* Posts by Martin Gregorie

557 posts • joined 10 Apr 2007

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Bound to happen: BIND bug exploits now in the wild

Martin Gregorie

..and, if you're using RedHat Fedora 20+ or equivalent, the command is "dnf update" because dnf has replaced yum.

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The Q7: Audi’s big SUV goes from tosspot to tip-top

Martin Gregorie

Is there a number you can call to report them for booting/towing?

Probably not. All parking areas seem to be managed by the lowest bidding private firms these days. They don't have towing vehicles because employing somebody on a zero hours contract with a book of parking fine tickets is so much cheaper.

I think this also has a bearing on last year's Government cull of valid Blue Card holders. Every disabled Blue Card holder costs us money by getting free parking, dontcha know, so if we tell the Govt its costing them money the dozy sods will believe us and put a stop to it.

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US spied on Japanese PM Abe, Mitsubishi, and so much more

Martin Gregorie

Re: Encryption and IT security

Why does that beggar belief?

Cameron, Millibrand and Obama are all identikit Blair clones: they all have very similar backgrounds and education, think the same way and do the same things for much the same reasons.

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Robot surgeons kill 144 patients, hurt 1,391, malfunction 8,061 times

Martin Gregorie

Re: How does it compare to human-only surgery?

Are robots better than humans for certain types of surgery? is the prime question that should have been asked and answered. The rest is nice-to-now but irrelevant by comparision.

IMO if the robots vs. humans surgical failure rate wasn't measured, then the source material is garbage and the El Reg article is scarely better because it apparently didn't address this point.

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WATCH OUT! Amazon hauled back to court in Special Ops wristjob ding-dong

Martin Gregorie

Re: Unless there is intent...

...but Amazon isn't a search engine in the general sense that Bing or Google is: it's just an in-store product finder that I'll consult to see if Amazon or one of their concession-holders stock the thing I'm looking for.

I'm with the judges on this: if I go to a shopping site and ask for a specific branded item I expect to be told whether they have it or not and the price if they have one. If I've asked for a Samsung Note 5 I do not want to be offered an MS Surface 3 or an iPad: I know what I want and all I need to know is 'We sell it, the price is £££££ and we've got 99 in stock' or 'Sorry, we don't sell that'.

Of course the situation is different if I've asked a generic question such as "Do you have 10 inch tablets"? In that case and only in that case I'm expecting to see a list of all the items that match the request.

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It's all downhill from here: Avalanche spins STT-RAM

Martin Gregorie

Re: Oh great...

I dunno, single level storage, which is what you're talking about, works pretty well and has been around for a while. It first surfaced around 1970 as IBM's Future Series project, which was canned for marketing reasons, later surfacing in the 1979 as the System/38 and getting a refresh in 1988 as the AS/400 series. It currently lives on as the POWER 7+ series. The hardware has changed, but the operating system, OS/400 and the single level storage system that supports it are still there.

The storage basis for OS/400, which has remained fairly much unchanged since the AS/400 first appeared, is that all data and running processes share a single, flat address space which was originally mapped onto RAID5 disk arrays. The main processor of course has a chunk of RAM, but this is best thought of as a page store: there is virtually nothing in it that isn't a copy of a disk block or page (the two are synonymous) and files/databases are best thought of as memory structures that have been written to disk.

I'm not an IBM fan, but I have spend a fair time using S/38 and AS/400 kit. It worked well and was very reliable, so I'm here to tell you that single level storage is not a problem.

PS: the other well-known system that used single level storage was the Palm - remember them?

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Hated Care.data scheme now 'unachievable', howls UK.gov watchdog

Martin Gregorie

Clearout time

Since care.data has now failed twice thanks to its utter failure to understand the needs of both patients and, it would seem, most NHS medical staff, its about time for heads to roll. Getting rid of everybody from project manager level upwards would be a good start. For a follow-up, Government will be doing itself a huge vavour if it also bans them from all government-related jobs in perpetuity.

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Humongous headsets and virtual insanity

Martin Gregorie

Best group VR experience?

