* Posts by Cxwf

55 publicly visible posts • joined 8 Jan 2019


Toyota servers ran out of storage, crashed production at 14 plants in Japan


Re: backup systems

The description here is slightly ambiguous, but I think what they mean was, the backup system was physically distinct but not logically distinct. It was specced to be the exact same system but running on a different server box, so that in the event a Hardware failure took out System A, System B could immediately step in and take over, because it's "the same system" just on a different box. But in this case the hardware was fine, and a software failure took out System A, and when System B tried to step in...it immediately suffered the same software failure, exactly because it's "the same system" running the same actions.

(Really "software failure" here means "design failure that triggered a software failure when faced with hardware limitations", but that's too wordy and gets us to the same result anyway.)

Funnily enough, AI models must follow privacy law – including right to be forgotten


If I may, it’s closer to “the law says you can’t put anything more than 500 ft above street level, and I know you are trying to operate an airport here, but your airplanes are still covered by the law”. You have exactly one way to comply with this law, which is to shut down the airport. That’s better than having no rational way to comply (the mountain example), but only slightly.

If society comes to the conclusion we’re better off without LLMs entirely, you won’t hear any complaints from me, but if you want to have them and regulate them, we will need to find a different approach.

Thousands of subreddits go dark in mega-protest over Reddit's app-killing API prices


Re: Meh

>>Only joining subReddits that are specifically interesting and appear well moderated, is the key.

Agreed, but “well moderated” is the thing under threat according to this protest. I don’t use any of the third party services at risk here myself, but the mods do, and the mods at every major forum I follow have each written warnings that their ability to continue moderating successfully will be compromised by the proposed changes.

Today’s article mentions that Reddit promised not to stop mods from using mod tools. The warnings from the mod community also mentioned that, but clarified that these reassurances took the form of a “trust me bro” with no supporting details or plans for how that might work. How do you intentionally cripple a third party service for everyone except mods? If the service is down, it’s down for everyone.

Microsoft appeals UK's block on Activision deal


Re: Amazed any authority has accepted takeover

I suspect a lot of the ambivalence in the user base is due to the way ActiBlizz has sabotaged their own reputation over the last few years, to the point that many of us are saying “it couldn’t be worse, maybe Microsoft ownership will be better”. So as a former ActiBlizz customer, I’m in favor of the merger.

Now how that translates to regulators is a bit more opaque to me.

Privacy Sandbox, Google's answer to third-party cookies, promised within months


Re: "makes websites load more slowly – about 50 ms on average"

Ah but you’ve missed the clever bit. If I’m reading this correctly, it only takes 50 ms longer to use the suggested third party workarounds, but not if you use Google official ad services. Then because your webpage loads more slowly, even if it’s imperceptible to the user, Google the search company (not the same company we swear) will downrank your page as compared to competitors using the approved Google advertising.

April brings tulips, taxes ... and phisherfolk scammers


We do not. Or I guess you could say we do, but it’s an intentionally crippled version with very limited functionality so as not to compete with the paid tax service providers.

And the paid providers actually do offer pretty good service, it’s just…not free.

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records


Re: "life expectancy in [the USA]"

> By all means, if you the worst happens and you get diagnosed with Alzheimer's and you still feel that way, then you can still buy a gun and make use of it. But there is really no reason to have a gun whilst your healthy.

I am thankfully not at the stage in my life where I need to consider such things. But in defense of the guy above you, if you wait until the last moment where it’s obvious you only want the gun for this purpose, it becomes far far more likely that someone will deny you that opportunity “for your own good”. Probably more reliable if you already have it squirreled away in a gun safe well in advance.

The US would sooner see TSMC fabs burn than let China have them


Re: In order to stop another country from destroying you ....

Your skepticism would seem to be mirrored by the people who live there, who aren’t too fond of the idea. It’s a lot more palatable to, just throwing out hypothetical scenarios here, perhaps a foreign military that just happens to be there temporarily for the specific purpose of securing THAT resource.

So I can easily believe that the US would do this despite the questionable results for the locals. Then again, maybe the concept that the decision would be out of the locals’ hands would make the whole plan a better deterrent to China - there’s no point if they don’t believe we’d really do it.

The UK's bad encryption law can't withstand global contempt


Re: If they cared about children...

