* Posts by Richard 12

2284 posts • joined 16 Jun 2009

Government regulation will clip coders' wings, says Bruce Schneier

Richard 12
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Re: I perfectly agree with Schneier

The inductors needed to attenuate powerline networking are really huge, and so very expensive.

Back before there was an EU standard written, we did some testing and it turned out that the only affordable way to block powerline is the local substation or pole-top transformer.

Which actually doesn't work anyway because the radiated emissions are such that it's basically wifi.

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England just not windy enough for wind farms, admits renewables boss

Richard 12
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Re: As I see it

Tesla's battery is a clever marketing solution to a manufacturing yield problem.

Manufacturing batteries is very expensive, and quite a few of the ones you make don't work very well.

Previously, the bad ones would be dismantled, recycled and remanufactured into a new battery, at great expense with the hope that it'll be good this time around.

Now they simply put it in a different box and bolt it to your wall.

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Richard 12
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It's worse than that

In much of the UK, the domestic water pressure comes from electric pumps either directly or by pumping water uphill into reservoirs and water towers.

So such turbines would actually be wasting energy by making those work harder.

In places where the pressure is such for it not to matter, more energy would be freed up by turning the pumps down a bit.

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Capitalize 'Internet'? AP says no – Vint Cerf says yes

Richard 12
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Re: words such as parliament and queen

There are only two queens on this planet.

Queen Elizabeth II, and Queen Margrethe II.

So The Queen is already rather disambiguated, as nobody other than the Danish has ever heard of Margrethe.

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Computerised stock management? Nah, let’s use walkie-talkies

Richard 12
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Re: Stock Control

I still think "Banana Ripener" is a much better job title.

And yes, it is a thing!

http://www.simplyhired.com/search?q=banana+ripener

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Smartphone sales falling

Richard 12
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Idiot analysts

Once almost everyone has one, sales will flatten to the replacement rate.

This is obvious!

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You deleted the customer. What now? Human error - deal with it

Richard 12
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Re: Ah... human error..

I assume this dates from before real source control, when at best, only file-control tools existed.

Like VSS.

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In-flight movies via BYOD? Just what I always wan... argh no we’re all going to die!

Richard 12
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Re: Bank Hols.

Yes they are, and they are good. Very good.

Nice one Dave.

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Surface Book nightmare: Microsoft won't fix 'Sleep of Death' bug

Richard 12
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Re: "Sleep", "Hibernate", etc. are engineering kludges.

Cold booting Linux can be done in under half a second - if the hardware is known and immutable.

Windows can also go quite fast, though nowhere near as fast as Linux.

A lot of the time spent during boot of a modern OS is hardware detection - the OS is checking to see if anything has changed or is new, so it can seamlessly bring it up or handle "missing" components in a better way than a black screen of death.

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Richard 12
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Re: 30 day warranty ?

In the European Union there is a law that requires them to repair, replace or refund any consumer product with a manufacturing defect.

There is no time limit.

During the first 6 months, all faults are assumed to be manufacturing defects, unless obviously otherwise.

This is one of the reasons the EU is great.

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One ad-free day: Three UK to block adverts across network in June

Richard 12
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Don't think so

It is effectively a slightly broken DNS.

There is no interception, your mobile browser asks Three where it can find the advert and Three says "Hell if I know"

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The underbelly of simulation science: replicating the results

Richard 12
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Re: Here's a simple experiment...

Indeed, compilers must be 100% deterministic, because otherwise they fundamentally could never comply with the standard for their language.

However, two different compilers - inc. versions of compiler or compiler settings - probably won't give the same result as each other as they will favour different optimisations when multiple are permitted, or use a different implementation of the appropriate standard libraries.

So if your code relies on undefined behaviour, it can and will blow up in your face the moment you update or change compiler.

For a great example of undefined behaviour: in C++, "char" is not 8 bits.

For others - illegal operations are not allowed, and thus the code path that results in an illegal operation cannot happen, thus can be optimised out of the binary. It can't happen, so why waste space?

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Richard 12
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Re: Can I just say...

They're just falling with style.

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Shakes on a plane: How dangerous is turbulence?

Richard 12
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AAIB reports are freely available

I can thoroughly recommend them as in-flight entertainment.

Though you may find yourself doing a pre-flight inspection as you board.

https://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports

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Google Chrome deletes Backspace

Richard 12
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Re: Don't care about backspace

Steve Jobs!

Apple keyboards have been slowly losing keys for years.

Eventually they'll only have the keys 0-9, A, E, I, L, O, P, S and X.

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Inside Electric Mountain: Britain's biggest rechargeable battery

Richard 12
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Re: Don't gloat yet awhile...

The UK might be 230VAC nominal, but almost everywhere is actually 240-245VAC.

230VAC +10% -5%

A lot of new builds are tapped high to allow for sag without retapping.

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Is uBeam the new Theranos?

Richard 12
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Re: Worlds best tranducer, Worlds best microphone

To be fair, they wouldn't care about distortion or even reproduction of more than a single harmonic series.

