* Posts by Helcat

193 publicly visible posts • joined 6 Nov 2019


Ex-school IT admin binned student, staff accounts and trashed phone system

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Dontcha love the US court system?

Yup - that's always the fear with these stories: His plea deal could be the result of being bullied into it through threats of 'We've proof it was you, so just go easy on yourself and admit it'.

That approach casts some doubt as to if the person was ever guilty. All it does tell us is they (the police/prosecutors) didn't have a solid case.

Doesn't mean he was innocent - he might have known his goose was cooked and saw the plea deal as his best hope of getting off lightly. But it also raises the spectre of him being innocent and some other actor was behind the mischief - or perhaps it was pure incompetence.

Either way, the best option is always to ensure that the person leaving has had their accounts/access/privileges revoked before they're walked out of the building - best for the employer, and the employee, simply because it helps to protect both - removes temptation from him, and gives him a damn good alibi should something like this happen. Of course, should there be someone else who was planning on such mischief... not revoking his access would give them the perfect scape goat.

US nuke reactor lab hit by 'gay furry hackers' demanding cat-human mutants

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Cat-girls

Darn - Forgot Ace being transformed into a cat-girl with Silvester McCoy as the Doctor. Really need to go back and watch that one again.

New Dr Who has a couple of episodes with the cat-people on Nu Earth - know they were in the story with the Face of Bo when he/it was dying. And with the drivers trapped underground. Really good effects in those ones.

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Not Furries

There's a few varieties of Furry: From the Anthropomorphic Animal to the hybrid human-animal. So cat ears on a human would be 'furry' to some. After all, Miqo'te do have a fan following. Flip side I seem to recall several Dr Who episodes from the newer series with Cat-Nuns and a Cat-taxi driver? So there's some inspiration, right there.

However, the Puma sisters aren't biological cat-girls: They're androids (gynoids). So perhaps get a robotics / cybernetics lab to research developing cat-girl androids might be better if that's the aim.

Google DeepMind's GraphCast AI weather predictor looks fascinating on paper but ...

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Beware of tail risks

I'd argue it also depends on how accurate that 90% improved accuracy actually is.

Is it as accurate as hanging a rock outside the window on a piece of string, or is it as accurate as looking at the sky and deciding 'Red sky at night...'?

I check the BBC and the Met office apps, and they change their predictions pretty much hourly. They also generally don't agree on their forecasts, and both are as likely to be wrong on the day. So how is this AI prediction supposed to be any better? Is it 30% reliable rather than 25%? Is that a 3 day forecast? What about the 7 day and 10 day?

What about on the day? I've had to laugh when the BBC claimed it was raining, the Met Office said heavy cloud cover, and outside the window it was bright sunlight (That was today, btw. It's cold, it's been wet, but this afternoon it wasn't raining (BBC) nor was it cloudy (Met Office), it was mostly clear sky. It's changing right now - can still see blue sky to one side, but clouds are moving in from the other. But still no rain.)

That rock outside is far more accurate than either of them (it's dry, clearly visible and not flying off in the wind!).

UK tribunal agrees with Clearview AI – Brit data regulator has no jurisdiction

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: So the way for the UK Government to spy on its subjects

They already do. And the US outsources spying on its own citizens to other countries in return.

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: The tribunal has just kneecaped UK-GDPR

You're missing a few points:

If the data is obtained in the UK but stored outside of the UK, the entity doing so has to comply with GDPR for keeping the data secure and for its usage (same as with EU data).

If the data was obtained and stored in the UK, it can only be transferred outside of the UK under the same conditions: Must be GDPR compliant.

If the data was obtained from outside the UK - then UK law doesn't apply.

For the latter, I do mean were people have volunteered their data to sites outside the UK. That seems to be what the tribunal referred to when mentioning there was a legitimate reason for non-UK organisations to hold data on UK citizens and that would not be protected by UK law. An example: Data collected by US border control on UK citizens visiting the US. But NHS data collected in the UK is very much protected by GDPR.

