* Posts by fxkeh

100 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Oct 2021


Ex-White House CIO tells The Reg: TikTok ban may be diplomatic disaster


Re: Someone clarify please ?

Strictly, they've not outright banned any non-Chinese apps / social networks... they just demand all companies follow Chinese laws. Which involves following whatever censorship and monitoring the government requests, and that ends up being either too expensive or politically unpopular for most American companies. For example of the latter, Microsoft offers Bing search within the Chinese mainland and complies with the government's take down requests; Google pulled out because at the time they were still claiming to "do no evil". For an example of the former, Microsoft offered Linked-In in China for many years, and only recently pulled out because the cost of complying became too much.

If the US actually had federal privacy laws they could demand all apps / social networks didn't collect too much personal information, and publish their algorithms, promotions, etc, to prove no bias or undue influencing. But that would be lobbied furiously against by Google, Facebook, Musk, etc, so instead we have this.

Mitchell Baker logs off for good as CEO of Firefox maker Mozilla


Charity Navigator now says Mozilla is great?

"Charity Navigator, an organization that measures NGO effectiveness, would give them zero out of ten on the relevant metric."

Well, https://www.charitynavigator.org/ein/200097189 shows (the full) 4 stars now, so if that was the reason Patterson railed against Mozilla in 2020 I guess we should conclude that it's all okay now and he's changed his opinion?

Or... this shouldn't have been included in the article without disclaiming that the evaluation had now improved.

Tech billionaires ask Californians to give new utopian city their blessing


won't someone think of the cars

"There will be affordable housing and it will be all safe and there will be parks and hospital.' That's great but let's talk about the infrastructure, the highways. "

X's 2024 plans include peer-to-peer payments in app push


Re: But why?

You're not wrong about market differences, but I just want to point out that Grab isn't a Chinese app (and I doubt even available in mainland China) so the CCCP has no hand in it's success.


Re: But why?

Everything apps are quite successful in other parts of the world (In Asia Grab and Wechat are ubiquitous in their respective markets, and Line is trying the same thing) - and I've long thought Whatsapp would have undergone the same journey from chat to everything app if Facebook hadn't bought and smothered it in it's cradle to stop it competing with it's core product (which remains focused on making money through harvesting your data instead).

But "X" as an everything app does seems a fail from the get-go - there just isn't enough of a widespread user base who use and trust the app to support it, and the user count doesn't appear to be going in the right direction either.

With OpenAI GPT Store imminent, apps are already being ripped off by copycats


AI to the rescue!

Maybe they can use AI to stop the AI being ripped off?

US Navy sailor swaps sea for cell after accepting bribes from Chinese snoops


Re: "sophisticated encrypted communication methods"

Whatsapp, probably.

Airport chaos as eGates down for the count across UK


Mmm, but having recently done this...

> This needs a WeChat app that requires a WeChat account to download

There's a website too. You don't need to use the WeChat app

> WeChat requires a Chinese phone number, bank account and Chinese Id to register

WeChat didn't need a Chinese phone number, or Chinese bank account last time I tried it, and certainly doesn't need a Chinese ID.

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?


works well for known-ish locations; not so well for wider areas.

The W3W combinations are designed to not produce ambiguous combinations *nearby*, which is great if the receiver of the w3w already knows roughly where the location is going to be, because it functions as a pseudo-checksum (e.g. if I'm giving my home address to you as a w3w, and you already know I live in Davenport in Stockport, for example, then there is likely only one possible match among the homonyms, etc, in Davenport); but the wider the area is, the more possible locations it could be. Seems like a design flaw.

India launches contest to build homegrown web browser


Nationalism for the sake of Nationalism?

I can understand the whole self sufficiency angle, but really what can an Indian made FOSS browser offer over just encouraging contributions to, and maybe even mandating use of, existing FOSS browsers?

If the "winner" ends up being a Chrome reskin, even more so.


Re: I wish them luck

It'll probably just end up being based on Chromium, aka yet-another-Chrome clone like Edge, Brave, etc.

Two US Navy sailors charged with giving Chinese spies secret military info


Re: Comparing apple pie to mandarins

If this happened I'd expect the Chinese government to pay a little more attention to a foreign national who immediately wants to join the military tbh. Especially given how complicated and costly it is to gain citizenship, compared to the forces salary.

Or maybe the US Government did pay attention and just waited for them to do the inevitable.

