* Posts by Microchip

57 posts • joined 12 Mar 2010


DirectX comes to Linux (via WSL2): Microsoft unveils tricks needed to flash a GPU at a penguin


CUDA is coming...

... according to this blog post from MS and this one from nVidia.

Coronavirus didn't hurt UK broadband speeds in March. Call of Duty: Modern Warfare, on the other hand...


Re: Call of Duty.

Setting the region to US or Asia fixed it somewhat at the time, as did limiting the download bandwidth. Wondered if it was some sort of weird traffic mangling going on.

Total Eclipse to depart: Open-source software foundation is hopping the pond to Europe


Re: A long time coming

Pretty sure I read somewhere that it evolved from the notation of writing e.g. May 3rd, 2020, which evolved into the numerical form of 05/03/2020.

Unfortunately, it lost the obviousness of order that went with the text, and the dates evolved independently over this side of the pond.

(Personally, I like my dates little endian.)

We beg, implore and beseech thee. Stop reusing the same damn password everywhere


Re: In other news....

I seem to remember a nice little addon for Chrome in the same ilk, called "Don't Fuck With Paste". Does what it says on the tin.

'Non-commercial use only'? Oopsie. You can't get much more commercial than a huge digital billboard over Piccadilly


Re: Free for non-commercial use?

DigitalOcean and Namecheap both do free DNS, I assume you have to have a VPS running with DO to get it, but Namecheap's FreeDNS has done me well, and doesn't seem to come with any strings. I assume IP update clients for it are easily available, as the functionality to update it was built-in to my pfSense box.

We regret to inform you there are severe delays on the token ring due to IT nerds blasting each other to bloody chunks


Re: Descent anyone?

Used to play with a Logitech Wingman Extreme. Brilliant game!

You spoke, we didn't listen: Ubiquiti says UniFi routers will beam performance data back to mothership automatically


Re: "In other words, you ain't got no choice."

For business-grade tech, I can't recommend pfSense highly enough. Needs a PC of some sort to run it on though (or a pre-built box, low power ones with AES-NI acceleration work great including VPNs), I run it on low power i5 and i3 boxes myself that I picked up cheap on eBay. Absolutely rock solid, and far easier to work with than the likes of Cisco ASA kit that I've had to deal with in the past.

DD-WRT works reasonably on consumer grade gear with built-in wifi etc though, it can just be a little quirky, especially if you want to do anything semi-advanced (like most Linux systems, get comfy with the command line if you do), though it does have a reasonable amount of power there when it actually works as documented. Do still have a Netgear R7000 AP running DD-WRT at work just for the wifi and a VLAN breakout though, does the job brilliantly, once I'd beaten it into submission for a couple of days to make it function as it was supposed to.

LastPass stores passwords so securely, not even its users can access them


Re: KeePass

Definitely does nowadays - at least Keepass 2 does, not sure about the Keepass 1. Specific configurations for a lot of other password managers, along with a generic CSV option.

Sure, we made your Wi-Fi routers phone home with telemetry, says Ubiquiti. What of it?


DD-WRT is good, until you come across something that should work and blatantly doesn't - e.g. multiple VLANs split out into multiple WiFi SSIDs - something I ended up head on up against, and it turned out it was a bug in some of the accompanying software on the Linux distribution. It's good until it's not.

Tomato is pretty solid, if a little limited. OpenWRT is the most flexible, but also seems to lack wireless drivers for a lot of common AP hardware, due to binary blob requirements. Shame, as it seems to be the best out of all three, as far as functionality and customisability goes.

Put on your tech specs: Amazon Web Services has joined the Java Community Process


Re: Does this mean....

AdoptOpenJDK has served my needs well, and the OpenJ9 VM is pretty snappy.

Bonkers British MPs rant: 5G signals cause cancer


Could be worse. Could be BlueSoleil.

Backup your files with CrashPlan! Except this file type. No, not that one either. Try again...


Re: Been using rsync.net for this for a while now.