Hell no, we won’t pay, says Microsoft as Uncle Sam sends $29B bill for back taxes

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: It is sad it is taking such a massive case

" I know it would never pass"

Not while those who could and should do something to correct this are, themselves, benefitting either directly or indirectly from these loopholes existing.

The only way to fix the tax system is to remove everyone involved in it at the moment, have people who are completely honest move in to rework it without the loopholes, then replace them with administrators who can't change the system, only work with it.

When this happens, we'll have flying pig races rather than horses.

Big Brother is coming to a workplace near you, and the privacy regulator wants a word

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: "or offsite [...]outside work hours.

Yup - it's the same with road laws: Must is a requirement backed by legislation, Should is best practice and could is advice on how to be nice.

And just like road laws, there can be exceptional circumstances where the courts will allow that an action was justified that would otherwise be a breach of the legislation/law. However, much like road laws, there will also be people who think they're the exception and do what they want. Until caught. That's when you find out what teeth the law has.

How to ask Facebook's Meta to not train its AI models on some of your personal info

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: and not to be outdone

Don't you mean 'X'? As in 'has-been'?

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: @imanidiot

That FB collects information on people who are not signed up and agreed to such data collection is a breach of GDPR (April 2018 is when Zuck himself admitted to collecting info on people who didn't have an account, and laughably suggested people can get hold of what info FB holds on them... by going to their FB page and download it).

Wonder how big the next fine will be (largest I've seen so far was $1.3 BILLION).

Helcat Bronze badge

Let me guess: The emphasis is on 'may'.

OpenAI urges court to throw out authors' claims in AI copyright battle

Helcat Bronze badge

I can see an argument that we train students on works without explicit permission, except these tend to be things that are outside of copywrite.

So... if it's important to train AI, why not do the same: Use out of copywrite texts or work intended for education, only. This would avoid the risks of introducing current bias to the AI, and avoid the breaching of copywrite.

Microsoft may store your conversations with Bing if you're not an enterprise user

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Opt-Out

I'd argue this should be a feature you turn on (positive opt-in) so you are making an informed decision to agree with the T&C's.

So opting-out would only be needed if you'd previously decided to try the AI and have now decided it's not worth the time taken to check the results.

However, if they're just hooking up their AI to any and every product they sell... and push it out to everyone via updates... then it needs to be disabled by default and a very clear and separate tab presented where you choose to go and enable else they're potentially in breach of GDPR (if in the EU/UK) and probably quite a few other laws, too.

Hmm... it's MS: They'll push this out and not tell anyone it's on by default and by opening Word or whatever, you've agreed to the updated T&C's, even if you didn't get a pop up warning you of this.

Clingy Virgin Media won't let us leave, customers complain

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: They're probably all a bit like that... BT for example

"BT have a habit of putting people on contracts that they weren't aware of."

And if the customer hasn't signed that contract then it isn't worth the paper it wasn't written on. More so if BT didn't send the customer a copy of the updated contract.

Now, the contract you have signed may include a clause covering renewal and moving a customer to a new contract, but legally they have to notify the customer of this before it happens and include a copy (or link to) the new terms and conditions, and the customer has a right to cancel without penalty if this happens (think it's a two week window - may be a month - would need to check). That then transfers the 'signature' to the new contract, but the consumer rights do still apply.

Google, DeepMind accused of 'stealing the internet' to create Bard AI chatbot

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: This has been done before...


"These days "slavery" has been eliminated"

No. It has not. It's a huge problem, world-wide.


That depends: There is still legal slavery in the West where criminals are forced to work (community service is forcing someone to work to pay off the debt they owe society). But then most people think of Chattel slavery when slavery is mentioned - the owning and trading of slaves. That definitely is a problem, still, but it's also illegal in most countries. Hence the British Navy does still patrol for slavers, but it's not a dedicated fleet - it's just part of the general operational activity of the Navy when in waters where slavers may be operating.

Funnily enough, AI models must follow privacy law – including right to be forgotten

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: 7 Data Protection Principles

Safest approach is to simply not store the personal information in the first place.

