"Only yesterday, I was reading of a "crackdown on legal highs"."
I was able to buy a couple of beers yesterday without any problem from a shop on the high street, so it looks like there is no effective crack-down on "legal highs".
1283 posts • joined 21 Sep 2010
"Only yesterday, I was reading of a "crackdown on legal highs"."
I was able to buy a couple of beers yesterday without any problem from a shop on the high street, so it looks like there is no effective crack-down on "legal highs".
"> Almost certainly the two binaries produced will be different,...
If you really see this happening, file a bug report."
Before filing that bug report I would do a quick double check to see if it was using some form of profile driven optimisation. The EPIC (aka Itanic) folks used that approach to help them achieve parity and eventually beat much smaller, faster, simpler and easier to code super-scalar RISC cores (which were fabricated on fraction of the die area using a process that was at least 4 years out of date).
Computer architecture folks had already worked out that you needed dynamic instruction scheduling to get the most out of the hardware decades earlier, Intel *and* HP had already learnt that lesson so you have to wonder how they convinced themselves that an entire ISA explicitly designed for statically scheduled instructions would help.
"Wouldn't it be of scientific interest to develop specialized CPU's with much larger floating point units for simulation."
That's been done repeatedly, the hardware often lies idle. There are various libraries that offer arbitrary precision, interval arithmetic etc, etc etc, but these tools mostly lie idle mostly through ignorance of their existence and applicability.
If folks are made aware of these tools there are additional barriers:
1) Performance will take a hit. Folks tend to want a credible but wrong answer faster than the correct answer slower (see the background to Seymour Cray's "Parity is for farmers" quote).
2) It will be "too hard" to validate the results (which they know will be different so they can't simply run diff).
3) It will be "too hard" to get downstream systems/regulators/phbs to accept the new results because they are different.
"It's amazing how many scientists haven't got the first clue about Floating-Point Arithmetic. FTFY."
Amen to that.
I suspect that covers 99.99% of folks writing code (not excluding myself). :)
"If you think that about a microkernel OS like Windows, what about Linux?! It's way way worse in that regard."
I agree a microkernel OS *should* be smaller and therefore easier to validate but Windows is not a microkernel OS because it runs stuff like font file parsing & rendering in ring 0. By contrast Linux does not render fonts in ring 0 - so that's *less* code to validate in the Linux case.
A lot of this is a moot point anyway - because the modern Wintel hardware has a metric shit load of protection domains that overlap, there are at least two *more* privileged layers above classic "ring 0" these days. Folks need to audit the firmware on the processors and motherboard these days, folks on old school RISC platforms have life a bit easier. :)
"I presume the 1960s transistor based computers running in the MHz range were designed on the macro-scale to control these capacitances in the first place."
That and bigger power supplies pushing a lot more current. :)
"After moving to the country my grandfather observed some men in the adjacent field using scythes. They didn't seem to be getting on too well so he asked them if he could have a look and told them the blades needed sharpening"
Soldiering on with a blunt scythe is pointless. I found that stopping every 3-4 metres (or more when doing something like brambles), giving the (rusty) blade a wipe down with a drop of oil and a whetstone worked a treat - nothing intensive, just four or so careful swipes with the stone and move on making sure to count your fingers each time. ;)
If you are selecting a scythe you should be looking to have the thing feel pretty much balanced (ie: NOT twisting in your grip) with the blade level with the ground along it's whole length, a bit of momentum and good balance goes a long way with a scythe, so don't be tempted to choose a lightweight poorly balanced scythe if you want to do real work with it. Quality scythes will have adjustable handles, once you've got them set correctly the scythe will feel like a natural extension of your arms.
In terms of the action most of the power should come from your arms & shoulders, so it should be a fairly smooth dragging motion keeping the blade level over the ground through the whole stroke, with just enough momentum to keep the scythe moving but not enough to cause you to strain to slow it down and bring it back for the next stroke. Take care not to "swing" the scythe because you won't cut evenly (if at all) and the chances are you'll do yourself an injury in the process.
Everything I know about scything stuff I discovered from trial, error and talking to an old geezer who used to mow hayfields with them - if folks know better I'd be interested to hear. :)
"Oooh, you don't want to have a good idea. My grandfather had a good idea once and his toes fell off."
