* Posts by guyr

45 posts • joined 25 Oct 2012

More than a billion hopelessly vulnerable Android gizmos in the wild that no longer receive security updates – research

guyr

Both manufacturers and Google are to blame really.

In my experience, the responsibility goes further than that, to the carrier. In my experience, for an Android update to appear on my phone requires the cooperation of all 3: Google, the phone manufacturer, and the carrier (T-Mobile in my case.) Unless all 3 are on board, the update will not show up on the phone.

Android owners – you'll want to get these latest security patches, especially for this nasty Bluetooth hijack flaw

guyr

Re: "you'll want to get these latest security patches"

I came here to say the same thing. We may *want* to get updates, but unless the maker of our phone and our carrier both provide the updates, then it ain't happening. Telling phone users to get an update accomplishes about as much as telling your dog to get a driver's license.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

guyr

Re: "Has LibreOffice succeeded?"

"In LibreOffice, you can change chart type and hide or show the legend and that's just about it."

I've only used LO at home, where my needs are not that great. But I did add a chart to my retirement spreadsheet, and tweaked to get what I wanted. The chart capability actually does provide quite a bit of customization, though it might not be as easy to find and apply as you'd wish. As one example I remember off the top of my head, to tailor how individual lines in a data series appear, you can't just right click the line and modify properties. Instead, you need to open the data series editor and change properties there.

Waity K8-y no more Pivotal: We'll unhook Application Service from VMware

guyr

We're now at a scale that is too massive for humans to touch.

Hmmm, why did I immediately think of SkyNet upon reading this?

There once was a biz called Bitbucket, that told Mercurial to suck it. Now devs are dejected, their code soon ejected

guyr

Re: Git

To think that we're going to be forever lumbered with this sad example of "eh, good enough" design saddens me when there are so many better systems that already exist.

Forever? Not if somebody thinks of something better. Remember, Torvalds developed git as a 1-month side project when he couldn't find an available version control system that worked as he liked, without unbearable licensing terms. The entire open-source universe has proven its meritocracy-based roots. Torvalds himself would not hesitate to throw out git if something provably better comes along.

Bit of a time-saver: LibreOffice emits 6.3 with new features, loading and UI boosts

guyr

Re: 32 bit removal

"32-bit code will actually run a bit FASTER than equivalent 64-bit code, if for no other reason than the instructions and pointers are smaller, which means LESS memory has to be read into the cache, and so on."

Hogwash. If you've ever taken a look at Intel assembler, loading an address into a register is a single instruction. That's true regardless of whether the address is 32-bit or 64-bit. Next, loading a memory location *from* the address in that register is *also* a single instruction, again regardless of whether the address is 32-bit or 64-bit. So, the only possible difference would be in how that 32-bit or 64-bit address got into memory in the first place. And since memory is loaded in multiples of pages, and NOT individual 32-bit or 64-bit values one at a time, there will be no difference is the amount of time spent loading the 32-bit or 64-bit addresses into memory (which may be zero in either case, if the address is derived from a previous operation and already in a register.)

Now, having said all that, if you've got some degenerate case in which for some reason millions of addresses are stored in memory, then sure, each additional million will use up 32 MB of memory. I can't conceive of how this would happen, but don't deny the possibility. This will likely have an measurable impact, though if you are dealing with such a case, you are probably anticipating the issues involved.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

guyr

Turn off and back on - patented process

I think Microsoft patented the process of turning the machine off and back on again to fix any random problem. Some serious fees are going to be paid for this.

El Reg sits down to code with .NET for Linux and MySQL, hitting some bumps along the way

guyr

Re: MS Access for Linux

In a corporate software development environment, I've never been in a group that seriously considered MySQL for production work. If open source is preferred for a database, PostgreSQL is a natural choice.

Delphi RAD tool (remember that?) gets support for Linux desktop apps – again

guyr

Re: Communicates with Delphi on Windows?

"This article is exactly about now being able to develop GUI application for Linux and no longer only console ones."

