* Posts by Emir Al Weeq

168 publicly visible posts • joined 28 Mar 2020


Brit healthcare body rapped for WhatsApp chat sharing patient data

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Sigh..

And that's the problem: so many people are happy to share their contacts list and don't consider that the data in it isn't theirs to share.

Nobody would ever work on the live server, right? Not intentionally, anyway

Emir Al Weeq

There may be some that do this, but "stacking" is the method that I and many others use. In essence you average out many frames to produce a good image.

Tesla's Dojo supercomputer is a billion-dollar bet to make AI better at driving than humans

Emir Al Weeq

Training your AVs at the fun-fair.

I saw the word "Dojo" and initially pronounced it "dodge-o". From then on, I couldn't get the image of dodgems out of my head. Probably not what their marketing department are aiming for!

Barts NHS hack leaves folks on tenterhooks over extortion

Emir Al Weeq

Dear Mr Banana,

That explains all those bloody phone calls.

Yours sincerely,

Emir Al Weeq

01234 567 890

Capita staffers told attackers stole data from its own pension fund

Emir Al Weeq

But the data hasn't been sold...

... on the dark web.

>The letter said the tech company had hired a consultant to check data had not been sold on the dark web.

So that's OK then. Just like if someone holds a gun to your head: your're totally safe if an expert can find no evidence that the trigger has already been pulled.

Meta's data-hungry Threads skips over EU but lands in Britain

Emir Al Weeq

Will I now receive lots of consent requests?

I'm in a lot of people's contact lists. I would like to think that every one of them who installs Threads will ask me my permission for them to share my details with Threads before granting it access to their contact list.

Just like they did when installing Facebook. Not.

The future of digital healthcare could be a two-metre USB cable

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Emergeny Room? Free to use?

I too assumed it was US from the use of a "two-meter USB cable".

In the UK that would be a cable used to connect two measuring devices.

Thanks for fixing the computer lab. Now tell us why we shouldn’t expel you?

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Command.com

I was going to say the same thing about 8", but the comment did relate to PCs and I never saw 8" as standard on a PC.

(Although I suspect someone here will have seen it done.)

Emir Al Weeq

Don't forget post/deliveries.

I would always pop round to the post room in early December with a tub or two of chocolates and wish them "Merry Christmas" just before the annual "do not use the company address for personal deliveries" email came round.

They never delivered obvious Christmas purchases to my desk where the boss could see, instead a quiet phone call would advise me to bring my car to the delivery entrance at the end of the day and they'd help me load up.

Child-devouring pothole will never hurt a BMW driver again

Emir Al Weeq

I've posted this story before...

Many years ago (12+) I test drove a BMW 7 series with indicators that did not self-cancel mechanically by having the steering wheel reset the control stalk; instead the electronics cancelled them when it detected a big turn of the wheel.

The problem was that I couldn't figure out how to manually cancel when the auto cancel failed to detect gentle turns such as motorway lane changes: I kept setting off the opposite indicator and so I gave up using them.

No, I didn't buy the car.

Amazon opens its ad-hoc Wi-Fi-sipping Sidewalk mesh to all manner of gadgets

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Nope.

The problem is that if you have an Amazon device and your neighbour does too, their device can route via your device which does have access to your WiFi / broadband.

Your list needs to include the step:

Chuck everything Amazon in the bin.

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

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Asimov nailed it

I'd buy that for a dollar!

Don't worry, that system's not actually active – oh, wait …

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Do Not Change The Settings

I recently replaced two of these and set out to dispose of the old ones. My local council website does not differentiate different types of detector and says to use the metal and plastic wastebin.

When I phoned them I got the same answer; I tried to explain that they have a little radioactive warning sign on them but I don't think the lady believed me.

They're still in my garage.

To explore caves on Mars and the Moon, take a hint from Hansel & Gretel, say boffins

Emir Al Weeq

Re: ICE : how many TLAs ?

I always think of William Gibson's Intrusion Countermeasures Electronics

Ford seeks patent for cars that ditch you if payments missed

Emir Al Weeq

Re: What crap

>Cars that automatically report driving info

You could use that to your advantage: take it on a track day on the first day of the month. You're unmonitored for the rest of the month because you've used up the SIM's data allowance.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: BOFH tampering..

You will be waiting, along with everyone else stuck behind it in the tunnel.

PC tech turns doctor to diagnose PC's constant crashes as a case of arthritis

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Don't get me started...

We are by no means perfect. I've already heard people say that Charles III will be coronated.

Biden: I want standard EV chargers made in America by 2024 – get on it

Emir Al Weeq

Re: I'm starting to think this is the wrong approach

If you're going to hit them with a mains powered cattle-prod, being grounded is something they do need to worry about.

(We call it "earthed" on this side of the pond.)

Find My Kids app is basically AirTags for your offspring

Emir Al Weeq

Perfect business model

Let's sell Air-tags to people who want to track others.

Now let's sell an app to detect if someone's tracking you with an Air-tag.

Now let's sell a new way to track people.

Coming soon: an app to tell if there's an an Apple watch (that isn't yours) following you about.

Fast-evolving Prilex POS malware can block contactless payments

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Not me.

