* Posts by Bendacious

65 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2019

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Neuralink patient masters mind-mouse maneuvers – if Musk is to be believed

Bendacious

Re: "a troubling lack of transparency"

"Well, it's His Muskiness. What do you expect ?"

From Phoney Stark I expect:

• Claims that the technology will be in the shops in 6 months.

• The technology will be named "Auto Telekinesis" but if the user isn't in full control at all times it fatally crashes.

• He will Xeet ridiculous hyperbole, then Xeet that the company has been over-hyped, crashing the stock price.

• External oversight and criticism will be treated as a personal attack, prompting public meltdowns, empty threats of fisticuffs and teams of high-priced lawyers attacking non-profits.

• Claims that Buddhists are pushing the "Earth is a globe" agenda, followed by a trip to meet the Dalai Lama.

Chunks of deorbiting ESA satellite are expected to reach the ground

Bendacious

Cash in

Have you been injured by a falling satellite that wasn’t your fault? Our lawyers are standing by to take no more than 90% of your payout from ESA. Whiplash injuries caused by looking up at the sky whenever there is a loud noise may be covered.

ALPHV blackmails Canadian pipeline after 'stealing 190GB of vital info'

Bendacious

Re: Curious...

How can huge social media companies, or companies storing very private data (23andme), not notice credential stuffing attacks? That’s probably easier to spot than large amounts of data leaving your network but you have to be watching for it. Until companies are made to pay for obvious security failures, they will only add basic monitoring after a successful attack. My employer invested the time and money to enable 2FA for domain access two weeks after ransomware destroyed our network. Prior to that it was too expensive and inconvenient. If there were financial penalties (or even CEO jail time - never happen) for poor security then maybe every IT department would have a security professional (who is invited to project meetings and listened to).

Farewell, Aeolus: Doomed ESA weather sat reenters atmosphere over Antarctica

Bendacious

Re: Surely ALL satellites...

Additional fuel, or mechanisms, for end-of-life arrangements adds weight and cost to satellites. Most aerospace engineers will have read Douglas Adams, meaning that they understand how Someone Else’s Problem fields work. Just chuck the machines up there and then it’s someone else’s problem, making them invisible and hopefully unable to ‘interact’ with active satellites, or astronauts. Science! (well Capitalism! but close enough).

When it comes to working from home, Register readers are bucking national trends

Bendacious

Problems in the future?

I run a small team of developers for a mid-sized ISV. Before COVID, working from home was a rare treat - mostly unattainable. My director hated people working from home and did his best to prevent it. Then came COVID and everyone worked from home for 6 months and productivity remained the same, or increased in some areas. Suddenly the director needed a good reason to get people back into the office and he couldn't think of one. It turns out that his main reason was so that he could survey his empire from his giant glass office doors. He also loved to wander around and tell terrible jokes, which people felt required to laugh at. That's mostly gone now - he does force hybrid working on his PA and a few others but the rest of us are essentially 5 days a week at home.

This is so perfect for me. For the first time I'm not ecstatic every Friday afternoon and depressed every Sunday evening. I only ever lose productivity from interacting with colleagues and I get enough social activity outside work. My introvert team of young developers all state a preference for it also. They have the option to visit the office whenever they like but choose not to. I don't think that is necessarily good for recent graduates. I see problems for young people who have only ever known working from home. They don't really understand the culture/structure/direction of the company. They aren't forced to learn how to deal with Tudor, who clips his toe nails at his desk, or the manager from the other department who thinks he can get them to work on his pet project ahead of time. They don't overhear the gossip, technical or personal. One member of my team, after two years in the job, is not known by any member of senior management. Great for not be asked to do extra work for another division, terrible for being seen as a rising star.

I hated working in the office full time but it taught me a lot about people and organisations and definitely helped me progress my career. I wouldn't ever go back to the office but I do worry that twenty-somethings are missing something. I hope that the world will develop a way for young people, who work from home, to get the benefits that working in an office gave without suffering the drudgery and Tudors of office life.

The literal Rolls-Royce of EVs is recalled over fire risk

Bendacious

Re: 400 volts through the chassis

You sound like you know a lot more than me about this. Your reply doesn't really tally with this article though. A cable connecting the motor to the chassis is carrying enough current to set fire to adhesive. If that happens then it can cause a short-circuit, implying that this is the normal flow of current. This article strongly implies that this cable is not only used in the case of a fault. I should probably do some more research.

