* Posts by Fazal Majid

360 posts • joined 16 May 2007


Do Martians dream of electric Nimbys? Selling 5G needs steak, not just sizzle

Fazal Majid

WiFi or 5G radiation is minimal compared to TV

The typical WiFi AP has radio power of 1 watt. The typical cellular base station will be under 100 watts. The typical digital TV broadcast emitter has power in the *hundreds of kilowatts*, e.g. 1.3MW total for the Crystal Palace transmitter that covers most of London:


Don't be too shocked, but it looks as though these politicians have actually got their act together on IoT security

Fazal Majid

Mark Warner has a tech background, even if he is not an engineer. He is no idiot.

I don't know how much consumer IoT the Federal Government purchases, though. I hope not too much, otherwise we are already 0wned by the Chinese and Russians...

Techie in need of a doorstop picks up 'chunk of metal' – only to find out it's rather pricey

Fazal Majid

During the WWII Manhattan Project, copper was hard to come by, and they needed huge amounts of conductors for the electromagnets in the uranium refineries. So they used silver from the Federal Reserve instead. 6000 tons of it:


Crypto crash leads to inventory pile-up at Nvidia, sales slaughtered

Fazal Majid

Machine learning or other GPGPU workloads usually written using nVidia's proprietary CUDA API (wrapped in TensorFlow et al) rather than the open OpenCL one. As another poster pointed out, nVidia imposed onerous licensing restrictions, you can no longer legally use CUDA on a GTX1080 or similar, you have to use even more overpriced Pro cards like Quadro or Tesla. A naked cash grab if there's one.

Post-Brexit plan for .EU tweaked: No dot-EU web domains for Europeans in UK, no appeals, etc

Fazal Majid

Or women to wear trousers.

French data watchdog dishes out largest GDPR fine yet: Google ordered to hand over €50m

Fazal Majid

They are also going to be taxed

The French tax authorities are finalizing a tax that will be applied this year.

Google's violations are so egregious and clear-cut, it's almost as if they were daring the DPAs. After years of impunity under their buddies in the Obama administration, they've developed a sense of impunity, and are going to be disabused. European Civil Law legal systems are not as vulnerable to abuse by capricious Common Law judges.

Real talk: You're gonna have to get real about real-time analytics if you wanna make IoT work

Fazal Majid

You can get a lot done with Redis

Specially since they added HyperLogLog support to calculate fast approximate unique counts.

Boom! Just like that the eSIM market emerges – and jolly useful it is too

Fazal Majid

Re: 300MB for £6 a day

When travelling, I use a Skyroam hotspot, it’s $12/day for unlimited data.

Fujitsu: Closes director's gate to Tait, 9 execs abdicate, and for German workers – a crap Weihnachtszeit

Fazal Majid


Whether the Bloomberg article about Chinese compromise of SuperMicro is accurate or not. It was good to have a made-in-Europe manufacturing source for servers not susceptible to American or Chinese interference.

Does Google make hardware just so nobody buys it?

Fazal Majid

Vanity project

Isn't ChromeOS untouchable at Googlebecause Sundar Pichai used to be its PM?

Perfect timing for a two-bank TITSUP: Totally Inexcusable They've Stuffed Up Payday

Fazal Majid

British banks seem particularly bad at IT

You don’t hear about anywhere as many incidents in other developed countries.

An artifact of outsourcing culture fostered by the liberal-arts elite that runs the country, perhaps?

Generally Disclosing Pretty Rapidly: GDPR strapped a jet engine on hacked British Airways

Fazal Majid

Re: re. Reporting a breach shows awareness

Only successful attempts have to be reported.

Whistleblower org chief quits over Assange critic boot demand

Fazal Majid

You've got to respect her for her integrity.

As for Assange, isn't it a rather big conflict of interest for him to be both trustee and beneficiary?

Julia 0.7 arrives but let's call it 1.0: Data science code language hits milestone on birthday

Fazal Majid

Gaston Julia

The language is named after French mathematician Gaston Julia, not horse face Roberts.