I suspect you could ask random people to name 10 great leaders, and most would get to at least 7 or 8 before they had to think really hard to continue.

The bigger problem is that if you ask two random people to compare those lists, it’s very likely half of the members of the first person’s “good leader” list will be on the second person’s “bad leader” list. There’s a lot of disagreement on what exactly makes a great leader.

Microsoft leaves the Office, rebrands everything as 365


Re: Pass me the incense and put the whale song up to 11.

>storing your documents in OneDrive (to the point where autosaves anywhere else are forbidden!)

That’s only if you HAVE a OneDrive account! If you simply never sign up, that problem solves itself!

Academic publishers turn to AI software to catch bad scientists doctoring data


Re: The state of the scientific community

>He was caught because his faked data contained far too many numerals 7, but his legacy lives on.

Well obviously, everyone knows 7 is the most random number!

Judge shoots down Trump admin's efforts to allow folks to post shoddy 3D printer gun blueprints online


Re: Judge Canut was it?

And his demonstration is still of use hundreds of years later! If the only thing in dispute is whether he was in on his own joke, I’d say he did a pretty good job.


Re: Why a 3D printed gun?

Now now, let’s not exaggerate to make a point. If you put suicides in a different category from gun violence, the US number is only 14,600. If you adjust for the population difference from US to UK, the equivalent US number would only be 2,970.

There! 2,970 vs 70. Both numbers have a “70” in them so clearly there’s no problem here. ( /s )

Blood, snot and fear: Why the travelling lone tech reporter should always knock twice


Re: Wait, Wut?

If water is freezing *inside* the plane, something has gone horribly wrong and the condensation is the least of your worries.

AT&T: We did nothing wrong in promising unlimited data that wasn't. We're just giving the FTC $60m for fun


Re: Money can't buy you love

[quote]The only point of generating profit is to create emergency funds for a rainy day for future problems.[/quote]

What? No, this is stupid. Corporations generate profit to allow reinvestment in growth, and to attract shareholders. Both are absolutely necessary for the long term health of a company.

You can limp on for a little while with zero or even negative profits, and arguably it’s correct to expect that as a result of fines for unethical behavior. But after you’ve paid the fine you have to be able to go back to making a profit again.

WhatsApp slaps app hacker chaps on the rack for booby-trapped chat: NSO Group accused of illegal hacking by Facebook


Re: "for targeted attacks on encryption, which is still bad, "

A tool like this is only so good as the people wielding it. Turing & co were good people wielding their tools for a good purpose. Less good people would later use some of the principles they developed for bad purposes. And it appears that today, someone has used NSO’s tools for bad purposes (possibly NSO themselves, but I don’t know enough to say either way).


Re: "strongly encrypted platforms are often used by pedophile rings, drug kingpins and terrorists"

While I appreciate your sentiment, you’ve missed the mark on both sides of this one.

—there are LOTS of calls to limit the availability of guns.

—This group didn’t call for reducing access to encryption. They are creating tools for targeted attacks on encryption, which is still bad, but in a different way.


This group isn’t based in the USA, so adding something that’s valid in the defendent’s home country, even if it’s a much smaller crime, is probably a good first step to getting the court to even pick up the case?

US government sues ex-IT guy for breaking his NDA (Yes, we mean Edward Snowden)


Re: Passport

Not that additional criminal charges matter much, since Snowden already has an expectation that he should remain in non-extradition countries for the rest of the time he wants to remain out of prison. The US has no functional way to COLLECT taxes from him.

Right-click opens up terrifying vistas of reality and Windows 95 user's frightful position therein


Re: On the other hand ...

We still use AS/400 for a lot of stuff at my office. But as there’s no manuals available most people have no idea how to use it, so the corporate office keeps trying to get us to drop it in favor of Silverlake *shudder*. Seems they’ll finally succeed next month.

UK ISPs must block access to Nintendo Switch piracy sites, High Court rules


Re: Quantify losses...

They absolutely paid that out in operating costs. The numbers you listed give 18.5% profit margin, which is a great number- Apple’s margin is higher than that, but most companies are far less, usually single digits.

This doesn’t really counter your other point that they could afford to be less strict here - I just want you to come at it from the right direction.

Now on Amazon Prime: The Amazing Shrinking UK Tax Burden


Re: Funny how corporations can be people

Actually they can (at least in the US - I’m not familiar with how it works in the UK). The paperwork is a little complex, but it’s definitely a thing you can do.

