* Posts by Rupert Fiennes

116 posts • joined 9 Apr 2007

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THIS TIME we really are ALL DOOMED, famous doomsayer prof says

Rupert Fiennes

Retirement income required

Clearly he needs a revenue stream for his retirement, so the same disaster scenario warmed over with another cause will suit nicely :-)

More to the point, why are acedemics like this still in employment?

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The data centre design that lets you cool down – and save electrons

Rupert Fiennes

The biggest restriction on expanding the power in a DC

...is the availability of diesel gensets. Usually they have to be mounted on the roof, and once the space for them is full, you either run n-x and accept the risk, or call a halt to expansion.

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Rupert Fiennes

I saw that :-)

I saw Google's install in a Global Crossing DC in Sunnyvale back in 2000. Only three small rows, but two mini servers per U and desk fans sitting on the floor between the rows. Oh, and empty cages all around since Google had all the power :-)

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Want to go green like Apple, but don't have billions in the bank?

Rupert Fiennes

It's all a bit mowing the green and ignoring the rough

There's been leaps forward with the DC mechanicals in the last decade. But once PUE gets to values like 1.07, there's really not much else to be done. Server utilisation is where the future gains are going to be made, but that's more a function of the code you run....

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Euro mobile standards chiefs eye tiny beauty: It's the KEY to 5G

Rupert Fiennes

Deja vu all over again

Back nearly 20 years ago while working for Motorola, I chanced upon an internal noticeboard advertising for RF engineers asking for people wanting to work on "3G" at "60GHz"....

If that's the frequency range 5G is one, I think LTE has a very long lifetime, as does Wifi :-)

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Dark Fibre: Reg man plunges into London's sewers to see how pipe is laid

Rupert Fiennes

Fascinating

I did the tour with Geo last year: it's a interesting thing to do, and the state of our 150 year old sewers is really remarkably good :-)

Couple of points you might want to add: I asked about most common failure modes, and they told me that "ragging" where rubbish catches on the conduits and then the flow pulls them off the wall can be an issue (but a small one, overall). Secondly, they also made the point that they run the fibers down secondary sewers as much as possible as getting permission to block off the main ones to install or maintain takes an awful long time!

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IPv6 web starts to look like the internet we know

Rupert Fiennes

Surely a better guide to the adoption of IPv6 would be the prevalence of dual stacked sites, where queries for $site have both V4 and V6 addresses returned? That's certainly how World IPv6 Day's participants saw it, and to avoid unfortunate timeouts caused by incomplete V6 paths, they are incentivized to fix the latter.

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'Space bubbles' may have helped Taliban down 'copter in bloody Afghanistan battle

Rupert Fiennes

Not an accurate description of the incident

Not even slightly. A more accurate description is:-

- SEAL recce team landed deliberately, but foolishly, on top of Takur Ghar. They were badly shot up in the process, but managed to take off again, during which one SEAL fell off the helicopter. While attempting a second landing to pick up this SEAL, the aircraft hydraulics failed it crash landed several miles away.

- after being picked up by a second helicopter, the SEAL team went back to search for their comrade on Takur Ghar, who, unknown to them had already been wounded and then executed by Chechen Al-Qaeda. They landed successfully, and mounted an attack in which several of the latter were killed, but were forced to withdraw. One Air Force combat controller was killed and two other SEAL's wounded. The SEAL's call for the Quick Reaction Force from a Ranger battalion.

- This Ranger unit landed on top of Takur Ghar after a breakdown in communications. This helicopter was shot down, and in the ensuing firefight over an entire day, 4 Rangers and an air force Para-recueman were killed

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Harvard boffins 'reverse-engineer' Chinese censorship

Rupert Fiennes

Actually, quite normal in communist societies

The Soviet name for this sort of thing was "criticize, not generalize", and you saw stuff in Soviet papers from the 70's onwards how there were problems in this factory/collective farm/office due to some specific official who was, of course, unrepresentative of our glorious communist nation. For the current Chinese leadership of course, it's a great way of getting rid of the power base of the previous leaders :-)

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How practical is an electric car in London?

Rupert Fiennes

Re: @Rupert Fiennes

Serves me right for not doing the sanity check first then :-)

Thanks

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: @ecofeco

Yeah, it would be great to see methane produced using technologies unsuitable for electricity generation (eg, wind, solar). We already have the distribution networks to store and pipe this stuff around, and no dangerous or expensive batteries or exotic slush hydrogen required :-)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sabatier_reaction

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Entering the Dragon: A little data from Big China

Rupert Fiennes

It's changed a bit

Last time I was there was 1999: you could take the train from Hung Hom in HK to Guangzhou and see plenty of empty fields. Not anymore!

