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* Posts by itzman

928 posts • joined 28 Jun 2011

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Web data BLEEDOUT: Users to feel the pain as Heartbleed bug revealed

itzman
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Re: remote management?

is so the ISP can manage it because you are dumb user.

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itzman
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Re: Using a Cisco router

I have that router.

Its not really Cisco and it doesn't run IOS - it was badge engineered linksys I think. Whatever. Cisco bought a company to get into low end, and then sold it again.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linksys

It is however a decent router with nearly all the features a geek needs and most importantly, they actually do work.

And it runs hotter than hell.

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Melting permafrost switches to nasty, high-gear methane release

itzman
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Black Helicopters

And yet, temperatures..

stubbornly refuse to climb.

PS they aren't REALLY looking for MH 370 down there. They are looking for the missing heat.

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Video games make you NASTY AND VIOLENT

itzman
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Re: It's not just games

Or politics. Construct a system that results in an unplayable life experience, and stand well back...

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Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott

itzman
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If I employ someone...

...I dont care what his/her personal beliefs are provided he leaves them at the door when he enters the company building.

But using a position within a company to further them is a no-no. .

WE all know about 'Company X, where you need to be a born again Christian to work' or 'Company Y where only gay men get employed' or 'Company Z for which the primary requirement seems to be being a raving feminist, preferably lesbian'.

IN the end they fail because these are not the correct criteria for selecting the best people to run a given business.

But they make a lot of mess before they do.

It may well be that he never intended his particular thing to be publicised, but when you are a high up member of any organisation you effectively cease to have a private life.

If he had wanted to donate to a cause, anonymity was the appropriate method.

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The gift of Grace: COBOL's odyssey from Vietnam to the Square Mile

itzman
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I have never written a line of COBOL..

But I know many who have.

Remember it comes from a time of 16K core store, tape drives and all the compute power of a 4004 in a cabinet the size of a small room.

Grace conceived as far as I can tell as a way of making the hideousness of assembler accessible to people who didn't actually understand a damned thing abut registers, memory size or anything beyond 'this set of words will produce this result'

And that is very important: There are a vanishingly small number of people who understand the intricacies of hardware and machine level instructions AND business modelling and problem solving.

Computer scientists will sneer at COBOL because it doesn't fit their prejudices as to what a 'proper programming language' ought to be.

But millions of people are grateful that someone had the nous to provide a tool that was accessible enough to enable them to USE the computing power at their disposal to solve enormous problems in finance, banking and other aspects of business related IT.

Like most other successful innovations COBOL was not designed by a theoretical scientist, it was designed by a practical person with a particular use in mind: TO enable non technical people to write code to solve their problems.

It is a tool, and a useful tool and at the time the best tool there was. It did all it needed to and the fact it's still in use shows that it was a good tool.

It ranks with C and possibly FORTRAN as a basic software tool that enables people to solve problems.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

itzman
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Does anyone else find this all incomprehensible? Brer rabbit's briar patch?

Maybe I am missing something, but what seems to be the situation is that :

1/. The US is allegedly doing 'man in the middle' stuff.

2/. The response is to try and make sure the middle isn't in the US?

3/. The USA is making a big fuss despite the fact that half the world runs on Cisco and therefore Cisco ARE the men in the middle and therefore if Cisco and the spooks have an arrangement whether the traffic runs across the US or not is simply irrelevant?

4/. The classic way to prevent or at least render hugely ineffective, man in the middle snooping is asymmetric encryption, on everything you do, with plenty of massively redundant messages of pure random garbage interpolated to prevent frequency analysis and confound the opposition.

5/. Ergo, the spooks knowing this, are making a big fuss about the European firewall because they want attention focussed on that - a non problem for them rather than on the intrinsically obvious solution, of simply encrypting everything so that man in the middle scraping gets so awesomely expensive they end up having to attack the end points instead.

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MPs attack BT's 'monopolistic' grip on gov-subsidised £1.2bn rural broadband rollout

itzman
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Re Satellite

You try fighting monsters in virtual reality with a 300ms delay...and getting killed every time the leaves blow across the line of sight...

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itzman
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Headmaster

Re: Openness

ER fibre is no more and no less digital than the copper.

