* Posts by Cynic_999

2163 posts • joined 15 Aug 2013

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO

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They are proper nouns when used to denote race or ethnicity.

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Re: We hear these stories all the time

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Children aren't born to hate, as the old saying goes

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I'm not so sure about that. We are born with many survival instincts, one of which is to distrust/fear anything that is different to what is expected, or perceived as being "not normal". I worked for a time in a job that required me to visit remote African villages. Many babies would scream and cry the first time they saw me, and young children would run away - because they had never seen a white person before and so were frightened of the unfamiliar. This was neither learned behaviour nor was it racism.

Dogs in predominately white neighbourhoods will bark at blacks, whilst dogs in predominately black neighbourhoods will bark at whites. No training required.

Kids in kindergarten will often ostrasize and even attack any child who is markedly different to what they have been exposed to. Ginger hair. A physical deformity. An unfamiliar accent. Too fat. Too thin. These are unlikely to be predjudices that have been passed to them from their parents.

On the contrary, we have to learn *not* to fear (and thus hate) those who are "different" rather than the other way around.

University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

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Discrimination

My local fertility clinic will only allow males to provide sperm donations. Disgusting gender discrimination!

The uncomfortable truth is that there are some things that a man or a woman is usually better at doing than the opposite gender. The discrimination in those cases is purely genetic, and nothing we should even be attempting to correct.

Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

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You may find that a feather quill, ink and paper works for you even better than an obsolete computer ...

Manchester, UK seeks IT-slinger: £235m for number-plate-and-fines system to clean up vehicle emissions

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Normal contract?

Will this be a normal government IT project, or does it need to actually work after the money has been spent?

We'll pay £400k for a depth charge-proof robot submarine, says UK's Ministry of Defence

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You won't get many moneies for those peanuts

£400,000 ??? That might just about pay the first month of a preliminary committee's feasibility study. In order to get any sort of design, it will cost at least 1000 times that much - and that's before going 10 times over-budget.

On the other hand, I could probably do a design within that budget. It will consist of a solid cast-iron block. This will fulfil the main requirements insofar that it will readily submerge and be highly resistant to damage from depth charges. It won't be practical or fulfil any operational requirements - but then nor does any other expensive government project. We can add ballast tanks, motors, torpedos etc. later, after we have added a few aircraft and a practical launch catapault to our expensive aircraft carrier.

Social media giants move to defy Hong Kong's new national security law

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Re: The equation to be evaluated ...

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Hard to do as I don't see a question mark anywhere in your post...

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OK pedant, in that case kindly complete the task set out in my second paragraph. You will fail a lot of exams if you do not answer anything that does not contain a question mark.

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Re: The equation to be evaluated ...

Instead of just giving me a thumb-down, maybe answer the question I posed in my second paragraph.

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Re: Not only

There are many things you could say that could get you jailed in the UK. Try posting that it should be illegal for gays or blacks to live in your neighbourhood, for example.

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Re: The equation to be evaluated ...

As I have said before, these powers that we are all upset that China has just given itself have already existed in the UK for many years in one form or another. So it's a bit rich to get upset because another country has followed our lead. Rather intead try to get those powers recinded here.

If you think I am exagerating, maybe you can tell me of a power that the new Chinese law gives their police that the UK police have not had for a long time (perhaps after jumping through a few very minor hoops).

The UK police can search your house or any premises controlled by you without a judicial warrant after they arrest you (no need to charge you with a crime) - and the police can trivially concoct a reason to arrest anyone if they really want to do so ("I detected the smell of canabis"). In fact an arrest is often made for the main purpose of being able to carry out a search without getting a warrant. Stop & search does not even need the suspicion that a crime has been commited and can be done on the whim of a police officer. POCA allows the seizure of all the assets of anyone suspected but not convicted of a crime. DNA and fingerprints are taken from anyone arrested in the UK - whether or not they are subsequently charged with a crime. After arrest, a person will usually be placed on police bail, which can have heaps of conditions attached, including forbidding the person to travel outside a particular area. An extension to police bail must be approved by a court after 3 months - but in practise will be rubber-stamped for at least a year. I know a teenager arrested for shop-lifting who was placed on police bail for 18 months, during which time she was prohibited from entering any shop. At the end of which time the case was dropped with no further action.

So maybe social media should be resisting requests for data from the UK authorities also (of which they get a great many). The UK police may be looking for evidence to convict someone of a "hate crime" - for example by writing words that are deemed to be racist or sexist etc.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

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Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

The word "slave" has indeed been replaced. The PC term these days is "Zero-hour contract worker"

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Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

The word "cunt" evolved from what used to be a perfectly acceptable and non-profane nautical term used to refer to the groove between two ropes laying side by side or in a coil.

