* Posts by skeptical i

1017 posts • joined 30 Aug 2007

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Guess who came thiiis close to signing off a €102k annual budget? Austria. Someone omitted 'figures in millions'

skeptical i
Devil

austerity budget?

I suppose ~$114K (USD) for an entire country's budget is a bit extreme for an exercise in setting an example in austerity, huh. Wouldn't mind seeing our Merkin Congresscritters' campaign budgets limited to that much, but that's a whole 'nother discussion.

US senators call for more transparency over $12bn TSMC fab plant investment

skeptical i
Devil

Re: What am I missing here?

Possibly relevant: Arizona's governor is a proud carrier of water for His Trumpiness, and it also wouldn't hurt for Arizona's governor to be politically indebted should there be any hiccups in building that big beautiful Wall.

With millions upon millions out of work in the US, here come the scammers claiming victims' unemployment money using stolen info

skeptical i

Re: Scammers are an infamia

re: pay to receive incoming calls

Back in the early- to mid-1990s, at least in my corner of the universe (Murka), when cellphones were still juuuuust becoming more affordable for the great unwashed, most plans required the caller to pay for each call but there were variants that required the recipient to pay. This, I hear, was used by sales people (real estate, for example) who wanted no obstacles between them and potential customers (I suppose 800-/toll free numbers would be the land-line equivalent). Not an option I'd ever choose (spam calls are bad enough but paying for the "privilege"? no thanks) but some people did. That said, I'm surprised that carriers still offer this plan at all, unless the only options are caller pays per-call or recipient pays per-call, and there is no unlimited (or "unlimited") usage plan.

Remember April 2020? It brought pandemic, chaos and an unseasonable spike in new domain registrations

skeptical i

Re: I'm not seeing it

re: almost identical to 2018

I noticed this too and my first thought, being on the Merkin side of the pond, was that the pattern was somehow election-related -- lots of domain registrations early in the year as the field of candidates goes out campaigning, then as primaries take their toll registration dips until we have presumed nominees and the concordant spike of "voteforXYZ" variants. Dunno if this is true for UK (or even for Murka).

Breaking virus lockdown rules, suing officials, threatening staff, raging on Twitter. Just Elon Musk things

skeptical i
Devil

Re: Same as the Nebraska meat packing plants

I was thinking Sweeney Todd on industrial scale -- the best meat-pies in Quarantine Land -- but soylent green would pro'ly require less adjusting to current processing machinery.

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

skeptical i
Devil

Re: I hated the pump ads...

No, it'll be adverts at the Tesla charging stations for whatever stores are in the mall/ complex where the charger is located. Why should anyone be exempt from the ... joy ... of being advertised at whilst feeding the steel beast?

CEO of AI surveillance upstart Banjo walks the plank after white supremacist past sinks contracts

skeptical i
Big Brother

Big Banjo

re: "Banjo makes machine-learning-based software that ... raises alerts if spots anything interesting, such as an in-progress crime"

Or a black man jogging through a white neighborhood? Heaven help him if he's wearing a hoodie too.

That matter aside (serious as it is), do we really need Another Ring to Surveille Them All under the fig leaf of "fighting crime"?

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

skeptical i
Devil

respectfully suggest Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man

My current experience with a Windows 10 laptop (oy vey) leads me to believe that Microsoft's MO seems to be: cross a bunch of idea/concept streams at various stages of viability/usefulness and hope something coheres. Perhaps someone more clever than I can work 'Microsoft' into 'Sta-Puft Marshmallow Man' ('Sta-Cruft Bloatwallow Man'? sorry) better than I can.

Amazon settles for $11m with workers in unpaid bag-search wait lawsuit

skeptical i
FAIL

good for California workers, but what of the rest of us?