Politicians fume after Amazon's face-recog AI fingers dozens of them as suspected crooks

Fazal Majid

Re: Poetic Justice?

Of course, it's the crooks that should be the ones complaining.

"It could probably be shown by facts and figures that there is no distinctly native American criminal class except Congress."

Mark Twain, Pudd'nhead Wilson's New Calendar

Google weeps as its home state of California passes its own GDPR

Fazal Majid

About California's initiative process

Until 1911, California's venal legislature was fully in the pockets of the Big 4 (Huntington, Crocker, Hopkins and Stanford, yes, that Stanford). They controlled the Southern Pacific Railroad, and were not shy of abusing their monopoly to extract rents from Californians (most of the markets for agricultural produce were on the East Coast, which meant Southern Pacific could charge pretty much whatever it wanted).

In 1911, Hiram Johnson, a Progressive governor was elected, with a mandate to reform the corrupt legislature. He did that by creating the initiative, referendum and recall processes that give California an unusual level of democracy for the US. In this case the initiative process is working exactly as intended, allowing the people to prevail over entrenched interests that captured the legislature.

Of course, the lobbies adapted and learned to abuse the initiative process for their own ends, as the sugary-drinks lobby is using the same tactic to blackmail the legislature into preempting city soda taxes like Berkeley or San Francisco's.

Oddly enough, when a Tesla accelerates at a barrier, someone dies: Autopilot report lands

Fazal Majid

Lack of LIDAR

Tesla cheaped out by not including a LIDAR, unsurprisingly as those are still extremely expensive, but no self-driving car or ADAS 3+ should be allowed without it.

As for Musk, he richly deserves all the opprobrium headed his way for his despicable attempts to pin blame on the victim.

US websites block netizens in Europe: Why are they ghosting EU? It's not you, it's GDPR

Fazal Majid

Re: Am I mistaken?

And conversely, someone like me, EU citizen living in the US, is not covered.

Google listens to New Zealand just long enough to ignore it

Fazal Majid

Re: Another example...

Google can and does suppress content in specific locales, such as the EU’s right to be forgotten. The difference of course is that the EU has much more heft than New Zealand, and their Civil (Roman) Law courts take a dim view of sophistry the more capricious Common Law jurisdictions like NZ or the US sometimes let slide.

Publishers tell Google: We're not your consent lackeys

Fazal Majid

Re: @AC

IP addresses are explicitly considered PII under GDPR. Google doesn’t get to make that determination.

Opt-out is also not sufficient, the user has to explicitly opt-in (checkboxes checked by default are considered invalid consent and still expose the data controllers to steep fines, as they should).

Europe fires back at ICANN's delusional plan to overhaul Whois for GDPR by next, er, year

Fazal Majid

Re: Interesting wording

Yes, many consumer groups like La Quadrature du Net have their class-action complaints ready for May 25, but their focus today is Facebook and Google.

Fazal Majid

The public data in WHOIS is so often obfuscated as to be useless. Copyright lawyers have access to a private database with full details, that’s what this whole debate is about.

ICANN’s delusion is because they are used to the capricious arbitrariness of (British-inspired) Common Law rather than the rules-based (Roman) Civil Law where judges don’t have the latitude to give their buddies or fellow members of the elite a break just for the asking.

We pick a storage CTO's brains on Linux-heads, big vendors – and should all the admins NVMe?

Fazal Majid

Re: The business case is pretty good.

Indeed. The whole point of NVMe is to reduce latency by getting rid of legacy SCSI command bloat. Adding the latency of FC or Ethernet would be a huge step backwards, which is why it makes no sense to anyone other than storage networking vendors in denial about their irrelevance in an era of microsecond latency.

Cloudflare touts privacy-friendly public DNS service. Hmm, let's take a closer look at that

Fazal Majid

Hence the support for DNS over DTLS

Most DNS resolvers don’t support it yet, however, so a proxy on the LAN (or in the router) will be needed.

