* Posts by bazza

1922 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

Canonical accused of violating GPL with ZFS-in-Ubuntu 16.04 plan

bazza
Silver badge

Re: @HCV - I don't quite get your point

Not the same by a long shot, and careful what you wish for introducing changes here.

You miss the point. Both the US constitution and Magna Carta have already been partially or extensively modified by politicians. Documents that are far more significant to humanity than a poxy software license have, by common agreement, been modified. They are sacrosanct, but not unmodifiable.

So considering GPL to be unmodifiable is the height of conceit. Even politicians have managed to get their shit together more often than software devs. That's a pretty poor situation for the industry.

3
3
bazza
Silver badge

Re: @HCV - I don't quite get your point

I hope you agree with me that Canonical is naive to think they can commit this violation and get away with it. Oracle's lawyers will tear them into pieces.

Nope, you've got the wrong end of the stick entirely. Oracle don't and won't give a damn. They didn't when FreeBSD incorporated ZFS, and they won't here.

No, it's the GPListas and the kernel devs who may get cross, but Canonical's lawyers think that they have no reason to do so. The trouble lies partly in the fact that GPL2 has not really been tested conclusively in a court case in this area.

Anyway the whole thing is nuts, and it's only the foamy mouthed zealots who care. ZFS is a fine bit of code that everyone wants to use, and it is open source.

The Linux crowd's normal response to this sort of problem is to reproduce the software; they did this with DTRACE, creating FTRACE. However they have failed to reproduce ZFS satisfactorily. The ongoing lack of ZFS or a decent reproduction of it in Linux is making Linux look bad.

I think Canonical are being quite brave and are trying to move Linux on for the benefit of all. We should applaud that. Incorporating ZFS will not harm anyone or make any existing or future code more or less open. There's loads of people who are compiling their own ZFS.ko anyway, and obstructing Canonical would be peevishness itself.

Personally I think that the clauses in GPL2 that force GPL2 onto derivative works have become a big obstacle to progress. If they were updated to permit use of other acceptable open source licenses too then there'd be no real problems. The GPL2 is just words, not a sacrosanct document that mere mortals cannot change.

The same goes for any other restrictive document such as the US constitution and magna carta, both of which have been amended and or partly repealed. Good grief, if even US politicians can occasionally agree on amending the constitution, how bad does that make the GPListas look?

33
6

Linux lads lambast sorry state of Skype service

bazza
Silver badge

"We do understand that Linux is a competitor of Microsoft's Windows. But we do not understand why this results in a lack of support for Skype," the pair's online protest states.

Err, unfortunately Linux doesn't really compete against Windows on the desktop. That's why MS aren't interested. It's not like they pathologically hate anything non-Windows, they do support Android, OS X, iOS. Like anyone else trying to make money out of software they have to go with the flow.

Having said that, MS joining up with the Wine guys and making that better would be a low cost and effective plan B for MS, and ought to please those who do use Linux as a desktop.

2
2

US DoJ files motion to compel Apple to obey FBI iPhone crack order

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Something doesn't compute

An arguments based on emotion.

In all jurisdictions a murder investigation is a legal obligation. They don't happen simply because someone is a bit upset about it.

OK, so murder is practically a national past time, and the terrorists are going to have to really go for it to make a significant contribution to homicide statistics, but I'm not aware of any state where an investigation is somehow optional.

3
0
bazza
Silver badge

Er, Apple kinda have confirmed it. They do so every time they put out an update.

The whole point of signed firmware updates is that the existing firmware will trust them implicitly. Putting down a signed update that does what the FBI wants is easy for Apple. They have the source code and signing keys.

There's fiddly bits and pieces concerning what user input is required to start the installation running, but the user plays no role in deciding whether the update is legitimate and from Apple. And unless Apple has used a mask ROM for the secure enclave on later phones (which seems unlikely - unupgradeable firmware can't be bug fixed), that too could probably be circumvented in a similar way.

Signed updates are used by everything - Windows, Linux, OS X, BlackBerry, etc.

The whole thing is fine so long as Apple or anyone else don't leak their signing keys. Apple are not being asked for those in this court order. They're being asked for a special update that works on this specific iPhone and no other (so it won't work on yours).

Of course if they do leak the keys then there's no defence left. Keeping such keys on an Internet connected computer is asking for trouble.

