* Posts by Gordon 11

304 posts • joined 27 Jul 2009


Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

Gordon 11

Why 40mph?

When I drove through Vermont the state-wide maximum speed limit was 45mph, so it might be to not scare the natives.

Windows 10 1809: Now arriving on a desktop near you (if you want it)

Gordon 11

Re: Edge in 1809

Some people have found Edge will not load websites if IPv6 is not enabled on their system after installing 1809. The current fix being to enable IPv6.

Surely a simpler fix is not to use Edge?

Gordon 11

No doubt it will probably tie my PC for the best part of a day...

My laptop has 16GB of memory and an SSD - it's pretty fast. It still took ~3.5 hours to update (I wasn't doing anything on the system other than watching it...) after the download started.

What are these updates doing for all that time?

Europe is living in the past (by nearly six minutes) thanks to Serbia and Kosovo

Gordon 11

Re: Mains powered clock

Is there such a thing at all nowdays? It is cheaper to throw in a quartz osciallator or a real time clock than to measure grid frequency.
I have one on my bedside table. I've had one (not the same one) there for the last 45 years.

Unlike a quartz clock it never needs to be reset (unless there's a power failure).

Bright idea: Make H when the Sun shines, and H when it doesn't

Gordon 11

Re: carbon monoxide as byproduct???

CO2 for plant growth CO for asphyxiation.
CO2 will asphyxiate - CO is poisonous (it binds to haemoglobin tighter than O2 does).

Gordon 11

Re: carbon monoxide as byproduct???

Probably the same as all cars used to do - release it into the atmosphere. It is short-lived and at sea-level pressures soon oxidises into carbon dioxide.
So the hydrogen may be a "zero-carbon fuel" but it's production produces a greenhouse gas, which is seemingly ignored?

Or is the assumption that it's OK because it's removing methane (which is worse)?

Your connection is not Brexit... we mean private: UK Tory party lets security cert expire

Gordon 11

Re: Leading by example?

...they just want their blue(?) passports back...
I always thought the most-liked part was the stiff cover, not the colour.

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection

Gordon 11

Because it is an out-of-band critical fix, however, it should be installed as soon as possible. For most users, this will happen automatically.
Odd then that when I fire up my two Windows systems to look for this, only one of them finds it.

And even that one has it scheduled behind a "2017-11 Cumulative Update" that has been sitting at a status of "Preparing to download - 100%" for over 15 minutes without progressing.

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

Gordon 11

The Human Genome Project...

...was saved by Perl.


What’s the real point of being a dev? It's saving management from themselves

Gordon 11

Essentially it added higher-level abstractions (databases, menus and reports) to what previous languages had had
You mean it added new syntax to the language to do things that could be (and in practice probably were..) done by library code.

What always amazed me was the unwillingness of academics and managers to believe that you could, and should, write commonly-needed functionality into callable library code.

Windows Fall Creators Update is here: What do you want first – bad news or good news?

Gordon 11

Re: Inivitably!

Nope. There is no option to turn it off completely in the GUI. Windows 10 ALWAYS warns you it's going to reboot for an update with an option to postpone.
What you don't get is an option to delay the patch/update in the first place. So once Windows has decided to "upgrade" you're forced to go through the let's-reboot-3-times reboot when you next shutdown.

In my case it was "worse" (it didn't really matter to me, but it could have done so).

Last night I asked my laptop to look for updates. It reported it had found none. I then looked at the Microsoft blog page about how to force an update (happy for my laptop to go first...) and suddenly the update page (open next to my browser) decided it had two updates - an Adobe Flash one (again) and Windows 1709.

That was the better part of 3 hours (and that's on a system with an SSD).

So it downloaded them and installed them. Except the 1709 download failed to install, so it downloaded it all again. This time it installed OK and I was left with a Restart option. Whcih I selected and 3 reboots later I had Windows 1709. I then had to go in a patch the registry to switch off auto-login on accounts with no password (which MS always decides to reset for me...how kind) and remove the login page image.

