* Posts by defiler

1035 posts • joined 18 Oct 2010


Brexit text-it wrecks it: Vote Leave fined £40k for spamming 200k msgs ahead of EU referendum

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Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave? @Snowy, Joe W

I was trying to suggest to my dad that we should have a second referendum, with all of the clear factors laid out in a yes/no fashion:

Do you want free trade?

Do you want open borders?

Do you want common standards for products?

etc etc.

Anything that gets over 50% will then be a part of the Government's attempted deal. If nothing gets over 50% we drop out with no deal and start from scratch.

He (a Brexiteer, but supporter of the European Common Market) decided that that was arse-backwards and we should plummet out and negotiate our way into the bits we want, rather than negotiating out of the bits we don't just now. So it seems that you literally can't please everyone.

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Re: Dodgy behavior by Vote Leave?

The Prime Minister stating publically and directly that the result would be implemented

And he had no right to do so. For a referendum to be binding takes an act of Parliament. That's why, after the referendum, Parliament then had to vote on whether to actually implement it. But no - it was a power-play within the Tory Party which was such a sure thing that the PM promised to deliver whatever the result was*, and didn't set a sensible threshold to permit total upheaval of the country.

*In retrospect, we should all have scored out the options and written "free ice cream" instead.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes

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Re: MCAS is more like lane keeping technology and auto braking

I've read 50kg needed to be applied to counter the effect of MCAS. I tell you what - you try pulling back 50kg, just to straighten your dive, and then more to try to pull out.

Even if you can split this load between both yokes, that's still a hell of a load to try to sustain. From the sound of things, this looks like what Boeing is going to address. By limiting MCAS to 1/4 authority that 50kg can be dropped to 12.5kg, plus additional input to raise the nose. That's doable for a while in an emergency.

What it doesn't do, though, is address the one-input issue.

The knives are out for cloud gaming as Nvidia flashes blade-based box packing 40 RTX GPUs

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Re: Hard to say how that flies

That's what I was thinking. What's the latency on this. I mean, a Steam Link into the living room is one thing with <1ms lag on the network. Then you just have the encoding/decoding lag. But is you stick a broadband link in there?

Given how much people have moaned about HDMI latency and "Game Mode" on their tellies, I'm honestly not feeling it. Also, we're back to the pay-every-month model.

IBM servers crashed in Q4 – just sales, not the mother of all outages

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Re: There's just no reason to buy IBM

Yeah - just realised you're quite right. I'd forgotten it had all gone over to Lenovo.

Still, I'm not going to let that get in the way of a good IBM moan. Especially when these affected servers were all IBM-badged.

Lunch-beers. That's what'll sort it!

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There's just no reason to buy IBM

We have a fleet of x3550 m<something I can't remember right now>, and the hardware is no better than the HPs or Dells I've used in the past. And when I had to raise a high-priority support call regarding overheating CPUs, apparently our 8-hour response was 8 "working" hours, despite the fact that we had 24x7 maintenance on them. Then nobody actually attended the machine for a week! I'd shoved it into VMware Maintenance Mode, so so damage done there, but we were down a resource for all that time.

Guy turned up. Inadequate thermal paste from the factory. He also said the other CPU was looking a bit light. He fixed it and went in its way, with much cooler temperature readings.

The end of the story? Not likely! Next time I was in the datacentre, I was performing CPU upgrades on a couple of machines, and saw first-hand the inadequate thermal paste on the machines I was working on. So that was sorted out during the replacement. I then went through the remaining machines and re-pasted them all. Finally got to the one that had been "fixed", Decided I might as well, and opened it up. Then spent about 30 minutes cleaning out thermal paste that looked like it had been applied with a shovel.

Do our fleet of IBM servers work? Yes.

Do they work as well as the HP or Dell equivalent? Yes, I reckon so.

Would I buy IBM in the future? Hell, no.

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

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Group Policy is your friend.

Redirect My Documents etc. Hide the C/D/E drives. Map a home drive to hold their crap. Do this early before they start filling the local drive with pish.

On the other hand, fixing these little loopholes just means that the user find something even more ludicrous and obscure to trip up over.

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Drive mirroring.

Yeah, you know the old one. Replace the dud drive in a mirror set and accidentally mirror the new drive onto the existing data...

Never did it myself, but in my NetWare days, my boss did it. To the backup tapes!

All good, leave it with you...? Chap is roped into tech support role for clueless customer

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Re: "While you're here, could you just..."

Actually, literally bleeding air out of the radiators.

Also rewiring plugs, setting clocks, changing labels on the entryphone, moving furniture and clearing out cupboards.

Basically the crap jobs that everyone else thought they were too good for.

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Re: "While you're here, could you just..."

Entirely this. Bleeding radiators turned into IT's (my) responsibility in a previous job.

