* Posts by Steve the Cynic

1006 posts • joined 28 Jul 2009

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Turns out download speed isn't everything when streaming video on your smartphone

Steve the Cynic
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What else do these top performers provide that improve video performance: lower latency, higher provision, what?

I would say that the two key metrics for "video performance" (the term's a little vague), once there's enough bandwidth available for the stream, would be jitter (crude definition: variation in latency) and packet loss. Both of those should be as low as feasible, and both are dependent on a wide range of stuff, of which the number of devices on the network *relative to the network equipment provision* is a major contributor. (That returns to the theme of 10:1 contention in a 100Mbps network being better than 1000:1 in a 1Gbps network.)

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How an over-zealous yank took down the trading floor of a US bank

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

And still, for a menu item "Set XRLZP" with selectable settings nup/zup/gargl the help text reads "XRLZP settings". Correct?

It's been a while since I looked at it, but that does ring a bell.

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Steve the Cynic
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Many many moons ago, somewhere around 1995 or 1996, I accidentally (really) tried booting an already-installed Slackware 3.1 (I did say it was many moons ago) Linux(1) with an audio CD in the CD-ROM drive.

It was a proper Red-book audio CD since none of the later "innovations" about CDs were widespread at the time I bought it (which was, in turn, some time before 1995 - I bought my first CD player in 1987, ffs), and the 1.2.5 or maybe 1.2.13 kernel didn't like what the CD-ROM drive told it during the pre-init hardware detection phase, and promptly panicked.

I took the CD out and rebooted and all was well. Needless to say, I never again left a CD in the drive at boot time.

(1) A development machine for $JOB. Running Linux. In 1995. fvwm, tcsh, and a Pentium with the FDIV bug.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

Sadly, that doesn't seem to have happened yet.

And yet the UEFI firmware on my new PC's motherboard has room for a mouse-driven GUI for the UEFI equivalent of BIOS Setup.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Unplugging the keyboard = kernel panic ?

Who remembers the early days of the 80286, which had the A20 gate in the keyboard

You left out an important word here: "controller". The original IBM PC/AT used the keyboard *controller* (not the actual keyboard) to manage the gate that suppressed access to what was later called the "High Memory Area".

The reason was that the 80286 had what amounted to a bug in its implementation of "real address mode", where the CPU itself did not suppress the carry out of A19 in the addition that calculated the physical address from the segment:offset virtual address. (It made the emulation of an 8086/8 faulty, in that FFFF:0010 was not the same address as 0000:0000.)

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You're alone in a room with the Windows 10 out-of-the-box apps. What do you do?

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Not turn them in to apps.

If you really want barebones, try EDLIN. You need to be of a masochistic nature to fully appreciate it, though, and I think they may have finally removed it in Win 10.

As far as I know, it's still in 32-bit builds of Win10, but not (because it's still a DOS executable) in 64-bit builds.

Indeed, the Unreliable Source says so, for what that's worth.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edlin

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Juniper's Contrail gets edgy, Cloudflare joins BGP club, and an $Important announcement

Steve the Cynic
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(T)RSDoS

Sorry to say that when I saw "RSDoS" as an abbreviation, the first thing I thought of was TRSDOS. I think that makes me old.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TRSDOS

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iFixit engineers have an L of a time pulling apart Apple's iPhone XS

Steve the Cynic
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Well, obviously they are holding it wrong!

As I noted in response to one of Dabbsy's columns, round where I live, a lot of them probably *are* holding it wrong. The number of people I see with an ordinary slab-sized smartphone of any brand, alternating between speaking to the loudspeaker and listening to the microphone(1) just defies belief.

(1) No, I don't have that backwards. They hold the phone horizontally in front of their mouths with the mic end pointing away from them, then switch to horizontally at the side of their head with the mic pointing toward them and the speaker pointing directly away.

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I want to buy a coffee with an app – how hard can it be?

Steve the Cynic
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What - only £2.90 for a coffee? Not very hipster, is it?