You can’t do that AND be a conventional employee at the same time though. You either have to be a small business owner, or a contractor, meaning you give up on the various labor laws that protect conventional employees. (I gather US labor laws aren’t held in high regard here, so you may feel that’s a good trade).

Royal Navy seeks missile-moving robots for dockyard drudgery


Re: Not Quite That Easy


So suspect in typical British procurement style the system will need to be able to negotiate several flights of stairs and other access portals designed for human operatives...[/quote]

Don’t go messing with our Dalek defense measures now!

US regulators push back against White House plan to police social media censorship


Re: Except ...

Nixon was more or less the definition of the Republican Party (for his day- it’s changed somewhat since then).

Bush1 and Bush2 also pretty closely aligned with “the party”.

Now Reagan...you are aware that, like Trump, he was a Democrat most of his life? And, like Trump, his policies were pretty drastically different than what EITHER party had been doing up to that point. Reagan and Trump both kind of just did their own thing.

What Reagan did have going for him is that, AFTER implementing new policies, he became popular enough that the Republican Party was sort of dragged kicking and screaming into adopting many of them. But the party leaders certainly didn’t LIKE Reagan’s politics.

Time will tell if Trump plays out the same way or not.


Re: Except ...

Your facts are lacking. The republicans won a popular vote majority in 2004 as well as 1980, 1984, and 1988. All of these are within 40 years.

...okay the most recent years aren’t great, but if we’re gonna criticize them, let’s at least make it for something that happened.


Re: Except ...

Problem with your theory- Eisenhower wasn’t a Republican. He was a non-partisan war hero who was so popular from the war days that BOTH parties asked him to accept their nomination, and he took the republican one basically just as a change of pace after 5 straight terms of Democrat control. Dems also had supermajorities in Congress, which they had held for over 20 years (with the exception of the 2-year term immediately after the death of FDR).

Assigning anything that happened in the 50’s as a “Republican” policy is just fiction.

iFrame clickjacking countermeasures appear in Chrome source code. And it only took *checks calendar* three years


Re: Help me understand something here, please...

The piece you are missing here is that clickjacking always involves at least two target elements. If Target-1 is the element you are really trying to click, and Target-2 is the fraudulent one which is invisibly sitting on top of Target-1, then you will click on Target-2 by accident. At that point, this defense is supposed to think “wait, Target-2 has not been visible for the minimum time, so let’s ignore that click”.

It’s an imperfect solution as you still don’t get to Target-1, but at least you don’t get redirected to the Malware link.

'Hey Google, remind Greg the locks have been changed, and he should find a new place to live. Maybe ask his mistress?'


Re: Coming soon, to a divorce court near you....

There will absolutely be people who use this function this way. However, those are the people who were going to fight with each other anyway, and the only thing new is the method.

Hopefully the rest of us can resist the temptation =)

Bomb-hoaxing DoSer who targeted police in revenge was caught after Twitter taunts


He’s making fun of a typo (now fixed in the current version of the article) where “crown prosecutor” was written as “c prosecutor” instead. Since “c prosecutor” doesn’t have an established definition, he made a joke about pointer abuse, which is a common issue with poorly written C language coding.

There - have I thoroughly sucked all the fun out of the joke yet?

F-B-Yikes! FBI bod allegedly hid spy camera under desk to snap coworker's upskirt pics


This. And also remember we’ve learned through other recent high profile cases that the FBI doesn’t record suspect interviews, so there’s no proof. Even if you don’t think they would make this up from scratch (and to be fair I don’t think they would)...he could easily have used words with more than one possible interpretation, but those words are now gone, replaced with just an officer said “He admitted it!”

NPM Inc settles union-busting complaints on third try – after CEO trolled for ordering internal mole hunt


Re: Repairing Relations? What about...

Unfortunately damaging the relationships in the first place was probably unavoidable here. NPM may have been (relatively) well LIKED before this misadventure, but they were still losing money and you can’t keep that up long term. Any change big enough to turn around their profit problems was guaranteed to piss off SOMEONE.

That said, there’s clearly a choice between handling business changes gracefully vs putting your foot in your mouth, and getting involved in lawsuits (and losing them) strongly suggests the latter.

