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* Posts by Intractable Potsherd

2780 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

Brace yourselves for the 'terabyte (sic) of death', warns US army IT boss

Intractable Potsherd

Re: slang v gospel

It sounds to me that you are more closely related to A Man from Mars :-)

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1 in 5 STEM bros whinge they can't catch a break in tech world they run

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Isn't it a small minority

I can name two separate university departments (different universities, different subjects) where the number of male academic promotions fell to zero, and the promotions of females with much less experience and fewer and less prestigious publications became laughable in its obviousness. I have no particular axe to grind since I didn't want any of the posts, but it is easy to see that there isn't a level playing field. The goal is simply to have more female* senior lecturers/readers/professors as quickly as possible, regardless of qualification. Unfortunately, the beneficiaries of positive discrimination will always be looked at with suspicion, as will any others with the same relevant characteristic.

There is pressure on the judiciary to do the same, simply so the numbers can look good - waiting a few more years until the increased number of female lawyers get the usual amount of time in before applying to become a judge just doesn't seem to be acceptable.

*Odd that the number of promotions for people with e.g. disabilities doesn't seem to have gone up in the same way ...

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CCTV commish: Bring all surveillance systems under code of practice

Intractable Potsherd

Re: @AC

Even after all these years, there are still some people that still think it is important...

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Hmm

Well, yes - he wants more power to regulate surveillance cameras because he doesn't have enough now. Like most government regulators that protect the populace from government and big business, his office is deliberately underfunded. To do otherwise might actually constrain the data fetishism.

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US Homeland Security breach compromised personal info of 200,000+ staff

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Digital revenge

"...the crim population is increasing exponentially by the week."

Citation needed.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Counting chickens? @Dan 55

Not really a rant, though, is it - more of a "WTF?"

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Telly boffin Professor Heinz Wolff has died

Intractable Potsherd

Young Scientist of the Year

If anyone was serious about getting young people into STEM subjects, this would be back on the TV. I used to watch it regularly when I was a youth, and we had several of the yearbooks around the house. In fact, it is YSotY that I associate Heinz Wolff with, not "The Great Egg Race", because you could see his enthusiasm and support for the contestants.

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Brit cyber-spies: Fancy meeting outside court to talk about evidence?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: AC

Needlessly cynical with no evidence, I think. TPTB might have made a mistake and appointed someone who actually takes his responsibilities seriously. Let's wait and see what happens - anything from a change of tune to sealing himself in a body bag...

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Lauri Love's US extradition appeal judges reserve decision

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Just send him over there and good riddance.

"So what's the alternative, that the UK never extradite anyone to the US because our prisons are worse than UK prisons?"

Yes - that should be the default position, especially for crimes that were not committed by a person on US soil. The US "justice" system is irretrievably broken, the penal system even worse. The UK should withdraw from the disgustingly one-sided extradition treaty immediately so that this situation does not arise again, and think very hard about renegotiation.

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NHS England told to get a grip on patient records after £6.6m blunder

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Not getting a break

Because nothing else would be better, and probably worse?

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Level 5 driverless cars by 2021 can be done, say Brit industry folk

Intractable Potsherd

Re: "At-scale deployment to provide the evidence that AVs are safe for at-scale deployment"

@commswonk;I took JS19's comment to apply to the current rules about drivers of some types of heavy vehicles having to stop for a certain length of time after a certain length of driving (one hour after every four?). Thus, if the answer to his question is "no", then drivers would be able to knock one hour off a journey time for every five on duty, making the length of time away from home shorter.

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: So long as the following criteria are met.

400 words for snow, and 650 for rain... :-)

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El Reg assesses crypto of UK banks: Who gets to wear the dunce cap?

Intractable Potsherd

Which raises a really good point - since none of the banks covered in the article have stellar internet security, which one should we use? I'm in the market for a new bank myself, and was considering Nationwide because of its customer service and not planning to shut local branches (which is one reason I'm leaving RBS), but the security report posted by an earlier commentard suggests Nationwide might be really lacking internet security.

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USB stick found in West London contained Heathrow security data

Intractable Potsherd

Re: How as this even possible?

@COCM: I think you mean "PHB", not "PFY" (a mistake I regularly make when reading!)

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Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I know it's not capitalised but...

We're not supposed to call them "cat's eyes", are we? It upsets children and foreign visitors, or something.

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UK's NHS to pilot 'Airbnb'-style care service in homeowners' spare rooms

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Fascinating Ignorance

Downvoted because you are assuming too much about how the proposed scheme will work. Shared Lives grew organically, with a great deal of input from all concerned. This proposed system has none of these qualities - instead, there is a get-rich-quick doctor using his contacts in the health trust to line his pockets. If there was the slightest inkling that this was a grass-roots movement, I'd be supportive of the idea, but not at present.

