* Posts by ComputerSays_noAbsolutelyNo

99 posts • joined 21 Feb 2020


Gov.UK taskforce publishes post-Brexit wish-list: 'TIGRR' pounces on GDPR, metric measures


Re: The UK political sphere has been so overtaken by Brexit

Because they can.

Japan assembles superteam of aircraft component manufacturers to build supersonic passenger plane


Re: Still convinced that there's no commercial market, but good luck anyway.

What greater way to tell the great unwashed to bugger off than with a sonic boom along your path of travel?

'Condolences on the death of your conscience' says card from Indonesian delivery drivers to local Uber clone after payments slashed


Re: Good on them

... and this is the job of the state: ensuring everyone plays by the rules.

When economists preach that competition is a good thing, Joe Average should safely be able to hire the cheapest cab, since it is not his role to safeguard working conditions for the cabby are adequate.

This is the role of the government, to set the rules, and to enforce them.

Naturally, some grey or black offerings will work-around the rules, but that is the definition of a grey or black offering: partially or totally being against the established rules.

If we want our market economy not to adopt modern equivalents of slave labour, we need to make sure we do not dismantle the state, who is the only entity to force companies to stick to the rules.

A public call for boycot is nice, yet the spectre of jail for managers of said companies is generally a stronger incentive to play nice and fair.

Snakes on a Plane meets The Simpsons as airline creates ‘whacker’ to scare reptiles away from parked A380s


Everything in Australia trys to kill you

... apparently this hold also true for everything Australian parked somewhere else around the globe

Twitter: Our AI image-cropping algorithm is biased toward White people, women


"It’s possible that the problematic crops of women’s chests were caused by logos or images on their clothes, which grabbed the attention of the code."

... women's chests have the tendency of grabbing attention.

Blessed are the cryptographers, labelling them criminal enablers is just foolish


It's a combination of security by obscurity (the hidden price pieces) with a honeypot (the cheap stuff).

Good thinking on Granny's part.

The uninformed burglar is bound to assume that Granny is a cheapo when it comes to the bling.

Only prior social engineering, i.e. knowing about the good stuff, will render Granny's defense moot.

Visual Basic 6 returns: You've been a good developer all year. You have social distanced, you have helped your mom. Here's your reward


Digital reenactment

Many people, myself included, like to don medieval-ish attire and congregate at castles and markets with the like-minded.

So, why not bring the hobby of reenactment into the digital age?

In real life, I am an app developer for Android;

but in my spare time, I am a VB6 developer.

University duo thought it would be cool to sneak bad code into Linux as an experiment. Of course, it absolutely backfired


Re: This All Falls Under The Category Of...

... lots of other people will try & sneak code in 'for fun"

I think this is already the case. Submitting a cosmetic patch just to get into the list of contributors to the Linux kernel.

UK.gov wants mobile makers to declare death dates for their new devices from launch


Re: Force open source instead

At least force them to provide either

* the full specs and open source any firmware/software and underlying services

* a working non-smart use-mode

E.g. the refrigeration of a "smart" fridge typically outlasts the bolted-on infotainment and/or stock management. Thus, if the fridge's OS is end-of-life, I want to shut the "smart" stuff off, and run the fridge as a mere fridge. We don't need any more e-waste, especially when it comes to devices containing refridgerants that are by orders of magnitude more potent greenhouse gases.

Irish privacy watchdog sticks GDPR probe into Facebook after that online giveaway of 533 million profiles


Rules vs. use

I understand all who say "just don't use FB", while I agree and I also do not use FB itself, that misses the point.

Who can actually say what else belongs to FB, instagram and whatsapp are well known for belonging to the zuckerverse, however, there could be more apps and services which have been gobbled up.

So instead of shifting the burden to the customer (learning which services are bad and avoiding them totally is hard), we have a perfectly good reason to shift the burden to the services (since the privacy of the less-concerned people is worth protecting too).

Simply saying "just don't use FB" is akin to not minding missing traffic regulation by saying "just don't use the streets", which simply doesn't cut it. At least for the wider public. Individuals might be successful though.

Microsoft unveils swappable SSDs for Surface Pro 7+ but 'strongly discourages' users from upping their capacity


It's not that the PC ecosystem supported modularity for decades ...

