* Posts by tatatata

73 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Jan 2019


Analysts join the call for Microsoft to recall Recall



The main issue here is bandwidth. If you want a picture of all the Windows users' desktop every second, Microsoft will probably need a lot of incoming bandwidth. And even if they don't want to use it, there will always be some who decide to put in on the Onedrive. I think the famous abbreviations in the US would like a copy too, because of, eh, terrorism. No? Childporn then.

Bad vibrations left techie shaken up during overnight database rebuild


Re: Those dot-matrix printers really could shake up a storm

bah. It is nothing compared to the daisy wheel printer. Or a chain printer for that matter.

Torvalds intentionally complicates his use of indentation in Linux Kconfig


Re: Semicolons and curly braces, forever.

No. it is not just you. It is one of the reasons I dislike Python. I have, after 40+ years, finally got used to the space/tabs in the Makefiles. I am also not a fan of YAML.

And for those who seem to be ok with these whitespace-horrors, please try to write anything usefull in Whitespace (the programming language). Or anything at all.

Indian PM's 25-year roadmap laid out with help from AI


The famous mission-statement generator has had an upgrade, if the quote is representative for the whole plan. Yes, we must upgrade our component ecosystem. Who can be against that?

We never agreed to only buy HP ink, say printer owners


In my experience, the print heads dry out easily, and a bit quicker with non-epson ink. You'll need to print all colours at least once a week. Cleaning the printhead is quite messy, so I've set-up a cronjob to print a smal all-colour picture every week.

What happened to agility and new business models? Cloud benefits have all gone to IT


Re: "The migration of IT workloads to the cloud is benefiting tech departments"

The benefit is clear.

Cloud costs are variable costs, without fixed assets. On-prem is fixed costs. For shareholders, it is very important that the fixed costs are as low as possible.

Nothing to do with IT; the only benefit is in bookkeeping.

AI hallucinates software packages and devs download them – even if potentially poisoned with malware


C-suite (including RedHat's as I read recently) will turn to mcKinsey, who states that it is fine to "unleash developer productivity with generative AI", especially in four key areas:

- Expediting manual and repetitive work

- Jump-starting the first draft of new code

- Accelerating updates to existing code

- Increasing developers’ ability to tackle new challenges

Those who code should document really good where management pushed them into using AI without all the additional checks. It may become an issue in court.

Nvidia: Why write code when you can string together a couple chat bots?


Re: Is he seriously proposing implementing an analogue to the infinite monkey to write Shakespeare?

Ah, but then, we expect IA to provide us with fault-free software that does what we want it to do.

When was the last time some company you hired, or your internal team of software developers produced fault-free software that does what you want it to do? AI can make buggy software much faster!

UN: E-waste is growing 5x faster than it can be recycled


Re: A metric ton is spelled “tonne”

You're missing an exponential sign. A tonne is 10^3 kg, not 103.


Re: A metric ton is spelled “tonne”

It is. A great white shark is 0.89 megagram and a skateboarding rhinoceros is 1.5 megagram.

The name "tonne", or "metric ton" for cross-ponders, is just used as a colloquialism. Like a quid for a pound or a grand for a kilopound.


Re: words to live by

The problem is not whether or not the bulbs in the light fittings are replaceable. The fact that the unit can be replaced makes it possible for a car to be repaired. You don't have to throw away the car when a headlight breaks.

Of course, you might want to refurbish parts that you use to repair the car. That becomes even more important when a car gets older. At some point in time, those nicely shaped lights from your brand new car will be out of stock, and then, if you cannot refurbish parts, you may need to get rid of your car when the headlight breaks.


Re: Tell it to Microsoft and windows 11

And that is just the windows PC. Many Android phones become unusable when the banking app requires a minimum version of Android, but the vendor decides not to provide that for older phones. Same for Sat Navs: older type of devices don't get map updates anymore.

It is not so much the right or obligation to repair; it should be the obligation to support: Every vendor of a device should support 15 years of updates of software to keep the device operational and functional after first sale to a consumer. That would limit the landfill.

As for Windows: I would love to see the discussions between Dell and Microsoft about 15 years support after last sell.

We asked Intel to define 'AI PC'. Its reply: 'Anything with our latest CPUs'


"There are cases where a very large LLM might require 32GB of RAM," he noted. “Everything else will fit comfortably in a 16GB system.”

Seems a bit like:

I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64k to 640k felt like something that would last a great deal of time. (Gates)

32 bits, it is enough for an experiment, it is 4.3 billion terminations -- even the defense department doesn't need 4.3 billion of anything (Cerf)

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers." (Watson)

(and so on)

Cisco is a fashion retailer now, with a spring collection to prove it


In the past, vendors gave away these items for free. I still use my Checkpoint rucksack, sometimes wear my Sun microsystems polo and several T-shirts and drink from my RedHat mug.

