* Posts by Marcus Fil

175 publicly visible posts • joined 4 Jul 2007


Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move

Marcus Fil

Re: The Hospital versions..

Or you could stay, confident in your career as a deckchair hand on the Titanic. Insubordination, followed by dismissal, is the golden opportunity to say "Told you" to the shower of body parts that were previously the boss who did not listen. There is no shortage of new jobs for good techies.

Through the Looking Glass – holographic display hardware is great, but it's not enough

Marcus Fil

Oh ye of little faith you just need money

I am very familiar with 2.5 and 3D display technolgies because I have spent a lot of time working with 3 and 4D data. Affordable '3D' displays have limitations. However, there exists a class of display that can do what everyone dreams of. Problem - most mortals cannot afford them and may never get to see them 'in the flesh' so to speak. 2m diagonnal full colour UHD 'holographic' display (more reasonably call it a window to elsewhere) - yes it exists, right now, has done for a while.

Problem - fragile, incredibily low yield, some 'interesting' substances required in manufacture and a single display costs way north of a car park full of CT-5 Blackwings. Not for plebs, not even for Disney, for people who have a real need to do this now. The full colour is vertical, 'infinite' depth and for a static, changable scene. There is a reduced palette version that can do full motion 'table top' geat for urban ops. Who and where was under NDA.

Alternatives probably in someone else's lab. I hear promise of 'Light Field' display surfaces that trump 'Looking Glass'. We will see (sic). THe display is not the only problem - capturing and crunching the data and then moving it around is a biggy. If your broadband struggles with 4K VOD just wait till you learn what you'll need for live action holography.

I'll give you my passwords if you investigate police corruption, accused missile systems leaker told cops

Marcus Fil

"The weapon derives from a period and country where swords were restricted to the gentry, the UK equivelent of say a scythe would also be a weapon if you said you were carrying it for the purposes of attack or defense."

Modern equivalents might include tools of trade such as tap wrenches, blow torches or, my favourite, the chain saw - as proposed by one of my sensei.

In Hancock's half-hour, Dido Harding offers hollow laughs: Cake distracts test-and-trace boss at UK COVID-19 briefing

Marcus Fil

Re: "......worst death toll in Europe"

Indeed, Germany is a fair comparison. How is the UK doing in comparison to Germany? Still not good is it? Whoever thought that mendacious tw*t Johnson should use the term "world beating" needs a world beating beating.

Apple owes us big time for bungled display-killing cable design in MacBook Pro kit, lawsuit claims

Marcus Fil

Seems to me ..

Apple could regain a lot of credibility if it ditched AppleCare+ and included a 3 year warranty at no extra cost on its already inflated prices. Not only would this be popular with consumers, and a vote of confidence in its own products, it might actually force its product development teams to work for a living. Just make their pay inversley proportional to rate of repair returns.

Of course it is also worth pointing out that EU consumer protection law shields consumers for 6 six years from inbuild faults. Apple is only too aware of this, sadly consumers less so. Brits presumably advised to get 3rd party extended warranty (cheaper than Apple's own) beyond end of December 2020, although plunging £ will render Apple products unaffordable anyway.

Wall Street analyst worries iPhone is facing '2nd recession' after 2019 annus horribilis

Marcus Fil


Pint of beer for you. Pint of disinfectant* for the "slow to learns" who believe in the misdirection and lies.

*Despite the rambling musings of the bigly orange panda neither drink nor inject disinfectant - ever.

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Marcus Fil

We are all overlooking one important aspect

Stupidly negligent the use of Zoom may be at such high levels of government we must remember the actual individuals involved. The US or Chinese would get more sense bugging the whooping from London Zoo's monkey house.

Of course the Russians don't need to bug the Cabinet - they've bought them.

{Note absence of Joke icon]

Butterfly defect stripped from MacBook Pros, Airs by Q2 2020, reckons Apple analyst

Marcus Fil

Re: I liked the butterfly keyboard..

" my all-time favorite keyboard was the one made for the old VT-100 terminals."

Now you're talking. Back when keyboards were keyboards, not fashion statements.

We've heard of spam filters but this is ridiculous: Pig-monkey chimeras developed in a Chinese laboratory

Marcus Fil

Dystopia or Brave New World?

"The ultimate goal of the experiments is not to create a race of hideous super-monsters, but rather to figure out if it will be possible to develop human organs inside pigs that could then be harvested and used for transplants."

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

What Orwell failed to mention was that this will greatly trouble the medical ethics committee.

