Feeds

* Posts by Charlie Clark

2706 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Russian gov to dump x86, bake own 64-bit ARM chips - reports

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Could the NSA bribe ARM??

You're being a bit naive- if the NSA wants something in the silicon it goes to the manufacturers; if it wants something on your machine it goes to UPS. Seeing as Qualcomm was spun out of the defence industry and is still heavily dependent upon defence contracts I can hardly see them saying no to adding something special or telling the NSA what to look or listen for. The same is likely to be true for many other manufacturers.

As for the integrity of the chip designers - don't place too much faith in that nor their political convictions: they probably have the same lack of sincere political convictions as anyone else. They're more likely to be motivated by going after Intel than anything else. Oh, and it's GCHQ by the way.

6
3
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Don't believe everything you read in the papers or on the interwebs

Russia occasionally talks up its microelectronics business but it rarely comes to anything. You need a lot of good people on site to be able to design and manufacture your own chips. Years of neglect of non-essential, non-military tech in Russia has led to an outflow of many of the engineers you need for this kind of venture. Seeing as how dependent Russia is on external expertise in areas like oil and gas exploration, I doubt very much that it is capable of building and maintaining chip-making facilities.

9
1

'Most sophisticated DDoS' ever strikes Hong Kong democracy poll

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

"Security outfit"

Security outfit CloudFlare…/

While it's true that content delivery networks have to be security aware - and they can be very cost-effective in this respect - this doesn't make them security specialists.

300 Gbps is a hell of a lot of traffic, enough to disrupt whole internet interchanges. But this is still probably only the work of some of the hordes of nationalist script kiddies in China. If the Chinese government wants to shutdown something in Hong Kong it has other options. If it wants to DDoS somewhere, it would be probably start at 300 Gbps - though attack of that size will likely get the IETF coordinating sinkholes.

0
2

T-Mobile boss: 'High and mighty' Verizon and AT&T are 'raping you for every penny you have'

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Career suicide

word 'rape' is definitely going to put him in some hot water...headlines

It's his job to get his company and its products noticed. Say something outrageous and apologise quickly, no damage done. Cf. Michael O'Leary of Ryanair.

2
0

Android to drop Dalvik VM for high-performance ART in next version

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Bit of a broad brush there. Some of the Samsung software is fine - I like the quick access to the alarm clock, the camera app and the music player; the hardware is fine - replaceable battery, SD support, OLED screen. It would be nice to be able to permanently delete some of the crap that gets installed.

As others have noted, having the latest version of the OS doesn't make a whole heap of difference. Does the phone still do what you wanted it to do when you bought it is the most important question.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Google knows that most people get new phones every two years. From the API perspective there aren't huge differences between 4.0 and 4.4. Where things do matter Google is using the Play Store components to move the laggards along.

2
0

Yes. App that lets you say 'Yo' raises 1 MEEELLION DOLLARS

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: We're finally there...

I still think that if we're seriously to tackle the stupidity surplus that it's hard to beat the anti-smite shield. But some of these start-ups come damn close!

0
0

Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

That's a reasonable question - I rarely run out of memory on my 4GB MacBook and regularly use Windows VMs. I'd like to have more but Apple have limited the chipset to 8GB. :-( Such use cases, however, do not justify Apple's cost-cutting / restrictions. You never know when you might need that kind of memory.

Note to El Reg - adding more RAM won't increase the speed unless you're running out of memory a lot. 8 GB on a Mac leaves a lot of RAM for programs.

2
2

Intel reveals its FrankenChip ARM killer: one FPGA and one Xeon IN ONE SOCKET

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Technology study?

Intel really doesn't want anything that isn't x86. But if it thinks ARMs are dangerous, FPGAs are lethal for that model. Which is why they will never sell a separate FPGA part.

I can see a demand for CPU(x86) + CPU(ARM) + GPU + FPGA for scientific work and super computers but you're going to want to be able to control the distribution of those units. I think AMD is approaching this better with the options of additional embedded cores or cards.

1
0

DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: noooo

Yeah, and sidekicks aren't allowed to be stupid anymore. Sigh, no more thicko Bullwinkle J. Moose.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Or....

Because we know they'll fuck it up.

I'm not totally against remakes or new interpretations but they - Battlestar Galactica - are very much the exception rather than the rule.

