* Posts by Luiz Abdala

143 posts • joined 3 Jul 2007

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Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty

Luiz Abdala

Re: A tactical mitigation/solution...?

If a chip can be reliably run at 10% overclock, they will give a new marketing moniker to sell it for 20% more.

Locked multipliers chips were sold SOLELY based on that. Entire generations of Celerons were underclocked gems that could be taken into stratospheric overclocks, provided you could cool them and the memory could keep up with them.

The entire overclock community was BORN exclusively of the fact that some CPUs were being purposely throttled and sold under different price tags, and someone discovered that the 50$ chip could perform just as much the 100$ chip, and the 100$ chip was the the same 50$ part, overclocked into the edge of electronic migration.

One certain old-school AMD chip was even "hard-locked", but this could be unlocked/overclocked if you shorted 2 pins.

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Luiz Abdala
Joke

If Windows create a section called:

HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE/(...)/KnownBugsPatched (Boolean)

it's gonna add another 500MB of cruft on Windows Registry, just with descriptions.

Oh wait...

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'The capacitors exploded, showering the lab in flaming confetti'

Luiz Abdala
Mushroom

127V or 220V ?

My sister was working at a University Lab, as an undergraduate, and the place had gone under a major expansion and reform. Repainting, new furniture, more sockets, more lighting... the place was pretty much turned on 24/7 for lab experiments, except for illumination...

...but some sensitive lab equipment never survived the first weekend. And then 3 weeks in a row. Computers and more mundane gear as TVs survived without a problem.

So she asked a lift to complete an experiment on a Saturday, then we would go for lunch, so I waited for her to complete her task, and she explained the whole story. She turned off the lights and hell broke loose. Again.

We are not sure HOW the sparky managed to do it, but the 127V lights were somehow connected in series with all the power sockets...

As soon you turned all the lights off, all sockets would switch from 127V to 220V. I noticed literal sparks out of an empty socket when she turned the lights off, which shouldn't happen. At all.

A multi-meter and some turn-on-turn-off-lights later...

TVs and computers had multi-voltage PSUs and didn't give a damn about the voltage they were being fed... while the sensitive equipment, being really old, had fixed voltage PSU inputs...

I've never seen or heard of such a feat.

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Talk about a positive mental pl-attitude: WD Ultrastars shed disks without hit to capacity

Luiz Abdala

Re: Speeds?

[The 7K6 is said to be 12 per cent faster than the 600, although it spins at the same speed, 7,200rpm, and has the same 6Gbit/s SATA or 12Gbit/s SAS interfaces. The buffer size has doubled to 256MB.]

Something 12% faster than another thing. And the speed interface means SQUAT to spinning rust drives. Not a single MB/s metric out there.

Fine, I will look for performance charts of them in Anandtech or something.

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Luiz Abdala
Windows

Speeds?

I know, whoever buys these large drives is not after speed, but capacity... but how fast are they?

I bet somebody is planning to use one of these for backup, or something that requires a bit of speed, somewhere.... Like CCTV storage, or something similar. Whatever, there must be an use case that requires ginormous drives, and some performance combined.

Not even a brochure mention?

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F-35 'incomparable' to Harrier jump jet, top test pilot tells El Reg

Luiz Abdala
Go

Easier than GTA.

Land your VTOL Hydra at the top of Arcadius Business Center, in your favorite GTA game.

There, you can land the F35 more easily THAN THAT.

Color me impressed.

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Amount of pixels needed to make VR less crap may set your PC on fire

Luiz Abdala
Pint

Re: Interesting read

Q: [But why is it necessary to animate every blade of grass waving around in the background while I play Farcry ?]

A: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Escapism

People want to forget about their dull daily lives and immerse in something pleasant to the brain. Somewhere on the webs it is said that the visual cortex takes 70% of our brains, audio takes another hefty chunk of the remaining... so fooling them both will immerse you pretty handily.

And yes, my GPU also has more computing power than 2x my CPU, and guzzles just as much 'leccy as the whole rest of the system.

To almost complete the immersion of brain into pleasant things, you need a beer while playing.

