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* Posts by John Riddoch

224 posts • joined 12 Jan 2009

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MYSTERIOUS Siberia CRATER: ALIENS or METEOR not involved, officials insist

John Riddoch

Re: Giant Gofers

Sinkhole was my first thought, but that doesn't account for the debris round the hole. The idea of some trapped gas underground exploding makes more sense, it would explain the debris round the hole and its depth.

Certainly it doesn't look like a normal impact crater, it's too deep for that.

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Intel teaches Oracle how to become the latest and greatest Xeon Whisperer

John Riddoch

Re: Smells like copy-protections

Is paying per core really such a bad thing? It opens up a good capacity on demand model which will suit some customers down to the ground. If you want all the capacity, you just pay for it.

As for shutting off cores when behind on licensing, that would require them to have privileged access on the system in question. If you trust your vendors with that, you probably should keep up to date on your license fees/support costs!

Being less paranoid, it seems to be all about being able to squeeze higher clock speeds out of the chips dynamically for single threaded workloads. Given that clock speeds on Intel have stuck at about 2.5GHz-3.5GHz for several years, anything which can push that single threaded workload through faster has to be a good thing for end users.

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Running the Gauntlet: Atari's classic ... now and then

John Riddoch

Ah, fun...

Mine was the speccy version, with about 4 levels loaded before you had to load more from tape... Favourite for me was the wizard; top notch ranged combat, top notch magic and survivable if you played it smart and didn't let the bad guys get near.

Gauntlet Dark Legacy was also fun on the PS2 - played it a lot while laid up with a broken ankle :)

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El Reg nips down IKEA's 'I've Got A Screw Loose Street'

John Riddoch

Edinburgh

On the outskirts of Edinburgh, we have an Ikea and Costco next to each other. The road is call "Costkea Way". I don't know if they'll bother renaming the road if either of them leave/rebrand...

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PayPal 2FA mobe flaw chills 'warm and fuzzy' security feeling

John Riddoch

That should have been obvious to a smart coder - you never trust anything a client tells you, even if it's from an app you supply because someone may fiddle with it (either like this or as a MITM). This was obvious to me 15 years ago when the internet wasn't as scary a place as it is now; I remember a discussion about how client side checking on the WWW was great because it saved your web server CPU cycles before I pointed out the flaw. Quite how Paypal can let this slip through I can't fathom...

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Chromebook Pixel owners' promised free data plans being prematurely axed

John Riddoch
Thumb Down

Re: It is what it is ...

@nematoad - yes, invitation to treat (or US equivalent) is one thing, but if you use that argument, it's a classic "bait & switch" trades description issue.

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Canon offers a cloud just for still photos, not anything else. Weird

John Riddoch

Re: Marketing bollocks

Yeah, quite - what's it doing new that Flickr doesn't? Note there may well be some fantastic features, but the marketing blurb doesn't tell me what they might be...

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Queen's Speech: Computer Misuse Act to be amended, tougher sentences planned

John Riddoch

Re: Shark Jumped!

Seems to be actually mean child grooming for dummies

I'm not sure that banning them is right as it's verging on legislating "thought crimes", although I can see the reasoning for it. There's certainly a case for having some of that information to safeguard children ("Spotting child grooming for dummies?").

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Feds crack down harder on 'lasing'. Yep, aircraft laser zapping... Really

John Riddoch
WTF?

14 years?

While I appreciate the potential risks & repercussions such actions invoke, there are probably people convicted of manslaughter with a shorter prison term. It does seem to be an excessive punishment for the actions...

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The hoarder's dilemma: 'Why can't I throw anything away?'

John Riddoch
Thumb Up

Re: Platters as mug mats

I use a couple as mirrors for when I'm camping. They work very well for that.

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Oh GREAT: Your factory can Heartbleed out

John Riddoch
FAIL

Re: Head Scratcher, this one is...

"Are people really that stupid????"

Yes. Next question?

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Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?

John Riddoch
FAIL

So how does this work on leap years? Does this give borrowers a way to get out of paying interest on leap years?

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Tesla in 'Ethernet port carries data' SCANDAL

John Riddoch

Re: I'd guess none

Not entirely - they're "shipping" GPL'd code which means a customer has the right to request the source code for everything. Now, it's entirely plausible the entire code stack is stock Ubuntu etc and they can just supply that, but they still have to pass it on if requested.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

John Riddoch

Re: mac book air screen

the extra weight of screws cant be that much, the extra size of the device (a mm or something?) wouldnt be such an issue would it?

It would be enough. See the Reg's Z1 review which states "it weighs 25g more and is 3mm taller, 6.5mm broader and 2mm thicker." If the iPhone used screws and wasn't glued together, it would probably take up a chunk of those size differences.

