* Posts by Gerhard Mack

291 posts • joined 4 Apr 2007

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Your wget is broken and should DIE, dev tells Microsoft

Gerhard Mack

I have had executable locations change based on age of the Linux Distro, and then there are things like difference in the way Linux/FreeBSD/Darwin organises things. I have found that hard coding the shell's location breaks far more often than breakage caused by someone doing strange things on their system. If I write the script conservatively and don't use bleeding edge features, I can count on it functioning on most of the systems people try to run it on.

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Light at the end of Intel's Silicon Photonics: 100Gbps network tech finally shipping, sorta

Gerhard Mack

Re: New technology???

This seems more about using an easier to manufacture method for creating the transceivers rather than doing something completely new. The way they are talking, this new method will be much cheaper but time will tell.

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Microsoft to overhaul Windows 10 UI – with a 3D Holographic Shell

Gerhard Mack

Re: Assistive technology ... again

Considering my grandmother sent her final message to me on her tablet the day before she passed on. I'm not sure how much more "assistive" the technology needs to be,

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Fork YOU! Sure, take the code. Then what?

Gerhard Mack

Re: @ gerryg - The fork model...

"Apple on the other hand, did not want to bother with GPL, instead they went and pilfered BSD code. Again unlike Google, Apple now prefers to pay the developers for their ideas instead of introducing students to open source software in order to steal their ideas."

Given how many kernel (and other) developers Google pays and how much code they shove upstream, I would have to call this statement out as blatantly false.

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Osram's Lightify smart bulbs blow a security fuse – isn't anything code audited anymore?

Gerhard Mack

Re: @Mike 126 -- Why is it

This is not something that has obvious advantages until you try it. My friend loaned me a couple Phillips Hue bulbs and and aside from using a lot less power than dimmer switches, they are the best alarm clock I've ever owned.

I have them set to fade in the lights with an artificial sunrise (I get up about an hour before sunrise in the winter) and it is a lot less jarring than an audio alarm.

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Ad blockers responsible for rise in upfront TV ad sales, claims report

Gerhard Mack

Re: So it's time...

I have an excellent one, I don't pay for cable and disconnected the antenna from my TV.

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Crims set up fake companies to hoard and sell IPv4 addresses

Gerhard Mack

Re: Arrogant architects

They managed it for phone numbers because none of the call routing is done by the actual phone.

As for IPv6, it is no harder than IPv4 for non technical users. In fact, A couple of weeks ago I had a friend discover he was running IPv6 without even knowing about it because it ISP (Roger's Cable in Canada) rolled it out without telling anyone. The only reason it wasn't done years ago is because the ISPs couldn't be bothered until it became a problem.

If you look at the Worldwide Google IPv6 stats, it's clear that the non technical users are having the easiest time of it since IPv6 as a percentage of traffic is lower during the week (9.8% vs the weekend 12%) Another nice thing about that graph is that show accelerating adoption. (Jan 2014 2.5%, Jan 2015 5.82%, Jan 2016 10.4%). At that rate, I doubt IPv4 will be much of an issue in 10 years.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Dormant networks, unvalidated contacts

They have been trying reclaim the unused address space. The problem is that before IANA,ARIN, etc the address blocks were owned by whoever was given the IP block so contractually ARIN can't really do much. The best they do now, is on reassignment of IP blocks they try to get the new owner to agree to the new rules where you rent the IPs and lose them when you don't comply.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Arrogant architects

No matter what they had done, there would have been market resistance. The reality is that most suggestions to "extend" IPv4 don't take into account that the IPv4 address is a 32 bit integer in the header so you cannot easily just extend it and suggestions for adding a "feature flag" that lists an extended address in the header would only have slowed packet processing down for all time.

Once it was established that there was no easy way to extend IPv4, they set out to make sure the transition wouldn't need to happen again any time soon by extending the address space to something huge and went about fixing some of the known design flaws in IPv4.