It simply uses higher carrier frequencies in the optical band, rather than the RF band...

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itzman
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Re: The UK government has completely screwed up...

Royal Mail sale was forced by EU regulation IIRC.

Nothing to do with the government. They merely rubber stamped the legislation already enacted in Brussels.

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itzman
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Re: Never going to work without competition

What MIGHT work is some kind of law change that gave anyone the right to - say - use BT ducting, or in fact to use a mole to lay conduit below someone else's agricultural land.

Line of sight from me to the exchange is about a mile and a quarter largely across open fields. I could hire a tractor and mole and a conduit layer and do the job in a week..even closer is a mast with a BT cabinet at its base and microwave antennae all over it.

The problem is wayleave and bureaucracy.

The reality of even laying a mains cable underground for a few hundred meters is weeks of planning and consultation, erection of safety barriers, etc etc. Do it on your OWN property (and I have) and its a matter of half a day with a small digger..

As with nuclear power stations, 2/3rds of the cost is the bureaucracy that must be complied with. and only about 10% is the actual cost of 'doing the actual job' with the remainder being probably necessary sign-age and H & S steps taken.

Underground work is estimated at something like £50k per kilometer on PUBLIC land. Three blokes and a digger can do that in three days - probably less than £3,000 - on PRIVATE land.

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itzman
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Holmes

Re: Could competition have worked?

No: it doesn't work that way. the smaller providers make enough money to keep their banwidth at a sane level for demand.

At £25 per month I have never had, nor expect to have, a contention issue.

If you want the service, pay the bloomin money for it.

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itzman
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Re: Could competition have worked?

Fair points.

There is a huge problem in service provision infrastructure where the most cost effective solution is some sort of de facto monopoly.

Whether its roads, railways, gas pipes, electricity cables or phone and optical fibre, it doesn't make sense to have two entities supplying the same service to the same location.

Unfortunately neither nationalisation or regulation have served us particularly well..

My only tentative solution is to say that such matters might be best passed to local councils, whose own local taxpayers could fund the schemes, or not, as they saw fit.

And then rent the infrastructure to anyone who wanted to send packets over it.

But since the highly paid CEOS of district councils are unable to even organise cost effective bin collection, I fear that one would lead to trouble as well.

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New IPCC report: 8 ways climate change will throw world INTO PERIL

itzman
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Re: Predictions

The terms of reference of the IPCC do not extend to questioning the existence or otherwise of AGW: No, indeed not. They are couched on the assumption of AGW and their brief is to examine its effects.

In short the whole of the IPCCS activities and output are basically wrapped in a conditional...

if (exists(AGW))

{

IPCC_Output(stuff);

}

The art of alarmism is to omit the IF and the curly braces..

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Original iPhone dev team was 'shockingly small' - Apple engineer

itzman
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Re: The most successful projects I've worked on...

er actually you can pretty much.

But it would take a bit longer.

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Inmarsat: Doppler effect helped 'locate' MH370

itzman
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Re: It's got a beat!

Exactly so. Inmarsat satellites MUST have a very stable very accurate clock source in them and by down mixing that and the received signal you up with a beat frequency which IS easily measured.

Its how all doppler radar etc is done.

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itzman
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Re: doppler shift is one of the things *all* GPS signals have to account for.

In one sense I am not surprised that it does, because its easy to collect. And not very large. to store.

Its the sort of info you would store in order to trace and understand any system malfunctions. Frequency drift in the aircraft transponders for example.

Like log files on (internet) servers, there's a ton of stuff stored you seldom need, but when you DO need it is remarkable what you can reconstruct from it.

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Spooks vs boffins: MIT bods say they've created PRISM-proof encryption

itzman
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Of course it all depends...

..on whom you perceive your 'adversary' to be.

I have been constructing a private 'cloud' to enable a distributed organisation to access sensitive data across the internet: Why? because the alternative, people holding some or all of that data at home or on laptops is far far more risky than having it held centrally under a few sysadmin's control, and if it does leak, you know where to pint the finger.

Oddly enough its close to the sort of model the NHS needs. Limited access to GPs of only their patient's data, but broader access for say, certain people in a hospital environment. And statistical information only, for health care analysts.

