* Posts by ITMA

791 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Aug 2019


US Air Force says AI-controlled F-16 fighter jet has been dogfighting with humans

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Re: One step closer

The only winning move is not to play...

Microsoft claims it didn't mean to inject Copilot into Windows Server 2022 this week

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Oops, we accidentally made most of your emails appear to vanish by forcing out and turning on "Focussed Inbox" and not even telling you how it decides what is "focussed" and what is "other".

Oops, we accidentally changed a shit of of settings in Windows from how you had set them to how we want them - such as "seach" in the task bar - because we want to force more shit on you.

Oops, we accidentally made Outlook open links in emails using Edge and not the default browser you had chosen because we want to ram Edge down your throat.

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I've a better one.

I'm with John Humphreis of the BBC (slightly paraphrased): "Why are these lying bastards lying to me?"

Devaluing content created by AI is lazy and ignores history

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"One of the biggest issues in the NHS is that most doctors have no idea how well their diagnoses and treatments work..."

I would disagree.

The biggest issues with the NHS stem from politicians - their constant fiddling, inteference, "reforms", "reorgansations" etc etc etc.

How much of the precious NHS budget is wasted on that crap?

Whistleblower cries foul over alleged fuselage gaps in Boeing 787 Dreamliner

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Re: "We are fully confident in the 787 Dreamliner"

Who do Boeing think they are? The Post Office?

"We are confident that Horizon is reliable and robust" LOL

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The pic used for the item

In cast anyone was wondering, this is (I believe) the aircraft which had the "bloody nose":


18th June 2021


Why making pretend people with AGI is a waste of energy

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Re: Artificial bowel intelligence

"A conversation is easy and natural for humans (not a challenge)"

With the exception where one of the humans is a politician.

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Re: Two men say they are Jesus. One of them must be wrong.

"The test of truth is an experiment."

Unless it involves photons and slits.... Then it just gets really confusing...

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Re: The sad fact is ...

"It's all about power, dominance (and money, obviously). It may also be about a profound sense of insecurity."

You had to bring religion into it.... LOL

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Most peoples' (and businesses) use of the word "hologram" is nothing like a real hologram. So I don't hold much hope out for "robot".

Hyundai picks Palantir to help it build automated navy ships

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Ladies and gentlemen.

I present unto you the standard Russian (was Soviet) fishing trawler. Packed with all the latest covert spy equipment and (I wouldn't be surprised) armed to the teeth with rather more than a wet haddock.

Fancy building a replacement for Post Office's disastrous Horizon system?

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Re: EPOS - not Tesco

Could be worse - you could have ended up in prison for having the nerve to complain...

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Re: New Bidder

Nope - wrong sort of Kray


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Re: EPOS - not Tesco

Please remove unrecognised postage from the bagging area....

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New Bidder

I hear that the Krays are going to bid for this.

After all they have all the right skills - "thugs in suits" :)

Do they have the internet in Broadmoor?

Post Office slapped down for late disclosure of documents in Horizon scandal inquiry

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Re: The Most Reverend Vennels

"Some effing Christian spirit!"

At the risk of taking flak, organised religion has rarely been about "love, kindness" etc. It has traditionally been about domination and control and the destruction of anyone who's views differ from the doctrine.

Ye olde "You are either one of us - or you're a heritic and the Devil's own spawn and should burn in hel. Where's the firewood and stake?"

Which seems to fit what appears to be coming out as the Post Office's attitude to anyone who dared question the infailibility of the god Horizon.

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Re: Why is Paula Vennells still walking the streets?

"<taxi-driver-daily-heil-mode>String them up! </taxi-driver-daily-heil-mode>"

The Post Office sells string...

Microsoft unbundling Teams is to appease regulators, not give customers a better deal

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Re: total frustration with teams


But without more specifics on EXACTLY what happens when they try "to get into" Teams, it is all just speculation.

"If Teams cannot deal with or clearly explain what needs to be done, Teams is at fault."