I have sympathy for the manufacturers - they're being challenged to make devices smaller, thinner, prettier, more resilient to dust etc and still being pushed to make them repairable. The goals are (mostly) mutually exclusive.

Deliberately making something unrepairable when there isn't a valid design reason is just being a jerk, though.

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

John Riddoch

Re: What if it was ditched and sunk intact?

As has been pointed out, you can land on water, but the vast majority of water landings are catastrophic. The Hudson landing was on relatively flat river water, a sea based landing would be harder.

In any case, sinking an entire plane would be difficult. Many parts of the plane will float as they escape/break off and unless the passengers were restrained, you'd expect some of them to have remembered their life jackets.

Still, the Indian ocean is huge and finding debris would be difficult without some kind of way of narrowing down the search area.

My guess is someone knows something they're not telling - the Malaysian radar info was released very late after the event, I'm guessing something else will come out sometime.

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

John Riddoch
Terminator

I still have a guitar amp I bought from Maplins catalogue about 1990. Still works fine :)

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I NEVER DONE BITCOIN, says bloke fingered by new Newsweek

John Riddoch
Joke

ObPython

"Only the true inventor of Bitcoin would deny his divinity!"

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Anti-snoop Blackphone hits shelves in June: NOW we'll see how much you value privacy

John Riddoch
Black Helicopters

"Why not just use a Silent Circle app on our current, cheaper phones?"

Because all it takes is one rogue app installed on your current phone to bypass the security. Remember this is using a locked down Android OS, not your stock OS so it should be more secure than your current phone.

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Antarctic glacier 'melted JUST as fast LONG before human carbon emissions'

John Riddoch

Re: does it matter?

"If we carry on burning hydrocarbons as we are we are going to run out before my Grandaughter retires."

This. Regardless of whether you believe the climate is changing or if any change is man made, making a scarce resource last a bit longer should be reason enough to minimise our usage of fossil fuels. When we add in the pollution & health impacts, it should make it a no-brainer.

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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

John Riddoch

Re: OTT?

From the Wikipedia article:

"Over-the-top messaging refers to a similar idea, where a third party provides instant messaging services as an alternative to text messaging services provided by a mobile network operator."

Sounds like an exact match for WhatsApp.

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John Riddoch
FAIL

Re: OTT?

Search Google for OTT. First hit. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Over-the-top_content

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Intel's new Xeon: Easy to switch between dual memory modes? Uh, no

John Riddoch

Re: So performance mode is unreliable somehow...

Bit errors are presumably seen as not allowed, otherwise it's a pointless technology. What's more likely is that RAM transactions have unreliable timings; i.e. it might take longer one time than another which would be the bane of anything latency critical (high frequency trading was mentioned, anything realtime would likewise be affected).

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Is FCoE faster than Fibre Channel? Who knows? Just run your own tests

John Riddoch
Thumb Down

Re: "what hope do the non-technical and the uninitiated have to find out the truth?"

"Shouldn't they be asking the technical and initiated as to which is the best solution to get?" - yes, but how many PHBs out there trust their techies over a shiny brochure and pushy sales droids who take them for a free lunch? There are too many non-techie managers who sign off on a purchase without checking with their IT department who are then expected to make whatever's been bought work.

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Woz he talking about? Apple co-founder wants iPhones to run Android

John Riddoch
Facepalm

No, for one very good reason...

We (the consumers) need to have some kind of competition in the phone operating systems. If Apple did the unthinkable and adopted Android, it would remove competition from the market and leave competition essentially between Google & MS with Blackberry a distant 3rd.

For reference, I prefer Android and use that, but I wouldn't want it to become too dominant in the market for the reasons above.

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UK internet filtering shouldn't rely on knee tappers, says Tory MP

John Riddoch
Joke

Re: Sorry... am I reading that right?

Quite, although it also reminded me of the joke (which is also somewhat appropriate, given the discussion material):

"In a survey on men's taste in womens' legs, 11% said they preferred skinny legs, 6% said they preferred fat legs and 83% said they preferred something in between."

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Sinclair's ZX Spectrum to LIVE AGAIN!

John Riddoch

Re: Promise the world

For £6k, you should have done a small claims court action.

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Google Glass driver told she CAN wear techno-specs while on the road

John Riddoch

Re: lack of evidence

There are various options here:

- prosecutors screwed up & didn't present the evidence

- It wasn't recorded correctly (e.g. the cop was only following and took speed from car speedo)

- defence found a technicality to render presented evidence invalid

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Huawei dismisses NSA backdoor claims as profits soar

John Riddoch
Black Helicopters

Not quite, read the article: "deny allegations made in a Der Spiegel article published last month that the NSA had installed back doors in kit made by Huawei"

i.e. there are reports that the NSA had managed to backdoor Huawei kit which is fairly plausible, given what else they're purported to have done.

