* Posts by Vic

3471 posts • joined 7 Dec 2007

Brit boffins debunk 'magnetic field and cancer' link

Vic
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: Power lines?

My personal feeling - which counts for absolutely nothing, except to indicate where my biases are - is that this will be found to be a non-causal correlation

How well-correlated is proximity to power lines with shitty housing and other general not-being-very-rich?

Vic.

0
0

It's nearly 2015 – and your Windows PC can still be owned by a Visual Basic script

Vic
Silver badge

Re: unintended consequences

The Brazil-Paris flight crash was due to problems http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Air_France_Flight_447 with the instrumentation and software

Air France claimed that. Everyone else who's listened to the CVR transcript knows it was pilot error...

Vic.

0
0

EU law bods: New eCall crash system WON'T TRACK YOU. Really

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Old bangers rule

well if an old banger can handle 150k, surely a new car can handle 200+

200+, for sure. But I'd not assume 200k+...

New cars are built for profit, not reliability.

Vic.

0
0

Linux software nasty slithers out of online watering holes

Vic
Silver badge

allowed the reading of /etc including the passwd!

Reading /etc/passwd is usually allowed - for local users, at least. It is not a vulnerability.

It doesn't contain any passwords, and for an Internet-facing box, is unlikely to contain any account information at all that could not be presumed by anyone that hasn't even *seen* the box...

Vic.

0
0

Mars was a WET mistress: Curiosity probes once-moist bottom

Vic
Silver badge

The chances of anything coming from Mars are a million to one - IMHO

Yes, but million-to-one chances, as we all know, crop up nine times out of ten

0
0

Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Vic
Silver badge

Re: not very big

There is a distinction between "damage to the engine" and "endangering the aircraft", i.e. endangering the lives of the people on board

On approach, that distinction tends to go away. Although these aircraft are capable of flying on a single engine, the asymetric thrust caused by doing so can make low-speed handling very difficult. Becoming single-engined at 700ft could be a serious brown-trouser moment...

Vic.

0
0

Plusnet customers SWAMPED by spam but BT-owned ISP dismisses data breach claims

Vic
Silver badge

It follows therefore that they must have dozens if not hundreds of email addresses each for a single purpose.

Over 3500, last time I counted...

/etc/aliases makes it all to easy.

Vic.

1
0

BLAST-OFF! BOAT FREE launch at last. Orion heads for SPAAAAACE

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Degrees

y = mx + c is hardly complex maths.

Particularly when m=1...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Typo? No, they use Farhenheit

As for eights and sixteenths....

A surprising number of teenagers are really quite good with eighths and sixteenths...

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Typo

The simple arithmetic..

C = (F-32)*0.55555556

F= (C/0.5555556)+32

It's a lot simpler to use the reciprocal of that constant :-

F = (C*1.8) + 32

C = (F-32) / 1.8

Vic.

0
0

Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1

Vic
Silver badge

Re: I'm liking it

Anyone getting 2 days off any modern phone either never uses it or runs a very aggressive battery save mode imo

I get about 8 days off my S2. I set it up for maximum battery save, and I don't use it very much :-)

Vic.

0
0

Google kills CAPTCHAs: Are we human or are we spammer?

Vic
Silver badge

Re: I'm not a programmer

That's 2 to the power of 10, i.e. 1024 possible combinations, which gives less than 0.1% chance that a bot deciding entirely at random whether to check each box will guess correctly.

Judging by the stats from my mailserver, spammers would take those odds...

Vic.

0
0

UK slaps 25 per cent 'Google Tax' on tech multinationals

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Financial Transaction Tax and Commissions

Every time money changes hands, the govt gets their cut. Send money to your parent company overseas? ->Get a cut

Send a couple of quid to your nephew in Swansea? Govt. takes a cut. The Daily Mail will have a field day...

Downside: would _kill_ high frequency trading.

Yeah, that's not a downside...

Vic.

0
0

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Linux?

You should be able to convert the .deb to a .rpm. Look into alien.

Beware conversions with alien; it'll get you out of a hole, but it doesn't deal with dependencies properly[1], and that can come back to bite you later...

Vic.

[1] Given the difference in capabilities of the .deb and .rpm formats, it could be argued that it is impossible to do so. But alien doesn't even try, when it could do most packages without too much trouble.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Amarok as good iTunes replacement?

And yes, Amarok lost a lot of features during its transition

The last 1.x version of Amarok (1.44? I forget...) was utterly brilliant. It did exactly what I wanted.

Then it went on to v2.0, with a newer, greyer UI. And a squillion bugs & crashes that its predeccessor didn't have.

I've not used it since :-(

Vic.

0
0

Ex-GCHQ boss: Hey, UK.gov, have you heard how crap iPhone biometrics are?