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Cisco's Chambers to Obama: Stop fiddling with our routers

Rupert Fiennes

This is confusing

Since most Cisco stuff seems to be made in China, presumably the Chinese busily implant bugs before they ship to the US where the NSA does it too. The spying hardware in the average Cisco router probably draws more power than shuffling packets :-)

More realistically, I can't see how more than a tiny percentage of anyone's kit can be "jarked" this way. It's going to be a manual and highly skilled process....

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WTF is NET NEUTRALITY, anyway? And how can we make everything better?

Rupert Fiennes

A little confused

Comcast were not "specifically looking for Netflix IP addresses and blocking/slowing themm", they were just refusing to upgrade their peering links to Cogent, to the degree they were very congested.

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Rupert Fiennes

LLU

Andrew, what about a UK-style LLU campaign for the Bells and Cable?

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US broadband providers holding last-mile traffic ransom, ISP alleges

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Very short memories at L3

All very true: Netflix and the like provide the majority of eyeball bound traffic in the US. Why shouldn't they pay carriers for the massive amount of traffic that they are dumping on them?

If the US wants to improve the situation, de-regulating the ISP business in the US is a better solution: make it easier to lay fiber in the street and gain operator licenses.

The current US peering practice of emphasizing private peering links rather than large public fabrics can hardly help either :-(

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DeSENSORtised: Why the 'Internet of Things' will FAIL without IPv6

Rupert Fiennes

Cisco or El Reg are confused. Or both :-)

"Foddering added that in Blighty only a small number of internet service providers, including Virgin Media, were fully committed to enabling IPv6 capability".

Really? That would explain VIrgin's steadfast absence of IPv6 peering addresses then!

http://www.peeringdb.com/view.php?asn=5089

Compared to say BT

http://www.peeringdb.com/view.php?asn=2856

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STRIPPED DOWN and EXPOSED: Business kit from the good old days

Rupert Fiennes

Those gas masks look (to my untrained eye) like the stuff the Soviets used. Obviously, this place was an equipment dump for a Cold War Spetnaz group. Be careful opening any heavy boxes :-)

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Bay Area plots Googlebus tax after local residents riot

Rupert Fiennes

Good to see the slogans don't change

I can remember working out of Paul St just down from what is now Silicon Roundabout back in early 2000: "dot scum" graffiti around then :-)

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MEDIC! Google, Oracle, Red Hat docs race to save crippled Healthcare.gov

Rupert Fiennes

Read this, it explains everything

http://www.infoworld.com/t/e-government/it-experts-healthcaregov-still-mess-228409?page=0%2C0

Gosh, having 16 front end servers would be such a waste of money in this half billion plus project! Lets make do with two!

In fairness, given the broken economics here, no number of servers is going to make the ACA work....

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Blighty's laziness over IPv6 will cost us on the INTERNETS - study

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Invalid assumption?

I wouldn't go that far. NAT does constrain P2P services to a degree, but it also makes the carrier responsible for compliance: eg, court orders required to sniff for traffic. If you're out on your lonesome with a public IP, hoping that the NSA can't use some built in ZDE on your kit, you might be a little optimistic assuming you are Mr/Ms Average. If you are highly skilled on the other hand, you might be better off. Horses for courses methinks

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: I'm ready now.

There seem to be a lot of badly broken consumer gear with regard to v6. One actually insisted on having a /48 assigned, rather than a /64. It's improving of course, but there's a lot of breakage there

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Rupert Fiennes

Not sure this is a disadvantage

As previous commenters have mentioned, this is not necessarily a disadvantage: if everything has a v6 address, everything will need a *monitored* firewall. All those devices won't get that unless they are behind another firewall...which might as well do NAT then.

With regard to our ISP's, having users behind carrier grade NAT makes them the only reliable providers of geolocation data unless you are on a device with GPS and want to send the data direct. Sounds like a money making opportunity to me.

I'm sure v6 will eventually become widespread, and for content providers to be ready *now* is good practice. But for the eyeballs, it really isn't going to be that fast, and ranting nonsense about how we are going to be living in caves if we don't insist of everyone having their own /64 is really getting tired :-(

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Wozniak: Please, whatever you do, DON'T buy me an iPad Air

Rupert Fiennes

WTF?

He's a multimillionaire. Have a private line put in!

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A14 to become UK's first internet-connected ROAD

Rupert Fiennes

Fantastic news!