Oh, there'd be exceptions: Public figures, in particular politicians. Authors names when in relation to their work. Basically GDPR allows for that kind of data collection. But not Mr Brown and his tweet about how unfair his council tax is. That can be anonymized.

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Question: what about my memory

I'd say it does, but not in regards to his memories, nor even his recollection: It'd apply to how it's used.

Because memories are essentially secure - they're encrypted and are wiped if the storage media is tampered with - the only concern with data collection would be if it's excessive (aka spying on someone, which is dealt with separately in the law).

But writing that information down? That is where GDPR can step in and say 'delete'.

Now have this image of a cyberman called GDPR...

Threads versus Twitter: Shouldn't we be happy the wheels are falling off antisocial social media?

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Trivial to Join (threads)

"it offers benefits if used correctly."

That's a real big IF.

Plus: What do you mean by 'used correctly' because different groups will have their own views as to what that is, including the corporations providing the social media platform in question (FB clearly felt that social experiments on unsuspecting users was fine, and governments clearly feel they're entitled to peddle propaganda targeting other people in other countries, for example)

Oh, great. Yet another tech billionaire thinks he can get microblogging right

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: The Greater of Two Evils

And so is the lesser, which is possibly more important to remember.

The number’s up for 999. And 911. And 000. And 111

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Multiple redundancy

For me: I can't rely on mobile signal around here, so a landline is essential. VoIP is okay, so is wi-fi calling IF it's available and works. Shame it's not as reliable as a hard connection (diggers excluded)

Mummy and Daddy Musk think Elon's cage fight against Zuck is a terrible idea

Helcat Bronze badge

I think they should fight. Pit fight. Or cage fight. Mad Max style. You never know: It might just knock some sense into both of them.

Amazon Prime too easy to join, too hard to quit, says FTC lawsuit

Helcat Bronze badge

That's been my experience, too: Got signed up by 'default', saw what they'd done, cancelled, and got reminder after reminder to resub. It's happened several times, too - they make it very difficult to say 'no', and they don't even try to remember that decision the next time you go to buy something from them.

So it very much does appear that Amazon use deceptive practices to get people on to Prime, and to keep them there, but not always by making it hard to unsubscribe: Sometimes it's simply pester power (make it easier to just maintain the subscription to avoid the nuisance messages/efforts from Amazon).

Currently I am subscribed, but there are some things that come with the subscription I am making use of. As/when that changes... will cancel and see what they try in order to get me to resubscribe - am expecting to find them sign me up for a free trial or make it near impossible to avoid doing so.

Am also looking for a decent alternative - hopefully one where I'm not seeing hundreds of sellers offering the same item (made cheap in China) but claiming that somehow they're different to what the others are selling (identical even down to the pictures, with perhaps some being branded to not quite be the same)

Amazon confirms it locked Microsoft engineer out of his Echo gear over false claim

Helcat Bronze badge

"didn't expect that a misheard phrase would lead to Amazon turning off everything" without proof.

That's the key bit: Someone claimed something was said, but did Amazon have any PROOF that it happened? No. They acted without PROOF and their actions were disproportional without that proof. Hence Amazon were in the wrong, but are they going to compensate the actual 'victim'?

Probably not. Hence this kind of stupid thing NEEDS to lead to a lawsuit.

Out with the old, in with the new – Accenture declares AI is 'mature and delivers value'

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Sources

Yes. So was the information on how AI is 'mature'.

Shame they didn't fact check the AI...

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Thanks El Reg...

One term I'd happily keep is KISS.

Keep It Simple, Stupid! (or variations of that theme).

Be clear, be concise and don't use jargon as it alienates those who don't know that particular brand of garbled nonsense. People who use jargon either know their audience and are confident everyone knows what's being said, OR (most commonly) those who don't know what they're saying but want to sound like they know more than everyone else (or just don't care).

Oh, and the only stupid questions are the one where they already know the answer and are just being a PITA by asking it, or the one that isn't asked when clarification is needed.