But I won't be buying this stuff.

AI models show racial bias based on written dialect, researchers find


I think no one with any knowledge of AI is surprised.

These researchers generally pic something obviously wrong about AI, feed cases into AI and then prove something everybody knows. It is not research, it is publishing a paper to get attention and perhaps more funding. You might argue, that it could be a test-case before deployment, but it is not research.

I could propose another "research". The conclusion would be that AI is capable of answering simple coding questions, but fails when more complex programming questions are asked.

Linux for older phones postmarketOS changes its init system


The reasoning is bizar. KDE runs fine on Slackware. No systemd required.

It's that most wonderful time of the year when tech cannot handle the date


Re: Don't people test edge cases any more? [Time Libraries: The Next Problem]

I'd think the Brits would remember 1752 better,

Staff say Dell's return to office mandate is a stealth layoff, especially for women


Up to 2020, everyone worked in the office. That was normal. So, working in the office is not some wild idea that Dell suddenly proposed. People did it before and will do it after COVID.

It is also not new that Dell wants workers in the office. Stopping WFH-allowances last year was also not the first indication. Dell is and has always been keen on getting people in the office. I think it is a bit naive to think that that would suddenly change.

That being said, it is quite ironic that Dell makes quite a lot of money from people working from home. Their website offers "Remote Worker Solutions", "Work from home services" and proposes to "Accelerate employees’ productivity and collaboration from home with Dell Work from Home Solutions." Next time you speak to a Dell-salesman, ask about these solutions, and ask if they are using them too.

India to make its digital currency programmable


The scary bit is not that CBDC can be programmed or earmarked to be used for a specific purpose. That will only hamper its adoption. The scary bit is, that even when the CBDC was not created with that programmability, it can easily be bolted-on later.

This is something to keep in mind when you read the EU draft regulation; "The CBDC “shall not be programmable,” the text added, following concerns that giving the ability to control how given funds are used could limit the freely usable nature of fiat currency. Basically, it means for the time being, the CBDC will not be programmable.

Programmable or 'purpose-bound' money is coming, probably as a feature in central bank digital currencies


The problem is more or less a terminology problem. We, and central banks too, talk about CBDC as if it were money. With purpose-bound CBDC, it is not money, it is a voucher. Nobody expects to be able to buy food for a book voucher.

EU lawmakers scolded for concealing identities of privacy-busting content-scanning 'experts'


Unfortunately, techniques like LOCKS already exist. LOCKS (Locally Operated Cooperative Key Sharing) shares the session keys with a "trusted agent" via a modified NSS library. It is feasible that that "trusted agent" would be your favorite governmental body.

I can see different approaches how to subvert this system, from sending encrypted files to posing as trusted agent. But the fact that this is actively being developed worries me.


Re: Stupid see, stupid do

Everybody knows that the earth is round. Like a pizza.

APNIC close to completing delegation of its final /8 IPv4 block


"The IPv4 address space uses 32-bit numbering .... "

It is sad that even on the Register it is deemed necessary to explain this difference between IPv4 and IPv6.

That being said, I recently switched ISP and now I no longer have direct IPv6 access to the Internet. The problem is, that many ISPs still do not provide IPv6. And why should a company that already has IPv4 addresses invest in a technology that only a small part of its customers can use and costs a lot to switch? Only if all ISPs offer IPv6 and many ISPs use CGNAT there is a slight chance that some companies might consider investing in IPv6.

Unity CEO 'retires' in the wake of fee fiasco


Re: Promise

Obligatory XKCD: https://xkcd.com/463/

IDC: AI is a solution for a PC industry with a sales problem


“While uses cases have yet to be fully articulated, interest in the category is already strong. AI PCs promise organizations the ability to personalize the user experience at a deeper level all while being able to preserve data privacy and sovereignty.”

Although I'n not a native speaker, I always thought that my English was quite sufficient. But this to me is just a string of marketing terminology generated by a BS-generator. Other than "no-one knows what to do with it", I see no meaning of theses words.

Not even the ghost of obsolescence can coerce users onto Windows 11


Re: So0rry, Linux still is nowhere near ready to replace windows.

If you want a 'real' PDP, look at https://pdp2011.sytse.net/wordpress/pdp-11/

IT needs more brains, so why is it being such a zombie about getting them?


The problem is, that most exams and certifications have become about memorizing specific things. That is not useful.