Here you know who the adversary is, and its not the government. Not at the spook level. Its individuals who could profit by revelations of private data. Or competitors who could profit by access to commercially sensitive data.

In browser encryption is nice, if you trust the browser. BUT there is a problem in a multi-user arena: you want the data entered by one person to be available to another, or its no damned use. So in the end you are down to a name/password being all that is required to unlock the data.

And guess where the name/password combo has to be stored? On the server...

Now I may have misunderstood this but it seems to name that unless you are say using a different way to validate and authenticate users that I haven't thought of, in the end you are assuming at some level that the machine that authenticates is inviolate.

But that machine itself has a sysadmin.

Lets say you have a database containing encrypted data and also user names and passwords.

If you take a copy of that, you merely have to duplicate a machine install the data on it, and run a password cracker against it.

Sooner or later your private cloud is entirely open to someone else.

In essence it boils down to a simple fact. Man in the middle attacks can with care be circumvented.

But the endpoints will always remain vulnerable. Forget digital: think 'cipher letter' If you get an enciphered letter to have to decode it. If someone is watching you do that, or gets access to the deciphered letter, it's broken the code.

Likewise if the conditions of being sent that ciphered letter are that you have presented credentials to some third party, that third party itself if compromised can give the same or different credentials to an attacker.

In any given security case there is no perfect answer. You have in the end to trust the endpoints.

Personally one server and one sysadmin is to my mind more trustworthy than arbitrary browser code.

But neither are inviolate.

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

itzman
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If they are functioning OK dont upgrade.

If they have enough RAM install linux.

If you care about the community smash all the PCs and leave.

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PAF! MPs go postal over postal location data sell-off by Coalition.gov

itzman
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You can certainly get most postcode info for free at the moment.

I have such a database..

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

itzman
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Re: Accident or Malicious?

The problem here is that even insofar as suicide by religion goes, that does not compute.

The aim of religious suicide is to take a lot of unbelievers with you.And make a big statement.

Now an airliner with 200 or whatever passengers on board pales into insignificance besides a large tower full of office workers. So why NOT fly it into one.

No, this has all the hallmarks of a covert operation. The airliner was deliberately hidden from electronic prying eyes and taken somewhere.

This means careful planning.

And I would assume, if the destruction of it was not the intention, somewhere to put it down, relatively intact.

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Plusnet shunts blame for dodgy DNS traffic onto customers' routers

itzman
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Re: I know it's contentious in a free internet

Probably because it would break everything.

If you actually WANT to use a different router to your ISP then you probably need to be allowed to.

Its alarming just how many routers one can find in the internet with open admin logins and for which the name 'admin'; and the password '1234' will actually work..

The default should be 'no remote admin allowed' for ALL domestic routers NOT supplied by an ISP.

Or at least even the noddy setup routines supplied by them should ask them to set an admin password and enable remote admin as a direct user choice, not as a the default option.

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Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

itzman
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Re: Mint not to my taste, but..

Well its a good thing that the distros exist that give you the choice..

The point for me is that I spend most of my time in the applications, not navigating the desktop etc.

As long as I can set up one click icon launches for my usual apps, that's enough for me - and an easy way to find the ones I use but seldom.

I am used to menus so there you go..

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itzman
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Re: I don't get it

I think the issue is that the distro mechanism provides an extremely easy way for users used to e.g. windows, or who are not particularly interested in the technicalities, to get a stable desktop up and running.

The thing about MINT is that a base install generally gets you everything you need and its usable and familiar from the outset.

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itzman
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Re: Minty

Are you sure?

MM yes. 32 bits is a long time ago tho.

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Hey, IT department! Sick of vendor shaftings? Why not DO IT, yourself

itzman
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Thumb Up

I cant but applaud this article.

Years ago I spent upwards of £120k for a bought in product. Ultimately I wrote a better one myself in a few months.

The thing is that finance departments like fixed price contracts. IT managers like specs and big teams.

Actually one good guy who knows the business as well as the IT tools running a skunk works of less than 6 people, can deliver bloody miracles.