I can get a double espresso from Starbucks near where I live for 3,60 €. (Sorry, it's in France, so that's how it's usually written. Except when it's 3,6 € or 3€60.) At the current exchange rate, that's not far from £2.90. But then again, a double espresso isn't remotely hipster, for which I am eternally grateful.

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Steve the Cynic
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followed by "500 Euros" which it then proceeded to give me!

Reminds me of my experience with BayBank in Massachusetts. This would have been the tail end of the 1980s, and their machines had the inexplicable habit of not giving smaller bills than $10, and certainly not giving coins, but requiring you to type in the number of cents you wanted to withdraw that was only allowed to be 00.

So my finger bounced once too often on the zero without me noticing. Well, until it proceeded to count out $500.00 in twenty dollar bills (and a couple of tens just because). It was so much that I had to do two deposits, since that much folding money wouldn't fit in one deposit envelope.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Memories of Not The Nine O Clock News

the AE card enthusiastically received everywhere with extra customer service

That of course would be a blatant lie if Amex put it in a real ad. For sure when I traveled to New York to visit the head office of my employer in 2004 and 2006, having a corporate Amex card got me rushed through reception at the St Regis (I kid you not. Look it up.(1)) while my colleague who'd traveled on the same plane but tried to use his own card... well, let's just say that he had a hard time of it.

But in general, shops don't like Amex, or just plain don't accept it, and the reason is universally that Amex charges them about twice what Mastercard and VISA charge them. I have a vivid memory of trying to pay with something with my brand-new Amex card (in 1989, Amex green(2)) and the guy at the till looking at me like I was handing him a week-dead fish.

(1) My company put enough people up there that they were able to negotiate a discount, obviously. They charged my room rate at about $270 instead of the $900 they would have charged me if I had been staying on my own account. Er. That's $900 *a*night*. Breakfast extra.

(2) They send me a pre-approved application form, so I filled it in and in due course got the card. The following year, they sent me a similar form to get a gold card. I was only barely not a student any more, but it was fun being able to flash an Amex Gold card.

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Remember when Apple's FaceTime stopped working years ago? Yeah, that was deliberate

Steve the Cynic
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Re: iOS7 was when I jumped ship

You might want to look up virtual machines some day.

The point of jumping *from* Windows is surely so that you avoid all future contact with it. Running Windows in a VM so you can get away from running Windows doesn't seem to make a lot of sense.

Disclaimer. I have an unnecessarily large pile of computers at home, and they mostly run Windows, except the pair of RPis that run Raspbian. (Getting Win10 IoT Core running seemed like way more work than I wanted to expend, but even then one of them would be running Raspbian anyway.)

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Steve the Cynic
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I'm not sure I'd call myself a fanboi, but I have a "three year" policy. I bought an iPhone 4, and upgraded to a 5S about three years later. That in turn got upgraded to a 7 two years ago, so the next upgrade won't be before this time next year. Well, unless they do something daft like raising the minimum size. A 7 is just small enough to fit in my front pocket.

And the Watch probably won't get upgraded. If it breaks or otherwise stops working, I'll go back to dumbwatches.

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30-up: You know what? Those really weren't the days

Steve the Cynic
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Re: vi for beginners

:e! reloads the file

Only if you cancel insert mode before typing it...

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: "you were seriously stuck up a gum tree"

Dejanews was the Google of the 90s

The irony in this is ... sickening. Dejanews stopped being Dejanews when Google bought the company and transformed it into Google Groups.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: How the frak did she do that ?

What HTML magickry enabled ou dearest Verity to do that reversed-inversed type ?

http://www.upsidedowntext.com/

˙ǝuoʎɹǝʌǝ ǝɹǝɥʇ ollǝH

Final edit: /ɯoɔ˙ʇxǝʇuʍopǝpᴉsdn˙ʍʍʍ//:dʇʇɥ

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Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Correct translation

Waitaminnit... it’s almost as if you’re not fully sharing the outrage here.

Well I'm certainly not "sharing the outrage". The study, or perhaps its conclusions are based on ignorance. If there's no overt clue, then the pronoun *should* be translated as "he" / "him" / "his", but the "other" versions of those words.