Love the quote...
However, my inner pedant can't help but observe that you are more likely to cut off your fingers while sharpening the scythe or someone else's feet when you are using it. The shape & balance of a usable scythe makes it pretty tricky to get anywhere near your toenails. :)
"Like Oracle designing its own CPU's for more efficient engines to process data from databases..."
Sadly there is no credible independent evidence that they are succeeding. Oracle's SPECrate figures indicate that their cores are just as starved of cache & memory bandwidth as 18 core Xeons v3s.
"So, again: WTF would this have to do with changes in Windows components which is what this article is about."
That's an easy WTF to answer: The web browser that Selenium drives makes use of the windows components.
"I just don't understand why businesses aren't clamoring for an "LTS" version of Windows 10 that has a fixed codebase and gets stability and security fixes only."
They are, but vendor doesn't want to do that. The customers need to adapt or choose something else if that is a hard and fast requirement, and bear the cost of the change either way. Personally I think customers would better served by reduce their dependence on products (and vendors) that don't fit their requirements, but ultimately it's up to them to look at the costs & benefits and make their own choice.
"Not surprising at all. Anything pro-MS usually equals downvotes around here. And vice versa."
In fairness it's not unknown for me to downvote pro-MS stuff. :)
"Keep trying to shovel the mud out as it flows in from upstream, MS users."
Windows Users didn't get where they are today by using a stable platform.
"Selenium is a browser testing framework. How does this fit in with changes to Windows APIs?"
In fairness to the OP Selenium would be adequate (and appropriate) if they are simply testing the client side of a web-app. Surprised the OP got downvoted, seemed like a sane approach to me if you are committed to supporting Win 10 clients.
"Thankfully all our Windows 10 Enterprise Agreement licences are LTSB which means we can move to Windows 10 but run the legacy method of patching rather than going down the evergreen route and then worrying about the inability of our application vendors to keep up."
If you are unlucky (and you will be at some stage) you will end up with a situation where a third party binary needs the latest Win 10 to work...
"You have to have layered "defence in depth" backup going back weeks if not months to deal with this. That is generally not available for an end-user PC in _ANY_ company. It is done only for servers."
I don't recall seeing that bit in your original post...
OS vendors could nip a lot of this in the bud and avoid having to educate people about backups by shipping their OSes with a default filesystem that supports snapshots. This isn't bleeding edge technology anymore, it has been around for several decades.
"A backup containing encrypted files is not particularly useful you know."
Sure, but an earlier backup where the file isn't corrupted is still useful.
"cause of the madness of gun free zones, or massacre centres depending how you want to look at it"
I've had loaded guns with the safety off aimed directly at me at a range of under 5m on several occasions. In every case the perp was entitled to use firearms, and they were drunk. On all those occasions I had no real warning beyond the fact they were (legally) carrying a firearm, and in none of those cases would I have had time to even raise & aim a firearm without being lethally wounded. The only thing that kept me alive was making sure they understood there was nothing to gain by shooting me, any sign of a gun would have signed my death warrant.
In all those situations I've been on the wrong end of a gun, removing the firearms would have vastly improved my odds of survival. I got lucky, others haven't been so lucky.
Ideally (for me) the lawful use of a firearm should require close (independent) supervision where every discharge of the firearm will be recorded and verified, that firearms may be concealed, but anyone carrying firearms should be clearly marked as doing so and the purpose of the firearms should be declared (and agreed with the supervisory body) prior to use. The purpose of the firearms should also be *publically* displayed on the bearer of firearms (uniforms are already used for this purpose).
Laws pretty much cover all of the above in most countries, and there are knob-ends in most countries too, so the madness is that the supervision/enforcement just isn't good enough.
Having said all that I reckon that keeping folks who can't hold their booze off the streets (or keeping them away from booze) would have a more beneficial effect on the quality of life for everyone everywhere. :)
"So I can't comprehend it, let alone refute it. But since it was filed over three years after I started using Skype I'm doubtful that that torrent of words that "summarises" this beautiful flower can all be untainted by prior art."
There was talk that in the US only *patented* prior art would be considered, not sure if that has actually come to pass or not... Jackpot for the lawyers.