If we were to remove all swear-words in the English language, within a few days words that are perfectly acceptable today would become profanities.

My parents never swore in my presence, so I was blissfully ignorant that such words existed up to the age of 5. Soon after starting school however, I learned some swear-words from the other kids and was delighted at how much upset I could cause to adults just by saying one of those words. Then my father told me that he was not upset at all by those words - but there was one term that I must *never* use because it was so bad. I begged him to tell me what it was. "Blue stockings," he whispered.

Needless to say, that was what I used for swearing from then on, with all the adults who knew about my father's subterfuge putting on a satisfying display of disgust.

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release

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Re: 1) Choice is generally a good thing.

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Plus, people cope with choices of car - manual vs automatic, two wheel or four wheel drive, electric, petrol or diesel, et al, not to mention the horror of choice for breakfast or toothpaste flavour.

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But I know pretty much what each of those things are and at least a few of the various pros and cons of each. If the choice was between a CGJ car or a LUI car running on REW or VGY, or you had to choose between a breakfast of JIHHGF or ASEHGFJ, then I think you'd have a problem deciding.

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Re: 1) Choice is generally a good thing.

Options are all very well so long as you understand what they are. But often the choices available are meaningless, so the implications of making one choice instead of another is unknown.

For example, the first choice that must be made for anyone deciding to install Mint is whether to install the xfce, Mate or Cinnamon version - but there is nothing readily apparent on the Mint website that tells you what the main differences and implications of each version is. Or how easy it would be to change your mind later. So the decision for most people becomes a coin-flip rather than a choice. Sure, there are screen shots of each version on the site - but they are so similar that they do not help.

In fact I have been using Mint for over a decade, and I still don't know whether I would be better off with something other than Cinnamon (which is what I chose at random the first time I installed Mint and have stuck with ever since).

It's a bit like choosing a meal at a restaurant when the menu is written in a language you don't understand and there is nobody around to help you choose. You might end up ordering fried cockroaches.

Euro police forces infiltrated encrypted phone biz – and now 'criminal' EncroChat users are being rounded up

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Re: Use offline encryption/decryption

Using a non-networked computer does not protect you from having your messages recorded by a hardware keylogger. If you become a "person of interest," a small keylogger can be installed inside most computer keyboards in 5 minutes. Maybe by someone posing as a gas safety inspector to gain access to your home while you are out. Such keyloggers act as a hidden wifi hotspot while powered, which can then transfer your last few thousand keystrokes to anyone within wi-fi range over the following few days/weeks/months.

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Re: journalists, lawyers, academics, domestic and foreign political campaigners – to name...

Even law-abiding citizens are just one new law away from becoming criminals.

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Yes, I'm sure a lot of really bad criminals died in the Nazi concentration camps. Which does not mean they were a good thing.

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Re: But private ciphers also exist...even if end-to-end encryption is broken.......

As I stated in a previous message, that's all very well for messages sent between people who already know each other, but is no good for people who wish to advertise their criminal services, or their desire to hire a criminal service.

No need for expensive hardware to simply securely communicate with a known person. Just send PGP encrypted emails to each other. Use a hidden email (or similar) service if the metadata would be a problem rather than only the message contents.

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Re: Honey pot

Using your own bespoke encryption is all very well for communicating with people you already know, but no use for advertising or finding illicit services and communicating with someone you have never met (such as a hitman). For that you need an encryption technique that anyone can obtain and use.

Details of Beijing's new Hong Kong security law signal end to more than two decades of autonomy

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Re: No more visits to or flights via Hong Kong

Or so the media has led you to believe. You do realise you are being manipulated?

The West and 4 legs = good

China and 2 legs = bad

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Re: I adore this BS "we're wat above them"

Ah - but many people think it's OK for *us* to do that because we will never do it without good reason. But when a country with a different culture does the same thing, then it's totally evil.

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Re: A new secret police

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DSNS, I guess, as an acronym, will become as infamous as NKVD, KGB, and SS.

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Or FBI, CIA, NCS, NCA, MI5, ATU, MOSSAD ... ?

Just about all countries have their version of secret police - the UK is no exception. You may recall a recent court ruling where it was decided that it is perfectly legal for operatives in the UK security services to kill ("assasinate") a private citizen in the interests of national security. No trial or judicial oversight needed, and no need for any evidence to be assessed.

