* Posts by GBE

308 posts • joined 22 Sep 2010

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Trump's CNN tantrum could delay $85bn AT&T-Time Warner merger

GBE

Re: A few years from now ....

Not an entirely subtle threat, really, and not making a lot of attempt to judge the merger only on its merits :(

No surprise there. Subtlety and merits aren't something the current White House is concerned with or capable of: possession of either apparently disqualifies you from serving in the Trump administration.

Not that anybody possessing either would _want_ to serve in the Trump administration.

6
1

Inmarsat flings latest Wi-Fi-on-airliners satellite into orbit

GBE

No difference -- except for the huge latency...

"Within the aircraft, passengers connect to the in-flight Wi-Fi, having coughed up the appropriate price first, and – in theory – see no difference between satellite and ground connectivity."

See no difference? Adding 250ms to the latency is certnaly something you can see.

4
0

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

GBE

Use a liquid instead of a liquid?

"the idea of using liquefied gas for an electrolyte instead of liquid or solids"

Isn't a liquified gas a liquid?

17
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Trump nominates a pro-net-neutrality advocate as FCC commish

GBE

Re: Man bites dog

"Trump did a sensible thing..."

Don't worry, it's not intentional -- he's new at this and doesn't know what he's doing.

[To paraphrase various Republican aplogists.]

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1

Apeiron demos 'rocket ship' Intel Optane array tech

GBE

Ape Iron?

What sort of widget names a compnay ape iron?

4
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Boffins have figured out a way of speeding up X-ray data collection

GBE

superfast X-rays

"superfast X-rays"

Finally...

I was getting tired waiting on the old slow X-rays that only travel at 1 c.

4
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Kaspersky files antitrust suit against Microsoft

GBE

In other news: the sun and tides continue to rise and fall!

... has filed an antitrust complaint against Microsoft over allegations that Redmond is hobbling third-party ...

I am shocked -- shocked, I tell you...

13
1

Silk Road boss Ross Ulbricht denied bid for new trial

GBE

Re: Sure, that activity is illegal

"Even if Trump got impeached or otherwise didn't finish out his term, he won't face any criminal charges. The president can't be tried in a court of law, only by the Senate after being impeached by the House."

It is widely held that "The President" probably can't be charged and tried in criminal court while in office. However, an ex-president can be charged and tried for acts commited while in office. That's why Ford decided he had to pardon Nixon: to avoid having the whole mess moving into criminal courts and dragging out for years. It is also widely held that being tried in a criminal court after having been impeached and acquitted is not double jeapordy.

1
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Banking association calls for end of 'screen-scraping'

GBE

Re: API vs Screen-scraping

> actively engaged in an industry-wide effort to develop common processes and standards

Yea, I've been involved in efforts like that. They consist largely of everybody involved vetoing anything that they think might give a leg up to anyone else or that might allow new competitors into the market. The result is almost always a giant, unworkable mess authored by a committee comprised of foot-draggers who's secret motivation is to accomplish nothing of any practical value for as long as possible.

OTOH, they alays seem to meet at rather nice hotels in cities that are pleasant to visit (when it's on somebody else's dime).

I'm reminded of a colleague who spent a lot of time on standarization efforts. He used to refer to the ISO as the "International Sightseeing Organization".

2
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Good news, OpenVPN fans: Your software's only a little bit buggy

GBE

They only reviewed the client side?

> The venerable OpenVPN client has been given a mostly clean bill of health.

Since you need to run both the client and server to set up a tunnel, what does it matter how secure one end is if the other end is broken?

0
3

CERN ready to test an EVEN BIGGER gun

GBE

Re: So why?

> Why do they add an extra electron and then remove them all. Why not skip the first step?

Because you can use an electric/magnetic field to exert a force on an electrically charged atom (has the extra electron). If you don't add the extra electron, the atom is neutral, and won't be affected by the field in the accelerator. Once they've shoved it up to the desired speed, they remove the electrons because all they really want is the proton.

