* Posts by Milo Tsukroff

112 posts • joined 5 Apr 2007


Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

Milo Tsukroff

Wondered how they made Carbide drill bits! Had to get one to drill holes in hardened steel, I destroyed 4 lesser-metal drill bits drilling one hole. Got the bit (off of Amazon) and that thing drills perfect holes. As long as it is well-lubricated. I had a bottle of silicon copier oil hanging around, used that, works perfect.

Why does that website take forever to load? Clues: Three syllables, starts with a J, rhymes with crock of sh...

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Every web site should...

Even easier solution, no oxygen control needed: Issue each and every developer with a 10-year-old PC with limited RAM and the OS about to lose support. Loading web pages will no longer be a snap, it'll be, like, OMG, it's still LOADING???

Cisco sues lawyers on its own side – for bigger slice of capacitor price-fixing settlement pie

Milo Tsukroff

"Since when have capacitors become so crap?!?!?"

Back in the 1980's, there was a run of japanese-made capacitors that leaked after a few years. TV's sold in the USA between about 1986 through 1995 all died after a few years. From the year 2000 on, I found old TV's at tag sales and thrift stores, with manufacturing dates either post-1995 or pre-1986. Amazingly, the old sets still work! So there's precedence for crap capacitor production. (Unfortunately, this capacitor problem hit every production unit of my favorite musical instrument, the Casio DH-100 / DH-200, released around 1988. To use them, the caps have to be replaced. It's a common fix when they are listed on eBay.)

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Milo Tsukroff

"I have never driven into a river or down an impassable road"

Common sense .... so true! Couple months ago my GPS sent me over a cow-pastured ridge on a dirt road, down an impassable road completely covered with 3 inches of water and ... I stopped when it wanted me to go through the river blocking the route. Finally realized that the GPS can be wrong, especially in the rural Tennessee/Virginia border area. Common sense finally prevailed & I didn't get stuck. With my wife and one of the kids in the car, it would have been a bit awkward... BTW, when I checked, Google Maps also had the same road as my GPS, it's wrong also, although the satellite view shows accurately the small river that was the road, and the larger river I decided not to chuck the SUV in.

Ca-caw-caw: Pigeon poops on tot's face as tempers fray at siege of Lincoln flats

Milo Tsukroff

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon. Put a webcam in the nest and people go, "Awwwwww....!" Nothing has to be said about what the bird is living on. Works like a charm here in the former colonies.

LG's beer-making bot singlehandedly sucks all fun, boffinry from home brewing

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Why?

Ice cream maker?? I take offense. An ice cream maker will produce real ice cream in minutes, not a fortnight. Back in the 70's I worked in the R&D shop where we tested our very successful ice cream maker.

Good times! I found out one very interesting thing: If you add too much flavoring, the ice cream will never freeze up. The problem is that that the flavorings sold in American grocery stores are primarily based on alcohol. So, too much flavoring, too much anti-freeze. Cheers!

Congrats to Debbie Crosbie: New CEO at IT meltdown bank TSB has unenviable task ahead

Milo Tsukroff

Shut her down, Clancy, she's pumping mud!


Chrome 70 flips switch on Progressive Web Apps in Windows 10 – with janky results

Milo Tsukroff

Probably won't work when Windows is done with it

> more than once the icon in the taskbar inexplicably switched to one

> for Google Chrome

Well now, could it be that Windows doesn't play well with it? My prediction, based on decades of Microsoft practice, is that the icons won't work when Windows is done messing with it.

Oh I know, Microsoft used to claim that the phrase, "DOS is not done / Until Novell won't run" was an urban myth. Until the discovery phase of a lawsuit against Microsoft dug up the smoking-gun email that said pretty much that.

[Bomb icon because I predict that's what Microsoft will do to the PWA taskbar icons.]

Salesforce dogged by protests, leaked emails, and guerrilla blimps on first day of Dreamforce

Milo Tsukroff
IT Angle

Re: El Reg now politically biased....you're outta here!