Thanks for the correction. I went back and reread this part:

"FmxLinux was developed by a third party, Eugene Kryukov. It has been licensed under “a long term distribution agreement,” says Embarcadero’s Marco Cantu in the announcement this week." and followed the link to the announcement Makes more sense now. But I also read this on the announcement page: "active subscription to the Enterprise or Architect editions". What's up with Embarcadero? They really like to put the screws to their customers. Less pain-seeking customers can just license FmxLinux directly at a much lower total cost.

guyr

Communicates with Delphi on Windows?

"On the Ubuntu side, you have to install an agent which communicates with Delphi on Windows."

What's this? I took a 15-minute look at Kylix when it came out, and honestly I don't remember anything about it. But this quote has me scratching my head. Am I understanding correctly that to run a Delphi app on Linux, you need to shuttle work over an agent to a process running on Windows? Sounds like the mother of all kludges. I really can't see the niche for this. If you have a staff of experienced Delphi developers, and you want to deploy a bespoke app onto a Linux desktop? But if you also need to have a full Windows running to do the grunt of the work, why bother? Just run the app on that installation of Windows.

Okay, found this article on the Embarcadero site that explains things:

http://docwiki.embarcadero.com/RADStudio/Rio/en/Linux_Application_Development

The agent is only required during development, not deployment. You develop the app on Windows, and cross-compile it for Linux. GUI apps are not supported, only console apps. Meh, very niche market. If you want to run a full app on both Linux and Windows from a single source, several options are available. Java of course, but for native look and feel, WxWidgets gets you there.

Halleluja! The Second Coming of Windows Subsystem For Linux blesses Insider faithful

guyr

OS/2 failed for different reasons

I was inside the castle for pretty much the entire run of OS/2, from pre-1.0 to 3.0 Warp. From my perspective, what killed OS/2 was IBM's defiant adherence to the original design decisions, and a refusal to modernize. For example, IBM insisted it run on the 286, even though by the time it reached any measurable market, the 386 was ubiquitous. That let to numerous architectural restrictions the messed up the works. From a developer's viewpoint, the single input queue (from all Windows versions prior to NT) was a nightmare; this was the old cooperative multitasking model, where a single badly designed program could hang the entire OS.

Microsoft addressed all these issues in NT, but IBM refused to budge with OS/2. When Microsoft demonstrated they were serious about NT, everyone gave up on OS/2. It held onto that darned single input queue to the very end!

All nodes lead to Rome: Epyc leak spills deets on second-gen Zen 32-core AMD server chippery

guyr

Re: Mostly harmless upgrades

I doubt mainstream businesses upgrade CPUs very often. If a company has a rack of dual CPU servers supporting their business and they are working acceptably, they don't risk disrupting their business by tearing apart that rack. Instead, they'll just keep those servers going until they are depreciated, then replace them completely with newer ones.

The only large scale upgrades I've ever read about were supercomputers, where they bring the system offline and replace (e.g.) 8096 processors at once. They can do that because time on that system is scheduled, and it's not used for daily purposes like processing credit card transactions.

Mozilla tries to do Java as it should have been – with a WASI spec for all devices, computers, operating systems

guyr

Re: If it happens

"Java has notoriously bloated, verbose code which offends many programmers' sense of elegance."

Don't know what you are referring to. I programmed professionally in Java for 20 years and never felt offended. Java has the same control structures as all C-like current languages. When you say bloated, are you referring to the library load pulled in by programs of any significance? Then you should compare to the full set of shared objects required to run, e.g., C/C++ executables.

Nokia 9: HMD Global hauls PureView™ out of brand limbo

guyr

Pictures of fingers

Geezer warning. When I see these phones with all these lenses on the back, I can only think one thing: I would clumsily put my fingers all over them. Maybe these multiple lenses produce stunning photos, and would make a good *camera*. But as I'm talking on the phone and my mind starts to drift and I start fidgeting, the lenses would get frequent contact. I have an LG G5 with only 2 horizontal lenses, and I have trouble staying clear of those!