A Register reader turns the computer room into a socialist paradise


Sure, but I still have to do that today on an up to date pc with some of the abominations we call spreadsheets at my office.

Mike Lynch in court: I was not aware of every single thing Autonomy did around the world (so don't blame me)


Re: Why another case in the USA ?

The US Courts may not care about your excuse of “I’m busy being on trial somewhere else”...but I’d wager that would be a fairly convincing argument to the UK court considering an extradition request.

UK.gov whacks export ban on 'grotesque' crab made by famous Brit potter bros


Re: If UK.Gov really wants it to stay...

Then again, maybe that’s WHY they want it to stay. If it sells overseas to a foreign buyer, they wouldn’t be able to collect VAT on it, right?

HP CFO Cathie Lesjak didn't even read KPMG's Autonomy due diligence before $11bn biz gobble


Re: Still reading the document. You are evil.

I could be misremembering, but isn’t this the one that said she was against it but got outvoted? Hard to say her opinion would have changed much by reading the report then. Only thing is maybe she’d have been able to make a better case to get someone to listen to her.

IT pro screwed out of unused vacation pay, bonus by HPE after judge rules: The law is a mess but it's still the law


While the law may allow companies to be downright evil, there are plenty that choose not to be, and stories like these make me appreciate my own employer much more. We get actual time off, pay for unused time off in case of separation, pay for extended time out due to disability/sickness etc, and they treat us like real people.

Then again, wife’s company is currently reminding us that their policies are considerably less employee friendly. Can’t win ‘em all.

Idle Computer Science skills are the Devil's playthings


Re: Hire immediately

I’ve got a problem. I find this one ALMOST comprehensible, but not quite. So do I struggle to make sense of it and risk wasting my time? Or follow my usual policy of skipping his posts completely, and risk missing the most insightful post he’s ever made?

There's a reason why my cat doesn't need two-factor authentication


Re: So security...

You’ve got to remember, these aren’t “true stories from Dabbs’ life”, they are “entertaining fictions loosely based on real life frustrations”.

It's official! The Register is fake news… according to .uk overlord Nominet. Just a few problems with that claim, though


Re: The problem with "fake news"...

<quote>Normal people prefer the old-fashioned word "lies".</quote >

Exactly this. The only thing new about “fake news” in the last decade is the label. Lies have been a part of public statements and yes, even journalism, for as long as we’ve been able to print.

No disrespect at El Reg - I trust you guys more than most sources. But in general, any wise reader should always keep their cynicism handy on the internet.

Egg on North Face: Wikipedia furious after glamp-wear giant swaps article pics for sneaky ad shots – and even brags about it in a video


Re: Yeah, about that...

I’m sorry, but how is that better? Yes it’s technically private property, but that doesn’t make it ACCEPTABLE to deface, does it?

Or are you just objecting to Wikipedia using the term “Public Property” for itself at all? So long as they do a pretty good job of acting the part, I’m not going to hold that bit of hubris against them.

It's the curious case of the vanishing iPhone sales as Huawei grabs second place off Apple in smartmobe stakes


Re: The new phones are simply too expensive for what they offer

Seconded. Technically I bought mine firsthand, but I’ve owned it long enough now it might as well be preowned. As long as I can get the battery replaced when I need it (which is now actually, I need to set a time to go do that) - why should I pay $1k and get rewarded with a screen that no longer fits in my pocket?

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet


Bradley ‘Chelsea’ Manning owed loyalty to the US, and betrayed that loyalty in the worst way possible. He deserves everything he got.

Julian Assange, on the other hand, never owed us anything so there couldn’t be any betrayal. I don’t LIKE the guy, but I see a fundamental difference in his case, and I honestly hope the UK rejects the extradition request.

Maybe you could split the difference somehow and make an agreement that the extradition is only valid for the computer hacking charge, and the espionage charges would be on hold until after he was released back to the UK following any sentence? Not sure if that works but it’s a thought.

No Huawei out: Prez Trump's game of chicken with China has serious consequences


Re: Disgusting

Nothing here is really Huawei’s fault - they’re just the coincidental closest target to impact point of a greater trade war. All the posturing against Huawei specifically is just that - posturing.

But that’s not the same as saying the greater trade war is without merit. It absolutely makes a difference how overall trade between the US and China is structured, and a certain segment of our market has been saying for a long time that we had the short end of the stick here and needed to change things. Even the El Reg author acknowledged that.

