* Posts by bronskimac

47 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Jul 2019

Screwdrivers: is there anything they can't do badly? Maybe not


Low profile case full size card

Low profile case, full size card. Being too impatient to wait for a new suitable case, a drill, saw and pliers were employed. Nice hole in the case and the PC working with its shiny new card :) Not a business PC, I'm not that much of a monster.

UK Surface owners can now take misbehaving laptops to Currys



Based on my knowledge of Currys technical competence, I think I'd rather give my four year old nephew a spoon and aim him at the giga-tablet.

UK's National Cyber Security Centre entry code cracks up critics


You refer to Tweets as Xeets now. I prefer "eXcretes", it conveys much of the content of X these days.

UK finance minister promises NHS £3.4B IT investment to unlock £35B savings


I remember how successful previous NHS IT efforts have been. £10 billion wasted on one that was finally cancelled. https://www.theguardian.com/society/2013/sep/18/nhs-records-system-10bn

Microsoft: Copyright law didn't stop the VCR and shouldn't stop the LLM


The VCR analogy is spurious, although it does draw attention to the fact that they appear to be duplicating and distributing copyright material without legal authority. Perhaps a better argument in their defence would be that of "derivative works", based on, but substantially different from, the original article. The difference is the part where it gets tricky and ultimately may come to a jury or judge deciding if it is sufficient. Presumably publishers of newspapers, novels and media can implement licencing terms on their website content prohibiting future use in training models? Not a solution for those already ripped off by the LLM models, of course.

Nokia brainwave turns cell towers into cash cows with backup batteries


Perhaps applicable to new installations or upgrades where extra battery capacity can be built in. I'm sure the bean counters will have paired battery capacity to a minimum in existing installations.

Moving to Windows 11 is so easy! You just need to buy a PC that supports it!


LOL! StartAllBack saved my sanity.

Chrome engine devs experiment with automatic browser micropayments


For the entire internet, nah. But to replace subscription models, yeh.

I can imagine many abuse scenarios for an internet wide scheme. However, as a replacement/alternative to subscriptions, it is something I've long believed would be desirable. There are some paywalled news sites where I have wanted to read the odd article but am unwilling/unable to justify a subscription, micropayments per article would be great.

Attempts to demolish guardrails in AI image generators blamed for lewd Taylor Swift deepfakes


Pornographic fakes of celebrities have been around for years. It is hardly surprising new tools have been turned to the task. AI deepfakes videos of celebs have also been circulating for many years, but hardly raised a blip in the media. Must be an election year...

Copilot coming to Windows 10 to help navigate the OS's twilight years


Plan to slow Windows 10?

Maybe they think they can overburden older computers to slow them down and make people upgrade? I have a nice, fast computer with a cracking graphics card, but Windows 11 doesn't like my processor. Looks like I'll finally make the jump to Linux in 2025.

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


Hanging on as long as possible.

I have a fast PC with a great graphics card. Windows artificial hardware block means I can't upgrade to 11. Having used 11 on another machine I find it horrible, even after several registry hacks to make it more palatable, it is still a pain in the butt. So I'll be hanging on to 10 as long as possible. I may finally start to search for Linux alternatives to the two Windows based apps that consider essential.

Astronaut-menacing sunstorm spotted rippling across inner solar system


observed from Earth, Moon, and Mars simultaneously, really?

As light takes approximately 4 and a half minutes longer to reach Mars than it does to reach the Earth, "simultaneously" might be a bit of a stretch.

Bing AI feels like ChatGPT stuffed into a suit – not the future


BingBot Alpha

Definitely not ready for mainstream. Feels like an alpha release.

InSight Mars lander has only 'few weeks' of power left



How the hell did they not build in a mechanism to clear the dust off the panels? Dusty planet with strong winds, yer gonna get dust on your photovoltaics. A simple brush with a windscreen wiper motor would have done it. Yes, it would add weight and cost more, but a powerless lander is worth as much as a brick.

California legalizes digital license plates for all vehicles



I understand some states require you to renew your plates at intervals, but it's hardly a daily hassle. Handy if you want to display a false number, I guess.

California to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2035


So no hydrogen then?

Hydrogen powered vehicles do emit water, so a flat zero emissions rule excludes a valuable green alternative. Either a glitch in the reporting or someone in California is confused about the meaning of the word emissions.

Anti-piracy messaging may just encourage more piracy


Gross overestimates don't help either

Rights holders count every illegally acquired item as depriving them the value of a sale. Many file sharers would not have bought the files if they had to pay full price, so it may be an offence, but it may not be a lost sale,

Apple's latest security feature could literally save lives


Nokia 3310

So they're turning an iPhone into a Nokia 3310. Maybe just buy a Nokia and save a grand or more?

Israel plans ‘Cyber-Dome’ to defeat digital attacks from Iran and others


China Great Firewall 2.0

I wonder what legitimate sites they will be blocking?

Lawmakers launch bill to break up tech giants' ad dominance


Ted Cruz putting his name to something that isn't right wing batshit crazy!

Legacy IT to blame for UK's inflexible benefits system



I say again, utter gigantic hairy BOLLOX! If it's COBOL, which wouldn't surprise me, give me a manual (it's been a few decades since I used the Devil's own programming language) and a few days to dig around, and I'll fix it.

Procurement guy at Apple allegedly ripped off iPhone giant in $10m+ scam


I agree with DS999, it seems that, so often, miscreants simply don't know to quit while they are ahead. Surely one or two million is enough? Yet they keep at it until they are caught. Personally, I'll stop at around a million ;)

Amazon, Visa strike global truce on credit card charges


Great, bigger charges for the little guy

I already pay higher charges than big turnover companies. Looking forward to my charges going up to compensate for Amazon's sweetheart deal.