Clearly, I'm not the target market.

Core blimey... When is an AMD CPU core not a CPU core? It's now up to a jury of 12 to decide

guyr

Buyer wake up

I bought two Opteron 4234 processors for a workstation. I was fully aware of the Bulldozer architecture, and that a module shared an FPU. As others have said, processors change over time. I hope this case goes down in flames. We don't want to hamper innovation by punishing vendors after the fact. AMD did not hide Bulldozer's architectural details. If it did, *that* would be grounds for a lawsuit. They were up front about the architecture, so I can't see where they did anything deceptive.

Man drives 6,000 miles to prove Uncle Sam's cellphone coverage maps are wrong – and, boy, did he manage it

guyr

British English then?

"Those results doesn't correlate exactly"

We would say that differently in the states.

Talk about beating heads against brick walls... Hard disk drive unit shipments slowly spinning down

guyr

New math

"The third category was nearline and other high-capacity (3.5-inch) drives at 11 million supplied, down 9.5 per cent on the year from about 10 million."

10 million last year to 11 million this year is ... "down 9.5 per cent"???

Poor people should get slower internet speeds, American ISPs tell FCC

guyr

Rich man poor man

Rich people have nicer stuff than poor people? Say it isn't so! When did this start to happen?

This is not a new issue. This exact same thing happened during the telephone era. Running a telephone wire 90 miles out into the country to serve 5 farmers just wouldn't pay for itself, so the early telephone companies wouldn't do it. The solution was a government access tax on everyone to subsidize service to those the profit-making companies refused to serve otherwise. If we (society) deems that in our time everyone should have internet access, then we'll need to do something similar.

I'm as much a liberal as anyone, but I see this issue more as a capitalist one, not a fairness one. We can't take a profit-making company that has to earn its own way, and force it to provide money-losing services.

Who fancies a six-core, 128GB RAM, 8TB NVMe … laptop?

guyr

Re: What does it run?

However my ubuntu laptop was ubuntu because I tried windows 10 and was officially told windows 10 once installed can't dual boot because of UEFI (I was asking for the ubuntu install disk) So probably because of Dell not windows

Perhaps Dell didn't something nasty to impose that limitation. I bought a refurb HP Pavilion 500-314 that came with Windows 8 pre-installed, which I then upgraded to 10. This is a UEFI system. I then installed Ubuntu in its own partitions. Without any work from me, Ubuntu made itself the bootloader, and added Windows as a boot option.

I wouldn't be shocked if Dell tried to prevent that, but you probably would have been successful if you tried.

Is this cuttlefish really all that cosmic? Ubuntu 18.10 arrives with extra spit, polish, 4.18 kernel

guyr

Re: "the system has a more modern and 'flatter' look"

I came to the comments to weigh in on this same topic. I don't get the drift to flat interfaces. 5-year-old graphics chips are perfectly capable of rendering 3-D graphics. I prefer icons with some depth; the appearance is visually pleasing. So who decided that we all need flat interfaces? Is this change simply for change's sake?

Sync your teeth into power browser Vivaldi's largest update so far

guyr

Re: thunderbird.. I would like to see something that continues refinement

I had to give up on Thunderbird when it corrupted our Google Calendar at work. I had to replace it with something quickly, and Windows was the corporate desktop. I found eM Client:

https://www.emclient.com/

Windows only, unfortunately. I would prefer a cross-platform solution, but have found Evolution meets my needs on Linux. eM Client interacts well with Google Calendar and Google Contacts, and allows multiple IMAP accounts.

WLinux brings a custom Windows Subsystem for Linux experience to the Microsoft Store

guyr

VirtualBox seamless mode

VirtualBox has had seamless mode for years. In seamless mode, Linux app windows appear on the Windows desktop just like native Windows apps. No need to download anything from an app store, plus runs on any version of Windows, including Home and Windows 7. Of course, you can run any flavor of Linux (or BSD or ...). In short, I don't see the selling point of WSL. I guess if you have a version of Windows 10 that already has it, then why not. Other than that, meh...

