* Posts by cornetman

813 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Jul 2018


Free software pioneer Richard Stallman is battling cancer

cornetman Silver badge

I wish him well and many years to come.

UK Online Safety Bill to become law – and encryption busting clause is still there

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Why?

> Signal made it pretty obvious in the UI that text messages were not encrypted, every SMS message bubble in a chat conversation had an open padlock in the corner and so did the send icon in the textbox where you write the reply.

You can make it as obvious as possible, but it still doesn't prevent casual errors. For some people, this might not be a big deal, for others perhaps so.

I did look up Signal's reasoning and the reasons they stated are not particularly convincing and accidentally sending SMS was one of the stated reasons, albeit for avoid unexpected cost.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Not sure how this will go.

> Most people using social media (or even adult websites) have never seen cheese pizza on them. Hate is not new. Celebs' agents used to block the green crayon letters.

What does that even mean?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: We promise that this legislation

Don't even need to do that with the likes of Signal, since the source is open and downloadable. It's only a problem for closed source applications.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Why?

> Since they stopped supporting bog standard SMS in the android client full stop, I stopped using them anyway.

I'm surprised that Signal ever supported SMS in their app. I would consider that a potential security breach waiting to happen. You receive an SMS message and idly assume that it is an encrypted Signal message and disclose sensitive information in a reply. I would image that is probably why it was removed.

Since people using Signal are typically using it because they desire its privacy and security, I certainly wouldn't expect it to be supporting non-encrypted messaging options.

GNU turns 40: Stallman's baby still not ready for prime time, but hey, there's cake

cornetman Silver badge

It's difficult to verbalise the scale of effect that GNU and free software ideas have had on the software industry over the last 40 years. More power to GNU and the FSF in the future.

The world seems so loopy. But at least someone's written a memory-safe sudo in Rust

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Perhaps /etc/sudoers more of a problem than perhaps C memory safety

I would be interesting in hearing how you would practically implement such a system.....

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?

cornetman Silver badge

> To be confused with clip.apple.sleep, clip.apples.lip, clip apple.slip to name but a few.

There are many examples that are much more confusing. "slip" and "sleep" don't really sound very similar to me.

Having said that, I'm a Brit so perhaps adding some American drawl would make them sound more similar?

Neighbors angry as another North Korean 'satellite' launch attempt fails

cornetman Silver badge

> But it's hard to blame them for taking the opportunity to demonise North Korea given they, and others, do see them as an existential threat.

And, historically, not without very good reason. North Korea *still* view South Korea as the "bit that got away".

They are still technically at war.

Western Digital sued over claims of data-trashing SanDisk, My Passport SSDs

cornetman Silver badge

Re: @VicMortimer - Western Dataloss

All of the WD spinning disk units I've had have been superb. I immediately went to WD for their flash SSDs because of their reputation only to have the quick failure that I mentioned above.

Probably should have just stuck with Crucial and Samsung.

cornetman Silver badge

Yeah, my work laptop has a Samsung and I have been hammering it for years with VMs and stuff. Can't fault it at all. They just go on and on.

I got the Crucial because it gets consistently good reviews and is reasonably priced.

cornetman Silver badge

Just had a very quick failure of a WD Blue SSD. Honestly I have had better life out of Aliexpress SSDs. Paid a bit more for a Crucial MX500 replacement.

Stalking victims sue Tile and Amazon for negligence over tracking tech

cornetman Silver badge

This company and this stalker guy do seem, on the comments stated, particularly scummy.

I have to ask if about this though: "sites about erectile dysfunction, and other dubious outlets."

Has "erectile dysfunction" become a euphemism for something weird to justify it as dubious?

Infosec imposter syndrome is real. Here's something that can help

cornetman Silver badge

I wouldn't confuse incompetence with stupidity.

Certainly a stupid person can be incompetent, but an incompetent person isn't necessarily stupid.

cornetman Silver badge

I should perhaps point out that sheer humility and feelings of inadequacy can sound very similar.