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Home Sec Amber Rudd: Yeah, I don't understand encryption. So what?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I'm going to keep sneering, Amber

Indeed, Kurt. In my opinion, part of the current crisis in Western politics is that there are too many politicians with degrees, who have never actually worked in a "real" job. They don't know what it is like to live below a comfortable life, and they have rarely had to interact with people who have other opinions and motivations. The traditional Labour party made it possible for working class people to enter Parliament and have their voices heard, and the country was better for it. Sadly, this is not going to happen again.

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UK Prime Minister calls on internet big beasts to 'auto-takedown' terror pages within 2 HOURS

Intractable Potsherd

AManfromMars for prime minister!

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Equifax's disastrous Struts patching blunder: THOUSANDS of other orgs did it too

Intractable Potsherd

@Michael Habel

Sorry, Michael - Win XP was hardly affected by Wannacry:

http://www.wired.co.uk/article/wannacry-windows-7-xp

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/19/15665488/wannacry-windows-7-version-xp-patched-victim-statistics

https://www.theverge.com/2017/5/30/15712542/windows-xp-wannacry-protect-ransomware-blue-screen

It's time to put this myth to bed.

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Fancy that! Craft which float over everything on a cushion of air

Intractable Potsherd

Hovercraft and submarine museums

The thick end of 25 years ago I stayed with a friend who was a doctor in the Navy, and lived in Hampshire. She had both of these museums on the itinerary for my visit - trust me, you need to make more than "a day" of it - a day for each is recommended (at least ...)

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Dover @ Rich 11

"... the wind and waves were still high enough to throw everyone around. Not fun when a number of kids had spent their last francs on fizzy pop and sweets..."

Almost the same here, only it was going to France on the hovercraft, and probably 1976, but the memory of sitting next to a classmate who had scoffed two packets of strawberry Chewits before boarding has never faded. Vomit should not be violent pink and smell like that ...

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Bespoke vending machine biz Bodega AI trips cultural landmine

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Fuck mom-and-pop stores

I sort of know what you mean - small shops sometimes have curious restrictions on what they will sell, and really iffy service when you ask why. However, since I have never really liked buying things because of the need to interact with other humans, I may not be the best person to assess these things (the Internet has made buying things so much more pleasant).

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Monkey selfie case settles for a quarter of future royalties

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Interesting principles behind this

Mike - rights imply duties from those protected by them*. Animals cannot comprehend, therefore cannot fulfil, duties commensurate with the rights groups like PETA want them to have. Thus, any talk of rights is nonsense. Animals do have interests, though, which humans might have a duty to observe.

* Don't get me started on the nonsense about children having rights before they are capable of understanding the concept.

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Prejudiced humans = prejudiced algorithms, and it's not an easy fix

Intractable Potsherd

Re: people NATURALLY discriminate

Perhaps the word 'discriminate' isn't quite the right word to use... "

Actually, it is exactly the right word. What is being referred to in the article is *unfair* discrimination. We all discriminate with regard to people all the time - my experiences mean I'm likely to favour certain people than you would, for instance. The issue is how to separate these personal preferences so that people are not unfairly discriminated against. This, as mentioned, does cause a problem when building a team - someone with the best qualifications on paper, and then does well at interview might not "feel" right compared to someone who you know that would fit with the team, but has fewer qualifications. I end up being ambivalent about this - on the one hand, it leads to Oxbridge cronyism in high places, but, at the same time, I have been the beneficiary and the benefactor of this at various times.

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Australia considers joining laptops-on-planes ban

Intractable Potsherd

True!

My wife and I regularly go to mainland Europe, both to for holiday and to visit family. Until recently, we flew, even though I regularly suggested ferry and drive. Since the birth of our twins last year, my wife accepted that flying is just too hard, so we have gone the ferry/car route, and the difference is huge. Yes, it takes longer to get wherever we are aiming for, but we get to see much more, can eat for significantly less than the airport/flight prices, and we can take all the water and laptops we want! Added to that, the security people at ferry ports are much nicer than those at airports.

I doubt we'll be flying again.

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Dyson celebrates 'shock' EU Court win over flawed energy tests

Intractable Potsherd

Re: DYSUN is like TRUMP

Oh, come on, Ishtiaq - didn't the "IWANKER TRAMP" give it away that this is a spoof comment? It is the second one by this commentard I've read today, and I hope there are more - they are funny(ish)!

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I was authorized to trash my employer's network, sysadmin tells court

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I can't see this guy winning the case

But that is the key point here - being sued is a civil action between two individuals (natural or legal), and where the penalty is damages (money). What you have described is not criminal (where the actors are the State and the individual) and you could not be arrested, tried, convicted and imprisoned for it. The question here is whether what the sysadmin did was criminal or civil - and I think the point being raised by the lawyers is a good one. Even if the appeal is unsuccessful, we need to ask ourselves very seriously if we want the State intervening in this sort of dispute - i.e. *should* it be criminal?