The best group VR set-ups I've heard of are the old Fightertown simulators in CA. You and your friends got to 'fly' in a set of networked ex-USAF flight simulators, each with an accurate full-motion or fixed cockpit and flight model mounted in a 360 degree multiprojector dome. You could all see each other in the projections, radar, etc and use simulated radio comms. That setup is apparently dead and forgotten but successors, e.g Flightdeck, are providing the same level of experience.

I don't see how anybody can do better than this type of dedicated scenario system until whole body climate-controlled haptic force-feedback suits, suspended in 3D motion sensors are available and affordable. If these are to be realistic, they must provide realistic simulation of running, rock-climbing, driving, sky-diving etc, all without leaving the frame the suit is mounted in. And, of course, they must be networked with enough bandwidth so that you and friends can share a realistic group experience complete with contact with each other as well as the surroundings.

Will such a system be developed? Probably. Will it be affordable outside military, medical or professional athletic training? Probably not this decade or the next.

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As the US realises it's been PWNED, when will OPM heads roll?

Martin Gregorie

Re: Peter principle

That said I haven't seen a bio/resume for her and the CIO so just an assumption

Career summary is here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Katherine_Archuleta

She looks to me like a pure political appointee.

In summary: she worked at a Denver law firm, but there is no indication of where she got a law degree or if she has one. She worked for the Clinton administration, was Executive Director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center Foundation and was National Political Director for Obama's 2012 reelection campaign before being made director of the OPM in late 2013.

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Japanese female fish in sperm-producing strangeness

Martin Gregorie

Confusion in paragraphs 4 and 5

The article's author may like to revisit paragraphs 4 and 5 because, while both essentially describe the same condition, the apparent outcome is different. I may be a bear of very little brain, but I find this confusing.

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The rare metals debate: Only trace elements of sanity found

Martin Gregorie

Future mineral reserve creation

One or two of Larry Niven's short stories and novelettes painted a picture of the mines of the future being situated on the landfill of the present. In other words, current manufacturing can be seen as digging stuff out of the ground, using it for a bit and then re-burying it ready for future generations to dig up, thus forming their Known Reserves.

Is there any validity in this viewpoint? If so, it would be interesting to know when this new type of mining might become more economic than the traditional approach.

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High-flying LOHAN fan raises ale-filled tankard

Martin Gregorie

Re: I am a tad jealous

The Glasflugel Libelle is IMHO one of the most elegant gliders ever built. That thing just looks stunning from every angle. Absolutely - I thought that as soon as I set eyes on one. Not only that but, with the exception of weak airbrakes, they handle as well as they look and slip really well.

The only downside is that it's too sleek and compact for me to fit comfortably. Bad luck, but there's still hope for you. One of our instructors has an H.205 Club Libelle, which he likes a lot. The cockpit is a lot roomier, the canopy is hinged, it has powerful trailing-edge brakes and they cost about half the price of a Standard Libelle and look a bit like a Schumanised H.301 with a T-tail. The only downside is a fixed main wheel, but from what he says, the effect on XC performance is minimal. If you want to know more, you can find my e-mail address on my website (linked from Lester's article).

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Martin Gregorie

Re: I don't understand but....

I swapped hands to take the snap because on small cameras, whether 35mm film or digital, the position of the shutter release forces you to use your right hand when shooting single-handed. This photo was taken with a Ricoh GR1.

All gliders are set up for right-handers but in practise you use both hands: right on the stick and left for the trimmer, air brakes and twiddling knobs on the panel. Many gliders, including the Standard Libelle, have the undercarriage retract lever on the right, so flying left handed is no big deal for their pilots. I do that twice every flight, raising the main wheel after release and, somewhat later, lowering it before joining the circuit for landing.

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SanDisk opens for business with point-of-sale terminal SSD

Martin Gregorie

Slowed down by disk-based POS...

... looks like BS to me. I can't recall *ever* having to wait while a sales terminal of any type reboots. OTOH I frequently have to wait while the last customer paws through their wallet searching for last week's cash rebate or tries to find their loyalty card.

