* Posts by Mage

5297 posts • joined 23 Nov 2007

Windows Server 2016 persistent memory support supercharges storage IO

Mage
Silver badge

storage-class memory (SCM) as a persistent store

Hardly rocket science and on some PDAs 30 years ago. Presumably easily added to almost any OS via driver, kernel module or whatever.

It's more a case to of economics than software. I seem to remember servers with battery backed RAM too, apart from battery backed SRAM then DRAM on RAID controllers, so uncommitted cache wouldn't be lost by sudden power cut (or something)?

0
2

Uber drivers entitled to UK minimum wage, London tribunal rules

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

So called Tech

Uber, AirBnB etc are not tech companies, but regular Taxi and B&B booking services using apps/Internet instead of phone.

They are exploitive. Unsurprisingly not only are Uber Drivers working for Uber, but people renting out their place "significantly" rather than 2 weeks once a year need planning permission for change of use.

Deception is common to all these Internet based classified, services etc.

69
3

EU announces common corporate tax plan

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Lichtenstein?

Practically a Swiss Colony. Lichtenstein are not in EU, they are under same rules as Switzerland who manage their telecoms and much other stuff. Nearly as close to Switzerland as I.O.M. or Channel Is. is to UK (neither is exactly part of UK, but not a colony like Gibraltar or Falklands)

4
0

Getting your tongue around foreign tech-talk is easier than you think

Mage
Silver badge

Dabbsy to France

Best of luck.

I think though the ex-Pats avoiding plod are more often in Spain?

1
0

Intel's new chip targets industrial IoT

Mage
Silver badge

unique needs of the IoT market.

"mid to high end price" conflicts with the IoT market.

OTH if it's really awkward to secure and update it and it has baked in credentials for debugging, that will suit.

It's not like laptops, Intel. The CPU has to be 50c to $2. IoT high end might be $5?

6
0

CIA will put records online

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

Private browsing?

They must be confident about tracking who is looking up what?

1
0

New MacBook Pro beckons fanbois to become strip pokers

Mage
Silver badge

Apricot?

Apricot had LCD on the keyboard in 1987?

This is approaching being a tablet with keyboard, the I/O is so poor.

8
1
Mage
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Shiny rather than function and overpriced.

You can spec a very nice Lenovo with better I/O for €750 to €1800 less.

10
1

Self-driving cars doomed to be bullied by pedestrians

Mage
Silver badge

All true but...

It assumes that self driving / autonomous cars are ever going to be good enough. Lots of Lidar is a problem. It's easily jammed. Also loads of places where GPS doesn't work. Is the map reading / dead reckoning ever going to be good enough?

Also do most people actually want one, especially if it's small, electric etc and more like a Fiat 500 than a Tesla. Will there be as many form factors as today, or will we (like Apple, MS, Google*) have "tech" companies and sociopathic Silicon Valley folk foisting their vision of what a car should be (probably not for European roads, larger families or fetching DIY stuff)?

[* look at phones in Carphone Warehouse. That's not choice!]

14
2

Qualcomm agrees to acquire semiconductor biz NXP for $47bn

Mage
Silver badge

Automotive

Maybe, but I'd bet it's more about acquiring IP than making chips. Qualcomm are far more interested in royalties, unlike many others, often you have to pay a royalty on sales as well as buy their chips, which are means to an end. They buy smaller outfits and shutter them, just to get Mobile related IP.

There is a lot or receiver IP, NXP used to be Philips.

As others have said, it's more about consolidation.

National Semi -> Texas

Altera -> Intel

Atmel -> Microchip

Linear Tech -> ADI

Others too. I think NXP already ate one of the two Motorola Semi Spin offs.

HP got rid of chips and Instruments and kept the simple but mass market printers and PCs.

0
0

iPhone fatigue and fading Samsung. This planet is bored with big brand phones

Mage
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

subtle and clever innovations

Apple?

You are kidding.

Nothing subtle or clever about removing the earphone socket, also useful for FM mini-senders and direct HiFi. Re-encoding to Bluetooth reduces quality and flexibility.

11
1

Let's praise Surface, not bury it

Mage
Silver badge
Unhappy

Surface?

It's a niche between basic tablets and real laptops and PCs.

More style than substance.

5
12

Microsoft's Surface Studio desk-slab, Dial knob, Surface Book: We get our claws on new kit

Mage
Silver badge

May sell well

Suspiciously shiny and styled.

I prefer desk stuff not styled to look good in a showroom, but unobtrusive, dark matt finish. No shine or gloss.

Also I prefer cabled keyboard & mouse. I see no advantage to Bluetooth.

