* Posts by StewartWhite

69 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Apr 2018


Are you ready to back up your AI chatbot's promises? You'd better be


Re: I'm not a Luddite, but

How about TechnoTwat?

C-suite execs not immune to downsizing drama at Cisco

Thumb Down

"New Chapter"? Pass the sick bucket

"As Cisco moves into a new chapter with the pending Splunk acquisition, Maria will take on her own next chapter where she can spend more time with her family and pursue other interests." Really? How about being honest and saying "We're giving you the boot, tough luck buster!"

Clearly no major company would ever deign to tell the truth in such a situation (or ever?) but sugarcoating really doesn't help when you're firing people IMO.

Dumping us into ad tier of Prime Video when we paid for ad-free is 'unfair' – lawsuit

Thumb Up

What a name!

Personally I think that the plantiff should be awarded the win immediately just for having the name "Wilbert Napoleon" - it made me smile on a damp Wednesday afternoon.

It's time we add friction to digital experiences and slow them down


Re: THIS!!!

So you'd rather have an incorrect result (witness terrible caching results in MS365 where as an admin you get messages such as your change has been made but it hasn't really because it might take up to 24 hours to take effect) and "save" 0.1 of a second on screen than have the correct response returned?

The point is that producing incorrect results quickly versus correct results in a reasonable amount of time should not even be a question. If returning results in 1 second rather than 10 seconds is important (which it often but not always is) then CPU performance MIGHT be part of the solution but often writing better code in the 1st place obviates the need for a caveman style brute force approach of just throwing more hardware and money at it.



Excellent article that unfortunately most people will not read/understand/action. The pointless obsession with often irrelevant CPU speed is a good example - who cares if an on screen task takes 0.6 seconds rather than 0.7 seconds!? It's the same kind of nonsense that idiots with too much money spout when buying Bang & Olufsen - they really can't hear the difference but want to show off by pretending they can.

Maybe we could all start by being professional and push back whenever we're asked to do something quickly and badly rather than doing a good job in the time that it actually requires (because if you don't the fool that asked you to do it will as sure as can be make you the fool when the proverbial hits the fan) or maybe that's too much to ask? Probably the latter as most people seem to prefer an easy life to a good life.

Judge crosses out some claims by writers against OpenAI, lets them have another crack at it


The best justice money can buy

I'm afraid that authors of copyrighted works are on an expensive fool's errand if they think that the courts in the US of A or anywhere else will find in their favour. Open AI et al have got the money to make sure that they will win because that's the primary rule of the game - money talks and the courts listen.

Fujitsu finance chief says sorry for IT giant's role in Post Office Horizon scandal


Re: Rehash

You just can't be bothered to look can you just so you can pretend that the evidence doesn't exist. We all know that the point of a public inquiry is to take so long that all the culpable individuals have moved to a different role, are retired or dead - you're either cynical or naive in the extreme if you believe anything else so your idea of waiting until it completes is nonsensical.

In the meantime, here are just some of the numerous references to Fujitsu abusing remote access - there are plenty of others for you to find in the unlikely event that you're interested:




It's also dramatised in the TV series if you would deign to watch it rather than stick your fingers in your ears and say "La, la, la - can't hear you".


Re: Rehash

And who exactly is this "miss representation" of who you speak? Paula Vennels mayhaps?


Re: Rehash

Try reading the copious material available in Computer Weekly and Private Eye or watching the TV drama - Fujitsu DID have a team that was specifically devoted to manually and secretly resolving Horizon's errors. If that's not good enough for you try reading the transcripts of the public inquiry.

I get that you're trying to muddy the waters in the same way that cancer stick companies do but you are plainly and demonstrably wrong.


Re: Talk is cheap, where's the £?

It's irrelevant re how much Fujitsu knew at the time - they bought ICL and hence any assets (admittedly largely notional in this case) and liabilities are theirs to deal with. If they failed to do due diligence at the time then that's their problem although I'd certainly have no issue with them pursuing any persons/companies in the courts if they were deliberately misled but ultimately caveat emptor applies.