Yes, there are two versions of "he" (etc.):

* "he" that means "male person" (or occasionally male non-human animal).

* "he" that means "person of unspecified or unknown sex".

The second one is somewhat falling into disuse because people seem hell-bent on confusing the two and concluding that the speaker means the first when he(1) meant the second.

(1) In the second meaning, thanks.

(Partial irrelevance.) In French, the "person of unspecified or unknown sex" pronoun is "elle" = "she" because "personne" = "person" is grammatically feminine.

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Anon man suing Google wants crim conviction to be forgotten

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Right to be forgotten

I don't know if this is still the case but there were certain libraries, including that of my old university, which were supposed to get a copy of everything printed and published.

Yes, that's a specific obligation that six libraries in the UK have(1), notably the Bodleian in Oxford and the British Library in London. "Legal Depost libraries" is the name. But only six in the UK have this obligation attached to them (and in fact the obligation is on the publisher of the book rather than on the library.

Other libraries have a choice as to which books they have in stock and which of those they put on the shelves, and the librarian (or at least the head librarian - the staff behind the counter probably aren't involved in the decision-making) is responsible for that choice. It's not his fault that the book contains sedition or eroticism or whatever, but it is his choice that does or does not put it in the library's stock and if so, does or does not keep it in a back room so that people who want to borrow it must ask.

And of course those legal deposit libraries have the "shelves or back room" option, just like the ordinary libraries in small towns do.

(1) The same concept exists in other countries.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Right to be forgotten

The librarian isn't responsible for the content of a book you object to.

No, but the librarian *is* responsible for its presence (or, in the opposite case, its non-presence) in the library.

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GlobalFoundries scuttles 7nm chip plans claiming no demand

Steve the Cynic
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An interesting (to me, anyway) thought on 7nm...

The Unreliable Source claims that a silicon atom is about 0.1nm across, and the Si-Si bond length, according to other, possible less unreliable, sources is around a quarter of a nanometre.

That makes a 7nm process feature less than 30 atoms wide...

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Experimental 'insult bot' gets out of hand during unsupervised weekend

Steve the Cynic
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Re: At University at Durham (and Newcastle)..

..they ran a slightly obscure OS on their s370 called MTS (the Michigan Terminal System).

Unusually for a mainframe OS of the time (I was there in 1978 on), it drove interactive terminal sessions, and our use was controlled by accounting limits. Not surprisingly, these limits were, well, limiting.

Ah, yes, MTS. I remember it well. I passed two years as a beginning student at RPI (the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, aka "the Tute Screw", in Troy NY) in 1984-1986. The student mainframe, an IBM 3081D (for "dual" = dual processor, nicknamed "Sybil"(1)), ran MTS instead of an IBM OS, and yes, we had accounting limits turned on, even for class-specific accounts. It was annoying when I had some time free during the day and I could burn through my current batch of CPU-time pseudo-dollars without the slightest difficulty in an hour or so of compile-run-edit-compileagain.

(1) See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shirley_Ardell_Mason for why that might be.

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How's that encryption coming, buddy? DNS requests routinely spied on, boffins claim

Steve the Cynic
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Re: whatismydnsresolver.com

When I follow that link

I followed the link. Firefox complained thusly:

whatismydnsresolver.com uses an invalid security certificate.

The certificate is only valid for code.jinzihao.me.

Thanks, but no thanks.

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As it turns out, no, you can't just run an unlicensed Bitcoin money exchange

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Why not use a Mexican Bank?

Zetas and others

That may actually be the reason why not. The said "Zetas and others" may well want a cut, and the penalty for not giving them a cut (in the money sense) will be them giving him a cut. In the "throat" sense.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: "No, you can't just run an unlicensed Bitcoin money exchange"

You're wrong, and the article explains it

You've fallen foul of the difference between "you can't" and "you may not". It most certainly is *possible* to run such a thing. The law doesn't *permit* it, but that doesn't make it impossible.

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What happens to your online accounts when you die?

Steve the Cynic
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Re: IMHO

If I have paid for a product, which has supplied a physical media or downloadable copy of content (that I can store).. then I own that particular copy of that product. In which case, upon my death, I will hand ownership of that, to whoever I please.