$13m+ Swiss Army Knife of blenders biz collapses to fury of 20,000 unfulfilled punters

Marcus Fil

25% Tariff

Another lesson here - if you have a business plan remember to factor in that 50% of the electorate of your country are below average (mean) intelligence. It can be very hard to factor in the impact the election of specious, mendacious chancers can have on your county's trade relationships. Just sayin

Marcus Fil

Re: Stop backing gadget products, you twits

Whatever your favourite tipple is you deserve it. Clients look at me like I am mad when i suggest keeping the manufacture of their revolutionary concept within the UK. I am keeping a copy of your post a extra ammunition.

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro

Marcus Fil

Re: Selective deafness

“ -removable/replaceable battery” - usbc battery.

“ upgradeable RAM” - likely to buy a new machine before you need to do that.

“ ditto SSD” - thunderbolt external disk.

“ -useful number of ports” - usbc/thunderbolt dock. These ports are infinitely more useful, plug in the right cable you have the port, be that hdmi, power, 10Gb ethernet, sdcard, whatever you need at the time.

So why, for the incredibly stupid price Apple charges for the new laptop, does it not include a special branded "Apple Twat" rucksack in which to carry all the useful stuff that used to be fitted inside their previous generation of laptops?

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Marcus Fil

Re: Surely

"It'd be jumping like a kangaroo at times." And it hasn't even met a kangaroo yet - an animal renowned for lacking any road sense whatsoever.

Frankly all I am hearing from the auto driving advocates is poor excuses for an inability to deal with harsh reality. Most useful piece of driving advice I ever received: "Never hurry into a situation you don't understand". Braking means giving yourself more time before you arrive at the scene which in turn gives you more time to make sense of what is happening; that could make the difference between life and death - yours, or someone elses. Sometimes the required reaction might even mean accelerating, but you need the OODA loop to complete before anything you do happens. Replace 'you' with AI but it all still applies - replicating myopic, intoxicated or other unsuitable human drivers is presumably not the goal of auto driving.

In this instance if an object is deemed to be a static feature than a fraction of second later winks out of existence then something strange is happening and the brakes should have come on - this accident illustrates that Uber's AI folk were not fit to be let loose on public roads. Although it obviously it was the USA where profit comes become human life. Hopefully a few million dollar law suits will redress the balance.

Stalker attacks Japanese pop singer – after tracking her down using reflection in her eyes

Marcus Fil

I'll see your reflections in eyes in photographs..

and raise you the reflections in the eyes of "Our Lady of Guadalupe"

Consumer ransomware insurance? You could be painting a target on us all for avaricious crims

Marcus Fil

Re: Insurance will just make the problem worse!

Easy, the insurance is not allowed to be spent on the ransom, it must be spent on professional hitmen targetting the perpetrators. Should extinguish the problem in short order, with the added benefit that the perps get to feel some of the anguish of their victims. Joke icon because there are apparently laws against advocating effective solutions.

Be still, our drinking hearts: Help Reg name whisky beast conjured by Swedish distillers and AI blendbot

Marcus Fil

The Famous Nous

Overstock's share price has plummeted. Is it Trump's trade war? Bad results? Nope, its CEO has gone bonkers...

Marcus Fil
Black Helicopters

Re: M.I.B.

Rarely am I on course to agree with you Mr. Bombastic (sic); PESTLE and the ramifications of the exposure of umcomfortable truths. The system (just about) manages to self-regulate largely keeping a lid on those things than cannot be trusted to politicians of any flavour. Paranoia is both a prudent state of mind and an occupational illness; it all depends on the measure - if you get to walk away to farm Alpacas or sweep roads then you got lucky.

Cambridge Analytica didn't perform work for Leave.EU? Uh, not so fast, says whistleblower

Marcus Fil

Buy enough votes you get a free noose

The shitewit megalomaniacs rarely die in their beds - but all seem hell bent on ignoring the lessons of history. Hitler, Mussolini, Ceausescu, Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi to name a few. Particularly liked the end of the latter - a bit of mechanical sodomy in his last few moments seems the definitive ignominious death.

As simple warning to the current crop of self-aggrandized fuckwits and their scheming acolytes:

“You can fool all of the people” … until you get found out. The bigger the crime the less the people are likely to let you quietly. If you get away with chefs pissing in your soup and waiters spitting in your food until the day you die then consider yourself lucky. Just because you live in a “democracy” do not believe yourself immune – if you helped game the system so can someone else.

