Re: > The Home Office did not respond for comment at the time of writing.
Sad to say, but despite the joke icon, you're probably closer to the truth than anyone in officialdom would care to admit.
570 posts • joined 28 Jul 2009
Sad to say, but despite the joke icon, you're probably closer to the truth than anyone in officialdom would care to admit.
"My first PC had a 20MB drive"
My first IBM-compatible PC had two 5.25" (yes, inches, I'm not building a replica of Stonehenge...) floppy drives.
I borrowed a hard disk for it. 10 MB full-height (as tall as the two floppy drives together) drive removed from a PDP-11. I gave it back when it started dropping sectors, and scoured Computer Shopper for the cheapest 20 MB Seagate I could get my hands on. At the time, I lived in the US, and found the cheapest one from a supplier whose address was just three miles from where I was living.
Well, I don't see any sign of Google Fiber making any difference for me. I mean, I have FTTH and all that jazz, but it isn't *Google* FTTH. And prior to about two months ago, I didn't even have any kind of fibre.
It might be a "chocolate ration" thing, of course.
"What would have been nice would be if the v6 header had been designed such that an IPv4 router which got an IPv6 packet could at least have processed it enough to route it to some catchall proxy system."
Well, actually, it was designed in such a way. Maybe not by intent, but...
The first four bits of an IP packet are the version number. Most IPv4 packets begin with an ASCII capital E, hex 45, meaning IPv4, header has 5*4=20 octets. ALL IPv6 packets begin with hex 6X (X=0-F).
So you could design your router to forward all IP packets that begin 6X to a specific machine. Or Teredo them, or something.
And IPv6 uses a different ethertype to help avoid version compatibility issues.
Well, let's see. I'm in northern France (literally: I live in the département du Nord, "nord" == "north"), and I have recently (like, as in, you know, the 23rd of December) had an Orange technician (OK, two technicians, one to push and one to pull) switch me from "up to 20 Mbps" ADSL2+ to "at least 200 Mbps" FTTH.
And the new service, unlike the old, supports IPv6. I have a 2a01:stuff/56 prefix with public IPs on all the machines inside the network as well as IPv4-by-NAPT.
And I have a firewall. Well, a bit more than just a firewall. I have a full-on deep-inspection IPS that supports IPv6. I know it supports IPv6 because I built the core IPv6 support into it. Because it's a work loaner.
And Windows 10 booted up after the installation and its IPv6 support just worked. Wireshark shows IPv6 connections when I go on the Web, and various tools show that my iPhone and iPad get IPv6 addresses from the Livebox. Even my aging Fedora 14 VM works as it should on IPv6.
Advice: hunt down the instructions on the Internet on disabling Windows 10's Teredo service because it is in no way needed when you have real IPv6 support.
This discussion of car safety rules, especially the part about seat belts, makes me think of a referendum in Massachusetts in the late 80s. The question on the ballot was whether the recently-enacted state law mandating the use (by drivers and passengers) of seat belts should be repealed.
I always used one anyway, as did many of my fellow students, but many of them said they would vote(1) to repeal the law because it should be a matter for each person to choose.
(1) As a (legal) alien(2), I wasn't allowed to vote in the election, but I *would* have voted to repeal, for much the same reason.
(2) In 1981 I entered the US on a 90-day tourist visa. I stayed (legally) for almost nine years. I even got a green card, only to discover that it was slightly pink, and plastic-laminated, and not green at all.
And I had an interesting debate with my mother, who would have voted to keep the law. Her reasoning was by analogy to rules about having to have working brakes. The obvious flaw in that reasoning (obvious to me, anyway) is that rules about brakes are there to protect me from inadequate maintenance of *his* car, while seat belt laws are to force me to protect me from things *I* do.
So the car makers must include seat belts so I *can* protect myself, and they must be in good condition, sure. But don't *make* me use them. I'll use them anyway.
"And there are a lot of details."
Crypto consists *entirely* of details, in a way that less ... demanding ... code does not. (Just look at some of the key-revealing attacks on RSA encryption, for example.)
Why? It's just a reminder that I've been a widower for the last 18 months...
Am I the only one who looked quickly at "HMRC confirms Verify can STFU" and wondered what El Reg's own Verity Stob had to do with anything? You know, confusing VeriFy and VeriTy?
The point, I think, is about how you can know that a particular thing is trustable, and the conclusion is that unless you can trust the person (or people) who created it, you can't trust the thing.