Unless NSA have got something really good (which I doubt) they can't realistically hack the keys either.

1
4

Confused as to WTF is happening with Apple, the FBI and a killer's iPhone? Let's fix that

bazza
Silver badge

Re: And the point is?

Indeed, the only police force that needs a warrant is the ordinary coppers. The MoD, British Transport and UKAEA (I think they're still around) Police can just walk in anywhere they want.

The balancing control is that they have to be acting in accordance with their remit. For a British Transport policeman to enter a property there a has to be a live investigation related to the transport system and a good reason to believe that there is a connection. The UKAEA police can't do anything unless there is actually some nuclear material missing, etc. etc.

What makes Customs and Excise different is that there is almost always something in the tax laws they can pin on almost anyone!

I've never heard of anyone complaining about abuse of these powers of entry, so it's surprising that there was a review started.

5
0

Patch ASAP: Tons of Linux apps can be hijacked by evil DNS servers, man-in-the-middle miscreants

bazza
Silver badge

Re: ASN.1

There's a lot to be said for using a common representation format (it makes analysis easier and bugs can be fixed once rather than multiple times in different software), but there's a lot of bloat in ASN.1-based implementations that exists only to deal with rarely used features - and having large chunks of code that are rarely exercised is not an ideal basis for reliability either.

ASN.1 is still the only thing we have like this that has a binary wire format and does constraints checking. It is the closest thing we have to a common representation format that doesn't miss out constraints specification and checking. It also does types and extents tagging too.

If Google added constraints, message type and extents tagging to GPBs it would useful. It would be a clone of ASN.1. As it stands you cannot stream read GPB's wire format, you have to have a-priori knowledge of what message is being sent, and you're reliant on devs writing extra code to check constraints.

The commercial ASN.1 tool sets I've used has been pretty good. If only someone like Google would do a decent open source implementation.

2
0

iPhones clock-blocked and crocked by setting date to Jan 1, 1970

bazza
Silver badge

Re: The 1970s...

err.......no

during the Standard time experiment we were an hour ahead, not a minute so the time was 01:00:00

My bad. Er, good to see someone was paying attention even if it wasn't me...

3
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: The 1970s...

I minor observation is that the at 00:00:00 01/01/1970 UTC, the local time in the UK was 00:01:00, for the UK was then on British Standard Time. Thus whilst PST then was 8 hours behind UTC, it was 9 hours behind London.

Timezones are, and always have been, a nightmare.

10
0

Get out of mi casa, Picasa: Google photo site to join Wave, Code, Reader in silicon hell

bazza
Silver badge

Re: My Tracks too

Seriously, how long before they decide to shut down Gmail with two months' warning?

I've long since stopped using Google Services for this and many other reasons. It's hard though. I used to use Postini for spam filtering (indirectly through my mail provider). Google bought it, migrated users to gmail, changed the terms and conditions (they now snoop for advertising purposes, even though it's still a paid-for service!) and made it worse (you now cannot integrate it into Outlook). Bastards.

The problem with Google is that they're big enough to buy anything else they like or compete against. The competition authorities are too technically ignorant to see what's happening. Truly they own too much stuff. Avoiding being forced to become part of the Borg is hard work.

2
0

Uber, Taskrabbit, other Silicon Valley darlings urge Europe not to screw their business

bazza
Silver badge

I've just taken a look at this page - it doesn't even say that they take any steps to verify the identity of a driver.

Also there's something for the ASA there too. They claim to make safer cities. They cannot substantiate that. And judging by the videos online of fights between Uber drivers and passengers, the complete opposite would seem to be the case.

This page has a list of bad Uber stories...

4
0
bazza
Silver badge

Laws work both ways.

If a taxi company is properly licensed, it's cars and it's drivers properly registered and checked, it is not really the company's fault if something goes wrong. Their liability is limited.

If a taxi company isn't licensed, it's cars are an unknown quantity and it's drivers are simply someone at the end of an email address, who is to blame if something goes wrong? And if the money flows through Uber's systems then the customer's contract is with Uber, not the driver. That sounds like it should attract full liability.

To dodge such liability they'd have to use some pretty strong arm legal shenanigans to deter litigation. As a victim you'd not want to be dealing with that too at a time when you want some redress.

