* Posts by Doctor Syntax

16426 posts • joined 16 Jun 2014

The hated Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal will soon be dead. Yay?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I wonder

'But putting the word "modify" in there - implies that you haven't thought things through. In the end, there has to be a straight yes-or-no vote.'

I think the A/C has thought things through.

If what's presented is unacceptable to those who have to ratify it then they say "no". The whole purpose of negotiation is to avoid that by modifying drafts until they are mutually acceptable and that isn't going to work unless the legislatures have an input, however informally. The legislatures are being presented with a fait accompli. The chances that at least one of them is going to find it unacceptable is pretty high.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The reality is that trade deals are not about – or should not be about – whose wages go up or not, or whether jobs will increase or decrease – even though that is almost always the lens through which they are imperfectly viewed in domestic political circumstances.

Trade deals are about clearing away what can be decades of old rules and ad hoc agreements between a multitude of different countries in order to arrive at a much cleaner slate of rules, vastly simplifying commerce for all involved."

And why should a democratic country wish to simplify commerce? The only sensible reason I can think of is that it should benefit the the wages and job prospects of those who live there. That's why they're almost always viewed through that lens: that is, or should be, their purpose.

Robot solves Rubik's Cubes in 637 milliseconds

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You know who you were.

"Just to be straight, you did this to make it impossible to solve (you can also do this by flipping an edge piece)?"

You can also pick off the colour patches and swap them around.

Even if IoT hits 20bn devices by 2020 mobile operators still won't care

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: 100KB should be enough for everyone!

"I see the bulk of IoT devices piggybacking on local wireless networks (via something low power like zigbee / bluetooth), think Hue lights with Chromecast-style autodiscovery. "

And see where that leads: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/10/iot_worm_can_hack_philips_hue_lightbulbs_spread_across_cities/

Some! at! Yahoo! knew! about! mega-breach! as! early! as! 2014!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You say state-sponsored, I hear rhubarb, rhubarb

'Was the "state sponsored" IPV4 bit set?'

It's just part of the boilerplate text they use. Same sort of thing as "Your security is important to us" and "Only a few customers were affected". It saves spokesbots having to think.

Microsoft: Don't worry about the CRM cloud price hike... think of the features

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Ah, the wonderful future we are going toward

"A business needs to be reactive to its clients needs, not to its own tools for running the business."

"Own" doesn't seem to fit in that sentence. That's the problem, right there.

Protected? Cosy? Pffft, Reduxio prefer 'daring stupidity'

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"So suppose we had a big bucket containing all the world's data. Each unique chunk of data is stored in the bucket once and has a unique name. We could then add tags outside the bucket, referring to data chunks already in the bucket by their names."

So the data in the bucket remains the same but the tags keep growing in number... The more tags you need the bigger they need to be if they're to be unique so they also keep growing in size. At what point does the tag storage, retrieval and processing become the greater part of the problem?

How to avoid DDoSing yourself

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Re: Jitter

"A key part of the Ethernet specification is the random backoff algorithm for packet collisions (for the youngsters, look it up !)"

Yup. I intended to make exactly that point. Those who don't learn from history... Or, in this case, people who knew what they were doing.

Toblerone's Brexit trim should be applied to bloatware

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Upvote for Spolsky. But, reading that, I wonder if he re-wrote that whether he'd have to attach an extra cost to megabytes. Nowadays they don't so much represent cost of disk to store or memory to operate. They represent attack surface.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Mars

'their tastebuds have been trained to expect that kind of "flavour"'

Or, as they would say, "flavor". Which somehow just seems to make it yuckier still.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Major Bloat

"Windows AND he only has 4GB of space to spare"

Now he has two problems. As soon as he turns his back Windows will have eaten that 4GB and he has none left and still can't delete anything. What was the original problem again?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Attributing a more structural fall in value to speculators is ludicrous."

But Brexit is so wonderful for the UK economy that it can't possibly, under any imaginable circumstances, cause the pound to fall. So, as Mr Holmes says, when you've eliminated the impossible - it must be speculators.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Not likely

"You'll have to pries the bar of Dairy Milk from my cold, dead, chocolate-smeared hands."