I remember going, in person, to the ticket counter at Paddington to get my season ticket (Going-on-Thames to London plus all-zones Tube) reprinted when the Tube machines wouldn't read the mag stripe any more.
Two different humans made me tickets where the printed info on the front of the new ticket didn't match the mag stripe, and the mag stripe's date info was already expired.
The third was a supervisor, and managed to do it right.
So there's a problem in that the info on the front and back can be different, and there's a problem in that these two fine workers set it up that way. Either way, it didn't help my mood that morning.
"I find the banking apps that I use are generally up to date, at least to the day before for purchases"
My French bank (I live in France, duh) updates the on-line / app readable account information four times a day, except for transfers between my current and savings accounts, which generally update the balances in a few seconds at any time of day or night.
"Sounds like you're referring to Wikipedia..."
There's a reason I call Wikipedia "The Unreliable Source"...
("The encyclopedia anyone can edit" might possibly be part of that reason, but the missing part of that is the real reason... "The encyclopedia anyone can edit, and frequently does.")
"a scientifically verified fact"
There's no such thing. Anywhere. The scientific method allows us to demonstrate that theories are incorrect, and to *support* theories that have not yet been proven incorrect:
1. Observe phenomenon
2. Create theory to explain the phenomenon.
3. Use the theory to make predictions of what we could observe related to that phenomenon.
4. Conduct experiments.
5. Analyse the results.
If the results match the predictions, the experimental result *supports* the theory. If not, then EITHER the theory is wrong OR the predictions were incorrectly calculated OR the experiment was incorrectly carried out OR the experiment was incorrectly designed. At no time can we actually use science to *PROVE* a theory, nor a fact.
A "scientific consensus" that a theory is "correct" emerges as we do more experiments and the results support the theory, but at no time is the theory *proven*.
So: there is an empirically-demonstrated trend of warming (measured in terms of average global temperatures or something), and a theory that we are to blame. The theory is supported by *models*, not *experiments*, and the support is, therefore, not strictly "scientific". Conducting experiments on global climate averages is ... difficult. Devising a model and playing with it is not a suitable substitute for actual empirical experiments. The model is a tool for making predictions based on the theory, not a form of experiment.
CAVEAT: I fully expect to get a jolly bundle of downvotes for this, but bear in mind that I'm not saying we aren't to blame for that warming trend. I'm saying that it isn't *proven*, and it isn't a *fact*.
Yeah, that was my firs thought. Shame you beat me to it...
"Pizza, inevitably, is not far behind."
Do I have to dig through my old posts to find the reference?
OK, here it is:
Title: Domino's Tests Delivery of Pizza by Remote-Controlled Drone: The DomiCopter takes flight
Date: June 12, 2013
"IBM - I've been Moved"
Many years ago, like 1981-1984, I lived for a few years in the home of IBM, Endicott, NY. Large parts of the centre of the town (sorry, village) were either IBM plants or offices, or car parks for IBM employees. At one point, there was a dead-end street in between two car parks (not multi-storey, duh), and IBM bought the street from the Endicott trustees and converted the two car parks and the street into one big car park.
Consequence: you got to hear all the dumb jokes made about IBM. And that was one of them. The company even had a special subsidiary or something whose role was to buy employees' houses when the company asked them to move to another location, so that they didn't have to wait for the house to sell on a person-to-person basis.
So if they are being told they may have to move to a location far from where they are now, well, that's not a surprise.
"2) 4GB is a hard limit (unless PAE is used, and that causes driver issues). "
Careful, there. There are *two* 4GB limits on 32-bit processors.
The first is an absolute limit - the virtual address space is limited to 4GB without regard to anything like PAE. There is nothing you can do to increase that limit short of switching to a 64-bit architecture. (You might be able to fake something up by having multiple processes, but that rapidly becomes non-scalable.)
The second is NOT a limit, in fact. Prior to the introduction of PAE, the *physical* address space was limited to 4GB. Of course, we have to remember that the first processors with PAE were released in 1995, and it is pretty much universal these days. PAE allows more physical address space, but doesn't solve the 4GB virtual address space limit. However, 32-bit Windows "workstation" type builds of any sort do not *use* physical memory beyond the 4GB limit, for those driver-related issues, but they *DO* use PAE for its other features. In case you missed that: the OS runs with PAE enabled, but does not exploit the ability to use more than 4GB of physical memory. Server builds do exploit that ability, but the workstation/desktop builds do not, because home users in particular will have all sorts of wacky hardware with drivers made of chewing gum and baling wire, and such drivers will rarely be reliable when faced with physical addresses beyond 4GB.