This way, during the 15 minutes of waiting behind the two speed governed juggernauts to vainly overtake one another, you can check your mail :-)

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Aruba rolls out cloudy enterprise Wi-Fi management system

Rupert Fiennes

This is not new

Aruba have had "remote AP" functionality for at least 8 years, where an AP can be configured to automatically IPSEC back to a central controller. In fact, if you do one of their training courses, you are sent a cheap disposable AP so you can be plugged into their lab

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Bill Gates again world's richest, tops in US for 20th straight year

Rupert Fiennes

Look at the numbers

You might want to reflect on the actual numbers. 2 trillion, if you could somehow magically transform it into cash, would cover the current US deficit for only three years. It would only cover two thirds of the current US federal budget. Given 60% + plus of the budget is Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, it's hard to escape two conclusions: one, you cannot fund it by just taxing the "rich", they don't have enough money, and two, the huge majority of federal budget goes on the less well off.

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400 million Chinese people can't speak Chinese: Official

Rupert Fiennes

I'm surprised the number isn't higher

If you travel in China, it's remarkable how Mandarin is known in the north, and incomprehensible to many in the south :-)

On the other hand, all the Chinese I know assume that Mandarin is the future on the basis it's easiest to type on a Western keyboard. Supposedly they attempted to convert the Chinese from using characters to the Roman alphabet in the 50's, but it failed :-)

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Tough luck, bumpkins! Blighty broadband speed gap misery worsens

Rupert Fiennes

Since when is this relevant?

Who cares about the "gap"? Frankly, I'd be happy to settle for 6mbit provided it's reliable. I'm on Infinity here, but I never use more than that: the only plus point to FTTC for me is greatly increased reliability

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End of an era as Firefox bins 'blink' tag

Rupert Fiennes

It was still there?

As I remember it, I thought one of the first changes committed into what was then the newly Communicator source code was the removal of "blink". Sort of surprised it took another 15 years to take!

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You CAN'T be a Silicon Roundabout hipster... you don't have Bluetooth socks

Rupert Fiennes

Quite useful actually

This is actually quite useful, speaking as a victim of podiatrists :-)

Currently you can either run across a pad or be filmed running on a treadmill: this sort of data could help a lot of people diagnose issues.

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Snowden speaks from Moscow: 'Obama lies'

Rupert Fiennes

You expected a pol from Chicago to behave in any other way? :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Don't worry. By the time 2016 rolls around, doubtless we'll have another Democrat whom all the great and good will declare to be utterly fantastic...with a remarkably poor track record, which will be studiously ignored and excused in extremis. Obama got away with refusing to release his university grades, got tenure as a law professor despite having never written a peer reviewed paper, hung out with the likes of Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright, and had the most partisan voting record in the Senate...and was still apparently a genius who believed in reconciliation and bi partisanship.

Meanwhile, the Republican will be a "dumb", "tool of the upper class who doesn't pay their taxes"...kind of like Obama's Treasury Secretary :-)

You're only dumb if you go along with it :-)

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Ecuador: All right, Julian, you CAN stay on our sofa - it's your human right

Rupert Fiennes

You have to laugh

If it wasn't for the cost of keeping Julian in, this situation can go on as long as he wants IMHO. Hell is a very small place :-)

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We're losing the battle with a government seduced by surveillance

Rupert Fiennes

Re: You should expect this from a "liberal" government more than any other

If your worldview doesn't appear to be trusted even by it's self professed adherents to deliver the level of safety that they promise, it's time to reconsider your worldview. Duh!

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Rupert Fiennes

You should expect this from a "liberal" government more than any other

There's a reason why the Obama administration prefers to blow up it's enemies rather than capture them for their intelligence value: they declared Gitmo was a yuman rites abomination, so there is nowhere to keep them.

The TSA searches everyone, and the NSA monitors all traffic, because profiling is "racist".

Reconciling reality with the liberal worldview is hard, isn't it?

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If you spend THIS much on cloud, perhaps you need a rethink

Rupert Fiennes

10K still the trendy figure I see

Back at the tail end of the dot com era, Loudcloud, who had previously specialized in running big managed websites for third parties, decide to move downmarket by offering a "10K a month" option...just before EDS bought them :-)

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Google's teeny UK tax bill 'just not right', thunders senior MP

Rupert Fiennes

She's worse than dumb

The primary reason companies like Google pay so little tax is that in the EU, companies only need to incorporate once, and it can be whereever in the EU it wants.

Has she says she wants to change this? No? Then shut up, you cowardly troll!

