* Posts by ForthIsNotDead

471 posts • joined 4 Sep 2009

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Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff

ForthIsNotDead

Been using Opera for a while...

...Stylish, fast, lean, has a built in (free) VPN, private browsing, data saving mode for mobile connections ...the list goes on.

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Why can't you install Windows 10 Creators Update on your old Atom netbook? Because Intel stopped loving you

ForthIsNotDead

WTAF...

... is a CPU driver FFS?

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Good luck getting reliable support runing Linux on those obsolete silicons

Installed Linux Mint with MATE on an Intel Atom Netbook a little less than 24 hours ago. Found all the hardware, Wifi, Nic, USB ports, SD Port, Bluetooth, mouse pad, everything. Even running with hardware video acceleration.

Runs okay, too. Better than the somewhat creaky Win 7 that was on it before.

Perfect.

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Stop all news – it's time for us plebs to be told about BBC paycheques!

ForthIsNotDead

Scrutiny...

Of course, the ones paying REALLY close attention to this publication will be the nice people at HMRC.

I bet there's some loose sphincters at the BBC "talent" dept. today.

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Google unleashes 20m lab-created blood-thirsty freaks on a city. And this is a good thing, it says

ForthIsNotDead

Population control

Bill Gates is watching with interest.

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The curious case of a Tesla smash, Autopilot blamed, and the driver's next-day U-turn

ForthIsNotDead

So, the car phoned home, right?

So, just to clarify, the car phoned home, after the crash, right?

Putting my "fairness" hat on, I can see why Tesla would want this data, with auto-pilot cars being an emerging technology and all, but I don't think I'd want it on my car in the future.

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Russia launches non-TERRIFYING satellite that focuses Sun's solar rays onto Earth

ForthIsNotDead

If it's a student project...

...then it will probably look down at the earth, declare everyone to be misogynist racists, retreat to its safe-space, and cry like a baby. Tsk. Students, eh?

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Radiohead hides ZX Spectrum proggie in OK Computer re-release

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Not saved as an autorun program?

SAVE "MY_PROG" LINE 10

Still remember...!

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Good news: Samsung's Tizen no longer worst code ever. Bad news: It's still pretty awful

ForthIsNotDead

In assembly language we compare registers to themselves all the time to see if they're zero or non-zero, as it sets the flags in the status register...

CMP R3,R3

JEQ somewhere \ if r3=0 then jump

Just sayin...

Aint gonna help the poor guy who wrote that code, though. Yes, it's just a typo, or, possibly the result of pressing enter too quickly with a code-completion type editor.

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The life and times of Surface, Microsoft's odds-defying fondleslab

ForthIsNotDead

Lovely hardware...

...shame about the software.

Can I run Linux on it?

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Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

ForthIsNotDead

One day...

...Microsoft will just go back to writing good software, like they did in the late 80s and early 90s.

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Coders crack Oculus DRM in 24 hours, open door to mass piracy

ForthIsNotDead

I read the article all the way to the end...

...then realised I don't give a shit about VR headsets.

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Homeland Security: Putin’s hackers tried to crack electoral networks in 21 US states

ForthIsNotDead

Do you have a source for that?

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ForthIsNotDead

Still not convinced...

I presume (the article does not say) they suspect that the culprits were Russian because the network traffic was emanating from Russia itself.

You'd have to be a special kind of dumb not disguise the whereabouts of your hacking attempts. I mean, seriously. If the Russian state actors were going to attempt a hack (and why wouldn't they; in all probability, *most* governments probably try this sort of stuff) then wouldn't they conspire to give the impression that the perpetrators were Chinese or North Korean? It's not hard. I can make El Reg think this post is coming from the USA (I'm in the UK) or Canada, or Singapore or one of about 40 countries with three clicks of my mouse (I'm running a VPN). It's that simple. Genuine hacking attempts would of course be much more sophisticated. You would use "zombie" compromised computers in a different country, that are owned by somebody else (perhaps innocent members of the public), that you can control. Thus tracing efforts would lead back to the compromised computers, but not to the hacker who is "behind" the compromised computers.

