* Posts by Ashentaine

68 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Dec 2018


It's 2023, let's check in with the metaverse... Nope, still doesn't exist


Pokemon GO brought a public interest in AR, but that was as you mentioned that was largely due to the Pokemon brand; also people have largely forgotten that it was built off the back of Niantic's first AR game Ingress, which has a much smaller userbase but helped to establish the massive database of real world locations that the Pokestops and gyms are found at. Without all that pre-existing data to make it widely accessible from the start, it probably would have been another forgotten niche side game in the Pokemon franchise rather than becoming a worldwide phenomenon.

Personally I feel like the real limiting factor to public acceptance now is that AR is just too cumbersome to access, requiring you to be physically holding your phone/tablet/whatever in front of your face constantly to make it work. Google Glass was probably the closest potential method of unencumbered AR use so far, but as we all know that was so obvious and invasive that it became extremely undesirable. I can't see AR really becoming a fully everyday thing until it can be accessed in a way that's inexpensive, unobtrusive and convenient. If/when the hardware reaches that point, the software will eventually follow.

Founder of zero-emissions truck venture Nikola found guilty of $1b fraud


Re: This one runs

Given that GM owns a majority stake in Nikola, to the point that they may as well own the entire company outright, looks like this is a nice little backdoor way for GM to get into the electric hauler market without actually spending any of their own money to develop it.

Artist formerly known as Kanye reveals Parler trick: Buying the far-right haven


Ah, time for the latest bout of "Musician rapidly fading into irrelevancy does increasingly erratic things in a desperate attempt to remind the world they exist", I see. I guess buying a mostly dead social media platform to turn into his own personal echo chamber is better than some of the more questionable things others have done in the past, even if it is still a huge waste of resources.

Sony, Honda collaborate on 'premium' electric vehicles that are born in the USA


'Mobility tech company'

Considering every domestic car company is rushing to rebrand themselves as a 'mobility company', simply because the auto market is over-saturated to the point of being far less profitable than it was 20 years ago and battery manufacturing is now cheap enough that they can horn in on the still small and lucrative medical/assisted mobility market (think scooters, electric wheelchairs, etc), I'm expecting this offering won't be a car per se, so much as a car-shaped electric runabout for the ancient boomers that want to have some vestige of independence but still need to keep up appearances. You likely won't be seeing them on the highways so much as puttering from the retirement condos to the supermarket across the street.

Toyota already started moving into this space last year, GM quickly grabbed their coattails to follow, and now all the others are scrambling to get a foothold while there's still time. Sony has had designs on this for a while too, so taking on a partnership with Honda to get established is no real surprise.

Google kills off Stadia


Re: Landfill

Instead of throwing it out they could just box it back up, sit on it for a few years and sell it on eBay to a collector of obscure video game tech. There are people still buying recent flops like the OUYA for a decent amount, after all.

And there's still very active tinkering communities for mostly forgotten web appliances from the dot-com boom, so I'm sure there are folks who'll want to dig into these after the ability to phone home has been cut off. Especially since the hardware in them is still at a relatively acceptable level.

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


And in the case of some Formula 1 cars from the mid to late '90s the software is also designed to only work on one specific laptop with a bespoke hardwired cable that connects directly to the engine, to ensure that any engineers who departed between seasons didn't swipe a copy to take with them to whatever team they landed at later on.

If anything from the connector on the engine to the cable to the laptop itself stops working, the car is effectively bricked because none of those parts have been made in over 30 years and no spares were ever created.

Shape-shifting cryptominer savages Linux endpoints and IoT


Not to mention that after the crooks have extracted the actual paydata they came for, the cyptominer works as both a convenient diversion from the real crime and can also grind out some spare change before it's detected.

The trade ban that wasn't: US allows 94% of restricted tech exports to China anyway


To be fair, it is a pretty accurate visual representation of international politics... there's always a third wheel somewhere getting in the way and jamming things up.

Apple to compel workers to spend '3 days a week' in the office


Not to mention it costs the same amount to keep the lights on in offices that aren't being used, and eventually the shareholders are going to look at that money being spent on mostly idle properties and start grumbling about it. And I'm sure Apple is much more scared of upsetting its shareholders than it is of upsetting its employees.