Hence: I tend to ask people to repeat what they've just said but use English if they spout gibberish. If they can: Great! And if they refuse: Then what they said wasn't important.

Helcat Bronze badge


It's frustrating if you don't understand what the terms mean in the context they're used. Takes me a moment to remember that it can become habit when we use those terms regularly.

Yes, am a volunteer first responder - so I respond to an incident if I go there but don't need to take action, or attend the incident if I arrive and actually do something. And we talk about incidents as we don't assume what happened was an accident, negligence or deliberate act.

To other folk, I go to an accident and help where I can.

As to being hit by a vehicle: That's because it's not established as to if there was a driver in control. Could be they were... not in control of the vehicle (incapacitated) or not in control (had lost control).

Reporters tend to use the terms they heard rather than translate to more common terms due to a) being lazy, b) not really understanding what's meant and/or c) not wanting to get into trouble by getting the translation wrong.

As for the COP/EOD - am more accustomed to the COB (Close Of Business) or EOD being used (but not together).

Google HR hounds threaten 'next steps' for slackers not coming in 3 days a week

Helcat Bronze badge

Co-worker was in the office for the first time in months the other day. She said she was now feeling nervous about coming into the office as she didn't like being around many people any more. Even just the dozen who were in that day was stressful to her. That's often an overlooked affect of the lockdowns.

For me: Other than one day a week, the office isn't too bad, so I can chill. Today, for example, I'm the only one in (someone has to be here as there are deliveries to take receipt of). For me, it also helps that my commute is 10 minutes (3 miles) by car, if the weather is bad, or 20 mins by bike, or 45 by foot, so I get some exercise. Plus the office is out in woodland, so lovely area to go for that lunch time walk.

Where I used to work: 35 mins minimum and that's a 10 mile commute along usually free flowing duel carriageways. Two really bad spots to navigate, plus living by a school made getting back to the house a nightmare (was really lucky one day - just got into the house when the road outside became blocked so badly no one could move for over half an hour - and even then it was an hour before it had sorted itself out. A right fuster cluck caused by people not thinking about where they were parking, with the main culprits being parked on zig-zag (keep clear) markings and across driveways, meaning there were no places for vehicles to pass).

So these days, I like the office more than being at home when I'm working, partly because there's no real commute for me, and partly because there's a lot more space in the office, in addition to the lunchtime walk :p

Before - I'd have jumped at the chance to work from home, simply so I didn't have to face the commute, and the worry of if I'd get to my house without hassle or if I'd be tackling parent parking and a blocked drive again (and sometimes an occupied drive - those parents really were an entitled bunch).

Deepfakes being used in 'sextortion' scams, FBI warns

Helcat Bronze badge

Unless it's verified, don't believe that it's true.

There's been some very convincing photoshopped pictures over the years: That's been enough to question the validity of anything that isn't verified. And even then: Verified doesn't mean it's real, either. Just that someone has stepped up to say it's real, so you've someone to blame if it's not.

This typo sparked a Microsoft Azure outage

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Oh, really?

Test one: Peer review.

Works fine if the reviewer pays attention rather than skim reads (if that) and gives things a green light.

Then it needs testing. Even a process, or ad-hoc script is first run against a test system to ensure it a) works, b) works as expected and c) you've a roll back that also works where possible. Then the backup before putting something live. That's SOP in most places.

That's the most basic form of tests. However, it doesn't matter what tests you have if people skip them thinking 'what could possibly go wrong'. Now they know.

Dell reneges on remote work promise, tells staff to wear pants at least 3 days a week

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Sure, it's the newbie's fault

There's a story from a machine shop of a new machinist, fresh from Uni, who came in and did things how he'd been trained, ignoring the advice of the more experienced machinists.

So they called over the cleaner and told the new guy that the cleaner could do a better job. The new Machinist scoffed but accepted the challenge... and the cleaner promptly set to work doing the job twice as fast, and far more efficiently than the new guy. Worse, the cleaner had zero failures compared to the new guy's couple.