Loose tongues and oily seamen: Lost in machine translation yet again

Marcus Fil

Re: Mijn grootvader is een schaap

Ah, I think that has been misheard - the correct expression, in context, and spoken in English is:

"I am Welsh, my great grand-da was a sheep".

Those darn users don't know what they're doing (not like us, of course)

Marcus Fil

Re: Probably a Sony

Before you switch note that in my experience LG 'Smart' TVs are no better. It seems that all smart appliances have 'human machine interfaces' created by creatures that once viewed a documentary about humans; or maybe they missed that day at school and just blagged their way into a job.

That, and the tendency for the 'Smart' to age because you have't yet bought this year's model and support is lagging for the one you do have.

Apple strips clips of WWDC devs booing that $999 monitor stand from the web using copyright claims. Fear not, you can listen again here...

Marcus Fil


It had to be said

That magical super material Apple hopes will hit backspace on its keyboard woes? Nylon

Marcus Fil


May I offer you this for your excellent post

Let's check in with our friends in England and, oh good, bloke fined after hiding face from police mug-recog cam

Marcus Fil

Bloke fined after getting up in the morning

TFIFY: he was not fined for hiding his face, if anything, he was fined for overreacting to Police curiousity. Really, resorting to "The Sun" level of headlines does not befit a quality publication such as "The Register"; it does, however, bring in a whole raft [rave?] of OTT commentards.

Veteran vulture Andrew Orlowski is offski after 19 years at The Register

Marcus Fil

"You've done a man's job, sir! I guess you're through, huh"

Russian-trained spy whale spooks Norwegian fishermen

Marcus Fil

Re: Russians under every bed?

"Equipment St.Petersburg" and the accompanying logo (see video link in article and stop frame at the appropriate moment) will be familiar to those who have encountered Russian military equipment particularly packs and webbing made by SSO/SPOSN. Go fact check yourself if you do not believe me.

Occam's razor says Russian.

Self-taught Belgian bloke cracks crypto conundrum that was supposed to be uncrackable until 2034

Marcus Fil


"3.5 years (probably) isn't going to frighten anyone, sixty odd days is plausibly within the range where the decrypted information is still useful."

All intelligence is perishable, but things still get put away under the '100 Year Rule' and similar; 3.5 years might still be an embarasingly short interval in respect of some secrets.

Apple iPhone sales down by double digits, Mac sales knifed by Intel CPU 'constraints'

Marcus Fil

Re: Progress

You are far from alone. What impresses me is even a young (i.e. 20s) relative has realised that the once glittering Apple road leads nowhere and has cross-graded from iPhone to Android; longer battery life, better camera and runs all the Google apps she seems to favour. No consideration of no Apple tax, that was just a bonus!

Personally I think my iPhone 6s might get a new battery, but I see nothing in Apple's current iPhones that begs an upgrade, especially with regard to price. If a new IOS update cripples my 6s that will just hasten my departure from Apple's eco-system. I am hoping against reason that someone in Apple's laptop department will try tap water over KoolAid and design an MBP for real people; if not, my next new laptop will not be an Apple - for the first time in two decades.

Thank you, your DNA data will help secure your… oh dear, we've lost that too

Marcus Fil

Re: My mum got asked to prove her age at a pub

"None of the other students I was with were over 21."

it may not be the case in this instance, but this may have been the door staff working for the benefit of their employer whilst superficially enforcing the law. If the bouncer suspects a group contains underage drinkers, but the group is otherwise well behaved and amenable then checking the one person they suspect will pass the age checks is a wise move. Any undercover plod will see the door staff apparently enforcing the rules, thus not imperilling the owner's licence, whilst a group of customers is not shown the door because some are not old enough to satisfy local laws.

Brit Watchkeeper drone fell in the sea because blocked sensor made algorithms flip out

Marcus Fil

Re: @Grandpa Tom

Yes, this is a start. But, as was discovered on the US Space Shuttle program, even different manufacturers using different parts will have systems performing the same function designed in broadly the same way with potentially the same logical flaws. The answer of course is to farm out at least one of your triplex redundant systems to a non-human entity for design and manufacture. Of course in the absence of an acknowledged ETI presence maybe us humans could try AI?

Apple's revamped iPad beams a workhorse in from Planet Ludicrous

Marcus Fil


There will be a school or charity nearby that will gladly accept them as a donation. Better than storing them until they are obsolete.

'What's up, Skip?' asks paraglider – before 'roo beats the snot out of him

Marcus Fil

Re: Attack?

Forget the Emu take a look at the Cassowary - if you are one of those that still believes birds are not descended from dinosaurs try squaring up to one of these. They live wild in New Guinea and, you guessed it, northern .....

