* Posts by Johnb89

93 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Jan 2022


M2 Ultra chip lands in 'cheese grater' Mac Pro to displace Apple's last Intel holdout


They've finally done it

Early OSX days and maybe iphone days you'd wait for a .1 or maybe a .2 release for most of the bugs to shake out and things to settle down. For me, neither ios16 nor Ventura are yet stable/debugged enough x feature compelling enough to 'upgrade' to, and here they are announcing the next things.

So they've finally done it: not even bothered to finish one big release before introducing the next. Twice. Sigh.

Amazon Ring, Alexa accused of every nightmare IoT security fail you can imagine


In America you don't have to admit guilt, because why?

This is yet another example of a settlement or closing of a case in America where guilt has obviously been established, large or small fines assessed, but

1. They never have to admit guilt

2. No lessons can be learned because the details of the judgement are kept secret (though not possibly in this case, but in many)

How is that in any way justice, or an effective system of justice, or justice being seen to be done?

Yes yes, money talks. But it shouldn't.

UK tech industry pushing up salaries – but UI devs out of luck


You have to ACT young

The problem with being over 50 is that you have enough experience to realise that 80% of everything is crap, the latest fad is not going to change the world (probably), and anyway won't do so next week.

The thing to do is not say these thoughts out loud. Dye your hair, be enthusiastic when the latest craze is being mooted, collect your cheque, and laugh about it at home or at the pub/golf club/tennis club/morris dancing club event.

Airline puts international passengers on the scales pre-flight


More weight = pay more = BIGGER SEAT

For the cases where they are going to charge more by weight, do the big people get bigger seats? Because that would be fair and rather handy. As a tall person I already book (and pay extra for) the emergency row or extra leg room seats. In fact we already have that... business class... or first class.

Bigger seats in just economy would be fun.... every plane has 3 sizes of economy seats, lovingly arranged in family groups or sets of 4 facing each other like trains.

FBI abused spy law but only like 280,000 times in a year


Breakin' the law or Breaking the law

If congress doesn't renew this law the FBI can continue doing these searches anyway.... what's the difference between breaking the law by misusing powers, and breaking the law by doing things that you aren't allowed to do?

Does not renewing the law mean the tool gets shut down? Seems unlikely... hidden perhaps, but not shut down.

Tesla batteries went from fully charged to fully disabled after botched patch, lawsuit claims


Its called 'revenue optimisation'

So Tesla puts out a software update that triggers people spending LOTS of money at a Tesla dealer on Tesla products.

I call it genius.


Re: Everybody throttles

Tesla software updates, AFAIK, are not optional, nor can you turn them off. It auto updates. So your idea to not do auto updates doesn't apply.

Working from home could kill career advancement, says IBM CEO


Everybody calm down

Reading the comments, too many commenters are suggesting there is one answer for every job, every company, every day of the week, every person.

As a few have said some jobs can be done remotely, some jobs are better done part in the office (to meet with people) and part at home (to allow concentration), and some need to be at work... assembling cars, for instance.

Then there is the balance between types of productivity... short term, and long term mostly. Yes, staying at home to finish this dev project for 2 months will get that project done faster (let's say), but not going in to the office for 2 years means you lose track of what the company is about, by not meeting the people that are the company. Sometimes standing together at a white board gets the job done better.

And no, typing on slack/teams/whatever does NOT replace face-to-face conversation in all ways.

Unlike your iPhone, Apple's batterygate controversy refuses to die


Re: No good deed

Or you could say 'here was an example of a company that made older devices seem slow to encourage upgrades.'

I, for one, think apple probably did it for good reasons, not that... but you could say that.


Let the user decide

All apple should have done was let the user decide. Tell me "So here's the thing, your battery is getting older. You can a) let me slow your phone down to prolong its life, b) Keep using it at full power but your phone might crash, or c) get a new battery." But all that discussion breaks the 'it just works' thing, which anyway is a marketing slogan not backed by reality.