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Nvidia: Using cheap GeForce, Titan GPUs in servers? Haha, nope!

Luiz Abdala
Joke

Name your research project Quake.exe and call it a day.

Just be sure to load some gaming on that research machine and nobody can utter a single word about EULA breach!

Time to fire that CS:GO server weekend section up!

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Watt? You thought the wireless charging war was over? It ain't even begun

Luiz Abdala
Go

I can't wait for car charging.

BMW developed a mat to charge a car... now picture the electromagnetic around this device when it is working.

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Luiz Abdala
Pint

Re: So: Unplug network, Create restore point, Re-enable network, Install patch ...

Cross a few pair of fingers.... have a beer...

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Luiz Abdala
FAIL

Are Intel/AMD scrambling to create new processors without the flaws?

Is nobody answering that question?

Yes, several chips have multiple degrees of vulnerability for the issues... And Microsoft and Linux worlds can scramble to patch the issues via software, but...

CAN Intel and AMD design new chips without the flaws? Would they call it Core i3.1 or Core i4, or Core i6...?

Is it safe to say that Intel Roadmap have its place reserved on the trash bin, or at least delayed a whole generation to circumvent the design issue?

Did they stop making the faulty processors, or do they just expect the OS'es producers to completely fix the problem on the OS level?

Keep making the same processors with the same flaws is like keep making cars with Takata airbags to recall them later!

STOP DOWNVOTING ME! This is a valid question!

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Meltdown, Spectre: The password theft bugs at the heart of Intel CPUs

Luiz Abdala
Windows

Does it have anything to do with Von Neumann / Harvard architectures basic design premise?

One separates executable code from data code, and the other doesn't?

Just wondering if stuff was designed with Harvard design, would the flaw exist.... (because separating user executable code from kernel executable code would follow...)

PS... I'm completely ignorant and guessing here. Help.

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Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

Luiz Abdala
Stop

Stop the Presses...?

Taking this to the automotive side and mixing the kernel-level table jokes:

- Is Intel still selling CPUs with Takata airbags on them?

- Now they will send you a new catalyst for your muffler that will cut up to 30% of the horsepower of your vehicle?

- Nobody is suing VW for CPUs that had 30% extra horsepower, but polluted the environment?

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That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

Luiz Abdala
FAIL

Where is the "battery saver" option?

Slap a button named "battery saver".

If checked, CPU is throttled to oblivion, but battery lasts the advertised™

If unchecked, CPU will run at full tilt, and the phone dies whenever batteries run out.

Is that so hard to implement? Nobody would be even upset.

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Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price

Luiz Abdala

Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

And 178,731 km is next to nothing on the lifetime of a semi-truck. Trucks with 200,000 km on them are sold as "semi-new", no pun intended.

This thing will pay for itself much faster than any Diesel ever would.

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Car trouble: Keyless and lockless is no match for brainless

Luiz Abdala
Stop

Burglar lock-jammer...

Over here, most third-party alarm systems could be fooled by a radio jammer - that the burglars were quick to learn about. Victim parks car, burglar enables jamming, victim can't lock car, that gets nabbed.

Good old fashioned mechanical keys could not be fooled, however. Old habits of trying to open the car in order to test the lock, after being given the command to do so, couldn't be fooled, either.

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Oldest flying 747 finally grounded, 47 years after first flight

Luiz Abdala

Re: Post correction and update.

Thanks, forgot to account for about 20 years between those trivia facts regarding the B52.

I bet the 4th generation is in the works. And they never saw Top Gun, or listened to Danger Zone.

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Luiz Abdala

Re: For some jobs; you really do need 4 engines.

The B52 is the next best thing. It can even land sideways, should a test engine 'freeze' with its throttle open, the BUFF can land with a heavy yaw application, as if was suffering from crosswinds.

And it already runs on 8 engines in 4 pylons. A whole pylon could be spared for the test engine, and the aircraft would still have 6 good engines.

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Luiz Abdala

Re: A venerable workhorse

The B52 has 8 engines in 4 pylons. The US Air Force is not giving up on the BUFF anytime soon, and an airframe could easily re-purposed for engine testing, even if it meant taking off 2 engines and leave an entire pylon for the engine testbed purpose.