Watt the heck is this? A 32-core 3.3GHz Arm server CPU shipping? Yes, says Ampere

guyr

Re: $800 ? Wow, nice and cheap ... I want one - a nice toy for Xmas!

Meh, that pricing is in the neighborhood of AMD Threadripper: $899 US for 16 cores / 32 threads, 180 watts.. And those are full fat x86 cores. We'll need to see some *server* benchmarks to see if these ARM CPUs are indeed competitive.

Do Optane's prospects look DIMM? Chip chap has questions for Intel

guyr

Loads on memory bus still a concern?

On my AMD Bulldozer era system using DDR3, DRAM speed is very sensitive to the number of loads on the memory bus. By limiting memory to only 2 of the 4 available slots, my system can maintain 1600 MHz speed. If I occupy all 4 slots with the exact same memory, speed drops to 1066 MHz on all slots.

I'm assuming the constraints with loads still holds true with NVDIMMs? I did a quick search on the topic, and couldn't find any information. Seems to lessen the appeal if adding NVDIMMs slows down the entire memory bus.

Official: AMD now stands for All the Money, Dudes!

guyr

Great news for AMD, but where's the profit?

Of course I'm thrilled to see AMD finally turning a profit; my laptop and 2 desktops are AMD powered. But if I'm doing my math correctly, a profit of $116m on revenue of $1.76B is a profit margin of about 6.5%. Intel meanwhile claims a profit margin of over 60%:

https://ycharts.com/companies/INTC/gross_profit_margin

How can the difference be so massive?

As Corning unveils its latest Gorilla Glass, we ask: What happened to sapphire mobe screens?

guyr

Re: Phone appearance

Why can't phones be made a bit bigger and tougher...with maybe room for a bigger battery while they are at it?

Another option is LG X Venture. I think Samsung also makes an adventure phone.

https://www.lg.com/us/cell-phones/lg-US701-unlocked-x-venture

Now if you also want flagship features with that, I doubt you'll find it. Flagships are already up to $1000. Adding these toughness features on top would bump that price to probably $1400, and the phone would have no buyers.

Time to dump dual-stack networks and get on the IPv6 train – with LW4o6

guyr

Re: "Where does the 4 to 6 interchange take place?"

diodesign: "In the home router - thus keeping IPv4 within someone's house and leaving the carrier network IPv6-only."

That's what I would hope, but is it true? I took a look at the RFC linked in the article:

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc7596#section-4

Look at the block diagrams in section 4. Looks like only the connection between the subscriber and the ISP is IPv6. The ISP sends the received packets out to the "IPv4 Internet". Perhaps this is just a typo in the RFC? Pretty glaring, seems like this would have been caught in editing. If this is truly the case, then I don't see this as much progress.

Ubuntu reports 67% of users opt in to on-by-default PC specs slurp

guyr

Re: Really small systems

Exactly, when I was reading this - 4 GB RAM and 1 CPU - I immediately said to self these are VMs.

Linux Foundation backs new ‘ACRN’ hypervisor for embedded and IoT

guyr

GPU, video and audio on car or embedded hypervisor?

Perhaps I lack the vision thing, but I'm not understanding why you'd want a hypervisor for embedded systems worrying about audio and video. I understand why you might want a hypervisor, and I understand prioritizing safety over other things. But I can't see why you'd want a computer that is responsible for safety also trying to control audio and video. CPUs are pretty cheap; if you want the safety CPU sending some notification to car occupants, then let it send a message over a bus to a separate audio/video controller. I really can't see why you'd want to have your safety computer time-slicing tasks unrelated to safety.

Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

guyr

Re: To be honest

H in The Hague: Incidentally, I would be happy to pay for a good e-mail client. Any suggestions?

If on Windows, I've been using eM Client, and it works well: http://www.emclient.com/. I'd prefer a cross-platform solution, but can't find a decent one. On Linux, I like Evolution.

