* Posts by Chris Evans

491 posts • joined 27 Jun 2008

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Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

Chris Evans

Re: The Raspberry Pi Foundation is an official charity

I think the trading part of the Foundation is a limited company. They may though be able to get small business rate relief.

Holy planetesimal formation, Batman! Ultima Thule's no snowman – it's a friggin' pancake

Chris Evans

CSI missing a trick?

I've often wondered why CSI (Fictionally and in real life) don't use NASAs type of image enhancement, like they are using here!

Rather than stupidly zooming in by ridicules amounts.

Not cool, man: Dixons spanked over discount on luxury 'smart' fridge with wildly fluctuating price

Chris Evans

Digging a hole for them selves!

To try and pull a fast one like they did is bad enough but to try and defend it to the ASA is just stupid and makes them look much worse.

Techie finds himself telling caller there is no safe depth of water for operating computers

Chris Evans

Re: Header pic

Thanks for the tip about searching for images displayed in Chrome.

I note ElReg's article is on the first google page! ElReg must be crawled at least hourly.

On more than one occasion I've googled a subject mention in an ElReg article, and the ElReg article itself was top of the results!

Raspberry Pi Foundation says its final farewells to 40nm with release of Compute Module 3+

Chris Evans

Re: Good & Bad news

I'm trying to work out how I can get a side gate to unlock as I cycle up to it!

The gate latch will be on the outside wall of my garage which has power. Low power Bluetooth has been suggested.

I've got some spare Pi 1's.

Chris Evans

How weird/stupid is that?

The aim is to be practical! Even SODIMM sockets in small quantities can be IIRC up to $20 each, depending on mounting. I hate to think what uncommon DIMM sockets would cost.

KISS!

Court orders moribund ZX Spectrum reboot firm's directors to stump up £38k legal costs bill

Chris Evans

Re: Two words for you ...

" (not even SSD due to $ to Gigs ration and mass storage needs) " I just a couple of 32GB mSATA SSD's £10 each! I think you could fit every speccy game ever made on 32GB multiple times!

A billion-dollar question: What was really behind Qualcomm's surprise ten-digit gift to Apple?

Chris Evans

Re: Missing figure?

"That's about 800 million or so, so that's $24 billion for the chips" If my maths is right that is $30 per phone. Where did you get the figure from? I see no mention of it in the article.

Chris Evans

Missing figure?

The vital missing figure is how much Apple ended up paying Quallcom after allowing for the $1B upfront payment and $7.50 "rebate" on each phone?

FCC tosses aside rules, treats Google to a happy ending following request for handy tech

Chris Evans

Re: Confused!

Thanks for the info lads. All is now clear.

Chris Evans

Confused!

This is an area I know nothing about but I can't see how you can have a negative output unless it is a comparison?

If it is a comparison, what to?

"...peak transmitter conducted output power of +10 dBm, rather than -10 dBm..."

I had a brief look at the (Section 15.255(c)(3)) link but it goes way over the top of my head.

Qualcomm lifts lid on 7nm Arm-based octo-core Snapdragon 855 chip for next year's expensive 5G Androids

Chris Evans

A76 L1 cache size?

"Each A76 has 128KB of L1 cache (64KB four-way instruction cache with four-cycle load-use latency, 64KB for data), 256 or 512KB of 1280-entry five-way L2 cache, and shares up to 4MB of L3."

I've often wondered why the L1 cache size on modern CPU's are so small. ARM3 back in 1989 had a 4K cache I'd have expected more than a 32 fold increase in nearly thirty years. Later CPU's now have two extra levels of cache and I understand a little bit about cache coherency. I'm sure there must be a good reason. Anyone know what it is?

How much slower is L2 and L3 I wonder?

Do not adjust your set: Hats off to Apple, you struggle to shift iPhones 'cos you're oddly ethical

Chris Evans

Ethical?

"You've behaved ethically, putting long-term consumer concerns first"

If they were ethical they'd make them easier to repair and whilst they may support their obsolete products better than most, they don't support them long enough to entice me, I would call it "Mid-term consumer concerns first" at best

Sacked NCC Group grad trainee emailed 300 coworkers about Kali Linux VM 'playing up'

Chris Evans

Article unclear!

In this context what does "protected disclosures' and 'suffered detriments" mean?