I don't doubt that some people clever people suffer from genuine Imposter Syndrome, but just because someone admits that they don't feel up to the job doesn't mean that they aren't being humble or even that they aren't genuinely correct in their being incompetent.

Lawsuit: We've got the stats to prove Twitter ax fell unfairly on older, female engineers

cornetman Silver badge

> Killingsworth's analysis suggests, "the odds that this disparity between women and men being laid off is due only to chance is 0.00000000000001

Such analysis using these tiny figures always seem a bit suspicious to me.

Even if we assume that the maths are "correct", employees are rarely, if ever, made redundant only based on pure chance.

Such an employer would have to be absolutely moronic, so the comparison seems fairly moot.

Shifting to two-factor auth is hard to do. GitHub recommends the long game

cornetman Silver badge

I suppose the main issue that I have with the way 2FA is generally implemented is that they all require access to largely the same thing. Either my phone (for a text message) or an email account. If I lose access to one of them, I'm pretty stuffed for all accounts that require that they are available. I consider that a single point (or 2 points) of failure. If my email account gets targeted and I lose access, I potentially lose access to everything else.

That's not a very comforting situation. Whenever another website starts requiring me to enable 2FA, I feel more vulnerable, not less.

After fears that Europe's space scope was toast, its first images look mighty fine

cornetman Silver badge

In fairness, my understanding is that Dark Matter and Dark Energy are merely theoretical placeholders for effects that we don't yet understand, which makes me wince whenever I hear about them being referred to as something that we expect to physically find.

It's not a given that Dark Matter or Dark Energy actually exists in the way that we think of energy and matter. Certainly, we might find that the current model is wrong and what we think of as energy and mass in this case just don't exist. The fact that we haven't found *anything* that resemble either yet leads me to suspect that we never will and we are concentrating our efforts in the wrong direction. Mind you, if we can confirm their non-existence, that is still progress.

Netflix offers up to $900,000 for AI product manager while actors strike for protection

cornetman Silver badge

I think that there are a few different issues rolled into this debate, some of which I have sympathy for, some I don't.

The main two points, IIUC as they relate to AI:

1) Actors having their likeness ripped off. This is a very real threat. I think some hard industry rules maybe backed by specific legislation is required in this realm. There are all sorts of problems with passing off. Actors reputations could be destroyed by their likeness being used to represent something general viewed as reprehensible. This is clearly going to be a huge problem.

2) Actors losing work. This is inevitable. Get used to it. Like the industrialisation of cloth production, lots of jobs are going to disappear, particularly when advanced AI is behind a live action holographic figure playing out novel scenarios akin to what we saw in Star Trek holo-novels and elsewhere is sci-fi. It might even be the next big thing in Hollywood if they can figure out a way for everyone to not have to wear those God-awful goggles.

Meta can call Llama 2 open source as much as it likes, but that doesn't mean it is

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Multiple definitions of open source (lower case)

I would argue the opposite.

GPL *is* Open Source but it guarantees more freedoms than other OSI approved licenses.

cornetman Silver badge

> "Open source means that developers and users are able to decide for themselves how and where to use the technology without the need to engage with another party; they have sovereignty over the technology they use.

NO! It does NOT! This is deliberate obfuscation and exactly why RMS makes the point about the differentiation between Open Source and Free Software.

Open Source merely means that you can see the source code. Free Software is specifically about freedom.

Some in the industry have been pretty disingenuous by claiming that they are the same thing. They most certainly are not.

Microsoft promises to keep Call of Duty on PlayStation for next decade. Sony believes it

cornetman Silver badge

Re: So

Yeah, it's not like Microsoft don't have form for trying to screw over their gaming customers. Anyone remember this?


Not that Sony are squeaky clean, mind.

Red Hat's open source rot took root when IBM walked in

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Great liberators ??

> but they did not "shutdown" access as many people seem to be selectively sound byting.

You are being disingenuous. You have access to source to RHEL if you subscribe as long as you don't distribute, otherwise you will be unsubscribed and then you will lose access. CentOS Stream is *not* RHEL.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Great liberators ??

