* Posts by Gene Cash

3627 posts • joined 22 Mar 2007

The longest card game in the world: Microsoft Solitaire is 30

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Other things "stolen" from Apple...

One of the few artists I know by name, along with Larry Ewing and Michael Whelan.

Hey Siri, are you still recording people's conversations despite promising not to do so nine months ago?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Why don't people care?

I care. I'm going to start using Home Assistant (home-assistant.io) in my new house.

The big problem is it's most certainly not plug-n-play, and is probably far beyond the ability of most people to configure.

DirectX comes to Linux (via WSL2): Microsoft unveils tricks needed to flash a GPU at a penguin

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Better than the crap video in Virtualbox... hell, the latest Virtualbox craps itself when it sees a 4K monitor.

SAP proves, yet again, that Excel is utterly unkillable

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Re: Excel bugs

Ha! I just tested, and the Android date-pick widget insists Feb 1900 has 29 days. And won't go earlier than 1900 AT ALL.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: The Wheel of History

Remember when Excel was a reason to buy Apple?

It was far better than Lotus 123 & VisiCalc, and only available on a Mac.

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

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Re: Never store CC details


Dickens' forgotten spaceship classic: A Tale of Three Missions

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Re: RD-180 - Russian Built

Yup. Originally, using the RD-180s came with a requirement from Congress to start producing them in the US.

Then Congress decided to not pay for that.

Sound familiar?

The SpaceX Merlin engine is a derivative of the FASTRAC engine that NASA binned because Congress refused to pay for it.

Then Congress bitches that we have no native rocket engine development programs, until the RD-180 forced funding of things due to embarrassment.

The X-37B is similar. NASA started the program, Congress decided to not pay for it, and the USAF fished it out of the trashbin.

Podcast Addict banned from Google Play Store because heaven forbid app somehow references COVID-19

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: AI is rubbish, developer doesn't read emails?

No, they do NOT send warning emails. Your app disappears off Play and you get a "you were removed because" or even simply "you were removed" with no explanation.

If you're appy and you know it: The Huawei P40 Pro conclusively proves that top-notch specs aren't everything

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Wonder if the quoted excellent battery life

> Huawei have not released codes for unlocking the bootloader

And right there is why I wouldn't buy one. I need a rooted phone to run things like my garage door app, which needs access to turn the GPS & cell data on/off as necessary.

Dutch spies helped Britain's GCHQ break Argentine crypto during Falklands War

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Re: Huawei

> Oh wait, that is going to be made illegal by dumb politicians, isnt it?

Or actually the point of the article is "encryption secretly weakened by GCHQ"

Gene Cash Silver badge

> What's better ? I really don't know.

Classic "damned if you do, damned if you don't"

Xiaomi Mi 9 owners furious after dodgy Vodafone software patch bricked their mobes

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Re: Identified Root Cause

Users don't voluntarily keep things up to date? Heck, I'm still on Firefox 43, because 44 removed fine-grain cookie control and a bunch of other stuff.

Better late than never... Google Chrome to kill off 'tiny' number of mobile web ads that gobble battery, CPU power

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: So nice of you, Google

What? Why trust what Google says now?

The Rise of The (Coffee) Machines: I need assistance. I think I'm running Windows. Send help

Gene Cash Silver badge

Actually, I think he was wondering if "out of disk space" was what "error 0x1820938091" meant, amongst other things.

Psst... Wanna buy some stock in a spaceplane company? Virgin would like a word

Gene Cash Silver badge


That has a nifty experiment: they're going to burn 2 large samples in normal atmosphere, then drop the pressure and raise the oxygen percentage, and burn a second identical pair. They're also testing fire sensors and automatic extinguishing systems.

Uncle Sam courting Intel, TSMC to build advanced chip fabs on home soil – report

Gene Cash Silver badge

And how long does it last?

When I bought my last phone (a Moto G), one of the decision points was the fact it was actually made in Ft Worth, Texas.

7 months after I bought it, that plant was shut down. So much for helping support "American made"

Also, wafer fabs are literally multi-billion dollar facilities now. If you can influence even 1/10th of a percent of that price, then you can have a say where it's built.

Users of Will.i.am's Wink IoT hub ask 'Where is the love?' as they're asked to pay for a new subscription service

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Let's start a new fad

> Albeit I have to stand up and walk to the wall

My light is in a ceiling fan, which has a cloud-free remote. I'm fine as long as the battery holds out, and it usually lasts a good 3 or 4 months.

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: I hated the pump ads...

Well, I can't vote with my feet... the local Wawa station is the ONLY one that provides hippie-free ethanol-free gas for my motorcycle. The manual specifies NO alcohol in the fuel.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: "engineers should never, ever get involved in User Interface design"

Wot? An engineer that listens to and learns from the customer? Haven't they removed your certification yet?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Huh?

The Pontiac Fiero had the filler cap in the normal location.... however the door release was hidden in the door B pillar underneath the mount for the shoulder strap. If you didn't know where it was, you certainly weren't going to find it.

