* Posts by Herring`

298 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Mar 2018


Amazon on the hook for predictably revolting use of concealed clothes hook spy cam



Since it's turned into a bazaar of dodgy shite, I did wonder whether they might be liable for something. Selling spycams wasn't at the top of my list though - I thought it was more likely electric transportation things with charger/battery combos that would burn

We challenged you to come up with tech predictions for 2024 (wrong answers only) – here are some favorites so far


Re: Optional

We have write-only systems. Sharepoint for one

The AI everything show continues at AWS: Generate SQL from text, vector search, and more


A little knowledge

Back in the day, a few management types figured out that if they asked me nicely, I could answer questions like "How many $things of $type happened in $timewindow in $areacode". We only had the prod DB - no reporting replica.

Once or twice a month, I would see one of the DBAs stand up and walk over to my desk to ask what the fuck I was running cos it was maxing out the CPU. Happy days.

Honda cooks up an electric motorbike menu, with sides of connectivity



It also promised a new age of connectivity will accompany the electric motorcycles

Please someone. Make it stop. If I buy I thing, I want to own it. I want to be able to bugger about with it. I am not interested in "exclusive subscription features for your convenience". I don't want my use of my thing reported to "enhance user experience".

Meta sued by privacy group over pay up or click OK model


I haven't quit yet

But I haven't looked at FB for weeks. It no longer shows me friends/family stuff or interesting things from groups. It shows me suggestions for shit I have no interest in. Classic enshittification, but how far does it have to go before it offers users no utility at all?

Tesla sues Swedish government after worker rebellion cripples car biz


I am enjoying this dispute

Yet another stupid lawsuit from Musk who seems to believe that all should bow down before his greatness.

“One hundred idiots make idiotic plans and carry them out. All but one justly fail. The hundredth idiot, whose plan succeeded through pure luck, is immediately convinced he’s a genius.”

― Iain M. Banks

IT sent the intern to sort out the nasty VP who was too important to bother with backups


I can't be the only one

who has seen instances of certain senior people's usernames being hard-coded into a business system so that, while they appear to have super-user access, the system will stop them from doing anything really damaging?

48-nation bloc to crack down on using crypto assets to avoid tax


A cynical person

might think that the problem crypto represents is that it brings the capability of money laundering and tax evasion into the hands of just anyone. Whereas previously it was the preserve of rich people and large corporations. Private Eye has a nice map of property in the UK owned by offshore companies, but setting that up must've cost the actual owners a bunch in lawyer's fees.

Meta, YouTube face criminal spying complaints in Ireland


Re: If YouTube hates its customers so much

It is classic enshitification

UK signals legal changes to self-driving vehicle liabilities


Re: Why?

Minor issue: If you look at traffic congestion at the moment, many cars have only one person in them. Now add a load of cars with no people in them



I think about when I am driving in traffic. I am doing stuff like establishing eye-contact with pedestrians, cyclists, other drivers. Assessing whether they know my intentions and I know theirs. Then there's classic scenarios like a football rolls across the road from between parked cars - probability that a kid chasing it might run out. Someone is in that parked car - are they going to open the door. If you've spent time on the road on a bicycle or motorbike and you're still alive, you've probably got used to assessing stuff like that.

Motorways are probably a better option for automation. But there's still stuff there - like if you've got cars both overtaking and undertaking a middle-lane dope, they might follow the manoeuvre with attempting to both occupy the same space in the middle-lane at the same time.

YouTube cares less for your privacy than its revenues


Re: Enshitification strikes again

I was thinking about setting opening the port(s) so I could use my Pi as DNS from elsewhere (Zen! Static IP!, 100Mb upstream!) but it seemed too much of a risk.


Enshitification strikes again

The thing is, if online ads hadn't become annoying and intrusive, ad blockers would never have happened.

When I'm away from my home network and the PiHole, the web is a horrible place.

X says it's only worth $19B after year of Muskmanagement


I am actually impressed

at how much he has managed to fuck up. I mean, it's less money than Liz Truss, but it's his own money.

Telcos should compensate phished subscribers, suggests Singapore



I am hearing a lot recently about people being scammed by ads on Facebook. The idea of making Meta liable for something is intriguing. Their response is that their terms of service prohibit fraudulent activity but that doesn't seem to bother criminals that much.

Progress towards 'Gigabit Europe' is slow, with UK also lagging


Yes. I have most of my kit cabled up. What's in the wire is yours, the radio spectrum you have to share.

I got the 900Mb/s although I don't need it. So I can download a Linux ISO in seconds - which I don't do very often. Also so I can run speed tests and feel smug.

