* Posts by Christoph

2601 posts • joined 24 Dec 2007

Walk with me... through a billion files. Slow down – admire the subset

Christoph
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Re: reads will be to stuff already cached in memory

A directory read will pull in at least a whole disk sector, with other directories included. When you go down the tree you don't throw away the directory bits you've already read. Any decent system will optimise all this as much as it can. It's not perfect but it's far better than accessing the disk every single time.

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Christoph
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"Assume each node access requires a disk access and this takes 10 milliseconds; then a 10-node file system would take 100ms roughly plus the access needed to walk back up the tree; say 150ms being simplistic."

Well yes - if you first switch off all the caching. With modern memory sizes most of your reads will be to stuff already cached in memory.

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IT buyer? Had enough of pesky resellers cold calling? You aren't alone

Christoph
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"some 90 per cent of these one-way blabfests lasted between one and five minutes"

"DO NOT COLD CALL ME!" [SLAM]

More like 5 seconds, after they've identified themselves.

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No, BMW, petrol-engined cars don't 'give back to the environment'

Christoph
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And it comes with free personal ownership of thousands of miles of roads.

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Elon Musk says he's not Satoshi Nakamoto and is pretty rubbish at Bitcoin

Christoph
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Re: I am ...

Sebastian Tombs?

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Rolls-Royce, Airbus, Siemens tease electric flight engine project

Christoph
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Is this actually practical? Can they power electric aircraft over a reasonable range without either too much weight of batteries or a really long extension cord?

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Fujitsu imagines adjusting your rear view mirror for better hearing

Christoph
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So what's new?

The driver can already use a Bluetooth earphone so the passenger doen't hear the other side of the conversation.

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Abolish the Telly Tax? Fat chance, say MPs at non-binding debate

Christoph
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Re: Threatogram received from Crapita today

Did it have their new bit on the outside, demanding that you tell them when your house is going to be empty?

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From Vega with love: Pegasus interstellar asteroid's next stop

Christoph
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Re: spinners

Or a dish shaped depression on the side of a sphere, that focuses reflected light towards us.

But what kind of object would have a shape like that?

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Help desk declared code PEBCAK and therefore refused to help!

Christoph
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Hopefully it makes it rather more likely that the next time she has a problem she will listen to what the technician tells her, rather than insisting on overriding the person who she has called specifically because he knows more about it than she does.

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Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

Christoph
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Safety?

A whole lot of stuff about how the this increases safety.

And then he announces an updated Roadster that has a top speed of 250mph.

There is absolutely no possible way that can be done safely on a public road. Even by a highly trained driver, let alone the kind of idiot who would buy something like that.

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Christoph
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Re: Initial comments from a guy with a Class A.

"Where does the lovely Mrs. jake sit?"

Or Bobby McGee?

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Inside Internet Archive: 10PB+ of storage in a church... oh, and a little fight to preserve truth

Christoph
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"copies of its data out of the US, because it's good to have an offsite backup."

I would say that it is absolutely vital to have copies of the data outside the USA. And not just with the current regime. The Snowden revelations show clearly that for instance the NSA would have no qualms whatever in hacking in and changing the data, or simply ordering them to change it and forbidding them to say anything about it.

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Q: Why are you running in the office? A: This is my password for El Reg

Christoph
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What could possibly go wrong?

I've injured my foot and need to phone a friend / a taxi to get me home. Oops ...

Oh, it's OK, I can override with the unlock code.

Oh, it's so long since I've used it that I can't remember it.

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The four problems with the US government's latest rulebook on security bug disclosures

Christoph
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"informing US and allied government entities of the vulnerability at a classified level"

Presumably those governments will patch against the vulnerability, and also warn their chums critically important companies to patch against it.

So when a new bit of malware trashes all the small companies but doesn't touch the big ones or the government then it will be pretty obvious why.

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Remember CompuServe forums? They're still around! Also they're about to die

Christoph
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Re: First Quantum Link... then Usenet... now...

"the discussion boards of old are gone"

CIX is still going

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MPs slam HMRC's 'deeply worrying' lack of post-Brexit customs system

Christoph
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Re: @ ZSn

"A democratic vote we had never had about our membership of the EU."

Apart from this one, you mean?

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Christoph
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Re: We're fecked.

Is that what we're calling it now? Buggered Day?

It's when our economy gets washed down the B-Day.

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Christoph
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Re: Why do we need to import anything...

maybe we can look forward to decades of drinking delicious "rhubarb tea"

And the English Oak trees will give us plenty of acorns so we don't need to import that foreign 'coffee' stuff!

(Wanders off singing "Hearts of Oak". Very badly, and off-key.)

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Christoph
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Re: We're fecked.