"If Blacks would stop breaking the laws, then they would not get arrested."
Looks like concept of selective application of the law & punishment has flown right over your head.
Affluent white people break laws too. Perhaps if the convicts had been able to afford better lawyers they might not get convicted as often.
"Windows 10 build 10586.318 is majestic."
I'm sure it is by Redmond standards given how cross-platform support is something they struggled to maintain for more than a couple of releases in times gone by.
"I'm in the process of moving to Linux. What should I do? Just jump straight in and lose my working environment? Or should I spend time sourcing replacements or Linux versions of programs I use? In the meantime I don't want Windows to fuck itself via hidden updates."
Dual booting has worked well for me, but in practice I ended up spending most of my time running Linux so I tended to use a VM hosted under Linux to run Windows apps. It worked pretty well for me, and I found that some file I/O intensive apps ran faster on a Linux hosted VM. The only gotcha with that is that a rarely booted Windows instance spends more time updating itself than being useful (I'm not even joking about that sadly).
Surely why priv.escalation to Admin (aka obtaining root) should be rated something higher than "Important"... You may as well hand out Admin privs to everyone like Windows 3.1.
"But that begs the question as to why Windows installs still suck big-time when Linux distros showed how slick an install can be a decade or more ago."
The example that I had in mind was NTFS. Slow and sad and obsolete when released in the early 90s, and nothing changed apart from the gap to the competition growling larger for over 15 years.
"If you consider that Mint is around 25% of all Linux desktop installation then according to nemarketshare.com there are roughly as many users of Linux Mint as Windows 3.1"
Personally I don't care about market share, I am happy that I have a desktop OS that works very well for me - much better than the alternatives I've tried so far. It's not perfect, but each release has rounded off a few more rough edges and added a bit more useful functionality so it's the best I've tried so far and getting better. The only butthurt from my point of view is that there may be folks who won't give another OS a shot because of comments from insecure numpties.
No one wins when a single vendor owns the market, you should be cheering the alternatives on because without decent competition there is no reason for a vendor to improve their product.
"Visual Studio => Brilliant way to force .Net versions, no major innovations for years, useless changes in UI (hoooo the bckground color is now dark-blue instead of grey and all menus switched places!"
Charging extra for a 64bit (partially working) profiler struck me as being particularly cheap and it made it harder for Windows devs to write good quality code for Microsoft's own platform. Not very bright folks.
"They make good mice and keyboards..."
Fair play to MS on that front. I've found the low-end (ie: cheap) wireless KB & Mouse combo I bought a few years back to be brilliant.
"It IS free if it's found to be a fault or bug in Microsoft software - the incident is credited back."
YMMV because that hinges on getting them to accept that there is a fault in their product. I haven't been too lucky with that, although in fairness to MS they did acknowledge the bugs years later as a result of being used as an exploit. :(
"If Google swapped out the underlying Linux portions of Android for some new creation (they've got the budget and the expertise) then I doubt more than 1%-2% of users would stick with "old" Android because of it's Linux ancestry. The rest would just follow where the chocolate factory took them."
I can see why Windows folks think that an interchangeable OS is a terrible idea because they know that should the MS bandwagon founder there is a significant chance they are going to be left stranded on the smouldering wreckage of a burnt platform. They know this because since 1992 they've had MS burn the following platforms (each one quite unique and different): Windows 3.1, NT 3.51, NT 4.0, Vista, 7, 8, WinCE, RT...
By contrast I have been able to use the same (expanding) library of tools & code on UNIX style OSes since 1990 (when I got my hands on SunOS). That has allowed me to spend more time delivering solutions and a lot less time retraining/relearning how to do the same things over and over again. It has also meant that I am not tied to a single platform or vendor, if the platform dies or the vendor doesn't deliver what's required at a sane price there is enough competition to find an alternative or apply pressure to the vendor.
I just don't see any benefit to the user in the Windows community over the UNIX community. With the Windows community everyone follows a path that the vendor chooses to suit the vendor first and foremost. If the vendor wants change the users do the change & bear the cost, yet if a user wants a change that doesn't fit the vendor's ideas/business model - like Google for example - MS simply ignores the need. By contrast the "Unix" community provided a solution for the Googles & Apples of this world. MS loyalists *should* be pissed about that because they are missing out on being Google and Apple.
