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* Posts by Tom Samplonius

164 posts • joined 28 Jan 2010

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NORKS hacker corps reaches 5,900 sworn cyber soldiers - report

Tom Samplonius

Re: Out of curiosity ...

"3. Because they are constantly threatening war - they've declared war on the US twice this year. One day they might actually follow through, and then we all get an entertaining show."

More correctly, they've threatened to start fighting. An armistice was signed in 1953, which is just an agreement to stop fighting. North Korea and the US have been in a state of war since 1950, as no peace treaty has ever been agreed to.

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Boeing to start work on most powerful rocket ... EVER!

Tom Samplonius

Re: Totally wrong type of rocket,

"It would be much better to have more smaller rockets and a reusable crew capsule. Assembling things on orbit in multiple launches would give more flight time for Astronauts and experience in orbital assembly."

Because a manned mars mission would still need orbital assembly too. Food, water and air for about 6 years? Plus, fuel to make the return trip? Plus reserves? Even the biggest rocket in the world is going to have to make a few trips to lift all of that to a decent departure orbit.

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The truth on the Navy carrier debacle? Industry got away with murder

Tom Samplonius

Re: @Ledswinger Hmm@A J Stiles

"After all, we are continually hearing about the "100,000 dead" in Syria. (Without any remotely credible sources, however). But what about the million-plus dead in Iraq? (Plus at least as many wounded or crippled"

And your sources? The Lancet survey reported 654,965 excess deaths related to the war 2003 war. And Lancet survey reported the highest number of deaths of any credible sources. 1+ million is an exaggeration.

"... and 4-5 times as many driven from their homes and, in many cases, their country)."

Sources again? You are saying 4 to 5 million people left the country? The fact that the population of Iraq increased from 25 million in 2002 (just before the war) to 32 million in 2012, shows there was no mass migration.

There is a lot of media exaggeration about Iraq. Its true it is a very violent country. The murder rate in Iraq is 8 per 100K vs 1 per 100K in the UK. So Iraq is 8 times as violent as the UK. But Brazil has a rate of 25 per 100K, just to put that in perspective. So Brazil is over twice as violet as Iraq. Venezuela is 53.

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VC who wants to split California REVEALED as Silk Road Bitcoin slurper

Tom Samplonius

Re: Very puzzling and disturbing.

"These are bitcoins held by Silk Road for the customers/users? Not his personal bitcoins. So by a bit of a stretch, if the CEO of Paypal were charged with similar crimes, Paypal could be shut down and all assets or at least accounts could be seized???"

No. These Bitcoins were offered back to anyone who could prove ownership. No one came forward, and claimed them, so they were sold. This is sale of unclaimed property, not a sale of seized property. There is some more of that that will go for auction after conviction.

Since most of the money moving on the Silk Road was for illegal goods, claiming the funds was probably unwise for most of the owners, just like how money found during drug busts is never claimed either.

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Dropbox used as command and control for Taiwan time bomb

Tom Samplonius

"Seems risky for the perpetrators to me. Wouldn't any legitimate company just shut down the account as soon as a security researcher informed them they were being used as a C&C server?"

That goes for any C&C protocol. But the solution is already known: use lots of C&C servers, located via a hash function. Or lots of Dropbox accounts via a hash account. Dropbox needs just needs to stop xyzlkajsdfklzvc, xyxkawerup, and xyzupweas from signing up free Dropbox accounts.

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MIT boffins build 36 core processor with data-traffic smarts

Tom Samplonius

36 core processor, and the cores are called "tiles"? I've seen this movie already. It's called Tilera and they are shipping these CPUs. Microtik uses them in routers. http://www.tilera.com/products/processors/TILE-Gx_Family

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Verizon to turn LTE faucet back on for Chromebook Pixel users

Tom Samplonius

"So Verizon now says that those customers will get a full two years of service that they were offered. Shouldn't they also give a few extra months as well for the trouble those users went through? Nope, not the Verizon way."

Well, Google has already given the customers $150 in credit, so Verizon should be reimbursing Google for already doing that.

