* Posts by Jon Bright

14 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Aug 2007

Google launches root certificate authority

Jon Bright

Re: Cui bono?

You realise that Google's Chrome is a platinum-level sponsor of Let's Encrypt?

Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Jon Bright

I wish people would shut up about this problem

How else am I supposed to plan for my retirement? I've been reckoning with a few highly-paid consulting gigs in 2037, in the (by then) nearly-forgotten language of C.

Ecuador follows Bitcoin ban with digi-currency proposal

Jon Bright

Re: This seems puzzling

I don't know for sure, but I would not be at all surprised to learn that there's a large group of people in countries such as Ecuador who have mobile phones with at least rudimentary internet access, but who do not have a traditional bank account. I've certainly heard of mobile phone networks in other countries providing banking-like services for their customers.

Planes fail to find 'credible' candidate for flight MH370 wreckage

Jon Bright

Re: If it flew with the pilots disabled

...because it was out of range of cell towers?

Bletchley Park board member quits amid TNMOC split-off spat

Jon Bright

If you're trying to "paint programming pink", you may be part of the problem, not part of the solution.

Artifically moving the needle of hiring standards would be wrong: everyone hired should achieve at least the same standard.

You can move lots of other needles: trying to get a more diverse group of candidates to apply for jobs, trying to make candidates (whoever they are) feel comfortable in interviews and subsequently in the workplace, etc.

If a great chunk of the population isn't prepared to apply to your company because whenever you think "women" your mind immediately comes up with the association "pink", you're artificially *lowering* your hiring standards because your pool of candidates is half as big as it could be but you still need to employ the same number of people. I hesitate to call this a triumph of blokishness.

London Underground cleaners to refuse fingerprint clock-on

Jon Bright

Re: Frankly I don't see the problem

He must not be well.

'I'm the first to admit that we've made a bunch of mistakes'

Jon Bright

So, not much understanding of how CC chargebacks work, then...

"Operation Robin Hood will take credit cards and donate to the 99% as well as various charities around the globe. The banks will be forced to reimburse the people there [sic] money back."

...at which point the banks will initiate a chargeback against the merchant account of "the 99%" (who I suspect haven't actually got one) and "various charities" (most of whom probably do and probably don't want a bunch of chargebacks chalked up against it).

Why do these traders get billions to play with, unchecked?

Jon Bright

Arbitrage isn't entirely risk free

Arbitrage also tends to boil down to a big game of "who's fastest?". Say I've noticed that I can buy BP shares in New York for the $38.50 and sell them in London for (the equivalent of) $38.52. I send off my orders to New York and London at the same time. Unfortunately, whilst I'm doing that, someone else sells to the person in London who's offering $38.52. Now that they've done that, the best price available in London is now $38.49. My order in New York gets executed fine, but I'm now left with a bunch of BP shares that I can't sell for the same price I bought them for, never mind for a profit.

There are ways and means of trying to deal with this and similar risks, but none of them are perfect.

This kind of risk is fairly small, but it's nevertheless not true to say that arbitrage is risk-free.

Londoners warned of card skimming risk

Jon Bright

C&P - Not in Germany

Whilst the German debit card system is chip-based, Germans are astounded whenever I use my UK credit card to pay using a PIN. C&P isn't EU-wide by any means.

Motorola Milestone 2 Android smartphone

Jon Bright

Motorola extremely poor at software updates

I own the first Milestone. Motorola are by far the worst of the handset makers when it comes to software updates. Android 2.1 arrived horribly late. Android 2.2 isn't there yet. (We're promised it "from the end of the year", but I'll believe it when I see it.) I sincerely doubt we'll ever see 2.3 or newer.

But manufacturers don't have to support a handset with updates forever and most don't, right? For almost all other Android handsets, if you want to get the latest and greatest Android version without the aid of the manufacturer, you have a multitude of alternative sources - you go and grab a third-party firmware, install it and you're done. Motorola have locked the Milestone down so that this isn't possible. Efforts to crack their lockdown have thus far been unsuccessful.

People have complained loudly and repeatedly to Motorola about this. Motorola either can't understand or refuses to try.

I won't be buying Motorola again until this policy changes. I could provide a small list of software and hardware issues with the original Milestone, but the fact that I'm now two (soon three) Android versions behind, on a handset that's just over a year old, is enough to tell me that I don't wish to give Motorola 400+EUR again any time soon.

Rogue trader blows sox off control systems

Jon Bright


Part of the reason for ADRs is to avoid US regulation. As SocGen appears only to have a level 1 ADR program, they won't be SOX-regulated, nor will they have too much to do with the SEC.

Employee's silent rampage wipes out $2.5m worth of data

Jon Bright

Maybe she killed the backups too?

If she's the sysadmin, she's presumably in charge of the backups. If she's going on a deletion rampage, why not send the backups for a dip in the Atlantic while she's at it?

US regulator raises Dreamliner hacker risk fear

Jon Bright


When designing planes, engineers are pretty much always aiming to save weight. My guess is, this integration resulted in them saving several bundles of cables which run the entire length of the plane - probably a reasonable weight saving. Not a saving which necessarily sounds good to me, but I bet that's what they were thinking...

Garmin tops mobile navigation market

Jon Bright


Tim, there are many possible points:

- Not having to pay TomTom/Garmin/whoever 100EUR each year for an updated map.

- Having the map updated more often than once each year.

- TomTom doesn't currently offer a map of Greece. OSM could (in the future).

- None of the major nav system vendors are likely to be offering maps of Congo or Laos any time soon (to pick two examples at random). OSM could.

- Providing free maps to Wikipedia, books, whatever.

- Non-car users - there are bunch of people at OSM concentrating on the UK's national cycle network, for example. So you'd have the prospect of one day having a specific routing device (or at least a specific map) for cyclists.

- Providing richer maps. Marking each post box, telephone box, whatever people are interested in finding.

There's not enough money in several of these points for TomTom or Garmin (or Navteq or whoever) to be that interested in satisfying them.

Most importantly, it's fun to do.