* Posts by j.bourne

84 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jan 2017


Apache foundation ousts TinkerPop project co-founder for tweeting 'offensive humor that borders on hate speech'


Re: Obligatory XKCD

Are you being saved?

A new puppet show from Jim Henson. Have a pint. :D


It's elementary

He took a job with a code of conduct - he broke the code of conduct (allegedly). He should have known the possible consequences of that. The argument that he shouldn't be fired for the conduct misses the point. He agreed to those terms already. What he should be doing is arguing that he didn't break the code of conduct.

Tesla axes software engineer for allegedly pilfering secret Python scripts after just three days on the job


Re: It's my first day ;)

Trotting out the old ".. a lot of fraud etc. is from insiders" again. While indisputedly true does nothing to help. There's a reason a 'lot' if from 'insiders'. The reason is obvious it's relatively easy for insiders to do this when compared to 'outsiders'. It doesn't mean 'don't trust your staff/employees' (or at least invest some trust in them). Trust is needed in order for business to function. Without some trust, then it's either difficult or next to impossible to do your job or it's just not a nice place to work at. The level of trust extended requires controls of course. Case in point - permitted access to copy the whole codebase it seems. Why? This access shouldn't have been extended to a new hire on their first day.

Police drone plunged 70ft into pond after operator mashed pop-up that was actually the emergency cut-out button


Pop-up UI failure

Here's the real reason "an unfamiliar warning popped up on its flight controller." Popped up being the words of note. It's not clear that this popped up 'over' some other button (the emergency cut-off) but if that is what happened then there's your culprit - a UI designer that allows critical flight controls to be covered up by a pop-up 'warning'. Why a pop-up - why not a fixed message window on the screen? Why a screen in the first place: why not physical controls for the critical flight controls?

BoJo looks to jumpstart UK economy with £6k taxpayer-funded incentive for Brits to buy electric cars – report


Re: Free parking for electric cars

Unsurprisingly it's a Tory plan.

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Re: Really good "helping hand" Bozo

I have absolutely no idea how subsidising £6k on ev car purchases helps uk business. Last I looked the UK doesn't manufacture many ev cars. Except maybe the Nissan Leaf. Although Nissan isn't a UK company...

I don't remember paying my taxes to subsidise foreign business.

Beer gut-ted: As many as '70 million pints' spoiled during coronavirus pandemic must be destroyed in Britain


Re: It's probably not actually "bad".

A keg is only a big Can (a pressurised vessel with sterile dead beer in it). Perhaps you meant Cask? The only thing that could happen to a keg beer is that the keg can taint the beer - the breweries responsible for failing to properly sanitize their kegs will know who they are. Of course a properly stored cask that hasn't been broached will also keep for a good long time - and even improve the beer further.

Microsoft's Family Safety app drills into kids' screen time, browsing habits to help 'facilitate a dialogue'


Re: "facilitate a dialogue"

I think it means show targetted ads.

UK finds itself almost alone with centralized virus contact-tracing app that probably won't work well, asks for your location, may be illegal

Black Helicopters

Re: The elephant in the room (or should I say home?).

At best it's mid-term usage data only. As people break or upgrade phones that link between imei and address will change. but thanks for raising the issue - it helps set the timing of my next phone changes...


Re: And what about the people ...

"I think it’s safe to say most of the working population have a smartphone "

Not sure why you would think that (no supporting evidence provided)- you could of course be right.... by accident.

Just having a smartphone doesn't neccesarily mean 'an up to date, working, regularly used' smartphone.

Tesla sued over Tokyo biker's death in 'dozing driver' Autopilot crash


Driver aids or auto drive?

Here's my problem with the whole concept behind the Tesla driver aids, and it's summed up neatly in this quote from the article

" he was able to "doze off" while not triggering any of the car's alarm features. These chimes and visual warnings are supposed to ensure drivers with the enhanced lane-keeping and cruise control features engaged pay attention to the road."

If, with the 'aids' engaged, the driver is still supposed to be paying full attention to the road (obviously) why does the driver need the aids? If they're paying attention then the features aren't needed as the driver is perfectly capable of managing to control the vehicle. If the driver needs the aids then clearly the driver isn't capable of controlling the vehicle so shouln't be driving in the first place. The aids are superflous.

UK snubs Apple-Google coronavirus app API, insists on British control of data, promises to protect privacy


Why are we even bothering to discuss?