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Code Spaces goes titsup FOREVER after attacker NUKES its Amazon-hosted data

Tom Samplonius

"How lovely, so now disgruntled employee on his/her last day can take down whole company and permanently turn off the lights leaving the building. It's in the cloud folks, and it'll be there until wind blows it away."

And that is not unique to the cloud either. There are many accounts of disgruntled employees scheduling "dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=1m" to run on all in-house servers as they are leaving. Nothing new here. Plus, I've been called into to investigate a hack on in-house servers, where the attackers deliberately wiped Active Directory and IIS metabases on all servers. Because once you get into the domain, you get into all servers on the domain. That company also lost their entire business running on those servers, because while they had backups, reconstructing the configuration took two full days, by which time there were no customers left.

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Psst. We've got 400Gb/s Ethernet working - but don't tell anyone

Tom Samplonius

Re: Way ahead of the access layer

Backbone volume is increasing at least 30% per year.

https://www.sandvine.com/trends/global-internet-phenomena/

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Entire article fails to mention the other factor...

It is fiber optic, so several kilometers at minimum, depending on the output of the transceiver.

Distance is not really a problem, as there are people doing 400Gbps on fiber today for 100+ kilometers, but as 40 discreet 10Gbps channels. This is just standard WDM in use for 10+ years. The only thing special about 400Gbps ethernet, is that the WDM is done at the media layer, so it appears as one logical circuit. Eventually, telcos will be able to chuck all of that WDM gear, and just use ethernet directly on the glass, right off their core routers.

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Oracle shoves aside NoSQL upstarts with smart 'Fabric' tech

Tom Samplonius

Re: Run away

"Quite. SQL Server already does all of this perfectly well - plus a whole lot more, and it might not be free - but its reasonably priced and at least it doesn't involve Oracle..."

I think you mean, more expensive than Oracle. SQL Server prices have increased rapidly, and it is no longer "reasonably priced". Plus, it doesn't actually have this fabric feature either.

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OpenStack Icehouse: IT'S ALIVE! – live migration, that is

Tom Samplonius

Re: Please correct your use of "live migration"

"...you are an idiot for using this term to refer to an upgrade path :)"

Or not. From the Icehouse release notes:

Nova

* Live Migration Support

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Microsoft lobs pre-release Windows Phone 8.1 at devs who dare

Tom Samplonius

"...UK Windows Phone market share of over 11%..."

Feb 2014 was 10.1%, down from 11.3% in Jan 2014, and down from 12% in Aug 2013 (ComTech Survey).

So I'm sure the Lumnia 930 will right the ship.

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Top Secret US payload launched into space successfully

Tom Samplonius

Re: Isn't it funny...

"All the recent American attempts to design new rocket engines (with the shining exception of the SpaceX Merlin) have failed completely."

The US hasn't really attempted to build any new engines. And the US isn't really a singular group. This satellite was launched by the NRO. Normally the NRO used Titan IV Heavies, but they were really expensive. So they switched to the Atlas V, built by the United Launch Alliance. If you have the cash, the United Launch Alliance will put up an Atlas V for anyone. The Atlas V is scalable to various sizes of payloads and different orbits.

However, NASA is pretty close to obtaining a domestic RD-180. Except, until recently, there wasn't any reason to spend the money to do so.

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Isn't it funny...

"That the USA seems to have enough money lying around to launch dozens of spy satellites, but when they want to send a couple of people to the ISS they need the russians to do it for them ?"

Because the "I" in ISS is for International. NASA don't run the ISS. NASA has been kicking in about 40% of the ISS budget, which is a lot given how many countries are involved. So it is just a matter of fairness for Russia to contribute lift capacity to ISS. It is the least they can do, as their space toilets are garbage.

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No Notch niche: Minecraft man in rift with Oculus after Facebook gobble

Tom Samplonius

Re: ..a multimillionaire already ..... can afford to walk away

"If Notch has decided he's got enough money to pass up Facebook millions then he clearly has a moral compass that's missing from a lot of the psycopaths at the top."

Umm.. what millions? Facebook isn't forcing money on people. And Facebook isn't paying anyone to port games to Occulus Rift. At least not yet. But they will probably have to, as "exclusives" are an ever present aspect in the gaming market, which involves paying developers to keep a game locked to a certain platform.