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Just a pattern?

getting a copy good enough to make a simulation is not totally straightforward

Not as tricky as you might think

ISTR reports of them using it to fool sensors, but you can google that for yourselves...

Vic.

0
0

systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Vic
Silver badge
Joke

Re: @Ben Tasker

If this example is so important, why are the systemd devs so lax in their attitude elsewhere: "if we don't know anything, we consider the system online"?

They're clearly Star Trek buffs - it's an opportunity to state out of the blue, at the first sign of any trouble, that "$really_necessary_system is offline"...

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

As you have discovered though the cost of parsing init scripts is not that high and certainly not enough of a problem to justify systemd

That much is certainly true.

SysV init scripts are pretty much bomb-proof, but being entirely synchronous, they run one-at-a-time, and a delay in one delays all of them. It is an inefficient system.

The idea of running independent init scripts in parallel is a good one - but systemd seems to have lost sight of that goal, and is heading for the "replace everything in sight" model. And that's why there is resistance to its adoption; the concept is good, but the implementation is worrying.

Vic.

1
1
Vic
Silver badge

Re: This is gold

Yes systemd can control restarts etc but most of the time is is mostly irrelevant to the operation of a Linux server.

I disagree. You might not boot the entire box very often, but services are started and stopped all the time. With SysV, this is both easy *and* it is discoverable - /etc/init.d/ has all the services, so tab completion works to assist the imperfect memory.

unless you were really, really careful some services could start before their dependencies were running. If we were to fix that properly then I'd be happy with staying with SystemV.

That would imply a broken init script - SysV scripts are entirely synchronous, so init will not even begin to start a service until all the previous ones are completed. Dependencies are handled trivially by starting dependent services later than their prerequisites.

SysV has a number of problems, but not that one.

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: enterprise systemd

Yes, because we're all deeply loving what RedHat does

I've long been a RHEL fan - but I suspect RHEL6 might be my last one.

Vic.

1
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: What is systemd

I've donated

Likewise.

I don't even use Debian, but I think it's important to keep the choice going. Monocultures tend to inbreed ...

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: What is systemd

They're borging everything but the kernel. How long before that goes too?

There's already been the kernel debug parameter fiasco...

VIc.

1
0

NASA 'nauts have a go on Star Trek replicator IN SPAAAAACE (sort of)

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Spare parts.

"Unable to comply. Replicator component 123-A has failed and must be replaced."

There's an old saying - if you need one, take two...

Vic.

1
0

UK boffins: We'll have an EMBIGGENED QUANTUM COMPUTER working in 5 YEARS

Vic
Silver badge
Joke

Re: Al Zawahiri takes the mic

QUANTUM FATWA SOON!

Death to America Wherever the quantum field collapses?

Vic.

0
0

Look out: That data protection watchdog can bite

Vic
Silver badge

Re: ICO's past behaviour may not be indicative of the future

This means that ICO are likely to take more action

Well that will make a nice change.

A few years back, I handed them all the evidence they needed to prosecute a significant data breach - a company director had deliberately leaked data on that company's website in order to smear a rival.

When the ICO finally got around to responding to me, they simply took said director's claims that he hadn't breached anyone's privacy at face value, and took no action.

I'm not holding my breath for an improvement; they seem primarily interested in window-dressing.

Vic.

0
0

Why did it take antivirus giants YEARS to drill into super-scary Regin? Symantec responds...

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Nation states?

In fact, can you name a single piece of not-shit software that can be credited to a nation-state?

Stuxnet?

Vic.

4
0

Amazon’s CHRISTMAS QUEUEING bonanza!

Vic
Silver badge

Re: 2 days before Royal Mail notified

Seemed a clever idea, until my parcel sat in the local Post Office for 2 days before Royal Mail's tracking could tell Amazon/me it was ready to collect

I had a parcel sent to me from China. I had flight tracking numbers, and I could track it all the way into the country and into the Royal Mail depot.

It sat there for a month. They didn't allocate it a UK tracking number, so I couldn't get any info from their web site. And if you ring them up, you just get passed around the IVR until you get told to go to the website, and the machine hangs up on you.

My parcel sat in the depot for a month, until eventually it was returned to China as "not collected". The original Chinese tracking number was still on it, but no UK one...

Vic.

0
0

MI6 oversight report on Lee Rigby murder: US web giants offer 'safe haven for TERRORISM'

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Ban knives

Folding knifes with a blade under 3" in length are technically legal, but if you have one in public and the police ask, if you can't justify it to a reasonable degree you might get taken down the station for a chat.

I'm not aware of any length of knife that is actually illegal, but anything that can be construed as a weapon might get a polite enquiry from the Bill, with a rather less polite one if you don't come up with a reasonable explanation.

