* Posts by maffski

354 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Jan 2014


FFmpeg 6.1 drops a Heaviside dose of codec magic


Remarkably terse release notes

hmm, you have a point:

503 - The load average on the server is too high

not bad,

503 - average load too high

would have been terser

The UK government? On the right track with its semiconductor strategy?


Re: pile it high, sell it cheap

Another way of putting it would be that we have a very successful track record in generating and exporting IP.

Another redesign on the cards for iPhone as EU rules call for removable batteries


In 20 years time we will be mining landfill sites for metals.

What do you think a scrapyard is?

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem


Re: I see this a lot

You're not thinking meta enough. Get ChatGPT to write tests to validate the tests written by ChatGPT. Add enough layers and the chances of the same errors being in each tier approach 0.

UK hospitals lose millions after AI startup valuation collapses


Re: Shoddy reporting

The company isn't being closed. It's simply being delisted from the public exchange. The NHS trusts are having to list them as zero value as there is no public price for them to trade at, they could still be sold but it would be up to the trust to find a buyer and agree a price.

So this is mostly just a quirk of the accounting process. They haven't lost millions, mainly because they never had those millions to start with.

Or, in other words. The article is clickbait.

European watchdog: All data collected about users via ad-consent popup system must be deleted


Re: Generates annual revenues of €41.9bn

You're right, poor people getting access to services subsidised by advertisers is a much worse deal for them then having to pay the cost to provide the service.

And if this is 'generating nothing' why are people paying to advertise?

Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*


It rings a bell

So, how to alert people to a small two wheeled personal transport that moves silently through mixed use spaces?

I can't imagine anyone has ever had to solve that problem.

Open source maintainer threatens to throw in the towel if companies won't ante up


Re: 'CFO's

Hopefully someone near the core of the opensource project was smart enough to run a commercial business offering support and/or remote hosting.

If you don't fit in with a commercial businesses way of viewing the world then you're not going to get any kind of engagement from them. Perhaps opensource projects should sell entirely optional licences, I suspect a lot of the time if techs went to their bosses with a quote for a licence it would get signed off without a problem.

What begins with a 'B' and is having problems at tsoHost? Hopefully not your website


Re: "Updated to add"

I don't understand how it is taking them so long to fix this.

They're probably still trying to work out why anyone thought it was a good idea to distribute virtual instances over physical servers alphabetically.

Meanwhile customers starting with a letter Q report performance has always been excellent.

UK's Newport Wafer Fab now under Chinese ownership


Hot bed of capitalists

I never realised there were so many shareholders of the company here. It's not *ours* and except for a few very specific reasons it is literally none of our business who they sell it to.

8 years ago another billionaire ploughed millions into space to harvest solar power and beam it back down to Earth


Asimov described so many things you'd think he was making them up.

Tesla battery fire finally flamed out after four-day conflagration


Re: Extinguishers...

Aus is big. The safest, cheapest and easiest solution is to do exactly what they did. Space the batteries out and let it burn.

Fastly 'fesses up to breaking the internet with an 'an undiscovered software bug' triggered by a customer


Re: Fastly 'fesses up'

I notice they don't bother to mention what the 'customer configuration change' was. If I was cynical I might be inclined to think it was something so simple they'd be embarrassed by revealing it.

Why did Johnny and Jenny's exam grades yo-yo over the summer? Here's some of the code behind UK results chaos


Re: it would have been interesting to see what was in those "final codes"

Unless, of course, they have previous data of predicted vs actual grades that show teachers of larger classes are more likely to overestimate predicted grades.

It may date back to 1994 but there's no end in sight for the UK's Chief customs system as Brexit rules beckon


Re: Still. The Farage Garage will be open for business on time.

How about we dress it up as 'People were asked a question and those that answered gave their preference.'

In the same way you could title this article 'It may date back to 1994 but there's no end in sight for the UK's Chief customs system as Brexit rules beckon' or you could go with 'System from 1994 is still capable and so will be maintained'

Linux kernel's Kroah-Hartman: We're not struggling to get new coders, it's code review that's the bottleneck


Re: Linux and more

// This is a skanky hack!

That strikes me as a very useful comment - a warning that you should think about it rather than read it.

The ones that annoy me are things like:

// Check that the customer has sufficient balance to place the order

That shouldn't be described by a comment. It should be described by a method name.

Google contractor HCL America accused of retaliating against unionized techies by shifting US jobs to Poland


Re: United, together

But the union has management as well. Who are, by your own reasoning, in it for themselves.

