* Posts by the spectacularly refined chap

694 posts • joined 27 Dec 2008

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PoisonTap fools your PC into thinking the whole internet lives in an rPi

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: This is exactly how things are designed to work

"regarding Linux you are wrong, wrong and wrong"

Only up to a point. As you say it's DHCP rather than the desktop cruft but the final point of convenience vs security is the significant one. Ignore at least one of those wrongs.

I stand by every word of what I wrote. The kernel itself will enumerate the device and generate a notification. It will not activate the interface by itself and won't spawn DHCP requests.

If you have userland code running with admin privileges that does that and malconfigures the system for you automatically that is where the problem lies: this stuff doesn't happen by magic, and yes those notifications are generally intercepted by the desktop environment in the name of convenience.

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the spectacularly refined chap

Re: This is exactly how things are designed to work

I really fail to understand how this is news: this is how things are designed to work, and this is how they have always worked:

It isn't though. NT would never have been vulnerable. Linux itself (or any other Unix) still isn't, rather it is the desktop cruft too often layered on top that gets caught out. All those things dumbed-down systems do to "help" such as auto-configuring everything in sight, automounting any filesystem you come across and so on - often they are exactly what you want, sometimes they get in the way, and sometimes they increase the attack surface.

It's the old usability vs convenience thing. Yes, it's that old chestnut.

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Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Pedantically...

A speaker is a mic. Just as a mic is a speaker.

That is one of those things that strike me as having been seen on Doctor Who, MacGyver or whatever with no real idea of the practicalities. Seriously, you are not going to get any useable signal out of a moving coil speaker used as a mic even if the surrounding circuitry could theoretically read it. And as for getting any sound at all from a condenser mic, forget it completely.

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New MH370 handshake and wing debris analysis suggests rapid descent

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Conspiracy ..

It never ceases to amaze me how one dumb twat on the Internet can read a few articles, have little enough background in the area even to get the usage of basic terms right, and still arrive the truth that has up until that point eluded an entire team of experts burdened by actually looking at evidence, spending years and millions on the problem, and performing tests on the hypotheses they come up with.

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Intel's new chip targets industrial IoT

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: 4K video on an IoT thinggy???!

Because no one anywhere has wanted to create e.g. an advertising billboard or public information display. I don't know why people have so much tunnel vision about IoT and embedded. It is as if the entire sector is washing machine controllers and nothing else.

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the spectacularly refined chap

Re: unique needs of the IoT market.

ARM based IOT board like the Raspberry Pi - £30

And at least a couple of orders too expensive for the lowest cost embedded devices - musical cards and the like.

Cheapest board with an Atom on board - well over £100.

And completely insignificant on a £100,000 piece of plant.

The embedded and IoT market is far more diverse than you could possibly imagine. Some need performance levels that run rings around even well specified workstations. Assuming the Pi is a magical one size fits all solution simply demonstrates your ignorance.

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Student software finds new Minor Planet found way out beyond Pluto

the spectacularly refined chap

The rock may therefore struggle to shed the minor planet classification, which means it will have to make do with an unlovely number instead of a jaunty name.

Minor planets are still eligible for naming after the orbit is well-plotted enough for the body to be formally numbered. However the onus is on the discoverer to suggest a name for approval, and given the numbers now being discovered this isn't done for most such objects.

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OK Google, Alexa, why can't I choose my own safe, er, wake word?

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Slartibartfast Hovercraft

One thing that comes to mind is that when most people use their phones, they hold them in front of their chests, below their faces, to see the screen. So the phone's front-facing camera could match the face and eyes of the person to determine that they are looking at the phone, as well as using the phone's positioning sensor to determine that it's being held in a particular position, before responding to whatever the person is saying.

What's wrong with a dedicated (hardware) button and push-to-talk? Would seem very natural (think walkie talkies) and without the background power drain of constantly listening out to everything? I can see accessibility issues along the lines that chap raised here the other day, but alternative arrangements can be made for those cases.

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Yahoo! tries!, fails! to! shoot! down! email! backdoor! claim!

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: a system that would allow keyword searches of Yahoo! users' incoming mails – does not exist

It was located outside of their data center, they only opened up a direct port to their database so that said system could access them.