5
0

Met Police wants to keep billions of number plate scans after cutoff date

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Show us evidence..

No problem, just S172 the guy for a Thursday afternoon a few years ago, when he can't possibly give a correct answer.

The law guards against that kind of thing. That's why speeding tickets have to be issued within 2weeks.

The law got changed when the Hamiltons got caught speeding but nothing was done for 6 months. They argued, quite reasonably, in court that they could not be expected to remember who was driving that long ago. Law got changed.

The 'reasonable doubt' thing applies.

3
0

Picking apart the circuits in the ARM1 – the ancestor of your smartphone's brain

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Dynamic logic?

For instance, one design I did back in the late 70s used an RCA processor which normally ticked over at about 10kHz waiting for keypad input. When it sensed a key it went to 2MHz until processing was complete. The whole unit ran for weeks off 3 C cells.

The RCA1802? Great chip. The original low power micro. Got used in all sorts of things - cruise missiles (where I think they did an entire terrain following radar guidance system on it, which would have been a monumental achievement), British Telecom payphones used them.

Another thing I miss is 4000 series CMOS logic. Want to run it off 24V? No problems. Fiddly to use (don't dare leave an input undefined), not fast, but great power consumption and good noise immunity. I don't think the 1802 went quite that high, but it was good noise immunity that made is suitable for amateur satellites back in the 1970s.

5
0

AdBlock Plus, websites draft peace deal so ads can bypass blockade

bazza
Silver badge

This is a really bad idea on the part of the advertising industry.

We all now know that they'll cave in to this kind of thing.

There's a ton of alternative ad blockers, all of whom now know that the better their blockers the sooner the ad industry will flourish the cash.

On top of that the network operators now know that blocking adverts at the network level will be popular and renumerative. They've been thinking of doing this anyway to reduce their operating costs, and now it makes double sense.

The fundamental problem with ad funded services is that everyone who lies between the service and the user can cream off the top. And whilst a website might have links to ads, there's no way to actually force the web browser to open them. Unless you write the web browser too.

It's only a matter of time before Chrome stops supporting ad blockers I think. But that would guarantee that people would stop using it.

Online advertising was always going to be a cash cow that could be milked only so much.

5
0

Submarine cable cut lops Terabits off Australia's data bridge

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Microwave?

Microwave links need line of sight. Oceans are the reason we started building satellites...

Also, microwave data links simply cannot carry as much data as a decent fibre optic cable. The bandwidth is not available. That's why microwave links have mostly gone out of fashion.

They've come back into fashion a little bit in the USA. A financial institution in Chicago built a private microwave relay chain all the way to New York. Why? The latency on a microwave link is a lot lower than on a fibre (microwaves travel at c, light in a fibre travels at 0.6c). That matters if you're in the high speed share trading business. This link knocks approx 2milliseconds off the time taken to make a trade.

2
0

The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Look at all the people that care

Do mean, the customers?

0
0

Assange will 'accept arrest' on Friday if found guilty

bazza
Silver badge

Re: I'll believe it when I see it.....

This is going to make the Ecuadorian authorities look ridiculous. They chose to shelter him to make what must have been in their eyes some kind of point of principle. By leaving he would in effect be saying that he no longer believes in that principle himself. It goes something like this:

Assange: "I'm being illegally hounded by the UK and Sweden"

Ecuador: "We agree, have a comfy sofa"

<Divers alarums>

Assange: "I've changed my mind, I'm throwing in my lot with the UK and Sweden"

Ecuador: "So you actually don't mind being hounded after all?"

Of course, one way out of that would be to not let him out of the embassy at all. Sort of like:

Assange: "I've changed my mind"

Ecuador: "We haven't..."

Assange: "Er, can I go now?"

Ecuador: "Nope"

Assange, through a window: "The UK government must forcibly enter the embassy and rescue me"

<Divers alarums>

If he does quit their embassy, they should at the very least bill him for the accommodation.

5
4
bazza
Silver badge

Re: WTF?

I imagine that whatever UK judge takes the contempt of court hearing would say "United What?" and ignore the UN completely. If they're feeling particularly grumpy they may hold the relevant bods in the UN in contempt too.

9
1
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Don't like his chances

We have no business with him, we merely have to extradite him as per the EU arrest warrant Sweden issued.