Humiliated, the new guy accepted he'd got a lot to learn and did so. He did, however, ask why the cleaner wasn't working on the machines rather than sweeping the floor. So the cleaner took the new guy to the entrance and pointed to the pictures on the wall. Pictures of board members. "I started on the shop floor," the cleaner explained. "They I got promoted. I just like to remind myself what it's like down here so I don't loose touch with the workers." Said cleaner was, indeed, the MD.

The moral, obviously, is that many first time employees are ignorant, thinking all they know is all they need to know and have expectations of working life that doesn't meet with the reality of the workplace. How they respond to that reality shows if they'll turn out to be a good worker or not.

Helcat Bronze badge

I'd say many of those being let go are the underperforming staff who might find themselves quickly employed again... then let go equally as quickly. Those that are proving to be productive get rehired and retained, but demand is high and supply is low.

Currently, companies can't afford to keep on staff who aren't very productive, or who aren't really essential. Rather, they're tightening their belts and keeping the core productive staff employed so they can meet targets, fulfill their objectives and keep the business going.

Obviously, upper management / board members are usually excluded from this, normally, but there's been some churn there, too.

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: It's not for everyone...

A quick correction: 'go back to work' should be 'go back into the office'.

For me, I prefer the office. It's a personal preference, but I find it easier to maintain that work/life balance (found I lost track of time when working at home - noticed my co-workers still do, starting when they'd normally leave home to come into the office, and stop when they'd normally get home. Or later...)

FCA mulls listing rules after Hauser blames 'Brexit idiocy' for Arm's New York IPO

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Herman Hauser and his views

The problem was the whole Brexit mess was deliberate. Cameron didn't want Brexit, didn't plan for it, tried to set everything up so it didn't happen, hated that he'd been backed into a corner to hold the referendum, and stated, flatly, that the referendum was a once in a lifetime opportunity.

The problem then was many people who were unsure saw Cameron's ploy as an attempt to hide something he knew the public wouldn't want, hence they voted to leave. Had Cameron left the door open for a possible second referendum at some later, undefined date, then they'd have likely voted to remain.

Europe wants more cities to use datacenter waste heating. How's that going?

Helcat Bronze badge

Ford: 1974 - 1976, beaten by Carter.

Ban on recycling nuclear fuel in the US: 1977

Still currently in effect (from what I could find).

Meanwhile France uses recyclable nuclear fuel in its reactors. Indeed there are many countries that ignored the US and their ban and recycle nuclear fuel.

UK government scraps smart motorway plans, cites high costs and low public confidence

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: The existing ones don't even meet the spec

"And does anyone in the UK other than a few lorries ever use the left lane anyway?"

Yes: I'm one of those who actually learned how to drive properly on a Motorway and still tries to do so. Interestingly I do see people driving properly on the motorways, using the left most lane and... NOT SPEEDING! I know - it's hard to believe, but it's true! Just have to avoid rush hour to witness it is all (then again, during rush hour, it's impossible to speed as you're lucky to hit 20mph so there is that...)

That said: I'm very much aware of people being told to get into the middle lane and stay there by a spouse/parent/other person who doesn't know, or doesn't care, that this is wrong in the UK.

I'm also aware of police who delight in catching such people and fining them. Some do it via overhead cameras, some in person.

However, due to the large number of lorries in the left most lane at most times, there's a view that driving in the left most lane isn't possible because there's no space, so sticking in the second lane (normally the middle) allows for better traffic flow as you're always overtaking and you should avoid changing lanes unless necessary. They then just... forget to use the left lane when it is otherwise empty for a spell. They also seem to wait to the last possible moment to cut across multiple lanes to take their exit rather than to plan ahead like sensible people.

Now, some years back, if you went on the M5 and sat in the middle lane doing 50mph, you'd find an 18 wheeler behind you blaring its horn to get you out of the middle lane. Even at 55 this would happen. At 60, it'd be an Audi or Merc. At 70 it'd be a police car. At 80 it would be the police car with lights and sirens on. Oh, I do miss my regular commute up and down the M5...