3
3
Mage
Silver badge

with virtually no lag on the unit we tried out when using the Surface pen or a mouse and keyboard

What?

That is so pathetic. ANY lag is stupid.

I have no lag with keyboard, mouse and Wacom digitiser on a 14 year old 1600 x 1200 screen computer with XP. and none on my modern Linux box with two 1600 x 1200 screens.

5
1

Adobe emits emergency patch for Flash hole malware is exploiting right this minute

Mage
Silver badge

Flash

It's disabled by default, but I have it on Linux Mint + Mate + Firefox + Noscript.

Just installed the Linux update to Flash, MySQL and Sudo

I can't remember the last time I actually enabled it.

1
1

I've arrived on Mars. Argggh, my back!

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Space Elevators

The cost in rockets of putting the material up is massive. The cable materials have to be extended from the geosynchronous platform. Also we have no proven material for the cable.

The Space Elevator's ongoing maintenance is considerable too. A fusion / plasma torch rocket is frankly more believable than a space elevator on Earth.

An Elevator WILL work on the Moon.

Kevlar might actually be strong enough for a space elevator on Mars.

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: A never-ending study on how to mess up humans...

Rings are better/best, but need to be quite big to reduce Coriolis forces, thus materials limit you to about 1/3 G to have a safety margin.

Realistically in terms of shielding, gravity, materials etc, we are still at remote probe stage of exploration, even a moon base would be challenging, and people wouldn't be able to stay much longer per person than on ISS. It would have to be underground for shielding (see "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress" and many other decent moonbase stories. Not Space 1999)

2
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: A never-ending study on how to mess up humans...

Yes, the stability of the cable & two craft approach is rubbish.

3
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: A never-ending study on how to mess up humans...

Actually two modules tethered with a cable, orbiting a common centre has been suggested.

Wheels and rings

1G isn't feasible due to Coriolis forces if too small, and no strong enough material existing if it's large!

However perhaps 1/3G or a bit more might be enough. Coupled with a clever elastomer structured bodysuit.

7
0

Microsoft goes back to the drawing board – literally, with 28" tablet and hockey puck knob

Mage
Silver badge

The silver hockey puck works on and off the screen.

Frankly sounds stupid.

There is a reason why we moved from trackballs and digitizer pucks and light pens. A mouse is better. When you REALLY need a digitizer, a Wacom pen is better. So 200dpi A2 screen with high resolution Wacom pen would to me be creative. This 24" and puck is joke.

Also "touch" is fine on a phone and tablet if there is no keyboard. It's just tiring on a larger screen when you are mostly using a keyboard and sometimes using a mouse.

Windows 10? Well to run your existing windows applications (and ones with no Linux or Mac alternative) or buying a not Apple laptop there is little alternative to GHASTLY Windows 10. I refuse to believe that more than 50% of people actually want Win10, and that 90% would prefer simply a new version of XP (Windows 7 is purely a bug fix of misbegotten VIsta, which is NT's equivalent of Windows for DOS, ME. ME was dramatically worse than Win98SE and pointless. like Vista, Win 8 and Win10)

MS has lost the GUI plot TOTALLY. Bloody morons since after 2003 with "Ribbon". Even "Personalised Menus and hide stuff not used often (XP and later Default) is DELUSIONAL, the LESS used a feature is the more it needs to have the icon, the menu etc consistently where you expect it.

Removing "little used features" and adding eye candy is MORONIC. A feature used once in 6 months might be REALLY IMPORTANT. The MS telemetry and focus / beta groups are almost pointless.

MS Needs a Reset, certainly, to about 1999!

IDIOTS when it comes to GUI. Though mystifyingly Ubuntu has same disease and Apple Mac nows seems to be going backwards, though I never have liked their search tool and stupid big Dock/launcher at the bottom of screen. One that pops out from the side makes far more sense on Widescreen Landscape, only top/bottom on Portrait screens. Why do almost no screens (and none on laptop) support portrait, though many graphics drivers do? I only use TV to watch video.

8
26

Vatican and musicians at odds over appropriate use of crematorium leftovers

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Who the hell...

No-one has to join the Catholic Club.

Unlike some religions you are not stoned or executed for leaving.

If you can't cope (you don't actually need to agree!) with the "rules", join a different club.

Vatican rules only apply to the members of the Church of Rome.

5
1
Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Re: Resurrection of the body

It's not to do with resurrection. They don't want nature worship (scattering abroad) or ancestor worship (keeping at home).

Apparently someone is marketing 5000 yo style corbelled stone under an earth mound structures to people that want to sell a shelf for the deceased's remains. I've no idea if the Vatican will approve such repositories. It may depend how they are marketed and run, i.e. maybe they'd approve ones that are for Church of Rome departed only.