I find this whole "Facebook is evil", and that Notch is so principled walking away from a deal that wouldn't even have guaranteed making him any money, narrative pretty daft.

If you want to see his "moral compass" at work, try raising some money on Kickstarter to make a Minecraft Movie. He won't even sue you. He just calls some Silicon Valley buddies, and you just disappear from the Internet.

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MH370 airliner MYSTERY: The El Reg Pub/Dinner-party Guide

Tom Samplonius

Re: Here's more sensible analysis...

https://plus.google.com/app/basic/stream/z13cv1gohsmbv5jmy221vrfyiz3vdhbop04

No plane could be on fire, but somehow continue to fly for another 5 hours. And the fire somehow destroyed the transponder and the backup transponder, and the radio, and incapacitated the pilots in the first 30 minutes, but somehow the autopilot still worked?

Pilots want this to be equipment failure so bad.

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Om Nom Nom Nom: AWS to eat Windows Server 2012 VMs

Tom Samplonius

Apparently Azure has 23,400 cloud hosting servers as opposed to 22,600.

Azure has a lead of 1,000 servers. But most shocking is how small the numbers are. Most Fortune 500s have more servers than Azure are claiming to be used for hosting web sites across ALL OF THEIR CUSTOMERS.

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Tom Samplonius

"Azure recently overtook AWS to become the largest cloud Windows Server hoster..."

Amazing. I didn't even know you could use Windows OSes on AWS. When did they do that?

And since Amazon never even includes revenue numbers for AWS (revenue is categorized as "Other"), and certainly doesn't provide any services breakdown, how exactly did someone find this out?

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Apple finance overlord Oppenheimer: I love Apple, but I gotta get this pilot licence. See ya

Tom Samplonius

Re: Flying skills

"To keep the holiday fund ticking over Oppenheimer has grabbed a seat on the board of Goldman Sachs..."

Sort of. Goldman Sachs director compensation is unusual. They pay directors 3000 shares per year, which they can't sell until after they've left the board (works out to about $450K to $500K per year). That also means that being a director is not great, if you need cash fast. Plus, it is peanuts comparison to what Oppenheimer made at Apple.

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How a Facebook post by blabbermouth daughter cost her parents $80,000

Tom Samplonius

Re: Something doesn't add up here...

"It looks to me as if the daughter never disclosed those terms but only revealed the fact that a settlement was reached which by itself is normally hardly confidential."

The post reveals that money was paid. A settlement does not mean that any money changed hands. Settlements often involve no money at all, and are just ways to exit a civil suit with a no possible return on investment.

Yes, in the US a civil suit can be considered an asset. You can even borrow money against a civil suit in order to keep the case going. That is of course, if you can convince a bank you are going to win.

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10,000 km road trip proves Galileo satnav works, says ESA

Tom Samplonius

Re: Does this mean

"That my GPS signal will have to be broadcast to different satellites, for them to bounce to each other? Will I have to replace my squariel with a round dish then?"

No, the only drawback is that the ESA system only works during the day, as the signals are reflected off the Sun. (posted on friend's account by Stephen Fry)

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Home lab operators: Ditch your servers ... now!

Tom Samplonius

"Laptops are good for this because they come with a built in UPS"

Given that the W530 has the same size battery as a Macbook Pro, but includes a desktop CPU, a discrete NVIDIA video card, and 32GB of RAM, that the built-in battery is best thought of as a UPS, not for mobility.

The dock for the W530 is rated for 170W. If you have everything running (and it is loaded with RAM), the battery life is probably about 30 to 45 minutes.

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FBI offers $10,000 bounty for arrest of laser-wielding idiots

Tom Samplonius

"there are sunglasses, there can be windows that reflect laser beams"

Not likely. The 20% transmission ratio of laboratory laser eyewear would probably have disastrous effects on a cockpit crew who must read instruments while flying at night.... The optical quality of such systems also becomes a factor because slight amounts of distortion or haze which may be of no concern in the laboratory may be a major concern to pilots flying at low altitudes and high speed. Also, there may be a variety of laser wavelengths/colors that may need to be defended against. If all wavelengths are protected, the goggles essentially are opaque.

