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* Posts by Stoneshop

1540 posts • joined 8 Oct 2009

BOFH: The current value of our IT ASSets? Minus eleventy-seven...

Stoneshop
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Mushroom

The Asset that Came Back

I'm a bit hazy on the details, but a colleague related the following story.

Scene: military base, the electronics repair shop. The asset list disagrees with the actual content of the repair shop regarding a highly valuable and rather classified device. Of course the discrepancy is such that the list says there should be 1 (one), and reality says there's 0 (zero). A search is conducted to try and rectify this, but to no effect. Another search suffers the same fate: the device is simply not to be found. As the device is rather classified, several people are most unhappy.

There follows a multi-week period in which papers are shuffled, signed, counter-signed, sent off to be signed at a higher level, stamped, signed again, buried in soft peat, etcetera. This process manages to result in bringing the asset list in line with reality. And there was much rejoicing.

Several months pass. Then, miraculously, the device returns from its nowhere-to-be-found state, threatening to cause a discrepancy with the asset list once again, and potentially have even more people be even more unhappy. This, the repair shop's CO decides, should not happen. Oh, no. So, the small band of people who know of the existence of the rather classified device that officially doesn't exist anymore went to work. This involved an angle grinder, an oxyacetylene torch, a tracked vehicle, and finally two pits and a serious amount of thermite.

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Pay to play: The hidden cost of software defined everything

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: Not Always a Bad Thing - But Only if You Know in Advance

No! Make sure your supply contract specifies what you expect and require, BEFORE you sign up to the deal.

I've seen several cases of "this gear was exactly right for what we did when we bought it a year ago, but now that we're having more customers shoving more stuff at us to service/fix/tweak, it becomes increasingly limited unless we're able to add functions x, y and z. If the manufacturer can't add it, and it wasn't in the specs back then, we'll have to buy new kit"

Buying a crystal ball first to divine what your future requirements will be tends to go down badly with the average beancounter; buying overspecced gear tends to suffer the same fate.

Beancounter haruspicy is equally bad at predicting future developments, but has the advantage that the equipment budget can be better matched to the requirements as expected by the techies.

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Euro banks will rip out EVERYTHING and buy proper backend systems ... LOL, fooled ya

Stoneshop
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Re: Financial IT spending

It took millions and years of effort to replace, and there were operational hiccups on the way.

They should just have called ..... SuperJake

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Finally, a practical use for 3D printing: Helping surgeons rehearse

Stoneshop
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Thumb Up

Re: Goth friends

My own skull, topped and hollowed

And your brain casing replaced with a 3D printed copy?

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Now that's FIRE WIRE: HP recalls 6 MILLION burn-risk laptop cables

Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: yet more numpties

inductive heating.

Go calculate the inductance of a coiled power cord, the resulting reactance at 50 (or 60) Hz, then the resultant power loss at (being generous) 1 amp of current through that "coil". Take note of how that power loss only partially occurs in the actual power cable, the rest being induced in ferrometal parts happening to be close. Compare this to the amount of resistive warming due to weedy and non-copper cable cores.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Flat, 3 core, single insulated, vs round, 3 core, double insulated?

I've never seen anything like, and nor would I want anything like, the cable pictured.

I have. In datacenter racks configured by HP. Somewhat beefier, but still singly-insulated, cable with C13/C14 connectors.

(and presumably no fuse in the picture to protect the wires).

That's something you'll find only in BS 1363 plugs, which need them because of this "ring mains: thingy

.

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Experimental hypersonic SUPERMISSILE destroyed 4 SECONDS after US launched it

Stoneshop
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Re: Why?

'terrorist' attacks - the very thing it's supposed to defend against.

[citation needed]

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Best shot: Coffee - how do you brew?

Stoneshop
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At home I was using a Senseo for the first morning cuppa, until I noticed I usually wasn't that dead that I couldn't operate a normal drip filter.

The Bialetti is used mostly for camping: no problem using it on an open-fire stove.