> best known for separating small kids from their asylum-seeking families at the American border

True only for a small percentage. And, police forces always "separate families" when they detain suspects. Definitely not true in the main, because, as it's clearly been reported (but not by the anti-Trump fanatics), families in Central America have been sending their kids to the border _without_ their families. It's a clearly known method of gaming the US system. Thus, the asylum-seeking families have already separated themselves, and they should be blamed, not the border police who have to deal with unaccompanied children.

Despite the El Reg reporting bias, I'll keep reading.

Barclays and RBS on naughty step: Banks told to explain service meltdown to UK politicos

Milo Tsukroff

Hooray! The Post-COBOL Apocalypse gathers steam!!

> their banking apps and websites cannot be relied upon

Well said! Hooray! As predicted, the Post-COBOL Apocalypse gathers steam!! Since COBOL is by far the most reliable and understandable computer language for handling money transactions, it's shunned by all hipster programmers. The cool, sorry, kewl new languages that keep popping up are so fun to play with .... looks to me that the brogrammers' attitude is, "Never trust a language over 3 [years old]." As more and more banks are pushed away from un-cool COBOL, the Apocalypse continues to build and build and build.

Microsoft reveals train of mistakes that killed Azure in the South Central US 'incident'

Milo Tsukroff

As usual, the air conditioning was the last thing they funded...

> and also overloaded suppressors on the mechanical cooling system, shutting it down.

So it was a mechanical issue, the air conditioning, which did the dirty deed. As usual, the air conditioning was the last thing they funded. I've seen this before: The A/C won't be properly funded until _after_ the huge outage caused by inadequate A/C. And it there's just one A/C system, not two for redundancy, you can be sure that the single system will go down. Typical for Microsoft: Good with software, not so good with hardware.

UK chip and PIN readers fall ill: Don't switch off that terminal!

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

Re: Whaaat? Turning it off and on again is not allowed?

And also - putting the card in a WalMart bag then swiping while inside said bag. Worked like a charm at WalMart.

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

Milo Tsukroff

No pity here

No pity here. Turn it off every time. You see, I bought a bunch of Furbies for my kids.... NEVER AGAIN!!

If only 3D desktop printers could 3D print sales! Units crash in Q1

Milo Tsukroff

They're Too Slow!!

Simple reason for why the sales downturn: They're Too Slow!!

We just wanna torque: Spinning transfer boffins say torque memory near

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Intriguing....

You wrote:

> I'd love to think that one day there will be no difference between storage

> and memory and programmes will run from where they are and merely

> be added to the 'stack' or running applications - rather than having to write

> them from one place to another in RAM et*c, but I am not sure if computer

> architecture and OSes are ready for this yet.

Real computers always did this, those with true computer architecture. Microprocessor-based computers have to copy data out of RAM, into on-board memory locations, and after processing is done, they have to copy the results back. I learned Assembly on the TI-99/4A, which was one of the only true computer-architecture microcomputers that was ever sold to the public. It used the TI TMS9900 chip, Its Assembly language included the LWPI (Load Workspace Pointer Immediate) instruction ... which does not exist in assembly languages for the Intel microprocessor lines. Because in those chips there is no workspace sitting in RAM along with programs and memory-mapped I/O, instead the workspace is replaced by on-board registers.

North Korea's antivirus software whitelisted mystery malware

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Sounds more like the NSA

> backdoors that protect it's evil overlords.

Backdoors ... like Spectre. Which showed up over 10 years ago, and is turning out to be devilishly hard to eliminate. Yep, sounds like the NSA.

Ozzie Ozzie Ozzie, oi oi oi! Tech zillionaire Ray's backdoor crypto for the Feds is Clipper chip v2

Milo Tsukroff

Who needs a Clipper chip when there's SPECTRE?