There's a slight clue there about what needs changing to speed up the checkout line.

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Every billionaire needs a PANZER TANK, right? STOP THERE, Paul Allen

Martin Gregorie

Re: Picking the nit...

T34 was way superior to PzKpfw IV (better armament, larger tracks)

Quite, and this was acknowledged by General Guderian, who almost got shot when asked by Hitler what he needed to win the tank war, by answering "A T34 factory". At that time the Germans didn't have the technology to build T34s.

It was the first tank to have fully welded hull and the first to have a gun turret mount that was wider than the chassis, and hence carried a bigger gun than the Panzer IV. It used Christie suspension, as used by faster amour and those wide tracks helped a lot - there are photos showing T34s driving easily past a Panzer IV that had sunk immovably into the same bit of softish ground.

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Cyber-scum deface Nazi concentration camp memorial website

Martin Gregorie

Re: Que?

Now, in the UK do we hear voices of dissension or derision about the Raj and what England did in India to the Indians?

Arguably, the Raj was at least neutral and probably beneficial in its overall effect on the Indian subcontinent:

- it left a unified country[1] where it had found a warring collection of kingdoms, principalities and empires.

- it left a common language. Many Hindi speakers won't speak Tamil and vice versa, but both groups can and will talk to each other in English.

- Indian Rail is an immensely valuable legacy of the Raj, along with the Post Office and a democratic system of government.

[1] IMO the Partition was the Raj's biggest mistake. Would the Taleban exist if Partition hadn't happened?

I have spent time in India, travelled in most parts of it, and have read a fair bit about its history. As I've never been to Africa and so have no relevant experience, I won't comment on that topic except to remark that no European countries seem to have behaved well there.

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Beowulf Gods — rip into cloud's coding entrails

Martin Gregorie

@1980s_coder

Never used a Transputer, but saw a demo or two.

It was impressive all right: I've seldom seen revolutionary new hardware vanish so fast or so completely.

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Conservative manifesto: 5G, 'near universal' broadband and free mobes for PC Dixon

Martin Gregorie

Some political minds might be concentrated if...

... all UK news sources refused point blank to carry any election broadcasts or propaganda until the party concerned had published a fully costed manifesto and its balance sheet.

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Radio 4 and Dr K on programming languages: Full of Java Kool-Aid

Martin Gregorie

Re: No banking if Java didn't exist

I like Java, but their premise of "There would be no banking if Java didn't exist" is ridiculous.

Exactly. Banking runs largely on COBOL.

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Martin Gregorie

Inexcusable ignorance of Grace Hopper

Grace Hopper deserved far more time than she got:

- first to show that a computer could handle text

- wrote the first assembler (before she did that you programmed entirely in numbers)

- involved in the development of MATH-MATIK and FLOW-MATIC (forerunner of COBOL)

At least they got her involvement in COBOL correct.

As others have said, C should have replaced Java in the series and, given that this was a British radio series, there should have been at least a nod to BCPL, which was developed at Cambridge University, because the C genealogy as described by Brian Kernighan is:

BCPL-->B-->C

For sure all the curly bracket block-structured languages have C in their ancestry just as all the block structure languages that use begin..end can be traced back to Algol 60.

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FCC taps CenturyLink on shoulder, mumbles about a fine for THAT six-hour 911 outage

Martin Gregorie

What is this "come down hard" of which you speak?

A $10M fine on a profit of $770M is just over 1%.

Thats just a brush with a feather duster that they'll never notice. If the FCC was serious they'd bong them 25% of last year's profit.

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Secret Bezos delivery helicopters operate from mystery Canadian base to evade US regulators

Martin Gregorie

Re: "probably impractical for anything more than a couple of Mills & Boon paperbacks"

...and impractical for a few other reasons other reasons, such as COST and time constraints.

Assume that a drone with a book dangling from its claws can manage 60 mph and has the typical drone endurance of 30 minutes. This sets two physical limits:

1) it can only deliver within 15 miles of its take-off point because its range at 60 mph is 30 miles and it is flying an out-and-return mission.

