* Posts by Flocke Kroes

2601 posts • joined 19 Oct 2007

Send mixed messages: Mozilla wants you to try its encrypted file sharing

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Salted hash

Just tested appending 8 bytes to an image of a young goat. The sha512sum changed but the image displayed correctly. Should work for cat videos too. Clearly the only solution is for May to ban all image and video display software.

Forget Iran and North Korea. Now there's another uranium source

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Newton's third law

Whenever I read about someone complaining about centrifugal force, I find myself wondering if the person in question knows as much as they claim.

Imagine holding a piece of string with a rock glued to the other end. The Earth's gravity pulls the rock down. The rocks gravity pulls the Earth up. The rock pulls down on the string and the string pulls up on the rock. The string pulls down on your hand and your hand pulls up on the string.

Spin the rock round in circles - you are providing a centripetal force that curves the rock's motion into a circle. The rock provides a centrifugal force pulling on your hand.

In the article, the spin of a neutron star increases because matter moves into a black hole in the middle. Gravity provides the centripetal force required to curve the motion of the outside of the neutron star into a circle. While the star holds together, there must be an equal an opposite force preventing collapse. That is centrifugal force provided by the spin. The spin increases until centrifugal force exceeds gravity, at which point the star breaks up.

Centrifugal force is an example of an inertial force (a force proportional to mass). From another (Einstein's) point of view, inertial forces are artifacts created by selecting an accelerating reference frame. Astronauts in a rocket with the engines on experience a force like gravity because they are in an accelerating reference frame. A motor cyclist riding inside a wall of death experiences a force like gravity because he is in an accelerating (rotating) reference frame. People on Earth think that they experience gravity, but gravity is an inertial force. Although you think you are sitting still in your arm chair, you are really in an accelerating reference frame. Centrifugal force is an inertial force that results from selecting an accelerating reference frame and is just as real/unreal as gravity.

Mid-flight jumbo font smartphone text shock sparks kid abuse arrests

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Danger: rational thought was banned decades ago

Life of Brian was banned in Ireland, Malaysia, Norway, Singapore, South Africa, parts of Germany, Scotland, some towns in the US and several counties in the UK. (The Aberystwyth ban was eventually cancelled by Judith Iscariot.)

WannaCry-killer Marcus Hutchins denies Feds' malware claims

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Guilty

Saying anything other than "Lawyer please" and "no comment" during a police interview is a crime: "lying to the police". Even if you know what every law is, never broken any of them and answer truthfully, the officer can still fail to remember your exact words when he writes his interview report.

The other fun part of being a foreigner released on bail in the US: no work permit. You will be stuck there for months waiting for a court date.

Google drops poker face, allows gambling apps on Play Store

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: There are only two kinds of people in the world.

Those that understand gambler's fallacy and gamblers.

CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: 30" → 27"

I blame Brexit.

To truly stay anonymous online, make sure your writing is as dull as the dullest conference call you can imagine

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

OMG, like 80's tech. Whatever

Deed zeey test it veet zee incheffereeser? Bork Bork Bork!

Hacked Chrome web dev plugin maker: How those phishers tricked me

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

The other big lesson

When you hijack someone else's account, change the password promptly.

Linux kernel hardeners Grsecurity sue open source's Bruce Perens

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Use the wrong search engine and you will not find such trouble with Windows

I can remember plenty of examples of legal trouble from Microsoft. When I tried to search for them, nothing came back. When I asked Google, I found them quickly. It is almost as if search engines related to Microsoft are burying news that embarrasses their sponsor.

Why do you cry when chopping onions? No, it's not crippling anxiety, it's this weird chemical

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: pah!

Perhaps you are using my solution: Be very tall, stand back from the work surface, chop at arms length and keep your hands away from you face until after you have washed them thoroughly.

How can you kill that which will not die? Windows XP is back (sorta... OK, not really)

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: shiny stone tower

How about a gilded prison that sells pricey day-release passes and charges an exorbitant access tax on the local limo hire companies.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: How can a free operating system...

statcounter counts market share by unique-ish website access from probably humans. If you go by cost to install then for a while Microsoft had negative market share because the bribes for crapware were higher than the cost of the license.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: bob

Have you tried the EFF's panopticlick? Caring about privacy puts you in a minority and doing so effectively can make your browser close enough to unique that you can be tracked.

statcounter does not say which websites they monitor. If the did, a small number of penguins would do some ballot box stuffing. I assume the tracked websites show a blank page or a "we require javascript" page to anyone who does not click on at least a dozen adverts per day.

statcounter shows a clear prejudice against robots. Robots must make up a significant proportion of the internet by now. Can anyone who has failed a Turing test tell me ... are there adverts targeted to robots yet?

