* Posts by Paul Smith

427 posts • joined 11 Jul 2007


UKCloud latest to sign Memorandum of Understanding with UK.gov ahead of cloud mega framework

Paul Smith

vowed to "never practise any form of tax avoidance".

Why the f*ck would they do that? If they are paying tax that they can avoid then they are just increasing their costs unnecessarily and wasting shareholder value. The Government and the HRMC set the rules that companies must obey. If the can't be bothered to close the loopholes that companies take advantage of, then it is a bit stupid to blame the companies for following the rules that they set.

Internet blackout of Myanmar States that are home to ethnic minorities enters second year

Paul Smith

Starlink ?

Is this not the one, and perhaps only, justification for the existence of the Starlink constellation? Regimes can get away with extreme behaviour by controlling access to information, remove that control and you remove the ability of a regime to be extreme. Instead, it is being used as a private beta program to measure profit potential in north America. Sad, very sad.

Barmy ban on businesses, Brits based in Blighty bearing or buying .eu domains is back: Cut-off date is Jan 1, 2021

Paul Smith

What is all this BS about?

Nobody is stealing, self-harming, being stupid or taking things that don't belong to them.

The pre-existing rules stated quite clearly who can and who can not hold a .eu domain name. If you are no longer entitled to hold one, no matter what the reason, then in line with the agreement that you signed when you registered it in the first place, it will be withdrawn. The only thing the EU or the relevant TLD can be accused of is in dithering about when that will happen. I suspect they are being deliberately lenient to give people affected time to make alternate arrangements but it is equally possible that they are just incompetent.

Did nobody tell them about the lockdown? Logitech releases new 'luggable' mechanical keyboard for LAN parties

Paul Smith

If you can live with the other differences, you can have a brand new keyboard for under a tenner.

Why should the UK pensions watchdog be able to spy on your internet activities? Same reason as the Environment Agency and many more

Paul Smith

Re: And yet

Valid points but poor examples. Neither the USA not the UK are effective democracies.

Paul Smith

The remaining members of the EU are the ones that brought in the charter of human rights that the UK refused to sign up to. The remaining members of the EU are the ones that brought in the European Court of Justice that among other things allows any EU citizen the right to challenge any EU government on anything. A court that the UK has a poor history with and has been trying to get out from under for years. The remaining members of the EU are the ones that brought in GDPR that guarantees the data privacy rights of all EU citizens, rights which the snoopers charter completely ignores. I lived in the UK for many years and loved it there, but it is not the same country any more. People used to fight for their rights.

UK MPs fume after Huawei posts open letter stating: 'Disrupting our involvement in the 5G rollout would do Britain a disservice'

Paul Smith

Re: Huawei horror story!

Nice try, wrong conspiracy. There are no US telecoms vendors of worthy of the name. Swedish Ericsson is number two, Finish Nokia is quite a distant number three and French Alcatel-Lucent is the token forth place player.

Huawei to the danger zone: Now Uncle Sam slaps it with 16 charges of racketeering, fraud, money laundering, theft of robot arm and source code

Paul Smith

History question

I wonder what the modern equivalent of "Die Juden sind unser Unglück!" is?

Astroboffins may have raged at Elon's emissions staining the sky, but all those satellites will be more boon than bother

Paul Smith

Twinkle, twinkle.

There are not 4000 satellites in orbit, there were 4000 thousand launched, but only about 2000 are still in orbit, and if you take the time to learn, you should rarely have to wait more then about fifteen minutes to see one. Musk alone wants to add 30,000 more. Just to help with your maths, that is 15 times then the total already there, so you should be able to see one *every* *single* *minute!*. If you use any sort of light magnification, for example a telescope or a long exposure, then everywhere you look in the sky there will be a lump of Elon Musks junk. And exactly who is this going to benefit?

Spanking the pirates of corporate security? Try a Plimsoll

Paul Smith

Re: Wouldnt work - without some modification.

Exactly the same objections Mr. Plimsol faced.

Paul Smith

That is a bloody good idea.

Belgian city slurps mobile data to track visitors

Paul Smith

How about 800,000 distinct phones in the time period that were not there every day so can be counted as visitors (as opposed to residents or students), with an average of 20,000 distinct (non-local) phones each day. The difference between 800,000 and 62x20,000 suggests that some people might have stayed for more then one day. Coincidentally, If 5800 phones (people) were day trippers and 14200 stayed one night, then you would have 800,000 unique visitors over the two months with an average of 20,000 visitors a day.

Mines the one with "Beginners guide to data analysis" in the pocket.

£3bn Google sueball over Safari Workaround bounces through UK Court of Appeal

Paul Smith

Tosh and nonsense! (Did I get the accent right?)