Bendacious

400 volts through the chassis

It never occurred to me that electric vehicles would continue to use the chassis as ground, just like my petrol car does with its puny 12 volts. I’m sure this will be fine in a few years with old EV cars with rusty chassis and stripped wire insulation. No doubt clever people have added safety features. I wonder how the average mechanic will approach an aging EV that might be putting 400 volts through bare metal - carefully I expect. I’m no expert on circuits so I’m probably missing something obvious but I am slightly worried. Maybe when I have to go EV I won’t run 10-year-old cars any more.

Microsoft Edge ignores user wishes, slurps tabs from Chrome without permission

Bendacious

Seems like this data slurping only happens if you have previous chosen to sync Edge with another browser. I'm not saying there is any excuse for this behaviour, just that people anal enough to read every pop-up (like myself) might avoid this. If you chose not to sync when you first launched Edge (sorry, when Windows first launched Edge) and have never manually chosen to sync since then, then this 'slurp on start-up' isn't enabled. At least that's how it looks, who can tell what's going on in the background. I refuse to tell Edge what my Microsoft account is, so I can't check what would be stored in the cloud, for my convenience.

I use Edge for the Google apps my company makes me use and Chrome for the Microsoft apps and Firefox for my browsing. I like to think this helps reduce tracking but that's probably wishful thinking. The more steps you take to avoid being tracked the more unique your browser fingerprint becomes. I'm not ready to give up trying though.

We put salt in our tea so you don't have to

Bendacious

Builder’s tea

The most shocking thing about this to me was the survey at the end. It implied that “builder’s tea” doesn’t have sugar in it and adding sugar makes it “babies tea”. Clearly the author has never had a builder in their house. Builder’s tea is very strong with so much sugar the spoon stands up. Tut.

US judge rejects spyware slinger NSO's attempt to bin Apple lawsuit

Bendacious

Apple spokesperson speak to The Register

Sorry this is off topic - please skip to the better researched and worded comments.

Nice article and everything but this passage stopped me in my tracks: "Apple, meanwhile, took the win, and a spokesperson told The Register that this lawsuit is just one of the ways the iGiant is fighting back against spyware vendors."

Apple has removed The Register from it's PR blocklist? A news organisation that doesn't only write glowing reports of Apple kit is allowed to hear from their spokesperson. Is the world maturing? I'm going to miss all those final snarky lines in articles "We approached Apple for a comment and will update the article if we hear back". End of a strange pathetic era?

Major IT outage at Europe's largest caravan and RV club makes for not-so-happy campers

Bendacious

Re: What does CAMC run on

I had a lot of exposure to the CC as a child which shaped me as the hotel-loving man I became. I'm not at all surprised their websites are a shit-show. They are bizarrely securing thecaravanclub.com and thecaravanclub.co.uk with an SSL certificate for caravanclub.co.uk, which is not going to work. What really boggles my mind is that the main site (caravanclub.co.uk) only accepts HTTP/1.0 connections and thecaravanclub.com only accepts HTTP/1.1. HTTP/1.0 was superseded in 1997. There are some website performance problems where you could theoretically get better throughput by downgrading the HTTP level but only if you take the first available fix regardless of the side-effects. They can't be running a website on IIS6.0, surely. Please tell me that's not true. Self-inflicted wounds anyone?

Fujitsu gets $1B market cap haircut after TV disaster drama airs

Bendacious

Re: If government contracts with Fujitsu

"The Post Office has no special authority to bring private prosecutions but instead pursued cases against its staff using its own investigation branch under the "general right in English law for any individuals and organisations to pursue private prosecutions", said the Financial Times.

However, the Post Office and Royal Mail are believed to be the earliest known formal investigations and prosecutors in the world. The Post Office Investigation Branch has employed investigators and lawyers for over 300 years. The Post Office is still wholly owned by the UK government and has plenty of 'soft power' in the legal system. It regularly has joint investigations with law enforcement bodies that do have the statutory powers. It has been given access to the Police National Computer and has the authority to authorise surveillance.

For the prosecutions of the post masters it seems like the Post Office used plenty of special powers for prosecution but without the checks and balances an official law enforcement organisation would have. Hopefully some of the mud will stick this time and they will lose their special status.

