* Posts by steamnut

283 publicly visible posts • joined 31 Jul 2015


Cops developing Ghostbusters-esque weapon to take out e-bike thugs


Not viable

The amount of energy required at source would be very large as the inverse square law applies and, even at a couple of meters from the motor, it would need a large battery at the very least. Then you have to factor in legal bike and mobility scooters both of which litter our streets.

Banning hoodies and facial coverings unless the weather is sub zero would be easier to apply. Then you will also have a religious issue to get around....

The only solution is more bobbies actually on the streets. As someone else wrote, illegal scooters should be confiscated on site and disposed of.

Hubble Space Telescope hasn't had any visitors for 15 years


It must be done.

Although we know have the James Webb in place it operates in the infra-red not visible spectrum. It is also not repairable due to it's L2 location.

A service mission would be a much lower cost than creating and launching Hubble II. It is a no-brainer that Hubble should be repaired until a major, and not repairable failure, occurs.

Microsoft, OpenAI may be dreaming of $100B 5GW AI 'Stargate' supercomputer


Surely not?

I think that, although there were no specific clues, this must be an April fool story. $100bn - really?

Microsoft confirms memory leak in March Windows Server security update


Like Boeing too big.

Like Boeing, Microsoft is showing the same lack of care in readying it's products for release. Testing is being left to the user base. As no one (usually) dies, they get away with it time after time.

Attacks on UK fiber networks mount: Operators beg govt to step in



Any interference or destruction of national infrastructure should be a criminal offence with a mandatory prison sentence.

European Commission broke its own data privacy law with Microsoft 365 use


Go look with that!

"The EC has been ordered to suspend all data flows through the use of Microsoft 365 to Microsoft and any of its tentacles..."

City of London ditches Oracle for SAP in search of ERP enlightenment



Quote: "we have thoroughly reviewed our requirements" - that will be a first!

Maybe they should co0mpare notes with Birmingham Council.

I predict that we will be reading about the unmet deadlines and cost increases in these pages for many years to come.

How artists can poison their pics with deadly Nightshade to deter AI scrapers


I'm sure that this offensive/counter offensive battle will continue for quite a while with both sides using AI as the tool of choice.

There will no real winners here but I think that the material originators will be the ultimate losers.

Like CD and DVD anti-copying schemes that were defeated long ago, there are more people working on breaking the anti-copying schemes than devloping them.

Intel finds a friend in fight against $1.2B EU antitrust fine


Time for brown envelopes to be slid across the desks.

The 'nothing-happened' Y2K bug – how the IT industry worked overtime to save world's computers


A good earner though.

I spent a year working as a contractor for a major UK bank on the Y2K "problem". Yes, nothing happened at 00:01 and, for the next two months nothing happened except I collected a good pay cheque.

Microsoft braces for automatic AI takeover with Copilot at Windows startup


Just asking.

Maybe Microsoft are a little worried that people will use AI to ask the questions like "what is the best and most reliable operating system?" and will filter the outbound questions as a precaution.

New cars bought in the UK must be zero emission by 2035 – it's the law


And then there will be new taxes...

If we all go electric, albeit at a slow pace, then the loss of fuel duty will have to be recovered from somewhere. If the price is added to the charging point bill then folks who recharge at home will be better off. My guess is road pricing will have to be introduced.

At the same time it would be sensible to remove VED (and lose the Swansea head count) and just roll it into one. Then, quite fairly, those that use the roads more will pay more.

However they do it, the Government of the day will not be popular.

Fujitsu wins flood contract extension despite starring in TV drama about its failures


Historical effects.

Fujitsu rebranded our less then wonderful computing company ICL in 2002.

When I was in IBM I was approached to join ICL. Apart from the crap car offered and less than sparkling pay package, I was also informed that I might have to join a union. At that point I declined the offer.

I think Fujitsu was also blamed for a DWP problem over more than £1bn of state pensions not being paid.

Why does our Government still use them at all?

India inches space program forward with launch of X-ray polarimetry satellite


Well done but who paid for it?

It is great that India is achieving success in space.

However, this is a supposedly poor country that still gets foreign aid from the UK. The UK provided around £2.3 billion in aid between 2016 and 2021 (last figures available). Clearly they do not need it now.

China bans export of rare earth processing kit



Clearly Biden and co did not think this through very well.

