* Posts by Nonymous Crowd Nerd

106 posts • joined 26 Nov 2014


Talent shortage? Maybe it's your automated hiring system, lack of investment in training

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: To which you can add ...

Maybe in summary the decision maker for the recruitment has been promoted to young. (S)he's grown overpaid before they grown wise and sufficiently cynical to avoid the pitfalls, and the traps in the for of new architectures and new management methods laid for them by the big multinationals.

EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

If They Don't Block This, They Should Retire

In any sane universe this merger damages competition and choice.

If any competition authority anywhere in the world approves it, the individuals should directly leave the building, turn out the lights as they go, throw away the key and sign on the dole.

Recent years have seen precious few mergers banned outright and for me at least, it feels as though the competition authorities pay nothing but lip service to investigating anything. There is literally utterly no point in paying for a competition authority that never bans a merger.

UK's competition regulator fires red flare over Nvidia's $40bn Arm takeover deal

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Far to late

".. a bunch of self serving posh schoolboys running the country..."

I seem to recall this deal allowing ARM to be bought out by Softbank was one of Theresa May's first acts as incoming PM. Not a "posh schoolboy", I think, unless you know something the rest of us don't?

Russia says software malfunction caused Nauka module to unexpectedly fire thrusters, tilt space station

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Several possibilities

f) On the way to docking, the primary rocket system was accidentally switched off, hence they had to use the secondary system. At the point when they intended to switch off the secondary system after docking, they accidentally switched the primary system back on again.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Those comments from Roscosmos...

One might think that. I couldn't possibly comment.

Ganja believe it? Police make hash of suspected weed farm raid, pot Bitcoin mine instead

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: As a local ...

There's a photo in other versions of this story. El Reg often seemed to think that stock photos will be sufficient, but here's a perfect case where more is needed.

James Webb Space Telescope runs one last dress rehearsal for its massive golden mirrors before heading to launchpad

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

What you're describing here begins to look like a very "ambitious" project indeed. "Bold" even.

I'm certain Sir Humphrey would have come up with an appropriate phrase...

Docking £500k commission from top SAS salesman was perfectly legal, rules judge

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

"... As the judge goes around SAS's MD for dinner later that same day."

Yep. That was my first thought. Especially as he was sitting alone instead of part of the usual tribunal. It all looks a bit fishy.

China requires 'self-correction' of monopolistic behaviour by 34 local web giants

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

For example, in controlling a certain virus... Even though they have impinged upon people liberties to a degree - possibly quite a significant degree - they did manage to contain a virus where the vast majority of Western nations have failed.

After years of dragging its feet, FCC finally starts tackling America's robocall scourge

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Sadly, I have answers.

(a) No effective action is taken because various lobbying groups (BT?) throw their all into confusing the legislation just enough to make it unworkable.

And (b), even more sadly, the group who struggle to disbelieve dodgy callers includes my parents who are in their late eighties. It hasn't cost us money yet but there's much heartache as they ask again and again whether this or that call might be legitimate.

Airline software super-bug: Flight loads miscalculated because women using 'Miss' were treated as children

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Not necessarily.

They would appear to have thought of this in my washing machine which seems to weigh the load just after it starts and adjust things accordingly. Maybe Boeing technology not going with that yet.

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Extend to cars

While at the other extreme... I believe the record to remove and replace the engine in a classic VW Beetle is 76 seconds. The time is measured from driving the car over a line to start the clock until it's driven back over the line with the engine back in the car again to stop the clock.

Bill Gates on climate change: Planting trees is not the answer, emissions need to be zeroed out to avoid disaster

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Nuclear power is a no-brainer

Fission-based nuclear power is not the panacea that many people hope for. There are regular claims that the next generation of nuclear power will be safe - 3rd, is it, or 4th generation now... But there were similar claims for previous generations while the core of the problem remains basically the same - that a huge amount of fuel is concentrated in one place and no one has managed to properly assess and control the risks of a very large accident. Yes, the apparent risks might be small, but often enough they can coincide and the potential for a very large accident is nowhere near so negligible as nuclear advocates would have us believe.