IBM overhauls rewards program for staff inventions, wipes away cash points

Bendacious

Re: Why why oh why

You’ll find that your employment contract states that any idea you have while working for IBM belongs to them. Perhaps not exactly those words but that’s the meaning. If there is any way to prove (or it’s very likely) that the initial effort and ideas behind your new business occurred while working for IBM, then their lawyers will take your business and possibly more. Unless of course you have an idea for a new type of ice cream and IBM are not getting into the ice cream business this quarter. I’ve worked with people stupid enough to ask their employer if it is okay to work on their big idea outside of employed hours. The answer is always no and if you are salaried then there is no “outside of employed hours” when it comes to valuable IP. Take the crumbs that IBM drop for you, or leave and wait a good while before starting your company.

The 'nothing-happened' Y2K bug – how the IT industry worked overtime to save world's computers

Bendacious

Re: Yeah but…

I was paid £1000 to remotely cover helpdesk for a large financial company that night. There were no calls. The following week it was discovered that an Excel spreadsheet the payroll team used had stopped working but that was the only fallout and it was an easy fix. In this case it was due to careful planning and spending the previous year checking every line of code and updating the database date field lengths. The company spent a lot of money on that project but it worked and what choice did they have? How would investors react to failures when the government warned you about them years before in large public notices.

Personally I regret taking the shift, as it was a lot of money for me back then but I was unable to party as though it were 1999, when it was.

Avoiding AI-capable PCs will be impossible by 2027

Bendacious

Training models on the PC?

In my limited experience of machine learning, nearly all of the processing power is required to train the model on a huge data-set. Once that is done then a decent PC is fine to run the model. If the intention is to train new models on the PC, then each PC will need a ridiculous amount of power that will be unused almost all the time. Also, where is the huge data-set coming from and where is it being stored and will its contents be available to each PC user? I suppose this is where the "missing use-case" comes in. Maybe some form of tweaking models based on data generated on and local to the PC. Can't really picture how this benefits anyone myself but I don't work in PC sales so my imagination is limited.

I'm glad that I always build my own PCs and only pay for the bits I need. That won't save my employer from this madness though (for those few 'power users' that successfully argue that they couldn't possibly work on a virtual desktop).

UK PM promises faster justice for Post Office Horizon victims

Bendacious

Re: The possibilities are infinite

It's one thing to have bugs in your software - there are always bugs. It's another thing entirely to testify in court that it doesn't when you know that it does, which it appears some Fujitsu engineers did. Some court cases involved Fujitsu engineers as witnesses long after they must/should have known about the issues. If no one from the post office executive team and no one from Fujitsu does time in prison over this then justice has failed miserably.

Cloud engineer wreaks havoc on bank network after getting fired

Bendacious

Appropriate sentence?

Two years in prison for inconveniencing an IT department and lying about the theft of a laptop. I'm not sure that's appropriate. I don't know the criminal history of this person. I also understand that the US has a love affair with locking up its population - it is a very cheap source of labour after all. The academic research about deterrence seems to fall on deaf ears.

I looked up the median sentencing for California and cherrypicked some figures to prop up my argument (https://www.ussc.gov/research/data-reports/geography/2021-federal-sentencing-statistics)

Burglary/Trespass 14 months

Commercialized Vice 11 months

Extortion/Racketeering 15 months

Fraud/Theft/Embezzlement 12 months

Obscenity/Other Sex Offences 18 months

Stalking/Harassing 18 months

Personally I would prefer to see this person have to do months and years of volunteer work and force him to work on his massive sense of entitlement. Then in two year's time he might be a better neighbour than he will be after two years inside.

Also, I agree with other comments that the bank shares some blame for allowing this. I work for a small non-financial company and if you plug a memory stick into a company laptop it will display a message saying it was blocked.

Share your 2024 tech forecasts (wrong answers only) to win a terrible sweater

Bendacious

Bieber vs Usyk

Due to declining interest in professional athletes with human sized egos, the 2024 Paris Summer Olympics features only influencer events. The Mr Beast - Prize Giveaway Javelin Catch was gratuitous but gripping. The Hop, Step and Trump was difficult to watch. The Dwayne Johnson / Elon Musk cage fight was over way too quickly - broke the internet, literally.

Microsoft calls time on ancient TLS in Windows, breaking own stuff in the process

Bendacious

IISCrypto in Best Practice mode leaves TLS1.0 and TLS1.1 protocols switched on. Both Server and Client protocols.