When I was young (grandpa speaking...) you learned the basic principles and had an exam about whether or not you were able to apply then. You learned about differential equitations, and on the exam, you proved that you were able to solve a problem. Of course, Chatgpt is able to solve the kind of sums that we had on the exams. That does not prove that the exam is broken. When we learned about computers, we learned about binary calculation, basics of information theory, the basic idea of networking, differences between SNA and TCP/IP and that kind of stuff. And yes, the exams we had could also be done by ChatGPT.

We learned the principles and how to apply them.

Nowadays, you do not learn the principles anymore. You learn lists or fixed procedures. And then, an exam is just testing if you learned the lists or are able to apply the fixed procedures. I've done CISSP, and that was the exam: learn a book from beginning to end and you'll pass. MSCE, CCNA, RHCSA: learn the book and you'll pass, even without understanding. Here, we call these exams "American style".

It's not the exams that are the problem, it is the education for the exams.

Maker of Chrome extension with 300,000+ users tells of constant pressure to sell out


Re: "Our focus is on user privacy"

Our focus is on privacy. Users should not have any privacy, so our focus is the privacy that they still seem to have and we will do our best to limit that privacy, or take it away completely.

Soft-reboot in systemd 254 sounds a lot like Windows' Fast Startup


Re: Once again

Initscripts are mostly static. Systemd unit files however seem to require a lot of attention.


Ah, you have never used Windows. With every small configuration change Windows will need to reboot. See the similarities with systemd?

Biden urged to completely cripple AI chips to China


I marvel at the idea to "cripple AI chips". Does the US export only chips with an AIQ (artificial IQ) below 60? Do we force the chips to use artificial marijuana?

Are there any AI chips? no. There are NVIDIA chips that are used for AI. Sure, NVIDIA and INTEL can create GPU's with lower memory and bandwidth. And the US can stop export of the high performance GPUs.

It may seem nitpicking, especially on El Reg. But the problem is that Biden cum suis do have a view on AI that does not differ too much from the joking remarks I made above. And that is scary.

India Big four outsourcers all have people problems


Re: Pay cuts and no hires?

The Indian outsourcing companies were very popular because they were very cheap. Partly because of cheap labour in India, partly because of tax reasons her in the west (in the Netherlands, 30% of the income of foreigners used to be tax-exempt for 8 years). Good programmers from India are no longer as cheap as they used to be. Tax benefits are diminishing. So, the profit of the big companies are down.

Together with the observation that IT personnel that knows the environment can do a better and quicker job than remote personnel that just execute tickets, I'd say that things will get worse in India.

Chinese company claims it's built batteries so dense they can power electric airplanes


Re: Sodium ion?

I saw a documentary once, where people were used as a power supply for a large computer called the Matrix.

America: AI artwork is not authored by humans, so can't be protected by copyright


A bit different...

The story that the US Copyright Office tells feels a bit different from what I read in the article:

"In her application, Ms. Kashtanova listed the author of the Work as “Kristina Kashtanova” and stated that she had created a “[c]omic book.” The application did not disclose that she used artificial intelligence to create any part of the Work, nor did she disclaim any portion of the Work"

"Shortly after registering the Work, the Office became aware of statements on social media attributed to Ms. Kashtanova that she had created the comic book using Midjourney artificial intelligence. Because the application had not disclosed the use of artificial intelligence, the Office determined that the application was incorrect, or at a minimum, substantively incomplete. "

In other words: the application by Ms. Kashtanova was a bit misleading.

The discussion about the use of AI also refers back to the discussion of photography:

"[...] if photography was a “merely mechanical” process, “with no place for novelty, invention or originality” by the human photographer, then in such case a copyright is no protection."

So, if you want to copyright an AI-novel, you must show that there is some novelty, invention or originality. At the moment, AI is seen as a merely mechanical process.

Tesla's self-driving code may ignore stop signs, act unsafe. Patch coming ... soon


Re: Recall is right..


Patch: we've found something wrong or just plain unsafe in the product and we need to fix it quickly.

No-one talks about recall Tuesday.

Learn the art of malicious compliance: doing exactly what you were asked, even when it's wrong


Re: This is not

I usually ask: "Could you confirm this via mail?"

This gives them a chance to rethink their initial response (happens around 25% of the time) and covers my ass when things go wrong.

McDonald's pulls plug on Wi-Fi, starts playing classical music to soothe yobs


Sorry. I do not see how paying Ludwig Von will prevent the ultra-violence. Maybe stop serving milk?

Tech CEO nixes AI lawyer stunt after being threatened with jail time


Re: Today’s discussion topic

Most lawyers are just a shiny bullshit generators, nothing more, nothing less. Their output looks good but you would be foolish to trust anything in it that resembles a fact.