Just storage. If you set up snapshots, with extra for snapshots if needed. As it's ZFS based, it only occupies as much extra space as an incremental backup would from the earliest snapshot on the account. Can set up custom snapshots too, I go dailies plus 4 weeklies.


Re: Crashplan refugees are always welcome at rsync.net ...

Heh, didn't expect to see you jumping on here, it's a personal endorsement of "I use this, it's reliable and does the job well". You've been pretty reliable, and when I've had a problem, you've jumped on it and got it sorted. And you don't bother with fluffy support either, you answer honestly and get stuff done. I don't want something with pretty GUIs, I want stuff to quietly run in the background and not need me to worry about it.

Like people above said - generally boring and reliable. As a backup should be!


Been using rsync.net for this for a while now.

They're not the cheapest, but they've got ZFS snapshots, rsync / sftp access, and have been quite brilliant for keeping my important files and servers backed up, and they've got technical tech support. Also offer a nice little rsync app for Windows for backups. It's no-frills and no bullshit, with geo-redundancy if you want it. I use it to back up our on-site backups to off-site, and it's remarkably easy to retrieve backups from a month ago if you need them. Clearly aimed at technical users, which I suspect would suit most of the readers here...

rsync.net FAQ if you want a nosey.

Another TITSUP* on this lovely Tuesday: Virgin Mobile takes time out to enjoy the sunshine


Re: Roaming is completely knackered.

Yeah, it all generally routes back home unless you get local breakout (which seems to be sadly missing on most networks). But meant they had a core problem somewhere, rather than at the mast end.


Roaming is completely knackered.

A few of us were out in the Netherlands when some of my mates suddenly found they had no data or ability to make or receive calls. Whatever it is, it's not just national infrastructure.

This is not, repeat, not an April Fools' Day joke: 5 UK broadband vendors agree to pay YOU daily rate for fscked internet


Re: About Time!

To be fair, people doing home-based work probably want to be on a business package with a proper SLA.

That said, 25 quid for taking a day off work for an engineer visit... seems like quite the token amount.

College student with 'visions of writing super-cool scripts' almost wipes out faculty's entire system


chmod was what got me, same problem. Cue a good few hours long past midnight manually chmodding enough back to get the system to function, so I could do a proper restore off a known good set of ACLs... never made that particular mistake again!

Big cable trolls big mobile with '10G' trademark application


Intel's key role here is the silicon supporting 10Gbps full duplex DOCSIS networking

Let's hope it goes a little better than the existing Puma-based kit that many poor sods are saddled with in their cable modems.

Sneaky phone apps just about obey the law, still have no trouble guzzling your data, says Which?


Re: Nothing new, nothing will ever change

I remember using EULAlyzer for the purpose years ago. Looks like it's still around.


Open-source alt-droid wants to know if it's still leaking data to Google


Duplicated effort?

Pretty sure this is what the Replicant (replicant.us) project was trying to do as well. I'm guessing they've made much quicker leaps by going off Lineage and stripping stuff out than rebuilding from scratch though.

Tech bribes: What's the WORST one you've ever been offered?


I always end up with socks from the Sophos booth. They're usually pretty comical to be fair.

Farewell, Android Pay. We hardly tapped you


Limit - or lack thereof

I paid about £280-odd the other week on my car servicing. Don't think there's a contactless limit nowadays on the Android payments, though you may be limited by the bank or merchant. Phone has to be unlocked for the purpose of payment though, obviously.

UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps


Re: Wet String,...

There were trials years ago for running broadband over the power lines ( http://www.silicon.co.uk/workspace/liverpool-to-trial-200-mbps-powerline-broadband-17089?inf_by=5a3a4b1f671db8d9668b4913 ), in a similar vein to how powerline ethernet works, with kit at the substations for sending it over the last mile. They could possibly revive the tech and put a bid in that way, though I'm not sure how viable it became in the end, though other countries have deployed it successfully. It's all about which is cheaper and causes less interference in the end I suppose.