These companies and high net worth individuals that you think don't pay enough tax? Every one of them pays every penny of the tax that UK law demands of them. And who makes the law in the UK? Your elected politicians, so please stop blaming other people for your problems.

The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row

Paul Smith

Some people have all the luck

Is this a moderator specific privilege? I just went through my SE profile and I couldn't find anywhere I could set my preferred pronoun. I want the world to call me "MightyZog" on pain of being accused of Speciesism.

It's Black Hat and DEF CON in Vegas this week. And yup, you know what that means. Hotel room searches for guns

Paul Smith

Re: Oh America

According to the 13th, it is still legal. Restricted, but legal.

UK taxpayers funded Grand Theft Auto V maker to tune of £42m – while biz paid no corp tax and made billions

Paul Smith

British Culture

"It is unlikely that the drafters of that guidance had in mind a game which allows the player to murder prostitutes when formulating the cultural test."

Oh, I don't know. Didn't his holiness JC, that god of all motoring knowledge (and former Top Gear presenter), once say that murdering prostitutes was the preferred proclivity for long distance lorry drivers?

Microsoft debuts Bosque – a new programming language with no loops, inspired by TypeScript

Paul Smith

Re: Why the urge to dumb everything down?

Just don't do it.

On time, with quality, in budget. Pick two.

Free online tax filing? Yeah, that'll soon be illegal thanks to rare US Congressional unity

Paul Smith

Re: Oh, it's a new tax year here in the UK

"Your best bet is to use an accountant"... Oh no it isn't. When my accountant wanted to charge me double what we had agreed at the start of the year, refused to confirm or deny third party advice that would have saved me significant amounts, and then when HMRC voluntarily gave me a significant tax rebate that I hadn't asked for, I decided to try and do my accounts myself. The first year was a little scary, but after that, no dodgy third party with dubious fees and I pay less tax.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

Paul Smith

Re: Panic

And that is the sort of conclusion that kills people. We do not know that this was an MCAS incident, and it is both stupid and dangerous to think that was based on the current evidence because that might make you think that an MCAS patch would fix or prevent it. Nothing has been officially released but given that the FAA has access to the actual Flight Recorder and that they have issued a Continued Airworthiness Notification (PDF) to the International Community (CANIC) related to the Boeing 737-8 and Boeing 737-9 (737 MAX) fleet, it would be safe to say that the flight recorder did not show trim against the limits or faulty AoA data.

Paul Smith

Re: Panic

"However, if numerous cars the same model that I have started crashing... "

Exactly! But two is not numerous!

Paul Smith


There have been 2 incidents. Not twenty or two hundred, but two. As somebody mentioned initial analysis of the FDR did *not* reveal anything obvious, so it is reasonable to assume that it did *not* reveal the trim against the stops or that it did *not* reveal faulty AoA sensor data, so basically, it did not reveal any connection between the two accidents. In other words, shit happened and people died, but jumping to conclusions will not stop more shit happening.

Oracle: Major ad scam 'DrainerBot' is rinsing Android users of their battery life and data

Paul Smith


Oracle acquires an ad-tracking company, gets it lots of publicity by publicizing a 'major' fraud, and then blames a competing ad-tracking company for involvement with the fraud. Everything above board as usual.

Hey, UK.gov: If you truly spunked £45k on 1,300 Brexit deal print-outs, you're absolute mugs

Paul Smith

Which is 0.06 * 600 * 1300 or £46800, so they actually got a good deal and have such shit PR that they still get slagged off for it.

Fujitsu pitched stalker-y AI that can read your social media posts as solution to Irish border, apparently

Paul Smith

Completly missing the point

Today, a baker in Armagh can buy flour from a miller in Armagh or a miller in Dundalk and sell the bread he makes in Dublin or Belfast. No duties, no tariffs, no paperwork. By the end of next month, in a no-deal Brexit, or any deal not involving custom-union membership, the same baker will have to go through the same paperwork to import flour from Dundalk as he would to import it from Brazil. And exporting bread to Dublin would require more paper work then exporting it to China (and probably take longer!) because the EU would have to be satisfied that it (and everything in it, and every stage of its handling and processing) met all EU standards and conditions, *and* that it could not be obtained elsewhere within the EU.

I really do not see how a social media app is going to help with that.

UK spy overseer: Snooper's Charter cockups are still getting innocents arrested

Paul Smith

Re: Cops; just a gang of thugs/bullies with a taxpayer supplied uniform.

"Cops, IMO, are just arseholes who don't want to find the truth..."

I am pretty sure that if your daughter was in trouble, you would want the cops to pay more attention to trying to catch the sleaze ball that hurt her then to ensuring they were careful with the lid of his laptop.

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc

Paul Smith

Stop guessing:

The actual rules are here and are unchanged: https://eurid.eu/media/filer_public/76/48/7648e621-0c5d-4c09-8bde-e5622cb6b23e/registration_policy_en.pdf

They were written by British civil servants working with their European conterparts.