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Re: Terrorism Act 2006

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Yes, but people here accused of terrorism still have the right to a fair trial, overseen by an independent judge with a 12 person jury where the evidence is heard by all parties and a defence entered for the accused.

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No - terrorist offences are an exception where in certain cases guilt can be determined by judge only, and "in the interests of national security" evidence can be heard in secret with *not even the accused or his defence team* knowing what that evidence is.

Not that a trial with judges instead of a jury is particularly unfair. In fact it can be far more fair than a jury trial in cases that are particularly emotive or partisan, because judges are trained to look at the facts objectively and not to make unevidenced inferences.

I really fail to see any essential difference between our laws regarding terrorism and the new Chinese law.

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Terrorism Act 2006

Does the Chinese legislation contain anything significantly more Draconian that the UK Terrorism Act 2006? This had the addition of making it a serious criminal offence to do anything that may "encourage terrorism" or "glorify terrorism". The Act explicitly applies to foreign nationals who are alleged to be facillitating or encouraging terrorist acts from outside the UK. Like the Chinese legislation, such individuals can be arrested if they enter any country under UK juristiction, and if found guilty sentenced to very lengthy prison terms.

Incidentally, the Terrorism Act 2000 includes the legal definition of "terrorism". AFAICS our offensive against Iraq fits all the criteria of the legal definition of terrorism. Judge for yourself, especially considering subsection 4. Is the UK government therefore a terrorist organisation, and its armed forces terrorists?

Quoted from the Terrorism Act 2000

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1 Terrorism: interpretation.

(1)In this Act “terrorism” means the use or threat of action where—

(a)the action falls within subsection (2),

(b)the use or threat is designed to influence the government or an international governmental organisation or to intimidate the public or a section of the public, and

(c)the use or threat is made for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial or ideological cause.

(2)Action falls within this subsection if it—

(a)involves serious violence against a person,

(b)involves serious damage to property,

(c)endangers a person’s life, other than that of the person committing the action,

(d)creates a serious risk to the health or safety of the public or a section of the public, or

(e)is designed seriously to interfere with or seriously to disrupt an electronic system.

(3)The use or threat of action falling within subsection (2) which involves the use of firearms or explosives is terrorism whether or not subsection (1)(b) is satisfied.

(4)In this section—

(a)“action” includes action outside the United Kingdom,

(b)a reference to any person or to property is a reference to any person, or to property, wherever situated,

(c)a reference to the public includes a reference to the public of a country other than the United Kingdom, and

(d)“the government” means the government of the United Kingdom, of a Part of the United Kingdom or of a country other than the United Kingdom.

"

One does not simply repurpose an entire internet constellation for sat-nav, but UK might have a go anyway

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Re: These satellites have high precision atomic clocks on board?

Exactly. Each satellite of a particular GPS system continuouly transmits the orbital data of all the satellites in the given system. The orbital data allows you to calculate the exact location of the satellite at any given time, past, present or future.

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Re: These satellites have high precision atomic clocks on board?

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When you need to add a new feature to your software do you scratch build a new version?

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Not if the new feature is an addition to software that has a similar function, no. But I would not contemplate buying some accounting software and then modifying it to become a video editor.

I have a radio that is built using a "modular design". I would not use it as the basis for the design of a new car.

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Re: Satellites are all the sexeh. No one in the gumint wants to use a boring ground based system...

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Which is ready to go, cheap and JUST AS ACCURATE as satellite systems.

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Also works inside buildings and (some) tunnels.

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Re: These satellites have high precision atomic clocks on board?

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No, but you can redesign the 90% of them that haven't been built or launched yet.

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But why buy a load of very expensive products that need to be completely redesigned and rebuilt? Surely it would be cheaper and faster to build from scratch?

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Re: Why Galileo?

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... and didn't want those outside the EU to use what we'd paid for.

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We willingly helped in the initial stages of development. It's like anything else - you won't be able to park in a "resident only" parking area if you move to a different home, no matter how much you may have spent on your old home.

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"

I am sure it's possible calculate position based on a signal from any three Sat's if their positions are known

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Only by measuring doppler shift over a significant time. It's how the first transit satellite navigation system worked, needing to track a satellite for around 20 minutes before being able to fix your average position over that time. Real-time positioning is only possible if you have a very accurate timing signal coming from each satellite.

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"

But only 12% launched so far, so clocks & radios are very changeable.

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Far cheaper & quicker to make & launch from scratch than make changes to satellites already in orbit. You can't just send a guy in a van to swap out a couple of equipment racks.