I've dealt with lots of software, much of which is NOT Microsoft's, where error handling/fault recovery is utterly dire.

One of the biggest bugbears I've had with Teams is Microsoft's inability to make, what should be, a simple thing like "sign out" work properly.

I mean, how hard can it be to make "sign out" work properly?

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Re: Don't just consider the cost savings...

As Throatwarbler said - name them....

Put your money where your mouth is, nail your colours to the mast, which ever experssion you like, but name them, with costs.

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Re: total frustration with teams

Ever thought that there is bascially just something wrong with your account which needs fixing?

We use it all the time for both internal and international client meetings.

I wouldn't say it is "wonderful", but it certainy works.

As others have said, it has it own oddities but then what doesn't. They all have them.

We don't need a "chat" app. We mainly just need video conferencing with the ability to share documents/presentations on the screen - not the document files themselves.

And for that, it does a reasonable job without having to shell out yet more money to yet another supplier.

The integration with the rest of MS Office is ok.

Intel throws chips on the table, Microsoft plays the Copilot card in wild bet on AI PCs

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Re: Kill it with fire

Microsoft, being well Microsoft, will just wait a little while then force it on anyway.

I've uninstalled it from five of my machines and last night up popped CoPilot on one!!!! WTF!!!!

Just like having set search on the taskbar to be an icon on the taskbar, Microshaft changed it back! AGGGHHHH!!! Eff off Microsoft.

I'm not enrolled in any preview stuff so why are they forcing it on my effing computers? Surely this should be covered under the Computer Misuse Act?

Do not touch that computer. Not even while wearing gloves. It is a biohazard

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Re: Taking the piss?

They are not called PeeSees for nothing...

Cloud server host Vultr rips user data licensing clause from ToS amid web 'confusion'

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Re: The problem is all or nothing "agreements"

Ah, you are clearly thinking of further monitisation (to the benefit of the prostitute or his/her "managing agent") of the "user participation event" though streaming of said event, are you not?

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

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We recently did some tests to assess the use of offline generative AI in a particular application.

We gave it specific prompts asking various model to summarise a particular patent.

Twice we got the "reasonable" response aloong the lines of "I can't do that as I don't what that patent says" - remembering that this is "offline" so nothing can get back onto the internet for privacy reasons.

The rest of the time (the vast majority of it) they literally made it up as they went along. We got summaries of multiple different patents which had NOTING to do with the one we specified.

Artificial Intelligence? More like Artificial Imagination.

For the most part they churned out pure fiction.

It looked really credible and convincing - but still utter shite.

Windows Format dialog waited decades for UI revamp that never came

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Re: Easy to use, direct and no fuss

Ye olde phrase "If it ain't broke, don't fix it"....

Way too many of the changes in Windows fall into that category.

And many of the rest fall into that other infamous category "We need to justify our jobs, quick change something to make us look busy/productive"

Microsoft gets new Windows boss as Start Menu man Parakhin 'to explore new roles'

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Re: Exploring New Roles.....

I think the relevant "management speak" is:

Heading up a new task force, of which they are the only member, the objective of which is to find a new job.

Nominet to restructure, slash jobs after losing 'major deal'

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More than a passing resemblance to the great RBS fiasco of (stripped of the Sir) Fred "the shred" Goodwin.


When he left Clydesdale Bank to join RBS they threw a leaving party for him - after he had gone to celebrate the fact he'd f***ed off.

Everything driven by greed to get their bonuses no matter what and to ensure their remuniration is geared to making fat bonuse no matter how bad or, in the case of RBS catestrophic, the decisions.

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Re: I don't remember learning this in economics!

Which is, if I recall, very similar to what happened at GEC Marconi.

New bunch of suits at the top who wanted to do "exciting things" to justify their salaries to the "markets" and ended up virtually driving the company into the ground.

They also burned through an mountain of cash.


What's brown and sticky and broke this PC?