Why they initially add an electron to start with H- instead of removing an electron and starting with H+ is another question...

1
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Big mistake by Big Blue: Storwize initialisation USBs had malware

GBE

And sample/verify the copies

"The USB sticks are loaded on a duplicator. But it should be normal procedure to scan the master before it's put into the duplicator. "

Don't forget to randomly sample and verify the copies...

3
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systemd-free Devuan Linux hits version 1.0.0

GBE

Re: Honest inquiry

"Does Gnome "do one thing and do it well"?

Nope, and I don't use it either. I even gave up on XFCE and switched to something simpler than that.

Gentoo is still init-system agnostic, and you are free to pick openrc, systemd, or whatever other init system people care to package.

I find systemd annoying when I have to do anything with Ubuntu, CentOS, Suse, etc. But, I haven't really report any problem with it -- all of my daily-use machines use openrc.

4
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Boeing-backed US upstart reckons it'll be building electric airliners

GBE

Re: Reality check time?

so why paraffin? makes no sense.

Because that's what aviation jet engines typically burn...

This may be a US/UK misunderstanding. In the US, the word "paraffin" refers to paraffin wax: the solid stuff you use to make into candles and seal the tops of canning jars:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paraffin_wax

0
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GBE

Re: Just a matter of timing

"Something *like* this is almost inevitable, since toy drones prove that existing batteries have the necessary power-to-weight ratio"

Modern batteries do have good power-to-weight ratios. However, the energy-to-weight ratios are still complete shite compared to liquid hydrocarbons. Sure, you could build a battery powered airliner that has enough power to fly _for_a_few_minutes_ before you run out of energy.

"better battery technologies are always on the horizon,"

Maybe you've never noticed this, but _the_horizon_never_gets_here_.

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3

Troll it your way: Burger King ad tries to hijack Google Home gadgets

GBE

Re: I think the point is

"not even Google knows what goes into a Whopper!!!"

I do. Or rather I did back around 1978 or so. I had a temp job working for a company that made frozen meat patties that become Whoppers. My job consisted of drilling holes in 10lb blocks of frozen beef and collecting the shavings so they could be taken to the lab to be analyzed for fat content. The relatively high-fat frozen beef was then mixed with leaner fresh beef (which was also sampled and tested) so that the patties would have the desired percentage of fat.

IIRC, the higher-fat frozen beef came from Australia and South America, and the leaner fresh beef came from the US midwest.

There was nothing but beef in the patties where I worked.

I've seen the patties made, and I still eat at BK occasionally.

32
0

Mark Shuttleworth says some free software folk are 'deeply anti-social' and 'love to hate'

GBE

"Hate" is a transitive verb, Mark.

Inserting the preposition "on" between "hate" and the direct object just makes you sound like a poser dork who's trying to sound "street".

4
0

This is where UK's Navy will park its 75,000-ton aircraft carriers

GBE

Re: "reconfiguring tides"

That would be a grand fleet indeed.

[On a more serious note, can anybody offer a clue as to what that phrase is supposed to mean?]

0
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The future of storage is ATOMIC: IBM boffins stash 1 bit on 1 atom

GBE

Not quite ready to replace the flash in your phone

The requirement for an STM and a throughput probably measured in bits/day are still issues that need to be resolved. :)

It's still good to see IBM doing stuff like this!

7
0

IBM has cloud access to quantum computer 400 times smaller than D-Wave system

GBE

Promises, promises...

"Quantum computing has the promise of outperforming today's computers to an extraordinary degree at certain tasks such as factoring very large numbers."

Yep.

And controlled nuclear fusion has the promise of unlimited, low-cost, safe, clean energy.

As the old saying sort-of goes: "Promise into one hand, <something> into the other. See which hand gets full".

4
0

Surveillance software boss thrown in the clink for cooking the books

GBE

Re: 11 years to catch 30 months in jail.