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Fukushima radioactivity a complete non-issue on West Coast: Also for Fukushima locals, in fact

itzman
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Re: Sort of (only for people who Do Sums)

http://www.world-nuclear-news.org/RS-Novel-study-puts-Fukushima-doses-into-perspective-2502147.html

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Climate change will 'CAUSE huge increase in MURDER, ROBBERY and RAPE'

itzman
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causes of crime are so opaque?

Hradly.

if(opportnity(crime) && chanceOfGettingAwayWith(crime)>0.97)

commit(crime);

else

expressInnocenceAndLawAbidingNature(self);

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Intel, Sun vet births fast, inexpensive 3D chip-stacking breakthrough

itzman
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Re: latency...

almost certainly teh whole shebang will be clocked synchrnously with a matser clock being used to 'decode' the sort of serail data rates. So 64 of these little transfornes in parellel would represent a one half clock cycle delay at worst.

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itzman
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Re: Wow. NFC *finally* finds an actual use.

shoulkd be no need for error connection and what matters in terms of crosstalk is the nearets of te intended receiver to the farness of the unitended

It is simply a (chip) cored transformer.

What it cant do of course is nramsmit DC, but that needn't be an issue - a simple 'in phase with master clock' is a one state and out of phase a 0 state etc etc.

Plenty of encoding technologies like NRZ or Manchester can use an 'AC' transmission medium to transfer 'DC' states.

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'No, I CAN'T write code myself,' admits woman in charge of teaching our kids to code

itzman
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you don't need to know anything about a subject to manage it at a very top level

In a perfect world with perfect employees, that is true. You may take their 100% accurate information, and use it to make only those decisions appropriate to our level of management.

However, in a world of human beings, how if you know nothing about their jobs, will you know if they are simply lying to you?

Years ago when Britain still had a manufacturing industry one of my PCB's was going into production and the production manager said 'the girls can't stuff that board in less than 45 minutes. I said 'rubbish, I bet you I could stuff it in under 15 minutes.

I did it in 12 minutes sitting down at the carousel..

we set the rate at 20.

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Dell reveals 'proof-of-concept' ARM microserver

itzman
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Linux

Re: ARM needs standards

Sigh. Back in the day there was the same issue with 8 bit micros. No compatibility. Unless you used CP/M and a bios..Then along came IBM and defined a standard hardware, and the rest is history.

If Dell do the same thing here, it will be just another example of a big company enforcing a de facto but open-ish standard on the community.

BUT the real point is this: the operating system itself is the interface these days,not the BIOS. Not the hardware.

So long as each manufacturer has a published hardware standard so that linux kernel hackers can easily port their linux to it, then the user wont see any difference. Code compiled on one ARM system will run on another, even with different hardware, in the same way it doesn't matter what graphics or Ethernet or sound card you have in a PC, the Linux examines it and selects an appropriate driver for it.

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itzman
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Linux

Re: Won't be long before Intel leans on Dell to drop it.

Mmm. Now whilst I see where you are coming from, you need to ask yourself one question.

Is X86 the future of the small server market?

Unless I want to run some ghastly Microsoft server thing, why do I care what the CPU architecture is at all?

If it runs LAMP and Samba, that's all I do care about. And if it runs it at one half the power and two thirds the price, that's what I will be using..

Dell presumably knows what its customer base are doing with its servers. If they are almost universally running Linux on em, then this is a straight one for one replacement.

Intel have to show they can do better MIPS per watt with the atom derivatives at less price.

And there is another point too. I run an atom server in a SOHO application. Its more than fast enough. Where it needs more go is in the networking and disk access areas. If some of that functionality gets integrated onto the ARM core chip - in a way that Intel cannot do - then its lower chip count and cost.

Today's server is an intelligent connection between storage and network. It should be possible to make that a one chip solution almost, bar the RAM. OK maybe one serial or USB port for a console ...

Intel is still stuck selling CPU AND peripheral chips.

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'Wind power causes climate change' shown to be so much hot air

itzman
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Re: @Apriori

yeah well no fine. It happens to be blowing a gale.

Look again at gridwatch. In particular look at the interconnects for early December. Suddenly the imports switch to exports.

Why? because it was cold and there was no sun and no wind, and all of Germany and Denmark's renewable energy wasn't worth a chocolate teapot, and neither was ours.