Given the state of the last several large scale NHS IT projects - Why even debate this? Base on past experience it's unlikely that anything will come of it. Even if something does - the app will probably only work on one specific version of android or Apple (not both) - and crash at regular intervals - fail to upload complete logs to the servers or notify the wrong people to self-isolate. and It won't be able to do that for at least 2 years.


Re: Automation

"Another incentive would be to tell people who install it that they are at the front of the vaccination queue when one becomes available." FTFY.

After all - it'd be more beneficial to vacinnate the people that are out and about rather than the ones that will sit quietly at home waiting for a vaccine....


Re: "[...] Vote Leave criminals [...]"

Lack of understanding is not the fault of the student/pupil/person you are trying to convey an idea to. But of the person trying to the convey the idea. Either the idea isn't as valid/sound as they think it is, or they aren't up to the task of conveying it.

Resorting to abusing your audience/student/pupil is rather like trying to beat knowledge into someone - less than productive: and revealing of your own lack of comprehension that your viewpoint however firmly held is no more than a faith, not an absolute truth.


Re: The clocks were striking thirteen

1984 by George Orwell: TL:DR

Orwells book is set in the fictional future country Airstrip One a state of Oceania. Winston Smith, the main protaganist lives in London. Oceania is at constant war with one or both of the other 2 superstates Eastasia and Eurasia...

Stack Overflow banishes belligerent blather with bespoke bot – but will it work?


Name != Gender

Inappropriate gender assumption assumption made <ban hammer>

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


£899 for a phone???????

OK - that sounded peevish, I'll try again.

£899 for a mini mobile computing device / camera /phone?????

Yeah, I'd probably pay more for a decent camera and more again for decent laptop. But dare I say...

£899 for an unrepairiable easily damaged computing device with screen so small I have to change specs twice before I can read the text (which will be obscured by ads, pop-ups, and those annoying cookie permisions checkbox lists) ??????

And the one, yes the only use for a smartphone - posting instant selfies at various random locations, or pictures of my restaurant meal (which I can't have right now anyway) straight to social networks - missing.

And did I mention that hardly anyone at the moment is in need of a mobile phone......

Mines the one with a nokia 8110 (original) in the pocket. (Not that I'm going anywhere)

Google: You know we said that Chrome tracker contained no personally identifiable info? Yeah, about that...


Re: Just one question

"That's like the analogy I give to laypeople to explain this. Imagine that you're riding a cab when somebody slides into the seat next to you with a clipboard, asking you for where you live, where you work, what your interests are et cetera, jotting down your answers in minute detail. Any sane person would tell them to go mind their own business."

I think you might be surprised, Judging by the (unsolicited) phonecalls and visitors at the door who appear to take it for granted that I'll happily answer all sorts of questions without them really explaining (or proving) who they are or why they are asking. If everyone was as concise with an answer of 'None of your business' as we are at home then I doubt they'd be bothering.

(!Sherlock because the clueless are everywhere)

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

Black Helicopters

Re: unpacking order...

Or even duct tape - unless you are meaning the specific brand - so named because apparently people just cant hear duct and say / write duct. A healthy rendition never hurt anyone did it?...

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023


And the most unintelligible article title award goes to....

This complete mess.

El Reg does realise that the purpose of a headline is to attract people to read the article aren't they? I've no idea what the article title means - hell, I only got half way through it before deciding it would be more fun to do my own dentistry.

Tufts boffins track device location without GPS or towers


Ah, but to use GPS requires GPS receivers which cost ££$$ (or whatever your currency of choice is). Talking to the thing* next to you is much cheaper than hardware.

*Internet of Thing device: Know why they called it that ? 'cos they don't know what these things are or what their actual purpose is. (besides spying, eavesdropping, reporting location).

Press the 'esc' key and give me the ... sdcard?

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


Weakest link security

Storing the password(s?)/credentials to access $24million in a cloud service?? Might as well try suing the cloud service. Or self for prime stupidity. Better off a password that is only stored in one place - your head: even if it is technically weaker. At least doing that social engineering the password out of you becomes a very difficult proposition.

The self-disconnecting switch: Ghost in the machine or just a desire to save some cash?


Re: I don't remember though if it was 2.40 or 1.40

Voted down for a quip too far.

Unlocking news: We decrypt those cryptic headlines about Scottish cops bypassing smartphone encryption

Big Brother

Re: Fail to see what the fuss is

Well, interested to hear you were around before Scotland was created - you must be real old by now!

OK. on to the subject

"Police CANNOT just take your phone when asked, the same.as they cannot just walk in your house and look around. The mobile phone examinations will be EXACTLY the same it has been back in 2009 when I joined at the time my local plods cybercrime dept."