Outdated client protocols being used between internal servers is not a problem. This is just another unsubtle nudge from Microsoft to get the chequebook out. If it was really security they are concerned about, then they would add TLS 1.3 to Server 2016.

Google 'wiretapped' tax websites with visitor traffic trackers, lawsuit claims

Bendacious

Re: The Register uses Google Analytics among other tools to keep track of readership size

When the ICO fairly quickly decided that 'soft opt-in' to marketing is fine, I lost all faith in them. GDPR says 'informed consent' to marketing. ICO says 'well you did buy a widget from them'. Take a look at ICOs published advice on CC-TV - "yes your neighbour's Ring doorbell pointed at your driveway is illegal - no we won't help you with that'.

Chinese drone-maker DJI denies aiding Russia's Ukraine invasion

Bendacious

The illegal invasion of Ukraine

I am enjoying the partisanship of this article. Mainly because I am not on Putin's side. Does anyone remember Hitler's illegal invasion of Poland? or the UK's illegal invasion of Iraq? I'm not trying to make a political point, I just find the term "illegal invasion" funny, in the context of a war. That soldier illegally shot me. That tank illegally rolled over my pumpkins. Not to say that Putin is not a war criminal, of course he is. I'm not holding my breath to see him in The Hague. I just think the article author is trying too hard. I'm only picking on that phrase though, as I enjoyed the article as a whole.

Kremlin names the internet giants it will kidnap the Russian staff of if they don't play ball in future

Bendacious

Re: Making the world a better place?

It's not a good idea to judge the people of a country by their leaders, even in cases where the leaders were elected by those people. Personally my shambling, immoral, opportunist leader won a landslide election victory in 2019 with 33% of the population voting for him, after a year or two of constant negative press about his main opponent. If we prevent the people of China and Russia from reading Stephen Fry's tweets, how are we any better than their leaders?

Centre for Computing History apologises to customers for 'embarrassing' breach

Bendacious

Re: a unique email address

I do the same thing. Cue odd silences on the phone when I give WaterCompany@mydomain.com, which then receives emails from a boiler maintenance company. ebay@mydomain.com is the busiest, they give that away like GDPR was a promise on the side of a bus.

UK government bows to pressure, agrees to delay NHS Digital grabbing the data of England's GP patients

Bendacious

Accidental naming coincidence

Is this deliberately named GPDPR to make people think it protects their privacy like a similarly named law? I'm thinking it probably is. When there was a very successful campaign named "National Living Wage", which pressured the government to bump up the Minimum Wage to something people can live on, the government responded by renaming the minimum wage to the National Living Wage. Which would presumably kill the campaign's Google ranking and sow confusion.

Protip: If Joe Public reports that your kit is broken, maybe check that it is actually broken

Bendacious

Re: "Either that, or they fib and say "of course I have, I'm not stupid"."

A Gorm is a small amphibian creature native to the UK, which come from a marshy area outside London known as Codswallop. A Brit will place the Gorm in their mouth (known as the gorm's 'gaff'), after which the owner of the mouth can be said to have been gobsmacked. The gorm lives in the mouth (an action known as skiving) and passes sensory information to its host, known as waffle. A bad gorm may pass smarmy waffle. Accidentally swallowing a gorm makes you gutted, often giving you the lurgy and you will be skew-whiff until you can source another gorm through a professional minger or general monger. I hope that makes everything tickety-boo.

Indian government says 5G doesn’t cause COVID-19. Also points out India has no 5G networks

Bendacious

pipe dream

Damaging conspiracies are a lot harder to challenge if you've lost all integrity by silencing critics, or using barefaced lies as a political tool. There's plenty of evidence that my leaders don't act in my best interests but that chap on youtube seems genuinely concerned about my wellbeing. Until we can organise good science and critical thinking education for everyone maybe politicians could hold off on the shady behaviour.

Ransomware crooks who broke into Merseyrail used director's email address to brag about it – report

Bendacious

Just me or does the phrase "leveraged tools such as PowerShell to compromise its victims" sound a bit odd. Bit like saying "they used operating system commands to make the computer do things". I did try to make this not sound snarky but I failed.

UK government gives Automated Lane Keeping Systems the green light for use on motorways

Bendacious

Naysayer

Personally I don't think fully autonomous vehicles will ever cope with crowded city driving in the UK. They might have a chance in a city with a grid layout, or when every road has helpful beacons every few metres but I'm not confident. When a bus breaks down during rush hour and you have to risk poking the nose of your car out into the opposite lane, so you can see oncoming traffic, what would an AI make of that. Do I want an algorithm taking that risk with my life?