No, you can keep it. I much prefer dark chocolate.

IPv4 is OVER. Really. So quit relying on it in new protocols, sheesh

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: what new protocols?

"backwards compatbility with an exhausted protocol that only works due to address translation at line speed is quite a brake on connectivity"

Ummm. This word "exhausted" that you keep using. You're looking at it from the supply side. The correct term would be "fully used". If you have potentially a few billion devices using it can you afford not to support it? That's your problem and I don't think I've read any reply here that proposes a solution except to ignore it or denigrate it.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You do not need to NAT!

'Or even better - use one other device commonly known as the "Rubbish bin".'

The bin might not be big enough.

We've heard this time after time over OS versions. That "legacy" kit can be big industrial or lab stuff that just works and is paying everyone's wages. It might not be upgradeable for several reasons, one being that the original vendors no longer exist, there's no surviving source code etc. The reason it can't be scrapped and replaced - assuming a suitable replacement exists - is because it would cost an eye-watering amount to do that and would disrupt production for a long time.

Your use cases are not everyone's. Why is this so difficult to understand?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: IPv6 Support by UK ISP's

"This is being blocked by accountants."

Why would the accountants block it? Are they worried about the cost of the extra bits?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This isn't about rejecting protocols that support IPv4"

Actually, it seems to be about just that:

The IAB expects that the IETF will stop requiring IPv4 compatibility in new or extended protocols. Future IETF protocol work will then optimize for and depend on IPv6.

That will only be viable when the IPv4 ceases to be used. The article refers to the the IPv4 address pool being "exhausted". This is an unfortunate choice of words. "The pool" is that of unallocated addresses and it's exhausted because the addresses have been allocated. The pool of IPv4 addresses being used is far from exhausted, it's pretty well full and there are a lot of them.

Replacing IPv4 with new IPv6 addresses won't be straightforward. A more sensible approach would be to assume that IPv4 will continue in use indefinitely with IPv6 being added and only change that approach when it becomes clear that in fact IPv4 use really has been discontinued in practice.

Tech Trump: Silicon Valley steps into the valley of unhappiness

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Trump has proposed allowing US companies to repatriate the billions of dollars they have stashed overseas by paying just 10 per cent in tax. That would bring a lot of money into the country"

Alternatively it could pay for them to move corporate HQs outside the US to somewhere which would be a little more corporate friendly and still have a nice climate. Say somewhere around the Caribbean. They'd still face taxes selling into the US assuming he raises tariff barriers but they wouldn't, in Apple's case for instance, have interference such as demands for back doors that would cause them problems in the rest of the world.

The Reg seeks online community manager

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Bringing el Reg to social media? Must be setting out to disrupt. On which subject surely ¡Mr Bong! is the obvious candidate.

Ireland to fight against billing Apple for back-taxes

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Re: Political theatre only

"If they admit they were in the wrong, they're admitting to their taxpayers ... that they could have had €15 billion of extra"

That doesn't follow. In the absence of the deal they probably wouldn't have had Apple there so they wouldn't have had the tax and they wouldn't have had Apple's contribution to their economy.

What will actually happen, assuming they lose, is they get a big windfall now and then see Apple stop investing if there are more tax advantageous opportunities elsewhere so unless they use some of that windfall - carefully enough to avoid further accusations of state aid - they'll lose out in the long term.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"the country is full of people who can't even rent a home let alone buy one with mass emigration still happening because there's no work in the country."

And being less attractive to foreign corporations will create work?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"The expectation at that time was that the rate would harmonise upwards - moving closer to that of France who were one of the biggest critics of the time."

The thinking that should form the expectation is to work out what the likely outcomes will be. If your local company contribution is small you aren't going to be better off if you double it and drive away the bigger international contribution. It's a trade-off every country can make if they choose. For a lot of countries the high rate, screw the locals is the one that succeeds because with a race to the bottom everyone eventually loses. But for a few, such as Ireland, a contrarian approach can succeed. So any such expectation was going to be based on poor thinking.

IoT is more than vapourware, insists GSMA

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"IoT is more than vapourware"

Unfortunately this seems to be true.