Record players make comeback with Ikea, others pitching tricked-out turntables


While it's not as lucrative an option as it was maybe 10 years ago, and depends largely on your location, trawling thrift stores like Goodwill can still yield some fantastic results for good quality vintage audio gear if you're not adverse to doing some cleaning and restoration.

'Red-rated' legacy IT gets refresh in UK as US battles theirs with bills


What they need versus what they "need"

>What they probably need are people who know the ancient systems they are running on.

Yes, but what they "need" according to every middle manager who's been dazzle-eyed by the latest flavor of the month programming language and wants bonuses they don't really deserve is a modernized, future-proofed system that's so efficient it doesn't need expensive permanent staff to maintain.

So while they may need properly trained programmers who can maintain existing code indefinitely and keep the status quo going smoothly, what they'll get are a few fly-by-night code cowboys who bodge together a makeshift version of the app that can't be upscaled, relies on a very specific hardware configuration to work correctly, and becomes impossible to maintain after the language it's written in falls out of favor and nobody supports it anymore. And then five years later we end up right back where we started...

US carriers want to junk three times more Chinese comms kit than planned


>If Beijing really does have backdoors into Huawei and ZTE kit, it therefore has plenty of time to deploy them.

...and the telcos will have plenty of time to "re-allocate" all the funding they're clamoring for to replace that kit, most of which is probably many years overdue for replacement anyway and never dealt with because nobody wanted to spend money to replace what's still working and not currently on fire.

Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO


Re: At what cost to the state?

If it goes like any other time some big company claims they want to set up manufacturing plants here in Central Ohio, what will happen is:

They'll come in, see the inadequate and crumbling road network around the Columbus area that doesn't have enough room to properly expand, get a year or two of pushback from the people in the area who don't care about the local impact so much as they see an opportunity to get a chunk of money in their pocket, squeeze a more favorable and one-sided offer from some desert location even more desperate for employment, then quietly duck out when the next election comes around.

So no cost, other than a lot of wasted time on everyone's part.

Activision Blizzard to pay out three days of annual profit to settle sex discrimination case


From what I've heard a substantial amount of WoW loyalists finally got fed up and bounced over to Final Fantasy XIV recently, so much so that Square Enix had to suspend new account creations for a couple days because their servers couldn't keep up with the sudden influx of new players. Might want to skip ordering the caviar for that party, then...

A real go-GETTR: Former Trump aide tries to batter Twitter by ripping off its UI


Re: 88 Seems More Traditional

Much as I'd like to think the 777 is a sly reference to Trump's ill-fated and now demolished Atlantic City casino (which he often used as proof of his business acumen, despite it being one of the most unprofitable casinos in America), I'm pretty sure it's more that a rounded up number like 800 wouldn't have been as catchy a marketing point.

AWS offers you the opportunity to pay cloud bills before they’ve been issued


Re: Public Sector Budgets

I figured that was the main reason anyone would use this, as a way to safely dispose of any surplus operating budget so the beancounters don't try to claw it back at the end of the year. And if they still complain then the scorn can be easily shunted up the ladder because hey, it was the boss/department manager/board members who were always banging on about how putting everything in the cloud would save us so much money, wasn't it?

Toyota buys Lyft’s autonomous car group for $550m


Re: Toyotas acquisition

>Where are Ford/GM/Volkwagen/Fiat crysler /Renault Nissan and Daimler-Benz?

Ford and GM have largely retreated back to North America to fight over the full-size pickup truck market, which is still a high volume, high margin sector that uses its penchant for excessive waste as a selling point. Ironically this is the segment that would probably welcome full autonomy the most, given how stuffed those vehicles are with distracting gadgetry now.

Everyone else, I presume, is just waiting for the smaller companies to do all the work and then go bust, so they can scoop up the completed research for bargain prices. Toyota doesn't need to wait though, as they've effectively consumed the entire mid-size passenger car market in America and have more than enough money to just do whatever they please at this point.

US Air Force deploys robot security dogs to guard base


Re: Burning books...

"So tell me again why you need another $2 million added to the defense budget?"

"Well ah, we need to upgrade our 10 robot dogs so they can bark bullets at trespassers".

"..at least you didn't say something about dinosaurs with lasers on their heads."


Re: Burning books...

>although I think it's only a matter of time before someone decides to put some sort of offensive (AKA 'Self-defensive') capability on board.