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You forget that the government *makes* the law. So it can alter the laws of physics to be whatever suits it best. And even if the laws of physics do not really change, the government simply uses a spin-doctor to convince 99% of the population that they have. Closing schools and having an uneducated population is a good way to ensure that this tactic works.

Meanwhile in another plan, our care homes are being repurposed to supply food as well as being places to dump our unwanted and unproductive elderly citizens. Based on the name it's probably soya based. I understand it will be called "Soylent green"

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"

If it turns out that the government has spent £500m on something they can't use, they will be held to account.

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Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha <gasp> <choke>

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Which would be fair enough - but them why claim that it is in order to provide a GPS system?

MIT apologizes, permanently pulls offline huge dataset that taught AI systems to use racist, misogynistic slurs

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Removing words

I thought that removing words from dictionaries & similar was doubleplus ungood ?

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Joke

Re: What the hell is wrong with these Universities?

Maybe it's done the same way you distinguish between positive wires and negative wires. Look at the colour ...

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?

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Re: There is a third option:

Then you have never tried a jam sandwich soaked in hot milk as a dessert.

Seriously.

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Re: The one true way...Nubile?

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It means "marriageable".

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So a synonym for "very wealthy"?

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Re: What was she (or even her tummy) taught?

What's a rugby team's front-row forward got to do with anything?

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack

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Re: That's a shame

Epicaricacy is a perfectly acceptable English word. No need to use foreign words!

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

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Cleaning the server room

How many others have had a server rack brought down by someone plugging a 2kW vacuum cleaner to a (clearly marked) UPS power socket? Since it happened, the UPS has been wired to supply IEC female sockets near the racks rather than standard UK 3-pin mains sockets.

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Re: Partial blackout story (not UPS, though)

Act of God

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Re: Do you recall the smell of burning UPSes in the morning?

Circuit breakers and fuses do not usually provide protection against a small but persistant overload. They must be rated to allow for brief overload situations (e.g. at startup). But if the overload lasts for a long enough time, components can get hotter and hotter until they burst into flames or create a fault (e.g. go high resistance) which results in a sudden massive power overload in the component without any current increase. You can provide thermal protection and/or slow-blow breakers or fuses, but there will usually be a particular overload level that will fail to trip such protection while creating a hazardous situation over time.

Yes, Prime Minister, rewrite the Computer Misuse Act: Brit infosec outfits urge reform

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The law is fine and doesn't need changing

If a "security person" wants to "test" the vulnerabilities of someone's computer, then they should ask permission from the owner of the computer before conducting such testing. Otherwise anyone could claim after being caught that he was a "white hat" merely "testing security".

If the police want to secretly infect a suspect's computer with software that gathers evidence that may aid their investigation, or to download data without the suspect's approval or knowledge, then to do so legally requires that they first obtain a warrant that grants permission for them to do so (called an "interference to equipment" warrant). If they do not obtain such a warrant, then they are quite rightly guilty of breaking the computer misuse act. The warrant provides judicial oversight to ensure that the unauthorised access to the suspect's computer is fair and proportionate, and the police are not abusing their powers. See https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/715479/Equipment_Interference_Code_of_Practice.pdf

There are DDoS attacks, then there's this 809 million packet-per-second tsunami Akamai says it just caught

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Re: And the next step...

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What they need to do is to speak to a few of the ISPs and get traffic logs for some of these PCs. Try to work out the command & control addresses

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The command & control data will almost certainly come from the IP address of a Tor relay. Now what?

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Re: Solution, Billing = $

Easier yet is to simply disconnect the subscriber and wait till they complain.

Laws on police facial recognition aren't tough enough, UK data watchdog barrister tells Court of Appeal

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"

Although the number of people being picked up despite wearing masks would tend to disagree with it being purely propanda.

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What are the figures for showing the number of false positives and negatives? The number of people being picked up is no criteria if the majority have turned out to be innocent. Also the context would be good to know. Computer recognition works well for tracking the movements of someone over a short time period if they do not change their appearance. Identifying a person in a crowd based on an old mug-shot is a different thing altogether.

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Re: Not surprised

It is not the job pf the expert witness to explain the actions of anyone else, but only to present facts such as the relative merits of alternate actions, and perhaps whether a witness's given explanation is or is not plausible (if asked that specific question).

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Re: @mark l 2

Yes. It is extremely easy to police a population when you believe that all the criminals are colour-coded.

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No, China's facial recognition system is not significantly more accurate than anyone else's. They just have better propaganda promoting its use. It's a bit like the lie detector, which "works" only because the subect being tested believes that it works. The same is true of voodoo.

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