Amazon CEO says AWS staff now spending ‘much of their time’ optimizing customers’ clouds

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Chicken, welcome to the roost...

It's about manipulation, so the friend would be telling the truth: That their job is to help customers reduce their spend.

However, that doesn't make it cheaper than self hosting - it just makes it cheaper than what AWS sold them or encouraged them to do in the first place.

So step 1 is to get the customer to move to the cloud by promising whatever the customer is likely to believe. Then the price starts going up, so AWS (or other cloud service) offers to help reduce cost. They do so, but they only need to reduce the cost to the point the customer sees migrating back to on-prem as not being worth the hassle in the short term. Then, once the customer is again happy, prices go up.... and the cycle of cost cutting / price increase continues so the cloud provider is able to milk the customer for longer as the customer is being manipulated into believing they're getting value for money.

As with anything: These services aren't there for the benefit of the customer: They exist to make the service provider money and anything they can do to fool the customer into believing they're better off is worth doing.

Until something happens and the cloud provider turns off the servers or ejects the VM's and puts the customer out of business. Oh - that's one they don't mention, do they? That if the provider makes a mistake... that could be the end of the cloud service provision for the customer (hey, our monitoring system detected an anomaly with your VM so has isolated it. Sorry that it's your main production server and you now don't have an online presence, are loosing millions a day and this is trashing your rep - we'll provide an engineer to help fix things, as long as you have this premium care package. You do have that, don't you? No? Well, let's set that up for you right away...)

Turns out people don't like it when they suspect a machine's talking to them

Helcat Bronze badge

Had fun with Bard. It was ignorant on several historic subjects, getting key facts wrong, usually referring to Wikipedia as its source, so no surprise there, but mostly it was a starting point, or able to show other avenues of questions I might follow.

But mostly it was okay. Just... Okay. It was better than someone who had no interest in dealing with humans, but not as good as someone who actually enjoyed their job. Was funny trying to get it to respond on certain historical figures like William the Bastard. It flat out refused to respond. It simply could not understand that William the Bastard is a real, important, historical figure. Had to ask it about William the Conqueror instead... it got that name, just not his original name. Still got quite a bit about him wrong, mind, but it was like pulling hens teeth to get anything at all.

Goes to show: AI is really AS. No idea of context, no idea of how words really work, but then I shouldn't be surprised: It's learned bias from the humans who trained it.

CAN do attitude: How thieves steal cars using network bus

Helcat Bronze badge

They can be smart these days.

Reactive/auto sensors, cornering, auto-dim, there's quite a list.

Sure, most of it just needs a control unit to tell the lamp what to do, but those lamps return diagnostic data, too - and I suspect that's the problem.

What annoys me is the manufacturers should put security on a separate system. However, with the difficulty in getting chips, I can see why they'd route everything through one system instead.

Flip side: How hard is it to add a limiter to say 'if the car unlock doesn't come through this route, don't unlock the car, the same for the ignition, and for the immobilizer: That would stop this plugging a CAN into a headlight circuit to allow bypassing/disabling security systems.

Royal Mail wins worst April Fools' joke 2023

Helcat Bronze badge

Strangely, was recently talking about how the NHS is seen as a cash cow by private companies.

A few years back, while I was still working for a hospital, it came to light that our stationary supplier had special pricing for public sector industries where the prices were two to three times that of the private sector. This was found when the person looking after our stationary got their hands on the other version of the catalogue and pricing and did a comparison. It started something of a game of getting quotes for things, like blinds and furniture first for private sector, then getting a quite for the hospital and comparing costs. And in near every single instance, public sector (NHS) quotes were higher for the exact same product.

That really doesn't help the NHS keep costs down and focus on patient care, now does it. Especially considering how much stationary the NHS goes through. So yes: private companies seem drawn to parasitic behavior when it comes to leeching on the public purse. Possibly, in their mind, a way to claim back taxes...

ChatGPT becomes ChatRepair to automate bug fixing for less

Helcat Bronze badge

repair software bugs without breaking the bank.