Fully unloaded, I doubt the B52 would face the same problems the 747 can already counter, such as the heavy yaw effect due to the uneven thrust. In fact, the B52 can even LAND way off the center line, since it has "crab landing gear", as in, the landing gear can also be twisted to make a heavy rudder landing, designed primarily for heavy crosswinds situation. The bomber is so reliable and the model so old, that in fact, the children of the first pilots already qualified and joined the Air Force and flew the bomber themselves.

Even so, nothing prevents them from building a whole new fresh 747 for the sole purpose of engine testing, even if the model has no longer any commercial application.

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Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork

Luiz Abdala

XKCD 1357

The man is entitled to his opinion.

But he should have kept his trap shut to keep his job.

I couldn't even understand most of what he said there, honestly, but it angered enough people to get him fired.

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CMD.EXE gets first makeover in 20 years in new Windows 10 build

Luiz Abdala
Windows

Speaking of which...

Can I read El Reg on white fonts with a black blackground?

Like the good'ol days of the Mosaic era, where all the sites had Arial 12 yellow fonts over black?

(A bit of BBS era nostalgia as well.)

Any scripts out there to fuzz around straight on the raw HTML code?

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Luiz Abdala

Ultima VIII Pagan..

I remember this game used a specific font, and depending on how the game crashed back to DOS...

... the prompt would inherit said font. Sorta.

Anybody cares for a command prompt with the equivalent of today's Small Font, size 16, in PURPLE?

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BOFH: Oh go on. Strap me to your Hell Desk, PFY

Luiz Abdala
Go

And Im using...

A completely fixed, non-adjustable desk, with a keyboard -lowered shelf, while the mouse sits on the LEFT of the desk. It was designed for PCs BEFORE the era of the mouse, but since I am LEFT-HANDED, the desk is PERFECT for me.

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Adobe will kill Flash by 2020: No more updates, support, tears, pain...

Luiz Abdala
Windows

Re: Webmasters, get your act together!

My Chrome crapped itself refusing to install flash as a security risk, and rerouted me straight to the beta site. (was it Chrome?)

Windows 10 offered me to install the mobile version from Windows store on one occasion. Even the app is cell-phone shaped. Anyway, that doesn't rely on any browser and can be killed instantly.

I don't know what part exactly turned Flash down, if it was AVG Antivirus (hahahahah perhaps no) if it was actually Chrome, and what other part routed me to the beta site.

TLDR; I don't know WTF happened but the Flash version of Ookla was stomped and killed with fire ON SIGHT.

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Create a user called '0day', get bonus root privs – thanks, Systemd!

Luiz Abdala
Windows

I could expect invalid usernames getting root in Windows...

...but I've never seen it in Unix / Linux before. (Provided I haven't touched one such system in 10 years, it would check out anyway, but I digress.)

Yet, people found the douchebag responsible for it under 42 femtoseconds. And then they got SURE he was a douchenozzle AND a douchebag that doesn't check boundaries on inputs whatsoever.

If it was a Windows Registry thingie we'd get "working as intended" blurted back by MS and then an obscure fix silently enabled on Patch Tuesday.

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In touching tribute to Samsung Note 7, fidget spinners burst in flames

Luiz Abdala

I'm thinking cell phone chargers. If you play, you get your phone charged. Or at least a flashlight.

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BOFH: Putting the commitment into committee

Luiz Abdala

Don't translate that last acronym (Problem Exists...) into Portuguese.

I've warned you.

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PC rebooted every time user flushed the toilet

Luiz Abdala

I have one.

Hardwood floor. Not so hard, it would bend under the weight of a single person passing on the corridor. Wall sockets were loose. Walking by that terminal would cause the voltage stabiliser to kick between TAPs and cause juuuust enough of an upset on the power supply after A SINGLE FAN was added to it, forcing a reboot.

Wall sockets retightened, 10 years-old voltage stabiliser dumped, cleaning lady instructed not to sweep under desks by the wall sockets so they wouldn't get loose again after pulling the cables with a mop, problem sorted.