Consultant misreads advice, ends up on a 200km journey to the Exchange expert

Chris Evans

'Slab in'

"They USED to invert the left & top with bottom & right to visually indicate clicked or held down. "

I've heard that being called 'Slab in' i.e. trying to visually show that the button has been pressed in. The strange thing is I sometimes find Windows does change the icon to 'Slabed in' but doesn't do the action!

Data-nicking UK car repairman jailed six months instead of copping a fine

Chris Evans

Great idea, BUT.

Currently many companies won't talk to you even about non specific account questions without asking three or more security questions including your full address. I keep telling them that asking so many questions is I believe a breach of the law! One company even insists on the full address saying that postcode and house number is not enough adding the road name still doesn't satisfy them.

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

Chris Evans

Re: Freecycle it!

"Downvoted for being behind the times."

Maybe in your area, but around here it is still very effective. In the past year nearly everything I've offered (A dozen or more items) have been collected, mostly with little hassle. I've also picked up a few things. Last week I picked up an EPROM eraser I needed!

Chris Evans

Freecycle it!

If you can't bare to take it to the tip or the bother of ebaying it why not Freecycle it?

https://www.freecycle.org/

People come and take your rubbish away for you!

Chris Evans

The Retro market is big!

Quite a bit of our sales are 20-35 year old BBC/RISC OS etc kit. Just sold yesterday a BBC micro with no disc interface! I'm on the lookout for old network hubs with 10b2 (BNC) and RJ45. Network intetfaces for some early RISC OS kit are now rare but I have some old but unused 10base2 interfaces that could be used if I can track down some suitable hubs to allow connection to a modern network.

Microsoft promises a fix for Windows 10 zip file woes. In November

Chris Evans

Re: In the good old days....

I've got a down vote which presumably means I've got something wrong, please enlighten me.

Chris Evans

Re: In the good old days....

"if only the file system knew a list of all the files it has stored...."

But a database could massively speed up finding a file that I can't remember where it is.

I just did a test on an SSD drive with only 167GB of data on it, it tool over 2 minutes to search for a file.

I hope a database would be two orders of magnitude quicker.

Chris Evans

Re: In the good old days....

I don't understand, surely it only needs to scan the whole disc once to create a database. Then it would update it as files are added, removed or moved. The initial scan could take quite a while but the updating should be hardly noticeable.

I must be missing something!

Two weeks before Chrimbo? When Dell V-Class shareholders get to vote on THAT deal

Chris Evans

Chrimbo!

Chrimbo is such an ugly word, I wince if I see it. Please don't use it again. I doubt many people would mangle the name of any other religions festival!

Roughly 30 years after its birth at UK's Acorn Computers, RISC OS 5 is going open source

Chris Evans

Re: Not So

The Titanium was designed with RISC OS in mind.

http://shop.elesar.co.uk/index.php?route=product/product&product_id=51

rcomp's ARMX6 uses the iMX6

and 4Ds RapidO Ig uses an IGEPv5 motherboard

http://www.cjemicros.co.uk/micros/products/rapido/rapido-ig.shtml

Whilst the Raspberry Pi wasn't designed with RISC OS as its sole OS. I know one of the key Broadcom BCM2835 designers was a RISC OS fan and did the initial porting of RISC OS to the Broadcom chip. Thanks Adrian!

Chris Evans

Re: Eproms?

Theoretically yes. I've certain seen copies of Arthur (RISC OS 1 by another name) and RISC OS 2 in EPROM. They only needed 2 x 500K or 1MB ROMS/EPROMS. I'm not sure if they ever made any 16bit wide 2MB EPROMS that RISC OS 3 and 4 needed.

RISC OS 5 is available in one time PROMs.

RISC OS 4 was available in FLASH using chips on a carrier PCB but as they couldn't be flashed in situ (No read/write connected on the 40 pin socket) PROMs were a cheaper/easier solution.

Chris Evans

Re: Observations

ROM versions of RISC OS can be patched, though users on Modern hardware (Raspberry Pi, Titanium, RapidO Ig, ARMX6 etc) do use a boot loader to load the 'ROM image' of the OS' so it can now easily be changed/patched, which can be a good and also a bad thing.

Chris Evans

Re: The more things change...