2) The delivery flight will take 15 minutes from take-off to delivery. This leaves just 15 minutes to receive the order, pick and pack it and get the parcel to the drone port. Otherwise they can't meet the 30 min order-to-in-your-hands target. For this to work reliably they'll need a warehouse at every drone-port.

So, far from letting them sack their current delivery drivers, this cunning plot is likely to need even more people to staff the matrix of warehouses and drone-ports covering the country: these will include delivery drivers to keep the drone-ports stocked with best-selling items, a crew of pickers and packers plus drone operators and mechanics at each drone-port and, of course, a management team for each drone-port.

Doubling or quadrupling the drone's range and/or performance doesn't make a lot of difference to the practicality of this delivery method.

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Yahoo! spaffs! out! plugin! to! bring! crypto! to! everyone's! email!

Martin Gregorie

Great!

So now we're going to be deluged with encrypted spam!

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Something Coming Through – aliens, LA noir, techno-thriller, dystopia ALL in the mix

Martin Gregorie

Could this saga turn out to be a longer version of Damon Knight's short story "To Serve Man".

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Humanity can defeat SkyNet with BOOKS, says IT think tank

Martin Gregorie

Re: Reading books - wats dat ?

Ray Bradbury had something to say about this too.

See "Fahrenheit 451" with its thought police and the suppression of all fiction apart from Hemmingway-style realism and all entertainment apart from mindless 24 hour soaps.

For those who can't or won't read there's a passable film version....

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Dot-com is dead. Long live dot-com

Martin Gregorie

Something is odd in these stats

Why does the bar chart show .org as bigger than .uk while the pie chart has them the other way round?

Were they sampled at different times or are the numbers just plain dodgy?

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Apple's Beats, Google, and Sony hammered with unpaid royalty claim

Martin Gregorie

Re: Copyright law only

I'm entirely in favour of copyright, but why should anybody get compensated for something they created 43 freaking years ago? Especially if it isn't their own work, but merely something they bought.

IMO copyright should be like a patent: it should have a lifetime of, say, 25 years or until the creator's death, whichever is longest, and should be non-renewable. I fail utterly to see why anybody or company should continue to benefit from somebody else's work after that.

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Doomsday Clock says 3 MINUTES to MIDNIGHT. Again

Martin Gregorie

Re: I don't understand it

Why is it always near midnight? ...in this case because, though things may not get nasty for some time, we're very close to the point where the our fate becomes inevitable no matter what we do in the future.

We're probably already past the sustainable human population, but is anybody taking notice apart from, amazingly, the Pope? And, even he's not about to admit that two kids would be a lot better than three or to promote contraceptives.

I still don't see any serious attempt to de-carbonise energy production outside of China, and even there they're only doing it because their hand has been forced by a country-wide smog problem that rivals Victorian London. Carbon sequestration is a bad joke due to its appalling overall energy efficiency and a severe lack of very long term guaranteed non-leaking storage. No serious attempts at producing enough low or zero carbon energy, such as desert-based solar-electric or thorium nukes, to replace our current sources are evident, which means they're 20-30 years away at best.

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'It's NOT FAIR!' yell RICH KIDS ... and that's a GOOD THING

Martin Gregorie

Altruism outside the group...

There's one feature you see in poor societies that this, otherwise very interesting piece, doesn't explain. That is the extreme hospitality shown to passing strangers in poor societies, often in circumstances where the chances of reciprocality are very limited. This kindness is seldom or never matched among westerners, but is a happy memory from travels in the Middle East, Iran and the Indian subcontinent.

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LICK THAT ATM: Diebold and Corning debug displays

Martin Gregorie

...reducing power requirements to 24v

Errrm, quoting voltage tells us nothing about the power this ATM uses when running. Power is measured in watts, not volts.

Since low power consumption is evidently a spiffy new feature in the ATM world, how about an update telling us how much power this new design uses? Including current ATM power consumption as well would be nice, so we can tell whether the new machine is truly wonderful or merely germicidal.

