* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2121 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Alexa, why aren't you working? No – I didn't say twerking. I, oh God...

Flocke Kroes
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@format C:

Wrong OS. I would go for SQL injection but you can find some other good ideas here.

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US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

Flocke Kroes
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Someone doesn't understand his own tech

"I'll hold my hand up, just like my cell phone, and it'll pay for my product"

He'll hold his hand up, just like his cell phone, and money will disappear from his bank account. Come back when there is a chip that really does pay for anything I want.

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Microsoft hits new low: Threatens to axe classic Paint from Windows 10

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Now just notepad, and we can write off builtin apps completely.

Did that when they removed minesweeper.

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Q. What's today's top language? A. Python... no, wait, Java... no, C

Flocke Kroes
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@Clive Galway

Could be worse. Imaging what could go wrong if a language allowed:

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵if (is_elephant(animal))

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵if (is_white(animal))

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵white_elephant(animal);

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵else

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵not_elephant(animal);

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: OT. Way to get a C dev to fall in love with another language.

return_type (*array_name[])(parameter0_type, parameter1_type, ...) = {function0, function1};

Works fine. Eve's C compiler was limited to 8 letter variable names because of the limited storage capacity of flint chips. Ancient Greek clockwork compilers allowed arbitrary length identifiers, but only the first 63 bytes were significant.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: I suspect there are quite a few Java devs out there

$ python3 -c 'print(5+1 == 6 or 51)'

True

$ echo | awk '{print "5"+"1"}'

6

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Ten new tech terms I learnt this summer: Do you know them all?

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Could be worse

Imagine how daft marketers would sound if they promised "up to 20 millibits per second!"

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US Homeland Sec boss has snazzy new laptop bomb scanning tech – but admits he doesn't know what it's called

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Built in Timer

Penguins can test for a usable wakeup timer with:

[ -a /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm ] && echo got one || echo not there

If one is there, cancel the detonation with:

echo 0 > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm

If you can get clear in 4 minutes, type:

date '+%s' -d '+ 4 minutes' > /sys/class/rtc/rtc0/wakealarm

You can then shut down you laptop and flee.

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UK households hit by 1.8m computer misuse offences in a year

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Eh?

No point even trying to report intrusion any more. Teresa May legalised it, criminalised reporting it and required contractors to do it for free when ordered by the state.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

Flocke Kroes
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Re: CPU drivers?

Apparently the problem is GPU drivers. Intel put a PowerVR GPU in some of the cloverview chips.

As always, do the research first, then stick to a "No source code, no sale" policy or the vendor controls when you "upgrade".

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.. ..-. / -.-- --- ..- / -.-. .- -. / .-. . .- -.. / - .... .. ... then a US Navy fondleslab just put you out of a job

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Nothing wrong with sliderules

Before I was a PFY, I used sliderules and log tables. I could never get them to store equations and repeat a calculation with different inputs.

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SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

Flocke Kroes
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cut the crap, Linux is UNIX?

I think you will find despite throwing millions of dollars at lawyers, The SCO Group could not prove that Linux was Unix. You are very welcome to try, but bear in mind that TSG went bankrupt because they dedicated their entire business to this false premise and had nothing left when the rest of the world caught on that they were lying.

Linux aims for Posix compliance. The compliance is sufficiently good that a great deal of software is source code compatible with other Posix compliant operating systems (with minimal porting effort).

I am sorry that you find Linux difficult to work with. Various educational resources understood by young children can be found here. If that is still too difficult for you, McDonalds are hiring.

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Another Brexit cliff edge: UK.gov warned over data flows to EU

Flocke Kroes
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Re: "cancellation of fishing rights for other countries in British waters"

Works both ways.