EDIT: the above applies only to 32-bit builds of Windows, of course. 64-bit builds can and do make use of physical and virtual memory beyond the 4GB line.
As others have noted, you probably meant 192.168.1.1, and no, that's usually the ADSL/fibre/cable routermodemlboxthingy.
And of course, at home I do have a public IP address on my PC. IPv6, that is. 2A01:stuff. I also have a 192.168.1 type address. But that IPv4's not interesting for the alphabet soups and the hackers.
But I'm not sure why the story is news. It's pretty much self-evident that any DRM solution that doesn't involve a physical token attached to the PC (including having the original installation medium in a local shiny-biscuit reader) will need to check on the Internet, and that might involve an IP check, and that might involve using the public IP that the DRM servers can see, and in a way that links your TOR activities to that IP.
And because it *might* involve such things, you must, if you are operating in full-on tin-foil-hat mode, assume that it *will* involve them, and that it will leak information about you.
It is, indeed, an American thing. Many of the larger American cars have an automatic (or even manual) shifter on the steering column and a bench seat in the front, so they don't have anywhere you can put a handbrake between the two front seats (because there is one front seat that goes the whole width of the car, and it doesn't have a "between"), so the actuator for the parking brake is a small pedal to the left of the normal foot brake (or to the left of the clutch if there is one), with a hand-operated lever usually marked "Brake Release" to release it.
Pfft. I remember my first driving test, in Endicott, NY. I used my dad's car, with a manual transmission, and was slightly distressed at having to handle turns at intersections with one hand out the window showing I knew hand turn signals, the other hand working the transmission, and the other other hand holding the steering wheel.
See, I was born with a terrible deformity.
I have only two hands.
(Yes, I know. It's a joke.)
"Linux - Linux Is Not UniX"
You must be thinking of:
GNU - GNU's Not Unix
The Unreliable Source says that the "Linu" in "Linux" is the same "Linu" in "Linus" (and, further, that he didn't really want it called that, but a coworker thought it was a better name than "Freax").
Sure, but knowing how to do those things is part of being a skilled practitioner. And if it isn't possible to make your own chip *just* from the information in the patent, then the patent isn't strictly speaking valid (or there is a separate patented spoonful of special sauce that must be referenced). There *must* be enough information in the patent to allow that skilled practitioner to duplicate the invention.
Of course, getting a patent clerk to recognise when that information is missing is a separate challenge.
"Also, you don't license your most competitive IP to your competitors because they get to see your proprietary IP and put you out of business."
Tsk. It's *patented* IP, so they have had to publish (as part of the patent application) enough details that a skilled practitioner (that is, any company likely to compete) can make widgets based on the IP, so while it might be proprietary, it *isn't* secret.
Of course, the said practitioner may not sell the widgets without a patent license, but that's a separate issue.
And, of course, whether it is interesting to license the patents depends on:
* Can you make it for (not counting the costs of licensing) less than the competitors? If so, go for it.
* If you can't, can you make enough on the licensing income to make up the shortfall? If so, go for it.
* Is the technology part of a wider standard, like most mobile telephony "utility" patents are?
* Does the relevant standards body require members to make the licenses available on the "FRAND" basis (most do)?
(At https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reasonable_and_non-discriminatory_licensing the Unreliable Source claims that FRAND = Fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.)
Heck, to hear the rhetoric from politicians who are old enough to know better, we never knew how to make a rocket as big as Up Goer 5 (1). (Or, rather, they treat launching 120 tons to LEO as a new engineering goal, despite being alive when Up Goer 5 could do better than that.)
(1) See https://xkcd.com/1133/. It's noteworthy for showing that "thousand" is not one of the 1000 most common words.
Actually, the problem isn't quite what that sounds like. It isn't about whether *we* can trust *them* (although that is obviously an issue), but whether they think *they* can trust *each other*. (And the LIBOR scandals show that that *is* an issue, of course. As does this paper.)
"Good luck trying to update Edge on any other version of Windows."
That was my thought when I read that line, although I suppose it's better for Microsoft to be explicit about it.
Personally, I'd like them to fix Edge so it actually remembers my Favorites / bookmarks for more than a week. (It worked OK, then blew its brains out and reinitialized itself, and ever since then it forgets what I put in the Favorites bar about once a week.)
Dude, you derailed my brain. Thanks for that.