If they'd told me that I would have got a new battery, Instead I blamed software bloat and traded my SE for an SE 2020, costing me a pile of money. That is what this lawsuit is about.

Apple pushes first-ever 'rapid' patch – and rapidly screws up


Windoze sort of did that

Back in the day Windoze would apply updates at the end of the day. Seems like a good idea.

Except it would only tell me that it was going to do that when I shut down, at which point it would take 10 or 30 or 60 minutes installing updates with a big message 'do not unplug computer while updates are being applied' while I was wanting to leave the office with my laptop in my bag. And you couldn't tell it 'not right now, just shut down please'.

Pulling the battery out solved the problem nicely.


Re: This is the reason "you turn off this default setting..."

The proponents of auto-updating seem to think that software is flawless.

So it is a balance between being exposed to malware or whatever for a time til I choose to review and update, and being exposed to someone buggering up the update process. Waiting helps me reduce the problems of the latter, or at least do it at a time convenient to me, notably after making a backup.

I've deliberately ditched software that auto updates... Brave, Zoom, and Microsoft Office (which you can turn off auto updates, but that doesn't stop the auto-update application itself auto updating itself... sigh) amongst others.

Apple, Google propose anti-stalking spec for Bluetooth tracker tags


Ah the days when you could take the battery out

When I turn my phone 'off' I, stupidly, had in mind that it was 'off'. Silly me. A bit like "it depends what the meaning of 'is' is" for those that remember.

So now in Apple land, turning on airplane mode doesn't turn off the radios (wifi and/or bluetooth can stay on even when activating airplane mode) and turning the phone off doesn't turn the radios off. Non obvious modes of operation that I would have thought break 'no radios when flying' law.

Not to lessen the issue of these tags... I'm just venting about how I'm not allowed to control my device.

Huawei masters the great vanishing act as UK sales evaporate


So it didn't still say 'copyright Cisco' in the Huawei firmware?

At one point, IIRC, Huawei totally developed their own software and firmware for routers and such from scratch, but thoughtfully included 'copyright Cisco' anyway. This was some time ago, and at least rumours at the time. I can't say that I know its true.

I presume these weren't quite that old?

(Writing as a disgruntled ex-Nortel person, regarding the rumours that Huawei might have accidentally stumbled upon much IP, code and such, back in the day. So finding it hard to feel sorry for Huawei now.)

Child-devouring pothole will never hurt a BMW driver again


Is it the materials or the skills?

Not wanting to take the discussion up beyond the level of penis-painting, but I've often wondered... New-ish roads don't last long before there are potholes. Potholes repaired either bulge up, making a bump, or the filler comes out in short order... either way there is still a problem.

Is it a problem with the materials used to pave or repair our roads, or the skills (or lack of) of the people doing the paving and repairing? The materials to be used is a solved problem in the world, particularly because UK weather is benign. That leads to the conclusion that the workers aren't trying hard enough (or don't have the right equipment?). Is that it?

As noted, this isn't an IT problem, so perhaps I'll suggest that we fill in potholes with old windoze laptops and chromebooks.

UK government scraps smart motorway plans, cites high costs and low public confidence


Re: Variable speed randomness

No, I'm asking why the speed limit has been randomised, different at every sign.

And I'm also asking why the speed limit has been lowered when there is almost no traffic.


Variable speed randomness

The other part of the smart motorway debacle is the variable speed system. Who hasn't been on a motorway where the signs come up 40-60-30-50-60-30-50 and so on, or 'queue ahead', where there is hardly any traffic, let alone a queue?

What does this teach us to do? Ignore the lot. Then in the one in maybe 10 times it's true there's a problem because we've all ignored it.

I wrote them once: 'why does it say queue ahead when there isn't?'. Answer: Its all automated. So if the sensors detect a lorry going 50 or so we'll put the queue ahead warning for a few miles back. That was 15 years ago, but I can't see its any different now.

If we're going to spend all this money building these things with sensors and signs and all can we at least have them work? And if automation isn't up to the job, with it obviously isn't, have some people run it.

