* Posts by AVR

42 posts • joined 8 Feb 2020

GPL legal battle: Vizio told by judge it will have to answer breach-of-contract claims


Re: There Oughta Be a Law

Recent Sony TVs IIRC.

US Army to build largest 3D-printed structures in the Americas


Re: Labour saving?

Isn't the US military into outsourcing everything that can possibly be outsourced? More recently than your MilBrat experience perhaps, I dunno.

Direct lithium extraction technique for greener batteries gains traction


Re: Water is Recyclable

If you mean water used in reverse osmosis schemes it's pretty unusable after use being contaminated by lithium salts and possibly other industrial chemicals. You wouldn't want it in your local water table.

National Security Agency employee indicted for 'leaking top secret info'


Re: More info please

The Reg linked a copy of the indictment. "PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESS, COMPANY 1 EMAIL ADDRESS, COMPANY 2 EMAIL ADDRESS were not authorized locations for the storage of classified information..." and apparently he wasn't authorized to send from his email or she to receive this info at either address.

The first 6 counts are of sending to company 1's email.

AI drug algorithms can be flipped to invent bioweapons


Chemicals are scary...

...but guns and explosives are far more efficient means of killing. Which is why armies use many more of those than chemical weapons, even if they're willing to invite outside fury.

For private murder using an unknown chemical would probably point to the chemist who could synthesise new nerve agents, it'd cut down the suspect list by orders of magnitude.

China launches test satellites for orbiting broadband service


144 satellites means there'd be much fewer over China at any given moment, maybe only one or two. LEO orbits aren't geosynchronous at all, about the best you could get is that they wouldn't go further north than is useful in China. I'm dubious that this would improve Internet connectivity in rural China significantly.

I mean, if there are thousands of connections sure, but could one satellite handle millions?

IBM HR chief insists 'no systemic age discrimination'


Probably not about that executive order

An order which "prohibits federal contractors from discriminating on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, or national origin." doesn't obviously have a problem with age discrimination. Rather than refusing to admit their discrimination on that basis I suspect it's got more to do with aiding other lawsuits.

Offering Patreon subs in sterling or euros means you can be sued under GDPR, says Court of Appeal



How easy would it be to get a judgement made in the UK (based on UK law without a direct equivalent in the USA) enforced on a USA-based company? I'm not familiar with how the law works in this area.

You forced me to use this fancypants app and now you're asking for a printout?



It's actually easier to forge the NZ vaccine pass. It's an editable PDF.

Amazon cuts a relatively tiny check to disappear claims it broke the law by withholding COVID-19 data from staff


Re: BS?

About $3 per employee in the state. It'd be at least a year before they could be fined for this again practically speaking. Not even tea money - there is a problem with fines scaled to merely ordinary size businesses being meaningless to multinationals, and not just in the US.

He called himself the King of Fraud. Now this bot lord will reign in prison for years


'trained to bypass CAPTCHA puzzles' - I'd buy software to do that for me. Why was this idjit committing fraud again?

Remember the 'guy in a jetpack' seen flying close to passenger jets? Probably just balloons, says FBI


Re: It's a government coverup!

Doable if you really want - https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/business/454072/seven-prototype-martin-jetpacks-up-for-sale-after-company-s-liquidation - trouble is not enough people actually want.

Google lab proposes solar-powered moisture farming to provide water for billions


Your drinking water is only a part of the water you need and not the largest part. Cooking will take some, washing (your body, clothes, bedding, and probably tableware/cooking utensils) is not something you can do without long-term, and most of all if you want a functioning economy agriculture and manufacturing need lots of water. Talking about supplying people's drinking water needs is so incredibly misleading.

Boeing 737 Max chief technical pilot charged with deceiving US aviation regulators over MCAS


Re: Somewhere, somehow, both the public and the media

Organisation culture really does outlive any individual member, yes. Whether by word of mouth or by new hires being chosen to fit in with the existing culture.