Insecure IoT networks for medical data? Easily fixed, shrugs Arqiva

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Any proposal that starts off insecure with security to be wrapped round it later should be filed in the round filing cabinet and the proposer sent off with a clip round the ear and told to try harder next time. To emphasise the point the clip round the ear should be connected to a high voltage supply controlled by an insecure network.

Trump's plan: Tariffs on electronics, ban on skilled tech migrants, turn off the internet

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Disturbing

"Add cost of living on top of that, and clearly higher studies are not for poor people."

And remember how we got here. Blair's idea that half the population should be educated to degree level. That's what happens when you have politicians who can't see beyond their next sound-bite so they never get as far as even back-of-an-envelope costing. (Or, in the case of Team Leave, as far as the first line of Article 50.)

Doctor Syntax Silver badge


"The head of the FBI has been accused of political interference in favour of Trump. Even if he is dismissed for perceived wavering in the final stage"

He could be dismissed for being perceived as a king-maker. That sort of power could get addictive...

What do you give a bear that wants to fork SSL? Whatever it wants!

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: 25KB or RAM

And by comparison I've just downloaded a 460kB update of python-imaging which frees 108kB of storage.

US citizens crash Canadian immigration site after Trump victory

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Re: How can any decent voter

"Unfortunately, real change ppl want, will be slow and painful."

Your 'e' and 'o' keys seem to have an intermittent fault.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: and we thought brexit was a bloody stupid decision

"I thought Brexit was an AWESOME sign of the times, and so is Trump's victory. Both very similar, in a way."

These days I keep finding myself reminded of the saying that the optimist believes we're living in the best of all possible worlds and the pessimist is afraid that's true.

Add it to the tab: ICO fines another spammer as unpaid bills mount

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: silence

"Now what I do is pick up the phone,

say nothing,

they hang up in a couple of seconds."

An alternative. Ask them to hang on a moment and simply put the handset aside. Sometimes they spend several minutes that they could waste annoying other people. Go on, do that, it's a public service.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cut off the head

One of those coming in to Chez Nous is likely to get an abrupt variant of "I am not interested in this call" which in turn is usually followed by a reprimand from Mrs Commswonk "they're only trying to make a living".

You could be a vegetarian who grows or forages all their own food and knits their own clothing from wool gathered from the surrounding hedgerows. You could even offer to sell the caller some of your surplus lentils.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cut off the head

"There seem to be two separate issues here - the companies that do the spamming, and the companies that hire them."

I think there's an alternative approach: rather than work for direct hire the spammers generate leads which are sold on to companies that actually have some product or service. This would be somewhat more difficult to deal with in this way. The owner of the spammer can shut down and still have the leads to sell on.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"This is made worse by it not being possible to trace all faked or temporary CLI's"

How do you think telecoms companies bill the calls? If it originates on their system they know who made the call. If it didn't originate on their system they know who put it through and bill them. Telecoms companies have someone to bill, if they didn't they'd be out of business.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Go after the lawyers as well...

" To set up any small business, the easiest way is to buy an "off the shelf" company, set up by a lawyer."

When I bought mine it was from an accountant. (An aside: one of the alternatives offered was one letter away from being the name of a then well-known database. It didn't seem like a good choice.)

Brexflation: Lenovo, HPE and Walkers crisps all set for double-digit hike

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

"At least Boris had an excuse - a craven desire for power."

And a panic-stricken "no hurry" when the result came out.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexploitation

"The yuan is pegged to the dollar"

Pegging one currency to another has a history of ending in tears. The attempts to lock sterling to the "snake" come to mind. An earlier one was Churchill's attempt to lock sterling to gold.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: ...pies and beer

"The bad news is both of our desires are currently impossible.

Yours by physics, mine by EU regulation."