London Tube tracking trial may make commuting less miserable

Gordon 11

Do you seriously make sure you switch wifi off every time you leave the house / office / girlfriends house....
No. I only have it on when I want to use it (same for mobile data). That means when I am looking at it...

Big question of the day: Is it time to lock down .localhost?

Gordon 11

Re: Silly "private" dns stuff abounds.

Yes, reserving ".localhost" and ALWAYS returning "no such name" is probably a good idea.
Which is not the same thing as "localhost".

".localhost" is a DNS zone, and as such can have a large number of sub-entries (although putting in a wildcard match would handle returning a consistent reply with one config line).

"localhost" is a key within a zone (roughly - it will depend how you have your name resolver configured). So if you have name resolution configure to search zones, say, ".me", ".info", don't have a specific "localhost" entry defined, look for "localhost" and someone has defined "localhost.me", then you'll get that record.

Gordon 11

The relevant RFCs covering use of localhost say that the IPv4 block
Isn't it a class A subnet, so that would be

I've always though that 16777214 usable address was a little bit of an overkill for loopback...

Gordon 11

Re: I've just had to add our "companyname.com"

IMHO, besides "locahost" a local domain (".local", ".localdomain"?) should be reserved to create internal networks, and ensure they cannot be resolved from outside even if a mistake has been done.
Unfortunately .local has already been taken for the Zeroconf protocol.

Gordon 11

Re: Is localhost even needed?

I can't think of a single use-case where we wouldn't be better off using the machines real name or IP.
Machines don't have IPs - network interfaces do.

None of the interfaces on a system needs to be resolvable using the hostname.

systemd'oh! DNS lib underscore bug bites everyone's favorite init tool, blanks Netflix

Gordon 11

It "is legal" but not in hostnames.

Which is the source of the problem.

The assumption in the original DNS was that an A record (although this is an AAAA, since the offending item appears to be IPv6) would point to a host.

This was always wrong - it only ever pointed to an interface (given that you can have multiple ones on a single host it clearly can't be a hostname), but the rule was built into the RFC IIRC).

So bind 4.x disallowed it.

The workaround was to set up a PTR records containing "_" to your A record, which contained "-" instead (since thy were aliases they could be "anything").

Then someone added a compilation option to allow "_" in A records. That must have been in the mid 90's.

Along came bind8 and made it a run-time option.

For someone to have got this wrong 20 years later is just a terrible piece of coding.

Set your alarms for 2.40am UTC – so you can watch Unix time hit 1,500,000,000

Gordon 11

Re: Signed Integer

Uh, for an absolute value, why would you store that in a signed integer? In what scenario is a negative time since epoch useful?

Well, I was born before 1970, so it's useful to represent my date of birth.

And dates BC(E) are also times before a data point.

Just so we're all clear on this: Russia hacked the French elections, US Republicans and Dems

Gordon 11

Kettles and pots?

Of course, this is a US report.

So it says nothing about whether the NSA hacks other countries elections. I take it that it's their job to do so, and if they do it they can't really complain about others doing it.

Oh, the things Vim could teach Silicon Valley's code slingers

Gordon 11

Re: The trouble with Emacs

The trouble with Emacs...is that it's an overly complicated operating system
Which is why I use microemacs. A version which has been following me around since the late 1980s. With only a few bug fixes for buffer sizes (screens can now be wider than 132 characters...). It ran on Windows (DOS window), Atari and anything that looked like Unix (so including MacOS). And I still run it on my arm, mips and x86 Linux systems - every one I have that has command line access.

All it does it edit files - quickly and simply.

First World Problems: John Lewis clients forced to re-register after website 'upgrade'

Gordon 11

but did they take the opportunity to say "Oh BTW you will have to reregister on the new website"? Of course not.

Well, they did in the email that I received.

But then - I did read it all.

Reg Programming Compo: 22 countries, 137 entries and... wow – loads of Python

Gordon 11

Re: I'm with the picture editor

At least they know what a proper language is.