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Canadian sniper makes kill shot at distance of 3.5 KILOMETRES

Luiz Abdala

Uninformed guess.

I heard somewhere that .50 cal ammo in anti aircraft machine guns in WWII were capable of damaging airplanes 7km away. That is, a full-auto machine gun, with tracer rounds every 5th shot, allowing to lead into the target.

So, being 7km their effective range, I totally believe a 3.5km shot, with a couple of leading shots, can hit a man.

So, that record can still be broken, but not by a 10km or 15km shot, on standard .50 cal ammo.

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No hypersonic railguns on our ships this year, says US Navy

Luiz Abdala

Ace Combat Stonehenge?

Will somebody build an array of 7 or 8 hypersonic guns, and then the entire Eurasian continent suddenly finds out that everything with wings within 6000 miles of it can be shot down in a single blast from ONE gun, that was primarily designed to knock out ASTEROIDS?

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Microsoft totters from time machine clutching Windows 10 Workstation

Luiz Abdala
Windows

And up to this day...

I can´t move the boot volume from one hard drive to the next without 3rd party products on my home Win10... not without formatting the whole thing... or buying a new license. (I want help for that, btw.)

Or have something like I heard from ZFS, where you just add the drives to a volume and the thing sorts itself out, adding speed and safety in its internal form of RAID array... not dealing with motherboard drives, BIOS, controller cards, whatever, the new drive just have to be present in the system...

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Sysadmin finds insecure printer, remotely prints 'Fix Me!' notice

Luiz Abdala

What really bugs me...

... my freaking EPSON printer took a while to setup, dinky drivers, etc...

My Playstation 3 (PLAYSTATION!!!) found it on the wi-fi and plugged itself in, ready to go, and print pictures, model name and everything. No setup whatsoever.

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Will the MOAB (Mother Of all AdBlockers) finally kill advertising?

Luiz Abdala

May I suggest you train your algorithms over the page http://www.terra.com.br where it failed miserably.

Even when the frames that were explicitly tagged as "advertisement" by displaying this exact word on the upper left corner.

Even yours truly The Register still displayed ads.

So nope, still some way to go.

http://www.uol.com.br worked perfectly, however.

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Clone wars: Wrestler sues Microsoft over Gears of War character

Luiz Abdala

Fine print.

Some companies reserve the right to use the image, likeness, whatever, of anyone they AUDITION, and NOT say it belongs to someone, (or something to that effect), even when that person is not hired, as long they don't relate the character directly to someone.

Or any employee, regardless being auditioned or not.

For example, they could copy your face and place over a random NPC in any game if you ever worked for a game company.

It would usually be in Fine Print, in a loooong contract. You could have one of those for yourself, RIGHT NOW, and not be aware of it.

Without a contract, it usually doesn't work, like Lindsay Lohan tried. Did this guy make a contract protecting his image, before audition or motion capture? Nope?

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Good news, everyone! Two pints a day keep heart problems at bay

Luiz Abdala
Pint

Health Treatment.

Can I get exempt of taxes for "health treatment" at a "health facility" named "The Legend of Oily Johnnies" or at "The Randy Leprechaun"?

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Dark matter drought hits older galaxies: Boffins are, rightly, baffled

Luiz Abdala

Re: Occam's Razor with fractally serrated edges...

Oh, yes, please, perfectly correct reasoning there.

You come up with a new Theory, predict some experimental behaviour, and it happens as predicted, or a new Theory tries to explain the experimental data. Both work at once, sometimes.

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Luiz Abdala

Occam's Razor with fractally serrated edges..

I like to think that the "simple" Equations we used to describe the Universe - like Newtonian Physics - appear correct until we find some extreme object that defies it, like something *really* massive, or *really* fast, or *really* small, or any attribute like it.

Then we think they were wrong, but no, they just had several more terms that cancelled out in our scale of things...

... then we come up with Einstein's equations that have been working pretty good so far, with several terms that cancel each other when you deal with things in our scale but can't be neglected on a larger scale...

... but then you get some gaps in it for extreme objects... and you think them wrong (or you add constants to it, right? Are they constants in the end?)...

