* Posts by ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

37 posts • joined 21 Feb 2020

Someone made an AI that predicted gender from email addresses, usernames. It went about as well as expected


Issues ...

“Think how a trans man might feel if targeted by ads for stereotypically gendered female things, or vice versa," Constanza-Chock said.

Why even go trans? According to this logic it borders on harassment if a man is being shown ads for products targeted at women?

Firefighters to UK Home Office: Yeah, maybe don't turn off emergency comms network before replacement is ready


Why use 2/3/4/5/6/x G at all?

One of the big advantages of plain old airwaves is that it doesn't require a nation covered in base stations. Imagine a large scale power-outage: there aren't sufficient emergency power generators to support (all the base stations of) the mobile network.

I would want my first responders to be able to communicate even when I am no longer able to watch cat videos on the internet.


* The much lower frequency used gives longer range, which in turn permits very high levels of geographic coverage with a smaller number of transmitters, thus cutting infrastructure costs.

DaaS-appearing trick: Netflix teases desktops-as-a-service product

Paris Hilton

So Netflix is granting some of its customers (on the content production side) access to high-end workstations?

How is this different from a simple remote session?

Cisco restores evidence of its funniest FAIL – ethernet cable presses switch's reset button


Who designs such cables?

While it is perfectly obvious that the connector itself needs to be standardized, there should also be a standard for surrounding space which may or may not be taken up by accessories, e.g. protective hoods or wings.

Otherwise we end up with incompatible, compatible equippment.

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'


Re: Payment workaround?

In the realm of charitable foundations and software: if the charity can not pay developers, what is the point of the charity?

What is the Document Foundation allowed to do under its current rules?


Re: This...

The Document Foundation takes care of the inner workings and the desktop clients

The Document Company runs a SaaS service, which neatly integrates the desktop clients.

My employer has a subscription for Office 365 for each employee, yet no one in their right mind at our shop opts for the web-client only option. It's always the desktop clients plus all the cloudy stuff. I won't have my work day ruined by a sketchy internet connection.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs


Re: So what happened?

I would not trust Boing on that, surely they could out-source some components of the software. After all, if you're developing some top-secret military aircraft, an engine is an engine; and the sub-contractor is none the wiser.

Heck, in the aircraft industry it seems you need certification for every cable, nut and rivet you use. I wonder whether the 9$/hour Indian programmer involved in the MCAS system was FAA or otherwise certified for safety critical stuff?


In theory, it might be only Americans being allowed to work on Starliner; in practice, who knows?

Outsourcing done right, will return the same result as in-house development. However, what you save in in-house dev-work, you need to invest in a clear definition of the project, since you are by definition way outside the loop. Furthermore, you need to invest much more into quality control and oversight. Now, factor-in the bean-counters and wait for disaster to strike.

Linux kernel coders propose inclusive terminology coding guidelines, note: 'Arguments about why people should not be offended do not scale'


Words are not racist, people are

Are words inherently bad? No.

While it is virtually always wrong for white people to use the n-word, nobody calls black rappers racists when they use it in their lyrics. Context matters!

Is the word master bad? No, it has a wide range of meanings and it is very much used in daily speech. "John is an excellent programmer, he's a master of his field." - a perfectly fine sentence.

Could we come up with something other than master/slave? Yes.

Some more tangents on the perceived badness of the word master. While slaver holders were referred to as masters, so were expert craftsmen. While it is statistically certain that some slave-holders in history were named John, the name John is not frowned upon.

BLM protests the real-world injustice against black people. Most words which some people want to be cleansed from the code-based of the world are about perceived discrimination.

Barclays Bank appeared to be using the Wayback Machine as a 'CDN' for some Javascript


Re: This puzzles

Hmm, if someone could come up with a way, a piece of software if you like, to archive current and old versions of important scripts ... such that every git can get an old version back with a few commands without resorting to acts of desperation such as pulling the script from the WaybackMachine.

Analogue radio given 10-year stay of execution as the UK U-turns on DAB digital future


Why would you replace something analogue that works perfectly well?

AM and FM have been around for decades, yet in the two decades digital radio is around they introduced DAB and DAB+. I envision compatibility breaking changes every 10 or 15 years, once analogue is dead for good, and radio-listeners have to buy the latest implementation of some crappy, new standard for digital radio.

While disruption sound really exciting to some, for the consumer, little good come from it.

Dutch national broadcaster saw ad revenue rise when it stopped tracking users. It's meant to work like that, right?


Targeted ads are sometimes quite stupid, e.g. on YouTube. Sometimes, when an ad is off by solar systems from my own interests and the target audience of the video I am watching, I am left wondering if the targeted-ad business isn't a hype/scam waiting to blow over.