I'm not really sure what you could realistically mount on it, though. Ballistic weapons are a bad idea, as the recoil and vibration from firing would probably damage the robot and be highly inaccurate after the first shot (to say nothing of the problems of ammo storage and hardpoint location). Taser/electrical would likely require lots of shielding to protect the electronic parts, which is more cost than it's worth. At most, these could maybe have some kind of pepper spray or smoke canister dispenser.

And even then, considering they're being used on a military base they don't really need to do much more than pinpoint the location of a troublemaker, as there are surely enough properly armed and armored humans about to do the job properly.


People are pretty much conditioned to ignore whirly-blade type drones now. But you see something even vaguely shaped like a four-legged animal coming your way, it's going to make you stop and pay attention, or possibly freak you out and get you to leave very quickly. Both of which I would imagine is the desired effect in this case.

China compromised F-35 subcontractor and forced expensive software system rewrite, academic tells MPs


Military projects tend to have multiple subcontractors, who also have their own subcontractors, and even those sub-subcontractors can have their own subcontractors that may not even be aware that the parts and pieces they're working on is for the military. It's nearly impossible to keep every aspect of the project in a vacuum when everything is spread out that widely.

Zero. Zilch. Nada. That's how many signs of intelligent life astroboffins found in probe of TEN MILLION stars


Re: The depressing possibility is that there may just be no aliens.

The really, really depressing possibility is that they WERE out there, but got killed off by some cosmic event beyond their control before we had the ability to discover them, and now we'll never even know that their civilization existed.

We've come to wish you an unhappy birthday: Microsoft to yank services from Internet Explorer, kill off Legacy Edge by 2021


>They need it for enterprise software. When they say enterprise software they mean badly-written stuff perched on top of these "technologies" which is never ever, ever, updated.

This also includes the industrial sector where there are lots of big machines being run by crusty old software dependent on those ancient underpinnings, and can't be upgraded either because too much money would be lost by shutting down for the time needed to upgrade, or because the machine was designed to work only with that very specific configuration for proprietary reasons.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Big Brother

Re: good joke

Considering the ever-increasing number of people who consider their car to be an expensive appliance and lease instead of buying because they are led to believe that it's cheaper than long-term maintenence, and considering those same people will see anything the car company touts as a "convenience feature" to be a good thing... probably a lot.

I mean, people are already comfortable with plugging their cellphone directly into a car and giving it free reign to grab up whatever data it wants, so security clearly isn't on their top 10 priorities list.

Single-line software bug causes fledgling YAM cryptocurrency to implode just two days after launch


Re: Who didn't bother to test their code?

Move fast and break things, baby!

Unless one of those things is the backbone of your whole project... maybe don't break that.

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan


Nothing will probably come of this

If Trump loses the election, all these anti-China policies will either be swept out with him or buried under legislation to the point of being stalled indefinitely.

If Trump wins the election, he'll say that he miraculously convinced China to "play nice" a month later and that they'll be allowed to continue as normal.

Unless there's an actual timeline set for putting any of this plan into action, then odds are it's just the typical jingoistic pandering that happens at the tail end of every American election cycle, except this time it's focused on a specific country instead of the nebulous "foreigners taking our jobs".

This investor blew nearly $300,000 on Intel shares the day before 7nm disaster reveal. Yup, she's suing



She probably also has plans to sue for damages against the convenience store she bought a losing scratch-off lottery ticket from last month.

Firefighters to UK Home Office: Yeah, maybe don't turn off emergency comms network before replacement is ready


Re: "Anyone surprised at the gigantean cock-up"

Or maybe just leave it on standby for a while, as the new one is most likely going to fall over a couple times before they actually get it working properly.

Be sure to also allow for the time spent on rounds of blame assignment in the statehouse and searching the couch cushions to find the budget for repairs, replacement and testing that should have been done before going live, but wasn't for a variety of short-sighted reasons.

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up


Re: Trials?

>Surely it would make most sense to scatter a set of stands around a city (e.g. next to transit hubs, car parks, major shopping locations etc). Most people who want to use these things will likely arrive in a city via a transit hub etc and will likely be returning there at the end of the day.

From what I understand with the rental bicycles that we have here, you'll get charged a return fee if the bike is left outside a designated return point for more than a few hours. I would reckon they'll make a tidy profit off people who don't read the service terms on the app that unlocks the things and presume they can just ditch it wherever because "I'm only using it this one time", or consider the fee to be an acceptable alternative to finding the nearest return point and walking the rest of the way, since it's still probably cheaper overall than taking a cab.