Additionally: If "The Russians" *were* hacking the election systems (they probably were) I'm going to posit that they were doing so in order to monitor the real election results, because of a suspicion that the election was going to be fixed, rather than actively change the result. If they determined (for example) that Trump "really" won, but Clinton actually got the White House, they would use that knowledge as blackmail against Clinton.

Finally: If the Russians were hacking in to the election system, (and I think we have to be sensible and admit that there is a genuine possibility that could indeed be the case) that in no way proves, or even insinuates that Trump, or any of his associates had any knowledge of it whatsoever. As I say, the Russians would have used the information as blackmail against whichever candidate was in the White House under false pretences.

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IBM's contractor crackdown continues: Survivors refusing pay cut have hours reduced

ForthIsNotDead

Sounds like IBM is screwed

It sounds like the haemorrhage of money at IBM has reached the "OH FUCK WE'RE GOING UNDER" point.

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I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

ForthIsNotDead

I'm a Dire Straits bloke meself, like...

Learning new coding techniques: Your Latest Trick

Debugging at midnight: Private Investigations

Helping your colleague debug some code: Brothers In Arms

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Partners tearing their hair out over Dell EMC invoice system borkage

ForthIsNotDead

Utterly useless

What are these devs actually paid for? How can a system *that doesn't fucking work* go live?

Have they not heard of testing?

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The open source community is nasty and that's just the docs

ForthIsNotDead

Re: You youngsters should all try Usenet...

Yes, I remember him. I also remember all the "oh what a great guy" posts after his (admittedly tragic and too soon) death.

A twat is a twat, though; dead or alive.

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ForthIsNotDead

You youngsters should all try Usenet...

...it's fucking terrible. Mean trolling bastards everywhere.

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IBM: ALL travel must be approved now, and shut up about the copter

ForthIsNotDead

Get rid of all the layers of middle management

They do not contribute any deliverables, they are a net drain on margins, and it is THEM that are imposing the travel bans in order to save a few pennies (chairs and Titanic...).

The CEO needs to strip the company right down. Nobody else will do it. Turkeys don't vote for Christmas.

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Oracle asks for more time to finish Java 9

ForthIsNotDead

Comrades

"This vote does not mean that JSR 376 is dead, nor that Jigsaw has been rejected. It only means that the Executive Committee raised a number of concerns that it wanted the JSR 376 Expert Group (EG) to address.”

Reading that, why am I reminded of Breshnev and Cruschev?

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ForthIsNotDead

what's wrong with java 8?

Err, actually, it's fine. No need to answer that. No really!

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Crapness of WannaCrypt coding offers hope for ransomware victims

ForthIsNotDead

It's not a "coding mistake". It's a pragmatic compromise. Changing the read-only file attributes on a file would trip most anti-malware/virus systems. These people may be bad, but they're not stupid. And let us not forget the original provenance of the exploit itself.

They're not stupid, either.

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Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

ForthIsNotDead

Why no focus on Thorium/LMSR?

Why no focus on Thorium/LMSR?

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Google wants to track your phone and credit card through meatspace

ForthIsNotDead

Well...

Last Sunday I bought a new laptop from Currys-or-whatever-its-called-this-week-maybe-its-Dixons-it-surely-isn't-Rumbelows-no-they-went-years-agao-maybe-its-PC-World-oh-fuck-it-I-can't-remember and the young chap asked me for my email address.

I hesitated but I gave him the info. 30 seconds later my phone buzzed and there was an email from the company named above thanking me for my purchase and attaching my proof of purchase and warranty details.

So it's not all bad.

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UK.gov plans to overhaul £6bn in big IT deals 'watered down'

ForthIsNotDead

Probably a good thing...

...seeing as they no longer have any contractors that are willing to work on government contracts.

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Microsoft emits code for DIY Linux IoT hubs. Repeat, Linux IoT hubs (that talk to Azure, duh)

ForthIsNotDead

Waste of time...

It's nice idea. It's tempting to think that I could connect various telemetry units to a large cloud based back end, such as river flow monitors, air quality monitors, traffic frequency analysers (those grey boxes that you see at the side of the motorway), motorway notice boards etc. However, the fact of the matter is, once these devices are installed, you generally want them to be installed and running for the next 20 years with only the occasional visit to change a battery or an I/O card.