If an acquiring company could avoid its liabilities/obligations by claiming it knew nothing of them at the time of acquisition then any company doing anything dodgy could just be "taken over" by an unrelated company or useful idiot (e.g. BHS and Domininc Chappell) who could then avoid any penalties by shrugging their shoulders and saying "Didn't know anything about it guv". Please note that this is not a suggestion for the current UK government to implement - it's just the kind of neo-liberal claptrap they love.


Talk is cheap, where's the £?

If Fujitsu actually cared (presumably this is true in a parallel universe, just not this one) then they would cough up the cash direct to the subpostmasters that reaped the whirlwind of excrement otherwise known as Horizon.

Any fool can apologise but it's utterly meaningless in this case unless there's significant cash to follow. If there's no direct and serious monetary hit to Fujitsu then there's no moral hazard for them.

Missed expectations, zero guidance: Tesla's 'great year' was anything but


Re: FSD on old Hardware

IMO the likely answer re your point "And I continue to have big questions about how he plans to certify AI based code in a safety critical environment." is that he won't bother.

Trump and Musk are in a mutual admiration "post fact" society so if (as looks likely ATM) El Trumpo wins he will just tell his minions to do what Musk wants. Trump doesn't care about hundreds of people being shot in the USA each year (neither do most Americans it would appear given election results) as long as the gun manufacturers make sufficient moolah so a similar number of auto fatalities will also just be considered as collateral damage.

Microsoft touts migration to Windows 11 as painless, though wallets may disagree


Re: Pointless

Answer: A platform is where you'll never find a TransPennine Express train.

UK PM promises faster justice for Post Office Horizon victims


Re: Hot air

Exactly. Which is why, just before he was due to appear before the inquiry in July 2023 the Fujitsu "expert" (expert in what exactly? Certainly not in being able to recognise an appalling piece of software when he sees it, or at least to be honest about it when questioned) the Post Office miraculously "discovered" a trove of documents that they somehow couldn't find previously such that the person in question had their appearance delayed until November 2023. At which point, again just before he was due to appear, the Post Office find another trove of documents.

Despite the judge telling them that they could be subject to legal sanction under Section 51 of the Inquiries Act 2005 after the first delay, they've done it again and there's no sign of any legal sanction. Clearly they intend to keep on doing this as the judge's threat has been demonstrated to be completely empty.

Public inquiries are oxymoronic in that the purposes isn't to be public or inquire but to run as long as possible to ensure massive fees are obtained by the lawyers and that the report is delayed for a sufficient amount of time to ensure that any recommendations are ignored and that the guilty parties are safely ensconced in the world's most expensive daily care home aka the House of Lords.

Superuser mostly helped IT, until a BSOD saw him invent a farcical fix


Re: Our data keeps going missing - we want a hostage

If you think that including purge/delete in a test system and then migrating it to production is bad, try this: https://www.upi.com/Top_News/US/2019/11/08/False-alarm-1979-NORAD-scare-was-one-of-several-nuclear-close-calls/7491573181627/. Starting a war games scenario on a production machine was so spectacularly stupid that even a legendary idiot such as Leonid Brezhnev was able to correctly point out just how appalling it was to the US prez.

Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights


Re: The Earth is flat

Mathematics (actually trigonometry) FTFY

I hereby claim my prize for "These go up to eleven" scale pedantry in a Register comment.

Apple jacks prices to juice profits because $19.3B a quarter isn't enough


Because Tim Cook can't afford to buy pants

I don't why people are complaining about Apple increasing their prices. https://www.scmp.com/magazines/style/tech-design/article/3023781/how-does-apple-ceo-tim-cook-plan-be-pebble-pond-creates explains how Tim Cook can't afford to buy pants in the US vernacular ("trousers" to those of us who speak English) as he only received $625 million salary at the time the article was written.

Plus he's going to give it all to charity anyway as obviously he knows how to spend your money better than you do. Funny how these tech "titans" always complain about government spending and taxes but they're always telling us how they're going to give the cash they've taken from us to their own pet charities or spend it on really useful stuff like exploding phallic rockets.