Only now you'll have to go back to ChatGPT to get the fixes for the bugs the previous fixes introduce which may also introduce bugs or break the original code further. That's going to push the costs up.

Then you have the question as to what you submit to ChatGPT for it to try and tix the bug: Do you submit all your code to ChatGPT? And in doing so, might you be exposing your code to others?

And will ChatGPT reply with code in the correct language version - or even the correct language, and where will it get the source from as it may not have anything to work from...

I know I've tried ChatGPT and Bard for code examples, and ChatGPT returned what might have been the correct answer, only it was in the wrong version of the language where as Bard... said it couldn't do that, Dave. Not sure who Dave was, but... it couldn't give me an answer.

However, the idea of using ChatGPT to bug fix is akin to putting all your eggs in the same basket. And exposing your code to the world: Don't forget that. Alternatively let those who will understand the response do the work and PR the ChatGPT response. Just to be sure.

Today's old folks set to smash through longevity records

Helcat Bronze badge

My Godmother developed cancer. The Docs offered her chemo to extend her life. When she asked about the quality of life, they got rather nervous, then admitted it wouldn't be all that great.

So she refused the treatment, which would have added three or four years to her life (estimated). Instead she carried on volunteering with the community work she volunteered for, and was teaching arts at college for evening classes, and generally enjoying her final years.

She'd been at the local Church Hall helping set up for an event. Walked out the door, had a heart attack, was gone in moments. Active right to the end, helping people and the community. And they wanted to put her on chemo for her cancer and take all that away from her? She was nearly Ninety when she died.

Shows that medical treatment isn't always worth the effort. Much better to live a good life, have fun, and slide into the grave with a drink in one hand and a party popper in the other yelling 'here we go!'

Is Neuralink ready for human brain implants? Allegedly so

Helcat Bronze badge

Good old Captain Cyborg? He's Deputy Vice-Chancellor at Coventry University, apparently.

His 'Project Cyborg' looks to have completed some years ago with success, and he's been active up to 2017 according to his wiki (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Warwick)

Other than that it doesn't look like he's done anything particularly noteworthy recently. Wonder how long it'll be before he's another research paper out. Or he's say waiting for his new cranial implant to let him unlock doors without needing a key or a chip in his wrist: He'll just bang his head against the door instead.

Indian state turns off internet for 27 million, for four days, to stymie one man

Helcat Bronze badge

Apparently (according to the good old BBC) the police found weapons used by separatists during the arrests.


Not sure how to interpret this, other than the authorities do come across as being rather heavy handed.

Germany clocks that ripping out Huawei, ZTE network kit won't be cheap or easy

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Needs A Re-write......

"One big reason was that it is not enough to sneak a chip onto the board"

Nope, but what chip only does one thing these days?

Chips usually have multiple options on them: They do more than one task, because it's easier to make one chip that does several things than several chips that do one thing each. It's cheaper and faster to produce and you don't have stock of chip X sitting around because no one wants that one function at the moment.

This then leads to the theory that the chip has a back door because there's unused functions on it. Or unnecessary functions. Except they're not soldered in/wired in so can't be used. Unless someone does solder them in, but that could easily be laziness or to keep the chip secure: That particular circuit won't be included in the PCB so who cares? Anyway, they don't need to sneak a chip onto the board: They'd just need to include the circuit in the PCB. That just means the company using the chip has to be introducing the back door, not that the chip manufacturer is doing so.

But as you mention: The signal home will be detectable, if you're paying attention.

Feds arrest and charge exiled Chinese billionaire over massive crypto fraud

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: How to pay for it?

But not one drop of blood. That's the final rebuttal in The Merchant of Venice, I believe.

Hard labour, however, and sweat to the amount he owes? Much more fitting, I think.

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

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: The monkeys will teach it.

Said it before: You send in the cleaners.

I've never met an IT system that can survive a visit from them: They are, indeed, a true force of nature.

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Please.

It's more that as we get older, we've learned much of what interested us while young. Some are then either bored with learning or are satisfied that they have learned enough and decide there is no point learning more. Others determine that there is so much more to learn that we don't stop. The only question is: When do we move from the latter to the former?