VW engineer sent to the clink for three years for emissions-busting code

guyr

Re: "Until you go to court how do you know it's illegal?"

Anonymous Coward: "The engineers obviously were deeply involved in this business, but surely it's the management who decided to 1) instruct engineers to develop cheating software and 2) deploy the cheating software, who are the real villains here."

This. Automobiles are probably the most highly regulated industry. Developing a new model costs many billions. Absolutely *no* way that an engineer, even a senior level managing engineer, injected this deception on his own. Because of the huge costs involved, every single aspect of design and manufacturing is reviewed and documented meticulously. So, this gaming of the emissions system was decided at high levels of management, and reviewed probably dozens of times by various teams before finalized code was injected into the emissions control unit.

There's plenty of blame to go around, including the software engineering team that looked at the specs and just went along. But the senior managers better get more time than this engineer.

Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

guyr

Re: Desperation

Timmy B: " If you ask them to quantify why they actually don't like 10 most have never used it and those that have will usually come up with something"

If you ask questions the correct way, you'll get meaningful replies. My dislike of Windows 10 is simple to quantify. I'm a software developer and a desktop user since 1980 (yes, pre-Windows). I need a clean and consistent desktop that stays out of my way as much as possible to allow me to work. In the Windows evolution, everything from 95 onto NT 4, 2000, XP and Win 7 fit that bill. Windows 10 put in a bunch of stuff that was of no use to me as a desktop user; I've got an expensive graphics card, 2 large monitors, a keyboard and a mouse, so why force me to use a flat interface intended for small touchcreens?

If they would have a single toggle called "desktop mode" that stuck with the 3D interface optimized for keyboard and mouse, and hid all that touchscreen stuff, I would have been happy.

Microsoft raises pistol, pulls the trigger on Windows 7, 8 updates for new Intel, AMD chips

guyr

Re: Year of the Linux desktop, finally, from Microsoft

Charles, you are correct. We were in that position at my last job - really, only MS Office Pro. The software stack we used for our software development was platform agnostic (Java); though the GUI developers preferred Windows - apparently the tools are further ahead there compared to the implementations on Linux (if any). I'm retired now, and Libre Office works fine for me. So I can make any choices I want.

I'm surprised Munich is going back to Windows after enduring the pain of switching to Linux. Maybe this will make them reconsider that decision.

guyr

Year of the Linux desktop, finally, from Microsoft

I have Windows 10 on one refurb system I bought cheaply (AMD), but installed the necessary aftermarket software to make it work like Windows 7. Works acceptably, but this is not my primary system.

I'm planning on replacing my dual socket main system once AMD Naples arrives. I will NOT be paying $185 US (whatever) for Windows 10 Pro, so I can then spend my time to make it work like Windows 7. Instead, I will finally switch to Linux with the Mate UI as my full time OS. I haven't done this up to now because Linux always lagged behind on playing media (video and audio), but those issues have largely been worked out.

Microsoft is really hurting themselves by using these strong-arm tactics to force everyone onto Windows 10. While it's been free up to now, I'm guessing Microsoft ultimately wants to implement a yearly subscription. Count me out.

'Hey, Elon? You broke it, you bought it' says owner of SpaceX's satellite cinder

guyr

indented customers

Or should I say

.....indented customers?

(Darn, I can't find markup capabilities on El Reg.)

How much of one year's Californian energy use would wipe out the drought?

guyr

In the U.S., the aquifers are dangerously low on water because they've been over-utilized for agriculture. The water was pumped out and dumped on crops, often in a ridiculously wasteful fashion like flood irrigation; in such systems, much of the water runs off or evaporates, doing the crops little good.

guyr

Re: Hogwash

As Siskel and Ebert used to say, two thumbs way up.

Desalinization for human consumption has to be one of the worst ideas ever proposed. Consider:

(1) We humans have a terrible track record for responsible resource utilization. Look at oil. 100 million years in the making, and we used up all easily accessible reserves in 100 years! Anyone ever stop to think that people living 300 years from now (if we haven't blown ourselves up) might like some of this phenomenal energy source?