Perl was designed for tasks such as this.

Want a Windows 10 update? Don't go to Microsoft ... please

Gordon 11

Re: Possibly helpful on a local network by why on earth with the broader internet?

But what is a "local network"?

I presume that it is any system with the same broadcast address.

Now, when I'm at home I trust these.

But when I'm attached to a free Wifi spot in a coffee shop - I don't.

BHowever, MS doesn't let me distinguish these (not sure how it could).]

Much the same as it not letting me set an Ethernet connexion (which I only get when I'm running via my 'phone's data allowance) as a chargeable connexion. It works for the MS developers in the MS developers' environment, so it must apply globally.

Big Pharma wrote EU anti-vaping diktat, claims Tory ex-MEP

Gordon 11

The Earl of Error took a crumb of comfort...
I was living in hope that this title was correct, but I suspect that was the Earl of Errol.

Woman charged with blowing AU$4.6m overdraft on 'a lot of handbags'

Gordon 11

"failed to notify the bank that she was not entitled to the money"
Yes. A bit like finding £1000 pounds in the gutter. You are supposed to hand it in at a police station. Not doing so is theft.

India orders 770 million LED light bulbs, prices drop 83 per cent

Gordon 11

Re: Have they finally solved strobing?

Most people I know don't complain about this in LEDs...
It exists in incandescents too. It was how you used to get the speed of your turntable deck correct (if you had one with adjustable correction).

'I bet Russian hackers weren't expecting their target to suck so epically hard as this'

Gordon 11

Re: endianness @#define

Having less-significant bits at higher byte addresses is illogical.
Given that you should be looking at a 2-, 4- or 8-byte number as a single entity there should be no such thinking as "higher byte address". Each number has one address/location.

When asked 'What's a .CNT file?' there's a polite way to answer

Gordon 11

Re: What's a .cnt?

strange on any windows box the help works (apart from the occasional ancient - 25 year old help file)
It displays content. Whether it works as "help" is more hit&miss in my experience.

If you don't know how to use a command line program you just add a -? to the command line
Clearly you never need help then, as that is only for commands it has had to import from Unix. /? would be the MS Windows one.

Winning Underhand C Contest code silently tricks nuke inspectors

Gordon 11

Re: VW?

Pretty sure that code would be considered proprietary.

Perhaps the winning entry was also "proprietary", in that someone else is currently using it?

Not that they'd ever sue for copyright...

After-dinner Mint? Stylish desktop finale released as last of the 17 line

Gordon 11

Re: Maybe next time

But it definitely hasn't been plain sailing and has required more than one arcane GRUB intervention on my part, various bits of the UI have stopped working at random and things have never been 100% in terms of getting security/elevation and package installation/update to work properly.

Which sounds very similar to my experience of MS Windows.

When the Windows10 part2 update came along in the autumn my desktop system upgraded on day one. My laptop, on the other hand, stopped getting any updates at all! I knew it was a "staggered" upgrade, so waited. After 6 weeks (still no updates of any sort) I gave up, downloaded the manual Win10 update again and re-installed that.

The UI has many annoying features, which MS do not let me change.

  • I can't configure a click-to-focus window policy as MS doesn't give me the option (although the Window manage does have the ability).
  • I can't configure window border thickness, nor colour (properly)
  • If I don't set a password on an account (on a home desktop system, why bother) then Windows10 will auto-login the last user - and MS gives you no way to prevent this.
  • If I plug-in my phone to use it as an on-the-go network connexion MS Windows will see it as an Ethernet connexion. And MS doesn't let you mark Ethernet connexions as chargeable: so it feels free to download any updates (e.g. the 3GB Win10 upgrade) over it without asking me.

Linux, however, lets me do what I want, how I want.

'Powerful blast' at Glasgow City Council data centre prompts IT meltdown

Gordon 11

Too much gas... and you can blow the walls out.
You're only supposed to blow the bloody walls out.