There's a vacuum pot (a bit more lab glassware-like than the Cona), made in France, in the hackerspace, but it's not used very often.

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Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: The best brew: Melitta Coffee Maker, Single Cup Pour-Over Brewer with Travel Mug,

I had the Aerobie. DUMPED IT!! It was a pain in the arse.

I very much doubt that that is the right way to use it.

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BOFH: We CAN do that with a Raspberry Pi, but think of the BODIES

Stoneshop
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Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

Yes, except that the 555 is realy not a good choice for longer duration delays. Too much drift on the R or the C.

You could sell it as an auto-adjusting delay (and auto-adjust the billed development and build cost) to the company's beancounters.

Seriously, 15 minutes is no problem with decent quality components and the 7555 (CMOS version)

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: If you're going to worry about their tech selection...

Sounds like they'd only need a handful of input lines, so to be REALLY pedantic

a 555 would be all they need. And a diode for each PIR sensor, as a discrete OR gate.

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Silicon Valley jolted by magnitude 6.1 quake – its biggest in 25 years

Stoneshop
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Coat

Bunch of fanbois

stomping their feet after hearing of possible iPhone 6 delays?

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Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run

Stoneshop
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Re: Unideal

If the diode + capacitor solution turns out to be insufficient, I'd get a step-up converter to boost the battery voltage to 12..18V, then an large-ish cap (4700uF, 25V), then a step-down converter to feed the Pixhawk at its required voltage.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Unideal

Supercaps are not really capable of delivering large currents; they're meant as a buffer for stuff that draws little current (like RTCs and CMOS storage) for which you might not want to use a primary button cell (because of replacement issues) or rechargeable cells (additional charge circuitry, degradation).

Depending on the current drawn by the Pixhawk, slapping a reasonably large cap on its logic power supply line together with a series diode, so that when the servos cause the battery voltage to drop it won't propagate to the Pixhawk, would be my try to fix this.

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Cops baffled by riddle of CHICKEN who crossed ROAD

Stoneshop
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Re: anyone who puts other motorists at risk by slowing

which resulted in the death of two following motorcyclists

That's not solely her fault (and I am a motorcyclist). Following too close so that you don't have time to react to a vehicle suddenly stopping, then brake or swerve to avoid collision is noone else's fault but the person who's following too close. Sure, on a motorway it's usually a steady flow of traffic in more or less the same direction, but anything can happen to disrupt that, and it behooves anyone (not just motorcyclists, BTW) to be aware of that.

What, in any case, is the number of ducks you can safely mow down without stopping, and at what speed? Had one taken flight and hit the windscreen, chances are she would have slammed the brakes, with quite likely the same (or worse) outcome. What if it had been a goose or swan instead of a duck? The average driver would brake, doesn't matter if that's before or after hitting it. A deer? Moose? What if she'd had an engine failure? Or a truck slightly ahead suddenly blowing tyre shrapnel in the direction of her car? Just a number of reasons why not keeping distance can be rather unhealthy.

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Stoneshop
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Re: 20 foot high tower of feathers

Years ago on holiday, on a remote country road, my Dad's car hit a chicken just as we passed a small cottage

Mate of mine hit a chicken with his sidecar rig. Presenting it to the farmer's wife, uttering apologies, she replied laconically "Oh, that's chicken soup tonight then."

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Stoneshop
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Boffin

Re: What?!

I once hit a pigeon with 2 Class 37 locos

I take it you hit it with the first one, with the other and the rest of the train just supplying the necessary momentum to offset the pigeon's impact.

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Chinese hackers spied on investigators of Flight MH370 - report

Stoneshop
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Holmes

Re: the day after....

And this hacker group managed to conceive the attack and launch it in that timeframe

Probably a matter of the payload being there already (probably in several variants), crafting a plausible-looking carrier pdf (a press release in this case), identifying who to send it to, selecting some compromised mail server and a receiving system (both available in abundance), then adding it all together, stir-frying it briefly and serving it up. Shouldn't take more than a couple of hours for a small group with the right level of organisation.