Nice to know at least one state has laws on its books to protect (some) employee rights. However, what about "right to work" (i.e., "right to get fired for any reason, or no reason at all") states? It is shameful that many municipalities have fallen all over themselves to attract Amazon't "jobs" when the company clearly has no desire to treat workers with any modicum of respect or decency, and more shameful that these municipalities seem to think that throwing their residents into a meat grinder is the best they can do for their citizens who need jobs. Perhaps if Amazon't customers were billed for the full cost (including decent employee wages, benefits, and being treated like a valued part of the company success instead of like a disposable robot) of having their tat delivered to their doors, there would be more awareness (and, one hopes, concern if not outrage) but as long as customers demand cheap cheap cheap now now now, the true cost has to be paid somewhere, and stockholders prefer that employees pick up the tab.

Iran military manages to keep a straight face while waggling miracle widget that 'can detect coronavirus from 100m away'

skeptical i
Black Helicopters

who, what, why?

If I were cynical, I'd guess that they will send patrols out, armed with the device, to detect "Covid carriers" and haul them to "hospital" for "treatment", where "Covid carriers" = "people who are causing ... problems", "hospital" = "undisclosed location", and "treatment" = "extreme unpleasantness". They said on teevee to the whole country that the things work, mostly sort of, and who among the populace will raise a hand to question people with firearms and a humour deficiency? First they came for my LGBTQ neighbors, then they came for ....

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

skeptical i
Devil

Re: Cables with labels on

One supposes the cable color for management is deep brown? And attached to a large angry power supply? Sorry, boss, must be mice nibbling on stuff ....

April 2020 and – rest assured – your Windows PC can still be pwned by something so innocuous as an unruly font

skeptical i
Devil

the revenge of Comic Sans

What makes you think the font code was targeted and not issuing invitations?

Call me the worst font ever, eh? I'll show you ....

COBOL-coding volunteers sought as slammed mainframes slow New Jersey's coronavirus response

skeptical i
FAIL

Re: Is that actually what they need?

re: "Perhaps they need to spend less time on actively preventing things working"

Yes. This. I am appalled at the number of official and government websites that will not do a single thing without javascript, the latest greatest browser whiz-bangery, and so on. One would think that everyone on any device, browser, operating system should be able to access basic health/safety information. Sure, some pages may require special stuff (e.g., applying for unemployment (and/or whatever) will require the doo-dads to ensure secure encrypted connections) but that should be the exception to information accessibility and not the rule.

Amazon says it fired a guy for breaking pandemic rules. Same guy who organized a staff protest over a lack of coronavirus protection

skeptical i
Thumb Down

Re: not believe unions are in the best interest of our customers or shareholders

re: "associate" = employee, I think they mean "associate" in the Johnny Mobster sense ("These gentlemen? They are my 'associates', and they'd like a word with you") and protecting unseen hands. If anyone wants to mis-infer that Amazon gives more than a handful of Advil's worth of concern for the wellbeing of their employees, better for the company.

Hailing frequencies open, sir... America's Space Force hurls its first military comms satellite into Earth's orbit

skeptical i
Black Helicopters

So, what ELSE is going on ...

... while we're all distracted by coronapanic, washing our hands, and hoarding toilet paper?

US prez Donald Trump declares America closed to those flying in from Schengen zone over coronavirus woes

skeptical i
Devil

Re: re: Antibacterial sprays and wipes:

Curious how well Everclear, Bacardi 151, and other high-octane spirits are selling. "Also works as a hand sanitizer!"* might not be to everyone's taste but why waste a good crisis?

* I heard that someone tried to promote a brand of vodka for home-made hand sanitizer, but alas that brand (tasty, I hear) was only 40% and not effective for that use.

Fresh virus misery for Illinois: Public health agency taken down by... web ransomware. Great timing, scumbags

skeptical i
Mushroom

There is no circle of hell

deep enough of hot enough for these scum. Otherwise, words fail me.

Morrisons puts non-essential tech changes on ice as panic-stricken shoppers strip stores

skeptical i
Meh

Qui bono?

If I were cynical, I would wonder if this were a plot to goose some sectors of the economy (the panic-industrial complex?), and/or put another brick in the surveillance state wall (quarantines! tracking people who may be sick! think of the child-, er, grandmas!).

Also, I really really hope someone is making provisions for the scut-workers who are being asked to stay home from work if they feel ill, yet are not given paid sick days. Unfortunately, most landlords and utility companies still want to be paid, now, whether tenant/customer is sick or not.