If autonomous vehicles reduced deaths on the road by 90%, that remaining 10% have families who know that a computer killed their loved ones. Can they jail the algorithm for dangerous driving? I don't trust this government but they might be right that 'smart' motorways are safer but it doesn't matter. Each accident, due to the lack of a hard shoulder, is heavily publicised in the media and the court of public opinion have ruled them dangerous and unwanted. Every minor incident with a self-driving car will be front page news.

I love technology but I don't want a self-driving car. I like driving and I can't put the lives of me and my passengers in the hands of a computer (even Notepad crashes sometimes). I don't even want an automatic gearbox, like the majority of people in the UK (UK 60% manual, US 3% stick). I will be upset when there is no longer any manual gearbox cars for sale but I'll probably suck it up. I'll never buy, or ride in, a car without a steering wheel. I do see that a driverless car would be life-changing for disabled or infirm people though

They say it won't be long until a hacker actually kills someone. That seems a lot more likely if we sit in computers moving at 70.

Microsoft rolls out mask detection to Azure Cognitive Services. And yes, there is a noseAndMouthCovered attribute

Bendacious

Great massdebate

"Handy to know regardless of which side of the great mask debate the operator sits on." Tiny bit confused what this 'great mask debate' that you refer to is. Unless it's the one that goes on in my head about whether to verbally abuse the people I see wearing them below their noses in supermarkets. Wearing a mask protects other people from what you choose to expel from your nose and mouth. I don't suppose my mask protects me much, especially with my beard pushing it away from my face but the point is to protect others and if we all protect other people we all win. No debate to be had. Although there might be a debate about what to call the weird circular shapes my beard ends up with after wearing a mask for a while. Hat-hair on my face would be mask-beard I suppose but mask-face sounds better.

testing masks the Uncle Rob way https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x6cTDGqcUpA

Get off my lawn: UK.Gov looks to reform land access laws for network operators weeks after PAC savages full-fibre gigabit targets for 2025

Bendacious

Not in my back yard unless youtube is buffering

So the UK government is right at this moment pushing for trespass to become a criminal offence, rather than a civil one and positing the idea that telecoms providers can march onto your land if the mood takes them. I love the way a public school education can erase the negative effects of cognitive dissonance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/strengthening-police-powers-to-tackle-unauthorised-encampments

For every disastrous rebrand, there is an IT person trying to steer away from the precipice

Bendacious

Working for a mainframe software company I am often confronted by the word Dump, used without even a smirk. It's perfect sensible, that's what happens when a mainframe program gets too full of crap, it produces a dump. Sadly no one managed to convince the owner not to choose a product name featuring that word. It's Marketing I feel sorry for (which is something I have never said before) when they always lose first place on Google to the urban dictionary.

Post Office burned £100m in UK taxpayer cash on Horizon IT scandal legal fees, MPs told

Bendacious

Hopefully by the end of the many court cases against sub-postmasters the PO management and Fujitsu expert witnesses were committing provable perjury because they must have realised by then that Horizon was not reliable yet continued testifying that it was. No doubt the bottomless pit of legal defence fund will ensure no PO manager or Fujitsu employee is punished but we can always hope. There's certainly plenty of public interest in seeing them brought to justice. Maybe a 'rogue' Fujitsu engineer will be found responsible. Like those rogue Volkswagen engineers who cheated the emission tests.

Don't use natwest.co.uk for online banking, Natwest bank tells baffled customer

Bendacious

"mortgage brokers are another bunch of parasites who's entire industry should have been replaced by a database by now."

Sort of. Many 10's of companies existed in the UK in 2008 employing rooms full of Mortgage Advisors whose job was to extract maximum profit from the client by pretending to have access to secret deals with the actual mortgage providers. They could swiftly get you a 125% mortgage no questions asked that would sit like a yoke around your neck for the rest of your life. Those companies don't exist any more.

Every mortgage I've started (2) and every mortgage transfer I have done after the fixed period (3) has been done online off the back of my own research (quick look on a couple of comparison sites). That method has saved me a lot of money over speaking to an advisor. That said my mother, my sister, my 25yo niece for flips sake would feel extremely vulnerable making that decision without the Lloyds or HSBC advisor walking them though it in branch. They will accept the 3% interest rather than the 2% I pay for 'peace of mind'.