Yes we do. He skipped bail (costing his chums a fortune) and is in contempt of court. There's no way the English judiciary will want him to get away with that without a hearing, verdict and almost certainly a prison sentence. They will want to deal with that first before packing him off to Sweden. Doing otherwise hints at setting an undesirable precedent.

The Americans have already said publicly that they don't have a case against him. Stands to reason - he's not a US citizen and he handled the leaked material whilst not on US territory. It would be hard even for them to show that an offence in US jurisdiction had been committed.

27
3

Google licks its lips at sight of Qualcomm's 64-bit server ARM chips

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Feature

Exchange is far better than the mess that is its equivalent on Linux.

Several years ago MS showed off Windows 7 running Office running on an ARM, printing to an Epson. They achieved this by writing the required hardware abstraction layer for ARM and simply recompiled Windows 7, Office and a set of drivers. It worked no trouble at all.

They could do that for any of their software and ship it. The barrier is testing, and whatever commercial loyalty they're contractually obliged to show to Intel. Delay too long and they might find themselves without a market. I think that the company has wasted the 7ish years since they did that demonstration. They had everything they needed to lead the establishment of an ARM based ecosystem for servers and desktops, even buying an ARM foundry license. Seven years later they have a nearly dead mobile platform and nothing else to show for it. Meanwhile their strongest customer base is or soon will be itching to transition servers to ARM so as to remain cost competitive with their rivals who use Linux (who can and will make the jump at the earliest opportunity).

5
9
bazza
Silver badge

Intel and Microsoft need to look out.

Data centres could be on the cusp of switching to ARM very rapidly. If you can save a bunch of cash in electricity bills by swapping kit, you would. Google may be about to.

If data centres do change, Intel won't be at the party and Windows Server(ARM) doesn't exist.

18
2

Samsung trolls Google, adds adblockers to phones

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "Surprising findings"

Online advertising in the UK costs every wage earner here about £230 per year (cost of goods in the shops to pay for the advertising), whether or not you actually have a smart phone. I'd say a £10/month fee for online services would represent extremely good value, provided that meant no more online ads.

2
0
bazza
Silver badge

The huge mass of Javascript that seems to accompany a lot of websites these days is beginning to make browsing slow even on a good desktop. I can't believe how many CPU cycles are being used these days to render and display really quite simple stuff.

Layers and layers of libraries, scripting languages etc. might be fast and convenient for developers, but they're wrecking the end user experience.

9
0

Chip company FTDI accused of bricking counterfeits again

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Goodbye FTDI

This will backfire nastily on FTDI, since they are deliberately screwing their customers, the purchasers of the chips - who buy the cheapest parts they can, obviously, often via brokers. i.e. they are making their problem into a much bigger and expensive problem for their customers.

No they're not. They're not FTDI's customers at all. The people being screwed have bought fake parts;. They're getting screwed by rip off merchants illegally using FTDI's brand, logo an reputation and are so lazy they can't even be bothered to rip off FTDI's silicon properly (which is why FTDI can pu ou booby-trapped drivers)

FTDI would like them to be their customers, but are not allowed to trade on a fair market because too many people don't care where they buy from or whether it is genuine so long as it is cheap.

6
4
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Goodbye FTDI

The lazy ones are FTDI because instead of acting to clean up supply chains and chase counterfeiters they punish innocent consumers caught in the crossfire who have no way to stop this from happening other than to avoid FTDI devices altogether.

The people getting stung are not FTDI customers. FTDI's supply chain is clean. If someone chooses to buy from someone claiming to be an FTDI seller without checking, that hardly FTDI's problem.

4
6
bazza
Silver badge

But how does one know that they have a product with a counterfeit chip in it?

Try the latest driver!

I suspect that returning it the store/sales point or manufacturer will have no impact.

Depends where you live. Here in the UK If you've bought with the credit card then according to the law it's your credit card company's problem to solve. You phone them up an say you've been conned and they have to give you a refund. You can also moan to the local Trading Standards people. If you’ve been buying from Amazon you can write to them and complain, using the phrase "passing off" and threatening lawyers somewhere. That's legal-ese basically saying Amazon are at least partly culpable in a criminal offence of passing off a con as a genuine part. If enough people wrote letters like that then Amazon would soon do something about it.