Don't forget that all the systems that have to work with customs must also be upgraded and tested. Every firm that imports or exports must have its in-house systems working by B-Day, and they can't even start until the new system is defined.

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Irish priests told to stop bashing bishops

Christoph
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"an erosion of deference"

People not being properly grovellingly respectful of the catholic church in Ireland? Whyever could that be I wonder?

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Christoph
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I've had 2 or 3 posts rejected, and I have no idea at all why - they were perfectly innocent.

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Birds are pecking apart Australia's national broadband network

Christoph
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Re: Every living thing in Australia is deadly dangerous

Except, according to Pterry, some of the sheep.

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Virtually everyone in Malaysia pwned in telco, govt data hack spree

Christoph
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Most mass data breaches are of a single server - how did they manage to infiltrate all those different and presumably diverse servers, and all without being noticed until now? Or were they all running the same software with the same unpatched holes?

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America's 2020 Census systems are a $15bn cyber-security tire fire

Christoph
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"Census data is used to determine congressional districts for voting by assessing how many people live in a certain area."

And the Republicans are already using every possible means for voter suppression - I wonder how many ways they'll find to fiddle the results of this?

Plus of course the more plebs they can keep off the books the fewer services they need to provide for them.

The most obvious trick of course is making sure people are terrified that the Immigration enforcers will come after them, so anyone with even slightly dodgy status or with relatives who have dodgy status will stay well clear.

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Ex-Facebook manager sues biz after getting 'Zucked out of overtime'

Christoph
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Facebook said it will fight the claim, telling The Register: "This lawsuit is without merit and we will defend ourselves vigorously."

Facebook's lawyers issued Standard Response #1, and only then went and had a look at the actual facts of the case.

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So long – and thanks for all the phish

Christoph
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Yes, you have to convert the Big Boss. Hand him a list of all the losses, reputation damage, fines, resignations etc. directly due to phishing. Make a clear record that you have done so. Wait for the fewmets to hit the windmill, then try again with the next Big Boss having added that one to the list.

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Christoph
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"Consider the use of digital signatures for executives using email"

Impose the use of digital signatures for executives as standard operating procedure. Set it up so it's easy for them to use and they can't get round it. They are perfectly free to complain about this as long as each such complaint is accompanied by a copy of the keys and access codes to their house.

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Interstellar space rock screams through Solar System

Christoph
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That's a weird orbit

I'd expect something coming from interstellar space to swing wide around the sun. The story doesn't say how close it came, but judging by the handbrake turn it did that was practically a direct hit!

Very odd that the first interstellar object we saw made such a close pass. Or is it that the close pass makes it easier to detect?

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Knock, knock? Oh, no one there? No problem, Amazon will let itself in via your IoT smart lock

Christoph
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Re: Certainly creates a grey area regards Police/access to Property without a Warrant.

Also Bailiffs. As I understand it, once you have allowed a Bailiff to access your premises then you can no longer refuse entry later. And rumour has it that some of them use all sorts of tricks to accomplish that.

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Humble civil servant: Name public electric car chargers after me

Christoph
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Belisha Beacons

Sometimes it can be fortunate to have a double-barrelled name. The Belisha Beacons were named after Leslie Hore-Belisha.

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Fines for crossing roads while TXTing enacted in Honolulu

Christoph
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Just recently I took a photo of a rather nice streetscape by carefully checking there was no oncoming traffic on a very minor street, and then standing in the middle of it to get the right angle for the photo. Presumably that would be covered by this law as I was looking at the camera's screen to frame the photo?

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Hackers nip into celeb plastic surgery clinic, tuck away 'terabytes'

Christoph
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Re: An obvious question

A friend's work computer is, so I understand, totally isolated from the net, and will be so until its data storage is physically destroyed when it's no longer used. But then he works in Cheltenham.

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Once more, with feeling: Dawn to take a closer look at Ceres

Christoph
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Well the government keeps going on about stakeholders.

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Christoph
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Re: Hundreds of millions of km away

People who are excellent at handling science and technology tend to be poor at handling people - machines are predictable, people aren't. You tend to get things like extreme Marxism - this is how our theory says that things work, so if the people do differently then the people are in the wrong.

So pure rule of technologists is likely to be a bad idea.

What might help is if you could somehow (though it would be bloody difficult) make the government be required to accept scientific consensus. Not just on anthropogenic climate change, but things like the current US move to impose abstinence-only sex education and rhythm method contraception when it has been solidly shown that those are not just useless but make things very much worse.

I.e. somehow impose the scientific principle that if the political theory and the real-world facts are in conflict then it is the political theory that is wrong.