Be aware that if it's an Apple app store buy, they will absolutely NOT transfer the purchase from the deceased's account to a living person's, not even if you can produce the relevant death certificate. YMMV with Google Play.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Scam

However rational you are, the insensitivity of scammers will not likely be a comfort to you. If you are like me, it will only fuel your pessimism about the future of humanity.

In my case it was the insensitivity of ordinary sites that, after I asked to no longer pay the monthly charge for the product for my late wife (and said why), sent a "Please come back" plea to her email address. I was coldly polite about it (including pointing out that I had my own subscription to their service and therefore didn't need to use hers, and got an apologetic and understanding email from an actual human, and nothing further from them to Mrs Cynic's email.

The worst was Elsevier, the scientific journal publisher. It took me ages and ages to convince them to stop sending stuff, since any one "unsubscribe" unsubscribed from only that one thing.

And I already have a surfeit of pessimism about the future of humanity, thanks.

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Drama as boffins claim to reach the Holy Grail of superconductivity

Steve the Cynic
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Re: It's dead, Jim, but not as we know it

The answer is half it's length times by two.

More simply, "About that long."

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ZX Spectrum reboot latest: Some Vega+s arrive, Sky pulls plug, Clive drops ball

Steve the Cynic
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Re: What we need

And only putting three registers on the 6502 was just dumbfuckery of the highest order.

It's my understanding that the 6502's original target market was controlling microwave ovens, for which its capabilities (notably the 256-byte machine stack) are just fine.

But yeah, the Z-80 was a far more sophisticated processor than the 6502. If you compare it to a 6809, well, them's fightin' words...

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Sitting pretty in IPv4 land? Look, you're gonna have to talk to IPv6 at some stage

Steve the Cynic
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Different countries' ISPs have different priorities regarding IPv6 roadmaps :/

You're not wrong. My ISP is the "incumbent" in France (although I'm guessing you knew the "in France" part), France Telecom (that bought Orange and then took Orange's name for itself). They had a reputation (among French ISPs) for dragging their heels on IPv6 (and I believe that on ADSL lines they still are, somewhat), but on their new fibre network (full FTTP, thanks), they hand out /56 prefixes.

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: NAT

Or has all this changed or I misunderstood?

It hasn't changed, and you have misunderstood. I think.

At home, my router is given a fixed IPv6 prefix, 2a01:stuff::/56, by my ISP. That doesn't change, even though the public IPv4 of its WAN interface changes every time anything reboots or disconnect/reconnects the router. (The key point, I think, is that that prefix belongs to the LAN interfaces of the router, not the WAN interface.)

The router then distributes this prefix to the machines in my local network that need it(1). Being a 2a01 prefix, it's globally valid, not ULA, and there is no IPv6 NAT needed.(2)

And yes, there's a firewall in there. A UTM, more specifically, which does a substantial amount of intrusion prevention and stateful inspection (and is even configured to tolerate this and that and the other alarm-raising behaviour ONLY from that small list of external addresses. (Some wacky behaviour on the part of the Steam store CDN, mostly.)

(1) The Windows 2000 VM that I boot up occasionally does not have IPv6 configured, so it doesn't have any need of this stuff.

(2) That's almost true, but the IPv6 NAT that's needed is done by the UTM/IPS firewall to redirect DNS requests that are supposedly going to the WAN routerbox to instead go to an RPi that's running an Active Directory DC on Samba 4+ and Samba's internal DNS support. Windows 10 seems to behave very oddly if you configure automatic addressing and a forced DNS server address. Internet access *works* just fine, but the "you have Internet connectivity" detector thinks you're not connected.

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Steve the Cynic
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since my "business" ISP is utterly unable to give me a native IPv6 connection.

And yet my consumer ISP switched me to fibre from ADSL a couple of years ago, and fully native IPv6 came with it (and just worked).

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Steve the Cynic
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Pint

*COUGH*

dig AAAA theregister.co.uk

....

Still nothing. Coming on to 8 years of me saying this now. It only took 6 years to get SSL'd, though.