Global Slack messaging outage cuts world off from colleagues


Re: "bought [..] in 2020 for $27 billion, hauled in $1.5 billion [..] for its fiscal 2022"

$1.5 billion in *revenue*, not profit. So who knows when/if they will get enough profit to get a return on that $27 billion investment.

Australia's 'great example of government using technology' found to be 'crude and cruel'. And literally lethal to citizens



"The report recommends hundreds of people be considered for possible civil or criminal prosecution"

Good! Only when the people responsible for this receive criminal records and have to pay restitution from their own pockets will it serve as a deterrent for future politicians and bureaucrats.

NIST boffins shrink atomic beam clock to the size of a postage stamp


non-standards compliant measurement

I'm disappointed the article is continuing to use "postage stamp" as a measurement of size, rather than using the correct standard, which as any fule kno, is the nanoWales for area - https://www.theregister.com/Design/page/reg-standards-converter.html - or grapefruit for volume.

Restaurant hired 'priest' to extract workplace confessions from staff


Re: WOW!

And don't forget the massive $5,000 fine for the business - however will they avoid bankruptcy!

Montenegro jails Do Kwon, accused of causing $40 billion LUNA crash


Not having a formal extradition treaty doesn't mean much except extra talking between diplomats. Unless there's a law against extraditing him, he's a Montenegrin national, or a particularly sympathetic character with the public, (none of these afaik) the government there can just hand him over to whoever they want really.

Tesla ordered to pay worker $3M-plus over racist treatment


Re: Confused

Even if he only got 50%, $7.5m is still a huge chunk of money. I don't know how much his salary was, but even with silicon valley wages thats got to be the same as decades of work.

China aims to pair J-20 stealth fighter with 'loyal wingman' battle drone


Re: Hmm

Fwiw, the South China Morning Post is Hong Kong based and nominally independent of the government (as much as it can be these days)

Microsoft wants to stick adverts in Bing chat responses


Re: "Because it works"

Unfortunately (for someone who, like yourself, does not enjoy seeing adverts everywhere) it *does* work for some products/companies, and can all be tracked with various codes and cookies. It's very possible to see that the $100 (or whatver) you paid resulted in X impressions where your ad was shown, which lead to Y people going to your website, and Z purchases on the back of those impressions. So you know what extra sales your ad money drove, and if it's more or less than the profit margin on those sales; and you know what your normal sales were direct from the webstie without the ads the previous months, etc. It's crappy, but it works, because some people do buy things after seeing and then clicking on adverts.

If you don't like it, just don't click on the adverts. Ironically, if everyone who hates adverts - and wasn't going to ever click on them - who blocks the adverts from being shown at all then the impression -> sales rate increases, giving advertising better returns... which leads to more advertising.

Apple sued for allegedly firing, threatening union organizers


What is especially wrong about the implied link between unions and communism is how actively hostile communist countries are to any kind of organised union activity among the workforce.

No 'decoupling' here: Apple, Samsung, and Qualcomm sing China's praises


>How long before everyone realizes their phones were all made in China?

Everyone already realizes their phones (and pretty much everything else) is made in China. How long till everyone realizes that any spying taking place is from the software on the phone, and questions who is in control of the software is the actual question. (Answer, one would assume, is the company making the operating system and the company making whatever apps are on the phone - who are approved by the company making the operating system...)

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


Re: Not just about spying

A backdoor that shutdown the network is pretty useless though, unless it's used in a country that you're planning to militarily attack.

Think about it: If you're going to attack the country then the mobile networks going down would certainly cause disruption that could make your military attack more impactful, or likely to succeed. But if you're not attacking them then activating the hidden backdoor would realistically cause only some short-term public disruption - until the country were able fix it or switch to alternative hardware. They're certainly not going to back-down on any sanctions - the public anger alone would make this impossible - they're going to escalate sanctions and other actions instead.

China is absolutely not going to attack Germany, a country half-way around the world, NATO member, and key ally of three nuclear armed countries. So if there was one, then activating a hidden backdoor will only make things worse for China.

The only value of that kind of backdoor is as a threat _before_ the sanctions - but that's a one time threat, that would be just as likely to lead to the information being made public, and then every country will stop using Chinese equipment rather than just the US and whatever countries it can strong-arm into following suit.

The US would sooner see TSMC fabs burn than let China have them



> what about South Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Philippines, etc? One way or other, China claims sovereignty over parts of all those nations.