All this bringing stuff up to date is total bollocks. Noggin the Nog, Ivor the Engine and Bagpuss were already old when I watched them back in the 70s and 80s but they were timeless because the focus was on the story and the characters and not the fucking technology. This is the whole point of the classics.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Happy

That's my afternoon gone then!

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Happy

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra

Used to walk past the offices every time we went to the swimming baths…

Happy days!

0
0

Cisco promises Lync link for its UC kit and collaborationware

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Anecdote

One of my corporate customers has had some kind of Cisco plugin for Lync on it from the word go. AFAIK, this is already tied into the Cisco sets on the desk.

0
0

Samsung peddles tyred Smart Bike concept

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: My eyes bleed

electric regeneration

Hub dynamos are pretty impressive nowadays. I suppose they could be configured to charge only at speeds above x or on downwards slopes. You don't lose much energy braking on a bike and you can't recover anything from wind resistance - you could put on a windmill I suppose, but really a fairing and letting the dynamo charge is you're best bet.

2
0

Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Suggestions

Let me get this in early: remove Windows and install PC-BSD!

0
1

Supermodel Lily Cole: 'I got a little bit upset by that Register article'

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: What is the real problem

Andrew, thanks for the clarification. I'm in Germany and I'll admit to not keeping up to date with the shenanigans in Whitehall. As I said, I think focussing too much on Lily Cole detracts from the argument which would be the unaccountability of Nesta. What other bollocks things have they been involved with? More "community service" engagements for the well-to-do?

Not to worry, we have our own share of investment catapults here. And the bureaucrats and politicians dislike FoI provisions just as much as anywhere else.

3
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

What is the real problem

While it's amusing to bash on about the "taxpayer" giving £ 200,000 to this "poor little rich kid" for a useless website, I think it's a bit of a mistake to focus on the money. For a start, if she's got good accountants, she's probably costing the country more through (perfectly legal) tax avoidance schemes. In the subsidy stakes (such as those given in the energy industry) £ 200,000 doesn't even figure as a rounding error.

Let's take Miss Cole out of the equation and focus on the role of Nesta and whether it's doing its job properly - what are the expected tangible (ie. the number of employees) and intangible benefits of the site? How will they be measured? And how will those allocating the money be held accountable (not necessarily sacked)?

As things stand I think it is perfectly reasonable to suggest that the whole thing was a vehicle to benefit Freud Communications - weren't they associated with another waste-of-time, celebrity (political) website? What is the ownership of the website? What is the proposed business model? More digging along those lines, please.

Oh, and good to see the Freedom of Information Act doing its job.

6
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Never...

I agree that the ad hominem attacks are off the mark and detract from the issue: what is NESTA supposed to be doing? and who's overseeing it?

12
0

WORLD CUP SHOCK: England declared winner in 2-1 defeat to Italy

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

ABE

NFT

1
3

TIME TRAVELLERS needed to secure Windows 7

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Unaffacted

I have a Windows 7 VM (with a full-fat licence). However, as I refuse to do the additional licence verification dance (what's up with you licensing Microsoft that it doesn't work properly first time?) I get to miss out on some of the updates, including it appears the browser updates. I don't really care as I only fire the thing up once a week or so to use my scanner or test a website in IE 9. But, judging by website statistics, it seems I'm far from alone: use of IE seems to split fairly neatly between IE8, IE9 and IE11.

Microsoft, it seems, still doesn't know how it feels about its browser: is it a core part of the OS and thus worth protecting? or just one among many of the browsers out there with a sideline in traffic referral?

1
1

'Hashtag' added to the OED – but # isn't a hash, pound, nor number sign

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Headmaster

Younguns these days

Everyone knows it's a channel ident on IRC. I'm off to #humbug.

10
0

S is for SMACKDOWN: Samsung takes Galaxy Tab slab war fruit-side

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: AMOLED screen ?

WANT

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Yawn

Maybe he should switch it on?

0
0

LEAKED: Redmond not allowed to sell 'Nokia' smartphones after 2015

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Deep integration of Twaddle

Excuse me, Mr Terry, but could you run an extension cable out to our grill? Thank you very much.

0
0

Soccer Football in SPAAACE! ISS 'naut nails zero-G bicycle kick

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Typical

Bet the Americans used the wrong units when putting the ISS together otherwise it would be regulation pitch sized!

0
0

So, what exactly defines a 'boffin'? Speak your brains...

