* Posts by bazza

1926 posts • joined 23 Apr 2008

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
bazza
Silver badge

Re: A bit negative...

SRBs are basically a metal tube.

There's very little in them that's breakable - other than gaskets that were expected to be replaced every time.

They've also got a lot more power. Simple, cheap, and a huge amount of grunt - what's not to like about them?

They do have one major disadvantage - they're not smooth burning. If you've got a lot of SRBs attached to your launcher you get a rough ride whilst they're burning, and it gets rougher as they burn (there's less weight to be shaken about). That's not necessarily a problem, you simply tell your customers how strong their satellites have to be. However, it is an unwelcome complication.

2
0

SpaceX launch is a go for Sunday after successful static fire completed

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Management vs. engineers? It's not black and white.

The recent news from SpaceX shows an outfit which is run according to the principles of good engineering management.

I have to disagree with you. As you say their last failure was down to poor quality control practices which lead to a below-spec strut being launched, according to their own publications. And prior to this launch they're finding problems with a very cold throttle valve.

In this day an age in no well run engineering environment launching rockets (and aspiring to launch people) should the strength of a vital strut be unknown, or a vital throttle valve be found to be sticking that late into the launch process. It's not like the temperature profile of a valve was going to be unknown before they filled the thing up with cryogenic fluids.

Fundamentally speaking SpaceX are not carving a new pathway for how these things are done. NASA and the Russians did that, and Ariane too to some extent, working out that total quality control really, really matters. On a machine where every part is essential, it is essential that every part is spec'ed, built and tested to ensure that it works as needed.

To me it feels like SpaceX have found that there are not huge improvements to be made in design (they kinda tried that, turns out a lot of rockets are fairly efficient thrust / weight) or manufacturing (they tried that, turns out you cannot make the manufacturing process a lot cheaper). If you can cut QC processes, that's a big saving (and may be they've been trying that). If you can re-use large parts of your rocket, that too is a big saving. Their recent success is a big step towards potential cost reductions. They can consolidate that advantage if they apply QC sufficient to make it routine, not lucky.

0
0
bazza
Silver badge

Well, they pulled it off, congratulations to them. Now, can they do it several times in a row?

"A sticky throttle valve being dealt with on the pad by fiddling with the launch sequence?"

Welcome to the real world. Don't tell me this kind of think isn't done in state space programs.

Er, no. To succeed in the real world you write a specification, and build and test against it. If you're discovering hitherto unknown issues that late on then something (the spec, the build or the testing) earlier in the process has gone wrong, and you're launching equipment whose performance is, by definition, unknown. You are then trusting to luck, not an option in manned space flight.

"A wise astronaut wouldn't think twice, they'd drive home.

No-one drove away from NASA though.

No they didn't. And before the Apollo pad fire tragedy everyone including the astronauts knew it was appallingly risky.

It's still hideously easy to die during spaceflight. No one can afford to take short cuts or get complacent. Just because we've got 21st century kit doesn't mean that anyone can make any assumptions about how well it will perform. We still have to get specifications, build and test completely right.

0
0
bazza
Silver badge

SpaceX is now fiddling with the ignition timing sequence to see if that will fix the issue.

I'm sure SpaceX wouldn't say it quite like that... Nevertheless it does sound a teeny weeny bit like last minute discovery of how some of their equipment actually functions, again.

I have to say that optimising the timing of events during the launch preparation and ignition does sound a little bit like they know the throttle valve is not good enough. I wonder if the payload insurance company is paying attention; premiums will be going up, even if the flight is successful.

Ready for Manned Flight?

It also doesn't bode well for manned flight on SpaceX. It's one thing to fiddle with things like this when there is little but a well insured customer payload to lose. Any sober minded astronauts paying attention to the condition of their launch vehicle would want to take a long look at that, and all the other "experiments" being tried at the same time.

First rule of manned spaceflight; first you must persuade some of the best educated, most competent and innately sceptical people on the planet that the launch vehicle that you've built is going to work properly. Fail in that persuasion and you haven't got manned flight; they won't get into it. If you set out to hoodwink them, well you'll likely be having to explain that to a board of inquiry, a bereaved family and in this day and age possibly a judge and jury.

Astronauts know that all of the West's losses in spaceflight have been ultimately attributed to managerial failings. It was known that a pure oxygen atmosphere was a dangerous idea. It was known that measuring the circularity of a booster segment at only six places wasn't good enough and that launching at such cold temperatures would mean that sealing rubber wouldn't be pliant. It was known that insulating foam got stripped off the external fuel tank and could hit the shuttle during the launch climb.