Jeep hacking lawsuit shifts into gear for trial after US Supremes refuse to hit the brakes

Marcus Fil

Re: So...

Data diodes? It is a balls up - automotive needs to speak to the mil an int communities and fast - much as I like FCA I hope this proves an expensive warning to all automotive companies that this sh*t matters and you have no excuse for not using the very best practices.

You can blame laziness as much as greed for Apple's New Year shock

Marcus Fil

Who is doing the active listening at Apple?

The rot set in when Apple started backing out of computers because of the easy financial fix of iPod and, latterly, iPhone. The steady emphasis on dumbing down and closing off the MacBook Pro line until it is some effete object d'art, not fit for professional use, is symptomatic of a company that does not understand its user base. If the current MBP had a 4K screen and appropriate ports it might be worth the ticket price - it doesn't - it costs about 3x what it is worth - and only idiots are buying. Heavy duty users are either ekeing out MBPs from better days or working on their migration to Windows or Linux. The crisicism is there from hardline users and many quarters of the less sycophantic press, but is Apple listening? Apparently not - so let us hope some of the share holders turn up with pitch forks and baseball bats and get the ship turned around while it is still afloat. JMVAO

iPhone XR, for when £1,000 is just too much for a smartmobe

Marcus Fil

Re: Fail & Fail Badly...

there is still time! Actually Apple's results, even with their inevitable spin, are showing the gloss has come off the iPhone. What has worked before is not working now. I will not denigrate the original iPhone, and by version 3 it was something awe inspiring. It certainly woke the competition up and it changed expectations of what a mobile phone is and what it does. But an OS cycle that renders useful apps obsolete with no refund or replacement, gimmicks above real features and a less than stellar reputation for sturdiness out in the real world - all with Apple tax attached. You can fool all of the people ...

Marcus Fil

Just more reasons..

..that my current iPhone 6s is likely my last iPhone. If there is a gold medal for losing the plot then Apple wins it for the direction of travel for the iPhones and MacBooks. I am sad, I am frustrated as both were so good at one time, but hey I'll get over it.

AI image recognition systems can be tricked by copying and pasting random objects

Marcus Fil

The elephant in the room!

Yes, the same kind of AI coming to an autonomous driving system near you. Present it with something unexpected and watch it fail. Best piece of advice I have ever received (from my second driving instructor): "Never hurry into a situation you don't understand". Problem with most AI - it resolves to a single decision layer - it lacks the meta to understand it does not understand. Worse yet, the AI engineers I have met lack the appreciation that the human brain is thinking at multiple levels - most concerned with on-going survival and well being. The good news - every time an AI system is shown to be broken then we, the humans, learn something about our own limitations.

'Oh sh..' – the moment an infosec bod realized he was tracking a cop car's movements by its leaky cellular gateway

Marcus Fil

Re: Default passwords? In this day and age?

I have been that shot messenger - followed a week later by an apology and a request for assistance in securing information and a request to know how I had discovered what I discovered. I did not them all the details on the last issue, but enough to show easy it all is.

Sadly, we need design and implementation standards- backed up with laws and harsh penalties applying to manufacturers, importers, suppliers and system integrators. We cannot trust joe public (or even local law enforcement) to understand the issues.

Banks and other organisations are starting to tell people to be more careful on the interfaces which cannot be secured by technology alone, but sadly ~50% of the population will always be below average intelligence.

A pint of beer for the 'white hats'. A pint of piss for the lazy implementers.

At last! Apple admits its MacBook Pro butterfly keyboards utterly suck, offers free replacements

Marcus Fil

Too little, too late

Methinks if Apple made parachutes then members of the board would be facing jail time. A half-hearted fix is not a real fix - here, have a band-aid for your severed limb. If your business depends on your IT then losing it to the Apple repair shop every few months is coming off your bottom line - until you ditch Apple.

The 2016 MBP was a fuster cluck that incorporated all the worst of the 2015 Macbook. Apple just popped in its earbuds and sang "la,la,la" as even some its most ardent fanbois started to question its sanity. I hope this crack-papering scheme dents the profits sufficiently that major shareholders effect some change - time for some reality to penetrate that reality distortion field.

Clock blocker: Woman sues bosses over fingerprint clock-in tech

Marcus Fil


Kronos was not her employer. Take the same situation and substitute FBI or GRU for Kronos. Would you be happy?

