* Posts by sprograms

130 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Oct 2017


Climate change means beer made from sewer water, says North Carolina brewery


It wasn't just British peasants -it was all classes. Wells and streams were polluted by variious microbes in excrement. Wine was even more effective. Whiskey, gin, and such were most effective. It appears from production records that most American adults were tipsy most of the day in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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


If you're truly interested in a 2-child solution, you're proposing to outlaw Mormon doctrine, not to mention Roman Catholic canons. The rule will also have to deal with Latinx! immigration and chain immigration, neither of which should (for this US example) receive priority over a pair of US citizens having three children. What, really, is the difference between having three children and letting million of immigrants bring in six or eight family members?

European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab


Re: confidentiality clause

"No vaccine for YOU." -Seinfeld-inspired.

Election security fears doused with reality: Top officials say Nov 3 'was the most secure in American history.' The end


Re: Bullshit

There is no body in charge of making sure "the election" was safe. The officials in charge are state and county officials, not national officials. The state and county officials always say things were fine, right up until things aren't. One party claimed the 2000 election was rigged, then made the same claim again in 2016. It must be OK to question the vote and call for recounts where it's close, eh?


Of course the "top election officials" say the balloting and counts went well. If it hasn't gone well, it's on them.

It's rather clear from the comments that many do not understand how strangely the mail-in ballots were handled: Specifically, a number of large so-called battleground states mailed ballots with either out-dated voting registers, without request, or both. A number of states bagged the requirement to match mail-in ballot signatures to the Register signature. Pennsylvania was among those. I have no idea who won with honest counts and checked signatures, but I'd like to know.

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references


The accusation about the upside-down red triangle was simply wrong. It has been use since the early days of German Antifa as one of their symbols. The red triangle on Nazi concentration camp patches was specifically to indicate that that prisoner was a communist, anarchist, or "other politically undesirable." Antifa was/is proud of the symbol. For a Trump add to bring up that linkage is reasonable. As for Antifa being "anti-fascist," that really isn't their history -they were in fact anti-capitalism, and that is where their violent efforts were directed. It's no different with Rose City Antifa today, judging by the rallies and violence they produce.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels


Re: These are wheely gweat!

For about $85 US you can put your new (as equipped) $20,000 MacPro on a light freight mover of the sort Eddie Murphy used in the opening sequence of "Trading Places." That would make a loud statement about IT department, garage, or studio capital efficiency. Your choice. Apple offers the design touches for those who want to make a "we're incredibly in-demand and stinking rich" statement, just as Gucci or Prada do for handbags. I suppose it depends on who's paying?

French pensioner ejected from fighter jet after accidentally grabbing bang seat* handle


Re: Double ejection

In most NP US hospitals if needing emergency care he would be treated though uninsured. Then they'd seek to gain a judgment against him and collect his house or other assets as payment against a bill much higher than the hospital would charge an insurer which had a contract-set price.

Microsoft's Bill Gates defrag is finally virtually complete: Billionaire quits board to double down on philanthropy


Re: 1-2-3

Excel was a product for the Mac before it was a product for Windows.

There's also the historical curiosity that Gates offered to sell Excel and GUI Word to Apple, but Jobs turned down the offer.

FUD was absolutely the brilliant strategy to solidify MS DOS, then Windows, in the corporate world, all possible only after MS managed to snooker (OK, beFUDdle) IBM in the OS game.

Nothing changes: Utter ruthlessness grasps the huge fortunes, then philanthropy provides a serious pastime. It's neither good nor evil. It just is.

Beware the three-finger-salute, or 'How I Got The Keys To The Kingdom'


Re: ...why Microsoft taught people to hit Ctl-Alt-Del...

Perhaps MS set it that way because during the first X iterations of the OS that sequence was so often required. Might as well make it familiar and easy....

It's cool for Brit snoops to break the law, says secretive spy court. Just hold on while we pull off some legal jujitsu to let MI5 off the hook...


Re: Arbitrary law is reappearing

The central difficulty is that the Supreme Court, as with the US Supreme Court, gets to say what the Constitution requires, and it requires just what they say it does, unsurprisingly. But what's a poor Supreme Court justice to do when she (or he, or whatever) simply "knows" what it should say, even if it didn't, in its unwritten (or even written, in the US) glory. Personally, I'm in favor of statutes every time, unless very ambiguous, unless a statute or Act clearly violates my personal and contemporary sense of ethics. Laugh.