We're asked to trust in the philosophy that "We won't make THAT mistake again" is near enough. But what about the next mistake, and the next. The engineering issues are just too large scale and too complex for there never to be a crack, never a tsunami, never a terrorist attack or an ill-judged safety test. Yes. It's true these things can be very, very unlikely, but that's not the same as saying they'll never happen.

Four cold calling marketing firms fined almost £500k by ICO

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Fines should never be less than £1 per call

That would help..

Plus liability should automatically be transferred to directors for this crime - even for limited companies...

Plus the carrier that delivers the call to the victim - normally BT - should be liable for all unpaid fines after 3 months.

Boeing will cough up $2.5bn+ to settle US fraud charge over 737 Max safety

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: nothing happening here then

Plus, there should be a complete ban on revolving door recruitment so not one employee can move from Boeing to the FAA or vice versa.

Adiós Arecibo Observatory: America's largest radio telescope faces explosive end after over 50 years of service

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Reality

You surely only need to lift in new cables. It all seems to me rather like a lack of will has crept into these organisations who want money for their shiny new projects and don't love the role of custodian - especially of something that is currently looking a tad shabby.

Behold, the Ultimately Large Telescope: A revived proposal for a 100-metre liquid-mirror star scanner on the Moon

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Ultimately Large Telescope

I seem to remember applying this kind of nomenclature to Antanov transporter planes landing at Farnborough.

Watchdog signals Boeing 737 Max jets can return to US skies following software upgrade, pilot training

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Dating back to the 1096s

The problem is that as you make the plane larger, the engines larger and increase the number of passengers, the physical strength required to get the plane out of trouble goes up. It's become a major problem and was significant in the crashes with the pilots in no position to concentrate on the technical issues when they were struggling to control the yoke and the trim wheel.

Ask yourself how enthusiastic you'd be to drive a full-sized 38-tonne truck without the servo assisted brakes that all large trucks now have, but did not in the 1960s?

Heck yeah, we should have access to our own cars' repair data: Voters in US state approve a landmark right-to-repair ballot measure

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: John Deere, Fordson

We have one a little older than that - a 1953 "Little Grey Fergie" (Fergusson TE20). We use it mostly to extract other vehicles that have got stuck. This is a Tractor Vapourising Oil (TVO) model and obtaining something that's close enough to original TVO is generally the biggest headache. I certainly don't think it has been recording my weight over the years!

H2? Oh! New water-splitting technique pushes progress of green hydrogen

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Plenty of problems - so who funds this work and why?


* Hydrogen is hard to extract from wherever it currently resides - water..

* It's hard to store because it leaks through the tiniest gaps

* It might explode

It's all very well debating which is the biggest problem. In reality it scarcely matters because they're all pretty serious. Years (decades?) have been expended on trying to overcome these issues to power cars or buses but progress has been minimal. A handful of cars here, or buses there, but no one is prepared to risk volume production. I don't blame them.

But why on earth is anyone still bothering to fund this.

Is it that various funding bodies keen for green publicity are being conned by scientists who should be a bit more responsible?

(And while I'm in rant mode, doesn't pretty much the same argument apply to money spent on carbon capture and storage?)

What a Hancock-up: Excel spreadsheet blunder blamed after England under-reports 16,000 COVID-19 cases

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Counting the Cost

At the end of the affair - when the dust has settled and the excess deaths finally tallied, it will be possible to allocate a cost to this mistake - a cost in terms of lives lost, reopening delayed and cash.

For that reason, if not for any other, perhaps it's time that a couple of complacent managers actually take the rap for this and lose their jobs.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: A plague on Excel's house!

One of our clients lost their company's largest contract by selecting all the columns on screen and sorting them by postcode, but overlooking all the columns off screen to the right. Excel offers the user a myriad ways to Hancock-up. The current case, though, must be the biggest ever.

Revenues from in-app purchases swelled 32% to almost $30bn for Q3 2020 – and Apple snaffled most of it

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: 10%

Well, yes. But 10% of what and who gets it?

