* Posts by General Purpose

377 publicly visible posts • joined 2 May 2018


Seriously, boss? You want that stupid password? OK, you get that stupid password

General Purpose

Re: Missing part

On the Monday, the boss quickly figured out that Ben was either a malicious bastard or an idiot who didn't know "oh" meant "zero", and that either way they were well shot of him.

Meta forced to sell Giphy, takes 87% loss in Shutterstock deal

General Purpose

What's the betting that if Meta had kept Giphy, Zuckerberg et al would have insisted on that $400m value still showing up in Meta's balance sheet as goodwill, unimpaired?

Datacenter fire suppression system wasn't tested for years, then BOOM

General Purpose

He didn't say the smoke detectors were in the kitchen. Properly burnt toast can set them off at quite a distance.

Publishers land killer punch on Internet Archive in book copyright court battle

General Purpose

Re: History

Archive.today/archive.is isn't open about who runs it, how it's funded, where it's based or the data's held, or anything much. It might be a one-man operation using spare capacity; that's rather how some described it back when it was being considered as an alternative to archive.org for Wikipedia references that would otherwise be dead links. If so, there are questions about whether it can continue to have enough capacity, what happens if the one guy is incapacitated or demotivated, and so on. Or it might really be a secret project of Bill Gates, the Russian government or [insert another wild theory] and the sometimes-named one man is the front. It might be beyond the reach of copyright lawyers, or it might not. It seems all we can really say is that it will "keep things from being erased from history" for exactly as long as it keeps things from being erased from history.

Or maybe you know a bit more about it and have good reasons to be confident?

Here's a fun idea: Try to unlock and drive away in someone else's Tesla

General Purpose

Re: But physical keys can be hacked

Really smart kids spray it on every car except one, so everyone knows who to blame.

Cop warrant orders Ring to cough up footage from inside this guy's home

General Purpose

Meanwhile in London

In a trial project in collaboration with University College London, the Metropolitan Police are offering free video doorbells.

Service desk tech saved consultancy Capita from VPN meltdown, got a smack for it

General Purpose


Coming soon to an inspirational poster near you: There's No U in Savior.

What Mary, Queen of Scots, can teach today’s cybersec royalty

General Purpose

Re: One time pads: one more thing

Heh. But Elizabeth herself spoke French, as well as Latin and Italian. She translated poetry and prose from English to French and vice versa, wrote her own French poetry and letters in Latin and French - including at least one in French to Mary, Queen of Scots herself. She also spoke Spanish but didn't like to, what with her father's first wife being Spanish and the Armada and so on.

Her spymaster Walsingham had studied in Basel and Padua, been ambassador to France, and must have picked up a few languages too. He probably even understood the weird version of French the English still sometimes used in their laws and courts. There's a story that during the Second World War, English radio operators in south-east Asia, not being equipped with secure encryption, resorted to English schoolboy French on the basis that not even the French would understand that. English legal French was a bit like that.

US defense forces no match for the unstoppable fiend known as Reply-All

General Purpose

Re: Do you really want to do this?

Don't worry, the missiles aren't despatched until you've keyed in your email address twice.

(This has worked astonishingly well so far.)

Four top euro carriers will use phone numbers to target ads and annoy Google & Facebook

General Purpose

Re: Those whowant targetted marketing

Once you've bought your new drill, for how long do you want to keep seeing drill advertisements?

Somewhat similarly, for how long after a miserable miscarriage does someone want to keep seeing adverts for baby clothes?

No more free API access, says Twitter: You pay for that data

General Purpose

Re: Maybe he really doesn't care about the money at all

He's lost any chance of getting me to go to Mars with him, I can tell you that.

Former Facebooker alleges Meta drained users' batteries to test apps

General Purpose

Re: I seem to be running on 'empty'

Thanks, I was too hasty and it's as you say. The pdf is clear that he sent a message "So, on the one hand, an experiment is the best way to quantify the impact of battery drain. On the other hand, it's far too risky for me to advocate intentionally "degrading" a user experience-both legally and also PR-wise (plus you could actually hurt someone in an edge case).”

General Purpose

Re: I seem to be running on 'empty'

They weren't testing the effect of draining the battery. They wanted "to look at the correlation between latency between opening a link and the likelihood a user commented on said link." They did find a correlation: the likelihood of commenting peaks when latency's pushed up to 2 seconds.

The ex-employee reckons this amounted to significantly draining phone batteries (presumably because the app was running longer, not just when the user was looking at the screen but also when the app was running in the background).

WAN router IP address change blamed for global Microsoft 365 outage

General Purpose

Re: SPOF anyone?