To the likes of us it was bleeding obvious what China would do and the consequences that the West would suffer.

And all of this to protect us against unproven spying from Huawei equipment.

I guess this is China 1, the rest of the world 0.

Intel trims a few hundred workers in Cali just in time for Christmas


Word Salad..

I read the paragraph: "Intel is working to accelerate its strategy while reducing costs through multiple initiatives, including some business and function-specific workforce reductions in areas across the company," and it doesn't say what the "strategy" that they are accelerating actually is. I guess the Xmas bonuses for the Directors will be little bigger.....

Europe's Ariane 6 rocket rated 'ready to rumble' after passing hot fire test


Glimmer of hope.

This extended test result is good news, particularly for the bean counters which must be dreading the first real flight.

We all remember the earlier Ariane "mishaps" so they are not our of the woods yet for sure.

As for costs then, surely, the low percentage of reusable components in Arianne 6 means that Space-X is still more competitive. And, as Arianne 6 is a long way from getting any sort of track record, the insurance will be very high against Space-X too.

I guess we should still wish them well.

Sam Altman set to rejoin OpenAI as CEO – seemingly with Microsoft's blessing


Fake news?

I wonder if all of this is just an AI generated fake news story? In five minutes I will wake up just like the infamous Dallas shower scene....

Bing Chat so hungry for GPUs, Microsoft will rent them from Oracle


Be afraid, very afraid.

Microsoft cosying up to Oracle sounds like a marriage made in hell.

Every Bing search (I know a few people use it) will bombard you with Oracle ads and vice-versa.

What next Salesforce and SAP? Intel and AMD?

US actors are still on strike – and yup, it's about those looming AI clones


Resistance is useless

What will happen next is quite obvious. Studios will create idealistic AI characters loosely based on existing actors but not close enough to fail a legal test.

Anyone who watched Titanic will already have experienced computer generated crowd scenes - and that was 1995-7 technology. Today it would be even better.

Then we will have AI-based agencies with AI actors for rent. At this point the real, and often overpaid, actors will be redundant. After all, AI actors will not be unionised, can work 24/7 without needing trailer homes, meal brakes, youth-regaining plastic surgery or expensive insurance.

Then writers will use AI to write scripts for AI actors.

It sounds like science fiction but it is possible right now. The real actors ought to wake up to the fact that their longevity is shorter than they hopes for.

The die is cast.

Euclid space 'scope's first color snaps pull back the curtain on cosmic mysteries


Why? How?

I read that there a problems with light leaks that affects certain angles to the sun. After eleven years of design how on earth did they miss this design failure? Maybe the clue is in who made it: the European Space Agency.

Cisco zero-day bug allows router hijacking and is being actively exploited


Redirect priorities

Cisco should spend less time trying to stop business re-selling heir kit and focus on making their equipment more resilient. This is not the first, and wont be the last, CVE we will see.

Like all of the big software vendors they don't stop to remove the bloat and just keep patching in knee-jerk mode. Microsoft, Adobe are you listening?

Intel spins off FPGA biz with DC boss Sandra Rivera at the helm


A sad end

As a user of Altera in the past the Intel takeover wrecked the company in one move.

Like their other decisions (eg ARM) Intel seems to be acting like a rabbit in the headlights.

Nukes, schmukes – fuel cells could power future datacenters


Where from?

Where is the hydrogen going to come from? And how do we safely store large amounts of it?

A recent plan to use hydrogen for steel making came to nothing as a genuinely sustainable source of the hydrogen could not be found. A scheme to convert a fleet of Council vehicles was aborted for the same reason.

A recent lightning triggered explosion at a methane store in a sewage processing plant highlights the problems of storing inflammable gases.

Apple blames iOS 17 bug for overheating iPhone 15 woes


Test testing testing?

After all this time you do wonder how these problems occur.

Surely Apple has a strict testing regime before releasing new products?

Is this another case of a rushed release because of pressure from the sales department?

Bids for ISS demolition rights are now open, NASA declares


A better alternative

Why don't they attach some boosters to it and fire it into either deep space or the sun? Surely that would cost less and would reduce the risk of debris falling into unplanned areas? If they put some cameras on it and took pictures of the sun collision that would surely provide some good science?

Washington left with chip on shoulder after Huawei exposes export loophole lapses


Rushed laws never work.