The HeirPod? Samsung Galaxy Buds teardown finds tiny wireless cans 'surprisingly repairable'

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Re: Wireless?

being hit from behind isn't as likely to result in your untimely exit from this plane of existence

The fuck?! If you're getting hit from behind it's because some arsehole has driven into you, whilst you've gradually filled more and more of their windscreen as they took aim. I appreciate that this argument isn't really going to change things at your inquest, but still - if that's what you're hanging your reasoning on it's pretty tenuous.

1) Sometimes I wear my isolating earphones on my motorbike. I can still hear more than I can in the car unless I turn them up too loud.

2) Sometimes I do turn them up too loud. Yeah - sorry about that.

3) The last time somebody nearly drove into the back of me I was on the M42 and had to wring the throttle to rapidly vacate the space that the tool was racing into. Mirrors (and paying attention to them) saved my arse that day. Even without music on, I'd never have heard that white van.

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Re: Wireless?

Well, that depends on whether your playback device is portable. I still have my old iPod Video kicking about, but I tend to use my phone. Shove it in my back pocket and drop the wire down the back of my top. Done. Cable's out the way, and I turn off notifications on my phone because I'm dead inside and hate everyone.

I don't have to communicate with the outside world and they don't have to put up with my moaning. Everyone's a winner! :)

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I'll stick with my Shure SE420s. Sound great, and I'll live with the outrageous indignity of a wire.

Also, they never seem to need recharged.

I honestly don't get the wireless earphone thing. Maybe it's my age...

Never thought we'd ever utter these words, but... can anyone recommend a spin doctor for NASA?

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But isn't that all the time.

Bat people??!

Boeing... Boeing... Gone: Canada, America finally ground 737 Max jets as they await anti-death-crash software patches

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Re: The Land of the Fee

I don't follow. Are you suggesting these are revenge killings?

Otherwise it seems about as relevant as declaring radish is a meat.

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Re: "US, Canada finally ground 737 Max jets..."

I wonder who is writing the software for this aircraft system.

Software people. They tend to rely on the hardware world being perfect, because the hardware people tent to spend a lot of time and effort masking the imperfections of the hardware world. See ECC and RAID for everyday examples. If they've been told that "this input is correct", they'll trust that the hardware group have dealt with inconsistencies outside their box.

Seriously, should this problem have not been found before these crashes?

Well, it's easy to rack up a hundred hours on a new model. Or two hundred. But a lot of these fringe problems occur so rarely, or after so many flight hours, that they'll only crop up in the wild after the testing is complete.

And what does that say about the testing process?

It is, by necessity, limited. What it says about the project overview, though, is that somebody slipped up with insufficient inputs to the flight computer, insufficient alerts for the pilots, or both. That or somebody was utterly negligent.

Most people can't (or won't) think in terms of "how can this fail". They don't want it to, so they don't think about it. The people who design these systems tend to be in the group who say "but what if" until everyone else gets bored and goes home. Somewhere, somebody didn't say "but what if" on this. Or (more likely in my opinion) they were overruled by somebody higher up who needed to ship and isn't of the paranoid mindset to consider just how badly things might go.

In other words:

Could it be a case of "Get it out the door, marketing is making a fuss."? - could be.

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My (dated) knowledge of AOA sensors is that they're more-or-less windvanes on their sides, so the air passes over them and pulls them straight back. If they're at an angle then the aircraft is not travelling directly forwards through the air, but is tail-sitting. Or nose-sitting, but between gravity and engines that won't last long before it's straight again.

So you have a mechanical component that rotates, and a sensor to detect the rotation. I expect they'll use Hall sensors so there's no contact and no bits to get mucky *inside*, but if the rotating component freezes, or gets caked in grease or muck so it can't move, it'll read wrongly.

If it seizes during landing (or on rotation at take-off), it'll be raised, and will register a high AOA. Nose-down to correct...?

If you had two operating at once, you could at least tell that you were getting inconsistent readings. If you had three, you'd have a pretty good guess which sensor to disregard.

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Re: "US, Canada finally ground 737 Max jets..."

My understanding was that manual trim would only disable this system for a couple of minutes. Then you'd be back to fighting it. A nice big loop of fight, disable, fly, fight, disable, fly. You'd better hope it doesn't trim down when you're trying to make your emergency landing.

Your stall alert makes sense 90% of the time, but in a real emergency there are too many alarms going off already. Adding information announcements on the end distract the pilots away from dealing with the other factors going on, and delays the other alarms from sounding. Better to have the pilots aware that this thing can go wrong in training.

Even better to have it run on more than one sensor at a time. If it really is one AOA sensor to each flight-control computer, that's just disgraceful.