Five years in the clink for super-crook who scammed Google, Facebook out of $120m with fake tech invoices


The US spelling is actually "coulda, woulda, shoulda."

Internet Society says opportunity to sell .org to private equity biz for $1.14bn came out of the blue. Wow, really?


Re: How did it get to this point ...

The same thing happened in Philadelphia, USA, when real-estate investors and their lawyers got a pathetic neighboring Montgomery County CP Judge to break the will of the founder-capitalizer of the world-famous (amoung art historians and collectors) Barnes Foundation. (Impressionist and post-impressionist artists.)

Now the entire collection is in central Philadelphia, not in Lower Merion Township, where Barnes intended it to remain.

I doubt that judge ran out of campaign funds. (We have elected judges in Pennsylvania.)

Confused why Trump fingered CrowdStrike in that Ukraine call? You're not the only one...


Re: President of the US clueless

It is provably untrue that the investigation of Burisma and its owner, Zlochevsky, had been dropped before Joe Biden intervened. On February 2nd the prosecutor had Zlochevsky's residence raided and evidence collected. A few days later Joe Biden made the first of five phone calls to Poroshenko. In March he flew to Ukraine to make his demand, "fire the prosecutor general or you don't get the billion in loan guarantees" (which Biden had lobbied for in the US, BTW).

Furthermore, VP Biden's repeated statements that Shokin was replaced by a "great guy" is untrue. Shokin's replacement is currently under investigation for corruption. No surprise.

Pentagon beams down $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft: Windows giant beats off Bezos


Re: What advantage does AWS have

"Big Red Button support optionally available, but not included in the basic package. Optional Big Red Button support available subject to Blue Screen of Security exceptions as described in the User Agreement."


DoD will give up on that fantasy when they discover the costs of downloading big data from Azure. No worries.


Re: Does this mean ...

At the risk of a possible National Security violation, I will reveal that the feature is now to be called the Blue Screen of Security. "Nothing to See Here" has a new and possibly classified meaning at DoD. Azure Connect Pro Defense Edition subscribers will note that they may elect to delay relevant Azure software upgrades for the duration of any US war actually declared by Congress. Otherwise, just suck it up, soldier. Nobody said it was gonna be easy. Expensive, yes. Easy? No.

Stallman's final interview as FSF president: Last week we quizzed him over Microsoft visit. Now he quits top roles amid rape remarks outcry


Re: The difference is that now

The age of consent in Britain was 14 years old until quite recently.

It's Black Hat and DEF CON in Vegas this week. And yup, you know what that means. Hotel room searches for guns


Re: Oh America

Sure, but averaged over eighty years?

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


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

In the last approx. ten years, I've only had near collisions with one type of driver, and she isn't over 50 years old. She's between 30 and 50, driving a Range Rover or similar, exiting our local posh shopping mall with a smart phone in front of her eyes. She makes a right turn on red into traffic, without even a glance to see if there's a car coming in the lane she's about to enter. Terrifying. Infuriating.

Florida man pretending to be police pulls over real police, ends badly, claim cops


Re: Is that a serious offence

Approx. five years ago a fake cop pulled over a woman on a major highway. He raped and murdered her. The highway ran along a very upscale suburb near Philadelphia, US.

If the FL creep had found, as he pulled alongside, that the guy was not a guy, but an attractive female, something similar could have happened. The "slow down" verbal warning was a dead give-away that the faker simply hadn't stopped the desired sort of victim.

Queue baa, Libra: People will buy what Facebook's selling. They shouldn't, but they will


Re: Regulating Cryptocurrencies

-and good luck preparing your tax return once the SEC and IRS get done with Libra.

ALIS through the looking glass: F-35 fighter jet's slurpware nearly made buyers pull out – report


The US doesn't seek to restrict Huawei because of what they may do, but due to who is going to be doing it. If you think there's a better side to join, go ahead. We went through that in the 1950's and 60's. Some gained and some lost due to their choices.


Current military fighter aircraft are extremely difficult to maintain. The US (and probably most EU) Air Force has serious trouble training and retaining mechanics with the skill to do the job, combined with willingness to put up with very long hours and a relatively subordinate rank. Maintaining sufficient spare parts, having them in time, is the major headache both air wing and ship commanders. There are probably more benefits than drawbacks to the data-slurping, once ALIS functions are standard.

