* Posts by Drew Scriver

454 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Sep 2017


Biden seeks out Dutch support for blockade on Chinese chip industry

Drew Scriver

Re: Bullies

That sounds a bit like saying that the US wants to ban Russian oil so it can sell its own oil at higher prices.

Native Americans urge Apache Software Foundation to ditch name

Drew Scriver

Re: PLease stop this...

Interestingly, horses are generally thought of as a typical Native American mode of transportation. However, according to scientists the original American horse became extinct about 10,000 years ago.

Horses were re-introduced in the late 1400s by Spanish conquistadors.

Drew Scriver

Re: Bit ridiculous

To add to the confusion, "white" skin turns out to be a hue of red...

Put your hand under a paint color scanner the next time you visit a hardware or home improvement store and you'll get the exact Pantone color or RGB ratio.

Elon Musk starts poll with one question: Should I step down as head of Twitter?

Drew Scriver

Re: Musk. Great ambition, great showmanship, but often a failure to deliver.

Downvoted due to apparent inability to use people's proper names. It has been my experience it is not really possible to have an intelligent discussion once names are replaced like this.

That applies equally to people on the right (e.g. those who cannot bring themselves to say "Al Gore" and instead use a last name that rhymes) or people on the left who think it's cute to to describe players they disagree with in this manner.

To the Banmobile! Huawei inks deal to create global high-end automotive brand

Drew Scriver

I do not know if and to what extent Chinese companies would be able to control their components remotely or whether is has been configured to transfer information.

However, it would be a perfect ploy to build that in so it can be used to keep the USA (and other western nations) from interfering with the annexation of Taiwan.

"Recall your Navy or we'll cripple your countries by disabling cars, utility services, telecommunications, medical appliances, and so forth."

Of course, they could already achieve a popular revolt simply by robbing the people of "their" TikTok-access, but that's for another topic.

NIST says you better dump weak SHA-1 ... by 2030

Drew Scriver

NIST states that "SHA-1 has been undermined in recent years" - linking to an article from 2006.

Since they obviously believe that 16 years ago is "recent", 8 years from today (2030) would constitute a mad rush indeed.

ChatGPT has mastered the confidence trick, and that's a terrible look for AI

Drew Scriver

Re: prove it!

The (presumable) author wrote, "The good thing about code is that you can swiftly tell if it's bad. Just try to run it."

If only it were that simple. Unfortunately, "just run it" has been a pretty common way to "ensure" that bad code "works". Who cares that the programmer submits 37 round individual statements to the database server to store the information he collects in a single web form? Or that a record is copied in its entirety every time a single field is updated in order to create a history of changes?

DoJ worries messaging apps could hide evidence of crime, corruption

Drew Scriver

Re: Back in 'Ye Olden Dayes'

Want to bet that the DoJ is already getting calls from politicians about ensuring that the need for transparency only applies to businesses - and then only to businesses that don't provide services for them?

Some years ago I attended a keynote speech by Colin Powell. He said that when he was Secretary of State the the department was a bit behind technologically, but that the department made great strides since. "These days Secretaries of State are running their own mail servers", he quipped.

Telecoms networks could provide next-gen GPS services without the need for satellites

Drew Scriver

Re: increased positioning accuracy is deemed to be worth the cost

Legislators could outlaw it if they wanted to.

Given how helpful location data has been in determining who exactly was present within the geo-fence around the US Capitol building on Jan 6 2021 it is doubtful they'll ever limit location tracking.

Drew Scriver

Re: increased positioning accuracy is deemed to be worth the cost

You say "very strange", but this location requirement is obviously based on a design decision.

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture

Drew Scriver

Re: "Fun & pro, that's our motto!"

One cannot help but wonder if the issue with the minor would have been avoided if the he had been fired instead of being allowed to resign.

Along the same lines, how many more victims did he make at subsequent jobs because he was able to hide the reason for leaving the job where he was caught?