That was my immediate thought as well, albeit I was thinking of piping it through an NSA system rather than allowing direct access, without referring back it seemed to fit was was described better. I was surprised Thomson didn't pick it up given the scrutiny to the rest of the wording.

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'My REPLACEMENT Samsung Galaxy Note 7 blew up on plane'

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Possibiities

Personally my first thoughts are a variation of #1, he didn't bother to get the phone replaced, they are lying, but not to cause mischief, but to doubly cover their own backs lest any allegation of negligence is pointed at them for taking the phone on the aircraft knowing it to be potentially risky. This is backed up in my mind by the wife's follow up comments that it was "doing what the other one was doing".

So he's had two phones and they have both caught fire? That is either incredibly unlucky or altogether too convenient.

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The web is past peak innovation: It's all negative returns from here

the spectacularly refined chap

Clocks allow for precision, which is pretty important in fast jobs with little margin for error.

No, as the OP was at pains to distinguish, a timer allows for precision. No need for a clock...

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Luxe cable crimper

the spectacularly refined chap

I assume he's referring to Kevin's comment about plugs rather than mine about jacks. He seems refer to the two part plugs which are a lot easier to wire than the one piece types because you feed the wires into a guide which then goes into the plug - a lot less fiddly since it is externally accessible and you can see what you are doing.

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the spectacularly refined chap

I don't see much if any saving over regular punch down blocks either, and while the pairs don't need separating it subjectively appears that you end up with more untwisted wire in the completed cable.

No doubt they also cost at least three times the price and the crimper is £100+. Somehow I don't think I'll bother.

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Ad flog Plus: Adblock Plus now an advertising network, takes cash to broker web banners

the spectacularly refined chap

I don't like advertising but I understand that businesses need to be able to promote their products and services, that running websites does cost money and website owners are entitled to some renumeration for their costs and efforts.

Personally I hold the site operators equally responsible here. The ultimate driver for many issues is simply the over-reliance on advertising by too many sites - it seems too many sites tack on ads as an afterthought when they realise they have no other business model.

Ultimately this doesn't scale, there are too many sites out there, advertising is only going to be a niche area of the economy, and therefore there simply isn't the money to go around. This is why you get so much online advertising, why so much of it is intrusive, and why so much is from undesirable sources: the funding gap needs to be filled by whatever means. This goes even for respectable sites - for example go to any of the Johnston Press local newspaper sites and you'll instantly see display ads for obvious scams not good but presumably they are the only people who will pay.

I suspect what is ultimately needed is a genuine micropayments model with wide levels of adoption. Unfortunately when that has been tried greed seems to take over. I may happily pay 5p or 10p to read an article of genuine interest but would be less happy to pay e.g. £5.99 a month for the vast majority of sites I only visit a couple of times a month.

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Jeff Bezos' thrusting cylinder makes Elon Musk's look minuscule

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: units

Forget units, they couldn't even settle on a consistent number format. The decimal separator switches from full stop to comma within the same paragraph.

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You should install smart meters even if they're dumb, says flack

the spectacularly refined chap

Failing to? There's nothing that I can realistically do that will reduce my bill by any non-trivial amount...

c) the main users of it in my house is the heating and hot water, which is driven by a heatpump and is already rather efficient and timed...

I think this shows a lack of imagination and of familiarity than anything else. When I first moved in with my now wife in a tower block we cut our leccy bills by 20% doing nothing more than changing the heating to run 5:30-6:00 instead of 6:00-6:30 every morning. That was nothing more than old fashioned Economy 7. When widely roles out and differential pricing is widely adopted the possibilities escalate. So you don't want your washing machine running in the middle of the night? What about at lunchtime when you are not at home and electricity is dirt cheap thanks to low demand and high production thanks to all those solar panels?

The opportunities are there when the entire system - meters, network, tariffs and appliances - is in place to support it. Focussing simply on the meter by itself is missing the point.

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IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Awesome

It's for when you print a document which is designed to be put in a ring binder which has tabbed dividers to allow sections to be found quickly. With the "blank" page, a new section is guaranteed to be forward facing.