It's time to celebrate the abysmal efforts to go paperless in the NHS


Re: meh

Suitable Spinal Tap quote supplied as requested "It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…clever"

AI-powered monitors to defend Washington DC against aerial threats


AI monitors like this you mean? https://www.amazon.co.uk/Govee-Gaming-Monitor-Monitors-Assistant/dp/B0BVQSM8YG

Seems a fairly cheap way of dealing with the menace...

What would sustainable security even look like?


We get the Cybersecurity we deserve

People and organisations pretend that they want secure systems but in the rush to do ever more pointless things more quickly and flashily they'll buy or any old load of (preferably cheap) tat kit/software and ignore security as it's considered "somebody else's problem" and hence doesn't really exist.

There are also way too many cybersecurity software snake oil firms selling the next silver "AI" (or whatever buzzword is the mot de jour) bullet for there to be any industry led effort to help deal with the problem. Why fix the issue when you can make way more money endlessly selling yet another bit of software?

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding


A fool and his money are soon parted

X marks the prat.

Funnily enough, AI models must follow privacy law – including right to be forgotten


AI will not have to face a legal reckoning

We can all complain and wring our hands about how AI/the companies that own AI systems should be made to face the consequences of their behaviour/potential illegality but in reality it's not going to happen.

Western governments are in the pocket of Big Tech and even were that not to be the case politicians in general are stupidly starstruck about anything tech so will gladly fawn over the Wizards of Oz pulling the levers to bring the magic of world peace and prosperity through AI or whatever the next tech snake oil is.

Microsoft whips up unrest after revealing Azure AD name change


Re: Socrates said:

Ceci n'est pas une pipe

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris



French is easy for comments - trying to work out what the comments were on Oracle reports that were in Croatian was "fun". Turned out most of the comments were rubbish anyway and the quality of the reports were worse so it all had to be ditched.

Recipient of Europe's largest ever seed round doesn't even have a product


History as Farce

It's nice to know that human nature never changes as far as greed and stupidity are concerned.

It's now supposed to be considered apocryphal but I've always enjoyed the description of a firm founded at the time of the South Sea Bubble as being "a company for carrying out an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is" - which sums up most of the "AI" nonsense that a lot of companies are coming up with and this company in particular.

UK smart meter rollout years late and less than two thirds complete


The entire energy network in the UK is broken (as is water, the railways etc.) and the fat cats at the top know this only too well so they're just following the well-worn and inglorious playbook of blaming the individual consumer for their failings whilst laughing all the way to the bank.

Witness UK Power Networks giving their overseas shareholders vast sums as a result of their monopoly on supply in various areas of the country: £2.4 billion profit in four years. Meanwhile after 20 years they still haven't resolved fundamental problems with the main substation in our village such that this week we yet again experienced a power cut. Their CEO (Basil Scarsella) is just about making do on £2 million+ p.a. in 2018 according to https://www.standard.co.uk/business/business-interview-basil-scarsella-the-man-keeping-your-lights-on-a3864311.html (I hate to think how much he "earns" now) whilst getting one of his minions to tell me that I needed to buy a UPS because the power supply here is so prone to failure.

ChatGPT can't pass these medical exams – yet


Re: I have a major problem with this ChatGPT rush

You're naive in the extreme if you think that companies won't use ChatGPT to "provide the solution, and never will". Organisations such as IBM and BT that are salivating at the thought of culling vast numbers of jobs simply won't care whether the results it produces are correct, 80% right is probably good enough from their point of view and if anybody complains they'll just be told "it's AI mate so it must be right". The initial automated output from the mills that the much-maligned Luddites complained about were terrible but v cheap which was all the mill owners cared about.

For anybody that thinks that this is going to be the same as other waves of automation and that their job is safe because "they're different from everybody else" - dream on. The neo-liberal consensus seems to be that ever more wealth must be concentrated in ever fewer pockets at the top of the tree and everybody else can go hang. If you don't believe me, try plotting the average salary of listed company CEOs (+ bonuses if you're feeling conscientious) vs average worker pay at the same companies over the last 20 years.

Autonomy founder Mike Lynch flown to US for HPE fraud trial


Re: The one-way extradition treaty

Oh, you mean that despite the US explicitly refusing the extradition request for Anne Sacoolas on multiple occasions that it didn't count in some way because she was a "diplomat" (aka wife of a spook). See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-northamptonshire-52630089 for details.