Space boffins: Exoplanet survived hydrogen-death of its host star


Re: Other options

While the gas giant survived there's a decent chance that it's smaller now - novas might not have destroyed it but they could strip off a chunk of the atmosphere.

It's likely to be a bit chilly there once the star stopped bothering with fusion and turned into a white dwarf tho'.

Nearly 140 nations – from US and UK to EU, China and India – back 15% minimum corporate tax rate


Re: And who pays those corporate taxes?

If the corps don't pay their taxes then you're paying them instead - directly, or via reduced services, or via money added to your nation's debt.

Ransomware crims saying 'We'll burn your data if you get a negotiator' can't be legally paid off anyway


Re: I like the US idea.

It doesn't seem that telling people not to pay the crims has killed the ransomware business. Assuming that saying it again and again will work is one definition of insanity.

Until and unless there is some way of thoroughly securing against them while still connecting to the outside world in ways that modern business needs, ransomware gangs are here to stay.

I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key


Recycling issues

Many of the anti-repair tricks used by manufacturers also help to make recycling uneconomic. It's a double problem, but on the plus side legislation that fixes either is a boost to both.

Teen turned away from roller rink after AI wrongly identifies her as banned troublemaker


Re: Using it wrongly

If the number of troublemakers is low and the number of other visitors is high, then a 97% probability that this is a troublemaker is going to have a lot of false positives. That's basic statistics. Not all the false positives will have a cast iron alibi like never having been to the roller rink before - it's unlikely that this was the first person humiliated by being excluded.

In South Korea the new normal future of work is ... a 52-hour work week! (Down from 68)


Power and control, also I wouldn't be surprised if some of these people were paid a fixed salary rather than by the hour.

FTC approves $61.7m settlement with Amazon for pocketing driver tips


Re: So, let me see if I get this correctly

Otherwise good people can do bad things. I was once told that some figures couldn't be faked, our finance department were good people. As it happened they were. No reason these theoretical programmers might not be similar.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof


Re: Allow one to disable a core

Assuming that it's not effectively running its own private encryption as described in the article. That might require you to switch it back on for a while.

Also, apparently even finding out that the core is producing errors can be tricky.

Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft


Shooting down satellites creates debris which risks more satellites. If you're planning to put 13 000 satellites in similar orbits then this is a dumb idea. Jamming is far more likely.

HP loses attempt to deny colossal commission to star sales staffer


Re: This is far more prevelant than most people know

There's always the lottery element though. A great salesperson one year may be significantly less great the next, or vice versa just through chance. The boss not seeing it as pure merit isn't unreasonable.

Now, retrospectively changing the employment contract, that is unreasonable.

Habitable-zone exoplanet potentially spotted just around the corner in Alpha Centauri using latest telescope technique


Re: Habitable-zone exoplanet potentially spotted just around the corner in Alpha Centauri...

They're talking Neptune-size or larger. Which still allows interesting possibilities like moons large enough to retain an atmosphere.

Intel sues former staffer for allegedly stealing Xeon cloud secrets in USB drives and exploiting info at Microsoft


Probably sufficiently VIPs can make policies bend to them when it comes to devices they declare essential to their work. I'm not sure exactly how high up a principal of strategic planning is but it's not an entry-level peon.

Alphabet Workers Union hits Google data center contractor with labor complaint: We were banned from discussing wages, say staff


I've had a couple of managers who regarded anything they found inconvenient as being immoral. Discussing wages was one of those things in both cases.

Ever wanted to own a piece of the internet? Now you can: $1 for a whole gTLD... or $2.8m if you want a decent one


Re: .hiv?

As a slightly shorter form of 'hive' there might be a few interested in .hiv, but no guarantees there'd be enough to pay your dues to ICANN.

Takes from the taxpayer, gives to the old – by squishing a bug in Thatcherite benefits system


Re: Can you change your date of birth?