You would have seen figures <100MW for wind then

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itzman
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FAIL

Re: Consistent

KiIl birds and bats?

Destroy profitably of competing generation which is not allowed to compete on level terms with their more expensive output?

Add extra grid instability?

Stymie investment in any energy source due to regulatory uncertainty? (The government giveth, and the government taketh away).

What they don't do of course, in a mixed grid that uses fossil plant to co-operate them with, is appreciably lower carbon dioxide emissions.

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itzman
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Re: Surprised by RC's statement!

Exactly. 0.3C is the sort of temperature rise that gets alarmist rushing for the klaxons.

Its about the size of the entire so called global warming to date.

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Boffins hose down fiery Li-ion batteries with industrial lubricant

itzman
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Re: Great up to 200 degrees C then what?

Again the point is whether it makes a bad situation worse with an exothermic reaction. Normal polymer electroilytes do exactly that.

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itzman
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Trollface

Re: You sort of wonder why no one looked at this before

Two chemists on a train heading to a conference on organic polymers.

One notices the other playing with a lump of flexible material "That looks interesting: may I see?"

"Sure, here you are"

"Hmm flexible, elastic..How did you make it?"

"Oh I just wiped my hand across my nose, and there it was ...."

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itzman
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Re: what about over discharge ?

I have to repeat. Its not just the fact the battery gets HOT its the fact that the electrolyte is highly flammable.

That turns a bad situation into a disaster

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itzman
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Re: what about over discharge ?

No: what over discharge does is cause overheating. Overheating typically causes puffing BUT it wont cause FIRE unless the electrolyte catches, and in this case presumably it wont.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

itzman
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Linux

The good thing about Linux...

..is that you don't have any friends to support... and they wouldn't need it anyway..

http://vps.templar.co.uk/Cartoons%20and%20Politics/unix.jpg

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itzman
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Re: If they have to buy a whole new machine...

There are more exceptions than that.

DTP ain't up to the Adobe/Quark level yet, and 2D and 3D CAD and creative drawing ain't up to Corel, Autocad, Rhino3D etc etc.

Then there are the millions of little apps that people use. Sage accounts for example.

If you are smart enough you use virtualisation or Wine, if not you buy windows.

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California takes a shot at mobile 'killswitch' mandate

itzman
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Re: Disproportionate response

well I heard stories that the IRA lost some bomb makers to prematurely triggered devices using model radio control gear.

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itzman
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Re: Not a Dos/DDos attack but

At which pint you backup the phone and call the supplier, saying 'someone has just threatened to brick my phone' and they send you another one.. or another sim card or something.

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Hands up if you have one good reason to port enterprise apps to ARM

itzman
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since anythning I writre server side is ...

...either C or PHP..

I'd have zero trouble spending half a day recompiling.

And I would, like as not.

If you have code written for Linux on an x86, it will port to Linux on ARM.

Only MSexcresence code wont.

So what? legacy apps can run on X86 as long as Intel is still in business.

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JavaScript is everywhere. So are we all OK with that?

itzman
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FAIL

Re: “the assembly language for the web”

As a C programmer I resent that remark

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itzman
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Mostly this programmer HATES javascript.

apart from that no comment

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Asus unveils dirt-cheap Chromebox desktops with Haswell chips

itzman
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Re: Yes, but...Chrome OS is Linux?

All right then. but will it run Linux MINT.

I.e can we load a generic Linux OS on it that isn't tied to what google decides we should have?

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iFrame attack injects code via PNGs

itzman
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Re: disable javascript in your browser!

It may be that professionals use Jquery, but an awful lot of 'creatives' who are only interested in a flashy looking page use it as well with absolutely zero understanding of what they are doing.

Here at Itzman Towers, the creative designs the page and the geek implements it using as little code as possible and none of it third party.

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itzman
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Unhappy

Re: disable javascript in your browser!

the problem is that so many sites are now using vast JavaScript frameworks that they have little idea of the integrity of and even less control over.

"Include my JavaScript library with this link, and then put this line in your code, and magic happens"

Most of these sites simply stop working when JavaScript is disabled.

Leaving the user between a rock and a hard place.

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