I came to the comments page expecting some snark about El Reg's lack of AAAA, and the very first post totally failed to disappoint. See icon as congratulations.

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Nah, it won't install: The return of the ad-blocker-blocker

Steve the Cynic
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Simple solution: don't buy it; buy something else without the logo.

The last time I went shopping for new clothes, I spent some time carefully searching the racks of T-shirts for something with an interesting design but where the company's logo wasn't prominently displayed. It's harder than you might think to actually find such a thing. At one shop which shall remain nameless because it's nobody's business but mine that I shop there(0), I eventually bought one that still had the logo, but the logo is *below* my belt-line, and therefore not visible(1).

(0) Why do you think I'm spending so much effort to not have a visible logo?

(1) I'm not one of these scruffy youfs who think It's OK to go around with their T-shirt hanging out of their trousers. Now get off my lawn!

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Some of you really don't want Windows 10's April 2018 update on your rigs

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Stop breaking stuff

high resolution ( 1920*1080, cough)

I'm a teeny tiny bit torn about this juxtaposition. At home I have a pair of 4K screens, so my machine is running on a 7680x2160 desktop - thus, 1920x1080 is NOT high resolution.

But I also remember my first PC, with a CGA-compatible graphics card that could do 640x200 in two colours or 320x200 in four.

Or my first computer of any sort with pixel-addressable graphics, a TRS-80 Colour Computer, whose highest resolution was 256x192 in two colours.

Thus, 1920x1080, regardless of colour depth(1), is monstrously high resolution.

Hum. The march of Time does some odd things to our perceptions.

(1) It's noteworthy that the CoCo's highest resolution mode, 256x192x2, consumed 6144 bytes of memory for the whole frame buffer, which is less than the 7680 consumed by just one row of pixels in a 1920x1080 24-bits-in-32 display.

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No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?

Steve the Cynic
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Dabbsy has one detail wrong.

I live in northern France, near the border with [REDACTED](1), and I have to say, having watched people around me, that he has one important bit wrong in his analysis of people using the ends of the phone.

There are many around me who speak into the end where the speaker is, with the microphone pointing away from them, and then switch ends to listen to the microphone.

(It is sometimes not obvious, but sometimes they hold the phone far enough away from horizontal that the home button can be clearly seen on the end away from their mouth when they speak, and/or on the end near their ear when they listen.)

(1) Douglas Adams assured me that the name of this other country is, in fact, a very rude word, so I thought it would be polite to spare your collective blushes.

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Sysadmin cracked military PC’s security by reading the manual

Steve the Cynic
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Re: About 10 minutes later I was "cracking" some of the locks and interchanging them around.

There are stories of students taking a car apart and reassembling it in the owner's room. Usually a kit car like a Lotus 7.

The times I've heard that one it was a Mini or a VW Beetle.

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ZX Spectrum reboot firm boss delays director vote date again

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Dramas like these...

Are only possible on the UK.

Where the "We're too busy following all the rules to pay attention to the fire" is 100% doable.

This made me think of an article I found a few years ago, when I was doing some local history research. It was in an issue of the local newspaper in Christchurch (Dorset), dated in the late 1920s or early 1930s.

A dead dog had been floating in the river, stuck on something, for the previous *month* because everybody who could possibly be responsible for removing it denied that it was their job, and nobody was willing to step forward and do it anyway, lest it *become* their job in the future.

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A fine vintage: Wine has run Microsoft Solitaire on Linux for 25 years

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Virtualisation made it irrelevant

Dual-booting solved a lot of problems but virtualisation made Wine irrelevant for anyone wanting to do serious work with Windows programs from within a non-Windows environment.

The downside of that theory is that you still need a Windows license for the guest OS. If the goal is to NOT run Windows at all, then virtualisation fails as a method.