... and that some other equation will explain, that encompasses both Einstein's and Newton's, with several terms that cancel each other when dealing with smaller scale of things. Ad infinitum.

In the end, all these theories were *almost* correct, but only for a small interval... just missing those pesky terms that can't be ignored when values are too extreme. Then we usually come up with some extreme theory that involves some form unobserved matter as the only explanation (this case), and try to come up with experiments that prove them.

I call that form of understanding as Occam's Razor with Fractally Serrated Edges.

As in, the simplest explanation is correct until you find a better one that explains all the previous ones in all the extreme cases.

The Niels Bohr model of the atom worked up to a point, then it was totally replaced by something else that explained all the previous experiments... You couldn't say it was incorrect until Quantum Mechanics showed up and proved it wrong.

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Global IPv4 address drought: Seriously, we're done now. We're done

Luiz Abdala

Re: The bad decision that keeps on biting back

Don't forget the 4 digits for the year, one of the baddest decisions that bit back...

Next:

1. Counting seconds since 1970. Oh, that will bite back in... 2038.

2. Year 2068 for python, that reads from C...

3. Leap seconds.

4....?

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I'LL BE BATT: Arnie Schwarzenegger snubs gas guzzlers for electric

Luiz Abdala

Re: Hydrogen powered cars

No it isn't sensible at all. Brazil uses plenty ethanol, by converting sugar cane into it... instead of using the soil for more humanitarian crops.

Why do they choose to plant sugar cane? Because it is more profitable.

Why is it profitable? Government subsidy.

The fuel is 30% less concentrated than gasoline, and you need - guess - 30% more fuel to run the same distance. Now you have a fuel that won't detonate like gasoline - true - but it converts into WATER all by itself inside the tank.

All Brazilian cars running on ethanol are retrofit with corrosion-resistant materials to counter that. Every imported car must suffer the same process as well. Every car sold here costs a lot more, just for the motor companies to retrofit their models.

So you solve a problem, but creates two. The single advantage, it is RENEWABLE, but people stop planting FOOD to plant sugar cane.

You don't see other countries moving to ethanol, because they don't have enough FARM-ABLE lands to keep up with the consumption.

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Luiz Abdala

I like electric vehicles as a whole... but...

I like how powerful they can be. They don't have to, still they do.

I like the fact they don't pollute the air, usually.

I like how my country has over 90% of electrical power coming from hydroelectric dams, and could own one right now and feel real cozy about doing my part to the environment. Really egotistic, but oh that would feel GOOD.

I like when people convert old cars (Beetles!) into electric, and they become more powerful, and more reliable than their gas counterparts ever were.

I like how simple they are. One motor, one inverter, a kill switch, lots of batteries... and a potentiometer on the go pedal telling the inverter how much juice it must push into the motor.

but....

I hate how costly they are.

I hate how people only note the subject when they can go 0-60 in stupid seconds. If they perform just as much as their gas brethren, so be it.

I hate how people forget that most of the time, they won't cover more than 150 miles in a day and autonomy becomes irrelevant. If you go farther than that, go gas, please! It makes sense to use gas for travelling, but not for boring daily drive commute!

I hate how apartment buildings don't have high-power lines anywhere near the parking lots. (This should be included in the building code). Once you have them, it is easy to enable power sockets compatible to any type of electric car, SAE J1772 being the foremost example. Enabling a power meter for FAIR BILLING on these guys would be equally trivial, if they were included in the building code.

I hate how people feel ENTITLED to TAX REBATES because they are using electrical energy. NOBODY should have them, or EVERYBODY should have them. Likewise, no subsidy, or EVERYBODY gets subsidy.

========================================================

On a side lane:

Elon Musk built an electric car for all the WRONG reasons, and people loved him for it!

You don't need 500HP, but, there you go!

You don't need 260 mile range, but there you go!

You don't need the car to look good like a gas car, but there you go!

If people paid attention to the subject of electric car for THE RIGHT REASONS, we'd be all driving them right now. The Tesla S just spat that in everybody's faces, and lots of people didn't even notice. He built the car just to prove a POINT. GM built the EVO-1 for THE RIGHT REASONS, and nobody gave a flying F...