Police block roads to stop tech support chap 'robbing a bank'

Marcus Fil
IT Angle

I was once..

knocked to the floor by one of W Midland's finest when a posse of burly Police officers burst through the doors of my then local Natwest branch. After spending what seemed like an eternity staring at an assemblage of shocked and stunned customers and staff one officer finally asked, in a booming voice, "Right, who tripped the silent alarm?". These days I would probably been offered compensation and treatment for PTSD - back then it was just a tale to regale my mates in the pub. Mind you, at least back then the Police arrived with truncheons and not SMGs or I might not be recounting this now,

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Marcus Fil

Re: One way to avoid technical debt: experience

Let them Help the customer understand the importance of, and cost of, prototypes so the users can already play with the product long before any details are set in stone. FTFY

Sadly customers, especially start-ups, consider every penny spend on code as one more step on the path to glory. Diversions and dead ends don't exist because they think they cannot afford them.

Tumblr troll-ban follows February indictments

Marcus Fil

Personal freedom but..

I fully support an individual's right to freedom of expression even if they work for GRU or FSB. However, if said individual is pretending to be a southern US redneck and spreading disinformation and malcontent then they deserve to be called on it. Facebook, Tumblr et al do not exist to become branches of anyone's intelligence services.

China to offer recoverable satellites-as-a-service

Marcus Fil

Re: Oak heatshields

Horse Chesnuts aka 'Conkers' were collected by school children as a supplementary source of starch for the manufacture of acetone, which was then used to make cordite. I believe this happened in both world wars, but may have been more for propaganda then practical use.


We've built a 4G drone tracking system, beams Vodafone

Marcus Fil

Lawsuits in 3..2..1...

No, no, no, landed on my property, is now my property .. do you want to buy it?

[The last drone to 'land' on my property was actually dismantled by magpies before the owner fessed up and asked for it back; I gave him the back the bits the birds had not had it way with - those remaining parts did not look at all like they could constitute a viable flying machine]

Assange fails to make skipped bail arrest warrant vanish

Marcus Fil

How tall is he and what does he weigh?

You can see where I, or rather he, is going with this? He only needs some regular visitors of similar stature and a talented MUA on a particularly dreary Thursday and he is gone. Next to get out of the country, but I am told that is not at all difficult.

Not that I am actually advocating two fingers up to the MPS and 5, but as a tax payer I do think resources would be better spent elsewhere. Plus for an Australian he is mighty pasty which cannot be good for him. Where he should actually reveal himself once out of Blighty I leave to him. I would think CIA will have less qualms about actions on the streets of Quito than those of good old London town.

Icon because, well, are you sure that is me?

Forget cyber crims, it's time to start worrying about GPS jammers – UK.gov report

Marcus Fil

Re: FFS - Measure the risk first

"Critical military systems already have GPS aerials which can steer multiple nulls in their antenna pattern to counteract jammers and, depending on the platform, give a bearing for the jammer."

I know. Some crucial elements left out of my first post for effin obvious reasons. Even ~fifteen years ago an attack on (then mostly) GPS was seen as an easy win for more clued up (foreign state sponsored?) terrorist (more correctly saboteour) types. It always seen as more hype from the professionally paranoid until someone does it and then the Daily Fail want to know why "we" weren't more prepared. In that ~15 years many more industries have come to rely on GNSS without properly accounting (literally) for reversionary measures. As is apparent from some of the comments some people are still refusing to get it - that is their choice - I just hope none of them are in charge of something critical.

Marcus Fil

Re: FFS - Measure the risk first

Read the paper. One of the principle uses of GPS is NOT navigation, but reference timing for things such as GSM base stations, Digitial TV broadcast etc. Yes, you can fit a local atomic clock card, but why pay a few extra pounds? Now a simple amplifier block added to a pocket GNSS jammer plus mains supply or nest of batteries and instead of say 30 m radius you could take out a county. Hide a few hundred of those around the country with a nice random 'twinkle' jamming sequence and the excrement encounters the rotatary ventilator in a most entertaining fashion. Potential problem known about for yonks, but now, finally, being articulated publicly.

Here we go again... UK Prime Minister urges nerds to come up with magic crypto backdoors

Marcus Fil

Codes not ciphers [..or OFFS not again!]

The kitten has a hairball stuck and needs to see the vet.

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

Marcus Fil

Re: 6 Warnings to keep your hands on the wheel

The seventh warning ends "...within 3 seconds or driver rectal spike will be activated". Hi Elon, TFTFY.

Boffins closer to solving what causes weird radio bursts from space

Marcus Fil

or ..

there is an occassional glitch in the aim of their Death Star? [A long time ago in a galaxy far far away]