I would very much prefer old-school approach to advertisement.

UN warns of global e-waste wave as amount of gadgets dumped jumps 21% in 5 years


Re: Blame...

Agree, yet what speaks for Apple in this case is the longevity of their products in terms of the hardware.

A friend of mine has a ~10 year old mac book, and he likes it still quite much.

The no-name, no-support cheap brands are worse offenders, since they combine Apple's "Don't repair, get something shiny, new" with bad hardware.

A link to my post in the thread


A link to my post in the thread

There is a list of "My posts" which lists all my posts. The list "My topics" lists all the articles I have posted comments on. When I click on one of these topics, I jump to the top of the comment-thread.

Would it be possible to jump to my post in this thread? If I want to check whether someone posted a reply to a comment of mine, I need to scroll down the thread until I find my comment. If there are many comments, this is unfeasible.

Am I missing something, or is there no way to jump to ones own post in a comment-thread?

Rental electric scooters to clutter UK street scenes after Department of Transport gives year-long trial the thumbs-up

Thumb Down

No they're not an effective means to reduce car traffic

In my country, these scooters are geo-fenced to the inner city, they simply stop working if you go to the outer districts, which kind of negates their intended/advertised purpose. My place of work is well within city limits, yet outside the geo-fence. Thus, I would not be able to use one.

The geo-fencing makes sense for the scooter rental company as it limits the service area. After all, some poor, underpaid souls need to collect/replace them using gasoline-powered vans each night. So much for clean, electically-powered mobility. From a potential user's perspective, the geo-fencing precludes meaningful use, i.e. inner-city commute.

I mostly observe some kids driving them, themselves alone or with a passenger, for fun. If the scooters reduce any means of traffic, they reduce short walks, e.g. from the flat to the bus stop.

What I could also observe over the last years, since they popped up in my city: rental scooters make people behave anti-socially. Scooters are left on the pavement at the very spot the driver steps off them. Hence, they block parts of the pavement next to the entrances of appartment buildings, at bus or tram stops. People drive them on the pavement with all the associated risks of relatively large relative velocities, overtaking from behind and slightly randomly walking pedestrians.

I am not impressed by the contribution to society by the availability of rental electric scooters. I don't see many benefits, yet experience their downsides.

Rogue ADT tech spied on hundreds of customers in their homes via CCTV – including me, says teen girl


retirement sentence

While populists are quick to call for corporal punishment, even the death sentence, when some perv abuses a minor; nobody calls for similar measures for businesses.

Why can't we sentence bad corporations to be mandatorily retired, i.e. all business' assets are sold off, the business goes out of existence.

After all, it took millenia of cruel, draconian punishment for us humans, to prevent us from killing each other.

Imagine all the shareholders of Equifax having their stocks dissolved by court order. *Poof* money gone. That will teach them making actual security a priority over fast profit.

FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars


The magic of political magic.

Let's cut taxes now, and the future will pay for this.

How, you ask? We will auction off some spectrum.

You know, an invisible product is the best product.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything


In a world, where smartphones aren't shitty PCs

.. that would be a non issue.

Well, at least this may prompt people to ask themselves about alternatives to google's services. You know, there are other apps out there. Since it uses an open-source Android, you can always side-load apps from reputable app stores. Oh, I wish I my smartphone would work the same as my computers. Full choice, no walled gardens.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War


The spy agency's nightmare: "Boasting Politicitians"

I suggest to establish, aside from OPSEC, INFOSEC, TRANSEC and SIGSEC, POLSEC; a process that hides critical information about the means of intelligence gathering from your own side, especially politicians. Think an ULTRA equivalent.

Vint Cerf suggests GDPR could hurt coronavirus vaccine development


Run-away techies pipe dreams meet problem-o-phile reasoning

* With wearables we could collect the health data of millions of individuals

* With these data, we can do research

* With this reseach we could cure <insert the latest medical problem that's really en vogue>

* But, wait, the GDPR prevents us from collecting the data in the first place, ohh the humanity!

* GDPR prolongues <insert the latest medical problem that's really en vogue>

--> never mind the handwaving involved in point 3

And there you have it, the techies cry foul, the media report, an nobody is ever the wiser.

Techies should stick to tech, law people to law; it doesn't bring any good, if suddenly techies decide laws do not apply to them.

Zuck loves free speech so much Facebook will censor 'anti-state' content in Vietnam after telcos 'crippled' access


No Connection Without Taxation

Well, we should take a closer look on whether the internet companies pay their fair share of taxes.