In fact the digital sales taxes that the European governments are looking to introduce on the FAANG companies - and a few more - are rather like this. Countries are deciding that companies are to be included based on global turnover (revenue). The system is grossly simplistic, but the bottom line is that for these exceptionally global organisations with plenty of monopolistic power, we absolutely have to do something. And the international taxation arrangements that these companies have effectively bypassed are riven with complexity.

Anybody looking to knock any of these suggestions needs to remember

1. We have to do something.

2. It must be simple.

3. It must be possible for countries to impose the new regime unilaterally, otherwise the likes of Ireland and

Luxembourg will veto everything to protect their own ill-gotten gains.

HubSpot must prove core sales features to be taken seriously in enterprise CRM market

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

American again?

"HubSpot is pushing hard against Salesforce, Oracle, SAP and Microsoft."

Salesforce - US

Oracle - US

SAP - Germany

Microsoft - US

Enough is enough. Any new player for consideration ought to be British - or at least European, but not American. Sadly HubSpot is American.

UK govt urged to bolt tough legal protections onto Arm and protect jobs – or simply veto Nvidia's £31bn acquisition

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Why sell Arm anyway ?

The sad truth is that we've been "open for business" since the days of Margaret Thatcher. There's no reason Brexit should make things worse. It could even make things better since we don't have EU subsidy rules to conform to. But frankly, I doubt it will make any difference at all.

And I have for years shared your sad image whenever any *%&£ politician says that the UK is "open for business" of Britannia from the old coins bending over with her skirts pulled up ready for the globalist invasion.

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

I know it's off topic, but Harry Dunn's death was a tragic accident. There's been no mention of any aggravating circumstances regarding the woman's driving - like high blood alcohol, or previous similar cases. There was obviously no premeditation. And this driving on the wrong side of the road error just does happen. If I'm honest, I've done it myself after returning from extending driving overseas. If she had gone through the whole UK legal process she would probably have been given a hefty fine, lost her licence for maybe three years and a perhaps got a suspended sentence. There's almost no chance she would have gone to prison - and that's the reason why it's a bit difficult to get too aggressive regarding extradition. Compare this, for instance, to the Salisbury Novichoc poisoners. They came with the intent to kill, to cause an agonisingly painful death and with little regard for collateral injuries. And yet still we cannot extradite. Extradition isn't easy. Even from an ally.

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: "Talk of a second wave is nonsense"

While it is dropping, the case fatality rate in the US is still over 3%. That's very, very much worse than flu.

Covid-19 does deserve to be taken much more seriously than flu.

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

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

The seems like quite a high price tag for re-using technology that's already up and running in London and to some extent, as the article mentions, Sheffield and probably a few other places too.

Winter is coming, and with it the UK's COVID-19 contact-tracing app – though health minister says it's not a priority

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Feels like no one cares whether the app will work

Have you a reference for this Kings app? My guess is that the work that is achievable under the heading of epidemiology will be very severely constrained. It will not, I suspect, be able to work with the wealth of location and profile data that I naturally assume Google is already holding on me and every other Android user.

Remember. Real people are dying. Just get the ***** thing working!

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Feels like no one cares whether the app will work

My parents are old enough and frail enough that I really do care. Yet the process around getting these apps going seems to be one of never-ending debate over privacy issues. As the first wave of infection has declined complacency seems to be setting in and I see little sense of urgency. My reading of the stats suggests the chances are there will be a second wave.

We clearly need to be pushing ahead with both threads of development - the one using the Google/Apple API that seems to protect privacy while largely precluding epidemiological research, AND the independent alternative that seems to run up against issues with iOS. That this second option has proved so problematic for so many countries seems to me to be a huge indictment of how the industry has evolved over the past decade.

To any developers out there: please just get ***** thing working.

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

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Oh for the days when we could actually achieve something

When I started out in this broad area of work, if someone could sensibly describe their requirement and the data involved, we could deliver a system that worked.

Yet here we are with a contact tracing requirement that can be defined in a paragraph and the entire industry in the west, supposedly working together, has delivered nothing except endless discussion of privacy issues while real people are actually dying. And this literally months after the South Koreans have their app up and running.