The one thing that's rather baffling, as has been mentioned already, is what they hoped to find after just one day.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: "An IP address in china"

I'd like to see the Received headers

That will tell you which mailservers it touched, and where it was injected. And then only if none of those machines was compromised. It won't tell you who injected it.

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Linux Foundation says many Linux admins and engineers are certifiable

Stoneshop
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WTF?

Re: No googling?

the good thing about RedHat certification is that you have to sit an all-day practical test to prove you can actually do stuff.

The bad thing is that they won't even tell you what you did wrong, even just globally, like "Questions i, j, k - OK, questions m, n - NOK, questions o, p - partially OK". I failed an RHCSA by an utterly surprising 50 points, given that I had all questions but one (and another one partially) answered and working correctly, unless I'd misinterpreted those questions and the required end situation.

That total lack of feedback didn't exactly spur me on to retake that exam.

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Take the shame: Microsofties ADMIT to playing Internet Explorer name-change game

Stoneshop
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Spyglass

Obviously

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Nuts to your poncey hipster coffees, I want a TESLA ELECTRO-CAFE

Stoneshop
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Megaphone

Re: I feel like I'm living in an alternative reality sometimes.

so far East you can clearly receive Belorussian radio.

You mean those broadcasts that you can listen to anywhere in the world, using only the fillings in your teeth?

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Stoneshop
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Re: If you want a proper coffee

Raw beans smell like lentils.

I wonder if how they'd be in a soup.

There's this image in my head now where Neil is tasting his "lentil" dish where Vyvyan has replaced them with raw coffee beans.

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Stoneshop
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Re: meanwhile in the real world

Crappy chicory mix which tastes like dry cleaning fluid? Luxury! It could be Mellow Birds...

And you have to lick it off the road from between the poisoned gravel and then work 26 hours a day?

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YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator

Stoneshop
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Re: It's that featureless mouse thing again!

For the further edification of Luddites, Apple have instructional videos built into the mouse's Preference settings that show you how to use every gesture.

Which you need the mouse for to navigate to.

I see a bit of a problem right there.

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Stoneshop
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Windows

Re: so just like...

>why the fuck would anyone design a drive train so that it was even possible to mis-install a single part--let alone the flywheel counter-weight--incorrectly at all?

In several cases Honda appears to have made some last-minute design changes only after Friday Afternoon Sake Hour. Resulting in parts, from two similar motorcycle models, that look identical but aren't for no discernible reason.

That said, I once mounted the flywheel on my BMW boxer 1/5 rotation off. To its credit, it even ran acceptably with the ignition advance cranked all the way to compensate for this (which resulted in about 20 degrees late ignition). But those engines, I've witnessed, also run OK on diesel.

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Time to move away from Windows 7 ... whoa, whoa, who said anything about Windows 8?

Stoneshop
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Re: Linux maybe, but OSX.. You'd need to be off your tree.

Also, you can perform an in-place upgrade of a distro without rebooting - your new kernel will get picked up on the next reboot

Sure, your in-memory kernel won't care that the bootloader will use a different one the next reboot, and won't care either if that reboot never happens; but to use the new one you have to get that one into memory and running. So then why install a new kernel if you're not planning to reboot shortly afterward?

And I'm not going to do fresh installs for minor kernel upgrades, but I do want to apply them for security raisins.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Linux maybe, but OSX.. You'd need to be off your tree.

If you're using Ksplice, there's no reboot for kernel patches.

An Oracle product now. Thanks, but no thanks.

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Stoneshop
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Re: But this has four!!

Mine is a pretty damn expensive (for such an item) four-options pen (black, red, pencil and PDA stylus) because I dislike carrying separate items for each of the functions while on the move. Same reason I carry a Leatherman, not a toolkit with the set of tools that the Leatherman covers. And in both cases I the tools I carry do a fair job of filling my requirements, taking their limitations into account, while on the other had not giving up at the first hurdle.