California court sentences ex-Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain to five years in clink for fraud


Re: Extrateritoriality

London and NYC criminal laws regarding financial transactions have different loopholes, weaknesses. That's one reason why there is room for both in the big-money world. If the UK pursued financial fraud on a "wire fraud" basis as energetically as the US seems to, fewer people would need The City. When AIG's idiots started selling massive amounts of under-priced credit insurance, Credit Default Swaps, the deals were done in London under the direction of the office in Connecticut. Ever wonder why?


Re: What about the folks at HP?

You have to start somewhere. At the top is the right place.

(re another comment: The fraudulent practices don't show up on the balance sheet, or for that matter in the pro forma income statement. That's why they too often succeed.)

Want to hang out with criminals but can't be bothered to download Tor? Try Facebook


Re: Minimum wage = not very good

-but they're not living in Silicon Valley. They're in other states, cheaper states, and turnover is quite high. Phoenix seems to be popular.

Two Arkansas dipsticks nicked after allegedly taking turns to shoot each other while wearing bulletproof vests


Re: bullet-resistant vest

"-proof" is in the description of their booze, not their vest.


Re: Doesn't this destroy the vest?

If a person bought a stab-resistant vest to wear in London, would that mean he was living in a warped world?

Ex-Mozilla CTO: US border cops demanded I unlock my phone, laptop at SF airport – and I'm an American citizen


This (and many of the other comments) from presumably knowledgeable tech people give me pause. Google and Facebook fly entire planeloads of tech people to and from China (PRC) every weekday. Friends of mine fly there without a qualm in order to source parts. And yet, there is no more totalitarian government in the world, nor one who kills more of its citizens every year, nor one who intercepts more WIFI and cell messages/texts/emails. But people find the US difficult? Won't fly there? Yes, some of the security staff are IQ < 95. Many of them feel they'll make their boss less angry by overdoing rather than under-doing it. Now, if they could just move the airport guys over to the cargo terminal to catch the drug shipments, they'd make a bit more sense to me. I would also point out this peculiarity, that US government agencies and contractors have hired (and arranged visas for) PRC physicists and programmers. This confusion has apparently been going on for several decades.

LOL EPA OIG NDA WTF: Eco-watchdog's auditors barred from seeing own agency's cloud security report by gagging order


Re: Classic Catch 22 situation

-Really? Is that a sincere requet? OK, you're now being promoted to the Senior Executive Service. You obviously "get it." Congratulations.

Huawei, your way, whichever way. We're cool with being locked out, defiant biz insists


Re: Guided Missile salesmen

The government of the PRC still refers to the mainland and province of Taiwan. Perhaps the Cold War is till on? It is. All that has changed is that the largest communist tyranny got a pass because corporations wanted to exploit the combination of vast labor force joined to an absolutely effective worker suppression system, aka the Party apparatus and its police. That is a very ugly fact. How did it arise? It was a bit like the Prisoners' Dilemma: Neither North America nor the EU nor Japan was willing to be the economy that gave up the profit opportunity. Competition being what it was/is, either all had to forgo it, or none would. The rest is history.


"Should the rest of the world therefore ban all US networking equipment and US companies from anything related to communications or critical IT systems? I mean if you are going to be consistent, then that is pretty much where your argument leads."

No. I did not and would not make that argument. It leads nowhere but to constant source-code checking by many eyes, and conducting of the builds, and design/fab examination of chip sets, etc...which is impractical in the nearest decade. My argument recognizes that the US (and Germany and the UK, et al) are daily engaged in broad network eavesdropping and targetted investigation. My argument is that ultimately the overall structure of government and intenton of each producing nation needs to be taken into account. My argument recognizes that thorough frequent checking of source code, chip designs and microcode, and so forth, will not be practical any time soon. Ultimately, I'm saying, each country and government has to decide, make choices, as to which other nations and manufacturers pose the most serious threat. No solution is provided by saying "every major manufacture is equally a threat." I'm saying "no, they're not." Every western nation offers the possibility, even likelihood, that information abuse will be outed and rectified. The PRC offers no such hope. If you (or Merkel) wants evidence of that, it certainly is available.


I'm a bit puzzled by the mixed reaction to "Hua Wei - Should We or Shouldn't We?" ambivalence. I grant that many people in, for example, Spain, love the low prices for phones. But, the Hua Wei debate is about network hardware and software, produced in China by a Chinese mainland company. We know that CCP Mandate requires unquestioning compliance with any requests it makes of its "private sector." We know that exploits can be planted with nearly the value of back doors, that they may take years to discover, and are completely deniable if the exploiters are well-camouflaged.