So ... who needs a Clipper chip when there's Spectre? Funny how that "bug" showed up in almost everything starting about 10 years ago.

Pyro-brainiacs set new record with waste-heat-into-electricity study

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Natural gas vs renewable energy

> not many areas good for large wind turbines

This is a political fact, not a wind-energy fact. In Massachusetts, politicians passed laws to encourage wind turbines, and the big blades are all over the place (except off the shore, where wind energy is best, due to liberals who suddenly became ulta-conservatives and blocked them). In New Yawk, politicians have not encouraged wind turbines, so there are practically zero. And in New Yawk, they are shutting down the big Nuke plant, and replacing it ... with multiple gas-powered generation plants. And also, New Yawk politicians are also preventing gas fracking, so the gas for those replacement generators will come from out-of-state fracking. Energy in N.E. US has little to do with reality, a great deal to do with politics. 'Nuff said.

Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Replacing the batteries.

> Interesting that Tesla's lithium ion batteries seem to last forever

No, they lose 10% after 160 K miles. My personal testing on lithium batteries shows that, if I don't discharge them below about 50%, they can last for a very long time. Test case of an iPaq 951 lithium battery replaced in 2004 and not allowed to discharge much most of the time ... it's now down to 65% capacity after 14 years. Still going strong, but the battery is getting kinda bumpy though, since the case wasn't meant to last that long.

A developer always pays their technical debts – oh, every penny... but never a groat more

Milo Tsukroff

Re: the ruby community, documentation is considered a code smell

How convenient, indeed. Job Security. This whole thing about "The interest is the ongoing IT cost that those flaws are generating." is what Job Security is all about.

Well-written code with well-written documentation leads to ... wait for it ... Programming jobs becoming redundant. I've done that to myself, so I should know.

Ass-troplastic! Printing parts from p.. er... human waste

Milo Tsukroff

We need to go the other way...

Back on Earth, we need to go the other way. We need a way to turn plastic back into fertilizer, before the seas become so fouled we can walk from Newfoundland to Ireland over the bounding seas.

Microsoft patches patch for Meltdown bug patch: Windows 7, Server 2008 rushed an emergency fix

Milo Tsukroff

Keep laughing

I keep laughing ... If it's not COBOL, it's not stable.

I'll get my coat. It's the one with the Magic Brain Calculator in the pocket.

US states accused of skimming cash from 911 emergency call dosh

Milo Tsukroff

> How the hell does that happen?

New York State is run by Democrats. George Washington's Farewell Address warnings about the spirit of party becoming a destructive force, tending towards (among other things) corruption, have come true. I live in New York, and the corruption and misuse of public funds is breath-taking. Nuff said.

Nunes FBI memo: Yep, it's every bit as terrible as you imagined

Milo Tsukroff
IT Angle

> Hatchet

> The truth is, though, that the memo amounts to little more than a hatchet job.

So is anything political from Washington, or anything else in the news from that swamp. Nothing about this has to do with IT. Doesn't belong in this otherwise fine British publication.

New York lobs $210m at telcos to hook up 120k homes, businesses with bumpkin broadband

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Should have used fixed wireless

> I presume there aren't any areas of NY state without cell service?

Plenty of areas lack cell service, the Catskills and Adirondacks especially. Makes hiking potentially dangerous. I always sign the trail register because even at the trailhead, there is often no cell service.

BOFH: Buttock And Departmental Defence ... As A Service

Milo Tsukroff

Re: And then some people wonder why I insist on quality keyboards

The old IBM keyboards hurt like the dickens when they land on a foot. Happens to me all the time.

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Bah!

You wrote:

> nylon gears press-fitted on the shafts ...

> several examples from model locomotives ...

Yep, I have some of those loco locomotives too. They run ... nowhere, just sit and spin. And the door lock I recently replaced cost me ... $11. American plus tax.