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Uncle Sam is shocked, SHOCKED to find dark-web bazaars trading drugs, weapons, etc

Steve the Cynic
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Meanwhile, the DEA drug crackdown has the medical profession so terrorized (yes, really), that prescriptions of pain-killing medication is not going to happen

For contrast... Here in France, Mrs Cynic had a terminal kidney cancer, metastatic and all that. Bad scene, but there was no problem getting morphine in the hospitals and high-end opioid painkillers on prescription for home use. The doctors had to use the special tripartite hand-written prescription forms and the pharmacists had to do all manner of extra verification, but I could walk out of the pharmacie with very high-potency stuff.(1)

(1) After she passed, I still had a big ol' pile of this stuff(2) and less than no wish to use it for anything at all. I asked the pharmacist what I should do with it, and they said to bring it in to them and they would take care of disposing of it correctly, and so I did and that was that.

(2) It's the sort of thing where, really, one pill left in one of those encapsulation sheets would count as a big ol' pile as far as I'm concerned, but it was enough for a couple of weeks even at the level she needed to take it. And enough paracetamol (acetaminophen) to kill a small army.

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Reality Winner, liberty loser: NSA leaker faces 63 months in the cooler

Steve the Cynic
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It's trivially easy to change your name in the US.

Compared to changing your name in England, pretty much anywhere in the US counts as at least moderately difficult.

Go to a solicitor who is also a notary, and swear a statutory declaration. Cost 50 quid and a small amount of time for them to fill in the blanks on the form. The late Mrs Cynic was fond of doing it every now and then, which caused us ... difficulties ... later, when dealing with the French bureaucracy.

There are other ways, but the most widely accepted is the statutory declaration. In particular, of note for our Left-Pondian readers who *reside* in Right-Pondia, the US Embassy in London does not accept the other ways of doing it. (Mrs Cynic was not only Left-Pondian, but in fact Texan in origin, which is how I know about the US Embassy's preferences.)

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Steve the Cynic
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Re: Guilty?

blackmail because they have access and someone knows about something in their past

The authorities will get you coming and going if that's the case, for the espionage and for falsifying your background on the clearance checks.

The late Mrs Cynic was, before I met her, a teletype maintenance technician for the US Air Force, part of AFCC ("Air Force Communications Command", less formally known as "Alcohol First, Communications Considered"), and as such she had to have a Top Secret clearance with an SCI authorisation on top.

She told me about the process of getting the clearance - it seems monstrously nosy and intrusive, but the aim of them gathering the information from the subject and then doing follow-up investigations is quite simple. All that stuff allows the authorities to know all those dark secrets, so that the cleared individual cannot be blackmailed about them. ("Get us this information, or we'll make sure the Air Force hears about Indiscretion X." "Doesn't worry me. They already know all about it, and Y, Z and W as well.")

In general, the Air Force didn't care what those things were, so long as you told them what was what. I say "in general", but of course there were exceptions. One woman in the same group as the future Mrs Cynic had something really bad in her past, because the Air Force SPs took her away and handed her over to civilian police.

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'No questions asked' Windows code cert slingers 'fuel trade' in digitally signed malware

Steve the Cynic
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With HTTPS, you are at the absolute whims of "authorities" which can quite possibly be full of absolute idiots. I do not put my digital security trust in a bunch of idiots.

This problem is more general than just HTTPS, and it's not a total problem. HTTPS, after all, is "HTTP over SSL" in origin, although these days it's over TLS, and the certificate stuff is part of SSL/TLS.

And there is a little-known and monstrously impractical alternative to those authorities, called certificate pinning. You obtain the "public" certificate of the server you want to contact, and you get your software to use that certificate to verify that the server is the server you think it is.

I can't imagine trying to use certificate pinning for general HTTPS web browsing(1), but for contexts where *knowing* *absolutely* that the certificate presented by the server is the right one is important, it's the only way. (Example: automatic upgrades downloaded by upgrader modules.)

(1) Try to imagine the conversations you'd have with receptionists when you show up unannounced to obtain each company's public server certificates for your pinned browsing. If you think this is remotely practical, well, frankly, you're weird.

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SUSE Linux Enterprise turns 15: Look, Ma! A common code base

Steve the Cynic
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Re: not uncommon

But what happens more and more is the opposite, ghettos of non-integrated immigrants that import their uncommon lifestyles.