What if the virus was ten times more dangerous, or if it was seventy times more deadly for IT developers than it was for our parents rather than the other way around? What then? Would we still be watching people having this tortuous discussion until there was no one left to be discuss anything.

If you bought a CRT monitor, TV 13+ years ago, hold on a little longer, there may be a small check for you

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

What's needed is a way to make time wasting cost the lawyers money

There needs to be a clause in a settlement like this to discourage the lawyers from keeping their snouts in the trough.

Perhaps it could be couched in terms of interest that's awarded to class recipients at 20% over base.

Nokia's reboot of the 5310 is a blissfully dumb phone that will lug some mp3s about just fine

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: 2G only paperweight

This thing actually running Android is exactly what I would expect. And my guess is that those people buying these things in the hopes of operating "off the radar" will be surprised to discover that it could well be recording a location history after all.

Huawei P40 pricing is in step with previous P-series efforts – but flagship lacks the apps punters have come to expect

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: pretty pathetic if a facebook owned app is "backbone" of business

Well it might be pathetic, but it's how the world is. The penetration of WhatsApp must be somewhere around 95% of western mobile phone users - and the second most popular messaging app is probably Facebook Messenger. In other words, Facebook have this market pretty much completely sown up.

It's Terpin time: Bloke who was SIM jacked twice by Bitcoin thieves gets green light to sue telco for millions

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Do you outsource your security?

"head of risk management" = scapegoat in chief.

A clear statement from CEO level should be required for this type of decision.

Beware, Tesla might take away your car's autopilot if you buy its vehicles from third party dealerships – plus more news

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Always read the software license terms and conditions

Perhaps there's a case here for a challenge to the terms and conditions on the basis that they are an unfair restriction to third party resellers of second hand cars.

The difficulty would be that it would probably have to be a class action and fairly complex, but it would be a good precedent to establish. As you say, though, a better result might be that Tesla takes the morally responsible position and makes the change allowing the software to stay with the car voluntarily.

In your face short sellers! Tesla goes two quarters in a row without losing money

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

I suspect that Tesla's lead will last a while yet. While competitors have managed several big launches of EVs, they often seem to be suspiciously low on stock. It still feels as if they are engaged in what is essentially a PR exercise aimed at getting publicity and pulling potential buyers into the showroom with the ultimate intention of guiding them gently towards a petrol or diesel car that's actually available now.

Some competitors' EV offerings are so low volume it seems possible they may be essentially hand-built and/or sold at a loss.

Wall Street analyst slashes HP Inc's share rating amid mounting worries over printer supplies declines

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Couldn't be happening to a more deserving bunch of cowboys

For a decade at least, the philosophy at HP's printing division and the whole inkjet printing industry has been to screw the client for every last cent and let the true quality of the product go down the toilet.

It's tragic. Because back in the thirty years or so, HP had and actually deserved a considerable reputation.

Alright! Ma time to meet that shag quota! Alibaba chairman steps down at 55 with $38.6bn fortune

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

He's got to have been doing a few things right.

So he's built the company to a value of $460 billion in twenty years. That's around $63 million a day. That's got to have taken luck, judgement, skill and hard work. Those who think to scoff should perhaps explain why they weren't achieving this.

Let's just hope Ma now follows Bill Gates' lead and applies himself equally hard to the intelligent spending of the cash.

Buying a Chromebook? Don't forget to check that best-before date

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: That's Chromebook right out of my buying list then

A sad, dishonourable mention for Rangemaster here, as they have done exactly this with my oven. They asked me to read off the serial number and if it starts with the wrong digit, all support is withdrawn and all spare parts unobtainable.

Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Autonomous driving is months, years, or decades away

You would probably need a random emergency stop generator - in order to chat with someone by the road, in a house, having a smoke, drinking wine at a cafe, or making love...

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Trouble with his tweet-continence

Elon Musk seems to share Donald Trump's problems with tweet-continence. Again it looks like he's overpromised.

They will get there eventually, but what's clearly needed is more baby steps. Maybe the next one is safely disengaging from autonomous driving even if the driver is asleep or unwell - or drunk! This would obviously sometimes involve parking after an assessment of risks. Once this is in the bag, they can take on the easiest roads first, like clear or slow-running motorways, and then disengage as predicted conditions get more risky.