I'd always understood it to be for selective printing - i.e. you have a 100 page document and need only chapter six at 50 pages - you can print and bind that separately without messing up the pagination. Also works if you need to break the document up into volumes because of limitations on binding capacity.

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Delta computer outage costs $100m

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: That's a nice round figure ...

That surprises you? That isn't being cynical, it is how the system is supposed to work. Businesses pay taxes on their profits: if they lose money as a result of incompetence the tax due goes down.

As for the actual amount claimed that won't directly affect the tax bill - it is not as if they claim any figure and the tax man takes it at face value without any evidence of expenses or lower sales.

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Windows 10 Anniversary on a Raspberry Pi: Another look at IoT Core

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: We should use neither

Prototyping - yes. One-off where cost does not matter for a hobbyist - yes. If you, however, want to do something seriously, you might as well admit that the Pi is "Hobbyist Hardware (TM)" and do it properly and use proper sensors attached to microcontrollers like Arduino with a proper "FAT" collector running on a more reliable piece of hardware.

The Pi is by no means perfect for industrial use but it does have its place if you apply a little common sense. At the start of the year I used one essentially as a high speed daughterboard in a telescope controller - extending the life of a fairly pricey university scope mount, mounted on its GPIO port and standoffs into the mounting holes, power fed in via the GPIO as opposed to the micro USB which I felt unsuitable. The economics were compelling, at a rough guess building a board from scratch would have been perhaps four months work, an expansion board for e.g. an ITX board perhaps two months. The Pi took three weeks including software and documentation. That's a game changer for unique or short run stuff.

Things still aren't perfect: I'd prefer a different power connector, proper engineering drawings (come on, you shouldn't need to work out panel cut outs yourself) and so on. However when you compare the Pi 2 or 3 to the original with sockets all over the place at different heights and lacking even mounting holes things are a lot better than they were.

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Quake-hit Italy: Open up Wi-Fi

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: That's daft

Disaster recovery people need real commercial two-way radio, satellite gear and Mobile operators should drop in microwave link or satellite fed base stations.

Who says it has to be either/or? More options give more flexibility and convenience. Voice communications is a poor substitute if you really need to send a photo for example, or the ability to consult online maps could clearly save time and potentially lives.

Put another way, why are you insisting rescue teams should have fewer tools at their disposal?

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Snakes on the phone!

the spectacularly refined chap

I'm just surprised they have field engineers at all. I did a few months as a general and then tech care representative and any fault reports seemed to result in diddly squat.

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Intel fabs to churn out 10nm ARM chips for LG smartphones next year

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: StrongARM?

OoO execution is what (in the Pentium Pro and successors) delivered the death-blow to the RISC architectures of the 1980s. x86 as an ISA hasn't been significant for performance for over 20 years now.

Oh look! Wheelchairs exist! Smash up my legs with a baseball bat!

You are confusing palliative measures that Intel have used to engineer themselves out of a corner with substantive benefits. Out of order execution is not a benefit but a cost that has to be paid to get performance out of the x86 architecture. It's the same across the board - for example modern x86 chips have dozens of hidden registers that can't be accessed by the instruction set. Ask yourself which can do a better job of register allocation - a compiler that can take its time and do the job once considering the code as a whole, or a few transistors that have to do the job each and every time, in a matter of nanoseconds, and considering only a handful of instructions on either side? The answer is obvious.

Similarly ever longer pipelines are not something to brag about - they are themselves evidence of a real problem. As the pipeline gets longer the number of problem cases increases exponentially, problems which consume silicon and time to address. That's silicon and time that can't be used elsewhere.

Those and similar features are not benefits in and of themselves, they are the price that has had to be paid to wring an acceptable level of performance out of x86. That price is not just financial, it consumes design effort and surface area that could easily be used more profitably elsewhere. Why have only 4-8 cores on a chip? Why not fifty or sixty? It's perfectly possible if you don't piss away area on things which from an engineering view are unnecessary with a smarter design at the outset.