"Pretty much everyone got rich off the breakup of Acorn... except the community of enthusiasts and developers that had bought into and supported Acorn products for a decade or more."

Dealers also lost out. My company which specialised exclusively in the RISC OS market had just invested significantly when Acorn canned the desktop division:-(

Great news about the licensing and a very good informative article!

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

Chris Evans

The first USB pen drives were 8MB

According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_flash_drive. That sounds much more the sort of figure I remember seeing available.

Psion used to have much smaller flash memory cards. I've a S/H 256K card for a Psion 3 for sale on my website!

Raspberry Pi fans up in arms as Mathematica disappears from Raspbian downloads

Chris Evans

Missing info

"700MB of bandwidth". Knowing what percentage of the download it is would be useful.

Optional download gets my vote!

California cracks down on Internet of Crap passwords with new law to stop the botnets

Chris Evans

Re: "and they vendor no longer supports this model."

Car manufacturers expect their products to be in use for a much longer time and they also have the revenue stream from spare parts which can be more profitable than the initial sale.

Now if only technology companies could get involved in 'The Circular Economy' Where things are designed for longevity and repairability! www.wrap.org.uk/about-us/about/wrap-and-circular-economy

MIMEsweeper maker loses UK High Court patent fight over 15-year-old bulletin board post

Chris Evans

And the consequences are?

I'm very surprised that ElReg didn't include any comments from Security experts of what the consequences are of this ruling?

Maybe a follow up article?

I like BigGANs but their pics do lie, you other AIs can't deny

Chris Evans

Only a matter or time.

"... he is also worried about how GANs can be used maliciously. “It's part of why I chose to focus on more general image modelling rather than faces - it's a lot harder to use images of Dogball for political or unethical purposes than it is to use an image of another person.”

It won't take long for the unethical to start using this sort of technique and whilst experts may be able to detect unreal[1] images it will become harder and harder to do so as the technique improves.

[1] I now try and avoid using the word 'fake' as its use by certain people means it is to me a discredited term.

New Zealand border cops warn travelers that without handing over electronic passwords 'You shall not pass!'

Chris Evans

Hidden files?

IIRC years I read a suggestion that an OS could be set so that if you enter one password you'd have access to just some files with the other files hidden and have another password that would give access to everything. I wonder if any OS's have that now?

If you tried 'hiding' most files then it would be fairly easy to detect but if you only 'hide' say 10-20% it might be difficult to spot.

Rookie almost wipes customer's entire inventory – unbeknownst to sysadmin

Chris Evans

Re: One simple trick...

Can't you enter a command to abort the wipe?

I'm no Unix expert as you will probable guess.

Dead retailer's 'customer data' turns up on seized kit, unencrypted and very much for sale

Chris Evans

Re: Why?

Yes that was the first breach, but everyone in the chain are in breach. Ignorance of the law is no defence.

If you buy any second hand storage, the first thing you should do is wipe all data and when I say wipe I mean so it can't be recovered. Remember in the UK possessing certain types of pornographic images is illegal and IIRC people have been convicted even when the courts accepted that they didn't know they had them.

Fallover Friday: NatWest, RBS and Ulster Bank go TITSUP*

Chris Evans

Re: Why would Elle....

Elle18910782

I have seen an email address with the person DOB obviously included on the side of their builders van something like: johnsmith29051990@gmail but I see what you mean: Elle was born on the 28th July 1981!

No, eight characters, some capital letters and numbers is not a good password policy

Chris Evans

XKCD example doesn't work for me.

I can't remember the example

Over the last four or five years https://xkcd.com/936/ has been quoted in these forums three or four times most years. Each time I've tried to remember the example password, but can't. Horse and Staple I can remember, was another of the words Door... No and what order are they?

I know if I had to use the password more often I might remember it but there are quite of few passwords I only need to use three or four times a year!

One password I use about monthly is something like sH68*452aX2 I can just about remember that. Some peoples brains seem to wired differently and can remember different things easier than other people.

I write them down physically but in an obfuscated way and don't carry the copy around.

My recommendation to friends and family is to use as a complex a password system as they find challenging but manageable.

Having throw away passwords for sites you don't worry about, but not 123456.

Capitalise say third or fourth character...