Take a look at the EU fishing areas (PDF). Except for the Bristol Channel, every area that includes UK territorial waters includes territorial waters of at least one other state.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: @TonyJ

Probably because the majority of vocal remainers were adamant that another referendum should be taken (presumably over and over ad infitium) until they got the result they wanted. Despite democracy not working like that"

The neverendum petition was created by a Brexit supporter. It is clearly one of the few things that Brexit/Bremains agree on.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: Newsflash

Why all the down votes? Projecting an unreasonably high standard of mental capabilities onto others does not lead to a majority of satisfied customers.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: @ codejunky

"But right now it is up to the EU how they want to interact with us outside the EU."

So, let the rest of the EU write the withdrawl and future relationship agreement? The UK does not need to send any negotiators? The UK just has to sign whatever they come up with?

Glad to see you have more faith in the EU than the UK government.

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US border cops search cloud accounts? Ha ha, nope, negative, no way, siree – Homeland Sec

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Sighs

Get your burner phone after going through customs and immigration, otherwise the device you get back could have spyware installed.

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NAO: Customs union IT system may not be ready before Brexit

Flocke Kroes
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Re: codejunky

"knock off brexit party"

Which one? Before the referendum, the remain/leave split among MPs was about 60/40 - independent of party. The Brexits handed responsibility for large complex important negotiations to a bunch of ignorant two-faced half wits. Even if trade deal were so simple that a single code monkey could handle them there is no way that a parliament of MPs could a good job even if they wanted to.

It is quite simple. If the government ask you what you want them to do say "nothing". It is what they are best at.

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Blue Cross? Blue crass: Health insurer thought it would be a great idea to mail plans on USB sticks

Flocke Kroes
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You are taking a risk

"ls -l" won't tell you very much. VFAT does not have the concept of permissions, so "ls -l" will show everything as executable. A more interesting test is "lsusb -v | grep bInterfaceClass" before and after inserting the suspicious device. If you see only an extra "Mass Storage" then you have something that might be honest. If you see an extra "Human Interface Device" then the device can start typing commands when it decides you are not looking. If you think your test computer is air gapped, think again. A USB device could contain a Wifi or GSM adaptor.

Even a plain mass storage device is risky. If the file system is corrupt it can crash the kernel. A carefully crafted corrupt file system could allow an attacker to modify the kernel.

Even if you have exceptional reasons not to be paranoid, wiping and formatting a random USB flash device does not give you a safe place to store data. Flash devices from the top layer of the crate contain more storage than advertised to handle sectors that wear out with use. The ones underneath contain less flash than advertised to save money. The firmware will crash when you run out of unallocated sectors and all your data will disappear.

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Adult toy retailer slapped down for 'RES-ERECTI*N' ad over Easter

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Jesus Christ!

When your only tool is a nail gun, every task looks like a messiah.

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AI vans are real – but they'll make us suck at driving, warn boffins

Flocke Kroes
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Re: That's only too true

I found the most popular type of accident for a manual driver in an automatic car was expecting the car to not move when releasing the brake.

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Virgin Trains dodges smack from ICO: CCTV pics of Corbyn were OK

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Corbyn solution

IAVO - old enough to remember nationalised railways. There is only one way I can think of that nationalising the railways again creates empty seats: the service becomes so unreliable that passengers have to find a different means of transport. The day after nationalisation the transport unions will demand a pay rise because it will make Corbyn look bad if there is a strike. Track maintenance will be cancelled because the prices will go up for a similar reason. Damaged track will be "fixed" by adding "temporary" speed limits (just like it was last time we had a nationalised rail service). Journey times will increase and the capacity of the network will decrease.

To add more capacity, you can run longer trains (requires building longer stations). You can try double-decker trains (increases the loading time and makes the journeys slower). There can only be one train between a pair of adjacent signals, so adding more signals can increase capacity. You can develop automatically refolding parachutes to reduce the trains' stopping distance and increase the maximum speed through yellow and double yellow signals.

There are (costly) ways to increase capacity or you can create empty seats by increasing prices. If Corbyn had promised to increase train capacity by investing in track, signal and station improvements then I would have had a hint of sympathy for him. As it is, I hope that he has difficulting finding a seat during the next election.