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Amid new push to make Pluto a planet again... Get over it, ice-world's assassin tells El Reg

Intractable Potsherd

Re: How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?

No - it's a Dingleberry (see post above by Dr G. Freeman).

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Intractable Potsherd

Re: Demote Neptune as well

Dr Freeman - I think you have succeeded in ending the debate. Dingleberries it is!!

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Reg tours submarine cable survey ship
'Geo Resolution'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Interesting - Thank You

In principle, this is a good idea, but not useful for the hearing-impaired - whilst I may be able to hear the commentary with earbuds (no Cyberman-style headphones connected to my phone!), it would still mean taking my hearing-aids out (which I don't like doing). Glad to read that you are looking at how to add text, Simon - thanks for that.

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MEPs in 'urgent' call for new laws on artificial intelligence and robotics

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Robotics

The issue of where the money is going to come from to pay a basic income to millions of people has been troubling me, too. The point about taxation of multinational companies that seem to exist everywhere for sales purposes and nowhere for tax purposes is a major consideration, especially since, even if there is a successful way found to extract proper levels of tax, it will just be passed on to the buyer, and so higher basic income will be needed. Whilst a naive part of me hopes that the companies will realise that absorbing zone extra taxation is in their best interests, I have no evidence that such enlightened thinking exists in board-rooms.

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Munich may dump Linux for Windows

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Adam 52 - Linux not easily fit for purpose

I moved to Linux Mint around eight months ago, but will soon be changing back to Win 7 because there are so many problems that take so much time to find answers to (or not, in some situations):

1) I have been unable to connect my laptop to my employer's wifi (Eduroam), because Mint will not accept the security certificate, claiming that I do not own the appropriate folder, even when logged in as an administrator. The University's Linux guru has been unable to sort out the problem, and so have several, usually reliable, online sources. I have now given up

2) WINE works when it feels like it - not particularly helpful when ...

3) ... Libre Office reformats everything that was previously made in MS Office, and then MS Office reformats everything again - not useful when trying to do a presentation to a lecture theatre full of students. I do not care whether the problem is with Libre Office or MS Office - it is completely unacceptable, and, since my employer uses MS, it *has* to be compatible with that.

4) Oh, and don't suggest VM - VirtualBox is as bad as WINE for deciding not to work.

5) Oh, and installing software is a bigger job than it needs to be - okay, perhaps Windows is too easy, but the Linux route is a pisser. I really don't have the time to mess about finding the nearest thing to do something easy in Windows (let's say, rotating a video 180 degrees), find out there is nothing that actually does the job, try the four possible solutions, find out none of those actually work, then try some command-line technique that may (or not) work, but which takes an entire evening.

I have sympathy with Munich - if you are trying to accomplish something that makes you look professional within a reasonable time, Windows is the way to go.

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The Life and Times of Lester Haines

Intractable Potsherd
IT Angle

Yes - I have been warring with my feelings about this year, because, by any objective criteria, it has been utterly shit, but my subjective joy at the birth of our twins means that I will remember this year as one of the best ever (and I do find myself worrying about the equivalent of the eagle swooping down on the little 'uns ...)

Let's hope 2017 is less awful than 2016.

Oh, and this is for Lester, a man I wish I'd known -------->>>

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How Rogue One's Imperial stormtroopers SAVED Star Wars and restored order

Intractable Potsherd

Re: on that (lack of) accuracy claim:

"It turns out the imperials where just having fun hunting desert rats ..."

Shouldn't that be Womp rat?

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Basic income after automation? That’s not how capitalism works

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Errrm @Charles 9

"Nice guys finish last." That is the most depressing, and the most wrong statement ever made, and it is only ever used by psychopaths excusing their world-view. It is time the nice guys got together and made sure that the bad guys never, ever, get a chance to screw the world up again with their selfishness and hatred of standards of behaviour that most people accept as decent. There is much more to success than money and screwing everyone else over.

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London cops strap on new body cams

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Lots of people...

Why would it stop? There is no mandatory requirement for a police officer to arrest in any situation you describe.

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British jobs for British people: UK tech rejects PM May’s nativist hiring agenda

Intractable Potsherd

'Paul Ehrlich was correct when he said in a speech in 1969: “By the year 2000 the United Kingdom will be simply a small group of impoverished islands, inhabited by some 70 million hungry people … If I were a gambler, I would take even money that England will not exist in the year 2000.”'

It is unfair to criticise Ehrlich for being a few years out. Brexit will achieve his forecast by 2050 at the latest.

