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.
32 posts • joined 13 Sep 2019
"mortgage brokers are another bunch of parasites who's entire industry should have been replaced by a database by now."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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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'?
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)
"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.
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.
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.
Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government
Re: [Rant alert]
Nice way to ignore the facts Cederic. The second strongest indicator that someone would vote leave was being concerned about immigration.
73% of those who are worried about immigration voted Leave, compared with 36% of those who did not identify this as a concern. https://www.bsa.natcen.ac.uk/media/39149/bsa34_brexit_final.pdf
The first indicator is of course education. Unsurprisingly the well educated realise that leaving a mutually beneficial trade agreement that has consistently improved workers rights and defended minorities, not to mention making another war in Europe seem unlikely, is not ideal. Also, putting more power in the hands of people who went to Eton is a really bad idea for 99% of us. Ages 35-54 81% of people with a degree voted remain.
Mozilla has chosen Cloudflare as its default DoH provider but makes it really easy to set your own. According to Wikipedia: "The Do Not Track header was originally proposed in 2009, Mozilla Firefox became the first browser to implement the feature". I do remember Google stating that they would not honour the "do not track" flag (even after they added it to Chrome) because "users don't really know what they are asking for". I also seem to recall that the Tor project chose Firefox as it's go-to browser. Also, lest we forget, Mozilla is a not-for-profit organisation. I'm not saying that they have never taken a misstep. I know they take money to make Google their default search provider but that is what most people want and they make it as easy as they can to change that. Personally I think the world is a better place for Mozilla existing.
Re: "wary of creating two classes of GitLab employee with different levels of access to systems."
I've never worked for a company where everyone has equal access to customer data. The way I read this article everyone working for Gitlab can read every line of code stored in its systems. Might need to increase my usage of git-crypt.
Thing that impressed me was about three weeks ago I discovered Dark Mode in Windows 10. After I switched it on, the home page of DuckDuckGo put itself into Dark Mode. The only website I have seen that did that. Nice touch I thought, although I use Startpage.com as my primary search and DuckDuckGo as secondary (it's better for Image searches).
I wrote an internal help-desk system once that manglement decided to name Problem Management System, which was fine in the UK head office but whenever I mentioned it to the US office they would just start sniggering. Then one day they explained that it was the same as naming something PMT in the UK. Although to be honest the system performance made the name quite apt.
Same company went through a lengthy process of renaming a product we sell to PET, which was an acronym. After months of discussions and marketing material being produced it was finally release to the European sales offices. At that point the French office pointed out that 'pet' in French means 'fart', so all the marketing material had to be scrapped.
Re: Roku now makes more from "platform", which is mostly advertising, than player revenue
Normally I agree with everything A Man from Mars says (that I understand) but not this time. A laptop plugged into a dumb TV gives so many more options for audiovisual vibrancy and televisual wakefulness than any of those devices that Mage is isolating himself from.
trr.mode 2 is the default and also does not enable DoH in Firefox at the moment. At least that is my experience. If I leave it set it to 2 (by just clicking to enable DoH in the normal settings) and then browse a bit and then check about:networking, all of the trr results are false. When set to 3 the results are all true and I can browse the pirate bay at home or at work. I'm not sure what trr.mode 2 is supposed to do but it doesn't do it for me.
This doesn't just affect government snoops, it's also employers. My company uses Cisco Umbrella to protect me from gambling and porn and streaming video. When I enabled this in Firefox that 'protection' instantly disappeared. On the downside though, for obvious reasons, this kills internal DNS. Anyone working in support might want to prepare for a few tickets regarding intranet addresses being unreachable.
All's well that ends well?
The charitable donation seems like a nice touch. I'm not sure if it completely makes up for the whole mess but it does seem contrite. For some reason it is the fact they took authorship of Vargo's code, however briefly, that really bothers me. Seems to speak to the character of Chef and not in a good way.
Free life-long education for everyone. Let's kill the notion that education ends when you get your first job. Barry is losing his driving job because of self-driving trucks but he can't fulfil his burning ambition to become a social-media marketing executive. He just can't risk putting his family tens of thousands of pounds in debt at such an uncertain time. Barry ends up in a McJob and the world is deprived of his idea for getting 'influencers' to take vows of silence to advertise Abbot Ale.
Re: to project graphics onto the road surface ahead
I have many times wanted to message other drivers on the road (beyond sign language). Every time I think about it I quickly realise what a terrible idea it would be. The message I want to display most is the question "who are you overtaking?" to cars sat in the middle lane. If a car has the ability to project images onto the road how long will it be until it is 'upgraded' by a driver to display custom messages. I would say 'this won't end well' but I can't see it ever being legal, at least in the UK.
I think you're exactly right. I thought one of the 'due diligence' clauses might be that the client must take regular backups - that way the insurance company can just tell their customer to restore their backup and they will pay the $500 costs the customer incurs doing that (minus the $500 deductible/excess). If the customer hasn't got a recent backup then the claim is rejected.
Might not be such a terrible thing - the insurance company gets paid and the customer is highly motivated to take regular backups.
I agree with Trollslayer - I have my issues with Paypal but not having to type in my credit card details into a site that doesn't follow best practice is a winner every time. Also, in the past websites have saved my card details without asking and I only find out next time I visit - they can't do that with Paypal.