Case in point: Sun's Niagara ten years ago. Designed with a fraction of Intel's resources, fabbed on a more primitive process, the result was the fastest processor bar none at the time. It offered a level of throughput and parallelism x86 could only dream off. The opening premise was to throw away a lot of that complexity you cite as a good thing and see what could be put in its place. Intel have the deepest pockets in the industry and can invest to get themselves out of sticky situations if need be: that does not mean it is a good idea to get into those situations in the first instance.

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Judges put FCC back in its box: No, you can't override state laws, not even for city broadband

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Beachrider

The Reg put this in the correct context, and made no mention of any technical parameters over frequencies, radiated power or anything else. It was you that misleadingly introduced those. Presumably after having read no further than the headline.

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Chinese Android smartphone firm: It packs a dedicated crypto chip

the spectacularly refined chap

Easily done, although in this case it's it probably a mistake. Manufacturers have been shrinking their displays while keeping them the same size for years by widening up the aspect ratio. The 23" widescreen monitor here certainly feels no bigger than the 19" 4:3 that preceded it.

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Seagate in 10TB drive brand brainstorm

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Inflated prices...

"Consumer" is the operative word though and that market has changed over time. 15 years ago a typical business workstation would have and realistically need perhaps a 20GB drive. A home system would be about the same. Now that typical workstation probably needs no more than 200GB, certainly a cheap as chips 500GB drive will be ample, but it seems 4TB is pretty much the default option for a home user HDD. You see it across the machines - home users have gone from behind the curve in the 80s, to broadly comparable with business systems around the millennium, and well ahead of them now. They're now driving the market forward and paying the bleeding edge premium for that.

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Pimp your ride with new Linux for cars and an rPi under the hood

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Automotive Grade Linux

Actually, my first thought was that calling your main body of code "UCB" immediately invites confusion with the very origins of BSD. To the point it sets alarm bells ringing - if you're ignorant of that what else don't you know?

Oh wait, this is a new Linux distro, so self-promotion and being "cool" are more important than anything else.

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Sneaky brown dwarf gives us a bright flash and astroboffins are confused

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: It's obviously trying to start a fusion reaction...

They've flooded the engine.

Leave it for half an hour; and more choke next time.

Too much choke is the cause of a flooded engine...

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Microsoft's paid $60 per LinkedIn user – and it's a bargain, because we're mugs

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: I'll never get the marketing people's valuations...

I have absolutely no idea what real world metrics marketing people use to value the personal data for an individual. I'm a good example of an edge case in their world; I'm 100% unaffected (in a positive way) by any advertising. I have never bought a product or service based solely on an ad. Yet, there are apparently billions of drooling idiots out there who will buy whatever the advertisers tell them to.

No, that doesn't mean the advertising is wasted, it probably makes you the advertiser's wet dream: you haven't understood the intention of the advertiser so you can't apply skepticism in the appropriate direction.

Advertisers do not expect to be able to plug any old crap and random members of the public simply to buy it unquestioningly. They do know that if you are to buy their product then firstly you must know that it exists and is available: either that their offering is among the options you have when considering a given purchase, or that their product will provide some real benefit to you, even if prior to that you hadn't been considering a purchase.

Suggesting that people will buy a product simply because they have seen it advertised is utter naivete and the advertisers know that - ultimately the need has to be there. Indeed, this is why the personal data is valuable to them, so potential customers can be targeted rather than a much wider group, most of whom simply who never would buy that product. If you have ever gone to manufacturer's websites to get data on products before making a considered purchase you have responded to advertising. If ten or twenty years ago you ever picked up a copy of e.g. Computer Shopper and waded through hundreds of pages of ads to find the best deal on X you have responded to advertising. That is the response the advertisers are banking on and the one you fail to recognize even exists.

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Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image. Repeat. Microsoft has created its own FreeBSD image

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: this is not your father's Microsoft.

Still have the images on my hard drive here. XENIX 86 2.1.3 was 16 360K disks. XENIX 386 2.3.4q was 9 1.44M disks.

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Singapore.gov bans Net

the spectacularly refined chap

Won't this defeat the purpose and allow data leaks?

But presumably there is an audit trail for stuff passing through the mail server. It's a balancing act as for internet access for anywhere else: presumably staff have legitimate need to communicate with the outside and even at times forward official records or documents. However the fact everything is retained on the server in identifiable form acts as a deterrent to the malicious leaker.