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Re: Keyboard jammed

And they didn't even offer you one.... Greedy sods!

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Re: Off topic

The thick "sticky brown" coating of nicotine on the keyboard of the management accountant at a previous place of work was bad enough. That was when smoking in the workplace was still common.

A full hazmat suit was needed anytime I needed to go and see him.

Microsoft hits Inflection point, peels off top personnel to form AI division

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Re: Is this in any way related to the brief Sam Altman side project?

Definitely prehistory modified decades ago as it was environmentally unsound.

It had to follow the overriding principle for camping "leave nothing behind other than your thanks and best wishes" - so burying burnt tin cans was a no no.

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Re: Is this in any way related to the brief Sam Altman side project?

Ye olde.... If you can't beat them, buy them then bury them.

Virgin Media sets up 'smart poles' next to cabinets to boost mobile network capacity

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Is it just me, or does their "smart pole" looked pissed?

Microsoft promises Copilot will be a 'moneymaker' in the long term

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Re: users quoted in the WSJ want it to be their financial analyst. "And it's going to disappoint"

Not to mention...

Employee "Here's the work you asked me to do boss".

Boss "Ah good. Did you use AI much?"

Employee "Yep. It was really good and did most of it! Saved me hours".

Boss "Then what the effing hell am I paying you for? Your fired!"

Forget TikTok – Chinese spies want to steal IP by backdooring digital locks

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Re: Too much tech?


There is a very interesting related snippet in the excellent BBC series "Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution".

A guy who was one of the SS guards dealing with the currency the SS stole from those sent there, described an incident when a SS officer was sent to investigate alleged theft by the aforementioned SS guards. That is theft of their ill gotten gains by SS guards instead of sending it all on to Germany.

All their lockers had padlocks on and had been sealed until they had been inspected. When they needed to get in to one locker to remove "contraband" without alerting the investigating office, they just took the back of the (wooden) locker off.

Qualcomm unveils Snapdragon 8s Gen 3 with Eye-of-Sauron camera

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Re: Hmm

Almost as big as the market of the "neuron free".

Trying out Microsoft's pre-release OS/2 2.0

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Re: Pints' on me Brian

Am I the only one who remembers OS/2 as "Oh Shit 2"?

Reddit wants to raise $748M with IPO, sets value at $6.4B... and it has yet to turn a profit

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Re: Is there anyone in El Reg land

You've lost your marbles, haven't you... Go on, admit it ;)

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Re: Comparison

"That would be without the lunatic moderators .."

You had to bring up Elon, didn't you... LOL

What's going on with Eos, Nvidia's incredible shrinking supercomputer?

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Re: Cos nobody gives a flying fsck

No no no no...

Can it run SPACE INVADERS!!!


Drowning in code: The ever-growing problem of ever-growing codebases

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Re: “Everybody and their dog is coding”

Words of wisdom there.

For a long time I've always cringed at expressions like "learn to code", "we need more coders". NO!

What we need are proper programmers and software developers.

Coding, to be little pedantic, is that one single stage of translating the well thought out and designed SOLUTION into the language(s) to feed into the computer via a compiler (or interpreter). That is it. That is ALL it is. One step in a whole chain of steps.

HP's CEO spells it out: You're a 'bad investment' if you don't buy HP supplies

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Re: HP Toner

"LED printers are basically a dead technology at the low end"

How is LED a dead technology?

The fundamental printing process is identical to laser, except the opto-mechanical laser scanning system is replaced by a solid state (no moving parts) LED array.

Just because some manufacturers appear to build down to a price point at which, fundamentally, it is shit quality doesn't mean the technology (LED) is dead. It means they are making, and you are buying cheap shit that just doesn't work.

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Re: You can embed viruses into cartridges

"They might even stop your printer working unless you pay a ransom."

HP's CEO is not wrong in that statement.

However, it needs clarifying by stating that the ransomware criminals are in fact HP themselves by holding your printer to ransom and refusing to let you use YOUR PROPERTY if you don't buy their cartridges.