Packet switching pickle prompts potential pecuniary problems

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Back in my NetWare days

We had a moderate-sized client. 5 UK offices, plus two or three overseas (which luckily didn't factor into this!). IPX across the board, with a bunch of 3Net routers linking the UK offices together. All worked pretty well until one day the phone bill came in. Thousands of pounds on ISDN calls. They called BT and requested an itemised bill, which turned up in a box...

Turns out that one of the network printers had had its network interface replaced, and the new card was broadcasting its availability across the WAN every 2 minutes. All the lines came up to deliver a handful of packets, and they'd time out and hang up again. Then they'd dial and hang up, dial and hang up, every two minutes for three months until the bill was issued.

Add them up and it's over 85000 calls, all at minimum charge. Ouch

It's a hard drive ahead: Seagate hits the density problem with HAMR, WD infects MAMR with shingles

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Re: Meanwhile, ssd marches on relentlessly

That's a very good point, and my understanding is that SSD heat scales pretty linearly with capacity, while HDD scales with number of platters, so it's a less direct relationship. And, of course, there's the sipndown option.

(My server is in the attic at home, and I've had to spin up drives when I've felt they've got too cold. About 8 degrees Celcius is a trigger to perform a RAID check.)

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I think a few folks missed your icon, Hans!

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Re: Meanwhile, ssd marches on relentlessly

You do realise there's a significant market for small businesses and individuals to store lots of crap, right? And they don't worry about how fast it is, so long as it's big. I'm included there, for example.

There's also a massive section of businesses who need large capacity data, but not on the Google/Microsoft scale of filling out whole datacentres, where the difference in purchase cost is overwhelmed by the running cost. There's a reason why BackBlaze are spinning platters.

If it ever came to price parity then yes SSD wins. And there's a sliding scale where more and more people and businesses will pay the premium for SSD as that premium shrinks, but at 2-3x it won't kill the spinning drive market.

Google finally touts $150 pint-sized Linux dev board with Edge TPU AI math copro brains

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Re: Tensoflow for mobiles

I looked at it and read that they want to farm out the processing to your phone and save themselves the electricity bill...

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Re: Mendel Linux

Yeah - Google Hangouts, where nobody will find it.

Adi Shamir visa snub: US govt slammed after the S in RSA blocked from his own RSA conf

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Re: Ecuador

And you could have Assange headlining! Tremendous!

UK Ministry of Justice: Surprise! We tested out biometric tech in prisons and 'visitors' with drugs up their bums ran away

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Re: Is it just me ?

Yeah. I used it and it blanked me. I had to join the end of an ever-lengthening queue of people getting their passports checked manually.

(Full disclosure, it has worked for me once, in Schiphol.)

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Re: Biometric tests

This actually seems like a plausible use case for facial scanning, but the voice in the back of my mind is screaming:

1) Why was this not approved in public first of all and run by all the relevant people to keep it public.

2) This is the thin end of the wedge. It's easy to get legislation passed to put these systems into prisons, but our government will make the wording fuzzy enough that it'll fit for a nursery, a cash machine, a pub or a stadium...

5G is 'ready' once you redefine 'ready'... and then redefine 'reality'

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Every technology and use case

But does it Blockchain?

USB4: Based on Thunderbolt 3. Two times the data rate, at 40Gbps. One fewer space. Zero confusing versions

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Re: Thunderbolt

So they can still do it. We'll have USB4 and USB 4, and they'll be incompatible.

Won't be much worse than the mess they've just created...

The first ZX Spectrum prototype laid bare... (What? It was acceptable in the '80s)

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So it got delivered...

...faster and in better condition than a Vega+?

Too soon?

Ah, this military GPS system looks shoddy but expensive. Shall we try to break it?

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Re: Sorry, but...

A fella I went to school with got congratulated by his CO for putting a brand new tank on its roof during a test drive.

Not saying that this case is a glowing example, but sometimes the Army are very happy to have somebody break the kit - it lets them know how easily / badly it can be broken.

Foldables herald the beginning of the end of the smartphone fetish

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Re: No, not really

Sorry, Doug. I'm with Eldakka here.

You're absolutely right that Apple popularised the full-face screen. They made it much more usable than the predecessors, and I'll not take that away from them. Importantly, they went for a capacitive touchscreen, which I don't think anybody else had. My old HTC Touch HD had a resistive screen in 2008, for example. It took a little while for everyone to jump on that feature.

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Re: No, not really

deicded to copy Apple's all-screen candybar

LG Prada.

Too new? IBM Simon.

Apple were far from the first to turn up with an "all-screen candybar". Not having a poke at your argument - just saying that they weren't exactly the trailblazers on that.

Customer: We fancy changing a 25-year-old installation. C'mon, it's just one extra valve... Only wafer thin...

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Re: Line editor without echo...