AMD gives 7000-series Threadrippers a frequency bump with Epyc core counts


I have no idea how you might keep all those cores busy.

I still want one though.

Buyer's remorse haunts 3 in 5 business software purchases


It's interesting*

When you Senior Person will not trust their own employees - who already understand the business and the issues - but will trust the salesdroids from MagicBulletCorp. Despite the internal people asking for a few grand and MBC quoting £fucktonne

*depressing, infuriating

Boris Johnson's mad hydrogen for homes bubble bursts


Re: Electricity for heat pumps

It's a little more complicated than that. This article is interesting.

Precis: Privatising everything produced the expected results

Gas supplier blames 'rogue' code for Channel Island outage


Re: Well that was like reading an error report from a user

It's a mistranslation and a typo - from the French Code Rouge

Excel recruitment time bomb makes top trainee doctors 'unappointable'


These things happen everywhere

The people who need a solution are presented with a choice:

Go to IT to get something developed properly. Spend the next n months on estimates, plans, budgets. Watch as project managers, business analysts, architects (business, data, application, technical and enterpise) are brought on board. Proposals are taken to steering committees, potential solutions are evaluated for whether they are "strategic". If you're lucky, some external consultants will be brought in.

Or just knock something up in Excel. Something that will grow and mutate and eventually - 4 years after the original creator has left - will be recognised as "mission critical".

I've mostly worked in the private sector where these fur cups rarely get made public. But they are out there.

Musk's first year as Twitter's Dear Leader is nigh


The other suggestion was $8chan

Arm wrestles assembly language guru's domains away citing trademark issues



Now I want to register: shit-arm-bad-tattoo.org

Anyone else remember fly-bmi.com? The site for owners of overweight houseflies.

80% of execs regret calling employees back to the office


If they wanted to encourage people back to the office

then not making the office so horrible might have been a start. Vast open-plan spaces, hot-desking - no way for a team to sit and collaborate together without annoying the hell out of everyone else or booking a meeting room (good luck with that). Surrounded by people on different calls or having their own at-desk discussions about unrelated topics. I go into the office when I know I'm going to be able to buttonhole people I need a chat with (without booking a meeting) and that's useful. As a space for getting work done, it's horrible

Cumbrian Police accidentally publish all officers' details online


Re: For all the billions spent on giant...

How does it happen? Many ways. For instance, I have worked places which are very project-centric and PMs get their bonus depending upon time taken and money spent. So if you have Project A to do something to system Y and project B to create system X, neither PM wants to pay for the work to integrate the two. So, to plug the gap, users run a report in A, bugger about with it in Excel and then upload the CSV to system B. PMs get their bonuses but the result is terrible.

More generally, spreadsheets get used to plug holes in functionality because they can be done quickly and with any cost hidden - unlike getting involved in the whole IT project process.

Man who nearly killed physical media returns with $60,000 vinyl turntable



Buy one, then use it to play your records getting the "amazing" sound. Record that and convert to MP3 then sell the turntable. Then you get the benefit of the sound without laying out.

Deloitte wins deal worth up to £100M for UK border platform


Re: I'm struggling...

If it had been up to me, I would've asked the people promoting it to explain exactly what "Brexit" meant and how it would be accomplished before the referendum. I mean, whenever I have to present options to management, I have rarely been able to get away with "Dunno but it'll be great" as one of the options.

Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?


Re: All that glitters ...

This can happen when the heavy data ends up on one side of the disk.

Elon Musk's Twitter moves were 'reaffirming' says Reddit boss amid API changes


Just as a thing

They are screwing over the blind and partially sighted with this. Not that they care. However, not caring may have legal ramifications.


Re: In Defense of Musk at Twitter

Has Musk sued yet to be listed as a founder of Twitter?

Amazon Ring, Alexa accused of every nightmare IoT security fail you can imagine


Re: Who would have seen that coming?

It's odd, isn't it. Come bonus time, the directors are personally responsible for everything good. But when there's a bit of legal trouble, they had no idea what was going on.

ChatGPT can't pass these medical exams – yet


You could do it on gut feel. But you may be talking through your arse

Up to £895M up for grabs in UK Emergency Services procurement


Re: Missing something

Hey, I worked with the BT Transcomm Mobitex system for a while and that sent data fine. Not much data. But some.


Missing something

I'm not an expert in radio comms, but why do they want a solution based upon mobile phone tech? How long do mobile networks keep going in a power outage? It's not hard to enviage some sort of emergency which takes out power and/or masts. Plus, if you have an emergency in West Wales, are you on your own?

Britain's largest private pension scheme reveals scale of Capita break-in


Re: Here...