Irony's lost on old Pope Francis: Pontiff decrees fake news a 'serious sin'

Milo Tsukroff

It's not fake news, it's Oral Tradition

It's not fake news, it's Oral Tradition. As good as Gospel. https://www.catholic.com/tract/scripture-and-tradition

I'll get my coat. Mine's the one with the bible in the pocket.

Sloppy coding + huge PSD2 changes = Lots of late nights for banking devs next year

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Microsoft’s .NET, Java

> "managed" languages (like the .NET lanaguages and Java)

> are significantly less problematic - no buffer overflows

> (unless you use P/Invoke or JNI)

That's not my experience with Java. I am a consumer in my current role. When using Java-based applications, Buffer-Overflows-R-Us. Some of the applications I support use WebSphere on Windows/PC architecture. I have to carefully use only certain Java versions to avoid the otherwise inevitable buffer overflow.

Milo Tsukroff

New applications aren't COBOL, give me a break

> Applications between five and 10 years old have the

> greatest potential for security flaws

Yep, that's because new applications are not written in COBOL! Give me a break, could people please get off this "COBOL is evil" and go to the domain experts.... show someone in Accounting what the code is doing in COBOL, after a half-hour you have them nodding their head and understanding. Other languages, such as C++, are so obtuse that I've heard a rumor that programmers love it because even their boss doesn't know what they're doing. Forget about a pencil-head ever understanding what the code is doing.

Google learns to smile, because AI's bad at it

Milo Tsukroff

Nice picture of a smile, however it could be more representative of Google if it was a smile linked to another one who wanted to rule it all:


Facebook, Twitter, Google cleared in Dallas shooting lawsuit

Milo Tsukroff

Yes, incident was 2016, follow the link to the article.

That case was the equivalent of suing the automobile manufacturer who made the getaway car used in a bank robbery. Since the court case was "dismissed with prejudice" it means that it was a really, really bad case. Ever since electronic social media appeared back in the late '70's people have complained that the medium (at that time, Bulletin Board Systems) was at fault for the content.

Foil snack food bags make a decent Faraday cage, judge finds

Milo Tsukroff

Any shoplifter knows Faraday

Any shoplifter knows that a booster bag must be lined with foil, makes a great Faraday cage. Keeps those pesky security tags from going off when whisking the loot out the store entrance.

I'll get my coat. Mine's the one with the foil-lined pockets.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who's the failest mobe of all?

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Missing information

Yep, the biggest piece of missing information is the NUMBER of devices in each class. Without that number, this statistic is meaningless:

> Ten times as many Android users experience performance issues than iPhone users

That's Quantity, not Percentage. Percentage gives you the statistical likelihood of a possible failure. That's useful information. Simply total number of failures is not. If there are ten times more Android devices than iPhone devices, then the Per Cent Failure Rate is equal. If there are less than ten times more Android phones than iPhones, then the failure rate is higher for Androids, and if there are more than ten times, the failure rate is lower. See what I mean?

I'll get my coat. Mine's the one with the lighter in the pocket.

Google Chrome vows to carpet bomb meddling Windows antivirus tools

Milo Tsukroff

Chrome runs 110% of CPU, can't stand the competition

On my PC's, Chrome tries to take 110% of CPU utilization. Seeing that AV software often takes 50% or more CPU, Chrome can't stand the competition and now wants to freeze them out ... sounds like a p***ing contest to me. Wait ... maybe someday AV software will detect malware called, "Chrome Browser"!

From DevOps to No-Ops: El Reg chats serverless computing with NYT's CTO

Milo Tsukroff

Re: 'serverless' - just another name for 'outsourcing'

> departments ... sneak PCs in and hide them under their desks to take back control

Nope, won't be as visible as that. People will run apps on their phones that will allow them to take back control. (But unknown to them, behind the scenes, all activity will be sent off to be tracked and accumulated by a master server afar off. Can you say, 'Bigger Brother?'.)