Now Arnold is pulling that stunt on BRICK made by Mercedes, and it is, like Elon Musk and its Tesla S, making a STATEMENT, proving a POINT, that you can own BRICK of a car, a SUV, and still you can avoid burning gas, and not losing much on the upgrade. Again, he is doing it for the WRONG reasons, just to try to dissuade the gas-guzzlers from using gas, and instead using electric, and still have the same attributes they all love in their vehicles.

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Train your self-driving car AI in Grand Theft Auto V – what could possibly go wrong?

Luiz Abdala

Re: Canuck issue.

Yes it does snow in San Andreas, if you load up any weather-control mod, which is fairly standard issue on any mod menu.

Or, on the online version, Rockstar will spray the whole town with that white garbage during Christmas, so you will smash your 2.3 million dollar Progen T20 you just stole more easily, (as if the thugs shooting at you weren't enough), and rack up a hefty repair bill, cutting your profits when you resale it.

And no, the game AI doesn't consider the snow in advance; you see them sloshing sideways all over the place, and trying to correct themselves. On this aspect, the game AI is pretty realistic, sometimes with catastrophic results, just like humans.

On the rest of the year, without Rockstar intervention, it won't snow, but it will eventually rain (or *pour*) pretty hard.

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Luiz Abdala

Excellent tool.

The game's own AI is pretty much your average driver, after a lobotomy. Things go haywire, pretty fast, sometimes even without human intervention.

If you train your AI to go around Los Santos without hitting anything, you could drive anywhere.

And you'd be surprised how smooth are some turns, even only using the own game's AI.

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Microsoft's Blue Screen of Death dead in latest Windows 10 preview

Luiz Abdala

Re: Dead, but only temporarily?

Don't forget the "Red Ring of Death" on Xbox360.

RROD.

That one won't go away with a reboot.

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Programmer finds way to liberate ransomware'd Google Smart TVs

Luiz Abdala

re: Power and Volume Down

Well, the first smart TVs I've ever witnessed on a shop were Samsung's. With full Android and Google Buttons, including Play Store™, right in front.

So, yes, they are über-sized smartphones without the phone part. Nothing would prevent hooking them to a landline or have a 4G chip on it, and make the TV pause/mute the streaming when someone calls you.

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Folders return to Windows 10's Start Thing

Luiz Abdala

Re: Unbelievable

2x Explorer Z1 still works perfectly on Windows 7. Totally free on the CNET repository.

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Support chap's Sonic Screwdriver fixes PC as user fumes in disbelief

Luiz Abdala

Re: Witchcraft?

Glass table.

I swear the user never thought about putting something under or over the GLASS. TABLE. to make the mouse work.

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Security! experts! slam! Yahoo! management! for! using! old! crypto!

Luiz Abdala
Facepalm

I thought MD5 was only used for checksums...

...But Yahoo! uses this for cryptography?

I believe that's just for waist-high-white-picket-fence security purposes, just like WEP WiFi, no?

"Oh, but the wifi had cryptography enabled!"

"But it was using WEP! Which just looking at, with an angry frown, made it wet its trousers!"

"But it was state-of-the-art back then!"

"Exactly, back in 1998! My coffee machine has better cryptography than that!"

Which I imagine as a conversation between the BOFH and the PFY and your average boss/luser.

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BOFH: The Hypochondriac Boss and the non-random sample

Luiz Abdala
Headmaster

The COMPLEAT Archives 95-99

I wonder how long could I ignore the term. It's been roughly 6 years dully ignoring it.

But hell it is slow today. I thought it was wrong, but oh no, it is completely fine!

http://www.worldwidewords.org/qa/qa-com3.htm

C-O-M-P-L-E-A-T

Archaic aren't we? And the term is more recent in American English than British English.

Congratulations!

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Has Canadian justice gone too far? Cops punish drunk drivers with NICKELBACK

Luiz Abdala
Megaphone

What? They ran out of Spice Girls CDs?

... or even Backstreet Boys?

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