Google lobbies hard to derail new US privacy laws – using dodgy stats

Fazal Majid

The true danger of GDPR for Google

Is not the right to be forgotten, but the requirement for data collection to be opt-in, not opt-out. The opt-in has to be genuine and informed, i.e. a checkbox enabled by default does not qualify.

Uncle Sam slams plans to give govts final say over domain privacy

Fazal Majid

Whois is already useless

Many, possibly most Whois entries are obfuscated by proxy registration services, usually the registrars.

OK, who is shooting at Apple staff buses in California? Knock it off

Fazal Majid

Those buses are nondescript

Apple, Google et al like to be discreet about them and you can’t always easily tell them apart, certainly not at highway speeds.

Long haul flights on a one-aisle plane? Airbus thinks you’re up for it

Fazal Majid

Re: How bad does it have to get?

The problem is Delta bought Virgin, or most of it, and they are aligning VA to their legendary standards of disservice.

Fazal Majid

Re: I hate the nickel-and-diming

The reason why they do that is the extras are not shown on comparison pricing sites like Orbitz or Kayak. Deceptive as hell, but when the FAA tried to mandate full transparency, they were forced to back down by the airline lobby.

RIP Ursula K Le Guin: The wizard of Earthsea

Fazal Majid

Re: Six Earthsea books

7 total. There's also Tales from Earthsea and The Daughter of Odred (although the latest is a novella).

Fazal Majid

Re: A good read?!

There's the Ghibli film, directed by Goro Miyazaki (Hayao Miyazaki's son), loosely based on The Furthest Shore. It is far more faithful to the original and she begrudgingly accepted it.

Ecuador tried to make Julian Assange a diplomat

Fazal Majid

Usually you get the option to change your name when you get naturalized. They should have named him Jose Garcia and asked for diplomatic papers under that name, and pulled a fast one that way.

The only real victims in this farce are the long-suffering Ecuadorian diplomats in London.

You. Apple. Get in here and explain these iOS slowdowns and batteries – US, French govt reps

Fazal Majid

Yep. Question 9 should be: what is the design lifespan of those batteries?

Ugh, stupid power supplies hogging server density, who needs 'em?

Fazal Majid

Fire hazard

What could possibly go wrong with a technology (lithium batteries) with a known record of spontaneous combustion being put in a large number of small, hot enclosures?

Euro Patent Office commanded to reinstate 'Nazi judge' it attacked

Fazal Majid

St Germain en Laye

Is an exceedingly tony suburb of Paris, as befits the birthplace of Louis XIV, and as much a part of Paris as Hampstead would be in London. This is not at all to minimize the brazen and repeated abuses of power Mr Batistelli committed while in office. I hope his departure will lead to reforms in the EPO's governance.

Badass alert: 1 in 5 Brits don't give a damn about webpage crypto-miners

Fazal Majid

Doesn’t make sense

Given how slow general purpose CPUs are compared to GPUs, how even GPUs have been superseded by ASICs for Bitcoin, and how JavaScript code is orders of magnitude slower than the native C/C++ code that can"t compete with GPUs, I don’t understand how this can make money for the operators. Granted, crypto currencies other than Bitcoin or Ethereum have not started the hardware race of their more mature forebears, but it would probably take less effort to code a CUDA or OpenCL implementation of Monero than all this infrastructure for JS mining.

Remember the 'budget' iPhone SE? Apple plans an update – reports

Fazal Majid

Very encouraging

The lightning port on my iPhone 6 is dying, as had the previous one I had to replace under warranty 2 years ago. I'd love a small inexpensive iPhone with wireless charging, as my primary mobile device is an iPad Pro 10.5", not an iPhone.

IETF mulls adding geoblock info to 'Bradbury's code'

Fazal Majid

Well, at least it’s not useless garbage like the “I’m a teapot” HTTP status code 418.

Europol cops lean on phone networks, ISPs to dump CGNAT walls that 'hide' cyber-crooks

Fazal Majid

Re: There's no incentive for IPv6 in the west

Not so. Large service providers have to get IPv4 addresses on the black market nowadays, at around $10/IP. Microsoft bought Nortel's /8 at its bankruptcy auction, and Amazon bought big chunks of MIT's /8 for AWS.