Having all that infrastructure depend on the trends and whims of pointy-haired twenty-somethings at Microsoft is gonna get you kicked out of the boardroom.

What happens when they decide that their Linux based IoT thing isn't trendy anymore, or the dude that put it together at Microsoft as his skunk-works lunch-time project moves on and Azure gets updated meaning your IoT/Scada/Telemetry units can't phone home anymore?

You'd have to be nuts.

There's a reason why these systems rely on nothing more than PSTN and GPRS and a couple of dusty servers and a rack of serial ports.

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IBM: Customer visit costing £75 in travel? Kill it with extreme prejudice

ForthIsNotDead

So why choose IBM, then?

If this is going to be their modus operandi going forward, what is it that makes IBM something special above any other IT company?

If somebody is going to remote into my system to change/fix/configure something, it might as well be a Bangladeshi on £3 an hour. As long as the work gets done, why would I care?

So why should I choose IBM?

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S is for Sandbox: The logic behind Microsoft's new lockdown Windows gambit

ForthIsNotDead

S is for S**T

I'm seriously done with Micro$haft.

I now run Linux with Windows 7 in an Oracle VirtualBox VM for the (precisely one) application that I own and paid a shit-ton for (Siemens PLC Development Software).

The people at the top of Micro$haft really are the most inept turds ever to float to the top of the toilet bowl.

As a company, they are done. It might be a long tail, but they're done. They are going to be the business OS vendor of choice, and unknown anywhere else, with the possible exception of the Xbox video game thingy that I can't be arsed with.

Short Micro$haft.

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Linux, not Microsoft, the real winner of Windows Server on ARM

ForthIsNotDead

Just remember...

...Windows 10 is so shit that they literally have to give it away.

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Watt the f... Dim smart meters caught simply making up readings

ForthIsNotDead

Two meters

I told Scottish Gas (who I get my electricity from, go figure) that they could put in a smart meter AS LONG AS they left the old analogue meter in place. You know, connect them in series. I can see no reason why this can't be done.

They declined telling me it was technically impossible. I simply wanted my old meter left in place as a confidence check on the new one.

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81's 99 in 17: Still a lotta love for the TI‑99/4A – TI's forgotten classic

ForthIsNotDead

Re: The TI9900

Yes. You use the LWPI (Load Workspace Pointer Immediate) instruction.

Eg LWPI $A000

Now, your 16 16-bit registers (R0 to R15) start at $A000 in RAM.

If you later did a BLWP (branch and load workspace pointer) instruction, R13, R14, and R15 in the *new* register set contain the status register, program counter, and workspace address of the *previous* workspace/context, so you can return to where you were, with the old context fully restored.

It's a lovely system.

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Interesting machine, but hamstrung by TI marketing

The TMS9995 did not exist then the TI-99/4 was designed. The 9995 was designed by a student at TI Bedford (UK) who went on to design the successful TMS34010 and TMS34020 graphics chips.

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Double interpretation overhead

There is a reason for the double interpretation. The TI-99/4 (and the later 4A, which has a better keyboard and a better graphics processor) was never intended to have a TMS9900 as its CPU. The intended CPU was going to be a custom made CPU that executed GPL as its native instruction set. The chip (it might have been the 9985, but my memory might be faulty) never made it, and after flirting with 8-bit CPUs such as the Z80, the 9900 was engineered in, on the grounds that TI would be damned if they would help Zilog by putting a Z80 in there, or Motorola etc.)

However, by the time this decision was made, the mother-board had been designed, and it was all 8 bit. Extra hardware had to be added (the 8/16 multiplexor) to do two fetches from memory and present it to the 9900 as a single 16-bit word.

It gets worse. Much worse. But no one would believe me, so I'll just leave it there!

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ForthIsNotDead

Re: Was it really so short lived?

1981 to 1983 then it was all over.

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ForthIsNotDead

Forth

I have a Forth system on a cartridge for the 4A which is still under active development! In 2017!

Check out http://turboforth.net for a home-grown British Forth system for the 4A!

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Passport and binary tree code, please: CompSci quizzes at US border just business as usual

ForthIsNotDead

Ha!

I'd write it in Forth, using only the stack to pass parameters between functions. No local variables, no global variables.

Validate that, bitch.