I once had a conversation[1] with a cop outside a kebab shop. I was trying to find out whether the law would allow me to buy one of the long blades they were using to shave the "meat" off the stock. The practical upshot was that it was perfectly legal, but if I waved it around, I'd almost certainly be in deep, deep trouble...

Vic.

[1] I was quite drunk at the time. He was very patient :-)

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: You have to admire the sheer ruthlessness of the Gov, MI5.etc.

or perhaps they were watching hundreds of potential suspects and made the wrong choice by stopping watching these ones. Perhaps the resources were diverted to something else that did not and can not make the headlines.

That would mean that they are far more keen to destroy our liberties than to admit to a cock-up.

We all screw up from time to time. The Public would accept the occasional mistake, particularly at a time when resources are tight. But the Security Services don't seem to worry about the cost to us, as long as *they* don't have to lose face. And that's not acceptable.

Vic.

2
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Article unclear

So, what the security services appear to be pointing out is they think US companies may not be responding satisfactorily to UK warrants, correct?

No, not at all.

What the statement says is that US companies do not consider themselves to be under any compulsion to comply with warrants issued by a foreign power. And that's as it should be.

Whether or not the companies in question do comply with any such warrants - and whether such compliance might or might not be satisfactory in the eyes of the UK authorities - is not mentioned.

it's not entirely clear whether the report is merely dealing with a technical point, or squarely trying to shift the blame.

Yeah, it is. It couldn't get much clearer...

Vic.

2
0

Disturbance in the force lets phones detect gestures with Wi-Fi

Vic
Silver badge

Re: his/her > XIR

An inclusive human moves xir arm

"Shkler". Yivo told me so...

Vic.

0
0

Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU

Vic
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: He must be several tera-furlongs out of his skull

They enter the symptoms into their iPad and it tells them what the problem is, how to treat it and write you a prescription

"Well, don't want to sound like a dick or nothin', but, ah... it says on your chart that you're fucked up. Ah, you talk like a fag, and your shit's all retarded"

I'm going to have to go and watch that again now...

Vic.

0
1
Vic
Silver badge

Re: He must be several tera-furlongs out of his skull

The scientific unit of force is NOT pounds!!

Yes, but this is not a study aimed at the scientifically-literate.

The giveaway, to my mind, is the values quoted - 60 pounds at 60 degrees? That implies a head weight of nearly 70 pounds, which is getting on for half my body weight. And I'm no racing snake these days...

Of course, these might be instantaneous forces, rather than static loading - in which case, it's surely the act of addressing your phone like you're at the Headbanger's Ball that is to blame, rather than the phone use.

Vic.

1
0

We have a winner! Fresh Linux Mint 17.1 – hands down the best

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Upgrades

Plus, a little git-managed directory with all those nasty configfiles (generally somewhere in /etc)

Have you seen etckeeper?

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Upgrades

I've got a box at home that started on OpenSuSE 10.3 and it's been upgraded (over the network) to 13.1 via all the releases in between. No re-install required

My two primary machines both started life as RHL7.0. I've done several in-place upgrades on those over the years, without the need to re-install...

Keeping your /home on a separate partition helps.

Yes. This is always good advice.

Vic.

1
0

DEATH by COMMENTS: WordPress XSS vuln is BIGGEST for YEARS

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Well....

However, surely blogging as the admin account is a complete no-no?

That's not the way this works.

Injected data will be emitted (i.e. executed) in the admin panel - which will generally be used by a logged-in adminstrator. Thus dangerous things will occur...

Vic.

0
0

'Snoopers' Charter IS DEAD', Lib Dems claim as party waves through IP address-matching

Vic
Silver badge

It's childs play to spoof a MAC address you know.

It's also largely pointless when you're connected with PPPoA...

Vic.

1
0

Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Consommation???

What, pray, is "consommation?"

Don't ask - just be thankful he didn't say "consummation"...

Vic.

4
0

Two driverless cars stuffed with passengers are ABOUT TO CRASH - who should take the hit?

Vic
Silver badge

Re: To those advocating programmed selfishness

You are driving on a confined road, an out-of-control lorry rumbles towards your car and the only space you can evade it is currently occupied by 20 philosophers. Do you want your car to drive through them?

You are driving on a confined road, an out-of-control lorry rumbles towards your car and the only space you can evade it is currently occupied by 20 lawyers. How many times do you back up for another go?

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: I don't buy the premise

Yes, but collision detection systems can't currently see around corners.

The Roadcraft Rule : "Always make sure you can stop on your own side of the road within the distance you can see to be clear".

Vic.

2
0

Nexus 7 fandroids tell of salty taste after sucking on Google's Lollipop

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Not running terribly well

Linux-based OSs don't do well with patches.

Eh?

I've been patching Linux systems oif one sort or another for over 15 years now, and they do just fine...

Vic.

1
0

Space Commanders rebel as Elite:Dangerous kills offline mode

Vic
Silver badge

You should also check out oolite

I tried it - it did strange things to my display...

