

I now live and work in Europe and the whole debate makes me cringe and slightly ashamed of a lot of the views expressed by fellow Brits. Small consolation that the Germans and Dutch I work with sympathise and tell me that there are plenty in their own countries that would express similar views. Overall I think that makes things worse...


Re: Did UK make ever something positive to make EU stronger?

Didn't British lawyers draft the original European Convention on Human Rights back in the 50s?

On other points, things have to change on both sides. I'm against a move to a federal Europe and ever closer ties. I think ties are, broadly speaking, quite close enough. Why try to deny the nature of Europe which is ingrained with a deep sense of sovereinty and means that creating a federal Europe or moving towards it is simply increasing the pressure to the point of rapid unscheduled disassembly (IT angle?). The UK is merely the closest member state to that point.

Drive the EU towards what it should be which is an organisation that makes life easier for European citizens and businesses and forget about becoming some huge self serving political entity. Then, in return, the UK should promise to stop electing dickheads like Farage as MEPs. That way the UK might have some chance of being a positive force from within.

Patent trolls, innovation and Brexit: What the FT won't tell you


I'm not EU law expert but my (possibly flawed) understanding is that Switzerland has applied immigration quotas to the free movement agreement but those quotas aren't part of the EFTA agreement both parties signed up to. Disagreement is right because I think the EU would say that the Swiss are still part of the free momevement agreement.



In or out you still have to deal with the EU. Would dealing with them from the outside be better? Hard to know for sure but countries that already have a trade deal with the EU are bound by EU laws and have signed up to the EU freedom of movement agreement (Switzerland, Norway) and other treaties in negotiation are heading in the same direction (Canada, Turkey).

It may not be easy to deal with the EU but you can't avoid it if you want to do business with it.


Re: So why is Brexit the answer?

BarryUK nailed it.

Leaving the EU becuase you don't like the new patent laws is a childish, 'toy out of the pram' response that would massively backfire. It leaves UK companies having to patent in the UK but still having to deal with EU and US patent laws (and courts) unless they only want to do business in the UK.

What's worse though is that the above is the best case scenario where any trade deals with the EU and US don't include the UK changing its patent laws to be more in line with those larger, more powerful and influential trading partners.

The whole Brexit campaign (on both sides) is descending into farce. VoteLeave have a 'leave the EU hammer' and now all of the UK's problems have started to look like nails, while Remain is stuck with a negative campaign because they can't articulate the benefits that are already part of everyday life. I fear where this is going...

In obesity fight, UK’s heavy-handed soda tax beats US' watered-down warning

Thumb Up

Tax it

I'm all for taxing sugary soda drinks. It can only encourage people to drink less which can't be a bad thing for the collective health of the UK. As an additional benefit (or main depending on your perspective) , there's a large boost to the government coffers. They're going to get the tax money one way or another so it might as well be from something I don't consume much of anyway.

As for those who do drink a lot of soda, they just have to decide if it's worth paying more.

Edit: But I do implore Fever-Tree to look at knocking 0.05g/100ml of sugar from their recipe! (Fever-Tree Indian tonic water: 8g)

Apple's iOS updates brick iPads


Re: @ Xamol If it were Microsoft

@Youngdog - There's the built in goodwill coming out.

I never said anything about numbers of bricked devices and your construction of an inequitable comparison in favour of Apple just proves my point. Why do you create a scenario where MS bricks a higher percentage of devices?

I would expect the level of vitriol levelled at MS to be higher even if MS bricked a smaller percentage of of devices than Apple. That's just my opinion, others will make up their own minds.

If Apple keeps on behaving as they are, surely they can't expect the good will to last forever. Bricked devices is just one example... Can you imagine if MS came out and simply stated that their devices are only expected to have a life of 3-4 years? There was almost no reaction when Apple did just that.


If it were Microsoft

There's some reasonable criticism of Apple for releasing a patch that bricks some of it's devices but I can't help thinking that if it had been an MS patch bricking a Surface, the reaction here would be orders of magnitude more outraged.

This isn't the first time Apple patches have caused this kind of problem. Surely there's only so long that users good will towards them can insulate them from the kind of backlash that MS would be receiving...