F'ing mobes and tablets are pretty shitty incarnations of a computer.

SD card slot, HDMI port could return to the MacBook Pro this year, says Apple analyst


If Apple ever built a car, I bet it comes without a driving wheel.

Co-founder of coronavirus vaccine biz holds in-person tech event... 20+ attendees later test positive for COVID-19


Re: Not me

Think of all the arguments you come across when it comes to testing/measures/vaccination and apply them to other fields.

When the pandemic started, all the just-a-flu people remarked that death is a fact of life.

So, no recalls for faulty cars that kill its drivers, since death is a part of life?

When wide-spread testing was mulled, people argued that a test is just a single data point in time.

So, no more breathalyzer tests searching for drunk drivers, since it is only a snaphot.

When wide-spread testing was mulled, people argued against mandatory tests.

So, no more breathalyzer tests, since they are evil mandatory ones.

In my country, refusing a breathalyzer test gets you into the books with an assume 1.4 promille alcohol.

Guess what, being tested positive for Corona has mild implications compared to a driving under the influence.

When vaccinations were mulled, people argued against using allegedly unproven technology on the public.

So, no more "self-driving" cars. In contrast to vaccinations, the "self-driving" has killed people.

I find what has been going on during the pandemic is more than just pragmatism.

Disregarding quarantine, calling a mask-wearing mandate tyranny, etc. goes way beyond anything that I have considered acceptable prior to the pandemic.

Politicians arguing agains lock-downs, citing death being a part of life, are in my eyes bare of empathy.


Re: Pre-learning - it's a thing.

Well, he left office in 1890. So, one could argue that WW1 wasn't his immediate fault.



Re: Not me

The major side-effect of the pandemic: a total loss of empathy in wide sections of society.

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage


When the lights go out in the multi-billion chip fab might be the time to think whether avoiding taxes in general and settling in the state with the biggest tax cuts is a good idea after all.

I mean, if we starve the public sector, can we expect the public sector to function?

I'll get my coat, it's cold outside.

Brexit and the software industry


The gist of the email, which I only paraphrase

Hi Mr. X


regarding the sharing of files there are bad news. Brexit [...] we are currently not allowed to share any files related to our software Y outside the UK.

To monitor import/export of software all sharing platforms have been shut down as well as the website download area.

We are working to restore our support of software Y for you, however, there are many such cases so we are afraid we can only wait.

If you need support you can email us, however, we can not send files back to you.


Brexit and the software industry

A colleague of mine recieved an email from a UK software vendor, which states that due to Brexit they can not offer downloads, cloud support and the like for customers in the EU.

Is this bonkers, or is there some merit to it?

Cheers, and thanks for your hopefully insightful comments.

PS: This reminds me of the time when the GDPR came into effect, and some people in the media pondered the question whether door signs (announcing the name of the tenants out on the street) were now illegal under the terms of the GDPR.

They were not the cloud you were looking for, insists Amazon Web Services in unsealed JEDI protest


Re: Things that might have invalidated MS's bid

Why insist on 3 DCs for each region, and then go into vendor lock-in?

From a purely resilience perspective, it would have been more beneficial to demand inter-operability of the JEDI cloud services, and then award the contracts per region.

This would ensure

* that company X with a strong footing only on the west coast can take part in the bidding

* that the DoD can change their cloud service provider without the cost of "inventing the wheel all-over again"

* that the bidding process is less prone to corruption, since a "the winner takes the whole cake" bidding process might lead to a "use the whole arsenal including shady and illegal practices" bidding approach. If there is also the option of a partial win, the bidding may remain a bit more civilised

As UK breaks away from Europe, Facebook tells Brits: You'll all be Californians soon


Re: So what?

The website Facebook isn't as relevant, IMHO, as many people believe.

However, the real meat, IMHO, are the messengers.

They are on every phone, the reflect your active-in-use social network, i.e. the people you regularly talk to, and not the schoolmate you harass with food pics.

The messenger apps also provide location and movement data, something that the website Facebook alone couldn't.

And while people, may well stop to use the website Facebook without much felt pain, doing away with whatsapp and instagram will be a much tougher proposition for most folks.