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Talk about a hit and run: AA finally comes clean on security breakdown

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Always simpler than you think

13GB/120000 accounts > 100K each

What other information do they keep about each customer?

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European MPs push for right to repair rules

Flocke Kroes
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"... software should be easier to repair and update"

Does this mean Windows 10 GPL?

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Bonkers call to boycott Raspberry Pi Foundation over 'gay agenda'

Flocke Kroes
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Proof, where it doesn't matter

The Pibow has been around for five years, and is available from Adafruit. Somehow, hundreds of millions of children did not instantly become LGBT. Instead of attempting a boycott, both people with iridophobia could fund space exploration so they can find out what is really happening on Mars.

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Skynet? More like Night-sky-net. AI hunts for Milky Way's turbo stars

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Galaxy screen saver

My mom chose a galaxy collision screen saver for her rPi. It is part of the minimal bunch of screen savers you get if you do not install the extras. Is that the same software?

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Concorde without the cacophony: NASA thinks it's cracked quiet supersonic flight

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Let's just hope....

Concorde could dip the nose down so the pilot could see the ground during landing. Does anyone know why they didn't add a window near the pilot's feet?

(This project hit the news over a year ago. It probably started well before that so a chunk of development time has already happened.)

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Northern Ireland bags £150m for broadband pipes in £1bn Tory bribe

Flocke Kroes
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Re: option to stay in the EU?

What option? I did not see one in article 50. The options are:

1) Negotiate an exit treaty and a new trade treaty.

2) Beg every other EU state to extend the deadline (requires a unanimous vote).

3) Fart about for 2 years, do not agree a new trade treaty, suddenly discover eligibility for the WTO treaty depends on human rights May promised to revoke as soon as leaving the EU allows. The next fallback trade treaty is GATT. GATT allows bigger tariffs on imports into the UK, but also allow everyone else to tax UK exports. If a tariff war starts, locally manufactured goods increase in price to match taxed imports, but economies of scale die from lack of exports: higher prices without higher profits. The higher prices increase the cost of manufacture and the lack of foreign competition creates local monopoly prices.

May triggered article 50 so the Libdems could not put "remain" in their manifesto. The only options are whether the UK leaves a little bit or a lot. So far, May has spent lots of time and resources on the farting about option. I have confidence in her ability to vastly increase the amount of money spent on farting about until the deadline passes.

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UK Parliament hack: Really, a brute-force attack? Really?

Flocke Kroes
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@Andrew Commons

This is for remote logins. I found dropping all connection attempts from the source IP address for only ten minutes was sufficient for the attacker try somewhere else. The attacker stood no chance as I disable password authentication before making a machine accessible over the internet. (The number of attempts to brute force user names and passwords was an annoying waste of bandwidth.)

Good news! When May makes public key cryptography illegal I will have to go back to allowing password authentication. Come to think of it, the ban will include ssh and we will all have to go back to using telnet.

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AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away

Flocke Kroes
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Re: obviously...

Have you listened to our government recently? If May finds out, she will make software defined radios mandatory along with software to make them accessible by anyone over the internet.

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Intel: Joule's burned, Edison switched off, and Galileo – Galileo is no more

Flocke Kroes
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rPi was never the competitor

Intel's cut down chips had to compete against Intel's server chips. In Intel's place, would you have your Fab's working flat out making big server chips that you could sell with a huge margin, or cut the number of server chips so you can make some embedded system chips that might sell at near cost?

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Elon Musk reveals Mars colony rocket capable of bringing pizza joints to the red planet

Flocke Kroes
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Re: How about - slow boat to Mars

You need an enormous lump of fuel to get to out of Earth's atmosphere and pick up some of the speed needed for orbit. That is what the BFR booster is for. You need a large lump of fuel to get from the speed that the BFR provides to orbital velocity. A full tank in the colony ship should do it. Getting to Earth orbit is hard. Mars is much easier. The colony rocket has enough fuel capacity to get the surface of Mars back to Earth orbit. Most of that fuel is required to get to Mars orbit. Refuelling in at Mars orbit to get to Earth orbit would not require anything like a full tank.