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Ghosts of Christmas Past: The long-ago geek gifts that made us what we are

Martin Gregorie

You left out flying models

I too had a Mamod stationary steam engine but, as others have said, once you're run it a few times and you found out that you couldn't really do anything with much with it except watch it run, it got boring. I got much more fun from the clockwork Magic Motor that came with a red and green Meccano No 6 set and let me make tanks and tractors that actually worked.

However, the thing that really got my interest going in designing and building things that could be made to work was model aircraft. Almost every kid I knew at the time made and flew models at some point. Initially control-line models were the thing to have because you could fly them anywhere there was a grass patch 50m square and you couldn't lose them. The favourites among my friends were either a Keilcraft Phantom kit with a Mills 1.3 diesel up front or a Veron Beebug with the smaller Mills 0.75 diesel pulling it. Building and flying them taught you a lot, from operating the engines without getting your fingers hit, through building (and later repairing) the models to eventually learning how to fly them without crashing.

Then, a few years later, the excellent Cox TeeDee glowplug motors appeared - such wonderful precision engineering that running them in consisted of running the engine rich for 30 seconds and then leaning it out and hearing that lovely scream.

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TalkTalk customers demand opt-out fix for telco's DNS ad-jacking tactics

Martin Gregorie

Re: Focus on HTTP/Web breaks everything else

There's also the fact that example.com, example.net and example.org are required by the IETF to be unresolved, which is something I've used in tests in OSS projects. Tests that turned out to fail on Verizon fibre connections, because ISPs getting search revenue is more important than working applications.

All three resolve domains and ping from here as 93.184.216.34, which is registered to a resident of Santa Monica, CA so is unlikely to be anything to do with Virgin's munging. If you look at them with a web browser, they all show the text:

Example Domain

This domain is established to be used for illustrative examples in

documents. You may use this domain in examples without prior

coordination or asking for permission.

And, as a link on this page says they are IANA reserved domains and adds that "These domains may be used as illustrative examples in documents without prior coordination with us. They are not available for registration or transfer", I think you're wrong in claiming that they should not resolve. Did you check your assumptions before posting?

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What future is there for UK's Care.data info sharing scheme?

Martin Gregorie

Bit of an understatement, what?

the NHS had failed to properly consult on the privacy concerns of sharing data

doesn't begin to describe the problem. "Some twunk thought they could flog all our data to life insurers and other lowlife and we'd all be to stupid to notice and too apathetic to do anything if, by some mischance, we did smell a rat" is a bet closer to the truth.

I, for one, don't trust them even slightly and won't support any care.data revival until the management up to and including the Minister for Health have been sacked. They're all guilty of attempting to sell data they don't own.

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UK flights CRIPPLED by system outage that shut ALL London airspace

Martin Gregorie

Its an ASK-13 dual seat training glider flying out of Booker, and now on the ground there. They usually aero-tow, so that was probably somebody taking a high tow for the last flight of the day. BTW, did you notice that you were seeing a FLARM trace rather than radar?

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Martin Gregorie

Re: Not broke

I agree with the first poster in this thread: the flashing as I slide my mouse over the second level menu bar on my way to the top-level bar is very irritating. I also dislike having pictures associated with the top-level menu bar hide the second level bar.

However, my main beef is that the contrast in colour between an unread article and one that has been read is far too small. It doesn't have to be as big a change as the old blue/scarlet switch, but the current black/dark grey switch is almost impossible to see at a glance: black/dull red (seen already) would make scanning for new articles a lot easier.

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So - you thought you knew all about the INSTANT COFFEE DUNES of TITAN?

Martin Gregorie

Re: Lakes of methanol and ethanol

In your dreams. The lakes are methane as the article said and ethane, not ethanol as the article misprinted, plus (much) smaller amounts of assorted higher molecular weight alkanes. These are flammable, or would be if there was any free oxygen in Titan, and definitely not intoxicating.

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Drone in NEAR-MISS with passenger jet at Heathrow airport

Martin Gregorie

Re: Licence required?