I think we'd all agree that conspiracy takes two or more people (the Unreliable Source agrees, for what *that's* worth).
How long before this becomes the (lone) seller and the buyer rather than the seller and his mate?
(No "joke" icon because it's not meant as a joke, not much, anyway...)
"Aside from possibly making you feel old – yes, you've (possibly) been using Linux for longer than the lifespan of a US patent"
Yup, that's me. First touched Linux in 1995. As a development environment for $JOB, no less.
"at the St. Regis"
Nice work if you can get it! (I used to work at a NY-based firm that would put up visiting staff from overseas offices in the St. Regis. Nice place.)
"I thought ELO had that one?"
Somebody has broken out of Satellite Two.
Look very carefully, it may be YOU (you you you).
Even sadder... I did that without looking on a lyrics site.
> > after a short illness
> Yeah, nice circumscription for what must be "massively invasive cancer"...
It's usually shorthand for a heart attack or a stroke. (Of the sort that takes a day or two for you to actually die.)
"Long illness" means cancer or (perhaps) dementia. Even a massively invasive cancer usually takes months to kill the patient. (In my wife's case, it was seven months to death's door, then she got surgery to remove the previously undetected kidney tumour. At the moment it was removed, the tumour was bigger than the kidney, but of course it had metastasised by then, so she went back to queuing for another seven months before the bony guy let her in)
I don't have to press a button to light up the display on my iWatch. I turn my wrist to look at it, it lights up. You must be thinking about 1970s LED digital watches.
And the insults you mention must be a British (?American) thing. The French seem either disinterested or positive about it.
And the questions of performance are not, either way, any kind of influence on whether or not I get a Series 2. The Series 2 doesn't care if I dunk it. That's the key feature, and it's the *only* difference that matters to me. (Sure, I get that the Series 2 has its own GPS receiver, but I don't do anything with my iWatch that involves not carrying my phone, so ...)
But yeah, I'd like it to not burn down the battery quite so quickly. This, too, is important. (But, equally, the charger is light and sits on my bedside table, where I leave my watch (conventional or iWatch) at night, so the *cost* in "convenience" terms is low.)
"+1 for the Mosquito. I bet it could be made to work. The thing is probably even strong and solid enough to mount a few modern weapons systems."
Well, don't forget the "Tsetse", a Mosquito built with a 57mm anti-tank gun. (Officially, and boringly, designated "Mosquito FB Mk XVIII".)
After the war, apparently, they tried something ... larger ... , the Ordnance QF 32 pounder, a 96mm weapon equipped with a novel form of muzzle brake, firing 32-pound AP shells at 877 m/s. They built one, and flew it, and even fired live rounds from it without problems. Then they scrapped it. (I hear a familiar refrain...)
If the user had learned touch typing, he wouldn't have been looking at the keyboard. (I can mostly touch-type, and have learned to do it on AZERTY as well as QWERTY keyboards. My late wife learned it at school, and tested one time at nearly 100 wpm. She could accurately transcribe documents while looking only at the document, and not at either the screen OR the keyboard.)
And yes, I remember back in the day using an IBM 3278 terminal, with the Return key going to the next field and the Enter key submitting the screen.
"The masses may riot, but they will NOT rise."
Eric Blair wrote a book about that, published in 1948. 'Course he didn't write it under that name, and his timescale was a bit short, but one important observation in /1984/ was that the proles would never rise. The masses you mentioned *ARE* the proles he was talking about.
"I always wondered what MCP stood for"
Master Control Program, duh.
'Course NTP is important. Especially if...
Well, like one place I worked around 2000. For ... reasons(1) ... we used SourceSafe. (Yeah, I know, Mistake Number One)
As you may or may not know, a SourceSafe repository is just a bunch of files on a network share somewhere. Events in the history, therefore, have timestamps based on the only possible time standard: client workstation clocks.
And, of course, the placement of a label is strictly 100% based on timestamps.
OK, we're almost there.
A spate of weird build failures (specifically, that official builds didn't pick up new code commits) was eventually traced to a time sync discrepancy between client workstations where we did our commits and the build-launcher machine that would create a label for the build. Relative to (some of) the client workstations, the build machine was about five minutes in the past, so it inserted the label "earlier" than the commits even though in wallclock time, the commits were made first.
We installed NTP software (Tardis on Win2000/WinXP) on all the machines, and this problem went away.
(1) All I'll say here is "reasons". I'm specifically denying that they were good reasons.
Firewalls? You have firewalls?