Let's try plan B. Miss out the nuclear reactor and the chemical plants required to convert CO₂ and ice into O₂ and methane. Instead, pack some of the fuel required to get to Mars orbit. Throw out all the colonists and supplies and you might have space for the fuel required to get to orbit (the colony rocket looks about half fuel tanks and half cargo space by volume - if fuel is heavier than cargo then plan B cannot work).

The second wave of colonists will be absolutely furious because there will not be a source of fuel on Mars waiting for them so they will have to pack their own.

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You wait ages for a sun, then two come along at once: All stars have twins, say astroboffins

Flocke Kroes
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How much can you get wrong in one post?

The idea of a companion star for sol named Nemesis dates back to 1984. Star Trek: Nemesis came out in 2002. I think the hypothetical star was named after the Greek goddess especially as ST:TNG only started in 1987 (Planet Vulcan predated ST:TOS by over a century).

Astronomers have already found about 50 stars within 1,000,000 AU (15.8ly). Stars move relative to each other. Scholz's star (currently 20ly away) came within 52,000 AU (0.8ly) of Sol only 70,000 years ago. The problem of identifying Nemesis is more likely to be that astronomers have already found many stars the right age and composition, but they have little idea where they were 4.7 billion years ago.

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EU regulators gearing up to slap Google with €1bn fine – reports

Flocke Kroes
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When I see a Google / Samsung headline ...

... I take a look at the recent offerings from one particular author. Perhaps I am not the only one because some AO headlines made it past my filter, and the articles did not call for Samsung to be found guilty of puppy drowning, Google to be tied down to a railway line or Julia Reda to be burned at the stake.

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Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

Flocke Kroes
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Re: My code won't run but the spaces are great

i+++j is obvious, but a fun way to catch people out is some variation of:

int divide(int n, int *d) { return n/*d; }

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: My code won't run but the spaces are great

When some heinous cretin uses a clueless indentation style, fix it. If they use a consistently stupid style you can reverse the changes and avoid a time wasting flame war. The correct character to use depends on the language.

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Germany puts halt on European unitary patent

Flocke Kroes
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They tried that ...

... in East Texas.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: That is one of the EU's greatest strengths!

@Pat Att

Yes.

Patent litigation is still ridiculously expensive with unpredictable results.

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Flocke Kroes
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That is one of the EU's greatest strengths!

Whenever the UK government want to do something mind bogglingly stupid, they wait for some vaguely relevant event to hit the news then rush through emergency legislation. If there were a ten year delay before legislation could take effect then there would be some hope that the worst clauses could be weakened before too much damage gets done.

The best feature of the European patent office is their internal conflict and strikes. The idea of patents was to reward inventors for publishing instructions to build their inventions with a twenty year monopoly. Nobody reads patents any more until litigation is threatened. There are several reasons: the signal to noise ratio is tiny, the 'inventions' are either obvious or broken, the instructions are vague well past the point of uselessness and reading a patent causes triple damages for wilful infringement. As nobody reads patents to discover how to manufacture inventions, publishing is pointless and a 20 year monopoly is an excessive reward even for the dozen or so quality patents mixed in with the tens of thousands granted every year.

The current system of adjudication is poor. A judge with minimal to non-existent understanding of tech attempts to be impartial and the result is random. The new plan is to have patent professionals (with a minimal understanding of the tech) make judgements to enrich their peers. About the only consolation prize from Brexit is some hope that we will escape the European patent court. Avoiding the EPO is a mixed blessing: the UK patent office has equally low standards for granting patents but without the strikes.

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From landslide to buried alive: Why 2017 election forecasts weren't wrong

Flocke Kroes
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"Except the bit where Corbyn has constantly stuck to his principles for 40 years."

I thought Corbin couldn't find a seat.

