* Posts by General Purpose

84 posts • joined 2 May 2018


We've reached the endgame: Bezos 'in talks' to turn shuttered department stores into Amazon warehouses

General Purpose

Coming soon

These sites will be ideal for Amazon's next cost-cutting initiative, in which they get rid of half their warehouse staff by offering Amazon Pick-Your-Own.

The results are in: Science says the Solar System's magnetic heliosphere looks like a deflated croissant

General Purpose

Re: If the latter, it's not a croissant, ask any Frenchman.

You say that now but where were you when Hippolyte Mège-Mouriès invented it at la Ferme Impériale de la Faisanderie, Napoleon III's private farm in Vincennes near Paris?

For Apple's latest trick, the iCockroach – allowing it to survive while the smartphone sector faces a nuclear winter

General Purpose

Re: And about to fall off a cliff

The 2016 SE was successful too but it didn't signal a change in pricing of other iPhones. This one may be no different. Perhaps Apple will continue to bring out a "competitively" priced SE every four years. They may even have found that SEs bring in a useful number of new iPhone users who upgrade to higher-end iPhones a couple of years later.

'I'm telling you, I haven't got an iPad!' – Sent from my iPad

General Purpose

Re: Which is why I always turn off email sigs...

Forwarding an email can be breach of copyright. El Reg reported on a successful case in the UK's High Court back in 2007.

Amazon and Google: Trust us, our smart-speaker apps are carefully policed. Boffins: Yes, well, about that...

General Purpose

Have you considered learning sign language?

If you think you've got problems, pal, spare a thought for these boffins baffled by 'oddball' meteorites

General Purpose

Re: Weird objects showing signs of being both Melty and Non-melty origin?

Meteors do get hot, hot enough that the surface melts and ablates, usually so completely that they never reach Earth's surface. Most satellites are also destroyed by the heat of re-entry and it makes the news when bits of them endanger people by making it all the way through the atmosphere. The heat of re-entry is so great that gases around returning spacecraft ionise, making radio communication impossible. Heat-shield failure is deadly.

Bill Gates debunks 'coronavirus vaccine is my 5G mind control microchip implant' conspiracy theory

General Purpose

PS The Gates Foundation's set to spend everything within 20 years.of Bill & Melinda Gates' deaths, and spend Buffet's contribution within 10 years of his death.

General Purpose

Re: Very good skeptoid podcast recently debunking this stuff

It's worse. You may be talking to someone who's far down the chain from the liar, maybe even literally second- or third-generation. The person who persuaded them might truly and honestly believe it.

General Purpose

Yes, some foundations are managed so that they can continue delivering public benefit indefinitely. Others have a deliberate policy of spending the capital within within x years. You don't hear about them so much because they disappear, according to plan. There's a lot to be said for that approach.

But it's strange to imply that long-lasting charitable foundations are all about making someone's fortune live forever. They quite literally take someone's fortune from them and put it to charitable use.

About ready to POP3: Day 6 of email wobbles at UK2 after services provider Tucows suffers 'service failure'

General Purpose

Guaranteed delivery within 30 days. That is what "Risk free with our 30-day guarantee" means, right?

Capita's bespoke British Army recruiting IT cost military 25k applicants after switch-on

General Purpose

Re: Why haven't we banned Capita

At that point, the share price had fallen about 60% in two years. Since then, it's fallen to about 5% of what it was 5 years ago.

General Purpose

Re: Why haven't we banned Capita

No dividends paid since 2017.

Twitter hackers busted 2FA to access accounts and then reset user passwords

General Purpose

Re: How do you know 2FA failed?

First, 2FA failed to prevent the attackers accessing Twitter's internal systems, as Twitter themselves said, "including getting through our two-factor protections”. That's what Simon Sharwood referred to, yet you went into the attack saying "So Simon whatever, you have assumed 2FA failed. How do you know that?"