Most of the problems arise from people not caring enough about the $5 they wasted on a fake part. Caveat Emptor. If people are too lazy to defend their rights then they'll lose them.

4
10
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Goodbye FTDI

This is exactly what I have done since the first incident - proactively avoided anything with an FTDI chip in it.

That is an ambiguous statement. Do you avoid FTDI's driver too and buy parts that have their own drivers? Or do you buy parts that continue to use the FTDI drivers?

The former is kinda hard to find, the latter is outright support for the knock off vendors getting a free ride on FTDI's back.

If you want something that works you're better off buying the former or buying genuine FTDI parts.

Personally I can't see what is wrong with FTDI's position. They can't be obliged to give driver support to clones.

Imagine the fuss if someone was making knock off Nvidia GPUs. If you purchased a $400 card that turned out to be fake you'd be moaning at the vendor until you got a refund. With FTDI no one can be arsed to get their lazy butt out of their chair and moan to their vendor about having been sold a $5 con. Weirdly they're quite happy to take a small financial risk and sponge off FTDI's living so long as it doesn't cost very much, yet moan like hell when things stop working and would have to buy a genuine replacement to get going again.

14
15

Oracle to kill off Java browser plugins with JDK 9

bazza
Silver badge

Sigh, that's a lot of Netgear's stuff out of date (some of their switches use the java plug in their Web interface).

I wonder if they'll fix it or simply launch a new range. I think I know the answer....

1
0

Safari iOS crashing: Suggestions snafu KOs the Apple masses

bazza
Silver badge

Re: I had it this morning

What's more interesting is that Safari is clearly not properly validating responses from Apple's suggestions servers.

That points to an opportunity for the man in the man in the middle attacker. If you can crash Safari with a dodgy suggestion, what else can it be made to do with some carefully chosen responses?

0
0

Apple growth flatlines ... Tim Cook thinks, hey, $80bn is still $80bn

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "growth in services revenue"

@mexflyboy,

you still think Blackberry has a chance in hell?

You stay in your data slurping walled garden with your shiny iOS/Android hand held penis extension, there's a good sheeple.

0
4
bazza
Silver badge

Re: "growth in services revenue"

Hmmm ... You most definitely have had a quite different experience than I've had with my iDevices: I haven't experienced any (that's "any," meaning "the slightest bit of, a scrap of, a shred of, a whit of, a particle of, an iota of, a jot of") the intrusions of which you speak.

Odd, eh?

I'm wondering if once you're inside Apple's walled garden does the nagging go quiet?

2
3
bazza
Silver badge

Re: "growth in services revenue"

Any good CEO's favourite motto: once you've got them by the short and curlies, squeeze, squeeze hard. Walled gardens should have a warning sign, "Abandon all hope ye who enter here".

BlackBerry

Try a BlackBerry (running BB10). You get none of that kind of shit with their music player, etc. And they have a neat cloudless way of syncing music and stuff between PCs and phones. The lack of intrusiveness will feel like a breath of fresh air. Plus you get their legendary messaging client, which is still the best out there.

4
5

'Unikernels will send us back to the DOS era' – DTrace guru Bryan Cantrill speaks out

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "Operating systems these days..."

There was an attempt to do so. It was called OS/2.

They should have waited for the 80386...

4
0

Boeing just about gives up on the 747

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Museums

Funny how it managed that when Concorde was never allowed to fly supersonic over the USA .

The SR71 flew a lot higher, and that does a lot to help dissipate the boom before it can hit the ground. They were very careful with their overland routing too. But even then they still could caused problems, and the USAF had to occasionally apologise, promise not to do it again, etc.

In contrast Concorde operating a daily service would have been a guaranteed problem every day - much worse than the occasional cock up by the military.

One of the SR71 pilots tells a story about cruising alongside a Concorde, and being waved at by passengers and being toasted with raised champagne glasses, at Mach 2. Surely one of the coolest formation flights ever! Both were astonishing aircraft.

2
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Twins are the most powerful.

It had an upside, though, takeoff's in 757s were impressive. It only needed 80% thrust normally, but if the pilot got permisison to use 100% for weather or similar reasons you really noticed that kick in the back :)

Ah, the majority of 757s ended up with Rolls Royce's engine. The thing is is that RR offered a derated RB211 - it was significantly over powered for the 757. Of course they didn't derate it down to the minimum power required for the aircraft, they made sure that it still had plenty of get-up-and-go.... Frank Borman, the famous astronaut and President of Eastern Airlines said that the 757's RB211s were the finest aero engines ever made.