They were approved by British politicians working with their European conterparts.

They were implemented by authority of the British Parliament.



(ii) address and country within the European Union, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein

a. where the registered office, central administration or principal place of business of the undertaking of the Registrant is located or

b. where the organisation of the Registrant is established or

c. where the Registrant resides;


1. The Registry may revoke a Domain Name at its own discretion exclusively on the following grounds:

(i) outstanding unpaid debts owed by the Registrar to the Registry;

(ii) the Registrant’s not or no longer fulfilling the General Eligibility Criteria provided under Article 5(2)(b) of the .eu Regulation;

(iii) breach of the Rules by the Registrant.

Any domain registered with an address in the UK will by in breach of 5.(ii) at from the end of next month.

Paul Smith

Re: Muppets

"Clearly, this kind of behavior is the /reason/ why people in the UK voted for BREXIT."

When you spend over thirty years blaming the EU for all your problems and failings, you shouldn't be too surprised if they eventually start to believe you. Blame the EU to your hearts content but please try to remember that the UK is part of the EU and must accept responsibility for its own actions.

The rules for using .eu domain names are pretty simple and were written by British civil servants working with their European peers, were approved by British politicians working with their European peers and were agreed and implemented with the authority of British Parliament. The relevant rule here is that if you are in the EU, you can use a .eu domain, if you are not in the EU, you can not use a .eu domain. At the end of next month, the UK will no longer be in the EU, therefore .eu domains registered in the UK can not longer be used.

NASA's Opportunity rover celebrates 15 years on Mars – by staying as dead as a doornail

Paul Smith

Oh, the hipocrisy!

Will your proposed astronauts have official permission from the appropriate authorities to enter Martian territory or will they be illegal aliens bringing their drugs and their crime to rape the planet?

UC Berkeley reacts to 'uni Huawei ban' reports: We unplugged, like, one thing no one cares about

Paul Smith

Re: BT Infinity uses Huawei and no one seems to care

Why should they care when they know that most US TLA's, GCHQ, their local council and even their bloody school board can all spy on their activities with impunity.

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

Paul Smith

Wishful thinking

Does anybody think the fine will actually be paid?

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

Paul Smith

If you can't make a phone call, just how do you think the phone company profits?

Paul Smith

Re: Why are physical checks needed?

... because tower data tells you what is happening at the tower (which you don't care about) and not what is happening between the towers which is what you should care about.

Say GDP-aaaRrrgh, streamers: Max Schrems is coming for you, Netflix and Amazon

Paul Smith

Re: sounds like...

What a waste of good coffee, could I have another another keyboard please?

I just searched the intranet of the Company I work for (a European company with 100,000+ employees) for the key words "Data Protection Officer" and got zero matches. We ain't got no stinkin DPO!

The last time I dealt with a DPO was when I tried to resolve an issue with a telecom's company who claimed I had extended a contract over the phone and wanted to charge me early termination fees. The Data Protection Office had one single employee who was off on extended leave. (The temporary secretary who was covering for him told me that she probably shouldn't say, but that she thought it was stress related).

RIP 2019-2019: The first plant to grow on the Moon? Yeah, it's dead already, Chinese admit

Paul Smith

Safe reserves and efficiency

The experiment (as originally described) was clearly a multi-generational one, and the amount of power reserves required for it to survive through a lunar night are not actually all that high. However, 'not all that high' could still quickly become higher then 'safe reserves available for secondary functions' if the units insulation, solar panels, battery reserves or any of a dozen other factors were even slightly less efficient then planned, leaving them no choice but to pull the plug. I still say they deserve major credit for even trying.

Three quarters of US Facebook users unaware their online behavior gets tracked

Paul Smith


"Reports of misclassification came more frequently from self-described moderates"

Don't all extremists think their own behavior is reasonable?

Having AI assistants ruling our future lives? That's so sad. Alexa play Despacito

Paul Smith


Just because you are too old to be a Smart Young Thing anymore doesn't mean they have gone away.

People say tabloid hacks are always looking for an angle. This time, they'd be right: Tilting disk of proto-planets spotted

Paul Smith

Re: Chicken and egg

I am sure you mean well and that you think you are on to something important, but your grasp of basic physics is incomplete and that is leading you to make some quite silly assertions.

Hubble 'scope camera breaks down amid US govt shutdown, forcing boffins to fix it for free

Paul Smith

Re: How many Shuttles could have been kept operative..

Space Shuttle launches cost about $1.5b, so the wall would have paid for about 4 launches.

Attention all British .eu owners: Buy dotcom domains and prepare to sue, says UK govt

Paul Smith

Re: Don't worry, it's only money

"The UK is, and always has been, largely welcoming to true immigrants and asylum seekers." Bollocks!