In my workshop I have all the separate tools I'd need, and at my desk I've got all the writing implements I'd need.

What all this has to do with OSes is unclear. Oh wait. Linux on laptop and home server (and VMS on the real computers), and stripped-down Linuxes on the Pis and BBB.

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Stoneshop
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Re: How many zeros?

If the so called "free software" movement products are so good, how come all those companies out there have not taken it up already?

They do.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Linux maybe, but OSX.. You'd need to be off your tree.

[linux] you can upgrade the OS without even having to reboot..

If you get a new kernel, it's reboot time. No ifs and buts.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Deaf to users...

And, like it or not, Linux will not be the beneficiary. If that was the case, the Linux percentage would have hit 95% when Vista appeared and was revealed as the disaster that it was.

At that point there was no incentive to move off 2000/XP and (therefore to Linux to avoid Vista) at all. Only M$ marketing blah.

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EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder

Stoneshop
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Go

Re: PDP

We've got a couple of authentic PDPs they can lease for the time being.

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AMD's first 64-bit ARM cores star in ... Heatless in Seattle*

Stoneshop
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Go

Re: Oooh an SCP with its own OS ...

Just slightly better: VAXELN on a MicroVAX

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Oracle Database 12c's data redaction security smashed live on stage

Stoneshop
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Headmaster

Re: Also, newspeak

Redact is the right term here. Look up both words, and compare the definitions.

Applying the censorship label to cases where some people are not allowed to see some parts of a dataset that other people can see in full is devaluing the term.

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Cracker takes control of 200 rooms in Chinese hotel

Stoneshop
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Re: Try reading the standard...

KNX addressing works on the basis of individual and group addresses

I know. I'm using KNX at home.

If you wanted a physically isolated KNX network in each room, you'd need to add a power supply as well

Nope. You need one humongous power supply (or a couple), and a set of chokes for each physical segment.

. So to guess the address of a different function, you simply need to change the address in the packet

Read the article. He changed the IP address he was communicating with, but maybe this has been mangled in the article.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Try reading the standard...

Gateways (depending on manufacturer) have limited functions to restrict access - however, to avoid this hotel's situation from arising, you'd need one gateway per room, and isolated KNX segments.

What I read from his story is that the hotel indeed has one gateway per room, or a device that emulates one and does some IP address to KNX address mapping. Note that he changes the last octet of the transmitted IP address to control another room. That means he's communicating with another gateway device, which apparently has the same range of KNX addresses behind it..

For a 200-room hotel a single gateway would be sufficient, even at 8 KNX addresses for sensors and actors per room If they want a bit more flexibility, and a setup usable across hotels of several sizes with up to several hundred rooms per floor, one gateway per floor would still be fine. In which cases the control app on the iPad takes its range of KNX devices to be controlled from the IP address associated with the room. Without further security lockdown both cases would still be open to the kind of hacking as was demonstrated here, though, but now requiring modifying the target KNX address instead of the IP address.

In the case at hand, the hotel would need to start using VLANs so that the room's KNX gateway can only be seen from that particular room's access point, or the dedicated iPad.

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DON'T PANIC! Satellite comms hacking won't be able to crash an aircraft

Stoneshop
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Re: "It seems terrorists aren't going to be crashing planes with a computer any time soon."

Which tend to be controlled by computers, FWIW.

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Stalwart hatchback gets a plug-in: Volkswagen e-Golf

Stoneshop
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Re: No spare wheel?

What happens when you get a puncture then?

<mode="Captain Obvious">You get a flat. </mode>

When was the last time you had a puncture? Mine was eight years ago. On a motorcycle. The one before that was also on a motorcycle. And the one before that too. Note that motorcycles aren't known for their spare-tyre-carrying-capability. So that's carrying a can of gunk (which are usually shit) and a tyre pump, or a phone to call roadside assistance with. Who tend to start with a can of gunk too, only a somewhat better grade of gunk, but they also have a compressor to top up the tyre after the gunk has done its job. These options are equally available to the spare-wheel-less car driver.