Second, you yourself have gone on to explain how you think users who thought themselves protected by 2FA were pwned nonetheless, ie that they had 2FA on their accounts but 2FA failed to protect them.

General Purpose

Re: How do you know 2FA failed?

"So Simon whatever, you have assumed 2FA failed. How do you know that?"

Twitter stated that "“the attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter’s internal systems, including getting through our two-factor protections.” Simon Sharwood quoted that in his second paragraph. Did you forget reading that?

General Purpose

Re: 2 Fiddle All

Unless you're a salmon and the next guy's a bumblebee.

Mainframe madness as the snowflakes take control – and the on-duty operator hasn't a clue how to stop the blizzard

General Purpose

When snowflake meant snowflake

Those were the days, before people hijacked words like "gay" and "spastic" and "snowflake" and "cloud".

Is it Patch Blues-day for Outlook? Microsoft's email client breaks worldwide, leaves everyone stumped

General Purpose

Digital distancing

Outlook 2019 worked in safe mode.

General Purpose

Still in 2020 here. Also borked.

Linus Torvalds banishes masters, slaves and blacklists from the Linux kernel, starting now

General Purpose

"If Biden is elected, there’s a good chance you will be dead within the year."

"Police will stand down."

"Republicans will be hunted."

- Scott Adams (@ScottAdamsSays) on Twitter, 01 July 2020

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'

General Purpose

Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

Loeb editions normally have original text on the left, English translation on the right, but for the filthiest poems* it's Greek on the left and Latin translation on the right. This works very well - filthy poems are easy to find and you learn two sets of filthy words.

*eg in the Palatine Anthology

General Purpose

Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

To be fair, the King James translators had to deal with even smaller vocabularies in their Hebrew and Greek sources.

General Purpose

Re: Loaded words replaced by euphemisms

"Any word used will eventually be frowned upon."

That's not true. There are 12,143 different words in the King James Bible and 31,534 in Shakespeare's works. Very few of them are now frowned upon or have ever been, and we've no reason to think they will be in another 400 years either.

Three UK: We're sending you this SMS to warn you not to pay attention to unsolicited texts

General Purpose

Re: Smishing?

These ghastly smethered words, surely?

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future

General Purpose

Re: Radio 4 LW?

What was "Arctic ice", papa?

Brit MPs vote down bid to delay IR35 reforms, press ahead with new tax rules for private-sector contractors

General Purpose

Candles? Luxury! I'm just glad this mushroom glows sometimes.

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

General Purpose

Re: The strapline...

But the strapline's not "Deutschland über alles". It's "Deutschland, uber alle allies" and that's a welcome turnaround.

General Purpose

I read it as "Germany, our best ally" (or more literally "above all [other] allies").

That might be an exaggeration but it's fair comment on a day when the US's DHSS anounced it's bought up "100 percent of Gilead’s projected production [of Remdesivir] for July, 90 percent of production in August, and 90 percent of production in September", leaving none for allies including the UK, Europe or most of the rest of the world.

Internet Society, remember your embarrassing .org flub? The actual internet society would like to talk about it

General Purpose


PIR seemed a little emphatic and maybe a little rattled when they wrote "the door is closed on ICANN transferring .ORG to any other registry operator. Such a transfer by ICANN is a contractual impossibility under our registry agreement."

Maze ransomware gang threatens to publish sensitive stolen data after US aerospace biz sensibly refuses to pay

General Purpose

You want every such report to have a critique of bad company security? What would it say, "this company seems to have had bad security, wish we knew more but they won't come right out and say what happened, there's only so much we can find out, sorry"? Every time? You'd soon complain.

Australia's Lion brewery hit by second cyber attack as nation staggers under suspected Chinese digital assault

General Purpose

Re: An Attack or a Screwup?

Let's not jump to the conclusion that someone opened a dodgy attachment. If people think that's all they have to worry about, they're horribly vulnerable. It'd be like thinking you're safe from being scammed because you don't do internet dating.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

General Purpose

Re: British football pitches

A simple game.