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I think Mick Aston, RIP, would qualify as a boffin.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I really, really, hate that word

Do you want to go back to be and try getting up out of the other side?

7
1
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Boffin

Re: The socks have it

+1 on the Pyke as the unit of measurement for boffinry.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Holmes

Element of chance

I think the hallmark of good boffinry is genuine interest in all things scientific and mechanical and the attendant tendency to being easily distracted, genius and a pinch of naivety: surely, nobody would ever want to harm anyone else with my latest invention… Leonard of Quirm.

7
0

IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: 10 years ago?

The problem is, the US has more IPv4 addresses than it know what to do with. Ergo, a shrugging of the shoulders and "I don't know what the fuss is all about" while the Asian ISPs set new world records in nested NATs…

4
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: IPv6 is flawed

If IPv6 wasn't flawed we would all be on it now, with IPv4 left for the ghost net, outlaws/crims and lagards.

Much as I'd like to think that it is technical issues holding back adoption, I somehow doubt that this is really the case. But if anyone knows how to use and abuse the protocol then you can be sure if it's the internet's more nefarious denizens.

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Thinking off the top of my head…

Is there a sensible way of sharing the cost of the necessary infrastructure upgrades around the world that doesn't invite gaming?

The real problem seems that the address shortage has yet to affect large parts of the service providers - the US can probably survive with its IPv4 addresses for another 1000 years (famous last words!). I suspect governments are reluctant to require IPv6 deployments partly out of consideration of the costs (anti-competitive); lack of technical skills (both in companies and regulators) and ignorance and possibly even because IPv6 is far from perfect. Quick fixes with layers of NAT are so much more inviting.

I wonder if, for example, the EU mandated IPv6 capable equipment for (imported) switches, routers, et al. whether that would have a similar effect on the industry that standards power consumption in stand-by or vehicle emissions have had. Once the endpoints can handle dual-stack then network upgrades can be handled with a minimum of disruption.

1
0

Massive news in the micro-world: a hexaquark particle

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Neutron decay

Protons and neutrons are not protons and neutrons in nucleii. It's all a bit more complicated than that.

0
0

DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Simple solution I've always used

document_06092014

Always use ISO (YYYY-MM-DD) if you want anyone else to be able to make sense. Sorts in the right order as well.

6
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Thumb Down

Re: Which Office product is at fault?

Exactly, what you don't want to do when serialising OOXML is create a DOM as DOM's use a lot of memory and are very slow. So string concatenation of one form of another is the preferred approach. This can still be wrapped in functions to ensure that tags are well-formed but that doesn't really help much, there are still a lot of things that can go wrong, and even more that the consuming application can complain about viz. the different behaviour of Word and LibreOffice to the broken file.

Unfortunately, the OOXML developers forgot to learn the lessons of HTML and include a section on error handling.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Coat

Re: xmllint is pretty good for finding broken xml...

Specifically for the MS files the Office OpenXML SDK Productivity Tool is to be recommended. It can open most archives as long as the [Content_Types].xml - it's fussy about the namespace in this file. It includes validation and comparison tools and will automatically reflow the XML.

Otherwise simply unpack the archive with unzip, run suspect files through tidy and open them in you editor of choice.

unzip -d xml fucked_file.docx

tidy -m -xml xml/word/document.xml

To be fair to the LibreOffice developers, OOXML is a shit format. It's difficult to get right partly because it's so fucking verbose. The specification is thousands of pages long and even then vague. However, the LibreOffice developers also have a history of releasing poor code. I've replaced it with the more conservative OpenOffice because it crashes too much on my Mac.

Mine's the one with the ECMA 476 specification in the pockets, ta.

3
0

Jellybean dominates Play, still seated atop rising KitKat

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

What's wrong with fragmentation?

While satisfying news for Google and Android fans at a higher level, the numbers demonstrate just how fragmented the Android market really is.

And how much of this is a problem? The Android API has been pretty stable for the last couple of years and I've yet to come across an app that won't run on any of my three devices, the oldest of which is nearly three years old and it's still on Android 4.0. It's true that this wasn't the case initially with the API expanding rapidly and often requiring stuff in hardware that older kit didn't have.

As others have pointed out in the Windows world there is XP, Vista, 7, 8, 8.1 plus the server versions. The vast majority of software runs fine on all those versions. However, you are generally up shit creek without a paddle if you want to straddle the 32-bit / 64-bit worlds easily on Windows. And don't mention ARM. If you want an example of fragmentation look no further than that.