"a short custodial sentence for jumping bail and fleeing the country"
Well, no. Jumping bail, I'll let you have, but he's still *in* the UK.
The Unreliable Source informs us that the interior of an embassy remains part of the territory of the host country, although the host country may not send representatives into the embassy without permission, even to, for example, fight a fire.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Diplomatic_mission section "Extraterritoriality".
"forces networks to provide the coverage the same as is currently in place with Royal Mail"
So your first-class data packets are delivered probably tomorrow if the destination is in the UK? Or you can spend twenty times as much for it to be almost(1) definitely delivered tomorrow instead of just probably?
(1) On one memorable occasion, I sent something to a guy in Belfast from near Oxford by Special Delivery post, and it took a week to get there. This was a guy who, when I phoned him about the item, mentioned in his broad Belfast accent that his place looked like a bomb had gone off. Seriously. He did comment on how that must have sounded.
Fussy point: The OTC market is a *market*, not an *exchange*. (For a long time, NASDAQ did not meet the regulatory requirements for being an exchange either.) OK, it's a technical vocabulary (jargon) thing, but the SEC will jump up and down on you if you say, in material for shareholders, that you are listed on an exchange and it turns out to be any sort of OTC listing.
"sombody made those 8080s in 74 - but this was around the time that industry experts were saying things like " there will only ever be a need four 4 computers on the planet" and suchlike - so not everyone had to learn them . it was only literally about 1995 when computers appeared in the houses of "normal people" for the purpose of doing stuff OTHER than pissing around with a computer"
Your timescales are a little off. The four-computers thing was Thomas J Watson, chief of IBM, speaking in *1943*, when working stored-program computers were still five years in the future, and he actually said "five", not "four".
And I would contest the 1995 figure as well, although the discrepancy there is more like five or six years, and depends a little on how exactly you define the edges of "pissing around with a computer". I myself used a (home) computer in 1984 as what amounted to an advanced form of typewriter (Scripsit on a TRS-80 Model III), although I wouldn't class my family as "normal people" in this context.(1)
(1) My mother worked as a programmer at LEO in the 1960s, and my father worked all his career in what amounts to IT support, sometimes outsourced, sometimes in-house. When some of the last LEO IIIs to be decomissioned were finally turned off in the late 70s, the aluminium honeycomb side panels from the racks made their way into our house as floor panels for the loft.
" no fewer than 17 civilian and government intelligence agencies point the finger to Kremlin interference in the election"
When I read this, my first thought was that Senator Johnny Iselin had a list of 57 known communists in the State Department. Make of that what you will.
Well, I looked it up in the Unreliable Source, and I found this interesting paragraph:
"An update in August of 2016 in which the app mandated the use of profiles and removed anonymity was not well received by the user base, and it now has a "1 star" rating on the iOS App store."
So I'd suggest that it is, indeed, no longer a thing.
"Hmm, should that be "questioning more answers"? It is "Jeopardy", after all. I guess I'll have to leave it to the AI to decide which is more correct..."
I'll have to admit to having seen enough Jeopardy to know that this is, indeed, the right response.
For the unaware: Jeopardy is a quiz-format gameshow much like any other, with the twist that the questions given by the host are phrased as simple statements, while the contestants must phrase their answers as if they were asking questions.
I remember a conversation by email with my brother from ... oh ... at least 15 years ago now ... concerning his job writing an emulator to allow PDP-11 code to run on PCs of some sort.
And I, too, wrote PDP-11 code back in the day. In assembler, too. Uni course with the final project organised as a competition to see which of the four groups could get the best aggregate score for a sort of jigsaw-solving algorithm(1). The score was an aggregate based on memory used and time taken.
My group won the competition with the best time *and* the smallest program. Two other groups were close behind, while the fourth trailed far, far behind because they wrote a chunk of the code in Pascal, producing a result that used prodigious amounts of CPU time *and* memory.
(1) N by M puzzle, each piece was four integers to represent the four edges of the piece. A zero meant an edge piece, while a pair of zeros meant a corner. Two pieces were correctly adjacent if there was a particular arithmetic relationship between the numbers. The pieces were all aligned correctly (no rotation was needed), but arranged in no particular order.
And he hasn't used avian carriers either.
(I know the numbers of two different RFCs by heart. One is 7112, a deeply boring blither about IPv6 fragmentation as it applies to extension headers. The other is Avian Carriers.)
I agree. All I meant was that the whole "Mice By Microsoft" thing is still going, so they don't count as "defunct".