BOFH: Gosh, IPv5? Why didn't I think of that? Say, how do you like the new windows in here? Take a look. Closer...

skeptical i
Devil

Re: Wait...

I'm fairly certain there's already an approval form, properly back-dated and with something closely approximating the ... late (such a shame) ... Boss's signature, on its way to the next link in the procurement food chain.

Take it Huawei, Pai: Senate passes bill to rip 'dodgy' kit from rural telcos

skeptical i

Re: Managed by the FCC

I heard an interview in Iowa just before the Iowa Circ-, er, Caucus took place, and one of the participants, a small farmer, said something to the effect of he did not like Trump but did not want socialism. As I understand it, there are a lot of government programs available to help farmers* so I was a bit confused about how this gent defined "socialism" and why he wanted no part of it. Perhaps it, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder?

* Not that I have a problem with this, mind; the folks who feed us are higher up the list of those deserving of government largesse (along with doctors who serve rural and other underserved communities abd teachers). Certainly higher up than telcos and their self-serving boards and officers.

Google product boss cuffed on suspicion of murder after his Microsoft manager wife goes missing, woman's body found, during Hawaii trip

skeptical i
Unhappy

So sad for the kids

This has got to be a colossal mindf*ck for them, I hope they can get into therapy and find some sort of solace. The world is hard enough without this kind of tragedy. Peace unto them and the rest of the family.

Voatz of no confidence: MIT boffins eviscerate US election app, claim fiends could exploit flaws to derail democracy

skeptical i
Pirate

Re: The name was enough

Weasels and stoats, ballots and voatz, Toad Hall is ablaze.

Maryland: Make malware possession a crime! Yes, yes, researchers get a free pass

skeptical i
Devil

Maryland is now a social-media-free zone?

Get thee behind me, Satan! And take all that damn advert/ marketing/ nonsense trackware and its residues with you!

Sorry to be blunt about this... Open AWS S3 storage bucket just made 30,000 potheads' privacy go up in smoke

skeptical i

dang vape-r-ware

The Foot of Cupid emits final burst of flatulence in honour of fallen Python Terry Jones

skeptical i
Angel

Thank you, Terry, for explaining the difference ...

... between Welsh and English dialects: in English the inflection goes down at the end of a sentence, but the Welsh are excitable and so the inflection goes up. Handy tidbit for this left-pond'ian. Peace unto him, his family, and his loved ones.

BOFH: The case of the Boss's hidden USB inkjet printer

skeptical i
Devil

new holiday?

E-fibrillation Day? Is that when the post-holiday credit card statement hits the inbox?

US and China wave white flags, hit pause button on trade war

skeptical i
Paris Hilton

"before" and "after" scorecard?

Agree with your points, Malcolm, thank you. Apologies for not having been paying close attention to the trade/ tariff war, but do we have any ideas how the game table has changed, say, from before either Trump's or China's first "move" and now? My /guess/ is that while there have been notable changes here and there it "balances out" overall, but again, my attention has been elsewhere.

Space Force is go, go, go! Because we have a child as President of the United States

skeptical i
Flame

trickle on, er, down economics, no?

re: "$738bn you poor fools, from YOUR [taxpayers'] money!"

I'm sure someone of the Space Force supporters will claim that the huge amounts of money being shovelled at Raytheon, McDonnell-Douglas, and other "usual suspects" defense contractors will create an additional job or two somewhere, either through direct hiring (add more receptionists and public relations flacks) or indirect spend (those new hires to take lunch somewhere, right? Maybe the diner next door will add more waitstaff to keep up with the crush, right?). Pay no attention to the stock holders, brokers, and traders behind the curtain.

Set it on fire. ------>

BOFH: I'd like introduce you to a groovy little web log I call 'That's Boss'

skeptical i
Devil

Re: Ignorance can be bliss

re: "the orange potus" -- is that a big ugly bird related to loons? Lots of squawking and flapping about, leaving white gobbets of ... stuff ... on everyone's windshields and in even less benign places?

What a boar! Wild pigs snort and snuffle €20k worth of marching powder stashed in Tuscan forest

skeptical i
Devil

Now we know ...