In the IOS world a lot of developers march neatly in lockstep with new releases and quickly require the newest version of IOS. I'll admit I don't have first-hand experience of this but a mate of mine with quite a bit of Apple kit complains about it regularly. One of the reasons why it's done is because it's a nice way to force paid for upgrades. And if it works for people - that Apple punters are happier to part with their money than others - then good luck to them.

2
0

Redmond is patching Windows 8 but NOT Windows 7, say security bods

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Premature announcement

Indeed. The proof of the pudding will be in the eating. It may just be a nice way of documenting the function calls but as the forensics improve it might at some point help detect vulnerabilities early.

1
0

Thanks for nothing, OpenSSL, grumbles stonewalled De Raadt

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: What law/legal requirement

forking a codebase brings with it the requirement (on the forker) to continue monitoring…

Do you think that code to fix known but not yet publicly disclosed bugs goes into the public repository with comments like "fixes something we're not allowed to talk about"?

6
1

FIGHT! Intel disputes ARM's claims of Android superiority

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Better windows than windows?

This was the argument that IBM made with OS/2. And it was true. So true in fact that, because companies could use OS/2 to safely run their multiple DOS/Windows programs, they didn't buy OS/2 software.

If binary translation from ARM to x86 is so good that no one notices, no one will bother doing native x86 versions. Developers won't really care if it becomes a push-button option in their IDE.

But Intel's real problem will be convincing manufacturers that it won't jack up prices once it has killed the competition. Currently, Intel is able to sweet talk some manufacturers into using its kit because it is a useful bargaining chip with Qualcomm. But ARM is developing faster and the number of manufacturers is increasing: Qualcomm, Broadcom, Samsung, nVidia, TI, Mediatek, …

1
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: I am so sick of Intel's whining about ARM versus Atom or CISC whatever

ARM is RISC - Intel is CISC

That hasn't been true for years. Intel has been more RISC than CISC since the Pentium (IIRC) and certainly since the P4 debacle.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Intel are good

Imagine what they could do if they let go of x86 and put their talents into making the best ARM out there.

The chips would be fantastic but their margins would suffer. They need the x86 lock-in to preserve those margins and it's what the salesforce knows how to sell.

Actually, since Intel has already started contract manufacturing this might happen sooner than anyone expects.

3
1

'Fan docks' are about to become a thing

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Solution in search of a problem?

NFT

0
0

Oh, wow. US Secret Service wants a Twitter sarcasm-spotter

Charlie Clark
Silver badge
Mushroom

Re: Do terrorists really tweet about their intended acts?

You won't think you're so funny after three years in Guantanamo! Your appeal has been refused because we can't be sure you were being sarcastic until our sarcasm detection software works.

10
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Would this help?

I've got a generator based on the Twat-o-Tron that will generate nowtrage on demand for Twitter. Based on the number of followers it got, it managed to convince the public / other bots out there.

What the fuck are "influencers"? Online hypnotists?

3
0

Apple: We'll tailor Swift to be a fast new programming language

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: complexity and obsequiousness

It's much more mathematically (and syntactically) satisfying for that reason.

I suspect it depends very much on what you're programming: whether you're essentially programming mathematical functions or doing something else. Which is why we use brackets sparingly when writing. And even then it remains a personal preference.

Indentation is not more arbitrary for structure as it has to be consistent in order to be machine readable.

2
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Just what the world needs

A few users is not a success. Where is Go in real-world use, something like 0.01% of developers? I bet there are more active Haskell developers

No idea and no idea how anyone can reliably collect such statistics: what about all the shell and embedded stuff that never appears online?

There probably are more people involved with Haskell than Go, though probably has a lot to do with the fact that it's taught at quite a lot of universities. The most recent Go conference managed to garner some 700 participants and I assume some of the sponsors are using it; we know Google and Canonical are.

0
0
Charlie Clark
Silver badge

I think they'd be stupid not to open source it (the core at least) and get academics paid by someone else to kick the tyres. Would surprise me greatly if they don't do it.

4
0

Android is a BURNING 'hellstew' of malware, cackles Apple's Cook

Charlie Clark
Silver badge

Re: Poor performance

Yeah, I liked Federighi in the Mac OS part. I don't have an I-thingy just a Mac so the IOS stuff is less interesting anyway.

1
1