A sticky throttle valve being dealt with on the pad by fiddling with the launch sequence? A wise astronaut wouldn't think twice, they'd drive home.

The stakes are high; SpaceX can ill afford another failure

Hmm, one wonders when they'll learn that patience and thoroughness are ultimately cheaper than haste and carelessness? I wish them good luck of course, but ideally they shouldn't be needing it.

12
14

'Unauthorized code' that decrypts VPNs found in Juniper's ScreenOS

bazza
Silver badge

So That's How Well...

...their code review process works. Seven years.

Sigh...

For a company whose entire offering relies on them having a reputation for doing things properly, they don't seem to have done that very well. They've just learned that their system of code review has been pointless all along.

So what else is lurking in their code base, how are they going to find it, and what procedures are they going to impose on their staff to ensure that this doesn't happen again? Proper multi-team clean room review is very expensive, but not half as expensive as destroying your entire business by going without it and running into something like this.

10
0

Nokia, ARM, Enea craft new TCP/IP stack for the cloud

bazza
Silver badge

Re: TCP Offload?

Hmm, as the article relates there's plenty of problems in the land of video streaming that this kind of stack helps solve.

I've never had a chance to benchmark VxWorks' IP stack. Given how light a touch the whole OS has it stands a chance of be pretty quick. INTEGRITY runs a stack in user space too. In fact, apart from Linux (and Windows?), what OSes run the stack in the kernel?

If they are quick then it's an interesting balance to judge; expensive but fast embedded OS that saves us from writing code, or bare metal coding that involves a lot more effort but much cheaper / free licensing. Well done for getting max performance!

0
0
bazza
Silver badge

TCP Offload?

I'm wondering how a TCP offload NIC fits into such a scheme. Having user space code accessing the NIC for this purpose sounds fiddly.

And wouldn't it increase the attack surface of the NIC too? Or has TCP offload gone out of fashion anyway?

1
0

Ofcom retreats from 4G spectrum auction after legal threat from Three, O2

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Hmmmmm

Any self-respecting filter should be able to sort that out...

Well we'll see. I'm not convinced that every £5 WiFi NIC comes with a half decent front end filter.

...and it's not like wifi is below the noise threshold like GPS is,

Ah, a classic mistake. If an RF front end gets saturated by a high power jamming signal, the receiver won't be able to pick up any other signal at all regardless of whether or not it's above or below whatever one defines as being the noise floor. A front end amplifier that's clipping won't pass anything worth a damn.

So if a WiFi NIC has a poor quality RF front end (a distinct possibility) and is co-located with a 4G phone (effectively a certainty in this day and age) pushing out a good 0.5W of RF, it's by no means certain that the NIC won't get saturated and crap out.

I'm sure OFCOM has thought about it, or at least I hope so...

2
0
bazza
Silver badge

Hmmmmm

Two bands were made available (2.3GHz and 3.4GHz)

So how close to WiFi is the first one of those going to get? And how many crummy WiFi devices are there with awful RF front ends with next to no selectivity that are going to crap out?

Lightsquared all over again?

7
0

Beardy Branson bangs birds on Boeing

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Prelude to Space

Apparently the whole idea works a lot better if you fuel it with Americium instead of Plutonium or Uranium.

2
0

Taxi for NASA! SpaceX to fly astronauts to space station

bazza
Silver badge

Re: PR luvvie

"One successful launch or test does not prove the design as you may have been lucky that something operating very close to its limits didn't break/malfunction (imagine the number of variables that change between launches). A proven design requires more than a single successful test."

That's nonesense. If a launcher successfully makes it to orbit then it is successful. Everything else you're referring to is associated with poor quality control, poor manufacturing records, and a general inability to know what actually got built and launched. There's no room for luck in the space business, especially if you're going to ask someone to be launched into orbit on top of it.

Dealing with poor quality assurance processes by building in extra margin is not an option for something as weight concious as a launcher. At least it isn't if you want it to be able to carry a worthwhile payload into orbit.

0
2
bazza
Silver badge

Re: riding in one of the safest, most reliable spacecraft ever flown

I remember reading a long time ago that Arianne was deliberately built with manned flight in mind. Whether that was a ruse to get the engineers to do a proper quality job or not I don't know, but the end result is certainly very impressive.