At any rate, having worked for two ISPs, I can tell you most of the market resistance has been waiting for the IPv4 addressing to become a problem. "It's not a problem right now, we need to concentrate on more immediate issues" Never mind that IPv6 is not difficult to setup and co exists without trouble with IPv4. And naturally, now that we have hit IPv4 address exhaustion and the addresses are becoming expensive we are starting to see adoption According to Google, the number of IPv6 users world wide has been increasing while and US has hit 27% adoption.

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Wales gives anti-vaping Blockleiters a Big Red Panic Button

Gerhard Mack

"Then don't kiss me when I'm vaping because that it is the only way it will happen. (vapour dissipates immediately)"

You only think it does because you are desensitized to the smell. The reality is that they are a huge improvement over regular cigarettes (less smell, doesn't seem to get into clothing as much, not as much effect on breath). Even at 10m It still stinks and it still causes me enough breathing troubles that I reach for my inhalator).

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Cisco warns IPv6 ping-of-death vuln is everyone's problem

Gerhard Mack

Re: how long has this bug been around?

According to Google's IPv6 stats. 11.76% of world wide traffic to Google's servers on the weekends and 9.51% during the week (up 1% since Jan). The US is at 27% but they don't provide a nice graph for per country so I can't compare evenings to weekends.

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Disk death: Three-quarters of PCs will run SSDs by 2020

Gerhard Mack

Re: Gartner?

They also predicted that the Itanium would rule the server market.

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Gerhard Mack

If a single drive failure takes out your domain controller, you are doing it wrong. As an aside, I lost 3 spinning hard drives in two years on a two drive RAID server so spinning is not much more reliable.

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Systemd kills Deb processes

Gerhard Mack

Re: Creating problems that didn't need solving

The part you are missing is that the change was mainly because the old system broke horribly and required manual intervention when you ended up with an even moderatly complicated server setup (Fiber Channel, iSCSI, Distributed Filesystems etc)

This latest change on the other hand, is very desktop oriented where Xservers never seemed to clean up after themselves properly and thankfully it has an off switch which and I will be spending the next few days turning this off on my servers and on for my desktops..

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90 days of Android sales almost beat 9 months' worth for all flavours of Win 10

Gerhard Mack

Re: What do people say in situations like this...

They did annoy the carriers, but in the end the carriers wanted a third ecosystem to offset Google and Android's power.

The problem is that people don't just take what their carrier sells them anymore. In Spain they had a massive Lumina campaign backed by the carriers complete with FUD and discounts and a ton of Microsoft advertising money. It jumped the market share 10% but as soon as they stopped pushing it so hard the market share dropped like a rock.

Apple broke the carrier hold over the customer relationship and Android further took advantage of that but the carriers haven't adjusted to the new reality yet. Microsoft/Nokia never got used to that fact either when they refused to sell phones on emerging markets with features the carriers hate. (dual SIM etc)

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What's holding up Canada's internet?

Gerhard Mack

So very true. A few years back I worked for a Montreal ISP that had the idea to rent the copper lines directly and offer their own DSL service.

We quickly learned the downside to that plan: If the customer is too far from the Bell facility Bell runs the internet access through a "Remote CO" (think fibre to the neighbourhood) Can we install there.. well no.. Can we install our own Remote equipment? As per the CRTC the answer to that is no. So we were stuck offering something a fraction of the speed of Bell unless we wanted to go back to reselling Bell's Internet service.

Local loop unbundling is useless in Canada. If Bell had to offer LLU on fibre, that would change which is why they have fought doing it and most likely why they have held off doing fibre do the home.

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Microsoft drives an Edge between Adobe and the web: Flash ads blocked

Gerhard Mack

Re: Reg's a changin'

I use the "Disable HTML5 autoplay" Chrome plugin. It blocks things from annoying me until I either click on whatever it is that wants to run or whitelist the site.

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Third of US banks OK with passwords even social networks reject

Gerhard Mack

Re: Don't know about my bank... but

I typoed.. it is a 6 char password and I just went back into the site to confirm I'm not crazy. The password field on bmo.com's "everyday banking" won't go past 6 chars.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Don't know about my bank... but

The Bank of Montreal (Canada) supports max 5 char passwords consisting of letters and numbers only.

