* Posts by richardcox13

177 posts • joined 19 May 2012

Page:

Shhhhh! If you're quiet, Linus Torvalds might release new a Linux

richardcox13

Re: This is a genuine question to all software devlopers...

> One thing I've never understood is why software is released with known bugs

In addition to the already noted: changes (including bug fixes) often introduce new bugs, there is also the problem that many bugs are benign – no one is affected – and the change adds risk (the new bug could be far worse).

There is also the case where an issue is found late. Should the release be delayed for that fix? (Especially true of test releases.)

Contemporary software systems are very complex. Even a small system will have tens of thousands of interacting parts. Mostly these do not interact (much effort is put into avoiding interactions) but sometimes they need to, and sometimes they do unexpectedly. Any change can potentially trigger an unwanted interaction.

9
0

Reg man 0: Japanese electronic toilet 1

richardcox13

Re: you could just leave the damn buttons alone.

“Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying 'End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH', the paint wouldn't even have time to dry.”

― Terry Pratchett

21
0

UK spying law delayed while Lords demand Leveson amendments

richardcox13

Re: Private Eye

Indeed, but like much of the press (including in this article) The Press are being disingenuous.

The press get to pay all costs even if they win if they refuse to go via arbitration. But, and this is the balance, the complainant gets to pay all costs if they refuse to go via arbitration.

The reality is that much of the press read a few headlines (not the actual proposed rules) and then spout off. This is driven by a few "leading" editors who want a toothless "regulator" so they can continue to write whatever they like knowing the vast majority cannot risk launching a libel complaint.

0
0

Dark matter? More like diet matter: Super-light axions may solve universe's mass riddle

richardcox13

Re: stupid question

> The laws of physics work both forward and backward in time.

Except the Second Law of Thermondynamics.

Which gives time only one direction.

5
0

Ghost of DEC Alpha is why Windows is rubbish at file compression

richardcox13

Re: Obvious bull

> Right. Because you couldn't have possibly included (de)compression

This is covered, but it is assumed know compressed files are updatable (this is another restriuction of on the compression algorithm: you need to be able to change parts of the file without re-writing and compressing the whole thing).

So one scenario is file is created on a x86 box and then updated on an Alpha box, So the Alpha system has to be able to compress in the same way, while still meeting to meet the performance criteria.

6
4

Boffins predict web scams with domain registration data

richardcox13

Stats Error!

> […]and they claim a false positive rate of just 0.35 per cent.

> (Since they write that 80,000 domains are registered each day, that's still around 250 sites a day unfairly tagged as evil, so PREDATOR still needs some refinement on that score).

The false positive rate is the proportion of sites tagged as fraudulent that shouldn't be. Not the proportion of all registrations. So it will be fewer than 250 falsely tagged sites. The paper does not seem (on a quick scan through) to suggest what proportion of registrations are fraudulent, but that 0.35% should be applied to that number not the total number of registrations.

2
0

Microsoft: Watch out millennials for evil Security Essentials

richardcox13

Re: "disabling the ctrl+alt+delete task manager"

> I thought the Kernel was supposed to trap the Three Finger Salute - how can it be disabled by this application?

In the days of PS/2 (and before that PC, PC-AT) keyboard connectors the Ctrl-Alt-Del combination was handled in the BIOS. And the kernel always got control.

This is not true of USB connected keyboards.

In practice if someone has physical access they can always take control (given a little time), so having a special key combination provides no useful protection.

3
0

DARPA unveils robot co-pilot

richardcox13

Re: Your Plastic Pal Who's Fun to Be With!

But unfortunately. the human pilots information only contains the out of tune text "go stick your head up a pig".

0
0

You work so hard on coding improvements... and it's all undone by a buggy component

richardcox13

Re: Levels of blame...

> Imagine if, when OpenSSL was flawed, or MD5 was cracked, we could

> just mark it as obsolete, mark an upgrade path, and EVERY piece of software

> that dealt with them worlwide was updated to use a replacement library or

> object class as soon as it was next executed?

And watch as some minor behavioural "fix" in the new version (on some other part of its functionality) causes many of those applications to break.