> 11 years to catch 30 months in jail.

> That's what, a year and half with good behavior?

It's a bit over 26 months -- almost 2-1/4 years.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Good_conduct_time

0
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BOFH: Elf of Safety? Orc of Admin. Pleased to meet you

GBE

reduced fat lard?

OK, I know it's a humor column...

but is "reduced fat lard" really a thing in England?

1
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Trump cybersecurity order morphs into 2,200-plus-word extravaganza

GBE

create a mountain of work with uncertain outcomes

Sir Humphrey would be so proud.

0
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Why software engineers should ditch Silicon Valley for Austin

GBE

Re: Do not want

"Sorry, but Austin is very very nice, they have the lovely Formula One track, they are weird, but they are in a the shithead state of Texas."

Yep. That's one of the reasons I never returned the calls of that Google recruiter from Austin. I don't think I could sleep at night surrounded by Texas.

16
7

Update or shut up: Microsoft's choice for desktop Skypers

GBE

Fixed that for you...

ITYM "þe olde ſkype"

0
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Kylie withdraws from Kylie trademark fight, leaving Kylie to profit from… existing?

GBE

secondary reality television peronality.

> Kylie was little more than a "secondary reality television personality"

Hell, these days that apparently qualifies you to be president of the US.

16
0

NASA honors Apollo 1 crew 50 years after deadly launchpad fire

GBE

Re: Oxygen is interesting stuff!!

"A welder's gas mix gets close to this and if you use a cutting torch, you can even turn OFF the acetylene after the cut is started, and the iron will burn quite nicely (and quickly) in such concentrations."

Yep, the acetylene is only needed to pre-heat the corner of the edge of the steel steel to the point where it won't quench when you pull the trigger that lets the O2 out full-blast. It's hard to imagine how impressive the process is until you've done it. Once you get the metal itself burning under a stream of mostly pure O2, a torch that could barely weld 1/4" plate will cut though 2" of steel like butter.

[Everybody should learn to weld. I never got very good at it, but it was great fun -- though I don't think I'd last long welding pipe at a refinery on the gulf coast in August.]

1
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Texas cops lose evidence going back eight years in ransomware attack

GBE

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mens_rea

1
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I've got a brand new combine harvester and I'll give you the API key

GBE

Action that article into the bin...

"instead having the data transmitted to a central processing area where it can be actioned;"

I stopped reading at that point.

I pay no attention to people who use "action" as a verb.

They are invariably spouting bullshit.

3
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Chevy Bolt electric car came alive, reversed into my workbench, says stunned bloke

GBE

"Three-phase."

Yep. AFAIK, all electric/hybrid cars use brushless motors, so they are multi-phase (at least three).

2
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GBE

Re: Odd belief

"Ever tried to get a car moving after the break cables have frozen solid?"

No. For 50+ years, I've lived in areas which high humidity in the summer and below zero (F) weather in the winter. I always use the parking brake and know many others that do the same. I've never had any problems with parking brakes freezing, nor do I know anybody who has.

Have you had problems with parking brake cables freezing? Or is this one of the FOAF things?

Maybe 100 years ago, this was a problem. AFAICT it isn't now -- or at least it's so vanishingly rare people should stop worrying about it.

33
3

Drone biz Lily Robotics takes $34m in pre-orders, ships nothing, shuts down, gets sued by San Francisco DA

GBE

Re: Don't buy vaporware

> Wait until there's something on the shelf. You will miss "early bird bugs" for sure,

FTFY

1
0

Security hardened, pah! Expert doubts Kaymera's mighty Google's Pixel

GBE

Can't parse the headline...

"Security hardened, pah! Expert doubts Kaymera's mighty Google's Pixel"

Can anybody explain to me how the second half of that headline is supposed to be parsed?

3
0

Florida Man sues Verizon for $72m – for letting him commit identity theft

GBE

Re: The time has come .......