Apart from the above your logic is flawed since the UK government knows that the USA will refuse pretty much any extradition request from the UK so the UK doesn't even bother making them any more as there's no point.

Atlassian to dump 500 – by email – in the name of 'rebalancing'


Making people redundant by email is cheap, cowardly and lazy behaviour. If you're going to end somebody's employment at least have the decency to say it to their face.

Java SE 6 and 7 devs weigh their options as support ends


Re: Version numbering still confusing.

That's where you're going wrong, it's fork handles, "hot incense" and a spirit blanket. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ozpek_FrOPs&ab_channel=RikRamsden for an explanation.

After 40 years in tech, I see every innovation contains its dark opposite


Re: a planetary-scale "ignorance amplifier"

There's still fun to be had even with placing books in genres, e.g. Huntingdon library had "Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas" under Travel which made me laugh so much I almost got thrown out.

Ransomware the final nail in coffin for small university


"heading cats"?

I thought herding cats was difficult enough but the "heading cats" problem seems even trickier to me.

Accenture announces 'Accenture Song' – not a tune, but a rebrand


Re: I am disappointed.

Computer Associates had a truly terrible corporate "anthem" (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S2YrwzxRZxY&ab_channel=tedloveschicken) that they had as hold music if you ever had the misfortune to have to phone them.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?


My favourite error message

My "favourite" error message of all time is VAX Basic's "103: Program lost - Sorry" from the '80s. No explanation of why it was lost or what to do next other than punch the screen but a nice little apology at the end.

AWS power failure in US-EAST-1 region killed some hardware and instances


Re: Ever heard of a UPS?

How do you know that the problem was probably with a UPS? Nobody's provided that info as yet. I know all too well that UPS systems themselves can fail but you also have surge protectors for the circuit itself if you're hosting important "stuff" but you might be surprised at the number of cloud hosting companies who don't bother with such fripperies as DR - witness the SSP Pure insurance broking platform debacle in 2016 https://www.insurancebusinessmag.com/uk/news/breaking-news/the-ssp-outage-two-weeks-on-37592.aspx

More importantly, IF the UPS has failed, where are the backups/what are the DR plans if the impact is this bad? These are absolute basics that cloud vendors need to be performing as a matter of course rather than getting more people signed up to their new "shiny" just so Jeff can fly to the moon.


Ever heard of a UPS?

"As is often the case with a loss of power, there may be some hardware that is not recoverable"

What a bunch of clowns! Amazon's revenues in 2020 were north of $385 billion but it can't be bothered to pay for and install a UPS or two and then when there's a power borkage restore from DR system/backups maybe? What exactly are people paying stupid amounts for when hosting in AWS?

Customer comment and contributions no more as Microsoft pulls the plug on Office 365 UserVoice forum


Microsoft claim at https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/uservoice-pages-430e1a78-e016-472a-a10f-dc2a3df3450a that

"Note: We will be moving away from UserVoice feedback sites on a product-by-product basis throughout the 2021 calendar year. We will leverage 1st party solutions for customer feedback."

Utterly academic anyway from the point of view of Microsoft actually listening to the views expressed - they're just ceremony to pretend that they're listening whereas they obviously know far better than all their customers.

Alleged Ponzi mastermind on the run from FBI hid in lake with sea-scooter, collared after he surfaced half-hour later


Learning from the master?

"... materially false and fraudulent pretenses, representations, promises, half-truths, and omissions, and the concealment of material facts,” - if any of these are a crime then surely El Trumpo will be doing some serious time in the near future?

Excel Hell: It's not just blame for pandemic pandemonium being spread between the sheets


Don't use the wrong tool for the job then blame the tool

It's easy to blame Excel (and tbf it's got plenty of stupidity inbuilt) but this is just a highly public version of using what can be a reasonable tool for the wrong job.

In a previous role I had the Accountancy team complain that their documents weren't as easy to type/use as everybody else's. Turns out they'd mandated that only Outlook and Excel were allowed to be used in their team so they weren't allowed to use Word.

You can use a hammer and chisel instead of a screwdriver to undo a screw but if you do, Shirley it's you're fault and not the hammer's?