Drew Scriver

One of the 'rules' about these work events is that you're supposed to forget what people tell you when they're drunk - whether it's about their personal or their work life.

Probably an easy thing to do when you're drunk yourself, but quite impossible when you either don't drink or drink responsibly.

Drew Scriver

Re: "Fun & pro, that's our motto!"

You're right that (the threat of) publicity is often the only way companies will end up doing the right thing, but Cubik is not off the hook yet as far as financial compensation goes in this case.

"Cubik was ordered to pay Mr T €3,000, with further damages to be determined at a later date."

Too bad this case wasn't in the US, though. Dreading the company dinners after the pandemic - always seem to be one or more coworkers who get drunk and insist on driving home themselves. HR Handbook says managers must step in at that point and call a taxi, but I've yet to see that happen. One wonders why these events are even organized when even management admits that certain people are likely closet alcoholics.

All the US midterm-related lies to expect when you're electing

Drew Scriver

This is incorrect - the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 (and amendments) does in fact deal with both primary and general elections.

Drew Scriver

Virtually every country meddles in the business of other countries, and understandably so.

And, of course, every country tries to thwart meddling into their own affairs.

In my experience this meddling is only condemned if it doesn't suit their own position, though. To wit - a number of years ago a contingent of young people from a certain western European nation traveled to the US to help the campaign of their chosen candidate. Since this trip was partially funded by an established political party this was illegal under US election law.

Unsurprisingly, the party leaders did not act when they were alerted to this issue.

Drew Scriver

Didn't the e-mail from the Democrats National Convention that was published by hackers (Russian or otherwise) reveal that the DNC had actively worked to sabotage the Bernie Sanders campaign - in favor of Hillary Clinton?

If I recall correctly this lead to resignation of the Chair of the DNC (Debbie Wasserman-Schultz) only days before the annual conference of the DNC.

Europe wants Airbnb and pals to cough up rental property logs

Drew Scriver

Re: It had to happen

This type of result of rent control is not uncommon. In areas where landlords have a limit on the annual increase they have little choice but to increase the rent by the maximum - simply because they can never catch up if they don't.

In areas without rent control it's not common to see annual increases, because the tenants will move if they're squeezed too much. That leaves the landlord with one or more months of lost rent, additional costs for advertising, cleaning and fixing up the place, and so forth. It takes years to catch up from that loss and thus tends to provide a pretty strong incentive to not increase the rent - or at least limit the increases.

Drew Scriver

Re: It had to happen

I suspect that the increasing service charges are driven in part by tax policies in certain areas, as well as Airbnb's own charge structure.

Service charges are often taxed differently and tend to incur lower charges by the platform itself compared to rental fees.

Same thing is happening on other platforms - sell a book for one cent/penny and charge a hefty "shipping and handling" fee.

Drew Scriver

Re: It had to happen

Wouldn't be that hard to deploy AI-driven cameras to monitor who's entering and exiting and at what times of the day...

Stealing from society by avoiding taxes is, after all, a serious enough crime to warrant such monitoring, isn't it?

Drew Scriver

Re: What about income tax?

"part of the cost was a tourist tax which earned us our gastekarte - free public transport in the area, discounts to certain attractions"

Part of the cost <-> free.

So not exactly free...

OK, Google: Why are you still pointing women at fake abortion clinics?

Drew Scriver

Barbara Boxer (D-CA) stated on the Senate floor that this would happen "as soon as the big toe has left the birth canal".

Drew Scriver

Re: re: sufficient reason to kill someone

The question on whether or when a foetus becomes a person is the main issue.

Roe v Wade inferred that the answer was "never", although most people would disagree with SCOTUS on that.

The yelling and mudslinging back and forth between the various camps will never yield a positive outcome until the question of whether/when personhood applies is answered.

Convince the pro-lifers that a 20-week-old foetus is not a person (based on medical arguments) and they might join the other camp.