Behavioural dependencies can be very subtle, no amount of unit/integration testing will cover them all (100% is not enough, people will depend on officially "undefined" results).

Real world backwards compatibility can include leaving in some bugs…

6
0

Big Mickey Dell is wrong: Cloud ain't going to eat all of IT

richardcox13

Re: Hardware versus Data

> Would you care to have that stock under your own control, in your own warehouse, or would you prefer to rent space from a warehouse space provider?

Neither. I would prefer the supplier keeps it in their ownership until I call for it (and take ownership) when I have an immediate use for it (this can lead, because I've already got an order for it, to me effectively having ownership for a negative amount of time).

0
0
richardcox13

Re: cars and phones terrible analogies

> IaaS is a load of shit

Often yes. The costs of buying VMs in the cloud is.

But not always.

For example your steady state is a couple of decent servers and a moderate database: using IAAS will cost more than putting your own servers into a DC. However if you need to scale that to eight servers and a big database (black Friday, sales, run up to Christmas, and similar periods) then suddenly the numbers change.

If your peak load is not much more (within a factor of two say) then having fixed resources makes sense. But if you sometimes need far more for short periods then outright purchasing makes less sense even if the "normal" periods are more expensive. Not paying for those extra six servers 80% of the time is enough of a saving to more than cover the cost of IAAS rates for that 80% of the time.

And that's before considering there are significant savings on IAAS when you purchase your base capability on an annual basis rather than daily.

For a non-trivial business the sums may be very different depending on which LoB application you're talking about.

0
0

Command line coffee machine: Hacker shuns app so he can stay at the keyboard for longer

richardcox13

Re: brewed coffee from the command line

> The world's first 'webcam' was rigged up at MIT to see the level of coffee in a filter machine.

You linked to the page which in the *first sentance* says Cambridge University. Which is named for Cambridge England.

A certain location in New England is also named for the city, and there is apparently also a seat of learning there. But the coffee pot and webcam existed in the original.

12
0

French programmers haul Apple into court over developer rules

richardcox13

Re: Why use a web browser for an app?

Building a complete custom app for iOS is even more expensive than adapting a working web site for the form factor (and browser limitations).

Separately: is Safari becoming the new IE6: everyone has to support it, but it costs more to support than all the others combined?

16
5

Windows 10 market share fell in September

richardcox13

Re: ... we know mass enterprise adoption is still to come - ?

> I am a Windows sceptic, of course, […] given the awfulness of Win10

You start by assuming it is bad. And then it is: what a surprise.

Please do not pretend to perform any analysis where you've already determined the conclusion. (I'll withdraw that if you confirm you're a management consultant when, of course, your job is to confirm said management's choice.)

3
26
richardcox13

Re: Margin of Error

> Indeed, why El Reg persists in conducting monthly "analysis" of the noise contained in someone's over-precise Excel spreadsheet cells is a mystery.

Exactly.

From the article:

> down just .01 per cent from its August share

I would be surprised if the underlying data could justify +/-1 percentage point margins; I expect it is closer to double that.

Any smaller change is statistically meaningless.

7
0

Oracle's Coach Larry needs Microsoft plays to beat Amazon

richardcox13

Re: Oh Larry, did you learn NOTHING from War Games...

> Why pick a fight if you think you'll lose?

Remember "Unbreakable Linux"?

2
1

M.2 SSD drive format is under-rated. So why no enterprise arrays?

richardcox13

Re: Failure?

That seems over complex (and would require massively more PCIe channels) when SSD drives already handle parts of the flash failing (and are thus over provisioned with flash on creation).

Just treat a chip level failure as part of the same process. If a sufficiently large proportion of the flash is out of action then it is time for drive level replacement.

Much like the process HDDs go through to remap bad sectors until there are no more spare sectors left on the drive.

1
0

Crusty Cat 5e/6 cables just magically sped up to 2.5 Gbps and 5 Gbps

richardcox13

Re: More speed!

As I discovered recently local file storage, and not particularly quick local file storage (destination was a 5400 RPM disk) can quite happily saturate 1Gbps Ethernet.