1
0

SUSE: Question. What do you call second-place in ARM enterprise server linux? Answer: Red Hat

Mage
Silver badge

Whatever happened to peace and love in the free software world?

When was there?

Look at how many different licences.

Even before Linux there were UNIX /BSD/Solaris?XENIX/Cromix wars

You have a myriad of Linux distros, RiscOS, BSD Free, Open Solaris etc, I'm not sure how many different Open Source OSes there are never mind Linux Distros.

Then there are editor wars.

Window manager, compositor, desktop wars.

I'd not mess with Stallman etc. Or Linus.

https://xkcd.com/225/

http://xkcd.com/344/

(read the series, I think Elaine is Bobby Tables elder sister?)

Life mixing up with art.

https://blog.xkcd.com/2007/04/19/life-imitates-xkcd-part-ii-richard-stallman/

This though is SO sad ...

http://xkcd.com/806/

5
0

And for our next trick, says Google while literally wheeling out a humongous tablet ...

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Seems a bit expensive...

A bargain compared to the MS one though. But established Office Equip. makers have had whiteboards that you can write on (with real white board markers, fire video projector at and save results as file and print) for well over 10 years. Lots of colleges have them.

7
0
Mage
Silver badge

not just about collaboration between two physical boards

because we get a copy of everything on it too.

I do have an Android phone and an Android Tablet. I don't do anything important or corporate. The phone is used as a feature phone with no data or wifi. The tablet rarely has Wifi on, I use it for a few trivial apps that don't need Internet and collaborative note taking using Jota app.

3
0

ARM: Hold my beer, we'll install patches for your crappy IoT gear for you

Mage
Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Hey, really neat!

That's what I thought too. Though router or IoT DNS setting change (poisoning), which can be done by websites to MANY routers that have default setttings ...

I am expecting MS Windows & Apple Mac Auto updates to be hijacked either by DNS hijack or server hacks, periodically.

This is a stupid idea. The problem isn't distribution, or even the developers, it's the management of the companies selling the stuff. How many will stay in business to release patches? Who other than the original manufacture and development team can create the the patches.

It's beyond stupid, but delusional dangerous fantasy!

2
2

Accountant falls for sexy Nigerian email scammer, gives her £150k he cheated out of pal

Mage
Silver badge

Re: I haven't seen a 419 for years

They are also people that are neither African, nor in Nigeria. They pick stuff to put off anyone not gullible.

1
0

Euro Central Bank backs money laundering rules for virtual currency exchanges

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Glass Houses

Some of major money Laundering is USA Banks.

A major amount is done in City of London, UK based Banks and by USA Multinationals (not just tech at all either).

The problem isn't the ECB.

1
0

Aussie trams equivalent to 30 skateboarding rhinos

Mage
Silver badge

Re: "120 cycling Boris Johnsons"

How many Trumps is that?

1
0
Mage
Silver badge
Pint

Re: Standard Units

What sort of skate board?

I used two bargain basement priced skateboards my kids had abandoned to move an AGA style solid fuel stove/oven/water heater. On my own, though I had a lever. It had taken SIX large Hurley players (similar size monster to a Munster Rugby player, but more dangerous) to put it where I was moving it from, so yes I can imagine a Rhino using two skate boards or one modified model.

3
0

Will AI spell the end of humanity? The tech industry wants you to think so

Mage
Silver badge
Big Brother

simply refinements of technologies developed in the 1980s

Or even earlier.

It's more about databases and the interfaces. I don't see the strong AI that worries Hawkings anywhere. The winning at Chess, Jeopardy or Go is not AI, they are all refinements of single domain programs and bigger human curated datasets. I see other serious threats due to misuse of computer technology. Privacy, security, Cloud, DDOS and IoT based threats etc.

Siri, Cortana, Alexis/Amazon Echo, Google Home etc are parlour tricks, speech to text driving search Engines, just better versions of Hello Barbie or incremental development 10 years ago mobile phone or car radio voice control, simply needing less training than 20 years ago (though all inc Hello Barbie and Samsung TV now send the voice to servers, the internet connectivity and non-real time analysis to improve the model is creepy)

5
0

The cloud is not new. What we are doing with it is

Mage
Silver badge
Flame

Indeed not new

Just 1960s rented timeshare.

Except now stuff is being outsourced or run on "Cloud" which absolutely is a disaster waiting to happen.

No core business function, Point of Sale, Billing system. Infrastructure control, ATM, ERP etc should be "in the cloud" or even outsourced at all.

8
1

Wi-Fi commuter fears

Mage
Silver badge

Re: news?