Then work your way up from there until you're back at the 40 or so weeks that Roe v Wade allowed and a similar ruling may pave the way again in the future.

Drew Scriver

True, but Roe v Wade didn't impose any gestation limits.

Hence US senators who argued that personhood does not apply until full separation from the mother has occurred.

As far as I know even progressive European countries do not go that far.

PC component scavenging queue jumper pulled into line with a screensaver

Drew Scriver

Re: BOFH vs PFY?

Note the "Press any key to continue" at the bottom.

I was wondering if this kid were going to be calling the help desk to demand a new keyboard - one with an "any" key...

IT services giant Wipro fires 300 for moonlighting

Drew Scriver

Re: Must show loyalty constantly

In the US of A it really depends on the state where the employee works (or resides). For instance, some states requires (lunch) breaks whilte others do not. Some states require employee access to their personnel file, others do not.

Then there's the distinction between hourly and salaried workers. In many regards hourly employees enjoy more protections than salaried ones.

Appeals court already under fire for upholding Texas no-content-moderation law

Drew Scriver

Re: Mmmm, Ok

You're probably right about Jesus not being all too welcome in conservative areas, He wasn't too popular in leftist countries either (e.g. China, USSR).

Many of His teachings aren't exactly acceptable in progressive western countries either.

Drew Scriver

Re: Here we go...

Since we're supposedly all in IT, let's first define terms like "racism".

And keep the arguments free of derogatory, biased gutter language.

Drew Scriver

Re: Here we go...

A lot of the "voter suppression" rules are deemed essential for election integrity by western European countries. To wit: voter ID. Try voting without one in western Europe... for that matter, in some EU-countries it is even illegal to leave your own premises without an ID-card. In other words, you won't even be able to travel to a polling station without an ID-card - let alone cast your ballot.

To be fair, there are some practices that reek of voter suppression, but progressive countries tend to address those specific issues rather than removing any and all perceive barriers - many of which are deemed essential to free and fair elections.

White House to tech world: Promise you'll write secure code – or Feds won't use it

Drew Scriver

Re: The first blow has been struck...

@Philip - a well-written reply, but the premise seems to be flawed nonetheless. While Doctors did indeed regulate themselves (with even heavier government regulation on their profession), they have also been known to be shortsighted, slow to acknowledge the validity of new information, be fraudulent, engage in conspiracies (e.g. Tuskegee), plagued by misplaced pride, and a host of other maladies.

All from real Doctors...

Drew Scriver

Re: self-attestation

I caught that too:

"a self-attestation from any third-party software providers"

I've been deeply involved with vendors, enterprise applications, NIST, PCI-DSS, regulated industry, and the like for decades and I can assure you from personal experience that such attestations aren't worth the bytes they occupy.

For that matter, audits often don't uncover issues - in fact they frequently don't even look for them. Worse, many audits rely on interviews with management. This is true for external audits and internal audits are even more problematic.

In my opinion, a couple of things must be in place:

- Ask the people in the trenches and guarantee confidentiality.

- Make the auditors and executives personally liable for proven negligence and inaccurate (or false) statements and claims.

- Set up an external reporting solution.

- Automatically publicize issues x days after notifying the responsible parties - even when remediated.

FCC Commissioner demands review of Starlink rural broadband subsidies

Drew Scriver

Re: Good

I take umbrage with the comment about "really willing to spend over $100 for internet [you can use 4G mobile broadband]".

When I purchased our (rural) home 8 years ago I checked with both Comcast and Verizon. Based on my address they both assured me that they provided broadband service there. Closed on the house, only to discover that did in fact NOT provide service here - just in the census area our address falls under.

Ended up getting DSL-service from Verizon - $60 a month for 3Mpbs. The cost is now up to $105 a month and the speed is down to around 1Mbps.

Mobile service is very spotty, even with a booster. In addition, virtually all mobile plans (including 5G) available in our area have a data cap of 50-100GB, after which the user is throttled to "3G speeds" - which generally means less than 512 kbps.

