* Posts by Doctor Syntax

21267 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

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BBC voice assistant promises to summon streams even if you're just a little bit Brahms and Liszt

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "The BBC is selling Beeb as a privacy-friendly option"

I'm not sure how it can be considered as compatible with being Windows only.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

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Re: Unhearing government

The site currently asks you if you'll fill in a survey. The first thing to notice about the survey is that it's run from a 3rd party domain. Wankers in marketing never learn.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Four countries - same CLID?

But then do we even believe the CLID?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Driving 260 miles to Durham while your wife has the virus is not safe"

Driving 260 miles when you yourself might be infected is even less safe. There have been reported cases where individuals started out feeling fine on shorter drives than that and were in a state of collapse by the end of it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"1 - he didn't write it"

He did sit in on several meetings of SAGE who originated - despite being unqualified.

"3 - the deputy CMO explicitly stated that childcare was an exceptional situation"

Yes. And suggested that if there were no suitable alternatives, contact local social services. Of course social services are only for the little people.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I feel left out

"If you were 10 years older you'd probably have heard from them."

I'm 10 years older than you probably think Will is (well over 60 is stall a valid statement, of course). So is SWMBO with additional criteria and neither of us have been contacted. I suppose it's possible someone might have attempted to send her an SMS but it's not an effective way of contacting her - she hardly ever has her mobile on unless she wants to make a call. Plain old letter would be more effective.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: why?

"Not by a long chalk but I would not want his job for all the tea in china and india combined."

That means you're temperamentally better suited than anyone who does, including him.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Jumping the gun a bit, aren't they ?

Not going to risk downloading a fake any of them. The fake has the advantage that they probably won't hang on to your data for a couple of decades.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

As a techie i find it staggering the the govt appears have just given up on a tracing "app"

I don't think they have. They just realise it won't be sufficient (assuming it works) because ..... not everyone has a smartphone to run it on. And not everyone who has a smartphone can be arsed to carry it everywhere or even keep it charged up; I certainly can't.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unhearing government

I always refused point blank to believe that they were my bank on the basis that I'd already made clear to my bank that I couldn't accept such calls without caller verification and I wasn't even prepared to indicate whether or not they'd guessed right. It was followed up by a miffed letter from the bank saying they couldn't get in touch to sell me something I wasn't looking for (I paraphrase).

It only happened with my business account. I suppose I could have simply said discussing financial matters with unsolicited callers was contrary to company policy.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: OT - Did I miss something? 301 moved permanently??

Sorted.

Temporary Interruption To Satisfy User Permissions.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: OT - Did I miss something? 301 moved permanently??

Thanks. I hadn't noticed that. It probably explains various breakages. I'll have to go and reset permissions.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Unhearing government

"The financial industry is better at providing contact details and extra information to verify that a communication is genuine."

Shall we settle for "just about as bad"?

I've certainly never experienced any branch of the financial industry providing any verification of their contacts. Emails purporting to be from them arrive at the appropriate unique address but that's not intentional verification on their part.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

But - but -but isn't that experienced professional Dodo Harding, reporting to that expert on secure personal apps Matt Hancock, in charge of this?

Spending watchdog doubts UK is capable of managing Brexit and coronavirus info campaigns at the same time

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Not a very surprising conclusion given that they've proved themselves incapable of managing even one thing at a time.

Lenovo certifies all desktop and mobile workstations for Linux – and will even upstream driver updates

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What are you doing that requires you to have driver problems 10 times in a week?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Vendor support is one thing...

"I'm not sure why I would want to watch in 4K on a PC or laptop."

Not even the PC with a tuner card in it, sitting under the TV, running MythTV or Kodi?

UK.gov dangles £100m for service slingers for back office 'transformation' that'll kill off bespoke systems

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: A Fish Lots From The Head Down

It sounds more like the way in which the job is to be divided up to be auctioned. It's a technical term in the auction business.