"According to Forbes, Microsoft have about 75% market share for servers."
Does Forbes use the old trick of counting Linux as a UNIX box rather than a "Server" ?
"They'll pay for an MS operating system, a few will pay even more money for an Apple operating system, and an even smaller number will accept Linux, the OS that Torvalds has spent his life trying to give away for free."
The vast majority of "pre-installed" OS/X & Windows licenses sold to end users are "free" at the point of purchase, so no different from the "regular person's" point of view then.
Sneer as much as you like as you sit on your pile of shillings, but your sneering won't stop people using free software because it's addressing requirements that vendors are unwilling or unable to address. That hasn't stopped the vendors from taking code and ideas from free software though and sell the same stuff onto their punters for money, TCP/IP stacks being just one small but very important example.
Also your sneering won't make Win 10's UI less ugly, so maybe you should bite the bullet and move onto something that's easier to use and nicer to look at.
"That is how regular people feel about Linux -- so lame they will pay money to avoid it."
Or to look at it another way. They get mugged by the salesman into paying for a pre-installed copy of OS/X or Windows.
The actual process that a regular person goes through to get Linux is:
1) buy a new machine with OS/X or Windows pre-installed.
2) discover the pre-installed OS has a completely different UI from the one they are used to, and it doesn't support their existing peripherals, software and work-flows despite being advertised as being compatible.
3) try to get "support" from the vendors, discover that the vendors are incapable of providing support or simply don't provide support to "regular users".
4) find a Linux with screenshots that resemble WinXP, try it out on a USB stick.
5) click the install button, and I find that on 70% of cases they never to boot the pre-installed crapware again.
Thanks for the link. I can't help but wonder if my sense of awe & wonder was akin to what people felt watching the Apollo programme footage back in the day. It's good for the soul. :)
"Secure Boot is actually a very good idea -- it's in the users' interest to be able to have some confidence that the OS on a PC hasn't been suborned by malware."
The thing is it is overkill, a read-only SD card slot that is only used to load the boostrap would achieve the same thing. When people want to change the bootstrap - (eg: add SecureBoot) they could swap out the SD cards - or with ILO type setups the ILO gear could manage the read-only bootstrap image. It's really not hard - and it doesn't force you into accepting a long chain of trust either. :(
"This is about a feature that asus put on old pcs. Is also about the grief ms get for trying to support relatively ancient systems (if you have an android handset you know how quickly a machine can become outdated). It's not about ms trying to stop you installing linux."
Fair point, but they clearly didn't do adequate regression testing and the guys doing the work clearly didn't understand the full implications of what they were up to. I would have thought a multibillion dollar multinational that took an active part in developing SecureBoot would be capable of getting this right before release. It's not as if they're short of skilled devs & cash to pay them.
"Here's the real deal; this "advice" would have been better served up in 2005. If you're a IT "Pro", and you're not already using your own password generator, or using completely random strings... shame on you, idiot. Two factor when and where possible. Natch."
Sadly "completely random strings" are not possible on the majority of systems folks use, simply because of the ever-tightening constraints on what characters you can use in a password and the order they are in. Not only that but there are still a lot of systems out there that don't validate more than "n" characters of a passphrase anyway. :(
You really should get out more before deciding everyone is an idiot.
"Doesn't this mean that they are storing previous passwords in plaintext? Surely a massive no-no."
They don't have to store them in plain text, salted hashes will do.
"Or DISCONNECT your devices from the Internet and/or carefully control what access your devices have (and what data the manufacturers can slurp/delete from them)."
Vendors appear to be going out of their way to make sure that running offline is either impossible or ridiculously awkward. Immutable backups are the only way to be sure right now.
I think he would have been better served making a hat from the "aluminium foil" rather than trying to fashion a faraday cage out of it. :)
The "Warren Buffet approach" is built on lots of free money from the insurance sector, the share trading stuff is the cherry on the parfait.
"The best thing that financial regulation could do would be to forbid the publication of quarterly results, maybe even the publication of results at less than two year intervals, just to get these idiots from breathing down managements' necks."