More and more? What? No. It has always been like that. Why do you think that districts like "Chinatown" and "Little Italy" get their names?

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Cops: Autonomous Uber driver may have been streaming The Voice before death crash

Steve the Cynic
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As software reaches the point of actually and visibly killing people

You are sadly behind the times. Bugs in the firmware of the Therac-25 killed three people in the mid-80s, more than thirty years ago.

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Oracle Linux now supported on 64-bit Armv8 processors

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Where is the Oracle Instant client for ARM ?

Still no download available for generic Linux / ARM systems

It was on this very journal that I read stories about Linus T's enswearified rants about ARM devices and non-discoverable buses. I'm guessing that nothing yet has changed in the world of ARM SoCs to change that state of affairs.

Whatever its faults, PCI is discoverable. You can interrogate it to find out what devices are where on the bus, and what resources they expect and so on. Many ARM SoCs have devices that aren't available like that, and you have to infer them from the fact that you have SoC type X, therefore you have devices A, B, C. That's a major obstruction to the construction of a generic ARM kernel for any OS.

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NASA eggheads draw up blueprints for spotting, surviving asteroid hits

Steve the Cynic
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NASA reckons there are more than 300,000 objects bigger than 40 metres that could be hazardous to Earth. It is estimated that 25,000 NEAs are at least 140 metres in size. Despite the large sizes of NEOs, they’re difficult to detect more than a few days in advance of a possible impact.

Although the *consequences* of a 40 metre rock hitting the Earth are substantial, on the scale of space, 40 metres is actually pretty small, and that smallness is what makes them hard to detect. Even 140 metres is hard to spot when it's way over there.

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Atari accuses El Reg of professional trolling and making stuff up. Welp, here's the interview tape for you to decide...

Steve the Cynic
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Re: Poor Mike

Pfft. You can't do Tempest right on a raster display anyway.

Both I and the late Mrs Cynic liked the original vector-CRT arcade Tempest machines a lot, although I think she might have been better at it than me.

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How a tax form kludge gifted the world 25 joyous years of PDF

Steve the Cynic
Silver badge

Re: PDF has its uses I suppose

Even trying to edit a PDF is a series of unpleasant workarounds unless, I suppose, you bought a full copy of Acrobat.

Thanks for reminding me that I need to migrate my copy of Acrobat 8 to my new PC. (The reasons that I have one are, today, entirely invalid, and, on reflection, probably were *always* entirely invalid, but they seemed like a good idea at the time.)

Oh, and yes, I own a printer. And when it went so far EOL that I couldn't get ink cartridges any more, I bought different one to replace it. So I guess I own *two* printers, at least until I get around to taking the old one to the tip.

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JURI's out, Euro copyright votes in: Whoa, did the EU just 'break the internet'?

Steve the Cynic
Silver badge

Re: Hand Off My Internet

It is not theirs to regulate

If you look carefully at the original intent and sponsors, yes, it very much *is* theirs to regulate.

Hint: the Internet is the spiritual inheritor of the ARPANet, and the ownership, or at least sponsorship, of that is clear in its name. ARPA. Now called DARPA. A governmental tentacle if ever there was one.

Oh, and I very much don't care how many downvotes I get for this.

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Virtual reality meets commercial reality as headset sales plunge

Steve the Cynic
Silver badge

nausea is caused by the lack of accurate frame of reference

Not quite. Motion sickness nausea is caused by a mismatch between what the eyes are saying about the movement of the world and what the ears and other parts of the body(1) are saying. AR is less bad because we still see at least some of the real world, so that mismatch isn't there.

(1) Even without introducing "ESP" and similar, there are more than five senses. The five "classic" senses - sight, sound, touch, taste, smell - are supplemented by a couple of different "kinesthetic" senses that allow us to locate our body parts relative to our heads (that is, we know where our hands and feet are without looking at them)(2), and the sense of balance allows us to orient ourselves correctly.

(2) The in-brain processing necessary to make this stuff work as well as it does is substantial - it keeps about a quarter of your brain busy, while an octopus doesn't have enough brain power to track its arms in this way, and must watch them if it needs to know where the ends are.

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