The thing only had a line editor that made MS-DOS edlin look like a state of the art WYSIWYG editor!

Okay, so it had Vi.

Want to delete the 25th charcter on the line? 24 x space, "d", Enter.

Insert something? Space out to where you want to insert, i, text, Enter.

Yeah, you said. It had Vi.

/me scuttles off to find a bunker...

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Re: The dirtiest four-letter word...

I largely have my colleagues trained to avoid the j-word these days.

Now, whenever I say "just", they know it's going to be a straightforward job.

Today's good news is that whoever has to clean up Solar System will have an easy job: Lack of small debris in Kuiper belt

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Lack of small debris in Kuiper belt

Just wait until my kids pour their Lego out again. Gets bloody everywhere...

I say, that sucks! Crooks are harnessing hoovers to clean out parking meters in Chelsea

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Re: Where did they get the power?

Guess you just need to figure out a way to power the drill first...

Well that's easy. You power it off the next meter down the road. They're normally not that far away.

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To be fair, we're more trustworthy in Scotland than in Kensington & Chelsea. Even in Edinburgh and Glasgow!

Besides which, Edinburgh Council's parking fine payment is remarkably streamlined. Clearly they want that fat cash fast! It's easier to pay the fine than pay the parking. Except for the size of payment...

ZX Spectrum Vega+ 'backer'? Nope, you're now a creditor – and should probably act fast

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You can tell your kids...

Daddy, what's an RCL?

Well, kiddo, take a seat. It all starting in the year of '16...

Samsung pulls sheets off costly phone-cum-fondleslab Galaxy Fold – and a hefty 5G monster

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Re: Most comments:

My boy wants to play Portal and Portal 2, for a start. And for that money I can get myself an i5-2400 and a moderate-but-not-amazing video card. It's plenty for that task.

It might struggle on Crysis, sure. Don't care. There are a bazillion other games I can play.

But oh no! I can't play in 4k at 120Hz??! So what?

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Re: Most comments:

At the same time, I've been astonished that I can put together a decent gaming PC for £150 through the magic of eBay and Cex.

No, it's not going to be top of the range, but it doesn't have to be for this job.

OK, team, we've got the big demo tomorrow and we're feeling confident. Let's reboot the servers

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Big demo. Should we test?

Nah - we'll wing it on the day!

The number of times I've seen this. It seems like everyone thinks that everything should just work every time, without giving it a wee check beforehand.

Got a video file in your keynote presentation? It worked fine on computer A - we'll never need to test that the codecs are in computer B... For example.

No yoke: 'Bored' Aussie test pilot passes time in the cockpit by drawing massive knobs in the air

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Like my Surface Pro 3

About the best use I've found for the pen is drawing cocks onto screenshots before sending them to people...

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

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I had a shot of an Onyx RE2 many moons ago. I've regaled my kids with tales of how big, loud, hungry and expensive it was, and the fact that it can now be outrun by a Nintendo Switch on a battery.

Needless to say they weren't interested...

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Hmm - fella I worked with nearly 20 years ago told me of an SGI server (I vaguely remember being described as "red and about the size of a fridge") spending years in a Ferranti building without ever being unpacked because there was no paperwork for it. Then one day, about 3 years later, it was taken away again.

Crash, bang, wallop: What a power-down. But what hit the kill switch?

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Only if they're too busy trying to change the world.

I don't want to change the world.

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

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Re: Peppered Pig is BRITISH???

Aww - David Tennant made a great Doctor, and grew up about 10 minutes away from where I was born. And Peter Capaldi was outstanding for the most part. May be a Scottish thing though...

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Donnie Murdo in Gaelic. Oh how I laughed (and hummed) when I ended up working with a guy called Donnie Murdo...

Oh, and they only chose that name because the letters fit his outfit. The cartoon that is, not the guy I worked with.

I am just a mapper: Solar drones take to the skies above Blighty

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Re: What goes up with the aid of a launcher...

Downvote? Alright, own up. Who hates The Right Stuff?

Also, it's Chuck Yeager's birthday today. 96, apparently bucking the theory of "live fast, die young."

Granddaddy of the DIY repair generation John Haynes has loosened his last nut

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Nobody's mentioned a Haynes ToolTip?

This is usually a complex process in itself, yielding nothing more than a piece of elaborate scrap that will still fail to do the job, prompting the amateur mechanic to say "oh sod it" and source the manufacturer tool...

"The cam cover gasket may be replaced without removing the engine from the frame" (or similar such words) meant that my Honda Blackbird pissed oil everywhere until I could bring some proper time to bear on it and drop the engine out. Getting that big gasket into place with about 4mm clearance was a sod of a job that in the end failed.

Still, I tend to get the Haynes manual when I can. As the article says they tend to be more practical than the manufacturer ones.


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