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Awoogah – brown alert: OpenSSL preps 'high severity' security fixes

Gerhard Mack

Re: Could we fucking kill it already?

They did, GNUTLS and almost no one supports it despite the API being a lot more sane.

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PCI Council says bye-bye to big bang standards upgrades

Gerhard Mack

Been there, still have a copy of the report saying I passed the PCI-DSS audit. I cringe at the security practices I come across. My all time favorite was having to explain to a company I was doing business with why prefilling my payment form with my CCV2 number was a very bad idea.

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Dell PowerEdge R730: Reg rack monkeys crack smiles over kindness of engineers

Gerhard Mack

@Alan Brown

"Having said that, ANY caddy which doesn't include the necessary screws for mounting a drive is one that needs ramming up the arse of the designer. Far too often the dummy insert is just clipped in via moulded studs or only held with 2 screws. Provide all 4 screws or make it so drives clip in."

But if they did that, then you would be more likely to buy your own drives rather than Dell SAS drives at 2x the OEM price (4x if SSD).

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Gerhard Mack

Re: R720xd

"Yes the R730xd is the same (up to 26 x 2.5 in drives. 24 round the front, 2 round the back). We now have a fair few in the field and I'd have to agree they are a good evolution."

I'm fond of the DDR4 and the little graph next to all of our SSD drives in the iDRAC that let me know how close the drive is to it's expected maximum number of writes.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Decent configurator website too

This is only an issue with PCs and laptops, NAS (they run windows) and SAN storage units (they don't tell you until they are about to deliver that they require a Windows server to manage the SAN). For servers, there are very few I've come across that have any sort of Microsoft dependency.

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Gerhard Mack

A few years back I was maintaining software in C and added a bunch of declarations to the function definitions to enable GCC to detect and warn on format string errors. The other programmer got angry and promptly turned them all off again because they were "creating too many warnings." and making it harder to see bugs he needed to find. (he liked to refer to what I did as the "code nazi thing")

Fast forward a few weeks, and we tried the software on 64 bit servers for the first time and my software works perfectly but his won't run for more than a minute without crashing. Our boss ended up having all of the servers reformatted with 32 bit Linux just to accommodate him.

A few years after that, he left the company and I inherited the code complete with an enormous bug list. First thing I did was enable every possible warning and correct the compiler's complaint (something he liked to tell me he never had time for). The result was a 90% reduction of bugs for two weeks of effort.

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Linux Foundation quietly scraps individual memberships

Gerhard Mack

Re: Disappointing

They didn't drop sytemd as much as keep the legacy interfaces around. From what I can tell (I'm not a Gnome user) they were hoping Canonical would finish their logind replacement sooner and allow them to drop the legacy interfaces.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Disappointing

"We get it. You like systemd. Buy why should it be mandatory - and in effect, it is - instead of optional? The whole point of the Unix philosophy was "do one thing and do it well", so that individual components you don't like can be swapped out. Systemd - and the massively REL-influenced projects like Gnome that that have decided to depend on it - remove choice."

Gnome has no such dependency. In fact, they had to change their plans because the logind replacement just wasn't ready and they didn't want to lose support for non systemd systems such as FreeBSD. Do a quick search on Google for "Gnome systemd dependency" and you can see their thoughts for yourself.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Disappointing

I'm really tired of listing to people whine about systemd.

Systemd (at least in Debian's case) was voted on by the maintainers with all of the pros and cons spelled out on publicly available web pages. The resulting flame fest happened close to a year after the decision was already made and involved trolls misrepresenting it's design and posts of fake bugs.

In fact, this is the second time I've gone to research something for myself only to find out that most of the things said about it in the forums were actually false (Wayland being the other)

The reality is that it is vastly better than what was there before and it has allowed me to get things working much faster in cases where the boot sequence is complicated (iSCSI Gluster etc) The result is a more maintainable system that as a side benefit happens to boot faster.

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Comcast repeatedly crams modem upgrade demands into browsers

Gerhard Mack

I don't think it's just about speed

The older cable modems don't do IPv6.