> a "slot" in the back of the cover to store it

And I've never had a car where the cap actually fits in that slot.

IBM to GTS staff: Not volunteering to leave with a redundo cheque? We'll give you a helping hand

Gene Cash Silver badge

IBM postpone redundencies?

Are you kidding?

> GTS was still losing revenue in Q1

I wonder how many GTS customers are now ex-GTS customers since IBM bought 'em?

I've seen things you people wouldn't believe. Spacecraft with graphene sails powered by starlight and lasers

Gene Cash Silver badge

The Kzinti lesson: "a reaction drive's efficiency as a weapon is in direct proportion to its efficiency as a drive."

Twitter sticks a beak in, Clippy-style: Are you sure you want to set your account alight with that flame?

Gene Cash Silver badge

You can certainly edit a tweet

It consists of deleting it and doing another. Just like a punch-card back in the day.

The iMac at 22: How the computer 'too odd to succeed' changed everything ... for Apple, at least

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Remember when *everything* was translucent "Bondi Blue"?

This sparked a really derivative fashion craze of slapping a semi-transparent faintly blue-tinged case on everything. I think it lasted about 9 or 10 months.

I remember a nasty cheap USB hub or something, where the guts that were now on display were so shoddy that it persuaded me to *not* buy it. Great big gobs of mastic, capacitors at all sorts of weird angles, a transformer that looked only half soldered in, and other things not fit to see daylight.

China successfully launches its biggest-ever space truck to fire up its space station ambitions

Gene Cash Silver badge

Nope... they also snatched several dozen full V-2s, and quite a few railroadcarsfulls of engines, pumps, etc.

The US spent a while modifying V-2s and launching them to see what happened before we ran out and actually had to produce home-grown versions.

Besides when you steal the scientists that produced it, what are you stealing besides the actual technology?

Square peg of modem won't fit into round hole of PC? I saw to it, bloke tells horrified mate

Gene Cash Silver badge

"With a Dremel tool and a cutoff wheel, EVERYTHING takes a flat-bladed screwdriver!"

Intel is offering more 14nm Skylake desktop processors, we repeat: More 14nm Skylake desktop processors

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"Thermal Velocity Boost speeds"?

We're talking about a CPU, not a Tesla, right? Am I getting my brands mixed up again?

Bezos to the Moon: Blue Origin joins SpaceX and Dynetics in a three-horse lunar lander race

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I don't see anything shocking about Musk's tweets... he's said for at least 3-4 years that Tesla is overpriced.

Red Hat’s new CEO on surviving inside Big Blue: 'We don’t participate in IBM's culture. It’s that simple'

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Ah well, it was good while it lasted

Sigh. I remember when "you can't make money with open source" and Slashdot used to joke about Bob Young picking up a nickel off the sidewalk and declaring that as income - "Red Hat makes first profit!"

Three things in life are certain: Death, taxes, and cloud-based IoT gear bricked by vendors. Looking at you, Belkin

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When Google killed Revolv

That killed any interest I had in InternetOfTwats equipment.

Keen to go _ExtInt? LLVM Clang compiler adds support for custom width integers

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Re: i am now quite worried

Eh, my current Android checkbook app has entries going back to 1998.

This is because it started on a Palm device (something like 13 of them - lots of upgrades & warranty replacements) then was migrated to a Nokia N810, then to an Motorola Droid (AKA Milestone in the UK) and is currently on my Moto G6 Play.

Cisco UCS servers slugged by 'This SSD will self-destruct in 40,000 hours' firmware farrago

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'ordered' by one of our Cisco routers

OK, not being familiar with Cisco iron, how the hell did it know its postal delivery address?

Canada's .ca overlord rolls out free privacy-protecting DNS-over-HTTPS service for folks in Great White North

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: "Cops, Feds, and ISPs have been vocal opponents of the technology"

I don't trust anybody that much, but I do trust them a hell of a lot more than Google.

Yes, there's lots of COVID-19-themed scuminess around – but otherwise the level of cybercrime is the same

Gene Cash Silver badge

This is bullshit.

I run Fail2Ban, and when I started working from home, I noticed a ton of connections to my SSH port. Not actually trying passwords... just connected. My config has passwords turned off, and just accepts certificates, so Fail2Ban is set to insta-ban anyone trying a password.

So I wrote a cron job to ban anyone connected according to netstat, which runs every 10 minutes.

First it was Germany[*] on the 3rd, then Sweden on the 7th, the US on the 8th, Malta on the 13th, Curacao on the 17th, Belgium on the 18th, Isle of Man on the 19, the UK and the Russian Federation on the 20th, and today (the 22nd) it's Lithuania's turn to be internet assholes.

I've got 19,227 banned IPs right now, with a 3 month TTL.

This only started with the COVID crisis.

* assuming the IP geolocation was correct, but they were all from the same country each time.

Python 2 bows out after epic transition. And there was much applause because you've all moved to version 3, right? Uh, right?

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: lol

Compatibility modes are always the wrong thing. The compatibility break is to get rid of cruft and bad features, not add more.