> ...Don't get it.

The issue at hand is that what IBM seem to be doing is against their own legitimate business interests. I don't see any way that IBM/Red Hat actually benefit from this shutdown of access to source.

cornetman Silver badge

I always understood that RedHat's real value wasn't the source or the binaries, it was the support that they offered and where they get their revenue from.

Which is why this move makes no sense to me. A company that I worked for used CentOS as a testing ground for products to be deployed to customer's RedHat instances and I suspect that a lot of people do that also. I know that RedHat allows free development licenses but licensing is a royal pain in the ass when you are developing, spinning up VMs and the like. But then we didn't require the support. From that perspective, CentOS was an advertising tool for RedHat itself.

Makes no sense.

38 percent of tech job interviews offered exclusively to men: report

cornetman Silver badge

Re: What ?!

> If that's the one in the link I've posted then all I can say is GOOD! (sorry I can't shout louder)

That she refused to "meow" to one of her pupils? Are you f*cking serious?

cornetman Silver badge

Re: What ?!

> I see you are subscribing to the apocryphal right wing fantasy about schoolchildren "identifying as cats" and schools making litterboxes available to them

Only the litter box aspect was proved to be false and a post-event joke. The rest is unfortunately true. A part-time teacher lost her job because of it.

'We hate what you’ve done with the place – especially the hate' Australia tells Twitter

cornetman Silver badge

Re: What type of "hate speech"?

> Thanks for proving my point.

Assuming you're not a bot, could you expand on what you mean? What point are you trying to make?

Snappy "hot takes" are not very informative or meaningful.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: What's Hate?

> > "If you don't know the diffetence, you're part of the problem"

> Please enlighten us on your precise definition of the word hate, I am sure that you will find it's not so easy without appearing to be radical.

I wouldn't bother. I'm convinced it's a bot.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: What type of "hate speech"?

> If you can't tell obvious hate, you're part of the problem.

> This is something children understand.

As usual, the obvious cases are obvious.

However, some things that people think are hate speech, which are clearly not:

- Someone suggests that there are "only two genders".

- "Make America Great Again".

- Covid lockdowns might not have been the best strategy.

- Racism is racial bigotry and has nothing to do with power.

- Massive immigration might have some downsides, particularly from Islamic countries.

Children also don't understand nuance or how complex the world is. Perhaps don't use them as a source of wisdom?

Mark Zuckerberg would kick Elon Musk's ass, experts say

cornetman Silver badge

I think the commentards are taking this waaayyyy too seriously. It's just banter. I think it's quite funny actually. I'd like to see more of these light-hearted exchanges. The world has so much heart-breaking shit going on in it at the moment. Let's not make stuff up.

I think El Reg has the right measure of snark and humour in this instance.

Waymo robo-car slays dog in San Francisco

cornetman Silver badge

Re: In the UK, this would be criminal

> If something can get in front of your car within its total stopping distance, you're too close or too fast. Whatever that thing is, it didn't put you where you are.

Clearly that is complete rubbish.

A dog, child or adult can dart out in front of a moving car from behind a parked vehicle, it happens all the time, which is why we tell kids to cross well away from parked cars. The vehicle could be going 10mph and still the accident could be completely unavoidable.

cornetman Silver badge

> Dog Killed By A Mobile Device!!! with the obvious allusion to silly patents granted because "on a mobile device" :-)

Wouldn't have happened if it was an Apple car.... rounded corners.

cornetman Silver badge

> ... and, unfortunately, contact was made

With aliens?

Smartphone recovery that's always around the corner is around the corner

cornetman Silver badge

For me, my "ancient" Nexus 5 is still doing nearly everything that I need and I have a couple of spares that I picked up if it ever croaks.

LineageOS allows me to continue to upgrade it even though it is no longer an officially supported platform.

There are only two things that make me tempted to upgrade:

- the camera is terrible. I would love a better camera

- my current OS doesn't support Calling over Wifi but an upgrade might help. I'm still on LineageOS 14 (pretty ancient) and there are custom ROMs available that might work for me.

