* Posts by Phil Endecott

716 posts • joined 29 Nov 2006


World's first robot hotel massacres half of its robot staff

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: The room doll was removed

> the really good ones Silicon.

No, silicone. With an E on the end. Totally different stuff. You really wouln’t want to get frisky with a lump of silicon.

Great, you've moved your website or app to HTTPS. How do you test it? Here's a tool to make local TLS certs painless

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Lol arcane knowledge of memory management

"As the tools get better"

I read that as “As the trolls get better”.

New side-channel leak: Boffins bash operating system page caches until they spill secrets

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Hmm

> AWS has to assume there will be hostile software running on their machines

AWS has an option for “exclusive tenancy”, i.e. you are the only user on that physical multi-core CPU. Of course you have to pay for all the cores, but I don’t think it is otherwise more expensive than “shared tenancy”. If you’re dealing with sensitive information - for some definition of “sensitive” - then this is what you should be using and at least many of these problems go away.

Open-source devs: Wget off your bloated festive behinds and patch this user cred-blabbing bug

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: From where


You can search in man by pressing /

You can see man pages with better typography using xman.

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: From where

You can include username and password in the URL you give to wget, using the syntax http://user:pw@host/path

The Palm Palm: The Derringer of smartphones

Phil Endecott Silver badge

I though tiny phones were being banned because people were smuggling them into prisons in their “coin pockets”.

It's beginning to look a lot like multi-threaded CPUs, everywhere you go... Arm teases SMT Cortex-A65AE car brains

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Branch prediction

I thought the idea of “hyperthreading” was that you could swap from one thread to the other much more quickly once there were two program counters etc. in hardware, rather than having to context switch via the kernel, so you can switch to the other thread when you have a branch misprediction or cache miss.

Now that we care about one thread snooping on another’s branch predictor and cache behaviour for security reasons, things get more complicated. On one hand, a snooping thread that’s hyperthreaded on the same core is in a better position to snoop than one that is more decoupled. On the other hand, having hyperthreading means that you can get away with a worse (and hence more secure) branch predictor, since the core will be kept busy after mispredictions by the other thread - assuming that there is work for another thread to do. I’m curious to know if Arm have any security motivation for announcing this now.

Doom at 25: The FPS that wowed players, gummed up servers, and enraged admins

Phil Endecott Silver badge


> it wasn't a "shooter"

That’s why I liked it. Not a fan of killing things.

Phil Endecott Silver badge

3D Monster Maze

on the ZX81. All down hill from there.

Qualcomm axes staff, winds down data center processor efforts ... while China takes the blueprints and runs

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Meanwhile, Amazon...

Meanwhile, AWS actually launched their ARM servers and anyone can use them.

I would really love to know what the uptake is like, but since the announcement there has been almost no news anywhere (good or bad). For example, searching the AWS developer forum for “ARM” finds nothing.

BOFH: State of a job, eh? Roll the Endless Requests for Further Information protocol

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Missing item

Yes, I’ve had “support” incidents where they send an email on Friday and if I’ve not replied to it by Monday they just close the case as “resolved”. Bastards.

The other end of the spectrum is a few open source projects where I get Bugzilla emails for things I filed 17 years ago.

He's not cracked RSA-1024 encryption, he's a very naughty Belarusian ransomware middleman

Phil Endecott Silver badge

£300,000 / 2 years is the bit that gets me.

I’m sure plenty of people with “honest” techie jons would be tempted.

It's nearly 2019, and your network can get pwned through an oscilloscope

Phil Endecott Silver badge

I thought it would be cool to have a ‘scope with a network port so that I could print screenshots to a networked printer.

Then I actually tried to do it. It was a nightmare to set up, not least because the thing didn’t have a qwerty keyboard.

So I unplugged the network and took pictures of the screen with my phone.

Amazon's homegrown 2.3GHz 64-bit Graviton processor was very nearly an AMD Arm CPU

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> this is more expensive than on demand T instances.

Yes, for some reason they’ve not scaled these ARM instances down to the t micro/nano sizes.

That may be temporary; I think the same is true of the AMD instances at present.

A rumble in Amazon's jungle: AWS now rents out homegrown 64-bit Arm server processors

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Fantastic news.

A few years late, but better late than never.

Now if only I hadn’t decided to make my AWS usage cheaper by buying reserved instances :-(

Oh, I wish it could be Black Friday every day-aayyy, when the wallets start jingling but it's still a week till we're paiii-iid

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: the Netherlands ... an early adopter of "Survival of the First in Line".

> Perhaps you forgot to take a number?

Trouble is there are inevitably two buttons on the take-a-number machine.

I remember in somewhere Scandinavian the two buttons were labelled roughly “Homtyfomtybumfluff” and “Expedition”.