Remember that the Autopilot that's already installed can't be bad as the collisions we've heard about are fairly low when viewed besides the number of miles driven with Autopilot engaged. Remember also that, despite what people may say, we don't need perfection - we do need the autonomous driving to be demonstrably safer than human driving.

It can be done. Maybe not in a year, but not too many years. I'm confident that I will be relieved from the drudgery of motorway tailback driving within the next five years. And that's one of the most important things we could most of us do without.

Telly production biz films maternity clinic, doesn't tell patients, gets fined £120,000

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

This really is a major infringement of the rules - and the spirit of the rules. In my view, a fine ten times greater still would not be enough.

We don't know whether 737 Max MCAS update is coming or Boeing: Anti-stall safety fix delayed

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

It's "fair enough" from the point of view of the airlines. The logic you describe works fine for them.

However, things look very dodgy indeed here as far as Boeing is concerned. They would appear to very been selling a safety critical indicator as though it was not, in fact, safety critical at all. This is on top of installing two physical indicators and only using one of them on any given flight and missing the entire MCAS out of the manual. It seems to me that Boeing may ultimately end up with a bill for the whole liability for the Ethiopian crash and the whole liability for the cost of the grounding of around 380 new planes and the whole liability for the delivery delays on new planes that should have be coming into service at the rate of fifty a month.

HPE lawyers claim Autonomy chief Lynch knew all about 'revenue-pumping' carousel

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Just $20m

Might be only $20 million as opposed to billions, but this could be just the tip of the iceberg. This kind of transaction is not easy to prove - neither party is going to be exactly keen to show you the details.

And if this is indicative of how Mr. Lynch spent his time (when he wasn't spouting about how great he was to the press) it seems pretty good evidence that he wasn't honestly growing the business.

Boeing... Boeing... Gone: Canada, America finally ground 737 Max jets as they await anti-death-crash software patches

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

It's possible that what Boeing describes as the "unique aircraft handling characteristics" are sufficiently extreme that handing "out control to the pilots" is not really an option. After fighting with the software to keep the nose up, if the pilot suddenly gets back control, their natural response would be to climb a fast as possible which would almost immediately set off the stall condition that seems like it's more or less inherent to the design. So the plane might then crash anyway.

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

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: The reason that the Max series need MCAS

Having only two sensors is the real problem. If there's a failure, there's no way for the software to decide which is wrong and therefore work out the real angle of attack. The real answer is to add an extra sensor, like you say - or more likely two extra sensors for symmetry.

This is why it's a potential financial black hole for Boeing. Adding the extra sensors to existing planes, revising the software to support voting in case of a failure, and testing (properly this time) is an absolute shed-load of work. It would be realistically three months to get even the first grounded planes safely airborne.

Any other approach, though, risks the possibility of a third accident which would put Boeing into bankruptcy.

Oracle sued for $4.5m after ERP system delivery date 'moved from 2015 to 2016, then 2017, then... er, never'

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Hmmmm

Excel is always the elephant in the room - sometimes ok, always "quick and dirty."

We genuinely had a client - maybe a forty strong company - which more or less crashed and burned as a consequence of a single fateful Excel sort.

And this, of course, is the cautionary tale that the next client always thinks you've made up to frighten them into doing things the hard way.

Airbus will shutter its A380 production line from 2021

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

So... What price Heathrow's third runway? I see many comments here about the hub and spoke model being dead. And I see others here saying that Emirates flights run way under capacity. (Living near Heathrow, I've also heard similar rumours of half-empty flights.)

Apple: You can't sue us for slowing down your iPhones because you, er, invited us into, uh, your home... we can explain

Nonymous Crowd Nerd

Re: Interesting argument

Or maybe they should just plead guilty.

Or, alternatively, the court should pronounce summary judgement against them, impose a fine well into the billions, ensure that the proceeds are distributed to iPhone owners worldwide, and rule that there is absolutely no leave to appeal. Something like this is what these tech giants and their lawyers need to teach them a lesson.



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