Now explain the offside rule.

General Purpose

Re: Candela

Since 2019, the candela's been "defined by taking the fixed numerical value of the luminous efficacy of monochromatic radiation of frequency 540 × 1012 Hz, Kcd, to be 683 when expressed in the unit lm W–1,

which is equal to cd sr W–1, or cd sr kg–1 m–2 s3, where the kilogram, metre and second are

defined in terms of h, c and ΔνCs" which provides a standard even if it leaves the challenge of determining luminous efficacy at other wavelengths.

General Purpose

Re: Awkward definition for mass

That was tried. Water turns out to be quite awkward stuff. In a vacuum, it evaporates, and as a liquid it's compressible. It's a powerful solvent, so it's hard to keep it as pure as necessary for a standard. You need to define the ratio of oxygen isotopes too - remember, 18O water's heavier and so it doesn't evaporate so fast as 16O. And so on.... In short, if it was easier we'd have stuck with it!

General Purpose

Re: Why a kilogram?

The kilogram is the fundamental unit of mass of SI, the modern metric system, and the gram is defined as 0.001 kilograms. Way back in 1799, while the units were still being devised, it was understood that it was far more practical to create a standard kilogram against which copies could be tested, the Kilogramme des Archives, than fiddle around with a standard gram.

General Purpose

There are only 36 inches in a yard, so any derivation from the base 60 counting system used by the ancient Sumerians is even more remote than you think.

On the other hand, the 12 inches in a foot are clear evidence that ancient Britons were six-fingered.

General Purpose

Re: Spelling

The British English spelling is overwhemingly "kilogram", as used by the BSI for decades, and per Fowler's Modern English Usage and the style guides of the BBC, the Economist, the Telegraph, the Guardian, Reuters UK and the UK government. Google ngrams are unreliable in many ways but the shift about 100 years ago is clearly shown at https://books.google.com/ngrams/graph?content=kilogram%2Ckilograms%2Ckilogramme%2Ckilogrammes&year_start=1800&year_end=2000&corpus=18&smoothing=3&share=&direct_url=t1%3B%2Ckilogram%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ckilograms%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ckilogramme%3B%2Cc0%3B.t1%3B%2Ckilogrammes%3B%2Cc0

General Purpose

Re: Lawyers rule that a thing is the thing that the thing is

We need our own definition of the metre so we can get rid of European rulers.

It looks like you want to browse the internet with Chrome. Would you like help? Maybe try Edge? Please?

General Purpose

They know their place

Microsoft doesn't suggest Edge if you click Start and type "Firefox".

'One rule for me, another for them' is all well and good until it sinks the entire company's ability to receive emails

General Purpose

I'm impressed. There was a time when a manager that wanted a fax sent had to wait until his secretary got back from lunch.

California bigwigs rule Uber, Lyft dial-a-ride drivers are employees, not contractors

General Purpose

Re: Some UK reasoning may also apply in CA

Also consider that the movie actor doesn't have a direct and one-to-one interaction with the audience member. They're contracted to deliver a performance to a film company. Uber claim to be mere facilitators of a driver doing business with a passenger. Items 3, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 13 are most obviously pertinent for drivers but not movie actors, and several others don't carry over either.

General Purpose

Re: Some UK reasoning may also apply in CA

See Jensen v Cultural Infusion (Int) Pty Ltd [2020] FCA 358 for the fine line between the relationship being considered one of contractor-principal or employee-employer. One factor was that actors were chosen for their particular acting skills and experience (indeed, there might be other personal factors), which precluded delegation. The comparatively generic skills required of drivers could put them the other side of that particular line.

General Purpose

Some UK reasoning may also apply in CA

The UK Employment Tribunal had a lot of reasons for saying that drivers work for Uber and not the other way round, including:

(1) The contradiction in the Rider Terms between the fact that ULL purports to be the drivers' agent and its assertion of "sole and absolute discretion" to accept or decline bookings.