Beware the GDPR 'no win, no fee ambulance chasers' – experts

Fazal Majid

Re: Dwarves???

Tolkien admitted as much:

No reviewer (that I have seen), although all have carefully used the correct dwarfs themselves, has commented on the fact (which I only became conscious of through reviews) that I use throughout the 'incorrect' plural dwarves. I am afraid it is just a piece of private bad grammar, rather shocking in a philologist; but I shall have to go on with it. Perhaps my dwarf – since he and the Gnome are only translations into approximate equivalents of creatures with different names and rather different functions in their own world – may be allowed a peculiar plural. The real 'historical' plural of dwarf (like teeth of tooth) is dwarrows, anyway: rather a nice word, but a bit too archaic. Still I rather wish I had used the word dwarrow.

The Letters of J.R.R. Tolkien 17: To Stanley Unwin, Chairman of Allen & Unwin. October 1937

Dot-Amazon spat latest: Brazil tells ICANN to go fsck itself, only 'govts control the internet'

Fazal Majid

Re: The whole thing's stupid

Yep, just a greedy land-grab by registrars looking to shake down multinationals and trademark owners for more registration fees under the new gTLDs.

Aw, not you too, Verizon: US telco joins list of leaky AWS S3 buckets

Fazal Majid

Usability is to blame

AWS and S3's permissions system has got to be some of the most baroque, over-engineered and complicated permissions format ever devised. It's not surprising so many fail to get it right.

Apple bumps up price on iPad Pro as flash costs climb

Fazal Majid

The iPhone X is $1149, not $999

It doesn't make any sense to get one with a measly 64GB of flash.

Oracle's systems boss bails amid deafening silence over Solaris fate

Fazal Majid

Re: Not the repo you're looking for

Unfortunately OmniTI disengaged itself from OmniOS. Whether the project is sustainable as a community project is anyone's guess:


Rolling in personally identifiable data? It's a bit of a minefield if you don't keep your feet

Fazal Majid

PII covers more than you think

IP addresses and device IDs like the Apple Identifier for Advertising or Google Android Advertising ID are considered PII, and thus GDPR encompasses more than many companies think.

Minnesota Senator calls out US watchdogs: Why so cozy with Amazon?

Fazal Majid

The fact Target is headquartered in Minnesota must be fortuitous.

Node.js forks again – this time it's a war of words over anti-sex-pest codes of conduct

Fazal Majid

We'll see if the Ayo fork gets any traction. The previous one Io.js was motivated by complaints that the main Node.js project then run by Joyent was too slow at incorporating technical feedback and contributions from outside the company, i.e. the technology was not progressing as quickly as it should.

This fork is driven purely by process and personality conflicts, and is thus much less likely to provide benefits (new features or bug fixes) to the average Node.js developer. The fact it was launched before the Node.js board had the opportunity to respond to the complaints also looks like a fit of pique. After all, policy concerns around inclusiveness are not technical, and thus belong to the board, not to a technical steering committee.

Nasty firmware update butchers Samsung smart TVs so bad, they have to be repaired

Fazal Majid

They were unusable to begin with

What with Samsung SmartTVs' horrendous UI. Bricking the device is more like a mercy killing, really.

What code is running on Apple's Secure Enclave security chip? Now we have a decryption key...

Fazal Majid

Re: No public code review --> security by obscurity.

The Secure Enclave runs a variant of the L4 microkernel, one version of which (seL4) was proven secure using formal methods. No one knows if Apple performed the same kind of analysis on SEPOS. but they have clearly given serious thought to their design.

Google paying Apple BEEELLIONS to stay search top dog on iDevices, say analysts

Fazal Majid

Apple may have a branded DuckDuckGo in the works

Over the last 2 years or so I've seen online surveys that suggest Apple is working with DuckDuckGo on a co-branded search service. I doubt Apple would voluntarily forgo Google's billions for default placement, but it would be a credible threat if Google is foolhardy enough to believe its brand trumps the power of defaults.


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