While eyes are fixed on Apple announcements, Microsoft's streaming service Mixer goes the way of the Windows Phone


Hardly surprising

I mean yeah, Ninja had the Twitch channel with the most viewers at the time... an insane amount really. But most of those viewers were there specifically for that one channel and had no interest in anything else. When he was done streaming they simply left instead of migrating to other channels. You're not going to build a platform if the potential users can't be bothered to stick around and explore the other content.

Then again, Mixer really didn't do that great of a job of promoting its content creators to begin with, so there's that too.

Play stupid games, win stupid prizes: UK man gets 3 years for torching 4G phone mast over 5G fears


Re: nutters

>(I wonder if these 5G protesters gave any thought to the harmful toxins that might be given off by the burning of these masts or the accelerants they used?)

Given that people once (and occasionally still do) protested the excessive emissions caused by SUV's with the method of setting them on fire in car dealership lots, creating a massive polluting cloud of burning rubber, plastic and fuel in the process... no, they probably haven't.

Not just its VCS console that's MIA, Atari is a no-show in court, too: Reborn biz ignores hardware architect's lawsuit over unpaid wages


Re: Atari?

Correct. The Atari name and logo have changed hands a few times over the last few decades, but the original company that was headed by the late Jack Tramiel has been gone since the late '80s.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it


This reminds me of the height of the flip-phone days, when television was saturated with ads for a device that would shield your brain from the evil mind melting radiation your phone was beaming directly into your skull, improve your reception and even extend your battery life. All for just the low, low price of $24.99!

Said device was just a tiny mesh sticker you put over the earpiece, and shockingly enough it didn't really do anything at all.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


35 mph

There's a ton of places in the Midwestern US that have 35 mph speed limits, mostly residential areas. It's a holdover from the days when 55 MPH was the federally mandated speed limit and I presume most local governments don't see a need to change them to a round number.

Absolutely smashing: Musk shows off Tesla's 'bulletproof' low-poly pickup, hilarity ensues



Your Citroen Karin evolved into Cybertruck!


Facebook iOS app silently turns on your phone camera. Ah, relax – it's just a bug, lol!?


>There are of course countless other ways to buy things and send people money without using Facebook Pay but the company hopes that simplicity will cause users to share their personal financial information with Facebook.

And regrettably many people will do just that out of curiosity of how well it works, especially if it can be done automatically by clicking a big shiny button. And then they'll use it a couple times, and when the novelty wears off just forget about it and not even stop to think that giving such sensitive data to Facebook might not have been a great idea.

Truckers, prepare to lose your jobs as UPS buys into self-driving tech


Re: Delivery drivers do more than just drive

I doubt UPS going to robodriving will completely kill the trucking industry. Certainly the larger outfits may follow suit eventually, but there are still hundreds of smaller regional trucking and shipping firms in North America that would rather pay owner-drivers rather than spend the big bucks buying their own fleet of trucks.

Things may change in the industry, and possibly not for the better, but it's not a sign of impending widespread collapse.


Re: Delivery drivers do more than just drive

This isn't meant for the delivery trucks that actually drop the packages at your house, it's for the tractor trailers that haul large amounts of packages between freight hubs. The brown boxy trucks that trundle around your neighborhood and make all the local dogs bark like maniacs won't be affected by this.

Fresh stalkerware crop pops up on Google's Android Play Store, swiftly yanked offline


"Track Employees Check Work Phone Online Spy Free" sounds like exactly the kind of dodgy thing the BOFH's boss would download. Surely that will finally provide proof that all those "strategy meetings" are really just 2 PM pub visits.

We don't mean to poo-poo this, but... The Internet of S**t has literally arrived thanks to Pampers smart diapers


So, anyone care to place a bet on when the inevitable security breach and follow-up apology will happen? I mean, these are literal throwaway devices so I can't imagine they have any form of useful protection compared to even normal IoTrash.

Facebook's Libra is a terrorist's best friend, thunders US Treasury: Crypto-coins dubbed 'national security risk'


He did condemn cryptocurrencies as a whole before singling out Libra. Though I suspect they don't care so much about unspecified terrorists using it as they dislike the idea of a massive corporation creating its own currency. Though the idea of Facebook using it to pay their employees in what would be company scrip is rather amusing...

Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker


Re: 110 Software Engineers on the wall...

I parsed it as 10% of the division's overall staff, including those 11 engineers. Not that those 11 made up 10% of the entire division.

But then again, considering Musk has taken direct control of that part of the company recently, there's no telling how many less prominent people have either walked away or were pushed out as a result. Turnover rates in some parts of Tesla appear to be comparable to that of a fast food restaurant.

Florida man pretending to be police pulls over real police, ends badly, claim cops


Re: Summer silly season.

"Wannbees"? Around this part of the country we call them "whackers". Many of them are kinda sad but actually fairly harmless, just thinking if they get an old cruiser from a police auction and drop an amber/white service lightbar (usually non-working) on top people will mistake them for actual cops and get out of their way on the freeways, but never really taking it beyond that.

Misguided nitwits like Florida Man and the total dirtbags that are impersonating police officers for malicious reasons are still thankfully rare, for now at least.

Poetic justice: Mum funnels £100 into claw machine to win single Dumbo teddy for her kid


That's how it is in the US at least. Depending on how much a wager costs, the machine has to have a minimum percent of hits for each possible payout. Electronic slot machines have to run for 24 straight hours once the software is installed by a state gambling authority (the casino itself never gets to touch that part) to certify they meet that percentage. I learned this when I had to do some work in a newly built place that was still setting up, it's rather interesting to see firsthand.

Not surprisingly, the penny machines out front have a much higher payout rate then the big bet machines in the back...

What happens in Vegas ... will probably go through the huge bit barn Google is building in Nevada


Re: Desert Solar Power ?

Then they would have to spend much more money to buy the land for, build and maintain said plant. It's much cheaper and more efficient to grease a few palms in the state capitol and wave around the nebulous promise of "more jobs" to get hooked up to the local grid at a favorable rate.

As Amazon demonstrated with their attempted second headquarters scheme a few months back, a key part of these projects is squeezing the most one-sided deal out of the state they're building in before anyone realizes just how badly it's going to screw the average joe over in the long term.

Get this: Mad King Leo wanted HP to slurp two other firms alongside ill-fated Autonomy buyout


>As it was, Apotheker and the board agreed to pay a 68 per cent premium for Autonomy (on its market cap) – incidentally, Lesjak told the court Oracle had been in the frame as a potential bidder for the big data biz.

Now I wonder if Apotheker bought Autonomy for the sole reason of keeping it out of Oracle's hands, rather than seeing it as an asset for HP. At this point I wouldn't consider such a thing out of the question.

Underground network targets Salisbury: Not the Russian death crew, this time it's Openreach laying fibre-optic cables


Re: Micro trenching?

To be fair, Google's botchup was due to their digging the trenches way too shallow in a bid to speed up the process. I think they called it "nano-trenching" and only went down 2 inches, which anyone with a lick of sense could tell you isn't nearly far enough. Granted the 6 inches that microtrenching calls for is less than ideal as well, but at least the cables won't be rising from their graves after a few months like they did in Louisville.

Judge slaps down Meg Whitman for accusing Autonomy boss of being a 'fraudster who committed fraud'


Re: Etiquette when in Court

> you really annoy a judge, they can simply sling you in the clink for contempt of court. I've no first hand experience of this, so I may be wrong...

At the very least they can have you removed from the courtroom if you're considered as disruptive, which is a pretty damning thing in and of itself. And I'm sure judges have a fair amount of latitude regarding what they consider disruptive to court proceedings.

Let's Pope mass upgrade of Vatican Library data centre is blessed with some of that famed infallibility


Re: Vatican Library Data Centre

A Blessed Operator From Heaven, perhaps?

Talk about a ticket to ride... London rail passengers hear pr0n grunts over PA system


>"South Western Railway has a policy of blocking inappropriate material, including pornographic websites, on its onboard and station Wi-Fi services.

"We are investigating this incident to establish how this material was broadcast on our service.

A mystery for the ages, indeed. It's a good thing portable electronic devices don't have any kind of built-in storage that would permit videos to be viewed without the need for an Internet connection. Cause if you're really crass enough to be watching porn in public or on the job, you wouldn't want to risk dodgy free wi-fi causing an "interruption" at the wrong moment, now would you?