(2) The fact that Uber interviews and recruits drivers.

(3) The fact that Uber controls the key information (in particular the passenger's surname, contact details and intended destination) and excludes the driver from it.

(4) The fact that Uber requires drivers to accept trips and/or not to cancel trips, and enforces the requirement by logging off drivers who breach those requirements.

(5) The fact that Uber sets the (default) route and the driver departs from it at his peril.

(6) The fact that UBV fixes the fare and the driver cannot agree a higher sum with the passenger. (The supposed freedom to agree a lower fare is obviously nugatory.)

(7) The fact that Uber imposes numerous conditions on drivers (such as the limited choice of acceptable vehicles), instructs drivers as to how to do their work and, in numerous ways, controls them in the performance of their duties.

(8) The fact that Uber subjects drivers through the rating system to what amounts to a performance management/disciplinary procedure.

(9) The fact that Uber determines issues about rebates, sometimes without even involving the driver whose remuneration is liable to be affected.

(10) The guaranteed earnings schemes (albeit now discontinued).

(11) The fact that Uber accepts the risk of loss which, if the drivers were genuinely in business on their own account, would fall upon them.

(12) The fact that Uber handles complaints by passengers, including complaints about the driver.

(13) The fact that Uber reserves the power to amend the drivers' terms unilaterally.

If Daddy doesn't want me to touch the buttons, why did they make them so colourful?

General Purpose

Re: But I didn't touch nuthin!

It's all part of a properly negotiated sequence

- Reached out

- Contacted

- Got in touch

- Embraced the principles

- Enhanced the client experience

- Committed

- Engaged.

Contact-tracer spoofing is already happening – and it's dangerously simple to do

General Purpose

My GP texted good advice a few days ago

"Dear patient

"We have been made aware that patients are getting calls by unscrupulous / dishonest persons claiming that they are from the Government and asking for information regarding their health or their NHS number. Some patients are also receiving messages threatening them with fines if they have left their homes during lockdown. Please do not give any information out to such people and do not click on any links of such messages

"Please take care. [redacted] Surgery"

At least, I think it was my GP. Good advice anyway.

Facebook in a tizzy about 5 million paying users of its suits collab platform Workplace

General Purpose

Re: Not a chance

I'm a bit worried that Citizens Advice use it. Not for client data, mind.

Mind your language: Microsoft set to swing the axe on 27 languages in iOS Outlook

General Purpose

Words will be said

Marathi, Telugu, Tamil, Gujarati, Urdu and Malayalam are the first languages of about 374 million people in India, about 32% of the population. Is Microsoft aligning itself with Modi's Hindutva nationalism, or happy to be seen that way?

Meet ScrAPIr, MIT's Swiss army-knife for non-coders to shake data out of APIs (It's useful for pro devs, too)

General Purpose

our tech team is busy enough as it is

That's a keeper.

Third time lucky for Windows 10 2004? Microsoft yet again fiddles with code and adds a go-live SDK licence

General Purpose


After all, it would never do to unleash the Windows 10 May 2020 Update in June now, would it?

Old-timers remember when Windows 10 2004 was the April 2020 update, so maybe July.

Lawyers hail 'superb result' in Facebook biometric privacy battle: They'll get 25% of $550m, Illinois gets the rest

General Purpose

It works for them.<sup>[Citation needed] [Clarify for whom]</sup>

Does a .com suffix make a trademark? The US Supreme Court will decide as Booking marks its legal spot

General Purpose

Re: Actually seems reasonble

Sure, you can trademark common or generic words but not for their common or generic meaning. A double-glazing company couldn't trademark "windows", "apple" couldn't be trademarked by a fruit grower or a greengrocer and Budweiser couldn't trademark "beer" without an unusual degree of honesty.



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