As the US maybe gets serious about coronavirus-tracking apps, Congress wakes up to the privacy risks

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I hope they'll find time to have a word with their opposite numbers in the HoP.

Fujitsu unveils new laptops 'optimized for remote work' – erm, isn't that what laptops have always been for?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: "optimized for remote work"

So was my old Nokia Communicator with its 9600 baud modem and that wasn't a laptop. It wasn't even a smartphone.

Privacy activists prep legal challenge against UK plan to keep coronavirus contact-tracing data for two decades

Doctor Syntax Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Optimists

"They think they'll actually have any data?"

If somebody who's tested positive names you as a contact then they'll have data on you. You didn't give it to them but they'll have it. A bit like Facebook and the rest rifling through subscribers' devices' contacts and grabbing data about 3rd parties.

It drives a coach and horses through data protection legislation. About the one hope is that the EU turns round and denies equivalence to GDPR unless it's changed. Just about every aspect of this has a red flag flying over it. It would help if someone in charge had a really solid reputation for safeguarding PII. What we have instead is Dido Harding.

UK.gov dangles £400k over makers of IoT Things: Go on, let's see how you'd make a security cert scheme

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Typical government project

Something must be done. This is something therefore it must be done. The politician's syllogism.

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

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Re: Code... WHO CARES!

Shudder

Bite me? It's 'byte', and that acronym is Binary Interface Transfer Code Handler

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Back in the days of Prime and PrimeOS a branch of the Home Office had one of these. The systems manager had added a facility that would respond to swearing typed in at the command line by responding in kind.

So you really didn't touch the settings at all, huh? Well, this print-out from my secret backup says otherwise

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Fear the

"has the BOFH been furloughed?"

Between social distancing and remote working it's difficult to get the victims bosses within range.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, customers.

I had a client whose flagship product was made on a system which included a system provided by a third party pulling in files across the LAN by FTP from another server provided by a 3rd party. The FTP server was replaced and it transpired the 3rd party client was more fussy about the exact format of the file listings from the FTP server than FTP server writers were. Fortunately the new server ran SuSE so I got the trivial job of rebuilding the daemon with a change of the fprintf argument.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Load?

Over the bank holiday weekend there were reported concerns about overproduction while consumption was down and possible dire consequences for the grid. This would be a handy tool to have available for such occasions.

AR flop Magic Leap's 'pivot' spins CEO right off his throne

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

It puts selling anti-5G sticks for a mere £399 into perspective.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

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Re: Jail time

The purchase price is essential to make it work. In the minds of the buyers of course.

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Re: 5G Facts Summary So Far = Not Much

"specifically its wavelength or frequency"

There's no "or" ivolved. One changes, the other changes. It's almost like magic.

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Re: Gutted

The effectiveness of such devices is a function of price so yours wouldn't have been effective. Your testimonials would have been along the lines of "It worked for half an hour".

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Anyone willing to self-identify as gullible is clearly going to be an easy target for junk. The real harm with this sort of thing will come when someone realises this is a way to get someone to pay to install malware on their own machines - or their employers'.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: The product sheet is hilarious

Just "overdose" on its own is quite ambiguous. If someone were gullible enough to believe the rest of the sales pitch for this they might well believe it would protect them against overdose of some drug and try to benefit from that. I wonder what 3rd party liability insurance they have.

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"Somebody employs this person"

Maybe they don't now.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Probably not. 3rd attempt is fairly standard. This one would have needed many more.

Laughing UK health secretary launches COVID-19 Test and Trace programme with glitchy website and no phone app

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Re: Good and bad

"However as the most likely route of infection is from an infected surface"

Are you sure? I thought droplet and aerosol were now considered the main routes.

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Re: Good and bad

Sort of. The problem is that a contact is assumed to be an infection.

Just a little while ago when various testing methods were being assessed and dismissed because they didn't meet quality criteria in terms of false negatives and/or positives. What quality criteria have been attached to this process? What impact assessment has been made on the consequences of people spending time in self-isolation for 14 days as a result of the false positives which will occur?