Everyone screams patch ASAP – but it takes most organizations a month to update their networks

Chris Evans

Please enlighten me

When patches are issued they normally give quite detailed information about the problem they are fixing. Why are so much details given at this stage?

Many patches I read of seem to have not yet been exploited so why give the hackers many of the details they need?

I would have thought those details would not be released for say a month, though reading this article makes me think three months would be better!

If the cat is out of the bag and the issue is being exploited already then I understand there is no point in delaying things.

Second-hand connected car data drama could be a GDPR minefield

Chris Evans

Service history is very useful.

Knowing the full service history of a car can be very useful. I bought a car a few years ago and the paper service history showed it had been regularly maintained but didn't mention that the cam belt had been changed when it should have been. I tried contacting the garage the previous owner had used and they were going to get back to me but never did. I crossed my fingers but a few months latter one broken cam belt and I had to write the car off.

Heatwave shmeatwave: Brit IT departments cool their racks – explicit pics

Chris Evans

Re: I've done this too

"Over 20 years ago, so no smartphone pics."

Back in the mist of time you get a gizmo that was normally black with silver dials and buttons on it about the size of a smartphone but a lot thicker. They were called Film Cameras! I wonder what ever happened to them...

AI taught to beat Sudoku puzzles. Now how about a time machine to 2005?

Chris Evans

Brute force or logic?

I often do the Sunday Times 'Very Hard' Sudoku and most weeks I can work it out by reasoning, but about 30% of the time I get stuck (The on line solvers I've tried also can't solve them) I then look for an 'X' must be 'here or there'' and try that.

I do wonder if sometimes they are only solvable by brute force. This paper doesn't seem to answer that question.

ARM chip OG Steve Furber: Turing missed the mark on human intelligence

Chris Evans

Great article

Great article and good to read the correct original etymology of ARM

"the original Acorn RISC Machine (better known as the ARM chip)".

When they set up ARM PLC this was changed to "Advanced RISC Machine" though I think it has for many years been just plain ARM.

Their website I see "arm, ARM and Arm" on the same page!

Chris Evans

Acorn NEWSPad Re: Ancient history

I recall hearing from Acorn that when Larry Ellison visited them about the NC reference design they showed him the NEWSPad he was impressed and he wanted to take one back to the states, when they said they couldn't give him one he replied but I might buy the company! They then explained that they only had two prototypes.

Outage at EE wrecks voice calls across the UK

Chris Evans

"How hard is it to compare SMSs to a list of legit numbers from banks, gov agencies and utility companies?"

Comparing would be easy, it is keeping up to date the list of legit numbers that is the problem. I doubt any company/organisation is going to volunteer to do it.

Connect at mine free Wi-Fi! I would knew what I is do! I is cafe boss!

Chris Evans

Re: Lightbulb moment? Blue = Intelligence!

I wonder why is Blue is associated with Intelligence?

Any ideas?

https://www.colorpsychology.org/blue/ tells me:

"Dark blue is the shade that is associated with intelligence and lack of emotion. Blue is an almost universally liked color. It's positive aspects are that it is a calming and safe color. It can lower the heart rate, improve mental clarity and inspire creativity."

For me an Intelligent blue would be bright, mid to light (Electric blue?)

Welcome back Alistair you were missed!

Bombastic boss gave insane instructions to sensible sysadmin, with client on speakerphone

Chris Evans

It's Friday. So where is Alistair Dabbs?

Good as it is 'On Call' can't hold a candle to Alistair Dabbs's "Something for the Weekend, Sir?".

His last article was 28 Jul 2017:-(

Please come back, we miss you.

Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site

Chris Evans

Re: Great site!

"Whose interests are paramount? The reader's or the advertiser's?"

Long/Medium term there won't be any readers if the Advertisers interests are followed. But I admit short termism is the norm nowadays:-(

Chris Evans

Great site!

I hope they sort it o.k. It is one site I trust.

DJI drones: 'Cyber vulnerabilities' prompt blanket US Army ban

Chris Evans

Can't fly anywhere as standard?

"Irritated hackers later modified DJI's firmware to allow flights outside of these no-fly zones,"

I suspect they meant write "INSIDE of these no-fly zones"...

Jesus walks away after 7,000lb pipe van incident

Chris Evans

The drivers name!

Was it Damien by any chance:-)

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