But even then, the concept makes radio-beamed power look incredibly efficient.

And air-core transformers like science fiction!

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Microsoft boots fake fix-it search ads

Richard 12
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Re: I don't know why people are so fucking stupid

A lot of idiot marketers advertise using "Search for X" as the way to find more/order the widget.

So it seems likely that people who would buy such things will just search.

On top of that, all three popular browsers will search if you make a typo.

Almost all the non-technical people I know just Google for the website they want. Even Facebook.

I've seen people Google for Google...

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Supernova bubble clocked at 19,000,000 km/h

Richard 12
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Re: 19,000,000 km/h ?

The Historical Documents.

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This is what a root debug backdoor in a Linux kernel looks like

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Malware scan stalled misconfigured med software, mid-procedure

Richard 12
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Re: Holy fuck

I'm utterly stunned.

Our users pay more attention to machine and network security, and the worst that could happen if they screw up is that somebody has an epileptic fit!

Or it goes very, very dark.

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You can always rely on the Ancient Ones to cock things up

Richard 12
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Re: Washing machine anecdote

Building regulations might se onerous and excessively prescriptive, but in most cases there are really good reasons.

(Except Part P, which is what happens when a politician's family suffers a tragedy.)

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'I thought my daughter clicked on ransomware – it was the damn Windows 10 installer'

Richard 12
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Re: Forgive me for not understanding how this happened

Windows 7 doesn't have an administration account. (That can be logged into locally)

It has accounts that can elevate applications to admin - similar to sudoers.

By default, every user except the Guest account is able to elevate - unless you know how to turn that off.

So why be surprised that almost everyone uses the default configuration?

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Have Microsoft-hosted email? Love using Live Mail 2012? Bad news

Richard 12
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Reaping the whirlwind

They invented their own protocol for mail and calendar sync, and now don't want to support it anymore.

Because now they have a new proprietary protocol.

How long before that one dies?

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Microsoft: Why we tore handy Store block out of Windows 10 Pro PCs

Richard 12
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Meanwhile Apple piss off professional users

Not only is there nowhere to plug in your equipment (without carrying a million little dangle adapters and unplugging power), but they deliberately broke their USB stack.

Twice.

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iOS apps must do IPv6

Richard 12
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So much for Internet of Things

None of them do IPv6, they barely do IPv4.

So there can be no "private network" IoT control apps on iOS after this cutoff.

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Paying a PoS*, USA? Your chip-and-PIN means your money's safer...

Richard 12
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In my experience, all stolen cards are used

When I got pickpocketed, all the cards in my wallet were used.

One at a cashpoint (presumably a shoulder-surfer, I'm more careful now), the rest were used at a couple of shops.

This was before online shopping became a big thing.

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Barclays.net Bank Holiday outage leaves firms unable to process payments

Richard 12
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Per affected customer

That should concentrate the mind

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Xiaomi takes aim at Apple, Qualcomm

Richard 12
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Re: Under $50

A friend of mine has one, but he's a self-confessed gadget freak.

He uses his to turn the lights on and off at home.

Usually while he's at work, much to the annoyance of whichever family members happen to be home at the time.

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Germans stick traffic lights in pavements for addicts who can't take their eyes off phones

Richard 12
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Re: useless for the colour blind, who use the layout of the lights

In order to comply with disability legislation, you need to cover the worst plausible case.

Color deficiency is indeed a sliding scale, from 2 macadam problems up to a total lack of one or all types of cone.

While full colour blindness is rare, it does exist and must be allowed for by public design. You can't make it impossible for someone to drive just because they can't distinguish the colours.

I'm glad that two of you just decided to assume I'm an idiot rather than read the actual words I used, or pay attention to the relevant legislation.

I had rather expected better here. Truly, DevOps melts your brain.

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Richard 12
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On the gantry?

So useless for the colour blind, who use the layout of the lights.

Personally I'd be happy I'd my local council/TFL would put the light modules back into the traffic cluster, instead of leaving them dangling for weeks.

Looks disturbing to say the least.

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What a difference a year makes: ICO tele-spam fines break £2m barrier

Richard 12
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The fine will have been levied after the election, so too late to make a difference.

It takes prison time to bar an MP from sitting.

I suspect that the other candidates will have a field day with this nugget come the next election.

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Facebook clickbait cull

Richard 12
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See interesting articles with this one weird trick

I'll believe it when I see it.

So far I've not seen any evidence that Facebook takes any action regarding outright illegal scams, let alone the common irritating clickbait.

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FBI's Tor pedo torpedoes torpedoed by United States judge

Richard 12
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Re: To be Fair

Given other warrants and court orders the FBI have gained, I suspect that they asked this particular magistrate because they knew that one would say yes.

And didn't ask the correct judges because they were unsure of which answer they would give.

Otherwise we're expected to assume outright stupidity on the part of the FBI.

Go on FBI, are you lawbreakers or idiots?

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Microsoft completes its Skype bot invasion with Web, OS X versions

Richard 12
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Re: Not having it update for Linux is good then

Group calls are mostly broken on all platforms. Even when we're all on the same version and Windows 7, about half the time it just doesn't work.