There have been brief flirtations with ideas such as putting a mini-shuttle on top of an Arianne, but there's never been a strong enough financial / geopolitical reason to actually go ahead and do it. Russia's manned launcher is just too well established.

Even the Americans are not strongly motivated politically to get back into putting men on rockets. They're doing it very slowly and always with a beady politician's eye on the budget.

3
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: PR luvvie

"But spaceX still have to do the inflight abort test, and prove that the strut issue is behind them by doing a few more launches."

Sure, they have to get some successful flights off the ground, but there's more to it than that. The last flight failed because their quality assurance wasn't up to scratch. SpaceX said as much. If they've done nothing to change that, and merely decided to take a closer look at that strut, then no one knows what other problems are lurking in their manufacturing build chain. If they had poor quality assurance on struts, what else were they not looking at properly?

Effectively the next few flights are a test of the processes they have for building a rocket, not really a test of the design itself. Once you've had a single successful launch (which they have), the design is proven. Every failure after that is down to the inability to control the build of that design, which is seemingly where SpaceX have been for some time now. And if they've still not got the right build quality assurance process then their rockets will continue to fall out of the sky.

Of course, SpaceX aren't stupid and I'm sure they know this as well as anyone else. I hope that they have got on top of their process problems. If they haven't, someone will eventually have to call a halt to their activities if they haven't gone bust first. You can't keep launching rockets over people's heads without a satisfactory approach to quality control, not in this day and age.

Russians

The Russians are still learning things about the way they build their 1960s design. The routing of a pipeline was thought to be non-critical until quite recently. Then they built one where this pipe, purely by chance whim of the construction engineers on the day, shared a bracket with another. The fact that one of them was carrying a cryogenically cold fluid and would freeze the fluid in the other (the heat being conducted by the bracket) was something they discovered only after it failed and crashed... Needless to say the pipeline routing has been rethought.

Arianne

The first Arianne 5 suffered a navigation failure due to dodgy re-use of Arianne 4 software (the spec was fine, but the actual implementation didn't quite meet the spec. Very embarassing). It was blown up by the range safey system. They've had only 2 out of 83 outright launch failures, and those were both a long time ago in 2002. They've been sending them up regular as clockwork for years now, and from what I hear they very rarely suffer even 1 second of launch delay (except for weather).

Commercially speaking Arianne is a rock-solid proposition; slightly more expensive than, say SpaceX, but your $billion satellite will get launched on time into the right orbit with the cheapest insurance premium in the business. That commercial certainty is worth a fortune to the companies that commission and operate satellites, far more than the actual cost of the launch (thought to be €100million for Ariane 5).

All the time your satellite is sat on the ground waiting for the launcher guys to get their act together you're losing a monumental fortune in lost revenue, interest payments and programme costs. A cheap launch that's 6 months late is hugely expensive for the satellite owners.

10
0
bazza
Silver badge

PR luvvie

"When Crew Dragon takes NASA astronauts to the space station in 2017, they will be riding in one of the safest, most reliable spacecraft ever flown."

Sounds like PR bullshit to me. The most reliable rockets ever flown are the Arianne 4, 5 and Soyuz launchers. There's no way Space X can launch enough flights in the next year to gain a statistically significant success rate to even begin to compare themselves with the others.

Richard Feynman had a thing or two to say about PR and space. Quote:

"For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled."

I hope NASA and SpaceX haven't forgotten that. And I hope that whoever volunteers to sit at the top of that thing doesn't forget it either and goes and takes a real close look at SpaceX's quality assurance procedures. As other people have pointed out SpaceX haven't got a good reputation for reliability yet. SpaceX have themselves admitted that their last failure was down to inadequate quality assurance. Have they really managed to fix all theirs problems of that sort in just 5 months? Hmmmmmm.

16
1

Microsoft quietly slips out patched patch for Outlook – in camouflage

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Unit testing

Unit tests are a great idea in principle, but how do developers emulate all the possible permutations of code on their development systems?

Who's code are you talking about?

MS's APIs have a published interface, and all that their unit tests have to do is test that their DLLs, etc. satisfy that published specification. They don't need to care what use applications make of that interface, just so long as adherence to the specification is enforced (parameter range checking, etc).

From the description of the bugs that were arising it seems that their patch changed the interface, or just didn't work at all, both of which would have been revealed by an adequate unit test. They could have replicated Outlook's and the login screen's use of that interface in the unit test if they'd wanted to be sure they didn't break their own applications, but it looks like they hadn't done that.