Like you, my main reason for upgrading would be that I don't have a choice.

Google Photos AI still can't label gorillas after racist errors

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Racist?

I don't really see the evidence for that.

There is a ideological political struggle going on in the USA at the moment and race doesn't really have much to do with it. Superficially it looks like race is involved because a lot of black people are aligned with the left and a lot of the right are white (mainly because they are still the majority). I think that there are a lot of reasons for this and it is an immensely complex situation.

Much like religion is often painted as the driver in the struggles in Ireland. Religion is only a symptom of the real struggle which is a historically political one.

Immigration is actually a much bigger problem in the UK. Historically the UK has had a steady influx of immigrants and in the main they have integrated well. However, even in a multi-cultural context, there has to be a measure of agreement on some basic principles by which the people of a country agrees upon whether it be religious, ethnic, political, whatever. Many immigrants to the UK do indeed share these axioms but with the shift to massive influx, there are inevitably some who do not and it is causing a lot of strife.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Racist?

> I think partly it's just harder to get sympathy when the power dynamic favors you.

I suggest that "sympathy" is the wrong word in this case. I don't think that anyone needs sympathy. Again, that is grievance thinking. If you are black, white, asian, Jewish, whatever, if you make foolish claims about individuals based on faulty generalisations based on race then you are a bigot and you need to think better. It's just that simple.

Everytime someone says something vapid like "It's not OK to be white", what on earth could that possibly mean? Most of the time, I think these are just reflections of a complete lack of any thinking on the part of the utterer. When questioned to clarify further, they are usually lost for further comment since they are merely repeating some fashionable mantra that they picked up from a TikTok video.

I want to see a more equitable society in which people think more clearly and rationally across the board.

There is so much historical baggage in the US psyche at the moment that it is difficult to hold a rational, productive conversation in almost any context. Social media doesn't really help the situation since the players are pushing agendas that further their own narcissistic needs and the platforms themselves are rapidly devolving into echo chambers.

What we need is to go back to first principles. Martin Luther King suggested that we should judge the character rather than the colour: he was talking about a better society based on morality and brotherhood. That message is just as relevant today as it was then but we are not teaching these things to our children. So many of them are growing up without any kind of principled foundation on which to live. They are being pumped full of meaningless platitudes about "respect" without any clear understanding of what that actually means. "Tolerance" as a concept is now old hat. Youngsters don't understand how to disagree on anything and understand that much of the time, that is OK and expected. These are the foundations of a pluralistic society understanding that we have differences but bound by some common principles like freedom.

Particularly in the US, I think they are losing their way. Many are being taught to question the very nature of the principled foundation of their country. It's not strange to wonder where this comes from. Is it some kind of foreign influence? Is it just a symptom of late-stage societal progress brought on by super affluence? I dunno. However, to survive into the future, we need to re-evaluate the basics of Western society and remember that people are desperate to come here. They are not leaving in droves for the east. And there is reason for that.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Racist?

> ....could easily be subconscious even if learned behaviour.

True, but even subconcious racism is still intentional.

The problem that I have with modern leftist politics with regards to the shifting landscape of racism is that it has become one of power.

Racism is fundamentally bad because it is incorrect or invalid. As such I consider it a social ill just on that basis alone. As soon as we try to view racism as merely a power dynamic, we forget that to be a racist is to be wrong about the world in so many ways. It's just fallacious thinking.

So now it is apparently OK to make vapid sweeping generalizations about people with pale skin because racism now has little to do with race and everything to do with power. Yet it is still invalid to openly make gross statements about those individuals based on grotesque stereotypes. I thought we had got past this decades ago but the race grievance mongers want to drag us back to the dark ages again.

Real racism exists but to move forward, we need better, smarter thinking. Unfortunately, there is little political clout to be gained by espousing that we *all* be better.

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Racist?

For it to be insulting, there has to be intent. I don't think that anyone is seriously suggesting that this was a deliberate act.