... why the last little pig yelled "Wheee! Wheee! Wheee!" all the way home.

Uber CEO compares pedestrian death to murder of Saudi journalist, saying all should be forgiven

skeptical i
Devil

Re: He is, with out doubt...

... a güber, then?

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

skeptical i
Meh

Re: "Fall Creators Update"

re: "Pedestrians are stupider than sheep, and certainly by and large don't respect designated crossings." Hmmm, while many pedestrians (and drivers) may be dumb as dirt, most pedestrians in my observation and experience are acting like pedestrians on streets designed for cars. Streets that only have signals or "proper crosswalks" every quarter mile (forcing wheelchair users, pram pushers, and other pedestrians to go out of their way to cross at a signal then double back to their destinations), have shite or no sidewalks or proper lighting, encourage car speed by design (multiple wide lanes, median separation), have "free right" turns that don't require vehicles to even slow down to make right turns at intersections, and so on. It is not clear, given the utter lack of appropriate, safe, and convenient pedestrian facilities in many areas, what pedestrians should do other than do the best they can in a hostile environment. It would be helpful if more drivers were aware that they are only one class of road users -- i.e., not the only road users -- and showed a modicum of care.

US Air Force inks deal with Raytheon on Windows 10 (and other) support for ARSE

skeptical i
Meh

Re: A serious question for US commentards...

I would really like to believe that someone had intended to make ARSENAL the full acronym ("amraam remote support equipment, nodes, and logistics" or something) but went out for a coffee break partway through only to return to find the document had been taken as-is up the food chain by a superior officer. That said, it would not surprise me that 'arse' would go right over their heads, as they tend to be oblivious and clueless on other matters (e.g., dumping PFAS into local water supplies, flying deafeningly loud aircraft over residential areas, and so on).

BOFH: Judge us not by the size of our database, but the size of our augmented reality

skeptical i
Devil

Re: Wind shear

"wind shear in the cloud" reminded me of this oldie but goodie -- https://dilbert.com/strip/1996-05-02

We, Wall, we, Wall, Raku: Perl creator blesses new name for version 6 of text-wrangling lingo

skeptical i
Paris Hilton

Re: Rebranding

I thought Monday was the brainchild of Price-Waterhouse-Cooper?

No ghosts but the Holy one as vicar exorcises spooky tour from UK's most haunted village

skeptical i
Devil

wrong Jesus shoes

So, not the Air Jesus shoes from _Transmetropolitan_*? Pity.

(* https://scans-daily.dreamwidth.org/138387.html#cutid1 )

So we're going back to the Moon: NASA triggers countdown by firing up spacecraft production

skeptical i

Lockheed Martin?

They make the F-35, right? Should we be concerned?

The gig (economy) is up: New California law upgrades Lyft, Uber, other app serfs to staff

skeptical i

I guess it depends on how/why one is doing the gig work.

If I have a "real" job, or if I'm a student, or if for whatever reason I have four hours free in the afternoon and a decent vehicle, why not earn some extra cash on the side. I hear that many drivers are in this situation and while the pay-per-hour is not particularly great, they value the flexibility (around other commitments) and this benefit makes the low pay worth it for them. So the current set-up is good for them, and I hear (from the librul meedja) that some are concerned that if they are categorized as employees then the ride hail companies might start dictating their hours instead of allowing them to "clock in" and out as convenient.

But for those "forced" to drive because there are simply no other (licit) jobs around (or there are only shite human-robot burner jobs that cause more mental trauma and anxiety than the "security" of "regular" hours merits), what of them? Do they not deserve at least some minimal protections if they can commit to some minimum amount of work (hours a day, hours a week)?

Psst. Wanna brush up your supervillain creds? Get a load of this mini submarine

skeptical i
Devil

Re: How would we know?

Hmm, "We all live in the dayglow orange submarine, the dayglow orange submarine, the dayglow orange submarine" is not how I remember the song went, but senility moves in mysterious ways. .