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Early indications show UK favouring 'hard Brexit', says expert

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Parliamentary sovereignty

According to classic Diceyan constitutional theory, in the UK, Parliament (the legislature) is sovereign, and is bound by no one, not even itself. The government (the executive) puts the will of Parliament into effect. This includes the Crown, except for certain areas of prerogative held over from when the term meant what it said. There has been a withdrawal from the classical theory that has been accelerating since Thatcher's clusterfuck of a government, which May seems to be using as an early prototype for her regime, in which Parliament is a hindrance to the will of the executive. (Note:I'm not absolving Blair, who simply followed the Thatcher playroom to the letter. ) Who would have thought I'd miss Cameron?

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Samsung: And for my next trick – exploding WASHING MACHINES

Intractable Potsherd

Re: But..

Why in the name of $deity do manufacturers thing that we need beeps to tell us that a wash is finished? Recent changes to our life-style meant that we wanted to do more washing at night, but the ridiculous racket the washing machine made at the end of a cycle meant that was not really feasible. Fortunately, there is a way to switch the beeps off (Bosch Classixx), but it is far from easy (pressing odd buttons in exactly the right way within a very short time limit - several attempts were needed). It is as if the manufacturer doesn't want anyone to switch off the noises - again, why??

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Judge makes minor tweaks to sex ban IT man's order

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Still no pity

You are wrong in so many ways.

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EE looks at its call charges, hikes a bunch, walks off giggling

Intractable Potsherd

Re: I suppose...

No - they don't *have* to. Making the same profit as last year isn't a right or a duty.

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Radicalisation? UK.gov gets itself in cluster-muddle over 'terrorism'

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Alternatives

I think there *is* something about the risk of being blown up that is attractive to some /many young people. Life in the UK (and possibly other countries) is very safe and ordered, with few ways to prove oneself against extremes (let us say "show courage" as a shorthand term). There are no rites of passage, nothing that shows progression from childhood to adulthood - and the concept of "adult" is fairly dull too - the best many can hope for is meaningless work, little chance of their own home with the consequent effect on family choices etc. Even the military is increasingly safe in terms of Health amdand Safety, yet less safe as a career, and heroism is undervalued.

Running off to war has been a way young people have tried to find meaning for centuries (I see the current crop of ISIS candidates as being no different from the British who went to the Spanish Civil War, or the Americans that joined the Second World War before their government did). It is this underlying lack of meaning in modern Western culturethat needs to be addressed if any significant change is to be achieved.

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Paper mountain, hidden Brexit: How'd you say immigration control would work?

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Propaganda by CEO's

"... do you want to be press-ganged into field work to save Britain's food supply?"

I am fairly certain that none of the Brexiters thought this through, especially the unemployed ones who thought that getting out of the EU would provide jobs for them. None of them thought that, in order to meet significant shortfalls, the requirements for what would count as reasonable requirements for getting a job might have to be relaxed almost to press-gang levels ("What do you mean, vegetable picking in Fife is too far away? - you only live in Newcastle! Take it or lose your benefits.") Those shitty jobs are not going to go away, and people are still going to have to do them. The pool of unemployed seem to be an obvious place to go, politically (lower benefits bills), though practically, who would want them? (People who don't want to do a job are going to be difficult to motivate - one of the advantages of any sane immigration system is that people willing to move to countries and cultures other than the one they were brought up in are likely to be motivated to do the job - that's why Poles, Czechs etc are such popular employees.)

TL:DR - people might not have thought this through.

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UK IT consultant subject to insane sex ban order mounts legal challenge

Intractable Potsherd

Re: This Yank says

No, but it is long past time we did.

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UK membership of Council of Europe has implications for data protection after Brexit

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Brexit means Brexit

"On the other hand, the UK is the second largest economy in the EU" - but how much of this is because it *is* in the EU? As the AC below your comment pointed out, the UK is already down to third place.

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BBC will ‘retain your viewing history’

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Thankfully...

"The BBC do not produce anything worth watching anyway," - yes, they do: University Challenge. I can't think of anything else, though.

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Cryptography vs. bigotry: The debate Australia needs to have

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Idiot rant

"500,000 and 0.03% have fuck all to do with it."

Statistically insignificant figures really *do* have a lot to do with it. yes, the figure for ISIS members is higher than the figure for ADF members, but neither figure means anything because they are both outliers. Trying to base any sort of practical argument on them is only just short of lunacy.

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Forget your RTO*: Real world Disaster Recovery needs garbage bags and bubble wrap

Intractable Potsherd
Joke

"4 times in my career i've watching gleefully as my place of work has sunken beneath the waves of the various rivers of the UK."

I think you need to change your username to "Jonah" ...

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Brit Science Minister to probe Brexit bias against UK-based scientists

Intractable Potsherd

Re: Look to elsewhere (e.g. China and India) PLEASE! @codejunky

I really don't recognise the world you live in. Are you from an alternative dimension?

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