Please tell that to all police - They need something to make them laugh now and again. Truth is that 99% do exactly whatever they like. Whether they technically "CAN" or "CAN'T". Post action rationalisation is used by most people. It's the same for the Police: only difference being that they often know which rationalisation will hold in court.

Cool 'joke', bro, you could have killed someone: Epilepsy Foundation sics cops on sick flashing-light Twitter trolls


Re: Client Problem

True, in which case the same person (who has never had a seizure) is unlikely to avoid other sources of flashing lights or be specifically following some epilepsy hashtag on twitter. They're going to find out at some point though - by witnessing a strobing light somewhere.

That aside, for those that are aware that they have a problem wouldn't they already have animations and auto-play videos disabled on whatever browser they are using to follow twitter?

Post Office coughs £57.75m to settle wonky Horizon IT system case


Forgive my naievity - But how can an accounting system not be fully auditable in the case of a dispute over the outputs? I find myself incredulous that the accounting trail couldn't be (or at least wasn't) fully documented and audited manually by independant auditors.

Attention! Very important science: Tapping a can of fizzy beer does... absolutely nothing


Re: So many flaws

Real Beer drinkers don't buy beer in cans? Only bottles (cask conditioned of course) or out of a barrel either by (gravity) tap or handpump - No Kegs or Cans here!

Apple sues iPhone CPU design ace after he quits to run data-center chip upstart Nuvia


Johnson would be proud

A new word for the dictionary.


Does anyone not actually directly involved actually give a tinkers cuss about the rest (apart from seeing Apple fail)?

Homeland Security backs off on scanning US citizens, Amazon ups AI ante, and more


Re: Facial scanning

Several minutes - being long enough for a covert scan to be made from further away for instance?

Pack your bags, you're going to America, Lord Chief Justice tells accused Brit hacker


Re: Odd thought

@Primus Secundus Tertius

Diplomatic immunity is an expedient and unfortunately necessary accomadation to allow diplomats to carry out their work (ftfy), I think many would understand the reasons for extension to immediate family when domiciled with a diplomat as well. That having been said, the diplomatic status of Anne Sacoolas and her husband at the time of the accident is highly dubious at best. Her husband is described as an 'Intelligence officer' working at the Croughton listening post, at no point has anyone even claimed that he had any involvment with diplomacy or the US embassy or any consulate.

Black Helicopters

Re: Odd thought

No, in a balanced world Anne Sacoolas would be facing charges relating to the death of Harry Dunn. After exiting RAF (aka USAAF/NSA) Croughton base (a spy-base/listening post near Banbury) earlier this year. She drove on the wrong side of the road, resulting in the death of Harry Dunn. Promised not to leave the country and then fled claiming diplomatic immunity.

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'


"I need to powercycle/reset it every 2 days."

I smell a user-manual update in the sidelines - "Turn it off and back on again one a day to ensure a full BOSE experience" maybe?

Seriously though - If it were a paperweight no amount of turning on and back off again would work for any useful period of time would it?

Can I just add - do you (the quoted speaker - from the article) do anything else other than watch TV? Like Sleep, eat, have a life outside of your TV space? What I'm getting at is, don't you turn it off and go do something else at least once a day anyway?

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?


Re: priorities

No commas required, (but here's one) capitialising 'Jack' makes it a name, not an action.

Bad news, developers: Apple Mac App Store tells cross-platform Electron apps to get lost


Re: "Here Be Dragons"

"Fan boys may click the down thumb now"

And so may anyone else - what a load of twaddle.


Rules is rules - or not?

So getting away with rulebreaking is a valid argument that the rule shouldn't exist?

So that's alright, we'll let all the serial killers out of jail on that technicality then shall we? What were we thinking? If they'd managed two or three over a couple of years without sanction then surely they should just be allowed to continue?

Concerns raised over privacy and security of UK Home Office's £842m biometrics programme


Blow it up.

... and start again down an ethical path.

This is biometrics gone mad. The very concept of linking all these systems together has only one outcome, whatever the intent. The unnecessary and unlawful monitoring of citizens going about their daily business. £842million could be better spent just by giving it to me. I'd spend it in a more beneficial way to the country by Pi****g it up the wall than the govt spending it on Biometrics.