I have a simple question would the same ambivalence exist if the company were a Russian organization based in the 1970's Soviet Union? Of course not. And yet the CPR and CCP operate at a "surveil & command" power incomparably more efficient and complete than that of the former Soviets. A fair use excerpt from a current Ars posting:

"A February 22 China National Computer Emergency Response Team (CNCERT) alert warned that 486 MongoDB database servers out of approximately 25,000 such servers connected to the Internet had "information leakage risks." Apparently, some of those MongoDB servers were part of a social media and messaging collection and processing system used by Chinese law enforcement and security personnel to monitor and investigate citizens' communications......................(ed)....... But in exploring the data, it became rapidly evident who was using the system. The surveillance infrastructure, consisting of a large number of synchronized MongoDB servers, apparently collects social media profiles and instant messages from six different platforms segmented by province, according to Gevers. He adds that the infrastructure pulls in approximately 364 million profiles along with their private chat messages and file transfers daily." .........."The exposed databases revealed not only the collection of the data from social media accounts on services such as TenCent's QQ and WeChat platforms, Alibaba Group's WangWang, and the YY video and streaming platform, but also the workflow behind the collection. "These accounts get linked to a real ID/person," Gevers wrote in a Twitter post on the data. "The data is then distributed over police stations per city/province to separate operator databases with the same surveillance network name." "

The ever-intensifying one-way command structure of the unitary authoritarian state in China today suggests a path that ex-China IT should follow. I don't think ambiguous thinking should be part of it. Germany says "show us the proof of ill actions by Hua Wei." Would Germany say the same if mainland Chinese Guided Missile salesmen come calling. Just remarkable.

Huawei opens Brussels code-check office: Hey! EU've got our guide – love Huawei


Re: Good step

Independent assessment? In the world of state-of-the-art network core systems, no firm will offer it. Yet, even if they did, neither the EU nor any EU national government can afford the sufficiently skilled manpower to accomplish such assessment on an ongoing basis.

I'm fairly stunned: Every developed western nation has a whistle-blower protection law. China, on the other hand, has a "blow the whistle and you're dead" legal regime. Do you seriously prefer your doubts about core network gear/code and its ongoing trustworthiness fall on Chinese mainland companies rather than EU (Swedish/German) and US companies? "One belt, one road, one network"? I'm reminded of my 1980's university social-science elective courses, which always seemed to have at least one rabid supporter of Maoism, against all evidence of mass own-citizen murders. Then came the western corporations, who convinced the west that Maoism was fine, so long as the shareholders got their cut. What a world.

When the bits hit the FAN: US military accused of knackering Russian trolls, news org's IT gear amid midterm elections


Re: NSA attacks Russian infrastructure then accuses Russia of same

There has been so much talk about Cambridge Analytica. Little gets rehashed, though, about Facebook providing its entire social graph to the Clinton campaign for free (but not to the Trump campaign), nor about Eric Schmidt's/Google's wild enthusiasm and aid (financial as well as individual preferences info) to the campaign. The voluntary aid provided directly to Hillary's (and only Hillary's) campaign far outweighed any foreign meddling.

Demand for HP printer supplies in free-fall – and Intel CPU shortages aren't helping either


Re: Two years ago...

I've had the same experience. My LaserJet Pro M203 printer has been indicating "low toner" for more than four months. I print a fairly large volume per month. The print is still fully black.

Up up and Huawei in my beautiful buffoon: Trump sparks panic by tying tech kit ban, charges to China trade negotiations


Re: Boundaries

I would say it's all about sketchy laws and trade deals which failed to take into account protection of the national economy against unfair trade practices, unbalanced tariffs, illegal IP theft, and subjection of essential industrial capacity to the predations of an utterly totalitarian country having the world's largest population. Those "sketchy laws and trade deals" were made in order to line the pockets of the shareholders (domestic and foreign) of global mega-corporations.

I'd take the US situation and policies in a minute, compared the German position or that of the French. As for the UK, one cannot say which evil the government is going to choose.


The issues, which Trade Representative Lightheiser has again listed in recent days, are nothing new. It seems, indeed, a national security flaw to allow cheap (because capital- and contract-subsidized) cell infrastructure into western economies. On top of those realities, Chinese law requires explicitly that HuaWei do the Party Chairman's bidding when commanded. I say let Germany be the guinea pig in the matter, if they're so publicly sceptical.