I'll give it another go sometime & see if I can get it working.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

I backed Elite: Dangerous on Day 1

I ... errr ... meant to. I forgot. Sorry.

But given what's happened, I'm quite pleased about that - I've no intention of playing multiplayer, and whilst I could cope with having an open Internet connection to do so, I'd rather not, for all the reasons stated elsewhere.

But I downloaded the full Elite game from the link posted elsewhere in this thread, and threw it at beebem[1]. And now I can play Elite.

Is it modern? No. Is it sexy? No. Does it dazzle the viewer with awesome graphics? No. Is it Elite? Fuck, yeah.

So I am transported back to 19<coughty><cough>. I'm having a really good day today[2].

Vic.

[1] Installed through my distrbution repo, and it works just fine...

[2] I did my first 4 night-time landings tonight. And whilst that has nothing whatsoever to do with the thread, I'm still chuffed :-)

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: Standard mistake to make

even with the cleaver split screen technique reducing graphics memory

That wasn't about reducing memory - it was about doing something very clever indeed.

The high-resolution mode used for the main viewer display could only display monochrome. They needed colours for the instrumentation display beneath it.

So the split-screen thing was to change graphics modes on the fly to get high-res at the top and colour at the bottom.

Vic.

2
0

Samsung turns off lights on LEDs worldwide – except in South Korea

Vic
Silver badge

Re: Hey Vic

You should really have another look at the latest TVs

I did - a few *hours* after posting, my CRT TV died - it took on a bright yellow cast :-(

I now have a 40" Samsung LED unit. The blacks aren't wonderful, but I'll get used to it, I guess. But it plays directly form my USB drive, so the benefits are quite good :-)

With OLED black IS the new black.

Yeah, but OLED is more money than I want to pay right now...

Vic.

0
0

Anonymous ‪hacks the Ku Klux Klan after Ferguson‬ threats

Vic
Silver badge

I find it hard to believe that the KKK is still "a thing" in the tail end of 2015.

Maybe they won't be - we'll have to wait and see...

Vic.

2
0

Samsung, Apple soap opera drama: Korean giant WILL churn out chips for iPhones, iPads

Vic
Silver badge

Re: @Vic

Leakage tends to dominate at smaller nodes

Only when the device is idle. If it's switching - you're charging/discharging capacitors (since that's what a FET gate is), and the Vf2C thing dominates.

If your leakage current is greater than your switching current, your process is useless.

Vic.

0
0
Vic
Silver badge

Re: 14nm versus 16nm

There are a lot of dimensions to measure transistors aside from gate length, and it is well down the list when it comes to power draw.

Errr - not really.

P ∝ f2C

C is pretty much determined by the gate dimensions - there's little you can do to the dielectric that leaves the gate tenable. So your power draw is determined by voltage, clocking frequency[1], and gate dimension. For a given performance, there's a limit to how far you can reduce the voltage, so power draw for a given task is pretty much determined by gate size.

Vic.

[1] This is naturally the averaged clocking frequency, integrated wrt time across the device and divided by gate count; a static module that isn't changing state consumes only leakage power.

2
0

Ofcom tackles complaint over Premier League footie TV rights

Vic
Silver badge

Re: No option?

the BBC's excellent but 50%-of-races-as-highlight-shows-only

The BBC's coverage would be much better if it had less of the Eddie Jordan Self-Promotion Show in it.

Although it is occasionally amusing watching David Coulthard desperately trying not to use the word "twat" on air...

Vic.

1
0

WinShock PoC clocked: But DON'T PANIC... It's no Heartbleed

Vic
Silver badge

Re: @Vic

In what world is source patching the only form of patching?

Ultimately, it is pretty much the only form of patching - veyr few people still do direct hex-editing these days...

Windows Update is two clicks and forget.

Ah. So getting someopne else to do your pathcing is easy. Well, it's just as easy in any environment where you can pull down someone else's code. That's my "at best, as easy to patch as Heartbleed" comment - if all you're doing is pulling down someone else's binaries, there is no difference whatsoever in ease of correction (thus proving the original statement of the SChannel bug being "[e]asier to patch in most cases" entirely incorrect).

But if you don't *have* someone else's binaries, Heartbleed is still trivial to patch, whereas SChannel is not. Thus proving the original statement of the SChannel bug being "[e]asier to patch in most cases" entirely incorrect.

If you ever look into it, I think you'll find that building a copy of DD-WRT is significantly more painful than changing one line of code, despite having the source. Then come back about how trivial it is.

Got a patch for Windows XP? Nope, of course you haven't. Patching is much harder if you get no support from upstream. But if you've got an old copy of - as per your example - DD-WRT with the Heartbleed bug, you can still patch it...

Vic.

1
0

Forums