More worryingly, assuming this report was accurate there's nothing illegal about what they were doing. We had a presentation on drones at work as part of our attempts to figure out if we need to be worried about our aircraft hitting them.

Since you say you're in the industry, you should know that it is not legal to fly any model aircraft above 400 ft or inside controlled airspace. Drones weighing under 20kg that aren't licensed for airwork and being used for it come into the same category as model aircraft. They are covered by CAP 658:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP658%204%20Edition%20Amend%201%20June%202013.pdf

Sounds like it would be a good idea for you to read CAP 658. Same applies to anybody else who has a drone and isn't a BMFA member and a member of a model aircraft flying club. I hope you've got third party insurance for that drone.

The main thing that occurred to us was that we could do exactly what the drone operator in this case was doing without breaking the law. - what makes you think he wasn't breaking the law? If you still think its legal, I suggest you have a word with that American idiot who put his drone up to 3500ft straight through his local class B airspace and then posted the video on YouTube. Its a safe bet he didn't enjoy his mandatory visit to the FAA. Do that here, get caught, and you'll be invited to Swanwick for tea and bikkies. You're unlikely to enjoy the experience either.

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The Information Age: A day out for grown-up children?

Martin Gregorie

Re: Location within museum

I agree with both the pevious posters - dumbed down and stuff locked away.

Locked away: when I visited the Science Museum earlier this summer I was looking forward to seeing the Difference Engine run (I was there at the wrong time on my last visit a lonh time back), but now its hermetically sealed into a glass case so that it can't be run even if the museum wanted to do so.

Dumbed down: there was only a very scrappy notice about its purpose, some summary descriptions of prototype parts and drawings and absolutely no attempt at a coherent explanation of how it worked or what the Method of Differences is all about. Humpf!

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MEPs want 'unbiased search', whatever that is – they're not sure either

Martin Gregorie

Re: "Unbiased" search results?

Any search that is not "biased" is not a search. That's what a search engine does, is to winnow out the wheat from the chaff.

Yeah, sure, but is it still unbiased when links to its owners other businesses appear, by magic or pure coincidence of course! near the top of the first page along with more links the all those who put money in their hands? How do you know this can't or won't happen?

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Apple patents NEVERSMASH iPHONE for fumbling fondlers

Martin Gregorie

This looks like a stupid idea because...

... if the motor whatnots can spin it fast enough to make for a less damaging landing that pretty much guarantees that if you catch it, the phone will twist itself out of your hand and bounce down the nearest drain.

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Eat FATTY FOODS to stay THIN. They might even help your heart

Martin Gregorie

Know what you eat

The only way to really know what you're eating is to avoid as much preprepared, manufactured food as possible because you have no control over what's gone into it or over the truth of the ingredient list written on the packaging.

Instead, get a few good cook books. Buy raw materials (meat, veg, spices, fruit and oils etc.) and cook them yourself. Its fun to do, much better for your health and probably tastes better as well.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: Masala omelette

Martin Gregorie

Re: No Bacon?

Bacon isn't usually eaten in India or the Middle East. If you've ever seen pigs from those parts or know what they are fed on the chances are that you wouldn't want to eat bits of them either.

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ATTACK OF THE DRONES: ‘Nefarious’ private use rising, says top Blighty copper

Martin Gregorie

Re: FFS...

You'll be fine flying any drone for pleasure provided it weighs less than 7Kg, you don't fly it above 400ft AGL, within an airfield's Air Traffic Zone, in controlled airspace or anywhere close to houses or people and it must be in clear line of sight for the pilot at all times. You can even carry a camera provided its used purely for your own enjoyment: sell an image and you're doing airwork, which needs licences, type approval for the drone and a qualified pilot. These are exactly the same rules that apply to any model aircraft.

CAP 658 lays down the rules for flying model aircraft, UAVs and drones in the UK. It covers both private and commercial use. You can find it here:

http://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP658%204%20Edition%20Amend%201%20June%202013.pdf

or go to http://www.caa.co.uk and search for CAP658.