The same goes for the national security implications of having foreign-company cars "built" in the US or UK when the engines and transmissions are built elsewhere: Such a practice really does bleed a nation not only of essential factories, but essential skills in the labor force.

Germany sloppily allowed the sale of Kukus robotics. Now it has panicked as an ever-larger percentage of Daimler shares falls into Chinese hands. Germany is a good example of nothing except "wishful thinking about the glories that will fall to them from that enormous Chinese market."

Insane homeowners association tries to fine resident for dick-shaped outline car left in snow


Re: Power unchecked

The compromise as to the selection of senators was a highly practical recognition of the primitive infrastructure of most states at the time. The practical effect was, really, much like the Europe-typical democratic vote for a party, not a particular candidate. So state elections to state legislatures provided the ground for selection of senators.


Re: Power unchecked

The USA is not a unitary democracy, but a federation of states. Each state is a democracy, majority rule. If the majority in many states is by a (fairly common) not-overwhelming margin...but there is one large extremely populous state that has formed something like a Uniparty (generally through very high spending and government-employee unions, i.e. California), then the electoral vote winner may well not be the "popular vote winner." We have, though, no such thing as a "national popular vote winner," because we've intentionally never subjected ourselves, and our states, to such.

The electoral college system actually provides a damping system in case one very populous state has very non-diverse politics. Without it national institutions and laws would quickly come to reflect only that state's Uniparty beliefs and policies.

Born-again open-source enthusiast Microsoft rucks up at OpenChain


Isn't it true that MS's immediate game is the Cloud client space? Doesn't working on the open licensing verification project lead to a big stack they can rely upon without fear of lawsuits, bringing in the market of government "must use open source," and without large costs, as a customer option in Azure? In the end MS needs another rock besides Windows upon which it can base a next killer corporate app. OS can be that rock, with the added grace that customers only have to pay for that next very-useful-trap: "Look, it requires only a bunch of open-source stuff...on which you also run many of your other apps....together with our new CosmosSQL.net!" A broader product range covering a very large number of potential customers...is not a foolish thing.

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: There's A Bit Of A Slope On It

My son had to learn the formula for a line in analytic geometry, with its slope intercept.

I still ski the slopes.

I've never heard someone use the term "slope" as a racially derogatory term. It must be a regional thing?


Re: sorry or not

Not so difficult to Pict-ure though.

Tech industry titans suddenly love internet privacy rules. Wanna know why? We'll tell you


Re: Self-Regulation? I'll believe it when I see it.

Both the medical and the legal professions (which are industries) are self-regulating in most regards.

China's tech giants are a security threat to the UK, says Brit spy bigwig


Re: Norms?

Once you go broke, they don't even have to shoot. They just wave you toward the Camps and tell you you'll get food once you enter.

And before you go broke? They just offer the bosses cheap benefits-free no-unions labor, and tell them they'll get more money each year if they avail themselves of that labor. The labor outsourcing builds local supply hubs around it. Then the bosses say they'd move back (or elsewhere), but that now it's the only place with such a rich diverse supply chain....

Artificial Intelligence: You know it isn't real, yeah?


Re: Is it an oxymoron?

Perhaps. I thought it was referring to the synthetic mortgage-backed securities business, or perhaps the investment advisory industry.

You're on a Huawei to Hell, US Sec State Pompeo warns allies: Buy Beijing's boxes, no more intelligence for you


Re: That seems like a dangerous stance

British power declined steadily from 1916-1944 due to the enormous financial drain of, together with France, not facing the reality of German ambition soon enough, actively enough. Too much effort was expended on global issues, not enough on European threats. Sound familiar?

I'm all for watching Germany go heavily with Huawei, and seeing how it turns out. Germany is so deeply in bed with Russia (for fuel) and China (for the huge market it thinks it will prosper from) that there is no need to worry about Germany as an ally. As an ally it has proven insincere for decades. Not a problem.


Re: That seems like a dangerous stance

Going it alone actually worked fine after Kim Philby et al. Not a big deal. It's a free world. I find the US markets more open than the Chinese at the moment. I wouldn't want to rely on China for parts and code maintenance/bug-fixes down the road. Silly me, eh?


Re: Economic warfare

Should the EU be counted as a nation? It seems ambiguous. On the one hand, Germany is very vocal about its opinions, nation like. On the other hand, Chancellor Merkel has said true patriotism is not nationalism, but loyalty a higher political body.

It's all so confusing. Why, then, not buy European network infrastructure?