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Firefox-on-Windows users, rejoice: Game of Thrones now in HTML5

Gerhard Mack

Re: Silverlight end of life in 2021?

The problem is that it's cross browser but not cross platform. You have

A: Windows (X86)

B: Mac (X86)

C: Windows phone

Windows on ARM? not there.

Linux? Android? iPhone? no supported

And even between Mac and Windows things like networking work differently so that's not cross platform either.

.

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Enraged Brits demand Donald Trump UK ban

Gerhard Mack

Don't forget, Sarah Palin also drew huge crowds and lost. The Republican right wing is very noisy and is just large enough to get someone past the primaries. The downside is that the resulting candidate ends up being so extreme right that not even moderate Republicans will vote for it let alone the independents or Democrats.

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Irish electricity company threatens to cut off graveyard

Gerhard Mack

Re: Not only in Ireland

@Dan 55 That's because most people in Spain have fiddled with the meter since that's pretty much the only way tog get a usable power feed so 80% of the time they will be correct.

I think the only place I lived in Spain with a decent power feed was when I was staying in Torrelodones in a home built by someone who knew General Franco ..

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Surprise! No wonder Oracle doesn't 'see' IBM or SAP in the cloud

Gerhard Mack

Re: Not quite accurate

My employer is being sold a "cloud" service by Oracle where the actual meaning is that they maintain a colocated machine for us for a price that's more expensive than buying new hardware and paying our developers to finish migrating our software off Oracle.

Oracle is not a company that gets the concept of cloud computing.

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Internet daddy Vint Cerf blasts FCC's plan to ban Wi-Fi router code mods

Gerhard Mack

Re: Why dont

Because the regulations vary by region and:

1 It's expensive to make different hardware per region..

2 For things like laptops or portable hotspots, you have the problem of people traveling from region to region with their devices so there should be an easy way to make the per region change as you travel.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: DFS and radar

If DD-WRT is not doing the correct thing here, feel free to open a bug with them about it although would be curious is if the hardware is capeable of DFS but if it's not, it's probably better to disallow the channels completely. I imagine the problem is also in the other direction. If you are using these bands around a radar system, I'm guessing the frequency will be close to unusable for data transfers.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: On Balance Mucking Around In The 5GHz Bands May Not Be A Good Idea

That is a lot of FUD for devices whose 5hz signals can often be measured in meters.

As for hobbyists respecting frequency restrictions, they already do. People who code wireless drivers tend to take RF restrictions very seriously and many of the core Wifi people on Linux were/are HAM radio fans and as a result, tend to know first hand how much it sucks when they have to deal with interference. And I have no reason to believe it's any different for the *BSD folks.

Debian Linux, as an example, defaulted to a minimal wireless config where the wireless was limited very limited channel wise until I specified my actual region. After I set my region, it opened the channels allowed by my country. To change that, would require me to actually go and edit the kernel source.

The few replacement firmwares I have used tend to not edit the kernel source and instead focus on security updates and providing interfaces the Wireless manufacturers hate like "AP mode" (mostly because they want to charge more for business class routers). In many cases 3rd party firmware is the ONLY way to secure your wifi router.

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Red Hat raises guidance after good Q2

Gerhard Mack

revenue up?

Does that mean the boycott over systemd was unsuccessful?

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Intel's 6th gen processors rock – but won't revive PC markets

Gerhard Mack

@known Hero

I'll do you one better. My phone on the night stand actually controls the lights and dims them on automatically when I am supposed to get up in the morning.

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Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill

Gerhard Mack

Re: Free account monitoring service for the next year...

Not in Git, git is a source code management system and not a backup. If anything, I have an example config with a different name (config.distrib) otherwise you pollute git with a ton of changes to config files, and it gets worse when you have multiple conflicting changes (dev vs live/server 1 vs sever 2 etc).

Passwords, keys or any other private info should not be stored in Git, instead, they should be in a proper backup system.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Free account monitoring service for the next year...

Config files should NOT be synched with GIT. They should be local to the server in question and if it contains passwords should have it's rights restricted. That is basic security practice.