When my Gran applied for a passport it took a while to work out the problem - she'd been lying about her age for so long that she'd forgotten her own date of birth. She was 4 years older than she claimed & remembered IIRC.

Showering malware-laced laptops on UK schools is the wrong way to teach them about cybersecurity


Re: Damned if they do, damned if they don't

The UK isn't the only country to have had the same rush-out-the-laptops urge. NZ did the same during our lockdowns, which I know a little about. They are the only one to have made this particular mistake as far as I can tell. Such mistakes aren't actually inevitable.

Google's Alphabet sticks a pin in its Loon internet broadband service


Re: Why am I not surprised?

Capacity shipping stuff into a disaster hit area is a problem already, and unless you're going to spend on keeping a bunch of balloons ready to go there's more time taken ordering some up. A day is very much on the low end of expectations. I don't think you'd get it unless you have supplies in or just upwind of the area before the disaster hits.

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president


Re: so why not change the period during which this is allowed?

Apparently you need an amendment to the constitution to change anything significant to do with this delay, and it isn't politically doable to admit that the industrial revolution has begun in America yet.


Re: That's a nice Justice System you've got there...

It's been a land of mass incarceration for the many, land of the free for the rich few for a long time now.

Failed insurrection aside, Biden is going to be president in two weeks. What does it mean for tech policy?


Biden's proposed plenty of big tech lobbyists for positions in his administration, and this article seems to blithely assume they'll go along with the author's perception of needs and justice, or that they'll be overruled by others in the administration who do. That's not impossible but it seems unlikely.

File format conversion crisis delayed attempt to challenge US presidential election result


If you can't convert docs from Google Docs to MS Word in 5 minutes you need a brain transplant. Well, we knew that of Gohmert & co. already really.

How the US attacked Huawei: Former CEO of DocuSign and Ariba turned diplomat Keith Krach tells his tale


It's not that the US is seen as good, it's that they successfully painted Huawei as worse. There's a parallel to a certain American politician in 2016 managing to damn his opponent and thereby win.

Tax working from home, says Deutsche Bank, because the economy needs that lunch money you’re not spending


Perverse incentives

Obviously this would encourage people not to work from home, which in turn would make controlling covid-19 harder - it's still a while until there'll be enough vaccines everywhere. Once it is under control at least some of the work-from-homers will come back into the office. That's the time to start thinking about this, when there's a real idea of the long term changes and when you're not undermining public health!

Remember so-not-a-pirate Kim Dotcom? New Zealand’s highest court has just said the USA can extradite him for copyright naughtiness


Re: MS Trawling OneDrive

As Kim is showing, it isn't wise to anger the lawyers of the United States of Disney.

What a Hancock-up: Excel spreadsheet blunder blamed after England under-reports 16,000 COVID-19 cases


Re: VBA implicated yet?

They'll go away when there's some kind of useful program used by non-techies which can also be used as a good database. The problem with dedicated database programs is that non-techies don't use them, so they mostly get used by people who are forced to use them. And dumped ASAP when the forcing stops.

Epic move: Judge says Apple can't revoke Unreal Engine dev tools, asks 'Where does the 30 per cent come from?'


Re: Free Stuff

There's ways for games to be free and make money; I don't know what Epic does exactly but one simple way is to market extra features which cost a packet, so the whales pay for the free users. That can easily blend into the whales enjoying easy wins over the free user peons (pay-to-win), it's not that this necessarily makes for a good game.

Tech can endure the most inhospitable environments: Space, underwater, down t'pit... even hairdressers


The worst I've seen involved an unreasonable number of crumbs and the cockroaches who'd decided to feast on them. I'm not sure whether to be jealous of the more exotic finds above or not.

Well, there was the time someone drilled a hole in the wall in a server room, and the resulting concrete dust caused all the server HDDs to start failing. Not so exotic, but very very expensive.


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