Lenovo spits out retro ThinkPads for iconic laptop's 25th birthday

Milo Tsukroff

Re: +1 for X220 mention

> It's just that the battery had decided to only give 25 minutes of life

That's because Lenovo recommends that your battery be charged to only 50% to increase battery life. What a laugh! Lithium batteries must be kept at or as near as possible to 100% for as long as possible to maintain good battery life. I tell everyone who cares about battery life in modern appliances that a Lithium battery should never be allowed to dip down beyond 50% charge. (I have an HP iPaq 951a which had its battery replaced in 2004 and still works well, because it's kept charged to 100% all the time.) The only thing that Lenovo users get by following their recommendation of keeping the battery charged to 50% is the privilege of purchasing a new battery from Lenovo every few years.

Boffin rediscovers 1960s attempt to write fiction with computers

Milo Tsukroff

Re: there is a science fiction story about this ...

The book is "1984". All pronography was computer-generated. It was said, if I remember properly, that such stuff was seen as so formulaic that it could be written by machine.

Don't throw away those eclipse glasses! Send 'em to South America

Milo Tsukroff

October 14, 2023 not the 12th

Solar Eclipse date is October 14, 2023, not October 12th. (Glasses will especially be needed as this will be an annular eclipse.)

We'll deliver 'in a few weeks' says troubled ZX Spectrum reboot firm

Milo Tsukroff

There's a sucker born every minute...

... "the company has taken their money but seems to continually extend the deadline for when it will give them a product" So many, many "entrepreneurs" do that. (They used to be called, "pirates".) There's a sucker born every minute. Crowdfunding = Suckerfunding.

'Adversarial DNA' breeds buffer overflow bugs in PCs

Milo Tsukroff

From their FAQ: "Many of these are written in languages like C and C++ that are known to contain security vulnerabilities unless programs are carefully written. In this case the programs did not follow computer security best practices. For example, most had little input sanitization and used insecure functions. Others had static buffers that could overflow."

So what's new? If you don't code in COBOL, your code is going to be insecure. Coding in C / C++ reminds me of a builder who put a house together, then was astonished that his customer wanted DOORS in every doorway. He was absolutely astounded that even more than that, the customer wanted LOCKS in ever door! What's with that? he wondered. The building works just fine without them!! 'Nuff said.

Life is... pushing all the right buttons on the wrong remote control

Milo Tsukroff

Yep, labeling the remotes works, except...

Yeah. Label the remotes. We do that too. Works like a charm. And then we too, like the D household, found that remotes move about - on their own. It's harder to find the one we actually need than locating the rats in the foundation of our house.

I'll be going now. Mine's the one with the big label on the back that says, "COAT".

81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

Milo Tsukroff

The PacMan clone..

> the pac-man clone

was Munchman. Our first video game! My kids and I played that for HOURS. That, and Parsec, were the world to us. Unfortunately the crappy construction on the joysticks caused them to fail. We went through at least 3 sets, until we got the adaptor that allowed using an Atari-style joystick. Joysticks with microswitches worked much better. We broke a few of those, also.

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up

Re: TI59

The TI-59 ... ahh, THAT was a calculator! I used one in my college years. Still have it. Although I use a Windows-based TI-59 emulator when I need a quick calculation or two.

Later on I bought a TI-99/4A and I was hooked. I LOVED that thing. Still have a number of them gathering dust in the garage.

One comment though: The TI-99/4A was one of only two REAL COMPUTERS to be released in the 1970's-1980's microcomputer boom. If you learned to program it in Assembly, as I did, it had a "floating workspace" which coexisted in the single linear memory space, which along with programs and data, also used memory locations for I/O. All addressed in the same manner as linear memory. This architecture is "classic" computer architecture. Only Texas Instruments and DEC released microcomputers like this.