In Hemel Hempstead, cycling is as bad as taking a leak in the middle of the street

skeptical i

Re: Banning Cyclists

Tweakers.

skeptical i

bikeways

Perhaps the mixed-use pavement is not the most direct route between Point A and Point B? There is a main road in our burg that is not particularly bicycle-friendly, but is one of the most direct routes between midtown and the east side and is what cyclists use for commuting and time-sensitive journeys.

Let's recap reCAPTCHA gotcha: Our cunning AI can defeat Google's anti-bot tech, say uni boffins

skeptical i

Re: Catcha is the most annoying piece of crap ever

Kill it with fire, drown the ashes, then lob the steaming pile into space. Can that AI thingie be made available for download so one can simply set it to attack the next recaptcha box, go get another beverage, come back to a completed exercise, and save some sanity?

Firefox 68 arrives with darker dark mode, redesigned extensions dashboard

skeptical i
Devil

Re: "the test is borked, or (more likely) this is challenging for many web designers"

When the hordes of millennials start getting cataracts and other "old-age eye" problems, then maybe we'll see more shifts to black text on white backgrounds, and to fonts that don't require squinting and guessing (weren't Georgia and Verdana designed to be better legible on screens?). As much as I like the look of light grey text on white, I hate trying to actually read it.

Apparently Lucifer has the mother of all cataracts ------>

The FCC has finally, finally approved a half-decent plan to destroy the robocall scourge... but there's a catch

skeptical i

"unlimited"

True, but now many cellco's offer flat monthly fees for "unlimited" calls and text messages, and thus there is no reason to stop incoming spam or robo calls. Once upon a time they might have been concerned about customers raising a ruckus over being charged for incoming nonsense (using some of the finite number of minutes per month or whatever) but with the flat fee "unlimited" model, that concern has been eliminated. Given their suboptimal customer service, they have apparently already decided that our time is of no value and any arguments about time spent listening to, deleting, blocking, et cetera will go unheard.

This is a sett-up! Mum catches badger feasting on contents of freezer

skeptical i
Devil

Re: What about the cat

Or that the weasels and stoats didn't completely take over the premises.

Crap band sues crap beer maker: Hair-metal rockers have an Axl to grind over Guns N' Rosé

skeptical i
Pint

Re: The brewery should take a tip from Apple

Or call it "Fat Axl" -- it would have to be a blond, full-bodied ale -- and serve it in a glass with a bandana wrapped around the base instead of on a coaster.

Then he'd have the admirable job of claiming to a court that yes, it is some sort of trademark infringement because, yes indeed, he is the Fat Axl namesake.

Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America

skeptical i
Happy

Re: Used it this year

So, it sounds like the time I spent filing taxes (main form plus a handful of schedules) "by hand" (scratch copies, calculator, pencils, typewriter for "final" submitted version because why not) may have been smaller and less hassle-ful than trying to navigate the "free" systems? Kewl. It's probably some form of early onset senility, but I actually don't mind doing the forms and picking through the puzzle.

Also, in my town (and likely many others) the United Way (a community betterment non-profit) offers its "VITA" (volunteer income tax assistance, I think) program in which volunteers are trained to do basic tax form (plus some of the schedules) completion and then do this service for lower-income people. Might be another option to trying to find (and use without tripping over a pay-grenade) the "free" filing software.

President Trump sits down with Twitter boss for crunch talks: Why am I losing followers?

skeptical i
Devil

Re: "directly proportionate to how cool and well-liked they are"

Next class assignment: create pie chart showing percentages of Trump's 60 million followers who are (a) true Trump believers/ voters, (b) train wreck gawkers, (c) reporters who need to keep scanning the social media-scape in case some real news actually happens, (d) bots, and (e) members of his and Putin's families.

Lip-reading smart speakers: Just what no one always wanted

skeptical i
Devil

"I hear the secrets that you keep ...

... when you're talking in your sleep"

-- The Romantics (also from the 1980s)

400 rolls will be the least of your worries.

Dog with 'psychotic tendencies' escapes home to poop on his neighbours' pillows

skeptical i

Re: It's a what?

re: "not intended by Nature"

The rescue societies are full of puppies which resulted from random canine hookups, not sure the Bitchin' Shitz was one or if someone had deliberately engineered such a treasure.

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