3
1
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Moving faster

No, the pace needs to slow down. Nobody can handle the current pace of development.

Seconded.

Strategy Anarchy

MS's strategy has been all over the place in recent years. That makes it very hard to know what the best way of developing for their platform is. Metro was a disaster for those few who took the plunge...

Alternative Strategy

A loooooong time ago MS showed Windows 7 + Office 2007 compiled and running fairly satisfactorily on an ARM dev board. It was even printing to an Epson printer. All they'd done was an ARM HAL for the NT kernel, recompiled the entire thing for ARM, and run it. Unsurprisingly it worked.

If they had followed through with that they could have had an ecosystem of fat x86/ARM binaries with an option for developers to put a touch interface on their applications too if they thought they'd be used on a phone or tablet as well as a desktop.

For the developers that would have been great - one source code base, a choice of supporting one or two application interfaces to suit, running on either desktop x86 or ARM mobile.

For users it would have been great. Your mobile would have a mobile interface when on the move. Plug in power, a HDMI, bluetooth mouse & keyboard and voila, a full desktop with desktop apps.

Why they didn't do it

The engineers who did that demo of Win7 + Office on ARM must surely have seen the potential for a strategy such as I've outlined above, and must surely have been desparate to do it.

The barrier at the time was that ARM SoCs weren't quite up to running a full fat desktop OS kernel on battery power in the memory (512 MByte was typical).

Those problems don't exist anymore, haven't existed for a few years now, and were always going to disappear as the ARM SoC arms race took off. ARM has had a good dose of Moores law...

Had MS chosen that strategy they'd be doing veeery well now. Instead the impatience to be seen to be doing something, anything, in the mobile space meant shoe-horning a nasty cut down Windows onto an ARM powered devices and porting some of that nastiness and cutdownedness to desktop (Windows 8 / Metro).

Where did that impatience come from? Ah yes, shareholder pressure... There must have been engineers weeping into their coffees.

I suppose one advantage that Apple had was that Jobs ignored his shareholders (wouldn't even pay them a dividend), whereas MS can't quite do that.

2
1
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Why after all these years....

Try to build a testing system that can handle all the variations in base hardware, devices, software add-ons. Try testing all those permutations against all the system software that has been on the x86 (or wherever) since 198x.

Try running the unit tests on the modified code and release it only if it passes. That's what a unit test is for, to make sure that a piece of code performs to specification.

Field issues like this mean either that their unit tests for this piece of code aren't adequate, or they didn't run them.

I like Windows generally, specifically 7, still thinking about 10. I have to say that over the past few months it does feel like MS have not had their A team working on patches, which is not exactly good news for me or them.

I've thought long and hard about Linux, but Libre Office is too slow and not very good, the distro anarchy is a massive put off, there's only one decent-ish desktop (Cinnamon, but that has bugs and annoying features), there's the whole systemd thing.

I also wonder where Apple will go with OS X. Will it still be there in 5 years time? And Apple aren't exactly brilliant at patches or framework stability either. Plus the hardware is stupidly expensive...

3
3

Big Bang left us with a perfect random number generator

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Passing of Random Data

One way of looking at a perfect file compressor is that, without knowing the decompression algorithm, its output should appear to be a stream of random data. So you can always claim that random data is not an encrypted message, it's merely a message.

The fact that it doesn't decompress in ZIP, etc. is neither here nor there.

Of course, and alas, ZIP and its equivalents cannot actually get that close to the Shannon limit.

2
0

Samsung S6 calls open to man-in-the-middle base station snooping

bazza
Silver badge

Oh Good Grief!

Please, will someone somewhere just implement something properly, just for once?

10
0

Facebook CTO: Clear legal grounds needed for EU-US data exports

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "Most Europeans are sharing their data with people outside Europe"

Where it gets trickier for Facebook and indeed Google is data they collect on people who are not users of their services.

I'm referring to Facebook's habbit of tagging people in photos even if they're not Facebook users. Thus they can build up a social network for such people even if they themselves never have any direct contact with Facebook.

I'm also referring to Google using caller ID on Android phones to build up data on who you are and which Android users you call, even if you yourself do not have an Android phone or use Google in any way. Google get to know who you are if you're in the callee's contacts list and can of course Google your phone number.