(Not take the systems down...)

Microsoft quietly slips out patched patch for Outlook – in camouflage

Gordon 11

resulted in the email client crashing as soon as some emails were scrolled through.
Nothing new there, then. Thanks to MS having little idea about how to handle mime-types in Outlook (they still assume that all attachments have an associated filename with a meaningful suffix) it was easy to send a mail which would crash Outlook 2007. And if the user had previews on it would crash it as soon as it started up.

MS did provide a fix. It stopped the crash (but wouldn't actually show the text content which it was being told was there). But the fix was only in Outlook 2010 - never put into the version where the bug was actually reported.

Microsoft rolls out first 'major update' to Windows 10

Gordon 11

Still can't handle two-disk, dual-boot setups

This is a full install of a new version. Similar process to the original Windows10.

And it still assumes that Windows is installed on the disk the system booted from.

Clearly Microsoft has no imagination.

I boot from disk 2 so I get a grub menu, with timeout, and can manually chose Linux.

The default boots Windows from disk 1 (so my wife doesn't have to do anything to get t where she wishes to be). This update/install can't handle this.

All 3GB downloaded, installed, and I restarted. The box came up, a big 0 showed for a split second, then a "normal" looking boot occurred.

Windows told me the update had failed.

So into Windows Update - that re-applied what it had already downloaded but with the same effect on rebooting. Then I remembered the boot order, so changed it in the BIOS.

Reboot and back into Windows Update. This was convinced I was "Up to Date", but when I asked it to check it agreed I wasn't - and decided to download all 3GB again!

At least it looks more promising now. - it's reached 54% after ~30 mins...I still have Configure Settings got come - I'm hoping it remembers what I had...

Lithium-air: A battery breakthrough explained

Gordon 11

Lithium Peroxide? In my pocket? No thanks.

Lithium/air batteries (non-rechargeable) are already used in hearing aids...

Licence to snoop: Ipso facto, crypto embargo? Draft Investigatory Powers bill lands

Gordon 11

If the website uses https then surely all they can store is the IP address you called?

As for the LibDem comment - it was dead and buried whilst they were sharing power.

Microsoft's 'Arrow' Android launcher flies into Play store

Gordon 11

If it's used a lot - it goe son the Home screen...

Hmm...the apps listing on my Moto4G/v2 changed several weeks back to be a scrollable list (rather than a paged one) and the top row is now the 4 most recently used apps.

As has been noted, you can pin apps to your home screen (or to a folder on it...) anyway.

TalkTalk hush-hush on compo for up to 4 million customers after mega cyber attack

Gordon 11

On Saturday morning on the local radio station (via Sky news I think), there was a woman who claimed her bank account had been wiped out and left her overdrawn.
Well, one report I read was of a woman who claimed to have lost £600(?) last Sunday as a result of this - despite that being a few days before the incident actually occurred (a small detail that seemed to be missed by the reporter).
Remember how Clarkson challenged world + dog that just knowing his account number wasn't a security risk, and was then proved wrong?
I do - although no-one has ever explained how information that has been on every cheque that I have ever written could give anyone access to my account.

Chaos at TalkTalk: Data was 'secure', not all encrypted, we took site down, were DDoSed

Gordon 11

"...but at Wednesday lunchtime all we knew was that our website was running very slowly, that our email system was running slowly, and that is usually an indication that someone is trying to bombard your systems to get in."

They knew that the email system was running slowly on Tuesday afternoon, as I had a ticket open with them about it and the engineers were looking at it. Could that be related? (And my email was back up to speed on Wednesday...)

TalkTalk website hit by outage, broadband customers also KO'd

Gordon 11

Their mail was wonky yesterday (intermittent access to the SMTP server to send mail, and late/delayed arrival of incoming mail).

BUT (!!!), I did quickly get through to a support person to report this and was kept updated with the progress on working to a fix.

Microsoft starts to fix Start Menu in new Windows 10 preview

Gordon 11

Re: Documents on desktop

The desktop should only be used for stuff I am currently working on...