Python 3 is basically where GvR said "ok, I made some mistakes designing things, but they're baked-in, so I can't change things without breaking compatibility" and eventually that was called Python 3.

It was originally "Python 2000" which shows how long it was under discussion.

I've done a ton of Python code, and it really isn't a big deal, and the changes are good ideas.

Go back to talking about something you might know something about.

News sure to ex-Zeit: Next.js company reborn as Vercel

Gene Cash Silver badge


> Jamstack deployment


They're so niche, this is probably the most publicity they've ever had.

Internet root keymasters must think they're cursed: First, a dodgy safe. Now, coronavirus upends IANA ceremony

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Single Point of Failure?

I do seem to remember some sites in the big "list of FTP sites" - which is what we used pre-Google/Altavista/Yahoo/etc only had IP addresses, because not everyone on the internet had a domain name. This was back in the late '80s, maybe early '90s.

Gene Cash Silver badge

"Ever spent 20 hours on your side drilling a lock?"

On advice from my (non-lockpicking) lawyer... I refuse to answer. I plead the 5th, yer honor!

Fright at the museum: Bored curators play spooky Top Trumps on Twitter over who has the creepiest object

Gene Cash Silver badge

So the fight started with a bun...

Speaking of creepy dolls, there's this 3 faced one from the '50s


Who can we count on to slow Huawei's continuous growth? US prez Donald Trump and COVID-19

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: With Trump & Co. still apparently on a suicide mission

> Trump is on TV for hours everyday while his opponent 'whats-his-name' gets a paragraph in the Washington Post politics section once a week.

It doesn't help that the democrats are so unorganized, they couldn't arrange a piss-up in a brewery, at a time when they need to pull together and defeat a common enemy.

Bad news: Cognizant hit by ransomware gang. Worse: It's Maze, which leaks victims' data online after non-payment

Gene Cash Silver badge

And fly with RyanAir!

Google pre-pandemic: User-Agent strings are so 1990s. Time for a total makeover. Google mid-pandemic: Ah, we'll reschedule to 2021

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Thought experiment

Try altering or turning off your UA. Anything more advanced than html+css falls over, especially anything with Node and all that crap.

No forum software works because ckeditor takes a crap. Banking software dies too.

US judge puts Amazon's challenge to Pentagon JEDI deal into force stasis

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: &.....

The Jedi would get their asses kicked. The Klingon commander would nuke their shit from orbit. End of story.

Anyway, my folks were horribly offended by "Let That Be Your Last Battlefield" because it implied black people could be people too.

These were the same people that thought "Roots" was a comedy. "Beat that Kunta Kinte AGAIN! He's way too uppity" and that was the event where I went "huh? what?" and it opened my eyes to the hick hillbilly town I was raised in.

Police drone fliers' wings clipped to prevent them bumping into real aircraft

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Mixed measurements

Using feet for altitude is enshrined in regulations from way, way back.

Also, flying a plane and flying a drone are two separate skills which don't really transfer that well. There are some small but important differences.

Coronavirus lockdown forces UK retailers to shut 382 million square feet of floor space

Gene Cash Silver badge

"Shopping centres/malls will become an irrelevance"

Malls were already dead here on this side of the pond. Most of them have not seen much foot traffic in 5 or 6 years and were already going bankrupt. I took a picture at one last Christmas, where there was 2 people far off in the distance and that was IT.

A lot of it is the shitty traffic system. 15 years ago, I could go from UCF (local uni) to the mall in downtown Orlando in 20 minutes after class doing a steady 35mph. It made it a valid pastime to go window-shop.

Now? It's a 45-60 minute drive through a sea of complete assholes, and by the time you get there, you're in no mood to spend money.

My fear is all the nice little restaurants are going under, like the local good BBQ or seafood joint.

Baby, I swear it's déjà vu: TalkTalk customers unable to opt out of ISP's ad-jacking DNS – just like six years ago

Gene Cash Silver badge

> It's their network though. Would the act even apply?

Yeah, if that act applied, I think it'd apply now, as they're doing this in direct contravention of the RFCs and other standards.

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Not unusual

I filed an FCC complaint (this was in the pre-Pai days) and actually got someone to call me back.

He argued with me for over an hour with the "everybody does it" argument, and I responded just as strongly "that doesn't make it right... if everyone jumps off a roof, I'm not just going to blindly follow"

I went to Google DNS after that.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Gene Cash Silver badge

Orbital pizza

There's a Questionable Content where one of the character's dad sends her a device from his space station with just a note saying "have fun"

So they press it a couple times and finally call him and ask. It's a device for requesting pizza delivered straight from orbit.

Of course they discover a ton of pizzas impacted on the roof from all the button presses.

Ah here it is: https://questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3047

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital

Gene Cash Silver badge

Re: Retrieve the old textbooks

Nope. I don't toss my old textbooks, the margin notes and such are a great taxi down memory lane.

Plus I still have a pack of punchcards with my university logo on them. They were sold in the vending machine in the computer lab, so you could get them when you needed them at 2am.


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