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US computer-science classes churn out cut-n-paste slackers – and yes, that's a bad thing

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: walshk@byteform.com

"Hacker culture" has its heart in the right place, but it devalues theory and over emphasizes the act of writing code, and there is a limit to being self taught... learning through experiment is excellent, but only if someone can guide you towards the experiments that produce insights that will make you a better developer. I've worked with people who wore their lack of formal education in software as a kind of badge of honor, but their work always reminded me of that of a portrait artist who'd never studied anatomy: Well executed, but not quite the right thing.

I agree with this. The way I usually express it is that you don't really go to Uni to learn a program language - frankly, learning how to express yourself in any given language is not degree level stuff. Rather you go to learn what to express, not how to say it.

Secondly there is the perennial problem for any self learning - it tends to be of a piecemeal a la carte menu nature - one area is studied, then something else and so on. There is no guiding master plan ensuring a balanced rounded view. Examples that come to mind here would be tools like Lex & Yacc - Yacc in particular can save masses of time once you are familiar with it but the self taught tend to disparage it as much from ignorance as anything else.

Instead you'll hear the profound wisdom that a hand-written parser is always much better despite generally being slower, buggier and taking far more effort to build and maintain. Why? The learning curve for a tool like Yacc is pretty close to vertical - you'll need perhaps ten or twenty hours study before you can accomplish anything useful. For the self taught that's frequently difficult to motivate yourself to do for a fairly old, unglamorous tool that isn't getting all the hype of newer toys. The CS undergrad for whom it is simply on the course has no such issue.

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Citrix bakes up Raspberry Pi client boxes

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Internal Power Supply?

So let's get this straight? You ask a question, admit you don't know, make a blind guess and them complain about how crap your guess would be.

As for the price, if you don't like it, don't buy it. Yes, you are paying a premium for the complete package. This surprises you? If other people look at it and decide it it is worth buying that doesn't make them wrong, just less blinkered. They may decide that this is ideal for them based on various criteria, or may figure that a standard Pi setup is in reality much more expensive than it first appears once you get to a complete set up - "I had so and so lying around" doesn't cut if it you want to deploy them by the thousand.

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T-Mobile US gobbles up another 2.2m customers

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: could be nicer in UK themselves

They're not the same company. Both T-Mob USA and EE are independent companies and are under separate ownership. The only thing they have in common is that both have licensed the T-Mobile brand.

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WD rust-proofs spinners with Gold offering

the spectacularly refined chap

It may simply be a duty cycle thing: it does equate to writing over a gigabyte a minute continuously. I'd regard that as pushing a drive quite hard for five years solid.

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Intel tock blocked for good: Tick-tock now an oom-pah-pah waltz

the spectacularly refined chap

Beginning of the end for Intel?

For perhaps the last ten years or so Intel have been at least a generation ahead of everyone else when it comes to chip fabrication - it's no coincidence that around this time is when AMD started falling by the wayside in terms of absolute performance. Look at the trend with each feature size shrink - at each generation costs go up and up and the number of manufacturers goes down and down until Intel are out in front by themselves.

They've needed to. x86 is ultimately a 40 year old ISA and has few redeeming features. Intel have only been able to stay competitive by throwing money at the problem and engineering themselves out of a design corner created by that very ISA. If we're getting to the point not even Intel can shrink any more and the other manufacturers have a chance to begin to catch up what is the future for x86 and Intel?

The world has moved on over that same ten years and people are no longer so wedded to Wintel thank to the likes of Android and iPhone, they can see upping sticks to something else is not a complete impossibility. Whereas the likes of MIPS and Alpha were at the time a country mile ahead of Intel despite much smaller R&D budgets simply because of smarter design, people couldn't see an alternative to Wintel for the mass market at least. If the competitors catch up on fabrication technology but with similarly superior designs on a conceptual level then they could take on or even overtake Intel once more but this time with a better chance of supplanting them in the market.

If that pans out personally I'd be glad. IT's been pretty boring post-millennium with ARM for mobile and x86 for power. It we get back to the point where there are half a dozen or more different platforms of note the industry becomes a lot more interesting place.