This is a different allegation to previously which is that Huawei kit wasn't safe in the US because it had Chinese state sponsored backdoors installed. The irony of USA complaining of state-sponsored backdoors in light of the Snowden revelations isn't missed, though.

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IBM's Watson-as-a-cloud: Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's another mainframe

John Riddoch
Thumb Down

"it looks like you're trying to setup inter site replication"

Just what we need - Clippy on steroids....

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Two Brits face criminal trial for sending 'menacing' tweets

John Riddoch
Trollface

Re: Feminists are irritating

In a similar vein (including Sarcasm):

"Women can be sexist too. It's just that men, as in most cases, are better at it."

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Massive! Yahoo! Mail! outage! going! on! FOURTH! straight! day!

John Riddoch
Thumb Up

Re: It's only a matter of time.

"If only email addresses were portable in the same way mobile phone numbers are. Something to do with DNS queries?"

Your own domain name fixes that problem. Get domain name, cheap mail hosting and use GMail's ability to slurp mail via POP3 to get it into GMail. I can now access my mail from mobile, web browser and even IMAP on my desktop.

I used to run my own mail server on a home server, but after issues getting that working on my Qnap NAS, I moved to Gmail, haven't regretted it since. If Gmail started being an issue (e.g. privacy concerns), I can move to another provider quickly without changing email address.

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FTC torches Android flashlight app for spying on users

John Riddoch

Re: Not too bright ?

Simple - people usually carry a phone on them, but rarely a torch. If you need a torch at short notice, it's usually easier to grab the phone and use it vs finding a real torch.

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Send in the clones: Oracle, CentOS catch up to Red Hat Linux 6.5

John Riddoch

Re: What's good for the goose....

You're right about the copyright. There is a lot of copyright held in RHEL and Linux. Thing is, the license to use said copyrighted code allow Oracle to do what it's doing, that's the cost/benefit of the GPL.

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REVEALED: How YOU PAY extra for iPHONES - even if you DON'T HAVE ONE

John Riddoch

Re: Message to mobile operators

Can't see it working for various reasons. The cult of Apple means that people will move to another provider if it means they get the latest shiny. Secondly, the negotiations with Apple are almost certainly tied up in reams of NDA so the most you'd be allowed to say is that you didn't have a deal with Apple to sell their products.

It would take a majority of carriers to do this for it to have any effect and even then, I'm not convinced. O2 had a monopoly on the original iPhone in the UK and people still bought them. Heck, I considered going back to O2 on that basis at the time, even though I'd found reception to be crap.

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Revealed: How Microsoft DNS went titsup globally on Xbox One launch day

John Riddoch
Thumb Down

Re: The "Cloud"

Because, of course, internal systems never, ever fail, do they? Provided your cloud solution is as reliable as an internal system, there's no issues. Just because all companies now have their outages at the same time, it becomes public knowledge and more widespread.

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Mystery traffic redirection attack pulls net traffic through Belarus, Iceland

John Riddoch
Black Helicopters

Nice sales pitch at the end...

"Everyone on the internet ... should now be monitoring the global routing of their advertised IP prefixes"

With the subtext of "which we'll be happy to provide. For a fee, of course..."

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Richard Stallman decides Emacs should go WYSIWYG

John Riddoch

Re: @ Rampant Spaniel (was: I use VI! ;-))

Technically, ed is the default Unix text editor (try unset EDITOR; crontab -e), but all major Unix distros have vi installed by default. As a result, most Unix admins default to using vi as the text editor because no matter how bad you might think it is, it's many times better than ed.... Sure, you can install emacs, nano, pico or whatever onto AIX/Solaris/HP-UX, but you'll be SOL when you have to recover a system from CD.

Added to that, for a lot of work, I find vi far more powerful than a standard text editor, mainly due to being able to repeat commands (.) and searches (n/N).

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BOFH: Is WHAT 'running slow'!? GOD

John Riddoch
Thumb Down

Installers

Yup, he's perfectly described my complaints about Windows installers - let's ask questions at 5 points during the install process instead of once at the start and once at the end. For all that people complain about Linux not being user friendly, the majority of Linux installations have been easier than Windows IME...

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Beyond: Two Souls - the game that thinks it's a Hollywood blockbuster

John Riddoch

Re: Sir

Quite. If we don't try games like this, we'll just have yet another Gran Turismo or Call of Duty game coming along. Given the cost of making a computer game these days, companies don't generally take risks.

The issue is that trying to make a "movie game" with freedom to mess it up is vastly more complex than railroading the player/viewer, but with practice the games industry might just get there eventually.

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Expensive blingo-rama iPhone 5S OUTSELLS cheapo-plastic 5C

John Riddoch

Possibility of different buying habits?

If you absolutely have to be seen to have the latest & best gadget, you will rush out and buy the top model. If you're less concerned about that sort of thing, you may be inclined to wait longer and might just pick up the 5C when you get round to it.