Exactly why I set up a VPN server on my router. But it's not a solution for non-IT folk. It's not trivial.

1
0

Musk outlines plans for Mars

Mage
Silver badge

Heart of Gold spacecraft's 42

I think he reads too much comedy spoof SF to be making engineering decisions.

I'd advise anyone flying on his ships to take a white paint marker and Duck tape to disable selections on all the drinks machines.

Besides if his spacecraft are as hyped as his car's "autopilot" you want an alert human pilot too.

0
3

Chinese electronics biz recalls webcams at heart of botnet DDoS woes

Mage
Silver badge

Re: UPnP is a red herring in this thread

Not entirely as it's a really easy one. However you are right that even UPnP didn't exist there would still be a problem.

There is no complete solution. The Internet is going to get unreliable as if we are all living in some sort of post atomic war dystopian society. Add Facebook/Google etc slurping and outsource of core business function to the "cloud" when they should be in house, and the future looks unpleasant.

1
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: What percentage returned?

"Why not have their ISP disconnect them? "

Its DDOS attack. How would the ISP know?

3
0
Mage
Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: Joe Stupid isn't smart enough to do everything you say

Given current design of the Internet and how a Firewall works and the desire of IoT makers to "phone home", if there was no uPNP, the instructions would explain how to put your entire LAN in the DMZ, or some other such foolishness.

I'd thought of having every router & gadget, phone, laptop, tablet etc have a short range two way IR link to exchange keys and settings, even then have unique key per device. It's simple HW & SW but the makers would object to the extra $2. Unscrupulous vendors would connect stuff in a way worse than today.

The design of Internet is flawed, assumed good users and well behaved devices. The design of eMail ignored spam issues on Telex, RTTY, and earlier Telegraph and added almost no security at all and missed out the idea of whitelists.

Systems never envisaged to be used by other IT Admins in responsible establishments.

There are sticking plasters, but no solution. The triple whammy of rise of IoT, outsource to cloud and giant Corporations stealing (or conning people into giving it) all our private info and usage and monetising it doesn't bode well at all.

If mobile credit balance, ATMs, Point of Sale, Infrastructure control, smart Meters, Retailer's stock ordering / ERP systems etc all outsourced to the "Cloud" and a that has many areas of mono-culture, what if DNS, Edge Routers, what ever is taken down by IoT or a bad patch released late Friday set to auto-install and propagate on the Cloud ...

Or timing of Exchanges, Datacentres, DTT, DAB, Mobile stupidly relying on cheap GPS instead of a local Atomic Clock (under $1000 now) and there is a flare that knocks out all satellite, inc GPS. One in the 19th C. was big enough. There was another that fortunately missed us!

We aren't there yet, but rushing toward it.

1
2
Mage
Silver badge

Re: UPNP is convenient.

For those that don't know (a minority here), VPN = Virtual Private Network. Properly done it adds and extra "network port" on your PC/Tablet/phone which is actually the VPN client software. It's creating an encrypted connection into your VPN server. It then can expose everything on you LAN as if you are on the LAN, or just stuff on the VPN Server, and/or the Internet as seen by your home LAN. So stuff on the internet that's blocked (due to local router / NAT rules of a University OR because you are in America and your home Router is in UK) is then visible via the home internet connection. So you can use VPN for four reasons:

1) Access stuff like POP/SMTP on your own ISP's mail server as if at home, securely in a WiFi cafe, possibly avoiding MiM attacks.

2) Access files or whatever on the VPN server, securely.

3) Access random device on your LAN as if you are on the LAN

4) Bypass geoblock or local port blocks.

If properly set up:

1) You need user/pass that is very secure to connect at all.

2) The data is all securely encrypted, possibly even good enough to block hypothetical quantum computers cracking.

The keys are made at home, and loaded on the device at home* so the classic problem of key distribution is solved.

[*You can write it on rice paper and eat it]

1
1
Mage
Silver badge
Happy

Amazing...

A company actually recalling IoT stuff for security.

AND they are Chinese!

5
0
Mage
Silver badge

Re: UPNP is convenient.

But like Autorun, ultimately stupid and not needed.

Either manually set up a port (but with sensible rules, to a sensible device or else your LAN is exposed), or a VPN. I set up a VPN server on an old PC and later on my router instead (Open WRT) and put it on port 80 so I could use home LAN to access email securely (or at all! I don't use Web based email) away from home, or other home resources. Why port 80? Because hotels, cafes, University especially may block various ports. They don't block 80, thinking it's only used for HTTP.

Not all VPN clients can use arbitrary ports. But I found one for Windows for my kids at Uni that did (this was 10 years ago).