Lloyds stopped paying sales commission to their mortgage advisors a few years ago and offer no other incentive to sell, beyond not getting shouted at by managers. So Lloyds mortgage advisors aren't parasites, they are just marginally costly human Valium for technophobes.

Astroboffins agog after spotting the first repeating fast radio burst that pings every 16 days from another galaxy

Bendacious

Not silent, deadliness yet to be determined

Fascinating stuff but I can't be the only one saddened that the science world settled on FRB, rather than the much more evocative FRT (Fast Radio Transient). A few years ago there was a lot of talk of noisy Frts being detected out there but I suppose the same people who carefully pronounce ur-an-us put a stop to that. How are we going to get young people (and immature adults, such as myself) interesting in astrophysics if we strip all toilet humour from the subject?

Ring of fired: Amazon axes multiple workers who secretly snooped on netizens' surveillance camera footage

Bendacious

Re: Why did they do it?

El Reg previously explained partly why they need a feed of your video to the mothership. They provide access to the video feeds to the police and the police act as sales staff encouraging everyone to buy one. The evil brilliance is quite impressive, if you forget about ethics.

Dixons fined £500,000 by ICO for crap security that exposed 5.6 million customers' payment cards

Bendacious

I asked them last year to delete any personal data they held on me, after hearing about the breach of their customer data. They have decided that to perform a GDPR deletion request I have to write a letter to their head office including ID. I have to give them more personal data to get my data deleted. They were happy for me to prove my identity with an email address when buying from them. It's legal for them to make me jump through these hoops but it's clearly done to make the process as painful as possible.

'No BS' web host Gandi lives up to half of its motto... Some customer data wiped out in storage server meltdown

Bendacious

It could happen to any other web host, who have also never tested their Disaster Recovery plan. I've worked for companies who never test their backups because no one wants that job and it's time consuming but for a web host to do that I'd consider a serious failure of duty. Personally the SQL servers I'm responsible for tell me that their daily backups are verified but I don't trust them and do test restores at least a couple of times a year. The current company I work (just a typical technology SME) does a full cut-over to a mirrored DR site for essential services twice a year. Except for Exchange, which is apparently too complicated, or the Exchange team are lazy, so we are trusting the untested DR plan for email when the meteor hits the server room but at least we don't provide email services to customers.

What a boar! Wild pigs snort and snuffle €20k worth of marching powder stashed in Tuscan forest

Bendacious

Re: This Land is Your Land

Outside any topic being discussed here but I just wanted to say that I absolutely love that URL. "industries/farms-fishing-forestry/agriculture/land-management/health-pests-weeds-diseases/pests/invasive-animals/restricted/feral-pig" I so wish any of my websites was that well organised. It is a thing of beauty. Well done business.qld.gov.au

Bendacious

Re: This Land is Your Land

An unbroken series of random events between the big bang and now led to the genesis of life on Earth and the evolution of boars and humans. Humans should try to tolerate animals living alongside them, including large disruptive mammals because the loss of animal diversity could have serious consequences for us. Even if it doesn't, it seems morally right that wild animals should be allowed to exist.

If tsoHost is lecturing us on sleep hygiene, Brit outfit really does have hosting back to front

Bendacious

SJW partypooper

As an IT guy I was always happy to use terms like Blacklist and Whitelist and my hard drives run in a Master / Slave configuration. What a straightforward and clear way of describing things. A few years ago my desk neighbour was a mixed-race lady who used to visibly wince every time I used the term 'blacklist' within range of her hearing. That puzzled me for a while because I was describing bad things as being black and good things as being white but not in terms of people, that would be wrong and illogical. I live in a world of logic where words do not have connotations beyond unfeeling bits and bytes and hardware configuration. Sadly my wildly emotionally colleague (technical authors live out loud) used to be visibly upset by my language, reading things into words that I never intended. I never got up the courage to actually talk to her about it. What I did do though was to stop using those terms and instead said stupid things like "blocklist" and "allowlist", much to the amusement of the head of operations who used to repeat back to me "awowist, what's an awowist? Is that a buddhist that is very happy?" But Stuart is an idiot (all Stuarts are idiots, sue me). I don't have a desk next to that lady any more but I'm happy to report that I didn't make her wince for a little over 18 months, if we ignore fast-food-Friday, which is a weekly moratorium on food smells and highly recommended for the morale of any office. I know I am on thin ice here and 'blacklist' is not in any way a reference to black people but if there are people who's lives make them sensitive to such a use of the word 'black', then surely 'blocklist' or something better is not that much effort. Although, some of my favourite people are 'block'ed from facebook, so I'd suggest "Stuartlist".