Pickaxe chops cable, KOs UKFast data centre


According to the emails they've been sending out, the incoming supply was unstable, and the gennies failed to sync up properly, and the UPSs ran out of power before the generators could kick in safely.

Phone fatigue takes hold: SIM-onlys now top UK market


Re: The most annoying thing about having a non-contract phone...

It is just a voice call, but routing it over 4G or wifi, then via the network's own call handling setup. It's what phones normally do when we call/get called over 3G or 2G at the moment. To be honest, it's mainly for receiving calls that I use it, as outbound I often use said whatsapp/hangout/telegram etc myself, but unfortunately most non-techs people out there in the real world seem to want to call me on my actual phone number. Yeah, I could mess about with SIP and all that jazz, but my point was that it comes as standard being able to call over 4G and wifi with carrier based phones (or phones with the carrier ROM), but not if you get them independently (or are running the global ROM).


The most annoying thing about having a non-contract phone...

is that without the carrier bloatware, you often don't get access to the better features (e.g. VoLTE, VoWiFi (wifi calling) without seperate apps that may or may not work, access to certain LTE bands (Band 20 800MHz, I'm looking at you Three). And worse, if you've got a phone they don't officially support, you're not going to get them either. I've got a OnePlus 3 that I'm still really happy with, but I'm basically told I'm SOL when it comes to VoLTE. It's supposed to work via their app, but naturally doesn't.

Course, you take the carrier crap, and you end up with lagging updates, apps and services you don't want ("value added"), if it's an option for your phone.

IIRC Three were using "4G Super Voice" as a marketing tool/gimmick that they were using to sell more handsets. I'm hoping the shift towards SIM only will push towards having some sort of standard operating setup with VoLTE/VoWiFi. And maybe all the networks could try testing the generic firmware models on their network and enable the features if they're supported. In their defense, apparently EE do support VoLTE and VoWiFi on the OP3, but I'm not willing to pay a 50-100% premium on my SIM only contract in order to access them.

UK not as keen on mobile wallets as mainland Europe and US


Re: Define "regularly"

"If I am going shopping shopping then I'll grab the wallet - but that's mostly to be allowed to spend over the £30 limit. It's also a good way to limit expenditure, because I can't buy 'big' things without deliberately going out to do so..."

Varies by provider and acceptance, but as far as I'm aware there's no limit on Android Pay transactions with my bank, as opposed to the £30 on the contactless card, according to their T&Cs. A lot of the terminals seem to have £30 as a set limit though.

I initially found this out by paying a food and drink bill for £36 at a pub using my phone without realising, went through without an issue, then went and checked the T&Cs to see if this was normal.

Brace yourselves, Virgin Media prices are going up AGAIN, people


Re: Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

Yeah, I'm currently with a little ISP called Aquiss for the same reasons, costs me more than your mass market providers, but it's pretty solid, and I don't get fobbed off with "turn it off and on again". Mind you, they're also more than happy to tell me when it's my own kit that's the problem, but they're not averse to providing me with all the info I need to fix it myself.

I think it's just the shiny "oooh, 300mbit" that appeals, but the label doesn't match the service, sadly.


Is this to fund upgrades so they can fix the horrific congestion?

Most of my friends in my local area on VM have serious issues with lack of bandwidth every evening, and they're not exactly hammering it, and they continually seem to "review" the issue without fixing it.

Maybe this is to fund the replacement of all those Puma 6 SuperHub 3 boxes that suffer major latency spikes.

Looking at moving home shortly, and was seriously tempted by their 300mbit offering, until I read that it dropped to about 2mbit to 8mbit between 3PM and 11PM and is utterly useless for online gaming. Guess it's VDSL again then...

Ronan Dunne jumps O2 ship


Re: No more interference

Our competitions and mergers authority didn't want it to happen anyway.


EU commish: We smacked down O2/Three but we didn't take it 'lightly'


I'd far rather have seen the BT/EE deal blocked than O2/Three, or have BT forced to dump OpenReach before approving the go-ahead. Surely BT/EE is a much bigger threat. Mind you, if 3 had got their arse in gear and bought up O2 before the BT/EE deal had gone down, it might have been BT crying about it.