So, $110 a month instead of $105 for 150 times the speed is not bad at all. As for the $600 customer portion of the dish, that's quite a bit less than the $72,000 Comcast wants from me for running a cable to my house.

My situation is not unique, and in fact not as bad as it is in many other (mostly rural) areas.

US state of Virginia has more datacenter capacity than Europe or China

Drew Scriver

Oh - the irony

A bit ironic that more than 40% of Virginians in rural areas don't have access to broadband internet access...

Apple to compel workers to spend '3 days a week' in the office

Drew Scriver

The company I work for had just spent tens of millions 'upgrading' the offices to 1950s open work areas (long tables, sometimes up to 80 people in a single area). Then came the pandemic and virtually all 50,000 employees have been working from home since then, vacating the 'upgraded' work tables the company was so proud of.

Time and again the company announced mandatory "return to the office", but SARS-Cov2 didn't cooperate.

The longer it lasted, the more the workers balked at 100% return to the office. In a fairly recent staff survey more than 90% responded that they would not accept mandatory time in the office.

The latest decision has been to "encourage" (vs. earlier "compel" or "mandate") people to work in the office Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. The offices will be more or less closed on Mondays and Fridays.

UK hospitals lose millions after AI startup valuation collapses

Drew Scriver

Re: @Dwarf

It shouldn't be that hard to use pattern matching to count platelets. It could even number the platelets right in the image them for human verification.

Real-time deepfakes can be beaten by a sideways glance

Drew Scriver

Ring Doorbell and deep fakes?

Are there any stories yet of somebody remotely unlocking a front door based on a deep fake of a loved one?

Drew Scriver

Back in the day "look people in the eye" and "make eye contact" was drilled into us from a young age.

Now we're going to have to teach our children to ask people to "look away to obtain another data point to determine the other person might be real".

Amazon to buy Roomba maker iRobot for $1.7b

Drew Scriver

Re: "We have no plans to operate iRobot differently than how they operate today[...]"

Depends on their definition of the word "plan".

Drew Scriver

Re: It is almost like the stasi police and 1984 had a baby.

To update one of Ronald Reagan's astute remarks:

1980s: "Trust us - we're from the government and we're here to help."

2020s: "Trust us - we're from [cloud-based data slurp company] and we're here to help."

Drew Scriver

You're right - to a degree. A number of years ago I purchased GEs Bluetooth lightbulbs precisely because the fine print stated that they required no internet connection.

Not long after I had installed a bunch of them they stopped working properly. Did some digging and found that my firewall/proxy server was blocking communication from the (required) phone application. The application violated two of my rules: traffic to China and pr0n servers.

I contacted GE and provided the details, but they could not have cared less.

It was kind of fun to return the bulbs to Lowe's (Home Improvement Box store in the US) after the 90-day return period, though.

Store clerk: "Sir, we really cannot take these back since you bought them almost half a year ago."

My reply: "Well, I'm not keeping them - they started communicating with a known pr0n [I uttered the full word at the service counter while surrounded by other customers] server in China."

Store clerk (whose face had turned a few shades darker): "Eh - would you like the money returned to your credit card?"

The US's biggest datacenter market is short on electricity

Drew Scriver

Re: Another aspect to this

West Virginians already seceded once. There are a lot of people in rural Virginia who believe it should be done again.

Doesn't help either that 40% or rural Virginians don't have access to broadband internet access (or even high-speed internet access).

Of course, once they do have broadband (in the next 10-20 years or so) they'll be using it for social media and to watch TV - which is projected to take more than 25% of the global power supply at the data center level.

Drew Scriver

Re: Dark times ahead

The sales tax rate in Loudon county is 6%. of which 4.3% is state tax. The difference is levied by the county (and sometimes towns.) The average sales tax in Virginia counties is 5.6%.

The effective average real estate tax in Loudon county is a whopping 1.08% - more than twice what it is in some other counties. The median for counties in the state is probably around 0.7%.