"However the hand written submission suggests that no lawyer was involved, he's doing this all on his own."

From what I've read, reading law books and filing motions/claims with the court system are sometimes the only "recreational" activities that prisoners in the US are allowed. I suppose the theory is that they should not be prevented from assisting in or handling their own legal defence and subsequent proceedings. The fact that somebody is using such privleges to annoy Verizon is pure entertainment. It will almost certainly be dismissed at first glance when it gets reviewed by a judge. There might even be sanctions for filing a frivolous suit or the comlaintant may have to pay respondant's costs. But, the likelyhood of getting any money out of a prisoner is exactly 0, so that's rather a moot point.

3
0

Linus Torvalds finds 163 reasons to wait a week for a new Linux

GBE

> Christmas party's getting in the way again

I'd always heard about England's office Christmas parties. But, all of the office parties I'd been to here in the US over the years have been pretty sedate, so I didn't really take too seriously what I'd heard about the English version. Then I went to a Real English Office Christmas Party(TM). To quote Roy from _The_IT_Crowd_: "You people drink like you don't want to live".

IIRC, the organizer told me that she budgeted for one bottle of wine per person plus beer, cider, and mixed drinks for everybody...

1
0

Hackers waste Xbox One, PS4, MacBook, Pixel, with USB zapper

GBE

Re: Ridiculous

Right. Galvnaic isolation does have to be optical, it can be magnetic or acoustic or hydraulic or ???. The Ethernet spec says both ends have to be galvanically isolated and have to provide fairly high level of isolation -- IIRC around 1-2KV. In practice, copper Ethernet interfaces are transformer coupled.

1
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British banks chuck smartphone apps out of Windows

GBE

Re: *Shrug*

Yep, the Motorola G and X are pretty close to vanilla Android. My last change was from a Nexus to a Moto G (2nd gen), and I felt right at home on the G (which I bought unlocked from Best Buy -- not from a carrier). OTOH, when friends ask me questions about the "Android" phones they buy from carriers, I usually am unable to help them because it's all broken bloatware, and none of it works the way my "real Android" phones work.

1
0

Soylent bars farting recall

GBE

Quality control issue or just a bad design?

"It's not the first time the firm has had quality control issues"

So they've confirmed this is a quality control issue (meaning that the bars don't contain what they're supposed to contain), and not a design problem (meaning they contain what was intended, but it turns out that's not A Good Thing(TM))?

4
0

VW Dieselgate engineer sings like a canary: Entire design team was in on it – not just a few bad apples, allegedly

GBE

A lot of people involved in a decision in a large German corporation?

"Anyway, so they guy says there were a lot of people involved. I don't

think there are any great surprises there."

No kidding.

I've worked with a number of large German corporations, and there are _always_ a lot of people involved. In everything. I remember one specific standards meeting where I went to represent my billion-dollar corporation in one particular area of an industrial communications protocol spec. The other representatives in that sub-committee working group were all from German companies. They were all great guys and we had no problems working out details of the profile for a certain type of device. After the three days, they said "great! We will all take this back to our managers for review and approval and you do the same and then everything will be done." I told them that there was no higher level approval needed on my end -- if I said it was good, it was good.

They looked at me like I had just grown a second head.

33
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'Oi! El Reg! Stop pretending Microsoft has a BSOD monopoly!'

GBE

Re: Linux BSOD on Aircraft?

"penguins can't fly..."

As others have noted, anybody who says that has never seen underwater footage of penguins. ;)

3
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Height of stupidity: Heathrow airliner buzzed by drone at 7,000ft

GBE

Re: Am I wrong in thinking that if ..

"However, the airplanes could be outfitted with emergency jamming devices to drop the drone out of the air."

What makes you think that jamming the control signal will cause it to "drop out of the air" rather than hover in place, or orbit at constant altitude, or fly slowly to some hard-wired home coordinates until a control signal has been re-acquired? Drones that are measured in meters and can make it to 7000ft don't just fall from the sky when they lose signal.