Of course it’s much more complex to ask whether this tactic is actually going to fix anything, or just make things worse. Your mileage may vary.

And I can imagine that if you are neither an American nor a Chinese citizen, then you don’t really stand to gain anything from this fight no matter who wins, so it’s understandable if you’re more frustrated than anything else. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to jump into a fight that doesn’t affect them - just remember that it does affect someone else.

Uncle Sam to blow millions on mind-control weapon tech that can be fitted without surgery


Last I heard, brain interfaces like this were very cool for disabled people who couldn’t use the standard interfaces, but for anyone else, the standard interfaces were still faster and more precise. Has that changed?

Until it does, I have to assume this would be a narrow tool for very specific tasks, and not replacing all of their previous weapons.

Banhammer Republic: Trump declares national emergency, starts ball rolling to boot Huawei out of ALL US networks


Re: "Unacceptable risk", eh? - let me guess

[quote]Risk of Russian government running covert misinformation campaigns during US elections: completely acceptable.[/quote]

This has to be taken in perspective given that our own media runs overt misinformation campaigns during US elections, and also all the rest of the time. What’s another few people lying at you going to add to that?

Other than that, though, spot on. ;)

Legal bombs fall on TurboTax maker Intuit for 'hiding' free service from search engines


Re: Sorry - did I miss something?

<quote>Now if those pages existed due to a government requirement they existed, well then the government should point the right people to them.</quote>

That is why they exist (technically an agreement with the irs rather than a legislative requirement, but close enough for this purpose), and the government does link to them. The trick is, the government link is typically the ONLY link that gets you there, and the companies go to great lengths to avoid letting you see those pages any other way.

You could argue about exactly how clever you would need to be to see through the manipulation and get the promised free version- but why use hypotheticals when we already have data results? Of the people eligible for the free filing, about 95% didn’t find it. That’s a problem.

Take my bits awaaaay: DARPA wants to develop AI fighter program to augment human pilots


Re: Visual Range Dogfights... a question for any air force experts out there...

Sort of? As I understand it, it’s been rather a long time since there was a fight with anything close to evenly matched AirPower on both sides, so a lot of this is hypothetical.

When you have an Air Force and they don’t, you can afford to take more risks to get visual IDs, etc. When both sides are evenly matched, you’d want every edge you can get, which means starting to fire from as far away as possible. But since no one has actually needed to do it in so long, we probably don’t know exactly how effective it would be and what percentage of fights would devolve into close-range dogfights.

Put a stop to these damn robocalls! Dozens of US state attorneys general fire rocket up FCC's ass


Re: My 3 steps to avoiding robocalls.

Unfortunately I just realized why this won’t work. The scammer’s telco and your telco are likely different companies, and only the scammer’s telco has enough info to do the blocking. So even if you use an honest telco, so long as there’s at least one dishonest one for the scammers to use, they can still get through.


Re: My 3 steps to avoiding robocalls.


What needs to be done is not to remove the ability to spoof, it's to take the power to do it out of the hands of phone customers


I think you’re on the right track, but it can be even simpler than this. The phone companies should only allow a CID to be spoofed to a number controlled by the same billing account. That way you can use any of YOUR numbers, but not anyone else’s. This mostly works for international calls too, as any business that actually buys a (for example) US phone number therefore must have at least some business presence in the US, which can be a target if the gov has to come looking for you. Of course this requires the telecoms to put at least a little good faith effort into screening cross-border new number requests, which might be asking too much.

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco


Re: Option extra why???

If I’m understanding this correctly, this particular issue was caused by a subtle change in how the AOA data was used between generations.

In prior generations, the AOA was displayed to the pilot to aid situational awareness, but didn’t DO anything directly. As other commentators have noted, you can generally get by without this info, but it becomes important in some unusual situations (which you can mostly compensate for with experience). This the info isn’t considered critical, so the gauge is an option.

But now on the Max, that info directly feeds into part of the plane’s flight control AI, and if the sensor is bad, you can crash. Suddenly knowing that the sensor is bad becomes much more important- but this change in priority didn’t make it into the display design. After all, this change is intended to be transparent to the pilots to avoid retraining costs. The whole goal was NOT to tell them anything is different.