The knee jerk laws created by the US were always going to be flawed as they were written by angry people seeking vengeance but which do not understood technology.

The resulting loss of exports to China is not insignificant either.

A far better approach would have been to get smarter with the networking and intelligence gathering. Thus far, no one has provided concrete proof that any Huawei equipment has actually sent anything of value back to China. Any yet billions of pounds have been expended (aka land-fill wasted) worldwide on dumping and replacing Huawei equipment to "improve security" against a totally unknown and unvalidated threat. In fact the Chinese, although losing some exports, must have been having quite a laugh at us all.

This year, are all of our Christmas lights going to be validated against intelligence gathering devices in the power supplies? There are significantly more tree light sets the 4G/5G routers. If you were China which equipment would you bug?

If we have decided that this is an intelligence war then, surely, we must improve our defences? There are only so many fibre links to China and I am sure they are monitored continuously. Filtering traffic bound for China is a trivial task.

With modern AI we can easily see what is really going on at a much lower cost and with a lot less disruption. We could have spent a lot less of our precious money on better defences and used it to better effect on home grown technology ventures to beat the Chinese by creating better products.

With the EU and US spending billions of our taxes of trying to bolster the chip industry which, as we speak, is in decline again, we have to ask ourselves if the lunatics are still in the asylum?

Watching Biden's performances recently, we really ought to be worried as this is guy who just gave $6bn to Iran, did not attend the 9/11 Memorial, falsely claims he was at Ground Zero on 9/11/2001 and has his finger on the nuke button.

As Geena Davis said in the Fly "Be afraid, be very afraid."

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'



So why bother with a backup if you can never use it?

Intel promises next year's Xeons will challenge AMD on memory, IO channels


Always around the corner..

Next year they will challenge AMD - really? They must be delusional as AMD is already working on next years Intel killer.

Intel are playing catch-up and investing billions to do it. For their sakes I do hope that their market predictions are accurate, as one wrong turn, and Intel could be in serious trouble.

After fears that Europe's space scope was toast, its first images look mighty fine



After 11 years of, I'm sure, very extensive design reviews, the final design has a crack in it!

Of all the design malfunctions that you do not want in a telescope a light leak is very high on the list.

Prices of gallium and germanium rise as China export controls loom



Well President Biden, your expensive home grown chip factories will be redundant without these raw materials. It was always an obvious move from China - well to most of us with a brain cell.

So, Biden, what's your next move?

£214m effort to modernize SAP ERP in UK govt systems marked Code Red


Own goal!

One reason cited for the delays: "The programme also lacks a number of critical skills". Well the reaction by contractors to the legislation called IR35 might just be one cause.

A room-temperature, ambient-pressure superconductor? Take a closer look


Fake News!

The laws of atomic physics do not support any form of superconductor at room temperature. There is no appetite for this story.

I wonder how long it will be before we get a third party verified experiment? Simple answer - never.

China chip material export controls just the tip of the iceberg, warns official


Obvious or not?

Did we really think the export and import controls that Biden and the EU have implemented would have no consequences? How smart are we now?

And all this started because the thought that Chinese CCTV and 3/4G equipment was regularity "phoning home" with intelligence. Our EV cars plans are well and truly scuppered if we are not careful.

Europe's Euclid telescope launches to figure out dark energy, the universe, and everything



Just how big is L2? The James Webb telescope is already at L2 so will Euclid be in the way or, worse, interfere with it?

Scientists claim >99 percent identification rate of ChatGPT content


But for how long?

Yes, I get it - use AI to spot AI generated material. Sort of eating your own dog food.

But, as we are talking about AI, the answer is to use the AI detection tool to reveal the reasons why the analysis decided it was AI generated. Then feedback the problems and correct them.

This is almost certainly happening already along with "tools" to make AI generated text styles similar to the "creators" using yet more AI to create a writing style template to use.

The cat is out of the bag so there is no easy way back now.

IR35 costs UK Research and Innovation £36M – the same it spent funding tech projects


Who Knew?

Ever since that much-hated lady, now a dame, called Dawn Primololo announced IR35 is has been an example of misplaced legislation. It has never addressed the stated problem of employees quitting on a Friday and rejoining the next Monday as a contract supplier something they called "disguised employment".

And the problems keep coming....

Who benefits from fining a public organisation anyway?

UK and Japan ink agreement for semiconductor and security cooperation


Irony writ large.