4
0

Did Donald Trump really just ask Russia to hack the US govt? Yes, he did

GBE

Re: Americans...

..be ashamed.

Oh, we are... we are.

Now, how about Boris Johnson and the that whole Brexit thing, eh?

I have to admit it was sort of a relief to have a _different_ train wreck to watch for little while....

21
1
GBE

Re: It's really quite impressive.

"I only hope that the smart citizens of the USA see beyond the bluster and rhetoric."

Oh, they do. It's the dumb citizens of the USA that you have to worry about...

41
6

A trip to the Twilight Zone with a support guy called Iron Maiden

GBE

The US thanks you.

I'd just like to say "thanks!" from everybody in the US for taking the spotlight off the whole Donand Trump debacle and demonstrating that it's not just in the US that significant portions of the votors can be easily deceived by a lying buffoon and convinced to vote against their own best interests.

Good luck.

24
0

IT consultant gets 4 years' porridge for tax fraud

GBE

Shorter sentences for domestic holidays?

Sentencing Khan, Judge Laing QC said: "... and you have used the money for your own benefit for a lavish lifestyle and foreign holidays.”

So you get a shorter sentence if you spend your ill-gotten-gains on domestic holidays rather than foreign ones? Do Scotland and Wales count as foreign or domestic?

3
0

The Windows Phone story: From hope to dusty abandonware

GBE

"Universal" anything is always a disaster...

"UWP apps aren't designed for desktop, tablet or phone, but can adapt to each display size. Predictably, this lowest common denominator approach has been an aesthetic disaster,"

Yup. Over the decades, I've been involved to various extents in a number of efforts to develop a "Universal Something-or-Other. A "universal board set" for use in products with different requirements, a "universal table-driven application generator" that was going to... I'm not sure what... [I only went to a few project reviews for that one]. A universal device API/library that would allow application writers to run the same code on Windows or on various RTOSes. A "universal transmitter OS" that would [blah, blah, blah], etc.

All were complete and utter disasters. They did nothing well and often nothing at all.

Development often went on for years and delivered nothing. When they did deliver something the performance was awful, the resource usage was huge, and using them didn't save any development time or reduce bugs.

They _always_ got their asses kicked (in any and all measures) by application-specific designs.

But people keep chasing the holy grail...

29
0

Lotto 'jackpot fix' code

GBE

Re: ROM?!!

"At least in the UK national lottery, the numbers are chosen by an assured chaotic physical system in plain view."

And nobody has ever scammed the "ping-pong-balls in a machine" RNGs used by lotteries.

Oh, wait...

Yes they have.

1
0
GBE

Re: $16.5 million

"$16.5 million for 10 years' jail time"

Except he doesn't get to keep the money, so it's $0 for 10 years' jail time.

[IIRC, he never got the money in the first place -- lottery officials refused to award the prize money because it was being claimed by an anonymous off-shore trust company or something like that.]

Oh, and it wasn't 16.5 million he never got his hands on, it was 14.3 million.

1
0

Tesla 3 orders hit $14bn

GBE

Too big, too many doors.

I'll take another look when there's a smaller 2+2 coupe version. I hardly ever need 2 doors -- let alone 4.

How much is the mileage reduced when it's -20F out and you need lots of heat? Can the passenger compartment be heated using waste heat dissipated by the motor?

They did get one thing right: it's RWD.

0
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Don't – don't – install iOS 9.3 on your iPad 2: Upgrade bricks slabs

GBE

Re: And that ...

I usually wait a few weeks. Sometimes it takes a several days for more subtle borkedness to rear its head, get written about, and for me to read about it. Installing something like an iOS or Androind system update during the first 24 hours it's available is nuts. Not that I'm not grateful to all the beta-testers who _do_ install the updates without waiting a week or three.

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