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What to call a £200m 15,000-tonne polar vessel – how about Boaty McBoatface?

the spectacularly refined chap

RRS Hole

That is all

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the spectacularly refined chap

This is nothing new

People should have learned by now you can't trust the public to name things. It's probably 150 years since the East Lancashire Railway ran a public poll to name a club they were opening for use by their employees. The winner: The East Lancashire Railway Employee's Club.

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Microsoft will rest its jackboot on Windows 7, 8.1's throat on new Intel CPUs in 2018 – not 2017

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Use the Disc?

right, and theres no solution to that eh?

you could:

1) use an external dvd drive

Connected to the same USB port that it doesn't support? Been there, done that with some Bay Trial systems here, although thankfully the most recent BIOS patch for the MB in question has alleviated that.

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'Just give me any old date and I'll make it work' ... said the VB script to the coder

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: VBA date handling has taken at least five years off my lifespan

Correct. The year used to start on 25th March but was moved to 1st January at the same time. Allowing for the 11 days correction for missed leap years we get 5th April.

But the tax year starts on the 6th April - post transition to the Gregorian calendar it was then advanced another day to make up for the "missing" leap year in 1800. No such amendment was made in 1900 though, and the situation didn't arise in 2000 so it's probably considered fixed to the "new" calendar now.

Must dash, George is about to say how he's going to sting us this coming 6th April...

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Here's what an Intel Broadwell Xeon with a built-in FPGA looks like

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: timing seems interesting....

How many of these fpga's can run on Windows boxes?

If the answers next to or none then I wonder if that's part of the move to Linux that Ms is looking for with MsSQL on Linux.

Yup. None. I can tell you that without even looking at it. Coincidentally that's the same number Linux supports. Something like is going to be outside the reach of general application code since it is essentially system-wide - you just wouldn't reprogram an FPGA at each context switch - so it's going to have to have explicit OS support as gatekeeper. I don't see adding that as some huge showstopper (essentially it's just another device to be managed) so speculating that it will be some great issue for Windows while Linux magically supports it from the get-go would be wide of the mark. Yes, I'm aware of existing systems with FPGA integration, but this is on chip and the details of interfacing are inevitably going to differ, so any support you have doesn't carry over unmodified.

On the other hand I'd like to see how it works in a virtualised environment. My guess is simply that it doesn't and it won't be supported regardless of either host or guest OS.

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Good eye, Hubble! Space 'scope spots furthest-ever object

the spectacularly refined chap

Of course if the James Webb telescope turned out to be able to see much further, say in excess of 14 billion, things could get really interesting...

We've already been there, done that. The furthest reaches of the observable Universe are getting on for 50 billion lightyears away if memory serves. The Universe didn't spring into existence at its current size, after all, so we can actually see things much further away than a simplistic calculation suggests.

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Huawei Honor 5X: Swishy fingerprint tech for the mid-range

the spectacularly refined chap

The Huaweis I've seen in the past have good permission settings compared to most makes - any app can be restricted to wifi only or blocked from the internet completely. You also have settings to block e.g. the camera or GPS according to how suspicious you are.

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SCO vs. IBM looks like it's over for good

the spectacularly refined chap

13 years

I remember when news of this originally broke and their claims looked like they may have some credence. I was discussing it with a friend in the pub.

Since then: Been barred from that pub. Pub has closed. Pub has been demolished. Something else has been built in its place. The friend I was talking to has died.

When you connect it to your own life like that, man, that's a long time.

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Raspberry Pi 3 to sport Wi-Fi, Bluetooth LE – first photos emerge

the spectacularly refined chap

No, shipmate, they got widely panned for claiming to be a competitor to the Pi while being THREE TIMES THE PRICE. In other words, Intel completely missed the point.

That was an association made here, not by Intel. Which is actually my point - everything remotely similar gets viewed through the prism of the Pi regardless of whether they target the same audience or whether a Pi is even capable of the task in question.

Really, a different class of product comes in at a different price point. This surprises you?