Social media may harm kids. US Surgeon General says so

cornetman Silver badge

> ...despite potential benefits...

I have yet to figure out what they may be.

Ampere heads off Intel, AMD's cloud-optimized CPUs with a 192-core Arm chip

cornetman Silver badge

Re: They are not "fabricating on a whole wafer"

> There is an a company called Cerebras doing that for their AI "chips" but Ampere is not.

You are quite correct, my mistake.

However, my point still stands in part. Fabricating larger chiplets = lower yield unless there is sufficient redundancy built in to ensure that defects to not make a unit a complete failure.

I do wonder what their strategy is for this. As for binning for multiple SKUs, AMD have been doing this for years now, even on their single chip CPUs.

cornetman Silver badge

Since they are fabricating on a whole wafer, I do wonder how they deal with defects.

One of the main advantage of AMD's chiplet architecture was to massively increase useful yield.

Ampere must surely have a lot of redundancy built into the design to take account of defects.

In a stand against authoritarianism, Montana bans TikTok downloads

cornetman Silver badge

Re: Typical of the anti-American extreme right-wing Republicans.

I imagine this will be struck down in short order by the courts. It is clearly unconstitutional.

Amazon a prime target of warehouse law protecting bathroom breaks

cornetman Silver badge

Re: "employee injury rate at least 30 percent above the average"

> Surely law enforcement agencies should have the right to inspect any warehouse regardless of the injury rate ?

Why? Law enforcement agencies are there to enforce laws. If they have a warrant or reasonable suspicion that illegal activity is occurring then they should be able to enter within safeguards.

But these warehouses are private property: even the police have limits as to what they are able to do and where they are able to go, and rightly so, regardless of what you think of specific employers.

The last thing we need are police that can go anywhere and do anything.

Boffins claim to create the world's first wooden transistor

cornetman Silver badge

I think they are barking up the wrong tree.

Microsoft pushes for more women in cybersecurity

cornetman Silver badge

> But sadly that number drops to 24 percent between the ages of 30 and 38, then down to 13 percent among 39 to 49-year-olds, 12 percent for 50 to 59-year-olds, and 14 percent for the over-60s.

Honestly, you don't need to be a rocket scientist to know why that is.

I really wish that we wouldn't diss motherhood so much these days.

If I was super cynical, I would suggest that Microsoft et al are hoping that like a lot of our "industries" we should out-source child rearing to 3rd world countries and instead have women filling their coffers instead of dropping sprogs.

It's not like we aren't seeing a drop in indigenous childbirth, for us to supplement the loss by immigration. So it's kinda happening anyway.

Musk tells Twitter advertisers: You're welcome back, but don't make demands

cornetman Silver badge

> ... he hasn't grasped that his customers are the advertisers.

A wise business man doesn't just look to the customers. He also looks to the quality of his product.

And if he has any self respect, he also has a social conscience.

> In fact, given that he's trying to flog multi-coloured ticks to users, the latter is probably the case.

No worse than selling mobile phone ring tones. You make your money where you can.

cornetman Silver badge

There's clearly a lot of copium here in the comments today.

I don't think I would have the brassneck to lecture a self-made multi-billionaire on how to run a business or make money.

UK government scraps smart motorway plans, cites high costs and low public confidence

cornetman Silver badge

Although I have a big problem with the loss of the hard shoulder, IIRC there is quite a bit of evidence that lowering the speed limit on a congested motorway can confusingly increase the throughput, because of the dissipation of standing waves caused by speeding, lane-hopping and erratic drivers.

cornetman Silver badge

> Safest is controlled motorway (smart motorway with widening and hard shoulder)

> What the stats indicate is that overall safety is more down to congestion than anything else (vehicles per lane per hour travelling at high speed).

I'm a bit confused by your analysis but I suppose that the above two facts are not necessarily contradictory.

What I think you are saying is that the "safest" motorways are the ones that have been converted to smart ones, but they are only statistically safer because they are very congested and therefore not correlated to the fact that they are "smart" at all.