Surely it is the strangest of ironies that we do a deal with Japan when one of their largest companies, Softbank, recently decided to list one of "our" companies, ARM, on the US NASDAQ?

After ARM and the Welsh company Newport Wafer Fab which has been bought by the Chinese, there is nothing left to offer.

And £1bn does not even get us a seat at the table of semiconductor manufacture.

Offshore wind power redesign key to adoption, says Irish firm



I think he was kidding...

Universe-mapping Euclid satellite arrives in US ahead of July launch



Yes, I agree.

Either it is a "point" or it isn't and then, will Euclid be behind or in front of JWT?

Oracle's examplar win over SAP for Birmingham City Council is 3 years late


And what of the future?

With comments like "heavily adapted with complex customisations which are failing, and proving hard to fix." you can already see that this will be a support nightmare. You can see why SAP wants it's users on a standard platform.

The other comments like "Therefore, this comes with a single point of failure." and "process automation in SAP had been lost in Oracle" also do not bode well for future cost savings.

This really is a dogs breakfast where the winners have been SAP and Oracle and the losers the local rate payers.

Microsoft tells admins to autoreview your Autopatch alerts or autolose the service


more control?

This initially sounds like a good idea. But, with Microsoft now in control, what could possibly go wrong? Lot's of Register stories will result from this I am sure.

Germany clocks that ripping out Huawei, ZTE network kit won't be cheap or easy


Is there any proof?

This suspect equipment sits on networks that are under our management. And we, very possibly GCHQ, have the means to capture and monitor the traffic. Surely, any traffic with Chinese IP addresses could be detected and the payloads captured?

If we have the means to capture and decode dark web traffic to intercept drugs cartel intel, then we must be able to see if China really does receive our telecoms traffic. And, if they don't, then a vast amount of money is being wasted.

The cause of last December's failed satellite launch? Nozzle material, says ESA


Failing to compete?

Clearly the "very deep investigation" was not deep enough. The failure of three out of the last eight flights of Vega and Vega-C must be both embarrassing and expensive.

You do have to wonder if the ESA project is trying to outcompete Space-X in order to get the paid-for launches for Europe.

With Virgin Galactic (ok one failure to-date) and Blue Origin playing in the same space then they need to get more successful launches under their belts soon else the business will go elsewhere. If they do fail then the whole project is doomed as the money will dry up.

Microsoft's .NET Framework gets one less update reboot


automatic updates?

With Microsoft's record I would hope that "automatic updates" is a feature than can be disabled else The Register's going to full of tails of woe. Get the strap-lines ready...

A few years back I had a lot of XP systems semi-bricked due to unstoppable updates requiring reboots. Never again I said and I have been Linux ever since.

When I load a seemingly small program that requires .NET runtime I never cease to be amazed at the size of the thing. And it seems to get bigger with each release.

Microsoft switches Edge’s PDF reader to pay-to-play Adobe Acrobat


nag nag

With Adobe on-board we will now be treated to lots of "try before you buy" nag screens.

That's going to irritate the shit out of a lot of users.

Experts warn of steep increase in Java costs under changes to Oracle license regime


Longer term death?

Oracle was always miffed with the ex-Sun Java as it doesn't have complete control.

Google saw the writing on the wall some time ago with it leaning towards Katlin.

If Oracle wanted to kill Java then it is going the right way about it.

Intel kills $700M liquid cooling lab amid chip slump



Next, I predict will be retraction the so-called EU chip foundry project. The chip industry has just seen what a bad knee jerk reaction they made.

Those of us with grey beards will be tut tutting as we have seen it all before. Remember the 4K DRAM crisis to which the UK Government created the funds for Inmos. By the time the chips were ready the world had moved on to 16k chips.

Intel angles for more subsidies to build German mega-fab



With the chip demand turndown then the EU's grand scheme will probably be abandoned so the subsidies will evaporate.

I predict that Intel's US plans will be subject to a serious review now.

University still living in the Nineties seeks help with move to SAP S/4HANA


Lots of stories to come...

Well, you have only got to look at the basic scenario which is a complicated and much modified system being "converted" into a SAP S/4 HANA system which has be plain vanilla.

Like other companies and councils already on this painful SAP route we are expecting to see lots of stories from Leeds with the headlines - delayed, over budget, review etc.