Nematoad: make a small cut (5mm) in the edge of the card. This will break the antenna and disable the contactless feature. I do two opposite cuts to be sure; it's something I've been doing for years. I've never found typing in a PIN a big inconvenience.

I started because I knew two people who had their purses stolen and had the thieves go from shop to shop buying easily resellable goods (cigarettes and booze) with each card. They both got their money back, but it was a lot of hassle.

Mind you, after reading this, I may have a rethink.

Hi, Pakistan? You do know anyone can edit Wikipedia, right? You don't have to ask

Emir Al Weeq

Must try harder

429,343 websites were deemed "smut."

Is that all they found? They weren't looking very hard; my "favourites" list is bigger than that.

Three seconds of audio could end up costing Fox $500,000

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Harmony by disharmony

>Do sirens in the UK now "fssssh" periodically

You've got a few "no"s but over quite a few years now, I've heard emergency vehicles with that sort of siren. Not enough to say it's common but enough that I don't find it surprising anymore.

Smart ovens do really dumb stuff to check for Wi-Fi

Emir Al Weeq

I used to like the Samsung tune because I knew what it meant and didn't need to investigate which appliance wanted my attention.

However I echo the "don't buy Samsung" comment because it stopped working after about 5 years and every repair person that I phoned simply said "buy something else" as soon as I told them the brand.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: No-brainer

I thought my washing machine had the right idea: it can be controlled using Bluetooth, so no internet access required.

The thing is, I downloaded the app and the first things it wants are internet connectivity and my email address. App deleted. I was only doing it out of curiosity and didn't even know the machine had Bluetooth when I bought it.

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Baidu.cn and Yandex.ru.

But we do need to sensor your comment, otherwise how will we know its temperature or orientation or GPS coordinates or...

...sorry! Just getting ready for my job interview with AEG.

Disaster recovery blunder broke New York Stock Exchange this week

Emir Al Weeq

Why do I think this happened?

Two years earlier:-

Tech: So, in conclusion, factoring in design, planning, development, testing and installation this should cost $x. We then have added confidence that live and DR cannot degrade each other's performance. Does the panel have any questions?

Beancounter: surely it's cheaper just to write a line in a process document somewhere saying "do it like this" and file it in a locked filing cabinet in a disused lavatory...

NASA, DARPA to go nuclear in hopes of putting boots on Mars

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Project Orion

I couldn't help but think the same thing. Lift-off would be awesome to see (dark goggles please) but not sure I'd be happy with the environmental impact.

Punch-drunk Apple Watch called 15 cops to a boxing workout when it heard 'shots'

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Hey, Siri

I've almost* given up trying to tell people that. I inevitably get a reply along the lines of "So what? My life is not that interesting."

They don't realise that we all have different ideas about what's interesting. With this sort of attitude so prevalent, it's only going to get worse.

*If I had no children whose future I care for, I would give up.

FCC calls for mega $300 million fine for massive US robocall campaign

Emir Al Weeq

If carrier B is terminating a call from carrier A, it doesn't need to know if the originating number is genuine (or even sent), it just needs to bill carrier A for its (B's) share of the bill. Billing the caller is carrier A's problem.

A may not be in the same juristiction as B so things get complicated.

License to launch: UK space regulator gives Virgin Orbit satellites the go-ahead

Emir Al Weeq

Re: liicences, nor licenses

My thoughts too...

UK regulators don't issue "licenses", they may however issue "licences".

Women sue Apple claiming AirTags helped their stalkers

Emir Al Weeq


I had wondered about bulk upload over mobile but not WiFi. I can think of a few use cases where WiFi would work.

Emir Al Weeq

Does that cost and battery life include the radio that you'll need to forward the GPS info to whomever needs it?

Two signs in the comms cabinet said 'Do not unplug'. Guess what happened

Emir Al Weeq

A plug as a single point of failure

With the redundancy used, I'm surprised they didn't put a bit of thought into the power distribution and connect each side to the mains with a separate plug. I appreciate that the setup may not deserve independently resilient redundant feeds but, with the design used, the fuse in the plug was a SPoF, sign or no sign.

Man wins court case against employer that fired him for not liking boozy, forced 'fun' culture

Emir Al Weeq

Re: "Fun & pro, that's our motto!"

Which makes me think the answer should be...

None: they use jet fuel.

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech

Emir Al Weeq

> and it's (sic) companion app

I take it that you are using something to check what the app is really doing.

Since using Duck Duck Go's App Tracking Protection I find it quite shocking what unrelated* data some apps try to send to unrelated* destinations.

I say "try" because the tracking protection and I take steps to stop it.

*Unrelated to the apps's purpose

All of the norths are about to align over Britain

Emir Al Weeq

Or you could...

1. Point your watch's hour hand at the sun* and South then lies half way between the hour hand and noon (or 1 o' clock during BST).

2. Use the fact that Sky TV dishes point South. It used to be 22 degrees East of South if my 30 year-old memory of the time when I helped to install them is any good.