Re: Time to end the "common carrier" defense

The fact that facebook has no official position of Editor, such as newspapers, does not mean it's not editing its content.

We're unfortunately doomed to play catch-up with the anti-social internet giants, as regulation was dormant for decades in this matter.


Re: Hmm

This (the linked story on the BBC) sounds a bit like the usual FUD around the GDPR in general, and a bit like a half-excuse for not doing a better job.

In Austria, around the introduction of the GDPR, there was a discussion on whether door bell labels on apartment blocks violate the GDPR - I kid you not.

The "reasoning" was along the lines, that the listing a resident's name along with the door number on a publicly accessable site, i.e. the door to the apartment block, constitutes a breach of the GDPR.

If stuff is uploaded to any anti-social network, then the anti-social network has all rights to process this stuff, let alone sell it to other interested parties.

How a human review by the anti-social network, or one of its sub-contractors, is hindered by the GDPR is beyond my imagination.

There may be some areas of the GDPR which are not readily understood, or even ambiguous. However, if a anti-social network is allowed to use, or even sell, the stuff that was uploaded, content moderation by either algorithm or (poor philippine) human content reviewers can in no way be hindered.

We got it! Japanese space agency confirms its probe has Ryugu asteroid samples


Re: Meanwhile

Well, everything in Australia will kill you


Double trouble for Virgin Galactic and Virgin Orbit as aborted test flight and COVID-19 keep both grounded


Re: Up And Down

Well, we all know how messed up windows can be at times

Japan pours millions into AI-powered dating to get its people making babies again


Re: The cost of parenting

... and I guess that this decision was not at all influenced by the hardship of finding a mate.

Seriously, what the article describes is Japan giving the lamest possible answer ("Let's throw AI on this!") to the wrong question.

People will always have sex. First and foremost it is too much fun, and secondly it is decoupled from the whole parenting thing.

The question Japan should answer is "How can bring our people to raise more children?"

If a dating app would be a viable answer, than the birth-rates worldwide should show a tinder-spike.

Widely available contraception, i.e. the pill, made a dent in the birth-rates; I don't expect such from dating apps.


It's not dating, it's the society

The problem is not a lack of dating or sex.

I venture humans are naturally inclined/programmed to procreate. However, if you put them in a turbo-competitive society, and take all-things-social away (every man for himself), procreation gets chopped on the block of cost&benefit.

Why would a woman even consider having children, if there is no societal support, and having children means end-of-career and total economic dependence on her bloke?

There are two sides to every story, two ends to every cable


Beware of the desk rabbit


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


Re: Tax failure to consume

Tax the f'ing wankers, who make money than the average.

If the average worker spends X % of his disposable income on necessities (rent, food, etc.), than tax the hell out of wankers who need to spend much less such things.

Halt don't catch fire: Amazon recalls hundreds of thousands of Ring doorbells over exploding battery fears


Not so smart devices

Maybe consider a re-branding: The Burn Doorbell

Your Microsoft reseller can now predict when you’re ready to buy more stuff or dump Redmond


Running a racket?

Nice CAD and other productivity software, you've installed there.

Would be a terrible shame if anything happened to it, say some feature-breaking OS update.

However, we're here to help you. With this Feature-Using-Capability-Kit and our Year-Of-Usabiltiy packages you're good to go.

Just extend your contract by this amount, and we will take care of the rest.

See you next time, it's always so nice doing business with you.

European Commission to take a closer look at how Amazon uses business data of third-party sellers using its platform


Conflict of interest

Being the owner of the souk as a whole, while being also a massive trader in the souk creates a massive conflict of interest ... one would think.

Test tube babies: Virgin Hyperloop pops pair of staffers in a pod, shoots them along 500m vacuum tunnel


Imagine all the money ...

that was sunk went into the hyperloop being invested into research on how to efficiently store energy.

It's nice and all fun, when billionaires waste invest their money into their playthings, however, with hyperloop Elon got other, non-billionaire people to invest money into one of his ideas.

UK's 'minimum viable product' for Brexit transit software will not be ready until December, leaving no time for testing


Time flies, kids, time flies.