NASA makes May 27 its US independence day from Russian rockets: America's back in the astronaut business after nearly nine years


In an age where Nazi scientists no longer are available, you need to tap new sources

Star's rosette orbit around our supermassive black hole proves Einstein's Theory of General Relativity correct


Re: Is it just me?

I feel your pain

As Amazon's stock price soars and Bezos adds to his billions, affiliates face massive cuts in their commissions


A humble suggestion for the Reg's catalogue of standard units:

The Amazon tax rate: measures the commission percentage Amazon pays to its affiliates relative to the tax Amazon pays.

NASA mulls restoring Saturn V to service as SLS delays and costs mount


I only realized when the article mentioned Kerbal Space Program, that this is an April Fool's article.

We live in strange times, when actual reality (TM) is riddled with absurdity, it becomes harder and harder to distinguish an April Fool's article from actual news.

My sympathies go out to all the comedians out there, you are having tough times.

What are you doing at quarter past? WebEx wants you on calls then, to ease corona-congestion


Re: To be honest...

"Though I still call BS on that scene since the call worked seamlessly and with perfect audio"

... and that's why 2001 is science-fiction.

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out


Re: New meaning UTB

Also: the bus-factor in action

PC owners borg into the most powerful computer the world has ever known – all in the search for coronavirus cure

Paris Hilton

Working from home ...?


-> quite lucid Mitchell and Webb

Come back, AI. All is forgiven: We know we've mocked you in the past, but we need help analyzing 26,000 papers on COVID-19, coronaviruses


How can 29.000 scientific paper have been published on the COVID-19 virus? The outbreak was around end of 2019, which is a pretty short time span for 29.000 papers to be published. Am I missing something?

Resellers facing 'months' of delays for orders to be fulfilled. IT gathers dust on docks as coronavirus-stricken China goes back to work


Re: Hang On A Minute...

It's not that they hadn't have opportunity to learn. There are single points of failure all over the place.

When there was heavy flooding in Thailand in 2011, a sizable chunk of global hard disk manufacturing was sunk.


The Reg produces exhibit A1: A UK court IT system running Windows XP


Re: in fairness

Baring them from using anything of the 20th, let alone 21st century seems to be called for.

You fancy your wigs and parchment? Hand over these XP machines!

Think your smartwatch is good for warning of a heart attack? Turns out it's surprisingly easy to fool its AI

Paris Hilton

Jumping through EULA-hoops

If software and computer companies, the people who we expect to know the most about computers, disclaim any warranty of the correct performance of the software, and limit any liability from damages; why should we trust our lives to computers?

Word does not guarantee that it works correctly and as intended in its role as a word-processing software. But, I should trust any gizmo to reliably detect a medical condition? I am not convinced.

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research


Re: This is what the vendors want ...

This sounds like the opening of an "would-like-to-be-millennial-internet-publication"; a style which tragically seeps more and more into general media.

"I run an acient Android smart-phone, and mobe makers hate it!"


Re: And in comparison...

Smartphones are nothing more or less than shitty computers.

Connected to the internet, yet inherently less secure and securable than a full fledged computer/laptop.

They can run basically any application, yet we are more or less restricted to what a handful of app stores have on offer. There is no large software eco-system with plenty of opensource choice, than with regular computers.

They are pretty much general purpose hardware, yet if the manufacturer feels like it, functionality is pretty limited. How long were iPhones incapable of wireless hot-spotting compared to Android phones?

While, they are pretty much general purpose hardware, you're basically caught in an OS duopoly.

list goes on ... feel free to add

Fancy that: Hacking airliner systems doesn't make them magically fall out of the sky


Natural vs. artificial intelligence

This is exactly the reason why AI will never replace us. Humans evolved to cope with a messy environment they are not equipped to fully understand. Machines are built to perform any task they are instructed to do.

Humans 1 : Computers 0

Microsoft's latest cloud innovation: Printing

Paris Hilton

Why, just why?

So, for me to print a PDF from my on-premise workstation or laptop: I have to send the print-job to the magical cloud in cloud-magic-land, which in turn sends the print job to the on-premise printer?

What would be the benefit of cloud-printing?

Delicious irony: Credit rating builder Loqbox lets customer details and card numbers slip after 'sophisticated attack'



If even the tech-industry can't figure out security, the companies that invented the computer, the internet, why in Cthulhus name should we trust banks to figure out computer/internet security?

Facebook tells US tax bods: Swear to God, we were only worth $6.5bn in 2010 because we were menaced by... MySpace and smartphones


Re: There is probably a reasonable argument

True disruption.

Since, public companies have probably a stronger legal compulsion to report fact to their shareholders than to the general public and the tax-man. Hence, if the tax-man becomes an investor: think of the additional insight.


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