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Security 101 fail: 3G/4G modems expose control panels to hackers

Tom Samplonius

Re: Plenty of blame to go around here

"The USB standards group is to blame for not having created a standard USB serial interface specification, which in turns means you can't have a serial modem dongle work out of the box."

Ok, but 3G/4G devices are network interfaces, so serial is not really the right protocol anyways. Most devices that I've seen appear as an ethernet device.

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FCC says US telcos can start moving to IP-based calling, but in baby steps

Tom Samplonius

I think few readers have understood what this is. This is not about converting subscribing lines to VoIP. Those could and mabe VoIP now. The FCC doesn't care about that.

But the FCC regulates interconnects between carriers, in order to maintain what passes for a level playing field. Those interconnects are all DS3s and T1s, and SS7 over T1s. The FCC is now going to introduce standards so that carriers can interconnect over IP. Many carriers are all IP already, with the only TDM bits being the mandated interconnects with the local LECs.

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Developers: Behold the bug NOBODY can fix

Tom Samplonius

Re: You can fix that bug...

"...Chinese scripts that fail to translate that some people have done" I think you mean MOST have done. When people get Chinese tatoos, they seem to just choose two to four words, but in chinese this comes across as gibberish. Chinese people find the use of chinese characters in tattoos by Caucasians quite puzzling.

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'We don't use UPS. If we did we'd have huge UPSs and tiny computers'

Tom Samplonius

Re: Coolers on the roof?

"Roofs get really hot in sunny places. Would it make any difference if the coolers were placed in the basement instead? I don't know - I am asking."

Chillers could be in the basement (I tried to do this on a project without sufficient roof space), but it would involve a lot more piping. But chillers still have to obey the laws of thermodynamics, so the heat has to go some place. Probably cooling towers, which need to be outside and high up. Cooling towers are pretty effective in a dry climates. In fact, from the article it is possible that they meant to say cooling tower, instead of chiller. Or they are using "chiller" to refer to the chiller and cooling tower package.

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Apple coughs up 7 hours of profit to refund kids' $32.5m app spend spree

Tom Samplonius

"Think people should take responsibility for their actions - guess it's the banks fault if your give your kids your bank card and PIN? At least Apple have tightened it up now so I guess that's better."

I suppose. Just give your bank card to your kid, and then file a complaint to the FTC for "unfair billing practices" for "unauthorized transactions". It seems that you are under no obligation to return anything. It seems like this would make Christmas shopping really inexpensive. Just turn your kids free in the mall for a day, and let them get whatever they want (up to your daily limit).

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FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Tom Samplonius

Re: This will of course filter down to the customer ?

"The cost for sending an SMS message will be purely the cost of sending 128bytes and an international call will be the same price/byte as downloading from a website?"

No, there won't be any need for SMS anymore. SMS monthly volumes have been in decline for the past 6 months as the world+dog have been switching to IP based message systems. SMS should die. There is no need for a special case messaging system, when you have better general purpose message system, on the same phone.

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Power supply

"People who had IP phones had no power for the modem/router/TA... Even some who had power lost service when a box up the street lost power."

Transitioning to an IP network does not mean that you will lose your POTS line. There will just be IP behind it, rather than a PSTN network.

The problem is that FCC in the USS and the CRTC in Canada have established regulations on how PSTN operators should interconnect, and those regulations all mandate TDM connectivity, based on T1 increments. That has to change.

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Space Station bags extra 10yrs of life as SOLAR STORM scrubs resupply

Tom Samplonius

Re: Who's next to visit the ISS?

"Who's next to visit the ISS? China or India? On the one hand China is ahead when it comes to (wo)manned space flight, on the other hand China has its own space station to use and India is advancing very quickly."

Neither country is a member of ISS program. So, neither.

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Oh crap.

"The ISS is a useless PR stunt. It does nothing to advance space exploration, on the contrary it (together with the equally useless space shuttle) is the reason no human has walked on another planet since 1972: the ISS and the shuttle have eaten all resources available for manned space exploration, and then some."

That is kinda of bullshit. The ISS costs NASA about $3B a year out of a $17B budget. So, it wasn't that one thing keeping you off the moon.