On folders of moderately sized files (~10MB) transfer was hitting the network buffers moving at a net rate at about 950Mbps.

(Of course when the copy hit folders of small files, sub 4kb, the net transfer rate tanked :-(.)

6
0

Eric Raymond revisits his biggest mistake, updates 'Pilot' language after 20 years

richardcox13

> Barcelona

Barcelona's Cathedral was completed centuries ago.

Do you mean Sagrada Família? But that's not (nor going to be) a cathedral.

3
0

Scale-out sister? Unreliable disks are better for your storage

richardcox13

Re: Multiple actuators

I doubt it will happen. SSDs are so much quicker for random ops already that the necessary investment for spinning rust, their microcontrollers and firmware would never pay off.

Cheaper to invest in (near) real time replication from SSD array (satisfying the applications IO needs) to a high reliability array (batched writes and otherwise focus on lifetime).

2
0

Samsung intros super-speedy consumer SSDs, 'fastest M.2s ever'

richardcox13

Re: Has to be said:

> Those are blazing fast .......

ISWYDT

That said, having a 961 (the, currently available OEM version), the term "ludicrous speed" starts to make sense (for example on startup the BIOS part is unnoticeably longer than OS boot time).

3
0

Are you sure you want to outsource IT? Yes/No. Check this box to accept Ts&Cs

richardcox13

Re: Cyber Essentials Plus

> since most cloud providers do not seem to be certified to anything;

But not all. Eg. https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/trustcenter/Compliance/default.aspx

Includes one for UK.GOV (towards the bottom).

[This is no way a suggestion that Azure is "secure" (whatever that means), just that there is at least one provider that is getting certified.]

1
0

BT's Wi-Fi Extender works great – at extending your password to hackers

richardcox13

Re: Why didn't they spend some time testing the product before releasing it?

> test it properly first

Please define "properly" for this purpose.Without that definition you fall into the trap of trying to prove a negative.

1
1

Come in HTTP, your time is up: Google Chrome to shame leaky non-HTTPS sites from January

richardcox13

Re: Dumb idea IMO..

> Unless you're trying to support IE on Windows XP, you'll rarely find a case

Make that pre-SP2 Windows XP. SNI client support was added in SP2.

If your client's are using Windows XP without SP2, then they have bigger problems than a few security warnings. But as Chrome now requires at least Windows 7, they won't get the warnings anyway.

1
0

Want a Windows 10 update? Don't go to Microsoft ... please

richardcox13
Boffin

> this is simply a [malware] disaster waiting to happen

Only if someone manages to break the signing and thus create a replacement file that works as an update with the same signature.

When downloading updates direct from MS today they are downloaded over HTTP, not HTTPS. But the signatures are downloaded on HTTPS and checked against the patches downloaded without a secure channel. This avoids the overhead of encrypting the patches for each client while performing the same content validation a secure channel would given (remember TLS both validates the content came from the correct server and hides the content on the network: the latter is irrelevant in this case as anyone can download the patches already).

6
5

SpaceX blast kills Zuck's sat

richardcox13

Some coverage elsewhere (eg. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-37247077)

Quote: "Local emergency officials described the incident as a 'catastrophic abort during a static test fire'."

Sounds like an sudden unscheduled disassembly.

3
0

Ireland's govt IT: Recession and job cuts forced us to adapt

richardcox13

> "Information and Computing Technology".

I thought it was "Information and Communications Technology", everyone outstide government and education would just use "IT".

0
0

Systemd adds filesystem mount tool

richardcox13

Re: re: 1970 thinking.

>The fact that you think computers can do more than one thing at a time, rather

> than spend a tiny amount of time doing one thing then swtiching to another one,

> shows a staggering lack of understanding

And when was the last time you used a computer without multiple CPUs/cores?

Current systems really do multi-task.

3
9

Intel's latest diversity report shows numbers at a standstill

richardcox13
FAIL

> the figure was bumped up a mere 0.1 per cent, from 0.5 to 0.6 per cent.

I know journalists are not famed for their mathematical skills but this is a technical publication so needs calling out.