In 2016 the UK voted for Brexit, and the US voted for The Big Orange

Now, it's 2020, the US has voted the Orange out-of-office, and Brexit hasn't even fully started yet.

H2? Oh! New water-splitting technique pushes progress of green hydrogen


Producing hydrogen is a stepping stone

For the energy revolution the hydrogen will need to be turned into methane. This makes the hydrogen easily storeable and transportable. Furthermore, Methanation uses CO2 to turn hydrogen into methane. Thus, you can plumb the exhaust stream of something you can not avoid, e.g. garbage incineration, into the loop and avoid emissions.

NASA hires Nokia to build first 4G network on the Moon as part of plan to boldly go back to lunar surface by 2024


Now the cost caused by ping-calls can be truely astronomical

I'll get my coat

UK's National Audit Office warns full-fibre rollout strategy is leaving rural Britain behind. Again


How on earth is this prohibitively expensive?

My guess, supplying broadband to the x% of the hardest-to-reach households is not as lucrative as they would like it to be. Heck, even if laying fiber to the remotest Glenns is more expensive than the telco would make from the subscriptions originating from the Glenn, isn't infrastructure supposed to cross-finance itself? I.e. using some part of the nice profits from getting hundreds of subscriptions from one fibre laid into a London suburb to subsidize the laying of fiber into the Glenn?

It's time, telcos face some regulation which corresponds to the importance of their service.

"the internet you're providing feels like vital infrastructure. How about a mandate to service all citizens?"

Never mind, I am off into the weekend.

Remember when Zoom was rumbled for lousy crypto? Six months later it says end-to-end is ready


The best software features ...

are those you manage your users to gaslight into believing that they are there.

"End-to-end encryption?" "Yeah, definitely!" followed by nearly in-audible small-print caveat.

Elizabeth Holmes' plan to avoid her Theranos fraud trial worked out about as well as her useless blood-testing machines


Wait a minute ...

It is ok for defendants to lengthen the proceedings by all means, but when a pandemic causes a post-ponement of the trial the constitutional right of a speedy trial is in jeopardy, and the case should be dropped all together?

At least, they have some creative people in the defendants legal team.

Microsoft: After we said we'll try to promote more Black people, the US govt accused us of discrimination


Re: Positive discrimination - short sighted & wrong

Positive discrimination is probably the best of all the bad solutions to discrimination.

The H in HR is for humans. With humans deciding which human is to be hired and which humans aren't.

Acknowledging that all humans are fallible is step 1.

Designing a work-around for the fallibility is step 2.

The best solution would be, if we humans collectively stopped being racist (actively, passively, and all the other kinds). However, since we're humans, that will not happen.

Sure, we can send people into anti-discrimination training, yet the subconcious is a resilient thing.

O2 cuts ribbon on UK's first commercial driverless car lab where it'll blend satellite and 5G signal to stay on the road


Re: Beating the 5G Hype-Horse with autonomous cars

While communicating cars over 5G might be a good thing, this is exactly the thing why I detest all this 5G & autonomous cars hype peddling.

Autonomous cars must always be able to drive safely among other cars, pedestrians, etc. even when no one around talks to them. I.e. an autonomous car must be safe even when there are no other autonomous cars around.

This makes all the "5G helps autonomous driving" utterly useless. In a perfect world in which all cars communicate, such a thing might be useful. However, the world is not perfect, and makers of autonomous care should make sure, that their autonomous cars are safe on their own (the comms network could be down - possibly due to some tinfoil hatters' arson, there could be only dumb cars around, insert reason).

However, in the mean time, people are getting killed while companies try to figure out how to make a car drive autonomously. No 5G network will save the driver of the fancy Hype-Mobile if the Hype-Mobile slams head-on into a lane divider, which it did not recognize.

Or should we equip all lane dividers with 5G, so that they can tell the Hype-Mobile about them?


Beating the 5G Hype-Horse with autonomous cars

I understand that you can't spin much hype out of a technology for improving a mobile phone network, but autonomous driving? Really?

It seems the 5G-Hype must be fed so that companies and governments keep pouring money into it.

However, autonomous cars already are killing people if they do all the computing on-board. What good would introducing a comms channel that is susceptible to outages, bad reception and mixed latency bring into the already brighly burning dumpster fire that is autonomous driving?