In collecting data this way Facebook and Google are really skirting on the edges of legality. They have no terms and conditions to point to to say you've signed up, and they're currently exporting such data abroad. Should anyone in Europe choose to sue over being surveilled in this manner, they'd lose almost instantly, especially in the current climate.

Good job for them that there isn't really an equivalent of the American class action system in UK. There is a Information Commissioner who, should they get angry enough, can bare some pretty sharp teeth.

1
0

AMD sued: Number of Bulldozer cores in its chips is a lie, allegedly

bazza
Silver badge

Re: A bit of a Dickey move

I remember that the early Sparc T CPUs from Oracle / Sun had eight cores that shared an FPU. Never heard of anyone suing over that.

The first Nahelem architecture Xeons were "deceptive" over many SSE registers they had. In 64 bit mode all the registers were there as billed, but the number mysteriously dropped by half in 32 bit mode. It made 64 bit mode code look terrific compared to 32 bit, but only because of this artificial limitation. Of course this was all written down in the data sheets...

10
4
bazza
Silver badge

Re: A bit of a Dickey move

As far as I know, Intel does not sell hyperthreading as more cores.

But they do drop very heavy hints that it makes things faster, which is not necessarily so.

It'd be crazy if this case is allowed to get to court, never mind win. If a sharing of resources means one cannot count all the cores sharing them, where does that end? Cache? Intel have shared L3 cache. Power? Memory? AMD actually do quite well there. PCIe bus? Not likely to be more than one of those. It's plain nuts.

SMP as we know it could be outlawed by a court case, which would be the most ridiculous thing ever. So it's probably guaranteed then.

16
5

BlackBerry Priv: Enterprise Android in a snazzy but functional package

bazza
Silver badge

Hmmmmmm!

The Hub, the big battery, the keyboard, the real keyboard with spooky built in trackpad.

There's a lot to like there.

23
0

Linus Torvalds targeted by honeytraps, claims Eric S. Raymond

bazza
Silver badge

"No point swearing at code, it can't hear you (fortunately it has no feelings either)."

If we ever get to the point when code can hear you and does have feelings, we're doomed. Doomed I tell yee, doomed.

Unless Lotus Notes is particularly thick skinned, I'd get sued to bits by it.

40
0

Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off

bazza
Silver badge
Mushroom

EMACS...

Yeurk.

6
17

Linus Torvalds fires off angry 'compiler-masturbation' rant

bazza
Silver badge

Re: @Def

@Def,

"Modern languages, in recognition of that fact, attempt to make it as hard as possible for a programmer to screw up - certainly in such obvious ways."

Cough Javascript cough...

1
0
bazza
Silver badge

Re: Yes, but it may be one of the few cases of him being wrong

Ironically no one seems to be checking for overflow of:

hlen + sizeof(struct frag_hdr)

4
0

How Microsoft will cram Windows 10 even harder down your PC's throat early next year

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Windows 7 on a P4

"As my machine is a P4 without NX..."

Retro-estimable!

1
0

European Parliament votes to grant Snowden protection from US

bazza
Silver badge

"So the odds of him coming to the UK are pretty low then, I imagine..."

Oh I dunno, apparently we've some quite comfortable embassies across London offering a range of accomodation standards for the blabbermouth-on-the-run types.

6
10

Rosetta probe delivers jaw-to-the-floor find: Molecular oxygen

bazza
Silver badge
Pint

I love the sound theories make...

...when they evaporate after someone heats them up with some actual measurements.

Sort of a "whoompf" type sound. There may be a cloud of smoke.

Unfortunatley it's usually closely followed by the sound theoriticians make when they learn that all their previous papers are wrong.

Sort of a "sniffle" sound.

There's no sound quite like it for cheering up the experimentalists!

Beers all round I think.

15
1

Deutsche Bank's creaking IT systems nervously eyeing bins

bazza
Silver badge

Re: "The shift to cloud services is happening now"

It certainly sounds like putting all one's eggs in somebody else's basket...

Having a contractual agreement on security, availability and reliability does not save your business when it breaks. It is difficult to sue your cloud provider when you have already gone bankrupt.

1
0

US Senate approves CISA cyber-spy-law, axes privacy safeguards

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Goodbye Cloud

On the face of it it's not this that makes Windows 10 and Office 365 dodgy. It's the ongoing warrant court case that's threatening that. If Microsoft win that court case then they can continue to serve their European customers out of their data centre in Ireland. No one has yet said that this new legislation short circuits that court case, but I guess there may be something in there. We shall see what happens next.