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Boffins trapped antiprotons for days, still can't say why they survived the Big Bang

Christoph
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Re: anti-particles "moving backwards in time" ?

"Second, when a neutron decays, a proton, electron and antineutrino are created. How does that antineutrino know to be there if it's going back in time?"

Similar to the way that Quantum Electrodynamics works. You predict the way that a photon will travel by looking at all the possible paths that it might take, however unlikely, and add them all together (that is of course horribly oversimplified). The antineutrino could take all possible paths and settle on the one that gets to the interaction that 'creates' it.

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Google and Intel cook AI chips, neural network exchanges – and more

Christoph
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Hardly new

Re EON: My Garmin DriveAssist 50 already warns me if I'm drifting out of lane, warns me of imminent collisions, tells me if the cars in front in a queue have started moving, various other functions.

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National Audit Office: We'll be in a world of pain with '90s border tech post-Brexit

Christoph
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Re: "It's going to be a total failure."

"and even, I believe, buildings.

Such as the pub in the little village of Puckoon.

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Christoph
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There is simply no possible way these systems, or many other absolutely critical systems, will be written, tested, and running by B-Day.

And then a whole lot of other systems run by for instance companies importing to and exporting from the UK must be updated to be compatible with those systems.

And if all that isn't ready in time, our economy gets washed down the B-Day.

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Boss visited the night shift and found a car in the data centre

Christoph
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Re: Bit risky...

A friend once got called in to a computer that had gone down. As in, down through the floor to the room underneath.

Turned out that the disk packs were still readable. On the way down the power cables had pulled free, and the disk drives had noticed the loss of power and parked the heads while in mid-air.

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Didn't install a safety-critical driverless car patch? Bye, insurance!

Christoph
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"a vehicle is "driving itself" if it is operating in a mode in which it is not being controlled, and does not need to be monitored, by an individual"

Problem is that there will always be extreme cases which require human intervention.

For instance, a complex road junction has major roadworks on it. Someone installed the signage badly, one of the lights has broken, a sign has blown down, and a vandal has moved another sign to the wrong place.

There is simply no way for an automated vehicle to work out the correct path to follow. It can only stop and ask for help.

Of course that might come from someone connecting remotely (especially if the car has no passengers at the time). But that in itself can be very tricky, trying to work out what's going on just seeing via cameras.

If the assistance is coming from the passenger, who is currently half asleep, blind drunk, or is using an automated vehicle due to not having a driving licence or being disabled and physically unable to drive, then it's going to make some lawyers very rich.

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You can't find tech staff – wah, wah, wah. Start with your ridiculous job spec

Christoph
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And then there's the problem of writing your CV to fit what the recruiter expects.

There is a huge amount of advice out there on how to write a CV.

Every single piece of such advice is directly contradicted by someone else's advice.

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Christoph
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And then HR slap on their standard requirement that anyone programming in a particular language must have X years previous experience in that language.

Even when the language was created less than X years ago.

And back when you could still specify age in job adverts I remember seeing one requiring a degree, X years experience, and < Y years old. Working it out there was a window of about one year of age where someone could just possibly satisfy all three requirements.

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NYC cops say they can't reveal figures on cash seized from people – the database is too shoddy

Christoph
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The NYPD Motto:

Stand and Deliver

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Christoph
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Re: How seizure laws ever stood --

"they get around this by suing the *money or property itself*"

Odd how they never use that on the Second Amendment.

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Dying! Yahoo! loses! fight! to! lock! dead! man's! dead! account!

Christoph
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It's not completely straightforward. The deceased person might have sent or received emails that they really wouldn't have wanted their relatives to see. Or someone might have sent them a confidential email containing information that they assumed would not be seen by the relatives.

That might be for something trivial, but it might also be something really critical.

Maybe the emails could be checked by a third party such as their lawyer, who would only pass on essential information? I've no idea of the legalities involved.

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Supreme Court to rule on whether US has right to data stored overseas

Christoph
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"We have the legal right to take it because we are the biggest bully in the playground."

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Huge power imbalance between firms and users whose info they grab

Christoph
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Re: Simple solution

"Either you delete all the illegally held data or we'll delete it for you"

"You and whose army?"

ScreeeeeeeeeKABOOM ScreeeeeeeeeKABOOM ScreeeeeeeeeKABOOM

"Oh"

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Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Christoph
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If he can economically "exceed passenger airline levels of safety", then so can the airlines. But they haven't. So probably either it isn't possible or it isn't economic.

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Drone smacks commercial passenger plane in Canada

Christoph
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Re: They seek him here...

Hopefully they will be able to recover DNA and/or fingerprints from the wreckage. They may not have the operator on file yet, but they will keep those records for a long time just in case they ever get a hit.

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