In a couple of weeks time we're going to hear the first complaints. In about six weeks time we'll be hearing the complaints from those who've gone through two periods of self-isolation with no symptoms. In eight weeks or so the whole shambles will be thoroughly discredited unless Hancock does what should be blindingly obvious now: test all contacts, with an initial isolation needed only until the test result is available and continued isolation only for positive responses.

Made-up murder claims, threats to kill Twitter, rants about NSA spying – anything but mention 100,000 US virus deaths, right, Mr President?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: But no one cares what Trump has to say

The Beeb sometimes displays three versions: deaths with a +ve Covid test, deaths with Covid on the death cert regardless of tests and total number of deaths over and above the typical level. Not surprisingly they are ranked in magnitude in that order. The last, it should be added, takes into account any such effects as other diseases not being treated and less fatalities due to RTAs.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You supported a system...

We now have a situation where the Leader of the Opposition looks far more like prime ministerial material than the PM. In fact the PM has just burned so much political capital he could already have put the next election out of reach.

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Re: You supported a system...

" It's the only one that makes any sense in a federal system. ... We have a federal government"

But why isn't the federal government directly elected?

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It's worth remembering that the standard response of any politician faced with the consequences of their own ineptitude is to find some foreign enemy to blame. "Chinese virus" fits right into this pattern.

What's unusual about this one is that he started this sort of behaviour in his initial campaign - Mexican walls & all that. Thank goodness no politician in the UK would resort to such tactics.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: But no one cares what Trump has to say

"only the most head-banging Brexiteers have been able to keep a straight face"

I agree with the sentiment but not the expression. Nobody's laughing about this.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: They didn't vote for him

"Why is it that only corona deaths matter, not all the deaths that our response to corona causes?"

This article demonstrates that for most age groups Coronavirus introduces the same risk as all other causes of death put together. All other diseases, traffic accidents, fire, murder, the lot. Take all those together, add in coronavirus and, if you're over 30 - 40 your chances of dying are doubled:

https://medium.com/wintoncentre/how-much-normal-risk-does-covid-represent-4539118e1196

"Sweden is in it for the long haul, and they are going to have one of the lowest death rates of any country when this is finally over,"

It looks as if this is not going to be the case:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/av/world-europe-52757471/

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-52704836

EU General Court tears up ban on Three slurping O2. Good thing the latter's not set to merge with Virgin Media, eh?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Just as well

"They have not invested in new towers/Microcells yet (needed for 5G)."

Probably the right decision at the moment. Nothing built, nothing burnt.

Embrace and kill? AppGet dev claims Microsoft reeled him in with talk of help and a job – then released remarkably similar package manager

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

1. Is it sufficiently similar to count as a derivative work and if so have Microsoft complied with the Apache 2 terms?

2. I hope he'll submit a suitable invoice for consultancy. A really suitable invoice.

Broadcom sends its England-based staff back into office as UK lockdown eases – though Welsh workers get a free pass

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

I'd like to see someone who has been fined challenge it and call Cummings as an expert witness on the correct interpretation of the rules. And then another. And another....

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Why?

It would be interesting to see whether this is more or less efficient than everyone working from home but we'll never be told.

Great success! Finance app was able to inform user that their action was unsuccessful

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Isn't the collective term for complete bankers a wunch?

Switzerland 'first' country to roll out contact-tracing app using Apple-Google APIs to track coronavirus spread

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Do they have an estimate of the number of false positives, as a percentage of the presumed contacts and as a percentage of the total population condemned to self-isolation. That would be essential to judge the impact of this? I haven't seen an impact assessment of UK version, manual or automated. I suppose it's just one more of those things to be discovered the hard way to be blindingly obvious.

Highways England waves around £62m contract for National Traffic Information Service after brief chat with vendors

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Re: Utterley Useless

Whenever there's a possibility of criticism you'll find it's entirely automatic and out of their direct control.

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