Skype has gone to the dogs and been chewed up.

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URL shorteners reveal your trip to strip club, dash to disease clinic – research

Richard 12
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One begs to differ

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BOFH: If you liked it then you should've put the internet in it

Richard 12
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Re: Tracking

Oh, the fun of timed events.

Whenever a client asks for them, I have to remind them that a timed event happens at the time they designated and will always happen, unless they manually tell it not wait/cancel that day.

Then I ask exactly how they want to do the wait/cancel.

It's important to get that in writing, especially the "We don't need that" comments...

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Line by line, how the US anti-encryption bill will kill our privacy, security

Richard 12
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Re: Unwanted consequences

Airbus would be fine - they're European!

Boeing would be utterly screwed.

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Look who's here to solve the Internet of Things' security nightmare – hey, it's Uncle Sam

Richard 12
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Re: Stricy liability would help

"Reasonable" is what you can convince the jury.

I like the phrase because it allows for things that are designed to last a few hours (light-up wristbands for a concert) and also things that should last for decades, like your HVAC.

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Richard 12
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Stricy liability would help

If you sell an internet-connected device, you are liable to provide security updates for the reasonable lifetime of the product.

Any published vulnerabilities must be corrected in a reasonable period of time, not exceeding six months of their publication.

Withdrawal of Internet servers required for significant operation of the connected device within its reasonable lifetime shall require a full refund of the original purchase price and payment for the disposal and recycling of the device, as the device is no longer fit for purpose.

This shall be reduced if the complete source code, build tools and special update hardware required are provided under a free open licence to everyone who has ever and will ever own the device, so they can modify it to work with an alternate server.

I think that should kill the industry pretty dead.

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Dear Windows, OS X folks: Update Flash now. Or kill it. Killing it works

Richard 12
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Trust? Adobe?!

You're funny

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Nest bricks Revolv home automation hubs, because evolution

Richard 12
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Are they legally allowed to do that?

Oh yes, they probably can do that in the USA, where there are no consumer rights laws.

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Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

Richard 12
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Actually, not quite the case

The non-Embedded versions of Windows need to talk to an authentication server to "activate".

So if those central servers went down, then it would very quickly become impossible to bring up a new Windows computer.

Or fix one that decided it had been changed "too much".

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Intel's Broadwell Xeon E5-2600 v4 chips: So what's in it for you, smartie-pants coders

Richard 12
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Re: 3.5

Not going to happen in semiconductors.

The ~4 GHz limit is due to the physics of how the clock is distributed around the chip.

As process size shrinks, the smaller physical distance between gates reduces latency (linearly), however interference increases (inverse square law) and thus Bad Things happen.

If your workload really can't be done in parallel then you're stuck.

However, it is very unlikely to be genuinely true. Very few workloads are totally serial, and so you can usually find some sections that are independent.

If you find it runs noticeably slower when running in parallel then your architecture for doing it is almost certainly incorrect, and is blocking threads way too often.

At worst it should be slightly slower due to thread context switch.

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Richard 12
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Re: 3.5

Processor design hit a MHz barrier years ago, at approx. 4GHz.

If you can't make your workload multicore then you are never going to go faster on electronic semiconductor hardware.

Put your effort into finding ways to use those extra cores, because otherwise you will not get more work done per unit time until there is an all-new type of hardware in town.

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Which keys should I press to enable the CockUp feature?

Richard 12
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This is an Intel-specific piece of idiocy

Having rotation as a driver thing was useful in WinXP, but not since then as the rotation became an OS option in Vista.

But Intel, in their eternal stupidity, not only kept the driver option but also the keyboard shortcut to do it.

One of several reasons why I hate Intel Integrated Graphics.

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Legion of demons found in ancient auto medical supply dispensing cabinets

Richard 12
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That's not the reason

The reason is that the product pre-release life cycle is incredibly long.

Medical products go through a very lengthy period of pre-release certification, and so it can easily be five years after development began before it even ships.

So even if you start at the bleeding edge, it's way behind by the time it first ships.

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Richard 12
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Re: Wonderful options available...

Or use the Embedded version in your embedded systems, as that is supported for far longer.

Windows XP Embedded is still supported.

That said, I have seen a lot of embedded systems using the desktop version...

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Apple's fruitless rootless security broken by code that fits in a tweet

Richard 12
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Re: No magic bullet

you may have a system where root needs to administer the actual computer, but you wouldn't want the root user to have full control over the system; for example you may have sensative information on there, which the systems administrator may not be authorised to read.

Permissions cannot solve that, ever.

If a user has full control over the computer, then that user can always look at the content of any file they want - worst case, they can go look at the raw bytes on the disk.

The only way to secure data against unauthorised access is to encrypt it and keep the decryption key secret - and not on the computer.

That has no bearing on what "root" or "admin" privileges mean.

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That one phone the FBI wanted unlocked? Here are 63 more, says ACLU

Richard 12
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Perjury is a crime

When does the FBI legal team face prosecution?

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