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Review: Renault Zoe electric car

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Not sure this makes sense

James

I suspect an e-car might actually stack up very well against a bus for short journey's, and look really rubbish for longer ones, for two reasons. Firstly, because the longer the journey the greater the road use, impacting congestion (unless it's piled high with sharers), and secondly because the shorter the journey, the the wait to access public transport becomes as a proportion of the journey becomes "wasted time". E-Cars won't have the petrol/diesel issue of being less efficient while warming up either. In the long run, you could perhaps go the route of reducing bus frequency to take account of this.

I agree as to your idea of the target market. Again, not seeing much of a market yet, and until range improves to at least 150 miles, combined with a recharge possible in say 10-15 mins, I can't see anyone other than those with more money than sense wanting to buy one. E-car's fuel is cheap, but that puts an incentive on using them a lot...which is impractical. And the greenies will hate you anyway; their idea is more about insisting on enforcing their wishes as to how you live than "being green". If we're all on public transport, they have us where they want us :-(

PS I cycle. But that's because I like the exercise, plus it's still faster than the train :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Not sure this makes sense

So, like all electric cars, this is only good for shortish journeys, round trips of say 60-70 miles, commuting and all that. But aren't all the greenies insistent we should use public transport for those? I'll bet a diesel bus produces less CO2 than a fleet of commuters driving Zoe's, and even a train is probably superior.

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Boffin road trip! The Reg presents Geek's Guide to Britain

Rupert Fiennes

Air Defence Radar museum is a fantastic find

Ran into it by accident during a cycling trip around the Norfolk Broads. I spent 4 hours there, but an entire day is probably required to do it justice. The experience is enhanced by some of the curators having worked there during it's operational use

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US lawmaker blames bicycle breath for global warming gas

Rupert Fiennes

Consistent

Speaking as a cyclist, I think he's perfectly correct. If it's right to tax cars for emitting 271g /km, then it's just as reasonable to tax us cyclists too for emitting 21g. Of course, what the guys really doing is, as an earlier commenter mentioned, is bringing out how hypocritical the average greenie is :-)

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BBC: What YOU spent on our lawyers in Secret Climate 28 debacle

Rupert Fiennes

Re: Point of fact

I might want to watch ITV, Sky, or all those other channels that don't insist on charging me the poll tax :-)

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: fooey

Cobblers. Businesses can make very good money out of climate change, and there are plenty around that do just that; how do you think Al Gore made a third of a billion dollars in the last 15 years? It's consumers who are stiffed if we impose a regulatory and tax environment which penalizes fossil fuels

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Rupert Fiennes

Re: Point of fact

Well, as a "non-government agency", it appears to have the power to send me to jail if I refuse to pay its poll tax. That makes it "government enough", since the right to levy taxes is a key attribute of a government.

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NASA to smash its spacecraft INTO THE MOON

Rupert Fiennes

Hmm!

If they aren't sure how much fuel they have left, how can they predict how much delta V they will generate, and decide when and how fast they are going to crash? Or did the Mayans forsee this in advance?

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Internet shut-down easier, in more countries, than you think

Rupert Fiennes

Very true

I agree with the article, having worked on call during the Taiwan 2006 earthquake. Lots of people rapidly discovered an awful lot of Asia's infrastructure passed close to Taiwan, despite the logical wavelengths supposedly being diverse: it's a bit like CDO's, wavelengths are merrily resold all over the place. The company I work for requires fiber maps for just this reason now.

Another country that's a little under estimated is Ireland: just one transatlantic link landing in Londonderry, and three others crossing the Irish Sea

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Help-desk hell

Rupert Fiennes

A couple...

I could be cruel about the severely dyslexic users given free PC's in some asinine Government program, very few of which could read "Connect" on a button. Not their fault of course, it's the moronic politicians and civil servants who think such ailments can be banished by spending money on PC's :-(

I could marvel at the optimism of the Italian running the French version of Windows 95, who seemed to think schoolboy French involved fluency :-)

But I think the man who wins the prize has to be the one who double-clicked on "Connect to the Internet" and got nowhere. He called me, who, ever anxious to please, asked him if he could hear his modem dialling, imitating the sound to help. He said he couldn't hear anything, so I asked if his modem was turned on: he replied "I don't have a phone line" :-)

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Geneva devastated by monster tsunami, millions at risk

Rupert Fiennes

Lituya Bay

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1958_Lituya_Bay_megatsunami

500m high...and two people survived it. So, we're obviously all just fine :-)

http://youtu.be/yN6EgMMrhdI

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