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Two million recordings of families imperiled by cloud-connected toys' crappy MongoDB

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Think of the Children

"For example, a parent away on a work trip can open the CloudPets app on their smartphone, record an audio message, and beam it to their kid's toy via a tablet within Bluetooth range of the gizmo at home; the recording plays when the tyke press a button on the animal's paw."

Or they could just call them on the fucking phone.

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Tech contractors begin mass UK.gov exodus in wake of HMRC's IR35 income tax clampdown

ForthIsNotDead

I'm off.

Leaving the UK and taking my family with me.

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Nokia’s big comeback: Watches, bathroom scales, a 3310 PR gimmick, Snake, erm...

ForthIsNotDead

6310i

Just give me a 6310i.

Well, no need for me, since I already have two of them. One is absolutely pristine, the other smashed to bits, but still works. Refuses to die.

A 6310i with, say, a calendar, outlook sync, an SD card slot and a headphone socket for MP3s.

I think I'd be very happy with that - not having a browser wouldn't bother me. Bring back WAP that's what I say!

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'Leaky' LG returns to sanity for 2017 flagship

ForthIsNotDead

LG?

Wasn't it LG's telly's that were spewing out all sorts of private data to the LG mothership? Even file names of files from an inserted USB stick.

Why would I want one of their phones?

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EU privacy gurus peer at Windows 10, still don't like what they see

ForthIsNotDead
Unhappy

What information does Win 10 slurp?

Does anybody know what information Windows 10 actually slurps? I don't use it (I use Win 7 and Linux Mint).

I refuse to use Win 10 (with the exception of my employer, where I have no choice) and Win 7 is now my last MS OS. I only use it because there are two programs I use that are not available for Linux.

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Windows 10: What is it good for? Microsoft pitches to devs ahead of Creators Update

ForthIsNotDead

Pretty much nothing.

What does it do that Win7 can't do? Apart from spy on you, that is?

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Who's behind the Kodi TV streaming stick crackdown?

ForthIsNotDead

Why Don't You...

...turn off your television set and go out and do something less boring instead...

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Dear Microsoft – a sysadmin's wishlist

ForthIsNotDead
Unhappy

Wow

It's been many years since I was involved in building and administering Windows servers... In fact, it was the days of Win NT4 and Win2K.

Seems like fuck all has changed. In fact, sounds like it may have got a lot worse.

That's progress.

Meanwhile, I'm running my final MS OS on my old laptop: Windows 7. Took a look at 8 - what a joke, and Windows 10 is fast but they've moved EVERTHING and dumbed down EVERYTHING. I literally give in.

I now run Linux Mint most of the time at home and am very happy with it and increasingly impressed with Linux as I learn more and understand more about it and it's ethos.

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How to secure MongoDB – because it isn't by default and thousands of DBs are being hacked

ForthIsNotDead
Facepalm

Re: Insecure defaults are not capabilities in other modern databases

Indeed.

The ultimate irony would have been, instead of copying and removing data from users databases, actually set the database up securely, with appropriate complex password, and then ransom the password!

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Zuck quits anti-social Hawaiian land title lawsuit

ForthIsNotDead

Shame

That's put the brakes on his JAMES BOND STYLE VILLAINS LAIR ON A REMOTE ISLAND.

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PDP-10 enthusiasts resurrect ancient MIT operating system

ForthIsNotDead
Go

WANT

WANT THAT.

I just don't know why, or what I'd use it for. I know I want one though!

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First Wi-Fi box ever is chosen as Australia's best contribution to global history

ForthIsNotDead

Re: Just a short list... (not meant to be comprehensive)

Fosters

Paul Hogan

Men At Work

Kylie Minogue

Rolf Harris ^M^M^M^M^M^M^M^M

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'It will go wrong. There's no question of time... on safety or security side'

ForthIsNotDead

Waffle

Not at all impressed with this "lecture". A load of intangible waffle.

"We need standards...<waffle garb piffle>..."

He's clearly never heard of IEC-61508, which prescribes an international standard for building, documenting, testing, and proving certifiably safe hardware and software systems.

That's very worrying considering he works for Statoil. Fortunately the Statoil engineers that I consult with daily in Aberdeen *have* heard of it.

Not at all impressed.

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