That kind of scenario would lead to the 5S selling like mad in the first month or two with a ramp down, but the 5C might just keep ticking along and eventually becoming more popular than the 5S. Of course, the lack in price differential might have had a factor as well, since Apple don't really do "budget phone"...

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Listen, Google and Amazon: Soon we may not even use tape for COLD STORAGE

John Riddoch

I'm not convinced. Spun down disks can be pretty bad at not coming back online, simply due to the standard issue of moving parts breaking. You can probably design a more reliable drive with a design aim of stopping/starting many times, but that would probably increase cost and make it less attractive than tape.

RAID or equivalent could make the drive failures less of an issue, but if this is your only copy of the data, you'd want to be very sure you can cope with multiple drives not coming back after being spun down.

It'll likely take someone doing full testing on it and likely some real-world experience of such a solution, but the question is who is willing to trust their data to such a solution?

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Police constable 1337 stunned by Lego lookalike

John Riddoch

Re: 1337??

I'm assuming this is a troll. The top results for searching for "1337" explain the reference perfectly adequately.

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SpaceX Falcon boosts to glory from Vandenberg space force base

John Riddoch
Boffin

Re: "....so its 1500kgs of goodies could be brought aboard."

"In orbit the goodies don't weigh anything."

Perhaps not, but they still have mass which is what kg measures.

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T-Mobile pulls BlackBerry products from US retail stores

John Riddoch

Re: Obsessed with consumers

To an extent. BB lost market share in the enterprise because people started integrating their iPhones into the corporate networks because they were shinier and BB's differentiating features (e.g. email push) became less relevant with cheap Wifi/3G connectivity being ubiquitous. Once they starting losing their core business customers, they were in trouble.

Many people don't want a relatively boring business like tool, they want the latest shiny. In the early noughties, the shiny /was/ a Blackberry, now it's an iPhone (or S4, or whatever). BB failed to keep up with the trends and didn't have a desirable enough platform so people are leaving.

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James Bond's Lotus Esprit submarine car sells for £550,000

John Riddoch

Re: Not just a static prop

ISTR something similar for other vehicles in one of those "behind the scenes" things. The producers said there was no way to get all the toys into one system, so they'd have one model with rocket launchers, another with extra propulsion/jets so it could fly/glide, another with a smoke dispenser etc and swap them for scenes.

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Smartwatch craze is all just ONE OFF THE WRIST

John Riddoch

I remember a Mary Whitehouse Experience sketch from the radio lampooning the exam experience which mentioned the cacophony of hourly beeps on the hour...

The rest of that sketch was hilarious and had me choking quietly in the corner as I was listening on headphones trying not to burst out laughing. It seems to be available on MP3 here, will have to have a download later...

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Oracle revs up Sparc M6 chip for seriously big iron

John Riddoch

Re: Clock speed?

I'm guessing clock speeds will come out after they've done some more testing - clock speed is really a function of how fast (and hot) you can drive the silicon without it making mistakes. While you could nominally drive the silicon at say 4GHz in perfect conditions, most likely you'll have a massive failure rate so you'd ramp speed down to 3.5GHz with a higher success rate, possibly with the successful 4GHz parts as your premium part.

The real issue for a platform like this is scalability; all those threads potentially battling over cross calls, cache flushes etc can really kill performance for some workloads. Still, there are probably workloads well suited to such a monster system.

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Wikileaker Bradley Manning's court martial verdict expected today

John Riddoch
Mushroom

Re: This is about a Soldier under an Oath of Fealty...

"I was only obeying orders" doesn't always cut the mustard, though.

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Not even Asia can save PC market's slump

John Riddoch

Pretty much this.

In my previous job about 9 years ago, we had 3GHz+ Xeons in the servers. Intel chips seem to have generally slowed down into the 2.5GHz-3GHz range, just with more cores/SMT etc and some improved pipelining. Overall single thread performance hasn't been jumping like it was in the late 90s/early noughties and a lot of performance is still driven by single thread performance.

Aside from some niche power users, most people don't need anything more than a 4-5 year old PC to run what they need, i.e. a web browser, Office toolset & email client so there's no need to upgrade.

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Tickle my balls, stroke my button and blow the fluff from my crack

John Riddoch

Re: No (much) need for a mouse

As ever, it depends on the task at hand. I do use a lot of keyboard shortcuts and remember an occasion my mouse died and I was forced to use Alt-keys for a while until I could get out to a shop for a replacement. Being able to use just the keyboard for common tasks saves time switching between keyboard & mouse.

However, FPS games are far better on a mouse, I remember the jump in effectiveness on Quake 2 when I switched to mouse.

FWIW, I still hate trackpads - I can use them at a push, but I'm not effective with them. I find the nub mice in the middle of the keyboard easier to use.

Main thing is, use whatever works for you.

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