3. Use the fact that moss is usually found on the North side of trees. Is that really a thing?

*Yes, I know sun is a rare thing in the UK but I once used this trick quite a bit to help navigate whilst driving in Morocco from Fez to Tangier, all the while accompanied by a look from SWMBO that translated as "remind me again why you didn't pack the satnav".

Business can't make staff submit to video surveillance, says court

Emir Al Weeq

I used that very trick. Shirt, tie and suit trousers when almost everyone else in the office was in jeans and t-shirt. At the end of the day I could "take work off and put on home". Kept it up when WFH.

Block this: Using satellites to plaster ads over our skies could work, say boffins

Emir Al Weeq


If they have to shuffle around for every different city they zip over they will go through their fuel rather quickly.

BOFH: You want presentation layer, but we're physical layer

Emir Al Weeq

Color? Liter?

Et tu, Simon?

By Jove! Jupiter to make closest approach to Earth in 70 years next Monday

Emir Al Weeq

Apogee = furthest from Earth

Perigee = closest to Earth

Aphelion = furthest from sun

perihelion = closest to sun

Heart now pledges 30-seat hybrid electric commercial flights by 2028

Emir Al Weeq

Seat plan please

"By dropping five passengers, Heart said, the ES-30's range doubles to 800 km,"

Does anyone know which seats have the trap-doors under them? I'd rather like to sit elsewhere.

GM's Cruise revises self-driving software after San Francisco crash

Emir Al Weeq

No way was the car turning

I don't know the exact junction layout, but I get the impression that it is unlikely that a Prius could make the turn at 40mph. This should have been enough to tell the Cruise AV that it wasn't turning or to make the turn quickly, keep right and be prepared for an out-of-control Prius to enter its path. Or better still, don't even attempt the turn.

If too much for an AV then it's not ready for real-world driving.

You can never have too many backups. Also, you can never have too many backups

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Stack popped reading that procedure....

I think step 11 should say "It is the backup copy of F" but, apart from that, your interpretation is the same as mine.

You have no downvotes as I write this. If you get one, is not me: the process is confusing enough that the error is understandable.

Smartphone gyroscopes threaten air-gapped systems, researcher finds

Emir Al Weeq

Isn't it obvious?

That spa weekend you did? You were hypnotised and now your secrets are encoded into the rate at which you throw the bread.

Bankrupt cryptocurrency exchange Voyager to pay $1.6m bonus to key staff

Emir Al Weeq

A bonus is a bonus

If you do well and the company does well, you get a bonus. It's not standard salary.

If you or the company under-perform than it's reduced or lost. Going bankrupt generally counts as under-performance.

In a time before calculators, going the extra mile at work sometimes didn't add up

Emir Al Weeq

Re: And don't work too fast either!

One summer job I had was at a distribution company, basically putting goods ordered into boxes. I started on a temp's wage but after my first week the foreman said that my output matched that of the permanent employees so he would pay me the same as them.

There were two conditions:

1 Don't tell them.

2 Don't exceed Jim's output. "He is proud of being number 1 and will sulk all summer of you better him. I don't need that."

Emir Al Weeq

When checking my work landed me in hot water.

I was working at a UK mobile network operator, whose new CTO was an arrogant individual. He had some bad ideas and also some good ones, many of which were issued as JFDI diktats.

One of his ideas arrived on my desk. The requirement was that it should not be possible for a user to make changes on a switch without change control authorisation; this was to be managed by disabling all user access and providing change control with a scheduler to enable relevant users’ access as per the change schedule. My job was to write the scheduler and front end; end of conversation: do it now!

To be sure that my system was meeting the requirements I created a second utility that periodically downloaded the switches’ change logs and checked to see if any changes were being made that my scheduler could not account for. I found something...

An unknown user was using an unknown access port to run unknown commands. The penny didn’t drop and so, not twigging what department this might be and me being in a rush to plug the hole I’d found, I asked various people I knew throughout the business to try to identify the miscreant.

Next thing I knew I was standing in front of the CTO with some individuals from “lawful intercept”. It turns out that a config error (not mine) had made visible to my log checker their supposedly hidden activities: I shouldn’t have seen what I had seen and certainly not gone asking questions. The CTO, who, up to that point, knew nothing about the intercept activities or my second utility, hated being shown to not know everything.

I got a proper dressing-down from the CTO that afternoon for having gone the extra mile and written the log checker, but nothing more came of things after that so I assume I hadn’t ruffled too many feathers. I deleted the logs I had uncovered and, given that no more showed up, the config error must have been fixed, not that I got any thanks.

NASA builds for keeps: Voyager mission still going after 45 years

Emir Al Weeq

Multiples of less

"three million times less memory than a typical modern smartphone".

One time less would be zero, so that must be -2,999,999 more.

I wonder what negative memory looks like; two's complement?

I'll leave "38,000 times slower" as it makes my brain hurt working out what that means.

Scientists use supercritical carbon dioxide to power the grid

Emir Al Weeq

I came here to say that too and was quite pleased to see that it was the first thing in the comments.

El Reg confusing energy and power. Standards are slipping!

Dev's code manages to topple Microsoft's mighty SharePoint

Emir Al Weeq

Re: Exchange

Have an upvote for echoing my opinion of Sharepoint perfectly.