50 years ago, someone decided it would be OK to fire Apollo 12 through a rain cloud. Awks, or just 'SCE to Aux'?

Bendacious
Joke

Cryogenics

"A leak... meant [NASA had to] retank the cryogenics".

As we all know cryogenics are just chemicals that are liquid at very low temperatures. They have unremarkable uses aboard a space vehicle. It's a coincidence that this was three years after Walt Disney died.

I've had it with these motherflipping eggs on this motherflipping train

Bendacious

It's not funny in this situation because it's just a wrong use of the phrase. As a Gen Xer myself I have no problem with it being applied to people of my age or even younger, if it is used correctly. If someone is trivialising the genuine concerns of millennials or Gen Z, then it's fine to say "OK Boomer". Baby boomers are now famous for being blasé about messing up the world for future generations, sucking up all the money because of macro-economic trends, rather than any efforts they put in and ruining the environment. If someone calls a younger person a snowflake because they are complaining that they belong to the first generation to be worse off than their parents since forever, then that young person is within their rights to respond "OK Boomer". If a forty year old tells a thirty year old to stop whinging about paying 70% of their income out as rent, then "OK Boomer" is a fair response. Here it has been used as a synonym for "OK Granddad", insinuating that a person is older than their years because of a tendency to complain excessively, which is just wrong.

Don't trust the Trusted Platform Module – it may leak your VPN server's private key (depending on your configuration)

Bendacious

Boffins

"Boffins from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute and University of California, San Diego, in the US, and the University of Lübeck in Germany". These men and women are doing valuable, difficult, extremely boring work and they deserve respect. This must be weeks and months of grinding away at work that is difficult in terms of the maths and physics and mind-boggling in terms of the amount of trial and error that must be involved. I'm glad that these people exist and that someone pays their tiny academic salary.

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

Bendacious

Bulletproof

The saddening, maddening, thing is that none of this matters. The number of active Facebook users and the share price will carry on climbing. This is probably a bug but if it turns out to be a deliberate choice for Facebook to watch and listen to everything happening around a user's phone, even to people nearby who do not use Facebook then it will be business as usual. Only doomsday preppers or the odd one in the unlit corner of the IT department will notice or care. 2.45 billion monthly active users as of September 2019. An 8 percent increase year-on-year. We can quibble over the word 'free' but they offer a quite amazing free service to people who don't realise all those services are available elsewhere with minimal effort. Minimal effort being an insurmountable hurdle for most people. Why bother, it's right there? Since the WWW came along I've seen a few companies attempt to capture it and brand it as their own. Anyone remember the AOL browser that gave you everything you'd ever need, sanitised and monetised? It was fun watching MSN fail to be The Internet. For billions of people Facebook is The Internet. They provide the messaging, the news, the games, the recipes, the porn. Wikipedia comes to them through Facebook. I've seen recently a few people say that what happened to Myspace can happen to Facebook but I've lost faith in that. I think it's here to stay and here to be The Internet for most Internet users. I suspect our only hope is legislators forgetting who their biggest donor is and who offers them exec-director positions after their political careers and them writing some legislation to make Facebook do the right thing. I for one will be holding my breath until that happens. n.b. charitable donations instead of flowers for the funeral.

237 UK police force staff punished for misusing IT systems in last 2 years

Bendacious

Human nature (we are scum)

A few years ago a colleague of mine was looking to have some building work done on his house. He got quotes from three builders, as is advised. Then my colleague's wife went to work at her job in the local courts and looked up each of the builders on the court computer. Two of them had County Court Judgements pending against them so they went with the third one. My colleague told me this as though it was just a clever use of the resources available. This is why nothing should be in a database accessible to civil servants unless absolutely necessary and access is fully audited and access to data not required for your job is an instant criminal conviction.

I hear they share ISP browsing history records with council employees these days.

Bendacious

Nope - that's available publicly. I can see every crime that's happened on my street or any street on https://www.police.uk/ and that's been the case for many years. No need to access a secure database for that.

Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government

Bendacious

Re: Value added!

I find that baking show quite dynamic and exciting.

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