Amazon's auditing of Alexa Skills is so good, these boffins got all 200+ rule-breaking apps past the reviewers


& why exactly would Amazon care about this?

Not sure I understand why anybody's surprised by Amazon's behaviour. Jeff simply doesn't care about anything unless it's adding to his billions of $ or polishing his ego. If you're not drinking his Kool-Aid and buying his crap then you're unworthy of Amazon's attention in the "World of Jeff".

Getting some other saps to develop rubbish apps that break the rules for his platform, why would Amazon care? Twitter don't care about fake ads, Facebook doesn't care about hate speech, they all think that because they're part of some new "paradigm" that they're above the piffling laws that mere mortals have to abide by.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide


Surely replacing female with jack should be unacceptable to these morons as Jack is a male name?

How do you run a military court over Zoom? With 28 bullet points and a ceremonial laptop flunkey, of course!


I prefer the variety in the Peek Freans Trotsky Assortment

"Revolutionary biscuits of Italy, rise up out of your box, you have nothing to lose but your wafers, yum yum yum yum yum."

Who's still using Webex? Not even Cisco: Judge orders IT giant to use rival Zoom for virtual patent trial


Re: Webex and Skype

"...looks... like carp"? Like this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carp? It's all a bit Shadow over Innsmouth for my liking

Tux icon because El Reg has no fish

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


Re: These are wheely gweat!

Welcome my friend to the iTurd:


After 20-year battle, Channel island Sark finally earns the right to exist on the internet with its own top-level domain


Re: Glad they didn't overthink the process....

Good points. In the UK we still also have the House of Lords which is being ever expanded with fat and overpaid idiots who we are told by our overlords have much more expertise than us proles and hence couldn't be replaced by an elected 2nd chamber.

Politicians elected to a 2nd chamber wouldn't necessarily result in a better system of government but it could stop the ridiculous expansion by patronage of the Lords with yet more ermined buffoons. IMO they might well be idiots but at least they would be our idiots and there's a chance that they might stay awake during debates - the Lords are a national embarrassment with OAPs snoring and drooling on the leather benches just so they can collect their daily expenses and eat at restaurants that are subsidised by taxpayers.

Morrisons tells top court it's not liable for staffer who nicked payroll data of 100,000 employees


Re: Depends if decent efforts at data security made by Morrisons

Is the hypothetical mop a Morrison's own brand? If so, kudos to them for building a sturdy enough cleaning implement such that it can bludgeon many people to death.

Never mind monitoring dead crims, Ministry of Justice has just palmed Serco another £800m


So let me see if I've got this straight - a company defrauds the MoJ and hence the UK taxpayer out of multi-millions and then rather than being barred from being awarded further contracts for a lengthy period is rewarded by being given another contract for further major moolah.

And this makes sense how?!?

If you have a security alert, I feel bad for you, son – you got 99 problems but a hack ain't one


My response to Kaspersky is "If your software generates so many false positives that you can't find the actual threats within normal behaviour then, to use a phrase that would annoy Jacob Rees-Mogg, it's not fit for purpose"

HP crashed Autonomy because US tech titan's top brass 'lost their nerve', says lawyer for ex-CEO Mike Lynch


Re: Pot and Kettle

HP and Autonomy are as bad as each other. Lynch is just another obnoxious wannabe Steve Jobs style bully and HP/HPE has been "led" by people who know nothing about technology for decades.

What I don't get is why people don't read up on Enron and similar accounting scandals and see that Lynch et al just copied their ideas such as being obsessed with the stock market valuation, banning any analyst that dares to disagree with how clever they are and booking 10 years worth of revenue and "profits" as soon as a deal is signed even though the money ain't ever going to be handed over. Lynch then added his own asininity by vastly over-rewarding salespeople who exceeded their targets and sacking the worst performing 5% every quarter.thus encouraging them to lie and cheat even more than usual (I know - software salespeople that lie, who'd have thought?).

Campaigners cry foul over NHS Digital plans to grant policy wonks and researchers access to patient-level data


Re: Snomed CT

Ah the good old Reed codes. My favourite is E845, “accident involving spacecraft injuring occupant”.