Someone not only created a comment-spewing Reddit bot powered by OpenAI's GPT-3, it offered bizarre life advice


"We tried to contact thegentlemetre over Reddit for comment"

Be honest, you wanted to offer it a job.

Another reminder that bias, testing, diversity is needed in machine learning: Twitter's image-crop AI may favor white men, women's chests


Surely the most important question is...

Why prat about with this AI learning to crop an image when you could just scale it to fit?

Amazon gets its tax excuses in early amid rising UK profits – but leaves El Reg off the press list. Can't think why


Re: You can add another

And yet contractors get paid more than permanent staff? Your work is worth what it's worth.

That can be wages, taxes, sick pay, holiday pay, a staff canteen, stock options, free bagel Thursday, whatever.

And you demanding an extra £8000 per year depends entirely on relative costs - can you really leave or is it an empty threat? Can I replace you with someone else for less? Will that cost more in productivity than I save in wages? Can I replace you with automation? How much investment will that take?


Re: You can add another

'It isnt paid by amazon , its taken from the money amazon pays its employees...'

Nope. Just cos it's your name on the cheque/check doesn't mean it's at your cost.

Amazon itself is just a legal construct, it doesn't bear the cost of anything as it has no desire to consume (the only cost of anything being the opportunity cost).

All taxes are ultimately paid by some combination of the customer, employee and shareholder.

At the very last Moment.js: Time-and-date JavaScript library fetched 12 million times a week ends development


I suspect Goodhart's law applies here

'When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure'

Once library size becomes the target I can see lots of libraries becoming nothing but a plugin framework, replacing an 80kb library with a 10kb library and 100kb of extensions.

Another week, another dual-screen phone, this time a T-shaped LG thingamy


Top Tip

Save money on the new LG dual screen rotata phone by joining your old phone to your new phone with an elastic band.

Google says Australian pay-for-news code means it can’t quit the country


Google and Facebook need to up their bribery, sorry, funding.

'Australia doesn’t want Google or Facebook to leave, it just wants them to pay news organisations on terms set by Australia'

Or, more accurately, those with political influence want to extract a rent

Can I get some service here? The new 27-inch iMac forgoes replaceable storage for soldered innards


Of course Apple cares. A custom CPU package would cost more.

Amazon gets green-light to blow $10bn on 3,000+ internet satellites. All so Americans can shop more on Amazon


Re: Tempora mutantur, et nos mutamur in illis.

'When I was young it was the dog that ate your homework'

It's the giant mutant star goat you have to watch out for.

Nvidia may be mulling lopping Arm off Softbank: GPU goliath said to have shown interest in acquiring CPU design house


Re: What is the point ?

'Lots of brains at ARM have the skills that could boost Nvidia's ranks'

It could go the other direction as well. NVidia are extremely good at market segmentation and they might think that while Softbanks 'just charge more for everything' approach will drive customers from ARM some careful technology segmentation might see specialist industries paying up.

Nominet shakes up system for expiring .uk domains, just happens to choose one that will make it £millions. Again


From the 'consultation'

'In order to provide the exact time and date an expired domain name will be become available for registration we will need to introduce a time period of certainty where the domain cannot be renewed by its previous registrant and has not yet been deleted and made available for registration by a new registrant (i.e. a Pending Delete period). We would consider a Pending Delete period of around five days.'

Brilliant, so if you forget to renew your domain you'll be blocked from purchasing it to make sure the squatters have a chance to bid for it.

Don't strain yourself, Zuck, only democracy at stake... Facebook makes half-hearted effort to flag election lies by President Trump


Re: why aren't postal votes considered a fraud risk in the US?

They are. The results of elections have been very carefully analysed and there have been a number of studies that conclude the risk is fucking tiny.

So you agree with Trump that an increase in mail in votes will lead to '...the MOST CORRUPT election in our nations history...'

This is the issue I have with all these 'truth checkers' - they seldom seem to be actually checking what was said and instead going off an OMG interpretation

UK formally abandons Europe’s Unified Patent Court, Germany plans to move forward nevertheless


"Not one non-hole driller has been able to explain what tangible benefit they think they have by not drilling a hole in the bottom of this boat". The answer is, of course, not fucking everything up.

Not terribly relevant but almost all boats have at least one hole in the bottom.