The 757 in general was responsible for the development of ETOPS, and laid the foundation for the modern airliner industry. A very significant piece of work indeed.

4
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: 747 favourite fact.

When one of those crashed after take off from Stansted they never found the DU. Must have burnt off in the fire. Nasty stuff...

0
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Twins are the most powerful.

Actually, twin engined aircraft are the most powerful of all. This is because the FAA requires a multi-engine aircraft taking off to become airborne and fly safely after the loss of one engine. Doing the simple math, with 100% used as the amount of thrust required to achieve liftoff and fly safely (use any percentage you want), it works out as follows:

The consequences for a twin is that most of the time it is flying two massively overpowered engines at a fraction of their max output during the cruise. That's not necessarily as fuel efficient as 4 smaller engines working "harder" for more of the time.

Leeham News did a good analysis of the very complicated trade offs you have to do to choose. One of the big factors traditionally was less maintenance man power hours for twins, but nowadays it's not so clear cut. Those enormous engines take a lot of looking after.

5
0
bazza
Silver badge

With Boeing not designing another 4 engined VLA, the eventual replacement for the upcoming 747-8's they're buying right now could be very expensive, or European (if hell freezes over).

With so few commercial operators of 747-8's, keeping the president's new aircraft flying for 20+ years could be very expensive... in 10 years time they will possibly be the only examples still flying.

0
0
bazza
Silver badge

Boeing don't seem to get cabin noise.

Well, they sort of do. The 787 can be quiet if the airline buys the optional and heavy sound proofing. A lot of them don't fit it in economy so the 787 ends up being so-so. It doesn't help them when they squeeze 9 seats into each row...

AFAIK Airbus don't give the airlines the option, sound proofing is standard, or is easier for the airlines to accept. They've also been better at optimising fuselage dimensions vs seats per row (A350 is 8 inches wide than the 787). You get the bit more space and a quieter ride.

With A380 (and A350) operators setting benchmarks for "comfort" a significant number of passengers are making purchasing choices accordingly.

For those airlines, eventual replacement of the A380 might be difficult. The new 777x isn't looking so spacious, and the walls are thinner (= noisier?). Both A350 and 777x can't carry anywhere near as many passengers. Boeing aren't doing another VLA. If no one orders A380s it will go out of production.

They won't want to get a noisier or more cramped replacement... Buying more A380s whilst they can might be a major factor in how orders are placed in the near future.

4
0

Zuck slapped down for privacy breaches in Germany again

bazza
Silver badge

Now What?

It means that any similar new start up can't pull the same trick. Facebook benefit from having done it earlier.

How is that going to be corrected?

And what about Android looking up callers' caller ID? It's a similar third party data slurp without consent that gives zero benefit to anyone but Google. That'll have to go too.

2
1

Eight-billion-dollar Irish tax bill looms over Apple

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Actually, what about the loans?

Apple borrowed a ton of cash in the US to pay their shareholders a dividend. Their foreign cash holding was used as collateral. Now that collateral might have to shrink by 8 billion those loans might have to be reconsidered.

Not that it will matter to Apple. But it might to other US companies that have used the same trick and have cut things closer. They might get a sudden and unwelcome bill...

10
1

Aircraft now so automated pilots have forgotten how to fly

bazza
Silver badge

Re: The human pilots just do the easy bits...

I think you'll find that most of the pioneers from the 1960s and 70s are already retired. A lot of them are dead and buried.

Things are very thin in IT. How many people can design silicon chips? Hardly anyone. Even Intel struggle. A lot of their designs are Israeli, because that's where the guys who can do it live.

7
6
bazza
Silver badge

Well, Duh...

There has been concern over this brewing for years. Hang around pilot forums for a while and you'll be amazed it's taken this long for a report to be published.

The regulators have been fairly weak over this. There has been a lot of lobbying by airlines... The level of pilot skill back in the 1980s formed part of the safety case for this level of automation. By allowing the airlines to slacken off they have weakened that safety case. However they can point to air travel being safer overall now than it was before all the automation came in. Humans make a lot of mistakes, and there has always been a lot of diversity in pilot skill levels. Automation has prevented a lot of cock ups.