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: We are all going to love...

If you're referring to Audi, that'd be four rings. Or would every E-Golf be tailgated by the International Olympic Committee?

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Call off the firing squad: HP grants stay of execution to OpenVMS

Stoneshop
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Re: VMS Software Inc.

I don't know if folks remember me

Sure, though we never met in person.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Metaphor

I'm thinking that's what the "serial porting" reference meant. ICBW.

"zacktley.

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Stoneshop
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Re: The whole 9 yards

All that would surely have changed for the Alpha ports, though?

From what I got to hear, for the VAX to Alpha port a lot of work was in getting rid of VAX-specific features (which must have been everywhere; after all, they were developed as close as can be), and aiming for architecture independence, but the Itanium port wasn't quite that straightforward after all because of the way it dealt with smaller-than-64-bit data structures. But dealing with that is primarily a task of the compiler and linker as long as you're not writing in assembler or doing an OpenSSL with in-memory data.

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Stoneshop
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Re: The whole 9 yards

I got mine signed by Ruth Goldenberg!

$ SET ENVY /COLOR=GREEN

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Stoneshop
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Re: Metaphor

MacOS/OSX.

MacOS went from 68k to Power, and OSX went from Power to X86, but the only thing OSX and MacOS share is that they're written by Apple (plus maybe a few minor bits, and OSX borrowing heavily from FreeBSD), so close, but no cigar there.

Windows.

That would be NT only, and while it was ported from x86 to PPC and Alpha, those were parallel ports, not serial, like VMS (VAX->Alpha->IA64).

Linux

Again, originated on x86, ported to several architectures, but they're all one port away from the original.

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Stoneshop
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Re: Legacy only

VMS is a solid system but the trouble is it is too different from the mainstream now, so it is a lot of extra work if you want code that runs on it and also on Windows and *nix.

Why would one want that? VMS may be niche now, but if your requirements fit that niche, it's better to fully use its features instead of aiming for some compatibility with *nix, let alone Windows.

And there's one area where VMS is still miles ahead of any other OS: clustering. It's been part of the OS for three decades, not some relatively recent development that's been bolted on, as Linux has (in various flavours, neither of which fully covers the VMS cluster feature set)

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Stoneshop
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FAIL

Re: Jealousy reigns

Alpha was killed by Compaq, instigated, they say, by HP, who wanted Compaq, would get VMS with it, and wanted to unify on the Industry Standard (harhar) Itanic.

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Hacker crew nicks '1.2 billion passwords' – but WHERE did they all come from?

Stoneshop
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Flame

Re: Can someone please explain

teaching security from the outset to developers, and then companies that employ them insisting that the concept is baked in to EVERYTHING they write

The biggest problem is that developers rarely face the consequences of shoddy programming; not even getting called at oh-dark thirty when the application they've cobbled together shits itself and falls over.

I've got several solutions to this problem, the severity of which can be selected according to whether it's some application that just should do something mundane in the back of a datacentre, or a large, internet-facing setup that carries sensitive data, but I fear that the UNCHR, Amnesty and the RSPCA will object.

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Top Ten 802.11ac routers: Time for a Wi-Fi makeover?

Stoneshop
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Re: Fritzbox DECT

Like it says on the tin, it's got a DECT base station built in which you can use if you have phone service on your incoming line (and if you don't, you can still use them as your home intercom/PBX). The FritzBox also allows hooking up ISDN phones even if you have POTS service.

If I'm not mistaken it can also do VOIP for the PBX, but I've not used that function yet on mine (FritzBox 7340)

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Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers

Stoneshop
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Coat

How do they know it's them?

In February 2013, Mandiant identified Comment Crew as People's Liberation Army Unit 61398.

and not the Army for the Liberation of People, or the People's Liberation Front, or the Popular Liberation Army?

(splitters)

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