(I was also kinda hoping for a 2G backup that actually had data included, unlike the current Orange-based 2G backup. So much for dumping the old Tesco Mobile backup SIM... *mutters*)

Data-thirsty mobile owners burn through 5GB a month


Re: Poor Web Development

Related, sent from my boss recently

http://idlewords.com/talks/website_obesity.htm - The Website Obesity Crisis.

We're intentionally trying to minimise the amount of data and complexity of it now, to [a] make sure it loads fast on mobile as well as desktops, and [b] stop websites eating phone batteries for fun.

It's shocking how much these frameworks that make life easier for the creative types eat CPU, therefore battery power, on mobile devices. Or sending huge pictures and letting the device resize them, nicely serving 500K instead of the 25K image that would do if it was resized server side, handily eating 0.5-1% of many people's data plans (it's surprising how many people have to get by with 500MB or 1GB now) in one fell swoop.

Also related: Advertising scripts that eat CPU/battery/data just by existing, hence so many people blocking the things on mobile.

(I'm also slightly bitter about 3 kicking me off the £15 One Plan - but like one of the posters above, I'm now on AYCE data, 12GB tether, 200 mins and AYCE texts for £20. Can't complain too much, was bound to happen in the end, I just hate bills going up. At least we know exactly what we're paying for, and it's quite reasonable for what it is with the AYCE mobile data. I rarely used over 12GB of tethering in a month, but it was just nice to know it was there if I needed it.)

Apple finally publishes El Capitan Darwin source


Re: Most closed walled garden company

I'd agree that Google opened a lot of their stuff up from the early days, but unfortunately the likes of Android are getting more and more closed into a binary blob of "Google Play Services", and the Google apps that go with them only officially run on "authorized" platforms. They're pulling the noose a bit tighter nowadays, for commercial/control reasons no doubt - there's a lot of crappy Android platforms (from a user's point of view) out there as a result of the openness of the core OS.

Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so


Re: @ Martijn Otto - You mean btrfs, surely

zfsonlinux.org has a kernel module, but as mentioned in other comments, non-GPL compatible. Fast though, seemed to work well when I was testing as an alternative to FreeNAS with ZFS. I've zero issue throwing a non-GPL module in, but purist may be unhappy with the idea.

Should spectrum hog TV give up its seat for broadband? You tell us – EU


Re: Whoops

Apparently this is happening to "some people (not everyone)" and tech support is on it...



I clicked on the link to Respond Online, and ended up pulling up someone else's details - a Rui Lopes Campos from Portugal. Nice work, EU website...

BT slapped down by BSkyB over O2 broadband 'switch off' porkies



Been looking at Zen myself since my service went to hell when I got dumped into Sky, although I was going to wait until I moved house, the pain is just getting a little too much. Are they worth the money? I was looking at quite a few providers, but my issue is that sometimes I go through serious bandwidth - a couple of months ago I hit 400GB in a month with various software images, and most of the "pro" ISPs have caps on ADSL2.

(Can't currently get FTTC as I'm on an EO line, although they're working on it. Half the reason I picked my flat was because I was within 100m of the exchange - now it's come back to bite me in the backside! Losing my 2.5mbit upload because Sky don't support it stung quite badly.)


They're mostly full LLU, taking over the line and piping over their own backhaul, so while their kit sits in BT exchanges, about the only interaction with the BT "network" is being powered by it, and connecting to the BT last-mile copper.* Related: it's a pig to escape Sky's broadband+phone provision, as I discovered to my horror after I was automatically transferred from Be and didn't shift quick enough.

* There is sometimes exceptions of course, where Sky haven't deployed LLU, but they seem to have their kit in most exchanges.

Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up


Re: Recommendations for NAS-based home media set-up

I picked up a pair of the N40L Microservers, nothing too powerful, but they set me back about 130 quid a pop at the time after cashback redemptions. Threw 4x3TB WD Red NAS drives at it (£140 each or so at the time, as they'd just come out, but a whole lot cheaper than the enterprise class drives I'd been looking at for the 24/7 usage) and 8GB of ECC RAM (not hugely expensive), throw a copy of FreeNAS on a 4GB USB stick which can be stuck in the internal USB port, and run the lot on raidz1, including torrent clients and the like (see http://www.freenas.org/ for full details of what it can do). Bit of tweaking and I can easily max the gigabit link out. Took the 2GB of RAM and the 250GB drive that it shipped with and put it in the other server giving it 4GB and 2x250GB, slapped a cheap fanless Radeon 5450 in it, and used it as a HTPC and Plex server/client on a basic Win7 setup, pretty much just works. Coupled it with a 3 quid Cyberlink infrared USB remote and a couple of USB extension cables so the remote sensor is somewhere reachable. Not all the buttons work, but the volume, play, pause, arrows and OK do, which suits me to a tee.

One thing to note - while you can run Plex (one of the best media server/clients I've had the pleasure of using, the client forked from XBMC a while ago) on the FreeNAS box, if it's a basic CPU unit like the microservers, it's going to struggle doing the transcoding to UPnP hosts such as consoles or TVs. My setup manages with one box doing the file serving and one box doing the transcoding, but it's borderline at times with 1080p content, but if you run the Plex server on the NAS and a Plex client on a box of some sort, no transcoding is necessary, so you can get away with fairly low CPU requirements on the server and client end. But if you want to transcode you'll want something with a reasonable processor in it. Same goes of course for most of the lower powered NAS boxes, many can run the Plex server, as long as you run a Plex client on the other side that doesn't require the NAS to do anything fancy to the video on the fly. Sending to Plex on an Android device etc usually means it needs to transcode, so it won't work too well on the lower powered CPUs, although you might get away with it for SD video.

Of course, if you can stick a client on the other end, the likes of XBMC are also an option, without messing about with the likes of Plex. I just really like the interface on the big TV, the media management, and smart transcoding to my tablet.

Three-yaarrgh! Major UK mobile network's data goes down


Worth looking at SIM-free if you're happy with what you've got.

They're doing the one plan for £15 a month on SIM only. Can't beat it for the cash really.


Back here too.

Mystery 'doughnut' materializes in front of Mars rover: 'OH MY GOD! It wasn't there before!'


Re: Shivers...

I was waiting for that. That comic always makes me a little bit sad. Poor Spirit...

EE turns up speed knob EVEN FASTER on 4G spectrum

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Re: Brilliant.

That brilliant moment where you realise afterwards, and the lack of an edit button. ;-)



So you can burn through the paltry allowances (or very expensive ones) even faster!

Seriously, aside from mobile broadband usage with a dongle and PC, what's the point? The 3 SIM in my Nexus 4 has happily churned out 22mbit down and 4mbit up recently, and gets a solid 10mbit most of the time even indoors, and has a nice unlimited data package. How fast do you want your mobiles? And does this suitably eat battery life to compensate for the speed too?

Barnes & Noble bungs Raspberry Pi-priced Nook on shelves

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Re: Knowing little about these things

Lifehacker has a post on it. http://lifehacker.com/5889158/turn-a-99-nook-into-a-fully-fledged-android-tablet-in-four-easy-steps

I suspect it'll need a bit more updating (see XDA forum, http://forum.xda-developers.com/forumdisplay.php?f=1199 ) from the guide, but the basic premise stands no doubt.

Security firm in Tor Project 'mass surveillance' row responds


This doesn't look like news. We use something similar on our network routing our data through a SaaS cloud which does our URL filtering and virus scanning, and I've installed suitable certificates on the network to make sure all HTTPS as well as HTTP traffic gets scanned, because a virus can just as easily come in through HTTPS. Am I missing something? Unless they're just talking about the fact they're hardware devices with shared certs... suppose a company could issue one cert across multiple devices for their kit, but it still seems to be being blown out of all proportion...



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