DiDi in deep doo-doo over 64 billion illegal acts of data collection

Drew Scriver

Maybe DiDi didn't share the information with the Chinese government?

Color me skeptical, but given the propensity of the Chinese government to spy on its own citizens I wonder if the fine isn't a result of DiDi's refusal to share the data it collected with the government.

Granted, this is conjecture, but not without cause.

Chip shortages hit hard at Yamaha's musical instrument business

Drew Scriver

Re: Do like Yamaha pianos

I used to really like Yamaha digital pianos, until the keys on our Clavinova started sticking.

Replacing them is expensive and Yamaha has steadfastly refused to stand by its product from the very beginning when owners started having this issue.

It's possible that the problem has since been corrected, but I have lost faith in Yamaha's digital line-up.

Amazon internal chat app that censored talk of unions and ethics may 'never launch at all'

Drew Scriver

Slack can already do this...

Not sure why Amazon is hanging this on a custom internal chat app. My (Fortune 500) employer recently announced that we can now enable self-censoring in Slack.

The bot will make suggestions if people use words that are deemed problematic by the company, like "dummy value", "brown bag lunch", "man-hours", "soft skills", and "he".

US is best place to be a software engineer, salary survey finds

Drew Scriver

If you can find a hospital bed, that is. If you do get a bed you'll be laying there thinking of the poor chap whose scheduled surgery got bumped (again) and hope he doesn't perish in the meantime.

Amazon Alexa can be hijacked via commands from own speaker

Drew Scriver

Re: Why give it house room?

Only one gets to the be smart: the device or the person. But not both.

Drew Scriver

Re: Purchases are effectively enabled by default

Wasn't there a follow-up story about news coverage about this on TV causing additional orders because Alexa units all over the USA picked up the magic phrase from the TV?

Fujitsu: Dumping older workers will wipe out quarter of forecast profit

Drew Scriver

Re: Disgusting..

"User demographic matters".

I remember a project about fifteen years ago were the target group was "older people living in mobile homes in Arkansas who only have dial-up internet access".

The Millennials (who were hip, modern, and should be listened to by us geezers, according to the brass) went to work and created a hip and modern web site with all the whistles and bells available at the time.

Lots of joking about the target group by said Millennials.

Eventually the site was launched. Bounce rate on the home page was over 90%. They seemed to be unable to understand why the "older people living in mobile homes in Arkansas who only have dial-up internet access" never got past their 5 MB home page.

Ukraine asks ICANN to delete all Russian domains

Drew Scriver

Re: RE: "And the word RUSSIA on envelopes"

This begs the question of what constitutes appropriate actions to counter a move by an instigator.

Would Japan have surrendered with the conventional bombings and dropping two nuclear bombs, which combined killed between 300,000 and 900,000 civilians?

Would Germany have fallen without the bombing raids by the allied forces, which killed 570,000 and 800,000 civilians?

Today's (western) culture no longer accepts this as ethical or acceptable. Unfortunately, adversaries tend to abide by different ethics. Worse, they make the western reluctance/refusal a key part of their strategy.

As for "removing the word RUSSIA on envelopes", one would expect great support for such initiatives given the removal of anything from western societies that is even remotely linked to its troubled past.

EU, US close to replacing defunct Privacy Shield II

Drew Scriver

This is all well and good, but:

- The average user doesn't really care (or understand) privacy. Facebook would not exist if they did.

- All this wrangling makes the EU appear to care about privacy, but European countries do their share of legally collecting data on the public and tracking people.

- European governments violate the GDPR all the time. PII is routinely shared via e-mail (unencrypted). The consulate/embassy of my own country sent my PII (full name and DOB) from the USA to the EU in the subject of a message, for instance.

- Europeans are obsessed with PII - to a level that is not (yet) tolerated by Americans. Requiring DOB for train tickets or museum passes - and then printing them on the tickets/passes? Unthinkable in the USA.