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the spectacularly refined chap

You mean like Intel's Minnowboards? They got widely panned here, seemingly for not being a Rapsberry Pi. And coming from Intel. Knee jerk reactions aside, they are actually quite useful boards if real amounts of I/O are your thing.

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Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap

the spectacularly refined chap

Which are not silent, especially when filled out with a few hard drives which is their main purpose of those machines. I have a couple here and love them for what they do, but while they're reasonably unobtrusive, fanless they ain't.

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the spectacularly refined chap

Re: How about

I recently got myself a Raspberry Pi to play with. Apparently, it runs Ubuntu and has everything your non-tecchie friends want out of a desktop PC - Chrome web browser and email.

For the same money or less than a Pi you can pick up a silent thin client system, with case, power supply and storage as part of the deal. PC based and all you need to is hook up monitor, keyboard and mouse. Used of course, but those things tend not to break. Overall performance is broadly equivalent to a Pi depending on exactly what you get and that's been possible for years.

The article instead discusses general purpose workstations as a new development. How powerful you can go is ever increasing but it isn't entirely new. The system I'm typing this on is getting on for 18 months old and while it isn't ultra powerful - 8GB, J1900 quad core, 240 GB SSD - it certainly isn't too shabby for anything but gaming. Completely silent apart from when the optical drive is in use. And no, that didn't really cost a premium - £300 or thereabouts, of which £70 or so was that ridiculously expensive "do everything" optical drive.

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90% of SSL VPNs are ‘hopelessly insecure’, say researchers

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: Clickbait.

Quite apart from the fact that they are far to close to advertorials much of the time, the huge conflict of interest from the company whom is carrying out the "research" automatically makes me very wary about the quality. It will call into question the very methodology used and whether there is intentional or unintentional bias just for starters.

Personally I know enough about the methodology to know not to trust it - almost invariably these reports based on automated scans and tickbox marking get a "fuck that" response. There is no reference to what is being secured which is pretty important when determining if a given level of security is sufficient. Demanding that everything has military-grade encryption regardless of need is idiotic, it wastes a lot of time and distracts from protecting the important stuff. No-one has yet broken SHA-1 for example so presenting its use as a clear and present weakness is hyperbole.

Then you have opinion presented as fact with no knowledge of the context. Here the flaw is "untrusted" certs which is used to mean self-signed types. If your own organisation uses it own keys and distributes them to it own systems that is perfectly sensible and perfectly secure. A scan can't detect that so the conclusion is misleading.

End result - a paper from people who don't know what they are talking about and applying it to systems that they also know nothing about. This paper is only fit for cleaning the author's arse after the emission of so much excess verbiage.

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Your xenophobia is killing us, Silicon Valley warns US Congress

the spectacularly refined chap

Re: @Gordon 10 -- No surprises there then

Fuck me - are you serious? Is that really how you address a war veteran from your own country?

Yeah.. never let what someone has actually said get in the way of knee-jerk reaction. If you had considered what he said you would have noticed he never claimed to be American, indeed he specifically stated he was an outsider commenting on US attitudes.

Next point, did the US lose Vietnam? Yes. Was is morally justifiable? Not really, it was essentially US interventionism with no moral case to back it up. Should he really distort reality to pay lip service to a foreign veteran? Even within the US I would hope people are able to distinguish abstract support for the soldiers of one's country with evaluating the legitimacy of their campaign: the instant the US goes to war they are not automatically right - time and again their motives have been questionable at best.

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Official: Seagate notebook drive has shingles

the spectacularly refined chap

Strggling to see an appreciable market

Clearly, you are not going to want one as a system drive so that's primarily two drive laptops, small market. The only other place would be to forget the mobile element and stick them in 2.5" arrays, but those tend to be performance-orientated rather than bulk storage (otherwise you'd go for 3.5" drives) so that leaves you with people who need some performance and some bulk store in the same physically small unit, again must be a fairly small market.

I'm struggling to see why you would even want a lappie drive this big. Most business machines still don't need 200GB yet alone 2TB, particularly on a laptop where the risk of loss is such you want to control precisely what is on the drive. The relentless torrenter home user who wants everything on one machine, possibly, but again you come back to the lack of performance for a system drive especially if they're a gamer.

That leaves... ?

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