An increase from 0.5 to 0.6 is a twenty percent increase. It may only be 0.1 percentage points, but 0.1 is a large proportion of 0.5.

5
0

Billion-tonne IceCube: Sterile neutrino does not exist

richardcox13

Re: Back of the envelope calculation = awesome

> through 29m of solid ice?

This is glacial ice: transparent.

The ice we normally see is full of crystal flaws and is therefore optically translucent.

Given a few thousand years of serious compression (under a km of ice) these flaws are force out and the ice becomes optically clear.

2
0

Seagate in 10TB drive brand brainstorm

richardcox13

Re: Inflated prices...

> 15 years ago a typical business workstation would have and realistically need perhaps a 20GB drive

I think you mean 25 years age: start of the 90s, 40MB was large buyt increasingly common.. A decade later – after the millennium – hundreds of megs if not a gig was normal.

0
0

Stack Overflow takes on technical documentation

richardcox13

Re: It's all rather depressing really

> Microsoft documentation is well-known for being accurately unhelpful.

Usually a case of reference documentation is not helpful until you know the basics. Oracle takes this to the maximum: unless you know a lot about the statement already the reference documentation is completely unreadable (often within the first few paragraphs they're talking about edge cases dependent on database version and/or option settings).

3
0

The Reg Coding competition – 10 times as hard as the last one!

richardcox13

> Wow, we are a load of language snobs, aren't we?

Not really, not (until now) a single mention on Clojure, OCAML, Haskell, …

1
1
richardcox13
Boffin

Re: Ah, just like real projects

> Is it also possible to request a language that is less noddy

Indeed, what's wrong with Ook, a Befunge, or – perhaps best – whitespace?

2
0

TP-Link abandons 'forgotten' router config domains

richardcox13

Re: Internet Rip-Off

> Sigh, another example of how the Internet market has become just another way to screw money out of businesses.

How?

TP-Link chose to use different domains for those functions rather than just a URL (or IP address). That they failed to maintain functions they created is their failure.

It is nothing to do with the massive expansion of TLDs.

5
2

Hubble spies rare cosmic tadpole galaxy

richardcox13
Boffin

Re: but no indication how far away it is?

If you look at section 2 of the paper it says 24.5 Mpc.

For this purpose I'll round that to 25 Mpc. Which is 7.714e+23m.

IIRC one linguine is 15cm so that's 5.14e24 linguine, so – just so I can use the prefix – 5.1 Yottalinguine.

10
0

Docker taps unikernel brains to emit OS X, Windows public betas

richardcox13

Re: Wondering how long...

> What *would* be extremely useful is running Windows software on Linux.

That is coming: http://www.hanselman.com/blog/DevelopersCanRunBashShellAndUsermodeUbuntuLinuxBinariesOnWindows10.aspx

0
0

Champagne supernova in the sky: Shockwaves seen breaking star

richardcox13

Re: Supernova Fusion

> I think (but may be wrong) that stars normal fusion process can create atoms up to iron[…]

You're not wrong.

Fe-56 to be precise.

4
0

Mozilla will emit 'first version' of Servo-based Rust browser in June

richardcox13

> Also, FWIW, Chrome for example ain't exactly svelte once you add up all the various processes' RAM use.

That will seriously over count on virtual memory based systems because on such systems there will be significant sharing.

On contemporary OSs memory usage is a not a simple topic, there is no simple way to count the memory usage of even a single process. For a start what do you mean by "memory usage": working set, commit, private allocation, address space allocation, or …?

1
0

Tandy 102 proto-laptop still alive and beeping after 30 years, complete with AA batteries

richardcox13

> machine's much-better-than-a-ZX-Spectrum keyboard

There is damning with faint praise, and then there is this statement.

Is it possible to have a worse keyboard (outside of some ruggedised niche)?.

2
0

Microsoft explanation for Visual Studio online outage leaves open questions

richardcox13

Re: SQL Server 2014 memory allocation

> It is not clear from the blog whether this is a custom version of SQL Server 2014

> used internally by Microsoft, or whether it is the production release.

No it isn't a custom internal version, but the SQL Server used in Azure is not the same as the version you would deploy locally. See Books Online reference for lots of differences. That said they are mostly the same.