Boffins blow hot and cold over li-ion battery that can cut leccy car recharging to '10 mins'


Re: "simple but elegant"

Well then, that's settled isn't it? provided you've got £50k to spaff on just a car. Many people buying new ICE cars now are paying under £10k for a new car. Those same <£10k cars can drive the length of the country in a day just like any large ICE car. Bet there's no EV car under £10k that could do that.


I don't need a petrol pipe at home to refuel my infernal combusting engines - The car does 600-700 miles on a tankful of diesel and both bikes can do well over 100 miles: it takes minutes to fill up any of them at any fuel station. I would need a massive power cable to re-charge electric vehicles if the argument is that a large part of charging would be done during vehicle downtime at home. This is why this fast charge news is welcome. Just need to up the range to 500+ miles for a large comfy car and 150+ miles for a proper sized bike. (oh yes, and also half the initial purchase cost, and solve the pollution problem of batteries (yes I know there's problems with oil pollution as well)).

The eagle has handed.... scientists a serious text message bill after flying through Iran, Pakistan


Someone already mentioned an SMS switch - but better suited would have been a system to that would request the device to send data. First is a 'where are you, and what network are you connected to?' if the response is somewhere cheap then 'Send data', if not then wait a period (hour/day/week?) and ask for location again.

Traffic lights worldwide set to change after Swedish engineer saw red over getting a ticket

Paris Hilton

OK, So I must be dumb.

The red light camera should (in theory) only catch people that cross the line when the light is red. As long as the light is green when you enter the junction, why should there be a time limit on turning? In the UK unless it's a yellow box junction then you could legitimately be sat in the junction waiting for the exit road to clear (turning in either direction). The lights may turn red in the meantime. It's not so much a problem with timing of applying a penalty - more a problem of logical thinking.

Hell hath GNOME fury: Linux desktop org swings ax at patent troll's infringement claim


Re: Fake Gnome

Because he can't? (being an inumerate gnome?)

Reaction Engines' precooler tech demo chills 1,000°C air in less than 1/20th of a second


Re: This is truely impressive

Seems that there is a reader who knows what the relationship between cooling air and rocket engines is then. IMO the article could do with a brief overview of how the engine works or why the super rapid cooling is a benefit. Perhaps then we'd be able to make more jokes....

Well, well, well. Fancy that. UK.gov shelves planned pr0n block


Re: No. Parenting is not about relying on devices.

Elementary of course. A legal Adult, having obtained said stash at some point has to restrict their collection to the best/latest that will fit in the homely hidey hole. But wait! how to dispose of the older unwanted stash? You couldn't exactly just throw it in the bin without raising some eyebrows. Home shredders weren't very popular back in those days either. How about a quick detour on the way to work down that track to the railway arches....

Any finger will do? Samsung Galaxy S10 with a screen protector reportedly easy to fool

Paris Hilton

A patch soon - If we can figure out how to fix this in software

They haven't got a clue how to fix it, or even if it can be fixed have they? 'Issuing a patch soon' is one of those wishful marketing phrases. Meanwhile there's some smartypants developer laughing his head off in a back office somewhere repeatedly saying 'I told them so..' to anyone within range.

Not a death spiral, I'm trapped in a closed loop of customer experience


Re: Opposite button labelling

Well that is no surprise. What else does the start button do? You can't see it until the computer is started. Besides, these days it's just 4 not quite squares in a not quite square, and no longer labelled. Maybe time to update to a more modern system?


Re: This requirement for paper bills/statements...

It would be a certainty in the UK that a prerequisite to register your new address for your ID card will be..


Can you guess?


Yes a Utility statement with your name and new address on it.

How else do you prove that you are entitled to an ID card with that address?

600 armed German cops storm Cyberbunker hosting biz on illegal darknet market claims

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Best quip of the day award

New keyboard & monitor please - And while you're at it - a fresh coffee.

Eco-activists arrested by Brit cops after threatening to close Heathrow with drones


Re: Good work MET Police

I was going to comment - But just downvoted instead...

But then again...

I'll just point out that some motor vehicles are paying zero vehicle tax/car tax/ road fund licence whatever you want to call it. for the reason that they have low emissions. And a Bicycle emissions are zero, (the engine may contribute some CO2 but we aren't taxed for breathing... yet).

Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that's 3 years out of date


Re: Unwanted

Re: power ports in coffee shops etc.. - make sure to use a power only lead to connect with these.

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And my personally favourite - rounding your prescription to the nearest (specsavers) standard numbers to reduce the number of unique lenses they need to buy. And yes it does make a great difference when you're given some specs that actually match your exact prescription (especially when these are the parameters for astigmatism: i.e. anyone over 40).