(2) Example 2 (of very many), current topic, water. In the U.S., we've drawn down the aquifers underlying the Great Plains by so much that, if we were to stop tapping them today completely, they would need 500 years to refill. And this is our bread basket! The mighty Colorado River is now so completely diverted that it no longer reaches the ocean.

(3) Scientists believe that the oceans are the source of all life. We've already wiped out numerous species due to over-fishing. Dare we alter the composition of the oceans by extracting pure water and dumping back pure salt? Life in the ocean is incredibly sensitive to salinity.

Many may be tempted to say we could never extract enough water to significantly affect salinity. See points (1) and (2). If we proved that we could extract pure water from the ocean in an economic fashion, the world would quickly build desalination plants by the tens of thousands. And certainly, extraction on that scale could have a calamitous effect on ocean life.

Flubbed hardware fix knocked out 911 calls, T-Mobile US cops big fine

guyr

0.83 % profilt margin

"T-Mobile US made a $247m profit last year, from revenues of $29.56bn".

This seems to be the biggest hidden story here. That's a pretty lousy profit margin. Compare to 20% for Intel and 23% for Microsoft for the last quarter. Apparently being a wireless carrier is not the place to be if you actually want to make money.

Hypervisor indecisive? Today's contenders from yesterday's Hipsters

guyr

IBM VM/CMS

Not clear on the history lesson. IBM had VM/CMS (that first part stands for ... you guessed it ... Virtual Machine) back in 1972, way before 1985. And yes, that was a true VM; each user appeared to have his/her own complete system, fully separated from all other users.

NASA greenlights SpaceX and Boeing to carry crew to ISS in 2017

guyr

17000 parts, all bid at lowest cost

Sure, I'll be the first astronaut aboard your shiny new private venture capsule. Beam me up, Scotty!

Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!

guyr

Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

We have several hundred user accounts in our Enterprise GMail environment. Admittedly, that's not the thousands or even tens of thousands that a large corporation might have. But Enterprise GMail is working well for us. Google has 50,000 employees, and I imagine they use GMail.

guyr

Re: Thunderbird + Lightning

Easily. Use an email provider like GMail, which has an IMAP option. IMAP is an email protocol specifically designed to have all your email stored centrally, accessible by any number of clients (computers, laptops, smart phones, etc.) Google even has Enterprise GMail that will copy over all your existing Exchange users and their existing email, maintaining folders in the process. When the conversion is complete, you just log into GMail and continue on.

Thunderbird makes a great IMAP client, but many others exist. And I don't know why people are complaining about Lightning. If you opt to use Google Calendar in your Enterprise Gmail environment, then calendar and email in Thurnderbird are totally integrated, as are your contacts via Google Contacts plugin.

The company I work for went through this adoption, and there is nothing I miss about Outlook or Exchange.

HGST: Nano-tech will double hard disk capacity in 10 years

guyr

Re: When?!

That's the part I don't get. I'm an (adult) software developer who doesn't play games, collect movies, etc. I have a 1 TB disk that is still over half empty after a year. Yet today if I were so inclined, I can purchase a 4 TB disk. What is the market for these monsters? Undoubtedly, companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon probably have huge buildings full of storage units for their billion customers. But how many of those companies are there? And can they support a storage industry by themselves without consumer volume?

I just can't envision consumers needing anything over 2 TBs. Maybe I'm the odd one out and everyone has a library of 1000 movies.

Boeing recipe turns cooking oil into jet fuel

guyr

Re: @guyr

I eat almost all my meals at home, but obviously I don't use much oil. 48 ml comes out to about 1/4 cup every day per person. I still say that is a heck of a lot of oil.

guyr

"29 million tons of cooking oil every year"

I go through one 46 ounce jar of cooking oil about every 4 years. What the heck do the Chinese do with 29 million tons a year? Fill their swimming pools with it?

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