It certainly is the case that this new legislation will make it more difficult for American companies to have European data in America.

The situation is evolving very quickly. For American companies to continue to operate in Europe and the rest of the world they may have to relocate outside of America. Arranging their businesses so that they are independent of the United States will take quite some time, time they have not got.

However this situation is partly of the companies' own making. They have built up their businesses on the assumption that it is okay to harvest, process and exploit customers' private data. They have done this without a suitable legislative framework being put in place first. Now that the legislative frameworks are being put in place, and that they are turning out to be very incompatible, it is going to be impossible for their businesses to continue in their current form.

Ironically there is growing recognition across European governments that cyber security is a threat to their own national security. Bad guys do use online services for communicating and planning terrorist plots. Various countries in Europe are passing some fairly draconian data access laws in the name of national security. You also have to remember that in some countries in Europe (e.g. France) it is possible to have a secret law that the public are unaware of.

[For example in France the French president has the power to censor media and newspapers. It is illegal to report that the president has that power. And French presidents do use that power to cover up things they do not want reported. That doesn't stop these matters been reported in the British press! This power was used by Jacques Chirac to pardon a political colleague who had been convicted of corruption. This resulted in this colleague serving his "time in prison" whilst actually residing in a very nice villa in the south of France keeping a low profile]

How these national laws end up interacting with European laws remains to be seen. There is a grave risk that national and European and American laws all end up being mutually incompatible. The end result maybe mass fragmentation of online services as it may become impossible to offer an online service across national boundaries. This would clearly be totally fucking ridiculous.

4
1

You own the software, Feds tell Apple: you can unlock it

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Feds, NSA seriously hurting the US tech industry

Then the government will counter that in order to do business in America, there MUST be a US office subject to government-mandated scrutiny, basically fording them to either come back or abandon 350 million potential customers.

Remember that the first iPhones were deliberately GSM based so as to work well world wide rather than being CDMA2000 based, which would have been far better in the USA. World market first, USA second has been their phone philosophy...

Remember that there's only 350 million Americans, but there's about six billion people everywhere else. If Uncle Sam ruins that world wide market then Apple will have to pack up their bags and move. Same for Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, Twitter... At least some of those companies don't need a physical presence in the US.

1
0

No, seriously, NASA will fly a probe through Saturn's moon plumes

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Anyone...

In 2061: Odyssey 3, the captain of the spaceship Universe takes his vessel through the plume of a geyser on Halley's comet.

Perhaps this should be called a Clarke manoeuvre. Afterall, another name for the geostationary orbit is a Clarke orbit.

1
0

Ex-SpaceX tech launches class action over unpaid overtime

bazza
Silver badge

Re: One word

Unions, and a good framework within which they exist. Like in Germany. Oh, hang on a mo.....

1
0

BYOD battery bloodbath? Facebook 'fesses up to crook code

bazza
Silver badge

Re: This is what happens

You could put it that way!

This kind of thing isn't a very good advert for an organisation.

With an outfit like Facebook their investors need to know that the comany has an A team of programmers creating their apps (which need to look good and work well) and, more importantly, their server backend software (which needs to use as little power as possible, power being one of the company's major costs).

Putting out a shite app suggests that the A team is employed elsewhere...

5
0
bazza
Silver badge

This is what happens when you don't review source code properly...

6
0

Microsoft now awfully pushy with Windows 10 on Win 7, 8 PCs – Reg readers hit back

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Seriously Misjudged the Mood

You're not their market, I'm not and nor is anyone on this forum. Their market is milions of punters who never come near windows update settings, and who know fuckall (and care likewise) about telemetrics, etc.

Have you not been paying attention? The market you are talking about is shrinking, and there's no sign yet that Windows 10 is going to do anything about it. It's still shrinking now.

The market that MS still dominate and may yet preserve is the one that likes this data slurping the least; Enterprise users. There's hardly any of them moving from 7 to 10.

7
0
bazza
Silver badge

Seriously Misjudged the Mood

Microsoft have seriously misjudge their market, yet again.

What people wanted was something that worked like Windows 7 and was bought like Windows 7. Windows 8 was bought like Windows 7, but didn't look like it. People didn't want it.

OK so they've kinda restored the look and feel, but then they've gone and changed the ownership model? Funny old thing - people don't want that either.