Someone at HP needs to be prosecuted and go to prison for that. Ideally their CEO.

Tech support done bad sure makes it hard to do tech support good

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You call that stress for a trading floor support market data feed issue lasting "several hours"?

When I did trading floor/dealer support for the London branch of an Italian merchant bank, the main "qualification" needed to do the job was the ability to get to the end of each day without:

a. Having a total nervous breakdown from the "customer attitude" and demands.

b. Having "lost it" with one or more of the traders and turned the area into a veritable blood soaked buchter's yard of dismemberred body parts and internal organs.

c. Having no access at all to firearms and other weapons including implements sharper than a spoon. The tempatation to come to work the next day and use them would be just too great.

Any technical issue which negatively affected dealers' ability to trade (and thus make money) you knew about in under 5 seconds from the very loud shouting/screaming/very foul language verbal abuse whch would be directed at IT.

Anything lasting several hours and they would have been swinging from the ceilings while chewing up their custom build "dealer desks" while threatening to lynch whoever in IT was on duty.

The cost of the market data feeds themselves were aboslutely eye watering. Not because they contained any "private" data.

Most of of the data was publicly available free. The free stuff was, however, typically 10-20 minutes old which for a trading floor was prehistoric. You even had different "levels" of data feed, the main differential between each level being how "up to date" it was. The closer to real time it became, the more digits you added on to the monthly cost of that feed.

Doom is 30, and so is Windows NT. How far we haven't come

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Re: many many moons ago

We just re-christened Quake Death Match as our prescribed "network stressing tool".

It was more fun when two of us in the IT office didn't tell the 3rd guy we were running the Bombs add-on. LOL

NASA engineers scratch heads as Voyager 1 starts spouting cosmic gibberish

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Re: They would design it for small updates

When only 9 days from Pluto the NASA New Horizons mission suffered a "computer glitch" which caused it to switch from the primary to the backup computer system.

They also lost contact for what seemed an excrutiating length of time.

When back in contact they found what had happened and that all the careful programming for the Pluto encounter, done over a considerable length of time, had been lost in the switch over.

So with less than 9 days to go the New Horizons mission team had to rebuild and upload the whole thing again - which they did successfully.

The one absolute hard rule in deep space exploration - the planets do NOT wait.



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Re: Excelent design - aliens must be proud

"Seriously though, the whole thing is going to be still severely limited and won't be based on modern systems."

In case you hadn't realised, the hardware designs of spacecraft, especially deep space ones, is frozen many many months if not YEARS before it is launched and end up "on mission".

So of course it will be "out of date".

"We can do all of that stuff now - better and more reliable than before"

We could do it all back in the 60's when the Voyagers' design was started. As for "better and more reliable" - show me ANYTHING today which has been working without having to be physically repaired or touched for 45+ YEARS and still working

The fact these 60's technology spacecraft have is utterly remarkable.

Bank's datacenter died after travelling back in time to 1970

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Re: Yearly tasks....

Virtually all intruder alarm "siren/strobe" units (or "bell boxes" as they used to be known) use a "hold off" voltage from the main control panel to stop them sounding.

If the hold-off voltage disappears for any reason - such the alarm being triggered, the cabe being cut etc - the siren and strobe would start going.

So buy an off the shelf siren/strob unit, power it off a 12V main adaptor (which will keep its internal backup battery going) and have the clock unit battery act as the "hold off" voltage.

Battery dies, the siren/strobe starts going (and no doubt sevel people will need a change of underwear especially if very close to them and you don't tell them what it is for).

It is that or use the same "hold off" principle to have voltage from the clock battery stop a relay contact from closing - if the battery fails, the relay contacts close and connect mains voltage to some bugger's chair.

Or you could be boring and just run the clock off the mains with a battery backup.

Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished

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Re: Pardon?

VCRs??? VHS tapes???

Where have you been?

It is all DVRs and NVRs and PoE IP networked cameras.