What a superbly elegant cascade. Thank you.

FTX audit finds $415m in crypto mysteriously vanished

General Purpose

Re: "might have been a little easier if he'd been kept in a cell"

>remanded in custody until trial, which is normal practice here in Britain when people are accused of crimes as big as this

Not really. Bail in the UK depends on various things - possibility of re-offending or interfering with the investigation or judicial process, risk of not turning up for trial, and suchlike. The simple magnitude of an alleged theft or fraud isn't an issue, so it can even seem perverse when bail's refused to a poor man accused of burglary to feed his drug habit, but granted to a rich man accused of massive fraud.

Keeping the accused in prison in the hope he might crack and confess isn't an option in UK law.

Ex-Twitter Brits launch legal challenge against dismissal

General Purpose

Re: Pyrrhic victory ?

At the end of 2020, Twitter UK's assets were just over £43 million. Turnover that year was over £153 million, largely from selling advertising. Musk would probably like them to carry on doing that.

How to track equipped cars via exploitable e-ink platemaker

General Purpose

Re: Nobody, and I mean nobody ...

For extra ponts, change the plate to NOBODY. "Nobody is now proceeing north at 105 mph..."

Elon Musk's cost-cutting campaign at Twitter extended to not paying rent, claims landlord

General Purpose

Re: Twitter Turnaround

Their own blog in 2017 talks of data centers without locations or numbers, but in 2018 a report talked of leased data center space in Sacramento and Atlanta, and of moving about 20% to cloud. December 2022 reports added Portland, with Sacramento being shut down and Atlanta downsized.




Micron plans staff decimation as demand dips to Great Recession levels

General Purpose

Re: What ?

Accountants have to make choices, which will have the effect of pushing income and/or expenditure up or down in particular quarters. Some choices may be unusual but that doesn't make them illegal.

OneCoin co-founder pleads guilty to $4 billion fraud

General Purpose

Re: What kind of people were targeted by this scam?

The BBC podcasts might not give a median figure but otherwise are very good on the range of victims and how they were recruited, and on the big UK law firm that protected her from bad publicity. The updates after the main series include the likelihood she's still alive and was receiving information from within Europol about their investigations.

When we asked how you crashed the system we wanted an explanation not a demonstration

General Purpose

Re: Unanswered question

Something to do with Exit? Maybe indicating a Failure of the exit, so that opening the door would require the use of the big red button?

How do you solve the problem that is Twitter?

General Purpose

Back in 1995, Musk coded a city guide website by himself in overnight sessions, at least as he tells it (Wayback Machine link, may be slow). My gut says that experience might not be helpful at Twitter scales 27 years later, but I wouldn't bet $44bn on my gut.

Musk says spat with Apple over App Store ejection threat for Twitter was 'misunderstanding'

General Purpose

Gaslighting 101

Always "the misunderstanding", never "my misunderstanding".

Elon Musk picks fight with Apple for slashing advertising spend on Twitter

General Purpose

Re: In app purchase?

Likewise, might Musk be much more upset at the thought of Apple taking some of his prospective tick revenue than he is about losing ad income? If he wants subs to cover a serious proportion of Twitter's $5bn a year, and Apple was to take 30% of whatever part of that came in through iPhones and iPads, that $90k a week drop in Apple's advertising would be even smaller change.

Musk: Twitter will have 1 billion monthly users inside 18 months

General Purpose

Re: The problem with bad journalism

OK, thanks.

General Purpose

Re: The problem with bad journalism

>I half expect ElReg's reaction is going to be to put this account on their naughty list

Do we know of commentards being blocked for a single criticism of ElReg or is that passing swipe itself an example of distortion and a false accusation of committing "cancel culture"? Anyway, don't worry, you weren't logged in.

Time Lords decree an end to leap seconds before risky attempt to reverse time

General Purpose

Re: Didn't someone previously propose

The monks may have found it useful for prayer-times but in Europe dividing sunrise to sunset into twelve goes back at least as far as the ancient Romans. Of course some still hankered for the old system of only dividing it into two, am and pm, and none of this new-fangled rushing around.

General Purpose

Re: Cop Out

Well, there are SWIFT, the UN, the EEA, the IOC, WADA.... But if we're keeping score and someone is winning, might that have something to do with persistent diplomacy and co-operation, or being an initiator rather than a Johnny-come-lately?

FTX disarray declared 'unprecedented' by exec who cleaned up after Enron

General Purpose

That $32bn claim, though .... it wasn't simple market capitalisation, oh no. They raised $400m in funding and multiplied it up by a factor of 80, stuck that in a press release and got the coverage. It's hard not to see the FT and other mainstream press as part of the problem.