Lots of people, myself included, think that manned space flight, is in direct competition with space exploration. If you want to explore a lot, you need to leave the people back on earth.

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Drawers full of different chargers? The IEC has a one-plug-to-rule-them-all

Tom Samplonius

"What's the advantage of Lightning over MicroUSB for charging? (Helping Apple to make more profits is not an advantage)."

It can be plugged in upside down. The plug corners are rounded, and rounded such that the plug centers more easily. The plug is a solid plug, not a shell design, so it is lot more sturdy. The contacts are on the outside of the plug rather than in a shell, resulting in larger contacts. The contacts on the plug and contacts in the jack are easier to clean.

I really don't know what the micro USB standards committee even did. Just made the USB plug smaller, and knocked off early? They didn't even try to make a good connector.

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Microsoft now using next-gen Roslyn C#, Visual Basic compilers in house

Tom Samplonius
Thumb Up

This is amazing. The C# compiler is written in C#! Amazing. And you can create a "read-evaluate-print-loop" (REPL)? I'll have to reearch REPL more, as I have never heard of it before. And syntax highlighting of C# can now be done with the C# compiler, rather than emulated via C++? Staggering. Microsoft has rocked the computer language world to the core today.

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Windows 7 outstrips Windows 8.x with small November growth

Tom Samplonius

Re: Not pleasant reading for Redmond

"So they will bring forward the date of stopping sales and support of Win 7 to .... next week?"

They have a plan for that. MS only reports Windows 8 sales, even though these sales are of right-to-use licenses, which also allow you to use Windows 7. So Windows 8 "sales" are great. It doesn't mater for their purposes if people use it. However, investors may want to ask about what the ROI on the Windows 8 development and marketing will be (probably Windows 9 will be released before they turn a profit on Windows 8). But Investors haven't been put off by the money furnace that is Live, as long as there are lots of Office dollars left at year end.

But if the Office business is disrupted, which is inevitable, because no business last forever, MS is in deep shit. The Office business supports Live and probably supports the Windows OS development too. It also keeps the XBox business healthy too. XBox makes money, but the Office covers up the fact that every 5 years, you need to add a couple of billion in R&D for a year or two, and then you get 5 more profitable years. For example, the Xbox 360 "red ring of death" debacle cost MS about $2B in the first year of release. The XBox business by itself isn't that appealing, and is pretty risky if you have some R&D screw ups.

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Sony's new PlayStation 4 and open source FreeBSD: The TRUTH

Tom Samplonius

Re: Another win for the open-source world

"Actually no! FreeBSD allows Sony to freely loot open source developers work without giving anything back to them. They will make hundreds of millions without sending even as little as a thank you card to FreeBSD community.

I don't see much victory for OSS here."

Actually, the BSD license is actually pretty damn important to the FreeBSD core team, otherwise they would be Linux developers.

And how do you know how much Sony is contributing? FreeBSD developers use freebsd.org email addresses and bios are not posted, so it is hard to know where their day jobs are. Sony? Apple? NetApp?

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PlayStation 4 a doddle to fix: Handy if it OVERHEATS, for instance

Tom Samplonius

Seems to be an error in this article: there is 4GB of RAM on the top of the motherboard, but also another 4GB of RAM on the bottom for a total of 8GB. The article mentions the top RAM, but does not mention the RAM on the other side.

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TWO THIRDS of Retina iPad mini shoppers will weep this holiday season

Tom Samplonius

Re: get in there quick, limited stock

"They must be. They intentionally limit stock for every release and the iSheep still fall for it."

Umm... did you read the article? Supplies are constrained by manufacturing, which is not a deliberate limitation. And selling only 4 million in Q4 is bad. Real bad. Apple typically sells 5 million of the new thing in the first week. Selling 4 million over 4 to 6 weeks would be a catastrophic product release.

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Chinese hotel guests find data spaffed all over the internet

Tom Samplonius

Re: Travel - it's like that...

"As for giving " name, address, workplace, ID number, birth date and phone number just to register for Wi-Fi" -- who would be silly enough to do that in this day and age? Birth date?"

This info is required by Chinese law. No internet access without a real identity.

So in the US, you can walk into any Starbucks and get free Internet without even logging in (but you may have to watch an ad). In China, that would be illegal, as all the real identity of all Internet users must be known at all times.