It's why I fully believe that a good day is one in which I learned something new. A decent day, I've taught something new to someone else. A wasted day is when I've not learned, nor have I taught: A missed opportunity. I don't intend to move from the latter: Ever. Not even when I'm six foot under and exploring a new existence.

Workers don't want these humanoid robots telling them to be happy

Helcat Bronze badge

The problem with a humanoid robot is it needs to present the same body language as a human else it's confusing and that's why we won't trust it.

A robot that doesn't look human is more comedic and we don't expect human body language from it, and if we see something that might be body language, we'll accept it easier as it's just a 'dumb' robot

: That's more relatable and that means it's more trustworthy.

Then you have the actual issue of how to deal with someone who is unhappy without tipping them over into a murderous rage: You don't tell them to be happy! You tell them you'll get the carpet roll or sheets of plastic and a shovel. Then they'll get you're offering to help burry the body and that should (hopefully) trigger a nervous laughter and a de-escalation.

People don't want to be angry, nor stressed, and it's frustrating that they can't simply stop these feelings and that makes them worse. That's the reason why telling someone to calm down or smile only makes matters worse: That's what they want to do but they can't so why tell them to do something they've not managed to do? Moron! Aaaaaaargh! (and so on). Where as asking them how things can get fixed, and then offering to help with that fix, no matter how stupid it might be, implies much greater empathy and understanding and that you desire to be of assistance, and THAT can help ease the frustration because there are now two of you out to fix the problem, meaning the problem is halved! And if that doesn't work, it's at least a lifeline from which to find what will work.

It's part of conflict resolution (well worth looking into) and mental health 'first aid' (learn to listen - again, well worth looking into). So programming robots to tell people to be happy will result in them breaking (blunt force trauma will do that) and the work force being even more miserable than before. But programming them to offer to go fetch the shovel... even if it then has to find excuses for why it can't find a shovel... that's how you get people to trust the robot more.

If it then suggests good places to burry the body... okay, that's when you should really worry.

Once AI can create endless viral videos, good luck switching off social media

Helcat Bronze badge

I would love to see AI go up against a humble cleaner.

Power's out in 3...2...1...

US lobbyists commission report dismissing proposed EU cloud regulations

Helcat Bronze badge

Re: Let's see how many downvotes I get this time

"European countries could draw up laws where domestic companies using US based cloud services will get substantial fines when their data ends up in US jurisdiction."

EU and UK have had that in place for years.

From GDPR:

"Data transfer outside the EU

When personal data is transferred outside the EU, the protection offered by the GDPR should travel with the data. This means that if you export data abroad, your company must ensure one of the following measures are adhered to:

The non-EU country's protections are deemed adequate by the EU.

Your company takes the necessary measures to provide appropriate safeguards, such as including specific clauses in the agreed contract with the non-European importer of the personal data.

Your company relies on specific grounds for the transfer (derogations) such as the consent of the individual."

So if the EU decides the US does not supply adequate protections then the data can't be exported to the US unless said importer of data meets the required conditions, or the data subject agrees.

"The absence of such laws is another sign that in the EU commission nobody cares where ones data might end up being stored."

Please refer to the previous answer.

"Nothing prevents US based cloud providers to store cloud data where ever they want."

Nothing prevents the EU from fining said company for breach of GDPR, or from banning their services from the EU. Nor does it mean the company's reputation will remain untarnished, nor that other countries will retain trust in them in the future. Indeed, the reverse is far more likely, and more damaging.

As for an EU hosting industry:




While that only lists 4 non-US companies out of the top 10...

"OVHcloud is the largest provider of cloud services in Europe and the 3rd largest web hosting provider in the world, with over 1.4 million users and over 2,200 employees worldwide. The company manages 30 data centres across 4 continents and maintains its whole supply chain with the help of its own fibre-optic network."

So... thanks for encouraging me to go do some research. And you are welcome to the above information: I hope you find it useful going forwards.