Whatever is left of the PC market clearly wants to keep things at about the Windows 7 level. Evidence - people are not upgrading, and are increasingly unlikely to do so. And when was the last time you read a good headline about Windows 10? The response to Windows 10 is ranging from meh to wtf.

In an age when the privacy of data is becoming a hotter and hotter topic, Microsoft have bet their future on personal data collection. They're getting desperate - some of these attempts to push Windows 10 could end up landing them in court.

If this doesn't seriously depress the PC market over the next few years then I don't know what will. To stabilise it Windows 10 needed to be anything from meh to brilliant. Meh would have been ok. A meh would have been guaranteed had they not put in all the data collection. In fact, they could have simply kept Windows 7's desktop and put an updated kernel inside. That would be been ok too.

MS need to look at how Apple change things. Basically, they don't. They've taken a few risks with dropping old APIs and frameworks, otherwise they've not really changed a thing. If Apple suddenly changed OS X into something completely different and unpleasant then what do you think their audience would think? Setting aside jokes about sheeople, I think that Mac sales would plummet. Apple must be laughing their heads off!

And in the world of Linux, look at how well Mint is doing. Subtle improvements to the old desktop paradigm are proving very popular there.

Basically on every platform out there there's no evidence that anyone wants anything different to what we've had for decades. The sooner MS drop the crap and go back to boring the sooner things will settle down. It's never going to return to its peak, too much damage has been done. Forcing a Freemium funded OS down the throats of their remaining users without their permission is a recipe for long term decline.

I don't think it will be too long before MS start treating Mac as the primary platform for Office. I mean, they'll have to; people won't be buying PCs...

44
0

I have one thing to say to MacBook users at EMC: Whoops

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Ummm... No.

Don't count on common sense prevailing.

The people who actually need OSX on x86 (artsy types, app devs, some scientists, etc) is a comparatively small part of the market. Some of them already use hackintoshes anyway (app devs).

Most users wouldn't even notice. If apple did launch an ARM laptop which was cheaper then it would dominate. The x86 range could become very expensive...

0
0

BBC bypasses Linux kernel to make streaming videos flow

bazza
Silver badge

Join the Campaign for Real TV

Thermionic valves. Cathode ray tubes. Valve transmitters.

We don't need any more than that. Silicon free TV - it looks so much more realistic than this compressed processed nonsense.

1
0

'We jokingly call Apple the Tesla graveyard. Cook gets our sloppy rejects. LOL'

bazza
Silver badge

We always jokingly call Apple the Tesla graveyard. If you don't make it at Tesla, you go work at Apple. I'm not kidding

There's two ways of interpreting that statement. I wonder if he realises that?!

0
0

Samsung forgets Galaxy worries, surprises analysts with big numbers

bazza
Silver badge

Re: Not a one trick pony.

They've certainly done a lot of things very well. Look at their TVs: whilst others were buying expensive FPGAs to do the upscaling (and not very well), Samsung set about doing a proper ASIC doing the maths properly of their own design fabbed in their own plant. Results? Samsung TVs are very good, especially for the money. That's heavy duty commercial ambition flexing some serious industrial muscle and getting good results from it.

6
0

Apollo 15 commander's lunar timepiece goes under the hammer

bazza
Silver badge

Space traveller watch video

Here's another space traveller's watch:

George Daniels Space Traveller Watch Youtube

1
0

Linux kernel dev who asked Linus Torvalds to stop verbal abuse quits over verbal abuse

bazza
Silver badge

Re: The problem is, usually Linus is right

@Paul Shirley,

The moment she accepted the role, she accepted responsibility to do the job right.

I have a problem with the use of the word "responsibility" in this discussion. Dictionary definitions are on the lines of "a duty or task one is required or expected to do" (Merriam Webster). Saying that a volunteer is responsible is not quite correct; they cannot be compelled to do the work, they can simply walk out. All you can hope for is that their contribution turns out to be beneficial.

0
5
bazza
Silver badge

Re: The problem is, usually Linus is right

Sarah Sharp works for Intel's open source group, so she is (was) paid for her work on the kernel.

Makes no difference. Intel aren't being paid for her time either. In fact, Intel has a corporate responsibility to protect their employees from abuse, etc. If Intel decides that pouring investment into Linux is not worth the effort (ie they cannot persuade their staff to do the work in an environment Intel does not control) then they might just stop bothering. That would be very bad for Linux.

19
4

Forums

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2017