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UK plant bakes its millionth Raspberry Pi

Tom Samplonius

Re: Well done

"What an unnecessarily bitter, pointless article.

They've done more than you ever will to promote some classroom coding, sunshine."

Who is the bitter one? The Pi is a single-board-computer not the messiah. The Arduino was similar vaunted when it was released. It is still cheaper, and better for some hobbyist projects than the Pi. It didn't change the world either.

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IPO-leery Avaya was hot to flog self to Oracle, but talks 'fizzled' – report

Tom Samplonius

Also, note that Oracle bought Acme Packet, one of the larger VoIP SBC vendors. Probably in anticipation of landing Avaya, so they could sell packaged solutions.

And Metaswitch immediately dropped Acme Packet and rushed out their Perimeta SBCs, to avoid selling kit from a competitor.

Oracle's going to get into this market somehow. It is just a matter of who they buy. Or who else they buy. Maybe the'll buy Aastra next.

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WD embraces C word* and hews HDD handles from NAS kit

Tom Samplonius

Re: Stupid design

"Another triumph of marketing over simple mechanical safety."

I have the previous model, which has basically the same shape, and it has never tipped over. The weight is mostly at the bottom, and it is wider than it appears. It fits well on my network table, so for me it is an ideal shape.

A 6" drop is unlikely to cause any damage to a modern disk. Not to mention, the drive is probably shock mounted too.

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Microsoft defends Azure with two-factor auth security

Tom Samplonius

Re: An additional layer of security using the cloud . . .

"Since when is security automated ?"

Since when is security not automated? All mechanical locks are automated mechanisms. And they have been around for for about 6,000 years. So even for a Luddite, you are late to the party.

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Violin Memory falls through basement in first day of trading

Tom Samplonius

Re: As a general rule

"Companies pull their IPO's if they can't get at least $10 per share as most institutional investors have rules against buying shares in companies whose share price is below $10."

Kinda not true, as the issuing company can just reduce the number of shares issued, to make the issued price $10.

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Tom Samplonius

"I don't claim to understand the stock markets at all (even when I assume everyone there is just out to scam prices to their advantage, I still don't get how they operate), but surely it's quite simple Alan Sugar / Dragon's Den type maths from there on?"

Growing company's lose a lot of money. R&D eats up tons of capital. So early stage company need a lot of money, because they need to build something, before they have something to sell. If the R&D and business expansion was done already, they wouldn't need investment or an IPO.

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Wow, what a spectacular failure...

"Of a company, of a management team, and of a CEO. What more can be said?"

Actually, completing an IPO at price higher than the price the market is currently willing to pay is actually an indication of a skilled management team and CEO. If a the price spikes after an IPO, it means the company left money on the table. Usually, the CEO will face a lot of pressure to under price the IPO, in order to generate some profit for the initial investors who just want to make a profit the first week. But those aren't really investors, just profiteers.

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Valve aiming to take the joy(sticks) out of gaming with Steam Controller

Tom Samplonius

Re: Bad. Very bad.

"Keyboard + mouse is superior to controls in every way."

So your existing keyboard and mouse is superior to all new input methods now and forever? How do you know that? It wasn't that long ago, when the mouse was new, and joystick users looked at the mouse and said there is no way a mouse could be used for serious gaming.

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Tom Samplonius

Re: Wrong solution to the right problem

"A windows embedded steam box with 2 fightsticks (King of Fighters XIII only good version ..."

Of course, because embedded Windows is the *obvious* choice for a fighter. MS lost the embedded market years ago, so put down the koolaid as it is starting to come out of your ears.

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Facebook reveals plan to WIRE THE PLANET

Tom Samplonius

Re: In otherwords ...

"... Facebook and fellow internet.org memebers Qualcomm and Ericsson are trying to find a way to siphon funds out of 5 billion technologically illiterate people living below the poverty line."

Translation: Poor people don't need Internet. Anyone that comes up technical solutions to make a less expensive Internet, should ashamed for allowing poor people access to these things.

Rather paternalistic, don't you think? Are you also still waiting for India to come to their senses and rejoin the Empire too?

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