I asked the person behind me if she could possibly translate these for me and she said, “I’m sorry I don’t know the English for Homtyfomtybumfluff, but Expedition is Expedition”. Since I wasn’t going on an expedition, I pressed Homtyfumtybumfluff. Some sort of klaxon went off out the back and a new person with a different uniform appeared in a new window whose curtain was raised, and my number appeared above it. I walked up purposefully to ask for my “three stamps for postcards to Scotland please’” and found this was the counter for passport applications, driving licenses, gun permits and so on. I sheepishly returned to the back of the “expedition” queue.

Peers to HMRC: Digital tax reforms 3 days after Brexit? Hold your horses, how 'bout 3 years...

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: It isn't that hard

> I use FreeAgent and it costs me £261/year ex vat

> I spend probably 1 to 2 hours a month doing the accounts

Well that is £261 more than I spend - and you still have to spend hours each month?

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> there is no reason why you couldn't write your own software

Well you need to register and get access permissions for your application.

This looks to be intended for commercial accounting software vendors, not for software developers who could write a 50-line shell script to do this for their own business, nor for open-source projects.


Phil Endecott Silver badge

> all transactions involving a VAT element will need submission

That’s not how I understand it, based on https://developer.service.hmrc.gov.uk/api-documentation/docs/api/service/vat-api/1.0

TalkTalk hackhack duoduo thrownthrown in the coolercooler: 'Talented' pair sentenced for ransacking ISP

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: "individuals of extraordinary talent."

I wonder if he would describe e.g. joyriders caught doing 90 in a 30 zone as “extraordinarily talented drivers”?

FYI NASA just lobbed its Parker probe around the Sun in closest flyby yet: A nerve-racking 15M miles from the surface

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> The shield has a diameter of 2.3 meters and is 11.4 centimeters thick.

What’s that in feet and inches?

Planet Computers straps proper phone to its next Psion scion, Cosmo

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Linux

> What are you waiting for exactly?

Back in Feb 2017, Andrew Orlowski wrote: “Gemini will be dual platform with Linux and Android supported”. What seems to have actually been delivered is an Android device, with some second-rate unsupported Linux of the kind we get on “hacker board” devices, i.e. out-of-tree drivers that need old kernel versions, have bugs, and don’t support everything. As Dave559 wrote above, “the chipset in the Gemini isn't the most Linux-friendly”.

Phil Endecott Silver badge


Still waiting for the promised Linux on the previous product. Did I miss something, or has that been abandoned?

Which scientist should be on the new £50 note? El Reg weighs in – and you should vote, too

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Where's Rutherford?

I thought J. J. Thompson discovered the electron. Didn’t Chadwick discover the neutron? But yes, all of them - Thompson, Rutherford, Chadwick - diserve a mention.

Thompson is also notable for his role as a teacher to the next generation of physicists (according to Wikipedia) including Rutherford, Neils Bohr, Max Born and William Bragg.

I think I’d still vote for Maxwell though. His unification of physics (i.e. light is an electromagnetic wave) was something really significant, and with lots of practical consequences. Also, unlike the three nuclear physicists above, his memory is not tainted by the use of his discoveries to kill people (see also Alfred Nobel).

What's that? SSH can still use RC4? Not for much longer, promise

Phil Endecott Silver badge

How old would something have to be to be using RC4?

I.e. when did someting better become the default?

£220k fines for dodgy dialling duo who didn't do due dil on data

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Pay the fine in advance

I think you should pay the fine in advance, before you’re allowed to make large numbers of outgoing calls or texts.

If it turns out that you’re not a scammer, you can get a refund.

If you have inner peace, it's probably 'cos your broadband works: Zen Internet least whinged-about Brit ISP – survey

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: ISPs' biggest mistake - Including Wi-Fi routers

> Try again from your PC/laptop directly connected through the DSL modem.

Some large and growing fraction of customers will only have wifi devices.

Apple's launch confirms one thing: It's determined to kill off the laptop for iPads

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: So, what do you use to write apps for an iPad?

> The sort of person who likes to work in the kind of coffee shop

The MacBook : iPad : Windows ratio in my local hipster trendy coffee shop is about 20:1:1.

It’s hard to see that changing soon.

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Congrats Red Hat, you are marrying massive debts

So like Maplin then?

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Say you used to own ARM and RedHat shares.

You made a profit on both when they were borged.

But where do you invest your money now?

Obviously not in the post-borging conglomerates of doom.

(Asking for a friend.)

It only took Oz govt transformation bods 6 months and $700k to report that blockchain ain't worth the effort

Phil Endecott Silver badge

‘Cannabis + Crypto.’ The two single HOTTEST Sectors of the Market right now

Found by John Hempton, https://brontecapital.blogspot.com/2018/09/crypto-pot-stock.html :

“On Feb 1, the company announced the Acquisition of a 49% Stake in CannaNUMUS Blockchain Inc. - developers of a cryptocurrency which will represent the performance of a suite of portfolio cannabis companies.