Source for that? I've seen their "dash line" map that claims parts of the sea near other countries but nothing that claims parts of those nations themselves. (China does claim some territory that India and Pakistan control however)

US government says Silicon Valley Bank depositors can get their cash on Monday


Re: What did he know two weeks ago?

Apparently he had to file the notification that he was going to sell the shares back in January, so it's more like what did he know 6-7 weeks. Whatever it was, I would guess his salary is high enough have made it a better idea to keep the bank afloat for at least another 6 months or so if possible and pocket that income instead/also.

Silicon supply chain players plot exodus from China in wake of ASML's exit


Re: Not just Chips

We absolutely do not need to thank Mr Putin for anything.

We "beat" our competitors by making better products than them, rather than enacting trade restrictions under the guise of national security and then strong arming other countries to do the same.

Silicon Valley Bank seized by officials after imploding: How this happened and why


Re: Cue Bono

Perhaps it was deliberate - but if you were a VC and saw a potential risk of the bank going under, then telling your clients was to get their money out was the responsible thing to do - for both their interests and your own. The problem is that becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen 10 as a Linux laptop


Re: Optional

It's available - go to the lenovo website and chose build your own - just the bundle ids are country specific.

German 5G network ban said to loom for Huawei and ZTE


Re: key parts of critical infrastructure might become dependent on foreign technology

> For starters the US is not engaging in genocide and does not run concentration camps.

Well, it did previously - the genocide of the native peoples and the WW2 "internment" camps of anyone looking a bit Asian - but one would think the primary concern of the German government would be how this affects Germany and German citizens, rather than what another country is doing within their borders to their citizens.

First satellite to be launched from European soil leaves Cornwall tonight


Re: Marketing notwithstanding, it's not taking of from "European Soil".

To be more pendantic, French Guiana is part of France so part of the EU but is not in Europe so not European soil. Cornwall, however, is part of the UK so is not part of the EU but *is* in Europe so is European soil.

Chinese Tesla owners protest another round of price cuts


Re: Generally never a right time to buy for lots of stuff

I can kind of see their point if they've paid and Tesla havn't delivered their car yet. I'd be annoyed too - though likely not annoyed enough to actually go protest.

The house price example is an interesting one because in England both sides generally _can_ pull out of a property sale (or attempt to renegotiate) between accepting the sale price and actually handing over the money and getting the keys.

US sanctions drain Huawei of homegrown advanced chips


Re: American trade protection

yes, I said something similar in a comment on another story - that US policy doesn't have anything to do with human rights so even if China changed how it treated it's citizens the US policies wouldn't - and got heavily downvoted, then my comment was deleted by a moderator.

Latest US blacklist spells trouble for China’s biggest domestic 3D NAND supplier


"beating global rivals like Micron in the US as well"

Surely a completely unrelated factor in the action being taken against them.

Washington DC drags Amazon to court for 'yoinking' driver tips


Re: Tips?

I can see a reason why you'd give your local postie (or refuse collector, newspaper delivery person, etc, etc) an annual christmas tip as a way of being festive. I can't see tipping each delivery person for each and every delivery.



I admit to finding the American tipping culture strange, but tipping the delivery driver seems to me an extra level of bizarre. Where is the added service that you're rewarding - that the box wasn't used as a football and/or stolen?

Do you tip the FedEx person too? The UPS person delivering your letters?

‘Mother of Internet’ Radia Perlman argues for centralized infrastructure


"if there are 50 terrorists in the country it's no big deal"

Leaving aside if that many *is* a big deal, the real danger is easily connecting people who want terrorism with impressionable losers who can be radicalised into carrying out terrorist acts.

Twitter tries to lure brands back with spend-matching scheme


now with bonus 50% extra brand damage!

Sure, if I'm an brand who has pulled my advertising because I'm concerned it'll be next to Nazi memes, then I'll totally sign up for more of my brand next to Nazi memes!

Just 22% of techies in UK aged 50 or older, says Chartered Institute for IT


Re: What do we expect?

There's little chance most people will be retiring at 60 these days, but I thought a similar thing - that 22% doesn't seem far off what you'd see from a normal distribution. And that it's a little lower could be just be that 30 years ago there were less IT jobs around so less people started a career in IT.

Multi-tasker Musk expects to reduce time at Twitter, seek another leader


"making people walk is cheap."