Russia-pushed UN Cybercrime Treaty may rewrite global law. It's ... not great


Changing the not-obeyed-anyway laws

I'm struggling to see the point of changing, enacting, worrying about, or otherwise caring about laws that our western governments ignore anyway, not even in secret. In the UK the supreme court has found that government surveillance that was done was illegal, but not only was no one prosecuted, they were told they could keep doing it. Which is nice.

So what is the point of spending time and money like this to change laws?

And how dare 'the west' tut and wag their fingers at whomever for doing naughty things when 'we' do it ourselves, to ourselves and our friends, let alone our adversaries?

It's time to reveal all recommendation algorithms – by law if necessary


With "AI" there is no algorithm

To clarify what some other commenters have said, with "AI", or machine learning, there isn't an algorithm. It really isn't a huge number of if/else statements. Even better, even the people that create/own/manage it have no idea why it does what it does, how it works, or indeed how changing something affects the outcomes.

That doesn't stop modifying the AI's output with things like 'anything Elon mutters is gold', of course.

This US national lab turned to AI to hunt rogue nukes


As long as you pronounce it correctly

If you pronounce it nuke-yeh-lerr then you aren't allowed to have one, or more. If New-clee-err then its fine.

That should sort things out.

China crisis is a TikToking time bomb


But we're the good guys

So when the UK supreme court rules that GCHQ et al spying is illegal, but that they can continue doing it anyway and no person will face prosecution, I should feel warm and fuzzy inside because I'm protected from government spying.

When the US government has laws that force any US company to give any data to the US government, and a similar 'not allowed to tell anyone its happening' clause applies, I feel warm and fuzzy inside again.

The blurriness of the distinctions here challenge all attempts at credibility. 'But we're the good guys' doesn't cut it.

How Arm aims to squeeze device makers for cash rather than pocket pennies for cores


This is what Qualcomm does (or at least did)

IIRC Qualcomm used (and still does?) a very similar model at the time of 3G when they were dominant, where some of the price that Qualcomm charged was based on the value of the end device. Qualcomm licensees used to squeal loudly about it and made every effort to get away from Qualcomm wherever possible. This spurs competition.

Every company's job is to make money. Charge too little and leave money on the table, charge too much and push customers to alternatives. This is the way it works, and I'm quite sure the people in the ARM exec offices understand this.

Alarming: Tesla lawsuit claims collision monitoring system is faulty


Its a money maker!

So Tesla charges extra on Tesla insurance if the Tesla software does things in the Tesla car that the owner/sucker has no say in.

This isn't incompetence, this is Revenue Optimisation! The bonus for the person that thought of it must have been millions, or given how clever that is, a percentage of the take.

Eufy security cams 'ignore cloud opt-out, store unique IDs' of anyone who walks by


Spray paint

For those concerned about being watched by every camera one walks by, there's at least a moral case to spray paint over the lens. Of each one. Can one do that without getting caught?

If 'they' are going to blather my image illegally all over the internet, with tracking no less, I have a right to mitigate against that, up to and including disabling it. And if accused of breaking the law the case that you were preventing their crime is not unreasonable. Whether a judge would agree is a question.

Now my neighbour may not KNOW his camera is doing that, but ignorance on his part does not signify acceptance on mine. Interestingly, my neighbour-with-a-doorball-cam took pains to point out that he'd pointed it only at HIS door, not the street, not at my house etc. Bless 'im.

British industry calls for regulation of autonomous vehicles


Re: Regulation = crystal ball gazing

Indeed. If 'your'* software is in charge of the car, then 'you' are liable for what it does as if 'you' were driving.

*you being whoever signs off the release of it, more or less.

PS, the 'first do no harm' thing is too strong for autonomous vehicles, IMHO. That would lead to having no vehicles at all, including delivering food to shops, ambulances and whatnot.


Re: Until there are an agreed set of regulations

If only that were the case. Several manufacturers (can't be bothered to look it up) have said aloud that in their view the 'driver' is still legally liable for what the car does in autonomous mode.