Microsoft takes another shot at the Windows-on-Arm thing with a revamped Surface Pro X powered by new SQ2 silicon

Paris Hilton

One of the medium-whigs of our company wanted a detachable (a laptop that can be made into a tablet by removing the keyboard), since she saw someone at a meeting with such a device, and she found that they are cool, and now she wanted a new toy for herself.

We did some research, and found that there is no native Office for Arm-powered Surfaces. Thus, the medium-whig got an Intel-powered Surface.

No native Office in a work environment? We are not going to ask for additional trouble.

Where are we now? Microsoft 363? 362? We've lost count because Exchange Online isn't playing nicely this morning



No Service as a Service

Just another thought-experiment.

Imagine a world in which we pay for micros~1 362 only the (362/365)-th fraction of the subscription. Or, if we recieved some sort of compensation if the outage lasts longer than say 3 hours, as it is the case with airline flights.

I know the way out.

Huawei's UK code reviewers say Chinese mega-corp is still totally crap at basic software security. Bad crypto, buffer overflows, logic errors...


Can we do this for all manufacturers

While the increased scrutiny directed at Huawei was sort of collateral damage of the trade bickering between the Beloved Leader of the Alternative Western World and China, ...

could we do this with every manufacturer of critical infrastructure?

Imagine a world, in which we can proof that our power distribution systems can not be hacked by some script kiddies from Elbonia.

Ok, I'll show myself out.

Exercise-tracking app Strava to give away data sweated out after four billion runs, rides and rambles


Re: Slight problem with that..

"Consultation with local commuters would be a better first step ...", well, the Silicon Valley wisdom is that they know best. Furthermore, that's pure data. Data never lies.

As for Down Under, in the couple of months I was working in Melbourne, my take away was that cyclists and pedestrians are at best an afterthought in sub-urbia. However, I haven't been to Sydney.

Not only in light of Covid should we increase human-powered modes of transportation, also in light of climate change, we could do with more walking and cycling.

All those ‘teleworking is the new normal’ predictions? Not so much, say bosses


Covid disrupts feudal corporate culture

Similar in my company. While laptops are commonplace, since many of us need to be able to travel to partners, customers and other offices of ours, corporate culture is pretty feudal.

However, we still had to panic buy one or two laptops.

A couple of months ago, we have done away our landline phones (in fact, they were VoIP phones). The phones themselves were made in hell, so I am quite happy about that move. However, ownership of a company mobile phone was pretty much tied to role (mid management and above) and/or title (only a select few below PhD).

Hence, our latest hire (a MSc) is totally without a phone. The landlines for the commonfolk are gone, and the mobiles are for the aristocracy.

Also WfH is pretty much restricted to the aristos, at the first possible moment when the lock-down was lifted, manglement announced a return to office. If you can state comprehensive and essential reasons preventing you to return to office, highest manglement will hear your case, and decide case-by-case.

NHS COVID-19 launch: Risk-scoring algorithm criticised, the downloads, plus public told to 'upgrade their phones'


Botch 2.0?

A lot of potential false positives unleashed at a Test&Trace system without sufficient testing capability is a recipe for failure.

In my country, the contact tracing app is out for quite a while, but I am not aware of any published figures about the alerts handed out by the app, the number of false positives, etc.

It remains to be seen if the Corona-apps are any good.

England's COVID-tracking app finally goes live after 6 months of work – including backpedal on how to handle data


Re: Compulsion or not

Austria was quite quick to develop a tracing app, which uses the decentralized approach.

However, it was almost immediately dead in the water, after some wise whigs started discussing whether the app should be compulsory or not.

Paris Hilton

United? Kingdom

I know a little about devolution and relative autonomy of the four nations of the UK. However, as an ignorant mainlander I struggle to understand why the UK implemented three tracing apps.

What about interoperability?

It would probably quite beneficial if the Northern Ireland tracing app would interact with the Republic of Ireland's app (provided they have one, excuse my ignorance).

Is the Scottish app compatible with the England+Wales app?

Why doesn't Wales have its own app? (asking just for fun)

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns


Re: Clean sheet design

They made quite some money though in the meantime with the 737 MAX.



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