International police shut down 15 server infrastructures as part of VPNLab.net's takedown


Are all VPNs on the hit list?

It could be argued that any VPN enables criminals to operate safely. Are they going to close them all down?

Not only MSPs: All cloudy firms are in line for UK security law crackdown


It took to the third paragraph for me to figure out that it wasn't Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSPs) being singled out.

Booting up: Footballers kick off GDPR case for 'misuse' of their performance data


Taken to its logical conclusion, this means reporting of their goals, or any professional sports person's performance, would require their permission and possibly payment for the privilege. Live commentary would be impossible unless the permission of everyone playing, all officials and, very possibly, the crowd watching, was obtained in advance. The death of professional sport, if you can't show it or report on it, why would anyone put any money into it? Personally I'd quite like for sport to disappear from our screens and newspapers, but it might upset a few folk ;)

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and the BBC stage a very British coup to rescue our data from Facebook and friends


Not going to happen

Great idea, but it's not going to get the support of the lawmakers. Global businesses like Facebook and Google will, 1. Lobby like hell against it and, 2, threaten to withdraw their immense corporate sponsorship of politician and their parties. Especially in the UK where the government have declared war on data protection post Brexit.

Google emits Chrome 94 with 'Idle Detection' API to detect user inactivity amid opposition


The last straw

I've not been happy with Chrome's privacy/snooping for a long time. I finally deleted it last night when I read about "Idle Detection". If there are Chrome features/extensions you simply cannot live without, then Comodo Dragon is a Chromium based browser that doesn't tell tales to Google.

LA cops told to harvest social media handles from people they stop, suspect or not


Fourth Ammendment?

If only they protected their fourth amendment rights as strenuously as some other amendments. Unreasonable searches and seizures by the government.

Amazon Game Studios to its own devs: All your codebase doesn't belong to us


Bloody Hell! So it's not just warehouse staff that they treat like slaves. If I knock up a shed in my back garden, are Amazon going to call dibs on that too? I guess it show that you really do need to read the contract before you sign it.

Taxpayers foot the bill: HMRC signs up Cognizant for £150m low-code, automation project


I hope their foray into "low-code" goes better than Government's recent history with agile methodology. The NAO report in a few years should be entertaining reading.

Palantir abandons any attempt at curating nice-guy image with 'Global Information Dominance Experiments'


Just cut to the chase, you're building Skynet aren't you?

Without a trace: Baroness Dido Harding to step down as chair of NHS Improvement


I would apply, but I've not donated to the Tories, married a Tory, slept with a Tory, I didn't go to a private school, and I'm not a banker.

Apple is about to start scanning iPhone users' devices for banned content, professor warns


Fourth Amendment?

I'm pretty sure the US courts would view this as a breach of the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America. There needs to be "probable cause" to carry out any search. I don't see "You've got a phone" without any other evidence, as probable cause to search it. "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized."

Of course in the UK our Members of Parliament (MPs) will love it and rush through any changes to legislation needed to make it happen, whilst continuing to exclude themselves from any such searches.

8 years ago another billionaire ploughed millions into space to harvest solar power and beam it back down to Earth


What could possibly go wrong?

Verified: UK.gov launching plans for yet another digital identity scheme


Got to keep the gravy train rolling

Serco or Crapita for the megabuck contract?

Nominet claims effort to replace its board with 'safe hands' is invalid, refuses to put it to member vote


Gravy train heading for the buffers

It seams that people become so accustomed to acting with impunity and feathering their own nests that they come to think that it is normal and their right. The Trump reference fits perfectly.

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral


Brilliant student let loose with SQL

I had a student working for our small web design business. Despite a strict instruction to keep SQL queries simple, so I could understand them, he created a monster that spawned a gigantic and ever growing temporary table from a surprisingly small dataset. It took me far longer than it should have to figure out why our server kept falling over.

.uk registry operator Nominet responds to renewed criticism – by silencing its critics


Problem is that the big domain companies have the biggest share of the votes and they are happy with the way Nominet is run to their advantage. Even if the vast majority of the members try to make any changes the big few can always outvote them.

Apple commits to support human rights - 'We believe in the critical importance of an open society'*


Re: Place your bets...

Doesn't make it right.

NHS Digital sets aside £800m of taxpayers' pork to inject a bit of Agile development into its 'ongoing live services'


Agile development?

Didn't their last big foray into Agile development go tits up spectacularly? Someone is going to get rich.

NHS tests COVID-19 contact-tracing app that may actually work properly – EU neighbors lent a helping hand


Added bells and whistles? They haven't learned have they? So if the contact tracking part works but one of the add-ons doesn't, I imagine that may delay the release of the app. They should have built the basic app or better still bought a working one, tested and released before adding any shiny bits.

Who's got the WD-40? Owners of Motorola's rebooted Razr whinge about creaky hinge


Re: People just want to complain

Is it faulty though? It performs it's functions perfectly as far as I can see. I don't remember any of the publicity material saying it doesn't squeak :)


When flip phones came out, way back in the twentieth century, we loved the whole Star Trek communicator thing but now, really? Sounds like some kind of ratchet thing going on. People are happy to pay inflated prices to have the latest and "greatest" I'll stick to my Huawei midrange. last year's model, great value and it rarely squeaks.

Your mobile network broke the law by selling location data and may be fined millions... or maybe not, shrugs FCC


Surely at some point the politicians are going to do something about that man? My bad, that would upset their donors/owners.

Creative cloudy types still making it rain cash for Adobe


I switched to Coral for photo and video editing. Thee months worth of Adobe subscription paid for them outright.

FCC boosts broadband competition by, er, banning broadband competition in buildings


The FCC are a very bad joke. Fox in charge of the chicken coop comes to mind. FCC - For Corporate Corpulence.