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Ex-NSA bod sues US govt for 'illegally spying' on Americans: We drill into 'explosive' 'lawsuit'

Flocke Kroes
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Credible evidence

Perhaps, but I would bet that they haven't read it, wouldn't recognise it if they did, and it refers to naughtiness not mentioned in their complaint.

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Tech can do a lot, Prime Minister, but it can't save the NHS

Flocke Kroes
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Re: First of all

My local hospital recognised the danger of getting locked in with a monopoly software supplier. Their solution: pick two incompatible solutions and let each member of staff pick one. The result is that they are locked in with two different suppliers. It is almost as if people outside the software industry do not understand that the most effective tool to break lock in is the GPL.

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Flocke Kroes
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Re: Real world underfunding

May's £8 billion over five years is almost £31 million per week. What happened to the other £319 million?

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So despite all the cash ploughed into big data, no one knows how to make it profitable

Flocke Kroes
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Re: Data speculation - Done successfully

Successful big data is rare, but the results can be huge. The obvious example is Robert Mercer, who had the data for a very successful "Get out the vote" campaign for Donald Trump. In the UK, the name you are looking for is Cambridge Analytica.

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NSA leaker bust gets weirder: Senator claims hacking is wider than leak revealed

Flocke Kroes
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It could be worse ...

The proposed reason for turning Winner's life into shit is because she undermined confidence in the US election system. Imagine how little confidence people would have if all the results of investigations into election tampering were top secret and any attempt to publish them resulted in a decade in prison.

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The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

Flocke Kroes
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Have they surveyed other groups?

The many of the negative attributes quoted for the open source community apply to just about every other community too. Claiming the open source community is nasty is an empty statement. Claiming it is nastier than other communities - with research to back it up - would be interesting.

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UK PM May's response to London terror attack: Time to 'regulate' internet companies

Flocke Kroes
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Why we must ban the internet

Some kook posts a mad conspiracy theory and it will be debunked and forgotten. We cannot allow that. Censor the internet! Delete everything! Put up a great wall! Make empty threats about hunting the kook down! Show how utterly terrified we are of a few words and people will be convinced there must be some truth behind them.

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'My PC needs to lose weight' says user with FAT filesystem

Flocke Kroes
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PCMCIA

People Can't Memorise Computer Industry Acronyms

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Boffins play with the world's most powerful X‑ray gun to shoot molecules

Flocke Kroes
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Re: I have become the destroyer of worlds

Killer scientist: Look I have a new weapon of mass destruction!

Arms dealer: Cool, whats the range and area of the death zone?

Killer scientist: A few cm and 8x10⁻¹⁵m².

Arms dealer: What?

Killer scientist: You get someone in there and they are going to die!

Arms dealer: Of course, they wouldn't fit.

Killer scientist: That's just the detector to find out what happened when we shoot something. You don't need that.

Arms dealer: That's a relief. It looked a bit expensive and impossible to transport. Where is the actual weapon?

Killer scientist points.

Arms dealer: That tunnel goes on forever!

Killer scientist: The tunnel is 3.2km long, but we only use the last km.

Arms dealer walks away.

Killer scientist: That's just the first prototype. The next version will only be half a km long.

Arms dealer (calls back over his shoulder): Still wouldn't fit on an aircraft carrier.

Killer scientist: Aircraft carrier - good choice. You would need the nuclear reactor as a power source... Why are you leaving?

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Intel gives the world a Core i9 desktop CPU to play with

Flocke Kroes
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Re: At 140 Watts...

The bad news is that you need Tcase for you Intel tea maker, not Tjunction. A reasonable guess is about 70°C, which is sufficient for green tea. Heating time for a well insulated kettle is 4200*(Thot-Tcold)*mass/Power. Cold water from the tap is about 10°C, so a 140W processor make 1kg of hot water every half hour, or one cup every 7.5 minutes. Green tea is usually served in smaller cups, so you can have a fresh cup every 4.5 minutes.

It looks like Intel have found a killer app that totally trashes the raspberry pi, which would take over two hours to make a cup of green tea.

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