The trouble is that a few recent accidents have happened to basically airworthy planes with minor or no technical defects.

The problem varies between airlines. There are some airlines out there who put pilots on disciplinary measures if they turn off the autopilot between taxiing onto and off the runways. Guess how well their pilots can fly...

Also you could take this report, swap "pilot" for "driver", and you basically have the report that will be published 10 years after the introduction of self driving cars.

12
0

No escape: Microsoft injects 'Get Windows 10' nagware into biz PCs

bazza
Silver badge

Re: A Question of Consistency?

There's going to have to be a backlash at some point.

Online advertising in the UK costs every working person £240 per year (see here and here; £7.2billion / 30million = £240ish). They pay for that through the price of goods in the shops. The Consumer always pays.

The likes of Google, etc, depend on growing that. But at what point does it become unsustainable? At what point does the population start turning away from advertised products, throwing their devices in the bin wholesale? Will that happen when online advertising is worth £1000 / wage earner, £2000, £10,000? £10,000 would be like having a second mortgage for most people. Yet Google's entire reson d'etre is to achieve that.

I reckon if you asked someone was Google Maps worth as much to them as their house, they'd say no. Half? Tenth?

At some point the sense of proportion will have to kick in, especially if the economy goes wrong again.

1
1

All Systems z are Go: IBM ports Google language to mainframes

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Singing the BlueZ?

"Except unfortunately IBM."

Depends. IBM started putting a lot of effort into Linux specifically so that they could sell more mainframes.

According to the article, they've sold more mainframes. Mission accomplished. Though there may well have been some unintended consequences...

0
0

Trustworthy x86 laptops? There is a way, says system-level security ace

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Trusted storage

Has everyone forgotten that some of Sun / Oracle's SPARC CPU designs are open source?

If you really wanted to you could inspect and approve their design, set up your own fab, make your own chips, build your own machine, and put Linux on it. If your not interested in the smallest possible transistors (14nm today?) the fab could be comparatively cheap.

You can have a complete open source hardware software stack without having to start again from scratch.

5
0

Chat messages in Skype for Windows are bang out of order – so here's how to 'fix' it for now

bazza
Silver badge

How?

What on earth have they done in their source code? To take existing code, which presumably does nothing more than deliver messages in the order they were sent, and change it so that instead it stores them up and displays them out of order sounds like extra work.

Surely at some point someone should have thought, "Why is there more code than there used to be?".

6
1

Getting metal hunks into orbit used to cost a bomb. Then SpaceX's Falcon 9 landed

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Unreservedly, unabashedly euphorically optimistic

They will figure it out. They'll make the unavoidably expendable pieces inexpensive and quick to replace.

The bits that are most prone to trouble are the turbo pumps. These are effectively the only moving parts in the whole propulsion chain, and they get a hell of a hammering. It took NASA a lot of effort to get those right on, well, every engine they've ever had, especially the Shuttle. They're far too expensive to be expendable, and are also a key part of the innards of the engine.

I don't know why people are getting so worked up about the knowledge now 'available' to SpaceX following this flight. You don't need to fly an engine to see what it looks like after a burn, you can pretty much do that all on the ground on a static test. They probably already know roughly what maintenance work is required to re-use the engines. All SpaceX need to do is see if the flown engines match static test engines.

And assuming that every engine is static fired anyway before it flies, every engine in a sense has already gone through the required maintenance regime to return them to flyable condition.

[As far as I'm aware the only engines in the history of space launches that weren't static fired before flight was some of the upper stage motors on Ariane 4, later on in the lifetime of that launcher. They had become so good at making them (they traced their origins back to Blue Streak) that there was little point in test firing them. Maybe the Russians don't bother any more either, given the age and success of their design.]

I suspect that SpaceX will very interested in how the structure of the 1st stage has coped with the battering it's undergone in making an about face turn, a slightly slowed ballistic return followed by some sharp deceleration just prior to landing. There's also the acoustic and heat loading it will experience on landing on a flat concrete landing pad. On a launch pad these are taken away by the flame trench (I don't know if SpaceX use sprayed water to suppress the acoustic load). On the plus side the amount of thrust needed to land is way less than that to take off - there's a lot less weight!

7
0

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017