NASA delays James Webb Space Telescope launch date by at least seven months


You don't seriously think that the PM hasn't been sacked (or quit) several times already ?

It's government funding. The PM(s) will have been promoted.

You've think you've heard it all about automation in technology? Get a load of this robot that plugs in cables



To be fair it was the USB A socket that finally proved the existence of 720 degree quantum spin.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now


Re: Wishy washy

'ALL Lives Matter!'

What, exactly, do you have against zombies?


Re: Wishy washy

Lord and Serf?

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


'unless they can convert the satellite from Ku-band to L-band, then they cannot be configured to operate with existing GPS receivers.'

Why would you want to do that? Do you expect billions of existing perfectly good GPS receivers to be updated to support an additional standard?

There's no reason why these satellites can't provide navigation, comms (the British military currently buy commercial bandwidth I believe), and emergency location beacons.

I don't think we need another GPS, but if you're going to do it you may as well get all the services you can.

Machine-learning models trained on pre-COVID data are now completely out of whack, says Gartner


Try reading it as 'people who sell models insist you need to buy models'

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps


Re: "Intel never thrilled me" - "x86-64 isn't at all bad"

x86-64 isn't Intel. It's AMD.

Amazon's not saying its warehouse staff are dumb... but it feels they need artificial intelligence to understand what 'six feet' means


Re: It's almost as if...

...people are capable of calculating the opportunity cost from being sat at home for three months

We cross now live to Oracle. Mr Ellison, any thoughts? 'Autonomous self-driving computers eliminate human labor, eliminate human error'


Re: Fill the void

'...eliminate human jobs...'

Which is, of course, what increased productivity is. The elimination of human work. Otherwise 99% of us would still spend our days digging in the fields with hand tools.

Hey Mister Prime Minister ... Scott! Can you get off my lawn please, mate?


Re: I salute that man!

Hang on, is this trebuchet going to be operated by Koalas or launch Koalas?

Typical customer specification. Always leaving out the details.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation


Re: El Reg faux pas

You're right. Entirely inappropriate.

Finland doesn't have school buses so why would one be on the blackboard?

Car crash: Uber axes another 3,000 jobs, closes 45 offices as punters snub app during coronavirus lockdown


Re: AI for hailing a cab?

Quite possibly. At least in the sense it might learn Prag Vec are playing a sellout at the Melkweg, which is ending in 15 minutes, so free drivers might like to head over that way.

More automation to suddenly look like a jolly good idea as businesses struggle through coronavirus crisis, say analysts


No, the conversation is an automation. Remember, in economics everything is a technology.

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground


Re: Electric planes?

You need far more power for take off and landing than during cruise.

So much so that cruise is less efficient than it could be, if you could use a couple of smaller jets and then add in electric fans for extra power when you need it you could improve fuel economy by a couple of percent.

NASA are trying another approach, using a smaller wing which is fine for cruise but then adding electric fans to increase the airspeed over the wing during take off and landing to gain the extra lift required. - https://www.nasa.gov/specials/X57/index.html

IBM veep partly blamed Sopra Steria for collapse of £155m Co-Op Insurance Agile project


Re: Hmmm....encryption

'... Its not an application level property...'

So how do you know you can trust it?


Re: Hmmm....encryption

Not even inter-server. It may be a requirement for inter-process encryption on the same hardware - to protect against man in the middle intercepts for example.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


Re: Cynical is what an optimist calls a realist...

Programmer: Damn, I should have forked it when it was still full. Now I'm going to gave to work trice as hard.

FYI: When Virgin Media said it leaked 'limited contact info', it meant p0rno filter requests, IP addresses, IMEIs as well as names, addresses and more


Virgin Media's CEO Lutz Schüler said last night...

"Based upon our investigation, Virgin Media does believe that the database was accessed on at least one occasion but we do not know the extent of the access or if any information was actually used."

Given that they know the security researchers accessed it what Virgin Media's CEO Lutz Schüler actually said last night was 'We have no logs for this server or for the network routing to it so have no way of knowing if, or how often, this information was accessed.'

25 years of Delphi and no Oracle in sight: Not a Visual Basic killer but hard to kill


Re: Why didn't it sweep all?

It was the MSDN subscription for us - before documentation being all on the net having the Developer Network CDs made it much easier to be productive in VB compared to Delphi


Re: Wot no Stob?

+1 The only part of the Delphi ecosystem that's still relevant.

(Disclaimer: I am bitter as these days I am mostly doing PHP)