3
3

App proves Rowhammer can be exploited to root Android phones – and there's little Google can do to fully kill it

Mage
Silver badge

Re: I'm sure a lot or people would like to know

It should be independent of OS, and essentially barely fixable in existing phones. It's a design issue of the physical RAM implementation.

I wonder what is the difference with the phones that are not affected?

2
0
Mage
Silver badge
Coffee/keyboard

Reliability

This suggests that even without malware, there is design flaw, such that data or program in RAM, of the users apps OR the OS can be inadvertently corrupted.

Even if it didn't lead to an exploit, this RAM flaw needs to be fixed!

6
2

Newly discovered cave-dwelling creepy-crawly is four times the man* you are

Mage
Silver badge

So...

What is the female like? Or is that the female too (Snails are both?)

1
0

Duck Google's data grab

Mage
Silver badge

" with user permission"

But can we trust them?

They have a HUGE web of data gathering.

They only stopped WiFi Slurp when

a) Caught

b) Android (esp.) & Chrome Browser and Chrome OS help continue slurp of location and WiFi info.

How meaningful are any of their statements.

The insistence on combining cookies, log-in etc on all the Google services (inc Google Doc, Maps, Youtube, Gmail) is totally obnoxious and evil.

They are worse than Facebook before this as Facebook is easily avoided. Google hosts fonts, analytics, javascript libraries, APIs etc for very many third party websites. SHAME ON THE STUPIDITY of site owners promoting Facebook, Twitter, pinterest and using Google services they could host themselves, in many cases the 3rd party sites use of Google certainly breaks the intention of EU dataprotection and cookie law even if legal.

I block all 3rd party cookies. Why is that not the default setting on browsers, they serve no honest purpose and never needed by user.

Noscript is also your friend to block domains.

I'm also a bit fed up with how general searches have loads of YouTube links and image searches have loads of pinterest links (who owns them and it's evil how hard it is to see where the pinterest image is "stolen" from.)

3
0

Hackers pop top 'secure' wireless keyboard and mouse kits, gain RCE

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Alternatively....

USB HID is such a broken thing security wise, maybe the USB mouse / keyboard is malicious. I'm not sure if a PS/2 mouse is safe.

A PS/2 keyboard could have a keylogger and intermittent mobile modem to report home built in?

I just can't see any advantage to a wireless keyboard or mouse anyway, liable to run out of battery at awkward time, the stupid keyboards sleep and miss your first few keystrokes, and wired is instant after PC / Tablet sleep, the BT types are slow to re-connect. If 2.4GHz and your WiFi is 2.4GHz and weak, it may make it weaker.

A USB mouse is £1 to £10 for a perfectly good one.

0
0
Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Even after it's fixed...

You buy some, do them up nice, add some software or a chip and ship it to your targets as free samples/presents/beta test etc. (It's been done and works better than "losing" USB sticks in the target's car park, though that works too)

Beware Geeks carrying Gifts this Christmas.

6
0

Is Google using YouTube to put one over on Samsung?

Mage
Silver badge

Google is emerging as a major rival in smartphones to Samsung

I don't think so. The new GooPhone is aimed at Apple customers.

Google makes money TWICE from Samsung:

1) Any licence fee to use the "Blob".

2) Android reporting to Google.

As one of the largest (or largest?) and flag ship supporters of the official Android ecosystem, why would Google want to damage Samsung or the Android brand (by association). My conspiracy theory is that Google was taking these videos down, not Samsung via DMCA notices. Samsung isn't Apple or the Thai Government. Then Google (or the minion that had acted without higher up authorisation) realised this was counter productive. Better to join the laughter than pull a Streisand?

5
1

Every LTE call, text, can be intercepted, blacked out, hacker finds

Mage
Silver badge
Windows

Re: I'm near retirement age and what is this

More like 30 years... of Mobile.

The entire history of Internet.

It seems designed in security is rare and working is rarer.

2
0

AT&T wants Time Warner

Mage
Silver badge
Devil

Delivery and Content

Combining content creation and owning channels is good. The UK idea of BBC divesting content creation is nuts.

Combining Content/Channels and a delivery platform is evil. We've seen that in Ireland and UK with Sky.

0
0

Today the web was broken by countless hacked devices – your 60-second summary

Mage
Silver badge

Re: Maybe..

" it uses uPNP to punch a hole in the router for itself. It announces its presence to several foreign servers, and it has a default telnet login of root/123456.

I've hacked the startup script (luckily writeable) to replace the hosts file "

Disable uPNP on your firewall / router.

Setup a VPN (properly) to your home network if you want to remotely access stuff on it.

3
5

Forums