Nice thought, but in practice that simply make insider trading much more attractive, and it would also make the markets a bit less efficient because folks can't make rational decisions on zero data. :)
It's Orlowski's playground, and I don't agree with all the moderation he has done either, but at present there is still enough useful+enjoyable articles&comments at El Reg to outweigh the burden of additional self-censorship when making a post on Orlowski's (or Trevor's) patch. It does diminish the credibility of El Reg in my eyes, but I don't think that should be cause any sleepless nights at Vulture Towers. :)
"I can always get a bigger heat-sink."
300W looks comfy at the moment (up from 150W in the mid 90s) but there will come a point where the die simply can't shed heat fast enough at 25C ambient... :)
"then made it bloody near impossible to find out what was wrong with the code as it fucked about in the wrong segment"
If 64K was enough for everyone I would have stuck with a 6502 and paging. That was one of the reasons I didn't rate the "PC" until the 386 came along, seemed like a huge backward step having been coding in C on an Amiga. :)
"The Raspberry Pi is no more than a pimple on the arse of the global electronics industry."
It is quite a handy pimple, and I don't think it's starving the alternatives of oxygen, quite the reverse IMO.
This why folks have immutable backups and validate them against a presumed/known good dataset every so often (and the backups are fingerprinted and/or checksummed).
The dude is right to point this particular issue because frequently folks justify lax security with an assumption that their data isn't important or sexy to crackers.
There were some posts made to comp.arch some time ago stating that software really should be doing it's own data integrity checks as it processes data (ie: don't rely on the storage/network/internal databuses getting it right), they made some good arguments and it could be done fairly transparently to coders - yet allow folks who care to implement application specific checks (for example you could tune the integrity checks for low-latency or power conscious apps). I think this model may eventually become necessary for cloud large scale distributed apps rather than a "nice-to-have" - simply because you have so little control or visibility of the underlying hardware, so when things go wrong it's ranges from hard to impossible to nail the root cause. I been seeing this happen every week for about 20 years, so app devs will be forced to bite the bullet sooner rather than later.
The the embedded & grey-beards have already used this approach in times gone by (some probably still do). I've seen some old bits of code with checksums embedded in "main memory" resident data-structures. At a particularly dire workplace I employed these techniques (and more) to work around a dev box with flakey memory and an IDE controller that randomly zeroed sectors. You are obviously limited in what you can "resolve" in software, but being able to detect data corruption in the first place can be a great help. :)
"So let me understand, when MS attempted to bend Java to its interests was bad, when Google did it was right?"
The key point of difference is that Google aren't claiming their notJava is Java, whereas Microsoft attempted to punt notJava as Java and marketed it with a bunch of Java related trademarks. An unfortunate side effect of the court case appears to be that Oracle owns everything ever written in Java and anything that else that happens to contain Java keywords/API identifiers.
The thing that makes me unhappy is that it sets a legal precedent that may allow Oracle (and anyone else) to target other totally unrelated stuff like C++, C#/.NET, Python et al because copyright infringement is evaluated at a purely symbolic level too. The legal system seems to provide a myriad ways of having prior art thrown out of the equation, so some bogus infringement claims will stick.
"More seriously - Rumsfeld got stick for his "known knowns" thing (wasn't that a NASA thing originally?)"
Rummy got stick from me for that speech simply because it was flannel wrapped up in bafflegab. He could have summarised 20 minutes of bollocks by simply saying "We don't know", so he got a big thumbs down from me for talking shite in an attempt to obscure the fact all his arguments had no logic or basis in fact whatsoever. Worse still, Rummy was waffling, excusing, bullshitting and lying while people (them and "us") were dying as a direct result. Rummy has earned as much scorn as Nixon sabotaging the LBJ-VC peace talks from my POV, I accept that others may differ in their assessment.
This seems to be yet another discussion where folks don't know the difference between "lower-latency", "higher-bandwidth" and their relationship with "faster". For the record 10x lower latency can translate into 1000x faster quite easily - just depends on what you are measuring. :)
"The numbers in the article look pretty much identical to SLC NAND performance, so unless it can beat SLC in cost it may not have any impact on the market. "
Genuine SLC seems to be a very rare beast these days. :(