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Oracle laying off its Java evangelists? Er, no comment, says Oracle

Gerhard Mack

Re: About Time

@Steve Crook, That logic is why I get panicked calls from small companies wondering why their webserver can't even come close to meeting their needs. Lets assume your application takes 50 mb ram per user (I've actually seen this amount on a server) Now you have 100 hits per second in the evening and that's nearly 5 GB ram already and you aren't even making much money on the app yet.

"we don't care how much ram this takes" is Desktop centric thinking and even then customers are getting sick of it.

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BT commences trials of copper-to-the-home G.fast broadband tech

Gerhard Mack

Re: Silly...

@JP19

That's fun logic but as someone who used to work for an ISP, I can tell you that a lot of the copper between the street and people's houses is crap and in need of replacement. At that point, the costs of fiber and the costs of replacing the copper are a lot closer.

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Ashley Madison keeps calm, carries on after hackers expose lives of millions of its users

Gerhard Mack

Well that IS what they are advertising

I just got off a flight last week and in the 10 hours of total travel time I saw 20 ads where that website described itself as a way to spice up a dull marriage. You can hardly blame the media for parroting Ashley Madison's own message.

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Hackers exploiting wide-open Portmap to amp up DDoS attacks

Gerhard Mack

Re: RPF is most of the answer

It is part of the answer. The other is that portmap is mainly required for NFS and NFS is not needed on most systems and in the case where it is needed, there is a lot of manual configuration needed anyhow so there is no reason to install portmap or NFS by default.

I really don't understand why so many Linux distros install it even in a barebones install.

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Fork off! FFmpeg project leader quits, says he's had enough with these forking AV libraries

Gerhard Mack

Re: That's Open Source For You...

I'll raise you my projection machine.. VGA monitor and HDMI projector. Windows insists that the HDMI should be monitor #1 and I can change the settings to do roughly what I want desktop wise.. until someone disables the projector and the screen I've setup for the projector is now locally on my monitor and the start bar is somewhere else. This means the projector must be powered up before the machine is.

The fix? There isn't one. Just trust Windows to do what's best and deal with the result. At least in Linux I can edit xorg.conf and permanently force things to work the way that I want although I find it's getting less often that I need to touch that file...

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Canucks: Hey, Big Dog Telcos. Share that fiber with the little guys, eh?

Gerhard Mack

This is why Bell is delaying FTTH for as long as possible. I worked for a smaller ISP before, and the first thing we discovered after renting space at Bell was that Bell had the advantage because they were the only ones allowed to install curb side equipment meaning they could be double our speed in most cases. I'm sure now the gap is even worse.

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Facebook SSD failure study pinpoints mid-life burnout rate trough

Gerhard Mack

Re: Anything for end users?

These stats are for Facebook running these things in a very loaded server environment and do not correspond at all to desktop style loads.

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Virgin Media starts its broadband-of-the-gaps fibre rollout

Gerhard Mack

Re: Sigh ...

Videotron still won't pre cable cable new developments. My friend owns an apartment building in Saint-Laurent that was gutted by a fire and had cable run to a junction in the basement when they rebuilt the inside and then badgered Videotron for several months to hook up in the basement.

When I ordered internet Bell told me I was limited to 15 mbps so I went with cable for internet. The Videtron guy showed up with a big freaking drill and drilled in through the brick wall from the outside and ran the cable and a few months later, another Videotron guy came and wired up basement and switched my cable to the one going to the basement and pulled the old cable out and covered the outside hole with some gum like substance.

The fact that it would have been cheaper to do it in the right order would have been cheaper and more secure against illegal hookups does not matter to a company like Videotron. Their internal processes will not change for anyone.

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Gerhard Mack

Re: Bwahahahaha

"The sole reason for G.FAST existence is that moving to fiber to the home will mean immediate termination of employment for 90% of the field force. This is the reality of a fiber network - it costs practically nothing to run and it does not break. No "national minorities" stealing the precious copper and selling it at a recycling center either."

Tell that to my previous employer who, had FTTH and lost internet for several days because the fiber optic cable inside his house was chewed through by a puppy.

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