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Post-pub nosh neckfiller: The MIGHTY Scotch egg

Martin Gregorie

Re: a Texas favorite: Armadillo Eggs

Looks good and certainly worth trying, but a translation or two would be useful, so:

- I wouldn't even think of starting from a British sausage - too much bread and other fillers in it, but a pack of pork mince would be a good starting point. So, what goes into an American spicy sausage? i.e what should be mixed into pork mince? Chilli powder and black pepper? Garam Masala? Something else?

- what is Bisquick? Is this just a self-raising wholemeal flour or something more complex? I assume 'C' is an abbreviation for 'cup', so you mean 1.5 cups of Bisquick.

- Shake and Bake sounds like dried breadcrumbs, but how much of it is there in a 'package'?

1
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Pitchforks at dawn! UK gov's Verify ID service FAILS to verify ID

Martin Gregorie

Re: Experian

Exactly my experience with Experian!

So, I signed up for a credit report to see details of this supposed loan, didn't recognise it at all, and cancelled the 'free' trial account as soon as I'd saved a copy of their report.

Colour me unsurprised. If HMG is going to use that shower for identity verification, all I can say is "God help us all" because bugger all else will.

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Upstart brags about cheaper-than-Amazon private cold data cloud

Martin Gregorie

Re: Eighteen nines? Utter nonsense

With enough redundancy...

They've told us how much redundancy they use - just two copies of the data plus the ZFS checksums which, unlike RAID 5 checksums, can't be used to recreate a corrupt block or the content of a dead disk though they do guarantee to spot corruption. Given that stored data is merely duplicated, there's no point in more than duplicating the rest of the supporting hardware and power supplies.

Like others, I find 9^18 reliability claim incredible: the probability of simultaneous failure of the disks holding both copies of a piece of data has to be much higher than that. Put it another way, even the best fault tolerant kit, with every component at least duplicated and the system configured as a geographically distributed system don't claim more than 9^6 reliability, so whats going on here?

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Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook

Martin Gregorie

Apple wasn't even the first to sell a microcomputer

I guess you weren't around in the '70s when the fledgling Apple company (3 guys) were literally building new stuff, hardware and software, in their garage

Well I was and I remember seeing commercially built microcomputers (home computers if you prefer) on sale in the Computer Store on Broadway in NYC in the summer of 1976. These were machines made by IMSAI, MITS and SWTPc. All used add-on cards to extend the basic machine, all could be programmed in assembler or BASIC and some were fitted with 8" or 5 1/4" floppy drives, though they mostly used green-screen serial terminals or ASR-33 teletypes for their user interface and were based on MC6800 or Intel 8080 chips rather than the Mostek 6502 that the Apple 1 used.

All of them were on sale in 1975, so they all preceeded the Apple 1 (April 1976) by at least 4 months. All were on sale a good two years before the Apple ][ was announced.

The microcomputer an Apple invention? I don't think so!

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GP records soon wide open again: Just walk into a ‘safe haven’

Martin Gregorie

Re: Opting out?

I had a quick scan through the docs on the care.data page Andrew linked to, and found the following:

- in Pathfinder Proposal 1, section 2 (Options):

3d "what happens if [the patients] have already opted out and"

3e "their rights to change their mind at any time"

- notes from the care.data meeting on 25th of June:

Page 3 under "Fair processing principles" I found this gem:

d) Opt out/in - this is not a legal issue/right; but is a fair processing issue so has to be included

I'm going to be totally pissed off if these bloated bureaucrats think they are going to make us opt out for a third time or simply decide to ignore opt outs. Given the attention that their masters in Parliament give to public sentiment or to doing anything they promised to do in order to get elected, I wouldn't put it past care.data to do either or both of these things, seeing that they seem to be, in the words of FZ "Totally commited to the fifty bucks".

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Linux Foundation plans open-source drone hit

Martin Gregorie

Re: This is a good thing

...provided that it means we get a fully supported Linux-RT kernel. However, building a proper real-time Linux, i.e. one with deterministic response times to external events, is almost certainly going to mean big changes to the kernel, not just reimplementing the process scheduler.

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