Which makes perfect sense, if you think about it. In stupid land.

Brit newspaper giant fills space with AI-assisted articles


Re: News headline: “Reach output contains traces of intelligence”?

I usually conclude that whoever wrote a Reach article failed all their GCSEs, and did so without even starting their English one. So an AI might actually be an improvement to grammar and hints of being coherent.

Let alone the lack of actual content, the clickbait headlines and the million ads.

'Thousands' at Meta face layoffs this week


Oh no, people doing evil getting sacked

Facebook is well down the slope-of-evil towards puppy torturing and data brokering, so isn't it nice that the people doing that are getting sacked? Shame we can't cream pie them on the way out.

Service desk tech saved consultancy Capita from VPN meltdown, got a smack for it


Re: Lesson Learned?

My thought was that management was using this as a way to push everyone to windoze7*, and by fixing XP our hero interfered. So yeah, big picture sometimes.

*I've been known to do such things myself as its often the only way to get some users to move

Thought you'd opted out of online tracking? Think again


If only we had some sort of government regulator

In the UK we have the ICO, whose job it specifically is to do exactly that. If only they would/did. They don't. Around Europe many ICOs have done small things, but not the big things. Mr Schrems gets much credit.

But the problem is voters aren't going to like not having access to Facebook, Instagram, Google and the like.

So we get what we 'want', collectively, whether we few here agree or not.

Supreme Court not interested in hearing about NSA's super-snoop schemes


Part of a trend

Recently the UK supreme court ruled very similarly. Though at least the court here ruled that what the spies are doing is wrong while ruling that they could continue to do it. Yup.

Politicians will get voted out if they "let" baddies do bad things, and for that we get much deeper spying. I'd much prefer if the trade off was open and clear, but that is either too hard to explain to the electorate and media, or just too complicated, or something.

Titanic mass grave site to be pillaged for NFTs


No but, they're 'licensed'

No but they've brought in "a licensed virtual asset manager" so its all legit, see?

Meanwhile I've yet to receive my Reg commentard Licence, so please could you get on that.

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


Get the USB or HDMI standards people to sort this

The USB and HDMI people have managed to make 'same name, not interoperable' cables and connectors, repeatedly, for a number of years now. I'm sure if they had a crack at this they could solve traffic congestion in a single try.

Microsoft's AI Bing also factually wrong, fabricated text during launch demo


More training and users correcting it will fix it?

So if 1000 users fix 10 errors per day, how long til the nearly infinity queries are all just so?

Zoox blurs line between workers and crash test dummies in robo-taxi trial


This IS open to the general public

The general public IS involved, in that these things are on 'open roads'. Other cars, pedestrians, cyclists, whatnot are all participating, unwittingly, like it or not.

US defense forces no match for the unstoppable fiend known as Reply-All


Re: Ageism is alive and well...

I've been mischievously using Reply To All since the author was in short trousers, I'll bet. Perhaps he/she/they should stick to Instasnap.

BT keeps the faith in 'like fury' fiber broadband buildout as revenues dip


Re: look at the maps

Reading the article, maybe it's 'fiber' not 'fibre' at all, so will only work if you drive on the right?

OpenAI offers error-prone AI detector amid fears of a machine-stuffed future


Just remember what you spat out?

Wouldn't the easier-but-not-AI-therefore-not-sexy way to detect AI generated text be to remember what text had been spat out by it, and let teachers etc check submissions against that? Not for single sentences, but faked essays would be a doddle.

Too obvious?

UK spy agency violated Snooper's Charter with 'unlawful' data retention


So obeying the law is now optional

Look, if there really is a need for them to have access to whatever data then Parliament should legistlate so, publicly and properly. This bollocks about 'yeah we broke the law but we really had to' is bollocks.

If and when I get a speeding ticket or otherwise am found to be breaking the law can I do the same? I think I shall give it a go.

"But Occifer, I was speeding to stop Chinese/Russian/North Korean (delete as required) baddies from baddying, and HM Government has decided that's ok, so ta."