I seem to recall that with a Roaming profile this meant the file had to be downloaded to the system as you logged into it - hence slowing down login when you had a lot of large ones...

I could be wrong though. It had never occurred to me that a Desktop was a place to put a Document - to me Documents went into Folders (a nice, simple, hierarchical database) and you used the File Explorer to manage them. I don't even have any desktop icons showing on my system - they are in a browsable menu on the taskbar (so never get hidden under open windows).

It's alive! Farmer hides neglected, dust-clogged server between walls

Gordon 11

>20 years ago I set up 6 Sun IPC boxes (headless) as DNS/NIS servers. We had 3 sites, and one went to the Server room and the other to the Comms room on each site.

6 years and 3 re-organizations later I was no longer in charge of these, but got a 'phone call.

We want to decommission dns2.


Where is it?

In the Comms room.

That's what we thought - we can't find it. Could you come and have a look?

The Comms room consisted of lots of things on deep shelving accessible from both sides. We eventually discovered that other systems had been placed in front of, behind and to each side of it. It was hidden in the middle and had been for several years (they had been looking for it before...)

When one of the others was decommissioned I requested a reprieve of 2 days - just so I could type "uptime" and see it show 1000 days.

Global warming stopped in 1998? No it didn't. If you say that, you're going to prison

Gordon 11

I do think more co2 = more tree's and plants as there has to be some sort of balance
Not necessarily the case when you are cutting down all of the trees at the same time (== deforestation).
the thing that confuses is me is that they can predict it will be warmer over the next two years however they can't get the weather right for the next two weeks.
Hint - look up "acute" and "chronic" in a dictionary,

Stardock’s Start10 brings the familiarity of 7 to Windows 10

Gordon 11

Old-style program start menu

Add a toolbar for Programdata\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs and squash it to the left of the taskbar. You end up with a list of your programs which you can browse with the mouse.

Add the Desktop toolbar as well in the same way, and switch off desktop icons (so you never have to look for them under open windows).

UK.gov makes total pig's ear of attempt to legalise home CD ripping

Gordon 11

Re: Makes my blood boil

If I own a shop and don't sell more eggs as some people have let them grow into laying Hens can I also expect compensation?
If you'd made it a condition of the purchase that the eggs not be allowed to grow into chickens then yes.

The issue here is that it is a condition of the purchase of CD content that it not be copied (same was/is true of vinyl). It's written on the disc.

This time we really are all doomed, famous doomsayer prof says

Gordon 11

Pity you never learnt the difference between the rules of rugby and those of football.

Hello, Pot.

Rugby, like cricket, has laws, not rules.

Why is that idiot Osbo continuing with austerity when we know it doesn't work?

Gordon 11

Re: Another Example

The fact that this year the Adam Smith Institute calculated Tax Freedom Day to be 31st May speaks volumes meaning that approx 5/12 of people's salaries will go on government spending.
Assuming I live to be 84 (so I can deal in ℕ not ℚ) that means the government will tax me for 35 of them. Given that I was in education until 24, would (hopefully) receive a pension for 19 years and (again hopefully) be covered by the NHS for all 84 I reckon that's not a bad deal.

People point out how much tax is paid, but not many bother to see what you get back for it.

Unicode wonks are bringing home the BACON, as an emoji

Gordon 11

cue men's rights activists howling “why can't we have a pregnant man?.

More likely women calling for a "Woman in Tuxedo" to go with Mother Christmas.

JavaScript CPU cache snooper tells crooks EVERYTHING you do online

Gordon 11

Re: whats the problem?

What about having lots of other processes doing other things on your system which will affect the L3 cache in random (unpredictable) ways even while you are typing?

Visual Studio running on OS X and Linux for free? SO close

Gordon 11

Re: I can't find it...

Thanks, no idea why I couldn't see it earlier.
Did you scroll to the top of the target page - which is where the Linux link is? The scrollbar is your friend.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019