“With a 49% equity stake in this blockchain platform, Abattis could see a significant upside from any CannaNUMUS liquidity event, including a reverse take-over of CannaNUMUS or an ICO,”

“Yes, there are already Marijuana-based CryptoCurrencies. And while none are especially noteworthy, it's worth mentioning that CANN(CannabisCoin) has seen 20,000%+ GAINS and now boasts a $5.5 MIL Market Cap, POT (PotCoin) has seen 3,300%+ GAINS and enjoys a $35 MIL Market Cap, and THC (HempCoin) has seen a monsterous 114,000%+ Gain with a $28 MIL Market Cap!

FYI: Drone maker DJI's 'Get it on Google Play' website button definitely does not get the app from Google Play...

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: Police Drone Use


It's a cert: Hundreds of big sites still unprepared for starring role in that Chrome 70's show

Phil Endecott Silver badge

“Several prominent UK organisations ...

Hill and Dale Outdoors (hillanddaleoutdoors.co.uk),

Micro Scooters (micro-scooters.co.uk),

External Invoicing (externalinvoicing.co.uk),

new and used car dealer Marshall (marshall.co.uk)

HomeoVet Animal Care (homeovet.co.uk)”

I think I can stop worrying.

(The homeovet people are probably trying to make the warnings go away by diluting the certificate.)

Where can I hide this mic? I know, shove it down my urethra

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: re. micro sd, etc.

> Now, what to do with those FUCKING cables!!!!

ROUND tupperware type containers.

Or, seen in a lab once, a sort of comb-like thing that you fix to the wall and hang them from (best for cables with larger connectors I suppose). Anyone know what that might be called?

Phil Endecott Silver badge

I’ve just checked and my oldest USB flash drive is 64 MB.

Of course it was exactly where I knew it would be. The newer, larger, actually useful ones... no idea where they are.

Attempt to clean up tech area has shocking effect on kit

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: I once measured 61,750ish volts on an empty, unused Styrofoam coffee

> Voltages are differences, so you measure them "between" or "across" things

When the answer is 61 thousand volts, it probably doesn’t much matter what your reference is.

Scottish brewery recovers from ransomware attack

Phil Endecott Silver badge

“Barry Shteiman ... said ... If the downtime caused by data being unavailable, or by the backup restoration process, is more expensive than paying the ransom, then organisations should pay.”

Mr Shteiman is overlooking the wider effect on society of paying.

Perhaps, if he really believes in this selfish “only our bottom line matters” attitude, we need to tell him that we’ll boycot businesses that pay ransoms.

Does anyone have a list of businesses that have admitted to paying ransoms?

Microsoft reveals train of mistakes that killed Azure in the South Central US 'incident'

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: RE: asynchronous nature of geo-replication could have led to data loss

I have geographically-distributed replicated postgresql databases in AWS.

It is my choice whether that replication is synchronous or asynchronous.

Is there something inherently different about Azure?

A basement of broken kit, zero budget – now get the team running

Phil Endecott Silver badge


You know those graphs showing how economic productivity has not been rising like it should have?

All these anecdotes are why.

Trend Micro tools tossed from Apple's Mac App Store after spewing fans' browser histories

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: 1 - 2 - 3 - Not it!

> It's in the EULA that you didn't read.

But did Apple’s reviewer read this EULA for us?

Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> we're putting it in a TSB account

Maybe he’ll sit at his computer watching the balance fall, £1000 by £1000 as fraudsters pilfer it, waiting to get through to the fraud team by phone.

Apple to require privacy policy on all apps

Phil Endecott Silver badge

How about this:

This app doesn’t collect any data.

Teardown chaps strip away magic from Magic Leap's nerd goggles

Phil Endecott Silver badge

If anyone’s curious about the processor module, here’s something to read:


I think It can be passively cooled with a big heatsink, but presumably a fan is lighter.

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem

Phil Endecott Silver badge

I imagine they could ship it in “Non-free”.

(Edit: maybe not; the restriction is on distribution, and for example the operators of all the Debian mirrors cannot be said to have agreed to those terms.)

Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Re: New El Reg UoM?

> A punch card can hold about 80 characters or 10 bytes.

Nope, try again.

Here's a fab idea: Get crypto libs to warn devs when they screw up

Phil Endecott Silver badge

This doesn’t seem all that smart to me; it’s easy to add code to check if the caller has asked for DES rather than AES, but much harder to check if they have handled exceptions or error return values correctly. That really needs some sort of static analysis tool.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> and iPhones that even if you go into your smartphone's

> settings and turn off "location history", Google continues to

> snoop on your whereabouts

How do they do that on iOS?

Edit: the Android analysis was by the Princeton researcher; the iPhone result was by the journos at AP.

Hey, you know what a popular medical record system doesn't need? 23 security vulnerabilities

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> Is anybody actually using it?

Apparently yes; one of the screenshots I noticed in the PDF is from a live system with patient details redacted.

Phil Endecott Silver badge

Fractal of fail

People are using PHP for a medical records system?


Tech Shutdown Blows: IT chaos cost Brit bank TSB almost £200m

Phil Endecott Silver badge

> 26,000 customers switched their bank account from TSB,

> but more than 20,000 customers opened a new account

Do you trust those numbers, if they come from this trainwreck of a new IT system?


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