Your list was:

unilateral free trade In which direction? Inward trade? If so, yes a Brexited Britain could do that. So everyone can sell into the UK but we have to face tariff barriers everywhere. Why would we want to do that? Or outward trade? That depends on other countries lowering their tariff barriers while we raise ours. Why would they want to do that?

lower taxes Not going to happen post-Brexit. Your taxes are going to increase to pay all those subsidies to Nissan etc. to make up for not being subject to EU regulation inside the customs union.

an end to subsidies The EU is very much against those. Ask Ireland and Apple. But as per my point above, we're likely to be very keen on bribingsubsidising foreign manufacturers who set up here to be inside the EU and have found we've moved them out.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: don't for get the Chocolate 'repackaging'

"Incidentally, is it just me or do the small mars bars taste better than the big ones?"

Maybe they get cooked through properly when they're deep fried.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

"I posed this in a previous thread. Nobody replied. Maybe you'd like to try."

A down voter. Instead of voting down why not give us your answer?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Brexploitation

"If you really think that short term price rises caused by speculators are a bigger issue than who makes our laws, then I wonder is there anything you wouldn't sell off for a price?"

First I need to disabuse you of something. Ultimately neither the UK nor the EU, either separately or in combination are in complete control of what happens here or in the rest of Europe. Nobody is. We live in a world in which all sorts of complex interactions take place. Various people can drive bits of the system but we all have to live with the overall result. Sorry. Your simple view of how things are isn't real.

Secondly the value of any currency relative to any other is determined by the market - what rates people are prepared to exchange currency at and what amounts of any currency they're prepared to pay for particular goods and services. It's not speculation, it's trade. Overall people place less value on sterling than they did. It's going to be a fact of life for a long time and it will have a significant effect on any British govt's to determine how life is lived in Britain irrespective of any legislation Parliament passes. You got your Brexit vote through. Stop trying to blame others for its direct consequences.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cause and effect?

"So trade dependent on imports does become more competitive, albeit by a smaller amount than goods or services which are wholly sourced within the UK."

Which was my point. Although once wages start chasing the inflation caused by the £ devaluation and all the other stuff even that advantage goes.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

"Because we were finally given a referendum and that 'result would be carried out immediately'"

I posed this in a previous thread. Nobody replied. Maybe you'd like to try.

From the text of Article 50:

1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

What are the constitutional requirements for the UK to do this? Please quote the authority for your answer.

As another commentator has said in this thread, it's a major constitutional change. As such it's surely imperative that it be done legally. In fact, as I said in that other thread, I'm in favour of HMG's appealing it up to the Supreme Court.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: You know the joke meme about how do you confuse a blonde ?

"I'd like to see unilateral free trade, lower taxes and an end to subsidies."

I'd like to see free whiskey. Other preferences are available.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: don't for get the Chocolate 'repackaging'

"No, you miss the point, we will only see downside until we complete Brexit, then things will get a lot better because we can start to slash away the business/trade choking weeds of EU legislation disguised as UK legislation, and have much freer and cheaper trade with non-EU countries."

If you're interested I have a load of pixie dust to sell. It's in a cart pulled by a Unicorn you can also buy if you like.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: don't for get the Chocolate 'repackaging'

"That sort for thing has been going for ever."

Wagon Wheels -> Barrow Wheels

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: I can't help but feel this is the calm before the (shit) storm.

"numerous post-referendum polls have shown that idealogical reasons like sovereignty and identity were more important to voters than anything else"

So why are the Brexiteers now whining because a British court has re-emphasised the importance of the sovereignty of Parliament, something which has been central to British government (or control if you prefer the term) for over a third of a millennium?

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Whilst I don't disagree with the thrust of the article...

"most of the volume of the packs is fresh air."

Gotta import more air to replace what goes into the bag.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

"Anyone who voted for Brexit and who is now suffering?"

As far as possible May will make sure they don't suffer, hence the deal, whatever it was, with Nissan. How will she finance it? Presumably at the expense of sectors that voted Remain.

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: Cause and effect?

"Doesn't this mean that UK goods are now more attractive to overseas buyers?"

Only to the extent that they don't depend on imports.

Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols

Doctor Syntax Silver badge

Re: RFC1925

Which was written by Ross Callon himself.

I also like no 5:

It is always possible to aglutenate multiple separate problems into a single complex interdependent solution. In most cases this is a bad idea.

Pick your own examples.

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