"It's one of the most welcoming countries in Europe". WTF, did you read that in the Daily Mail? Did you also read the words "Windrush", "Hostile Environment Policy", "Deport First, Appeal Later" ?

The UK does charity quite well, but it does not do 'welcoming'.

Paul Smith

Re: Does anybody actually use a .eu ?

Does anybody *not in the EU* get to use a .eu? No! So what exactly is the story here?

You may like the Daily Mail narrative of us and them, but UK politicians and bureaucrats have been involved in drafting, negotiating and approving every single thing that has come out of the EU since the 1970's. That is how the EU works and until you understand that you will never understand why the rest of Europe is looking at you in despair and disgust. You started divorce proceedings so you could find a better fuck elsewhere, so do not act surprised when the EU refuses to give you a 'quicky for old times sake'.

Dark matter's such a pushover: Baby stars can shove weird stuff around dwarf galaxies

Paul Smith

Re: Alternate theory

AC - Now that is an interesting theory, but I suspect it still has a few kinks in it.

The assertion "27. Which makes Gamma rays, 1x10^20hz ~ 99.99% W per Spin, and light at 10^15hz is ~99.9999999% W per spin. Gamma rays should be slower in a vacuum than light." has an implication that radio waves should travel faster then light, something which has never been observed.

2018 ain't done yet... Amazon sent Alexa recordings of man and girlfriend to stranger

Paul Smith

Re: More questions than answers...

"So once the request has been completed, there is no real reason for keeping the information around..." Not quite correct. If your Alexa initiates a 'contractual' agreement on your behalf (ie "Alexa, buy me a new toy Yoda") then the record must be kept for as long you can refute the contract.

Mark Zuckerberg did everything in his power to avoid Facebook becoming the next MySpace – but forgot one crucial detail…

Paul Smith

Re: Crossing the Line

IT graduates with principles. What a remarkable idea.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

Paul Smith

Dude, stop shouting!

SQLite creator crucified after code of conduct warns devs to love God, and not kill, commit adultery, steal, curse...

Paul Smith

Bedroom rules

What goes on in your bedroom between consenting adults is your business, no matter how distasteful others may find it. And as a self-professed liberal, I have a moral obligation to defend your right to continuing doing what ever it is you want, but that doesn't mean I can't ask you to keep the fcuking noise down. These guys have a closed shop development group so if they want to indulge in superstitious rituals, it makes no difference to me whether they use agile scrum, group hugs or Benedictine Christianity, as long as they keep the doors closed.

Super Micro China super spy chip super scandal: US Homeland Security, UK spies back Amazon, Apple denials

Paul Smith

obvious alternative

If you change one detail in the Bloomburg storey, then most of the contradictions and denials go away. Think what would happen if Bloomburg were to come out with a correction along the lines of... "So sorry, did we give the say the spying chip was Chinese? No, they just made it for us."

Python lovers, here's a library that will help you master AI as a newbie

Paul Smith

Bollock naked emperors

"Many people think they need to spend years studying advanced math first [to learn AI]"

As someone who has spent those years and learnt advanced data science (including the niche that is AI/ML), I initially laughed at the idiots who thought they could use AI/ML for all sorts of applications. Now I think that those years were wasted when I see PFYs being paid more then me to produce 'applications' with embedded AI's. When challenged to explain how they work (if they work) they claim it is too complicated for anyone but an expert to understand, when in fact it is usually just a pretty crude decision tree.

US government upends critical spying case with new denial

Paul Smith

One is a police state; the other a democracy.

I think you meant republic, not democracy.

If the majority in a democracy decide the police can beat your door down, reason or none, then there is not much you can do about it. In a republic, or a democratic republic, the power of the majority is constrained by a constitution or charter. A simple majority decision is not sufficient to infringe on an individuals rights. A small difference, but an important one.

EU tosses Nokia a small loan of €500m, tells it to go crazy with 5G R&D

Paul Smith

Re: Nokia?

5G is not 'innovative startup' tech, it is boring, big business, infrastructure tech. Think of it more like water supplies and sewerage then bit coins and block chain. And what ever your personal opinions on Nokia phones, along with Ericsson and Hauwei, Nokia are major contenders in the telecoms infrastructure business.

Intel rips up microcode security fix license that banned benchmarking

Paul Smith

Silly season...

Does nobody else think this whole security risk business is getting a little out of hand? If you want a genuinely secure box, then you don't need to worry about whether or not it has any of the go-faster features that convinced us to buy it in the first place, you simply need to ensure that it is not connected to anything. For ultimate security, don't turn it on. If you must turn it on, then you must assume it is not ultimately secure and treat it with the appropriate caution. What is so difficult about that?



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