> anyone running SQL Server 2014 in SQL Server 2014 compatibility

> mode is likely to suffer issues with massive over-allocation of memory to

> queries and stored procs.

"is likely": no, not likely. Otherwise current users of SQL Server 2014 (which has been around now for almost two years) would have noticed.

However you could hit the same bug: in which case raise a support issue to get early access to the fix.

1
0
richardcox13

If you want some detail...

A much more detailed write up:

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/bharry/2016/02/05/vs-team-services-incidents-on-feb-3-4/

and

https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/bharry/2016/02/06/a-bit-more-on-the-feb-3-and-4-incidents/

The latter includes some rather low level details...

0
0

You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

richardcox13

Re: Lower to uppercase

> I appreciate that was probably very old code... but you do realise that changing case in ASCII is just a bitwise operation?

Only if it is truly ASCII: 7 bit encoding, nothing accented.

Once you need to deal with wider encodings or outside the USA then it breaks down.

Even if all the characters are unaccented it will not work (see Turkish I Problem).

2
0

Watch: SpaceX Dragon capsule breathes fire during crucial hover test

richardcox13

Re: flash?

I don't know: give users HTML5 and then they'll also demand TLS for pages with a login.

And indeed we should have these things.

> 2015

Perhaps when you catch up with the rest of us in 2016? :-)

20
0

El Reg mulls entering Robot Wars arena

richardcox13

Re: Well what worked best before?

> That's one of the very few XKCD strips that confuses me

http://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/689:_FIRST_Design

3
0

Happy 30th birthday, IETF: The engineers who made the 'net happen

richardcox13

> the internet grew faster than any technology has ever grown in the history of man and yet it never failed, faltered or fell over

It may never have failed but it has certainly faltered.

I can't be the only one who remembers the "Great Internet Worm" of 1988, when some 40% of the hosts online were taken out.

1
1

Server retired after 18 years and ten months – beat that, readers!

richardcox13

Re: The drive's a Seagate...

> Does that mean that, due to relativity, there is a tangible time difference between the inside and outside of the disc?

Yes, since any velocity or space-time distortion will give a change. But I doubt it will be much.

Assuming the outer edge of the data area of the platters is 3", I get a linear speed of 21.6m/s.

Which gives a adjustment, of special relativity, of 0.0026%.

However, this is non-linear motion so general relativity applies. Which reverses the effect. But I've no idea by how much.

3
0

Beyond iTunes: XML boffins target sheet music

richardcox13

Re: Eh?

> I'm 'writing' using a computer font, I'm stuck with a single set of characters

No you are not.

Look up "Font Stylistic Sets": a single (Open Type) font/typeface can include multiple variations of each glyph; which can then vary contextually (shape is influenced by surrounding characters).

Unicode supports this with Variation Selectors.

Even Word (recent versions) supports this. Select a suitable font (eg. Gabriola) and use the Advanced tab of Font settings to change the stylistic set. Compare sets 1 and 7 for obvious differences.

6
0

Seagate wears dunce's cap in hi-cap disk ship slip

richardcox13

Re: Gah, that chart hurts my head!

> Also, the chart shows shipped capacity

Exactly.

Someone has a spin they want to push, and has designed a chart to help that spin.

Consider units would have the 8GB section an eighth the height and the 10GB section a tenth. The latter would essentially disappear.

That said, net revenue would perhaps be a more useful scale but unlikely any of the companies publish sufficiently detailed sales data.

3
0

Amazon: Just to let you know, Oracle's cloud is so 2011. That's all

richardcox13

Re: Looks to me as if Oracle is rolling on the business as usual train

> Depends on what Microsoft includes in Cloud Revenue - these figures are quite easy to manipulate by any party.

Exactly. I seem to recall reading on these pages that MS includes Office 365 (to work Amazon has no equivalent).

However, like much in accounting, where the lines are drawn is completely arbitrary. If MS is using Office 365 to fund Azure development by making use of it, then so be it. In much the same way Amazon started AWS based on its own internal need for computing resources.

0
1

Page:

Forums