Swiss bankers warn: Three quarters of retail Bitcoin investors are in the red

General Purpose

Re: Maybe it is time to stop using the word currency

And Tesla? Not any more!

In Feb 2021 they spent $1.5bn on bitcoin and announced they'd start accepting bitcoin in payment. In May 2021 Musk tweeted that they weren't accepting bitcoin any more (he didn't say how much they'd taken in the three months). By July 2022, Tela had offloaded about 75% of its holding and overall, at the price of bitcoin then, was down $106m.

Just follow the instructions … no wait, not that instruction to lock everyone out of everything

General Purpose

Lately, the Who, Me? stories seem to be very old. Some may find the following explanations disturbing.

* El Reg's readership is very old

* The younger generation is smarter, more skilful, and less prone to making mistakes.

Tired: Data scientists. Wired: Data artists

General Purpose

Operations Research

Understanding data's always a challenge.

Step 1 (routine): collect data on where the holes are in returning bombers.

Step 2 (radical): reinforce the bits that didn't have holes.

Party like it's 2014, if you can – that's the last time smartphone sales were this low

General Purpose

Is there anything innovative left to introduce to mobiles?

Auto-hover when dropped.

Scottish space upstart's rocket crashes into the drink

General Purpose

Re: Bad omens

As long as there isn't one marked RUN.

Those screws on the Apple Watch Ultra are a red herring

General Purpose

Re: Muppets

Never mind swimming, how about passing a watch under a cold tap (faucet in the US?). Round here, domestic water pressure's about 40m.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left

General Purpose

Re: "Extinct media still in demand"

They are functionally extinct. New floppies are no longer produced; never again will we hear the patter of tiny floppy feet.

Indian tech minister picks a fight with Wikipedia over cricketer's dropped catch

General Purpose

Re: Definitely a CTO-type

You'd see the edit button if you logged in with an account that's been registered for the minimum number of days and made the minimum number of edits. That's the very low level of protection that's been applied to that article.

Cloudflare stops services to 'revolting' hate site

General Purpose

It's a big world. I don't expect you to keep track of all websites hosting calls for attacks and whether they lead to actual attacks, whether in Belfast or elsewhere, but then again, I don't see why you'd assume that if you haven't heard of it, it's not happening.

Here's how 5 mobile banking apps put 300,000 users' digital fingerprints at risk

General Purpose

Re: The other 2%

If hard-coding in the iOS app's exposed the data of all customers, regardless of whether the customer's using iOS, Android, or a desktop browser, maybe you shouldn't be relieved.

Tesla faces Autopilot lawsuit alleging phantom braking

General Purpose

Hands on the wheel or off the wheel won't make any difference if the software suddenly slams on the brakes.

Doctor gave patients the wrong test results due to 'printer problems'

General Purpose

The provided explanation, however, was sheer quackery.

General Purpose

Re: Photocopier challange

Shouldn't you find out how to stop it before learning how to start it?

Shout-out to whoever went to Black Hat and had North Korean malware on their PC

General Purpose

Re: Malware at Black Hat?

Does anyone knows how malware could detect being at an event like Black Hat? And if so, can we make all our servers look like they're at Black Hat?

Epson says ink pad saturation behind 'end of service life' warning on inkjet printers

General Purpose

Re: Brother

The downvotes may be from people who know that HP stopped giving free Instant Ink with new printers in 2020.

They had announced they were ending free Instant Ink completely but eventually agreed to honour previous commitments and continue it for the existing printers of customers already on the program. https://www.theregister.com/2020/12/17/hp_reinstates_free_tier_printing_plan/

General Purpose

Re: Brother

Inkjet cartridges are ridiculously expensive. Epson's Ecotank bottles seem a much better medium/longterm deal (the printers are more expensive) - unless of course the sponges fill up too soon anyway.

Keep your cables tidy. You never know when someone might need some wine

General Purpose

Re: This is why

Quite. And in many companies (probably most large ones and of course all charities) the MD is another employee, not the owner.

Tech industry stuck over patent problems with AI algorithms

General Purpose

Re: Patents Require People

Yes, in the US a team can make a joint application.

"[w]hen an invention is made by two or more persons jointly, they shall apply for patent jointly and each make the required oath, except as otherwise provided in this title. Inventors may apply for a patent jointly even though (1) they did not physically work together or at the same time, (2) each did not make the same type or amount of contribution, or (3) each did not make a contribution to the subject matter of every claim of the patent."