All other micros used microprocessors, which have to move data from linear memory, to on-board registers, and then back out. This ham-strings their operation and makes them much, much slower. That was why the TI-99/4A ran acceptably fast enough, even with a horrendously slow clock rate. Of course, the sheer speed of microprocessors was so blindingly fast by the mid-1980's that it didn't matter about all the time needed to swap data in and out of on-board registers. Current speeds are so fast that nobody cares.

But "back in the day" it sure was nice to see that the TI-99/4A was using assembly language statements that could have come straight from mainframe computers. When the IBM PC first came out in 1981, a game released with it was Adventure. If memory serves me, way deep in the Wizard's cave are copies of LWPI magazine. That instruction, Load Workspace Pointer Immediate, is used in linear memory addressing. I could use it in TI-99/4A assembly. It DOES NOT exist in a microcontroller-based assembly language such as had to be used on the 8088-based IBM PC. That was proof to me that the Adventure game had been ported from a mainframe implementation.

Hyper-V guest escape, drive-by PDF pwnage, Office holes, SMB flaws – and more now patched

Milo Tsukroff

Still living in C++ Wonderland

Microsoft is still living in the C++ Wonderland, where the code is so hard to figure out that boss doesn't know what the programmers are doing. That's why programmers love C++. That's why remote execution bugs continue to abound. Simple, straight-forward, fully-tested, well-documented, and secure code? "Pah, that's for the ordinary folks, and we're far above the ordinary!" The old saying still holds, If houses were built like software is written, one woodpecker would destroy all civilization.

Tobacco giant predicts the end of smoking. Panic ensues

Milo Tsukroff

Re: Vaping isn't cool

"...its wrong and misleading to say vaping is not harmful at all."

Yep, another doomsayer. Everything is "harmful" to one teensy weensy degree or other. By those druthers, even reading The Register can be a little bit harmful, so I should quit the habit.

I'm going now, mine is the asbestos jacket with the mink lining...

Moldovan Dridex millionaires to spend 12 years in jail

Milo Tsukroff

In-country crime never pays, can't pay off the police

Those dumb crims ... in-country crime never pays, you can't pay off the police. Now if they were in any one of a number of foreign countries, they could a) pay off the police and b) claim that since they're not stealing from their resident country's citizens, they're technically not committing a crime.

Google-funded group mad that US Copyright Office hasn't abolished copyright yet

Milo Tsukroff

Far Too Long - thanks to Disney

Copyright is now 75 years from the _death_ of the creator. That's far too long. But thanks to Disney and its pron-scare tactics, the US Congress extended it that far. IMO, that's beyond most people's lifetimes, therefore effectively unlimited, and violates the US Constitution's requirement in Section 8. That reads, in part, "by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;". It's the "limited" part that is now being violated. But in the US, the New Golden Rule holds true: He who has the gold, rules. In the case of Copyright, Disney holds the gold. 'Nuff said.

NASA tried turning lost spacecraft STEREO-B off and on again... but it didn't work. True story

Milo Tsukroff
Thumb Up


To quote a surprised Darth Vader, "Impressive!"

What did we learn today? Microsoft has patented the slider bar

Milo Tsukroff

Looks like Microsoft forgot about when Apple sued them ...

It looks like Microsoft forgot about when Apple sued them for ripping off the Mac interface with Windows. Microsoft fought back with, prior art, since the Mac interface ripped off the Xerox PARC architecture.

I also remember when WordPerfect and Microsoft Word were shamelessly copying each other's features, and every new release came out with more and better stuff. It was wonderful for us users. Eventually Microsoft out-performed and out-featured WordPerfect, IMO because while the WordPerfect menus were great, the product still used its historic and abysmally arcane key sequences. But that was when Bill Gates was still in charge, and he worked his tail off on making better products rather than lawyering up.

So maybe this is the case of trying to win the poker game by throwing down more chips than the opponent has. If Microsoft can take out Corel by out-lawyering them, maybe that's the game.

Okay, I've blathered on. Mine's the one with the hemlock needles in the pockets ...


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