Google tracks what you spend offline to prove its online ads work. And privacy folks are furious

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Passible advantage of Google's tracking

What if Google's data proves that adverts to not increase sales?

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Google "security"

Judging by how many people recycle passwords Google must already have access to millions of bank accounts.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Gait recognition?

Walk this way ...

I thought they used free wifi to track how your phone moves through the shop.

Look out Silicon Valley, here comes Brit bruiser Amber Rudd to lay down the (cyber) law

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Taxing terrorists

That would make terrorism into a revenue stream that needs to be protected.

Linus Torvalds pens vintage 'f*cking' rant at kernel dev's 'utter BS'

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Counter argument

Where is respectfulkernel.org or politelinux.net? Show me a kernel fork making constructive progress without rants and the counter argument is made.

Clear August 21 in your diary: It's a total solar eclipse for the smart

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

In the UK at 7.35pm BST on August 21 ...

... people will be able to see clouds as usual.

BBC’s Micro:bit turns out to be an excellent drone hijacking tool

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

You do not get a whole python2

The usual (arm) python2.7 executable weighs in at 3.1M, plus another 800K of C libraries. I have another 60M python libraries, but that could easily get trimmed. The source code for your python script is not stored in the micro:bit at all. Some compiled and optimised binary gets stored in flash along with a drastically trimmed python run-time and some device driver libraries. The run-time and device drivers will eat into the 16K of ram but as you do not store any source code in ram, you have a chunky library and hefty CPU, you are still way better off than you were with a ZX81 and a wobbly ram pack.

Flash... Nu-uh! Tech folk champing at the bit to switch off life support

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Aren't all the flash based psychological studies invalid anyway?

They exclude everyone with a clue about security from the sample.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Met office / javascript

The Met Office Mobile site works fine without javascript.

NASA lights humongous rocket that goes nowhere ... until 2019

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

8 million pounds thrust

That is anything from 16 to 24 large blue whales, depending on how well fed they are.

I am more interested in what you could do with the expected cost of a launch: $1B. How about starting and cancelling two paperless NHS projects?

Want to visit your loved one in jail? How about Skype instead?

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

They should need a different excuse

The excuse was that drugs were almost transferred because both visitors and prisoners can enter the visitor room (at different times).

Solution A) A video conference room cleaned by prisoners when not in use.

Solution B) Hire a cleaner for the old visitor room.

The world would be a slightly better place if extortionists were required to come up with and excuse that actually made sense.

Quad goals: Western Digital clambers aboard the 4bits/cell wagon

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: We've come a long way since Intel's first 1024bit RAM in 1970

The only thing I can think of that comes close is the amount of ignorance on the internet.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Cheaper, multilayer, SLC would be nicer for me

I have looked, and I wasn't shocked. The percentage of my flash drives written per month is utterly pathetic compared to what they are capable of in a day. My oldest two have been in use for nearly a decade and are still not giving SMART warnings. Recording video continuously gets close to the limit of a small SSD, and parts of a data centre can require the specs of a big SSD.

The point I was trying to make is that switching QLC does not make me nervous at all. A drop in the specs would catch my attention. I hope it would hit the news hard, just like I hope that shingled spinning drives sold without warning of the performance hit would also be major news.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Cheaper, multilayer, SLC would be nicer for me

If it is guaranteed (and achieves) several complete drive writes per day and retention for several years then I do not care.

I thought the 4th bit per cell would not be worth the required over provisioning. Anyone want to bet on 32-level cell? Perhaps we will go in steps: 21, 23 and 26 levels are 4⅓, 4½ and 4⅔ bits per cell.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Right in the title

Unfortunately everyone else would think "Two Level Cell" is spelled "TLC".

House fire, walk with me: Kodipocalypse now includes conflagration

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Will these boxes also....

You forgot: Funds terrorism.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: youtube-dl

I think Google do not hunt down youtube-dl users and bury them in lawyers because people with the brains to use youtube-dl also have the brains to create links to interesting videos. The links bring in more advert watchers than there are youtube-dl users.

Microsoft tried to become the monopoly distributor of video. They selected patent encumbered codecs and promised unbreakable DRM to content creators. Kodi bashing indicates Microsoft believe their video plan is not yet as dead as Windows Phone. It also indicates who they believe their biggest rival is.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

@format C:

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

US vending machine firm plans employee chip implant scheme

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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

Did that when they removed minesweeper.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

@Clive Galway

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

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵if (is_elephant(animal))

⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵⎵if (is_white(animal))




Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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

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


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


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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Could be worse

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

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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".

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Sighs

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

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

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.

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

Flocke Kroes Silver badge

Re: Jesus Christ!

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

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019