Former Facebooker alleges Meta drained users' batteries to test apps


Re: contract requires him to take the case to arbitration

AFAIK the forced arbitration thing is strictly an American thing... can anyone tell us if they've seen it elsewhere? I've been many enough Euro, UK and other contracts and not seen it. Which is nice, because then I'd have had to have had the whole "You don't seriously think that's enforceable?" conversation with someone.

OpenAI's ChatGPT is a morally corrupting influence


Its a toy

Like many other little inventions over the many years this is best thought of as a toy*. Its fun (to some), it produces silly outputs, it mimics things in a funny or interesting way.

When Siri/Alexa/Bixby/OK Google first came out how much fun did we have asking questions and getting the silliest answers, before giving up because it was more or less useless? Neat toys, put on the shelf. Photo apps that show you what you look like when old, the latest game, whatever, fun for a short time.

Anyone that thinks its intelligent, correct or otherwise is wilfully misled.

*It might even be useful in some contexts

Twitter 2.0 signal boosts Taliban 2.0 through Blue subscriptions


Its a matter of degree

Of course the Taliban are 'bad' and references to hanging and whatnot are true. But for the Americans to be all holier-than-thou when they still do the death penalty is a mite hypocritical.

Along the lines of 'we are not arguing about what you are, now we are haggling on price'.

Canadian owes bosses for 'time theft' after work-tracking app sinks tribunal bid


Don't need AI to see if a file was opened

--> Analysis of the TimeCamp data showed she had made a timesheet entry for a file she had not worked on,

This line in the article makes it simple to me. You don't need AI to detect this, and it is black and white (presuming its verifiably true). She got caught because she was dumb.

Also, accountants historically bill by the hour... efficience doesn't enter into it directly. They aren't paid to have ideas per se, or to do work, they are paid by the hour.

Apple aims to replace Broadcom, Qualcomm wireless chips with its own


Re: Walled Garden or Prison

Given that existing bluetooth implementations everywhere are pretty shit, could this be worse? Yes, but anyway, the bar is low.

China follows through on plan to ban deepfake tech


Sometimes a regulatory environment that can just do things is better

This is an example of being able to decide something sensible and just do it, which could be considered an advantage over regulators that have to discuss and review and get 'lobbied' and what-have-you.

Also, penalties that amount to a fine of 1 minute's revenue are ineffective when compared to a spot of re-education.

BBC is still struggling with the digital switch, says watchdog


Re: Quality Content???

It is all about John when John is being forced to pay for it. That gives him a valid opinion.

Us John's stick together, innit.


Re: Also, is it just me or is the BBC Sounds "app"

Sounds and iplayer share that 'feature', even not in car mode.

For example: HIGNFY Series 22, episode 7. Is that from last week, last year, or 5 years ago? No way to tell.


Re: The BBC does not compete on a level playing field

My local Tesco does not INSIST that I shop there, however. I don't have a choice about paying the BBC.


The BBC does not compete on a level playing field

The BBC gets most of its money with the backing of the police, an advantage many businesses would love to have. Do they take that money and do their job of being a public service broadcaster? Only partly. For example: A true public service broadcaster would tell me how to watch the footie no matter what channel its on... the BBC does not do that, they only talk about BBC channels/radio/app/website. The BBC's attitude is to compete, and they have the field tilted in their favour.

Then they spend money on silly things... Search? Changing the logo of their apps every 6 months instead of making them work well? Pushing DAB on us even though it hardly works?

That's ignoring that the licence fee has to be the least efficient way of collecting a tax imaginable.

Meta, Google, TikTok and friends sue California to block kids privacy law


This sounds a lot like the UK online harms bill

At first glance at least, this sounds like the UK online harms bill currently in parliament. Perhaps lessons could be shared, approaches could be compared, ideas exchanged?

Better yet, let someone else (ie California) give this a go, gov.uk, and see how they get on... save us on this side of the pond a lot of faffing about.