Normally creating terrible workplace conditions so people just quit is much cheaper than paying redundancy, but genuis CEO Elon offered everyone at the company the option of taking the redunancy payment. And he made it an opt-out choice too (everyone who _didn't_ sign up got the payout to leave)

Amazon founder Bezos to donate 'majority' of $126bn fortune


"he could start by winning around critics"

Nonsense! It's much easier to impress people who hold a neutral position on you than your critics.

China's first domestic single-aisle jet, the C919, scores 300 orders


Re: Historically

Oh, where did you live in Beijing and Shanghai then? You must have some personal experience to back up your claim that they're unpleasant places to live in. Or some other objective score based on all the factors that make a place pleasant or unpleasant - air quality alone is not the universal criteria for desirably (nor is your dislike for the government).


Re: Historically

Comac seems to be headquarterd in Shanghai rather than Beijing.

DoJ charges pair over China-linked attempt to build semi-autonomous crypto haven on nuked Pacific atoll


Team America!

So... two Marshall Island citizens lobby to make changes in the Marshall Islands and they're arrested in Thailand and extradited to the US - if they committed a crime isn't that something for the Marshall Islands to prosecute? What right does the United States have to get involved?

If they going to repeat this action for every country there are plenty of MPs in the UK with "connections" to companies that received government contracts in the last few years I wouldn't object to joining Yan and Zhou.

India wants to quadruple electronics biz in just four years


Why India?

I can understand why the Indian government want to copy the success of the electronics manufacturing of their neighbours, but what is going to attract multinationals to choose India over other countries? And/or lead Indian companies to beat well established foreign competitors in global markets? Any current success seems to have been achieved by "encouraging" that electronics for domestic consumption are made in India (tariffs, subsidies, localization requirements, etc) - and attempting to push out foreign companies (tax affairs of Xiaomi, etc) - rather than any inherent advantages in Indian manufacturing. If you want to win at exports, rather than nationalism, you need to be a better choice than your neighbours.

FBI: Look out, crooks stole $1.3b in cryptocurrency in just three months this year


Funding North Korea's nuclear weapon programme

The FBI should have started charging the operators of these DeFi/craptocurrency outfits with aiding terrorism with their shitty coding back when this started happening, rather than years later, after North Korea has used the billions of dollars to fund their weapons programme. That would have given everyone to incentive to write better code, or even better, shut themselves down and saved a lot of idiots from getting scammed.

Meta picks India for WhatsApp's first e-commerce service


If Meta hadn't bought Whatsapp and effectively stopped it from innovating or adding any new features, it very likely would already be like WeChat (the Chinese app you're thinking of) or Line (the Japanese app that's also popular in other Asian countries). The takeover killed any chances of that so we in the west are left with apps that only know how to make money by selling our personal data, rather than making money on integrations and leaving your data alone. It's sad.

DeFi credit scores: Coming soon to a blockchain near you



A small amount of inflation is a *good thing* in an economy. Inflation discourages hoarding of cash assets (because they loose relative value) over investment in businesses; encourages buying today over the future (when prices will be higher); and reduces the absolute value of debt. An economy with no inflation - or even worse, deflation, which is what many cryptocurrencies are aiming for - is a dead economy.

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


they had collateral for the loaned funds... it's just the collateral was funny money and actually worth (near) nothing

China, US relations further soured by CHIPS Act


Re: Dictatorships sooner or later always invade their neighbours

Sure, I don't think even the previous US president would have launched a direct attack on the Chinese mainland - the kind of action that could lead to escalation involving nuclear weapons - but there a lot of disputed territories that can be entered and military activities that fall short of an invasion/missile strike, that can still significantly alter what a country can and can't do. Even pointless posturing can lead to a loss of reputation that can damage a country (at least internally).

I imagine China would like to get into the position where any military intervention by the US in the territories they consider theirs could be matched and retaliated against, so as to discourage them from trying.


Re: Dictatorships sooner or later always invade their neighbours

China may not be threatened by invasion by it's direct neighbours, but surely sees the US as an ongoing threat to it's ability to do whatever it wants to territory it sees as it's own. USA has a long track record of military intervention in other countries and it'd be naive to think they'd never attempt it with China, or anywhere China regards as part of China.

The US who continue to spend vast amounts more than China (and everyone else put together) and has no defensive need for that level of spending either (or even more so - China shares land borders with India, North Korea and Russia, among other less military inclined neighbours; USA shares land borders with Mexico and Canada).