If you nurture in-house talent then they might get ideas above their station. If you get rid of 1,000 civil servants and replace them with Capita people who know nothing and are 4x the cost, you can pretend you've saved money at the same time is putting fear into the minds of other civil servants

UK emergency services take DIY approach amid 12-year wait for comms upgrade


Re: Too Big?

The condensed stages:

1. Sack everyone who says it won't work

2. Sack everyone who said it would work

Parts of UK booted offline as Virgin Media suffers massive broadband outage


Re: Zen FTW

I went back to Zen last year after a while on Virgin. Openreach put my fibre in earlier than expected so I called Zen to get the setup/credentials and was instantly taken back to that glorious world where tech support is both technical and supportive. Bless them.

Unless things change, first zettaflop systems will need nuclear power, AMD's Su says


Efficiency of code is certainly a factor, but it's driven by higher expectations. The libraries and the languages enable "productivity" to be higher. Sure it's less efficient. I mean, look at microservices - we spending a ton of cycles on turning data into text, sending it over HTTP, and then parsing the text the other end. Compare with an in-process COM component back in the day where calling a method was basically the same as a (C++) virtual function call. But containers etc. are much easier to create and manage - and no DLL Hell.

A lot of modern systems could use a lot less hardware, but they would cost more and take longer to develop.

Techies ask PM to 'prepare UK chip strategy as a matter of urgency'


Re: 25 years too late

To a certain extent, it was.

They had the National Enterprise Board which played a part in getting the Cambridge companies like Sinclair and Acorn off the ground. Acorn got the massive boost from the BBC involvement which allowed them and people like the Legend Sophie Wilson to step up and produce the Acorn Risc Machine processor which became ARM and here we are.

I can't see it happening again as the country has long been run by arts graduates and/or people who work in The City - to whom the idea of investing in something that might pay off in 10 years' time is an anathema.

Elon Musk to step down as Twitter CEO: Help us pick his replacement


Inadequate IT partly to blame for NHS doctors losing 13.5 million working hours


Re: another closed system with no upgrade path

if you're designing an IT system that must support experts in any profession which is outside the development team's personal expertise, then YOU MUST INCLUDE AT LEAST ONE MEMBER OF THAT PROFESSION IN THE DESIGN TEAM

I'm with you on this. The best projects I have worked on, we have had the time of expert users to work with the dev team. By "best" I mean delivering something good and useful on time.

Other projects, well all the experts are far too busy/overloaded to spend time with IT. The budget constraints happen and features are cut and an MVP has been delivered - with "viable" being defined by the PMO. And then you end up with the holes being plugged by shadow IT/ "Dave's Spreadsheet".

Britain has likely missed the boat for having a semiconductor industry


Re: 4 decades too late

I have a transputer- a T-800. It's on a card with an 8 bit ISA bus so I have no way of using it.

RIP Fred 'Mythical Man-Month' Brooks: IBM guru of software project management


Re: The quote I remember

I have worked in/led teams where we have had massive productivity and hit those deadlines. But that was over 20 years ago and working on a very profitable product with excellent and engaged expert users and management who were too scared to mess with it.

Now, well at least 95% of work on a typical project is meetings between people who aren't actually producing anything. And that includes me - I just do words and diagrams that nobody pays attention to.

I want to go back to developing commercial software. I was happy then. But my CV doesn't show any dev work (except PoCs) in the last couple of decades.


The quote I remember

is Brooks on his own book:

"The Bible of Software Engineering", because "everybody quotes it, some people read it, and a few people go by it"

Ultimately, we haven't learned a damned thing.

AMD’s latest, greatest Radeon graphics card $600 cheaper than Nvidia’s top RTX 4090


What framerate

can you get on Llamatron?

Vonage to pay $100m for making it nearly impossible to cancel internet phone services


Re: Ideally ...

The C-Suites had no idea what was going on.

Although at bonus time, they are responsible for every success.

Tesla reportedly faces criminal probe into self-driving hype


Stupid idea

Stupid because other people may well get hurt, but how about tying up Musk, throwing him in the back of one of his cars and setting it off on "full self driving" into busy motorway traffic? Let's see just how much faith he has in his products

'Chief Twit' Musk delivers bathroom furniture to Twitter HQ ... but not Tesla results



"A beautiful thing about Twitter is how it empowers citizen journalism – people are able to disseminate news without a factual bias,"

Tesla has a lot of work to do on its Optimus robot


Quite. When his cars start obeying the first law, let me know

US accident investigators want alcohol breathalyzers in all new vehicles


Anyone else

thinking about the drunk-test scene from The Man With Two Brains? Just me then.

More seriously, having iffy tech determine guilt or innocence sounds like a terrible idea.