IBM top brass accused again of using mainframes to prop up Watson, cloud sales


Re: z-Mainframe-z RULE!

As Watson said: "I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."

(Thomas Watson, not the "AI" project)

Native Americans urge Apache Software Foundation to ditch name


Re: What of all the towns and cities named after Native American tribes?

Theft is the taking of another person's personal property with the intent of depriving that person of the use of their property.

No-one that infringes on your copyright intents you to deprive you of the use of that image. Copyright infringement is therefore not stealing.

It is not taking money away from you. You never had the money, so it cannot be taken away from you. If they had decided not to use the image, because it's licensed, you would not get the money anyway.

If you see someone driving through a red light, you would not call it "speeding". So please stop calling "copyright infringement" "stealing".

Cleaner ignored 'do not use tap' sign, destroyed phone systems ... and the entire building


Re: Water and IT

At a company where I worked, they had a Tandem non-stop computer in the basement. Due to a leakage, the system was knee-deep in water before someone noticed. Tandem computers advised us, that this was not within specs and did not fall under the non-stop guarantee. However, the system did not stop. Afterwards, some components had to be replaced, but even with the flood, up-time was 1000%.

Microsoft patent eyes ads in streaming online games


We're talking about "personalization options that would provide a richer gaming experience".

What does that even mean, a richer gaming experience? The experience that you feel so rich that you can buy this object that is advertised?

If I am "below a threshold interaction count", my screen-saver kicks in. Is Microsoft saying they're going to play adds on the screensaver? Or, if I'm in a game waiting for a monster that will come around the corner, will I get adds for peace-loving objects that prevent me from shooting the monster at exactly the right time?

Or is it a matter of feeding you so many adds that you either give-up or buy a f-ing sibscription?

Corporate execs: Get back, get back, to the office where you once belonged


C-suite interfacing with the rest of the company

What I found is that the C-suite has little or no connection with what workers do. They don't get any feedback, because middle management in larger companies in general only report back success stories. In the past, the C-suite sometimes walked by to see rooms full of underlings behind keyboards, and they then saw that work was being done. There was a correlation between what hey saw and what was being reported. Also, they could shout orders to their underlings.

Now, they don't see work being done. They do not understand it anymore. Also, their underlings are not always there to be commanded at will. Furthermore, workers seem less and less impressed by the orders that come down the chain of command. This is partly, because, at home, workers can spend some time working on/solving a problem without all sorts of meetings or ceremonies. And partly because, at the moment, the labour market is in their favour. And, to be honest, also because workers realise how little the C-suite actually does.

So the C-suite longs back to the good old days, when they were respected, when workers slavishly battered they keyboards.

Or am I too cynical here?

Killing trees with lasers isn’t cool, says Epson. So why are inkjets any better?


Re: Photographers

When I upload my photographs to the local printshop or drugstore kiosk, I get prints within 15 minutes against a price that is comparable to what Epson claims for their photo prints. Minus the clogged print heads, the need to keep photo paper and so on. No, a laser is not a photo printer, but, unless you very regularly print, the inkjet is not a serious alternative.

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened


Re: Don't forget mischief

I once saw a fence around a building site. The fence had a red button with a sign "Do NOT press this button". Around the corner was the display of the counter how many times the button was pressed. It was over 10 000 when I walked by.

Europe wants Airbnb and pals to cough up rental property logs


The business model for Airbnb is to circumvent the laws and rules. There were already many sites for renting holiday homes, but those sites needed to comply with local laws. In fact: there is seldom additional law or regulation required. So the regulation in most counties only states explicitly that Airbnb and the landlords also need to obey the law.

NFT vending machine appears in London


'McDonaugh said they're "looking at a couple of bars" in the search for a permanent home."

Well, with the quantity that Brits drink, that could be a viable option.

Government IT provider UKCloud goes into liquidation


Benefits of the Clouds

I remeber vagely a story about a cloud-connected fridge where the Cloud has gone off-line. And also about a thermostat and about an AEG microwave with an hot-air oven update. Sure, that were different kind of clouds, but is there a more accurate list of cloud providers (general computing, storage, IoT) that are now off line?

Loathsome eighties ladder-climber levelled by a custom DOS prompt


It is a distorted quote. What mr. Gates really said was:

"I have to say that in 1981, making those decisions, I felt like I was providing enough freedom for 10 years. That is, a move from 64 K to 640 K felt like something that would last a great deal of time."

Not quite the same, but he really thought that 640K should have been enough (at least for a great deal of time).

Fixing an upside-down USB plug: A case of supporting the insupportable


Re: Wrong RAM

You mean ram the upgrade in the computer instead of upgrade the RAM in the computer?