* Posts by John Styles

419 posts • joined 23 Jul 2007

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We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare

John Styles

Re: 'how Itanium isn't affected'

I was trying to work this out... on the whole I concluded I didn't understand enough to know but if the compiler generates code that does speculative loads aren't you still screwed (although of course you can't blame the processor, just the compiler). See https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/oldnewthing/20150804-00/?p=91181

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

John Styles

Fe fi fo faction

I smell the blood of a f****ing enormous class action

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Merry Xmas, fellow code nerds: Avast open-sources decompiler

John Styles

I wonder how well it does at working out C++ class hierarchies, spotting vtables, turning a bunch of functions back into methods etc. etc.

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IBM to expunge over 500 people in latest redundo round

John Styles

Am I alone in being irked and slightly nonplussed that IBM are using the word 'cognitive' for something completely different from what the word actually means, i.e. they are using it meaning 'our mish-mash of AI related technologies' ?

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John Styles

Re: Serious question

https://www.gov.uk/staff-redundant/redundancy-consultations

See the bit about 'Consult with trade union representatives or elected employee representatives - or with staff directly if there are none.' i.e. you get the staff to elect committees and consult with them.

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Three useless UK.gov 'catapults' put in Last Chance Saloon

John Styles

Yes exactly, that was my point.

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John Styles

I rarely actually get angry about these things but the concept of a transport catapult was an absolute ****ing (can't remember if I am allowed to say ****ing here) disgrace if you recall for example that

a) it takes us decades to tentatively do the experiment of a tram-train for Rotherham when this is established technology in Germany. Why? Maybe Plank's constant is different in the UK for some reason.

b) in my lifetime we have failed to successfully link bits of Watford with other bits of Watford (can't find a good link but basically the faffing has lasted a lifetime, responsibility was pushed back to TfL and the mayor unsurprisingly thought there were better uses for the money than the ludicrously high sum to build one viaduct across a road)(you might well say that this wasn't a terribly sensible project even at non-ludicrous sums of money but in that case best not to waste millions with nothing to show for it)

c) in general as per Edinburgh things cost far more to do in this country than anyone else in Europe

etc.

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Hardware has never been better, but it isn't a licence for code bloat

John Styles

Re: Ah, when I were a lad.....

And you probably could still run it if you wanted to. And it would be fast. But.

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Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

John Styles

The thing I'm surprised no-one else has mentioned (or if they have I've missed it) is the distinction between Perl 4 and Perl 5 (to say nothing of Perl 6).

Where it all went wrong with the objects. What is the phrase from the Perl 5 camel book? 'An object is a reference to a blessed thingy?' Something like that.

When you find yourself writing something like this it is time to have a long hard look at your life choices.

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John Styles

I always felt that for the things awk could do it was better than Perl. Of course the main thing I could do was the sort of stuff you'd use 'find' or similar for, so with awk I would usually end up doing it as a multiple stage process. You could argue that having an awk script write a batch file you could eyeball before letting it loose on the file system was no bad thing.

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John Styles

Re: Lisp

TCL was much more 'Lisp without brackets' I think. Fortunately TCL seems to have faded from popular memory - it was only ever popular because of TK and Expect I think.

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You forgot that you hired me and now you're saying it's my fault?

John Styles

Re: Meeting rooms

I have always fancied a room named after the famous French literary theorist - the Barthes room

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John Styles

Re: Ah, memories.

Oh yes. Hand written presentations on acetates.

Or worse still trying to photocopy things onto acetates since the printer couldn't print them, then inevitably some **** of a manager coming up whilst you were in the middle to demand immediate access to the photocopier. [There must be a book to be written in 'Reminiscences of AT&T Istel - when British Leyland managers tried to run a software company]

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John Styles

My worst torment training was in the early 90s where we had a lovely laptop that you could fold the display back and put it on an overhead projector to use the light and lens of the projector to project onto a screen, before the days of decent portable projectors.

Except...

The LCD thingy obviously was of non-zero thickness therefore what was in focus for slides would be out of focus for this and vice-versa therefore.

Show slides

Fold LCD over projector

adjust focus

Remove LCD thing

put slide on

adjust focus

You are, obviously, wondering why the slides weren't shown by PowerPoint. My recollection is that that was the rules. One of the many times I should have put my foot down but didn't. Sigh.

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The Atari retro games box is real… sort of

John Styles

Tastes may vary but I thought this book on the Atari 2600 'Racing the beam' was very good https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/racing-beam

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Feelin' safe and snug on Linux while the Windows world burns? Stop that

John Styles

Re: about 12 per cent of servers run non-Windows OSs!?

The only people who really know what OSs people run / what they develop in etc. are people who have done expensive market research, and people who have bought their reports, if anyone has actually done that expensive research.

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Drugs, vodka, Volvo: The Scandinavian answer to Britain's future new border

John Styles

Re: Norway is in EFTA and Schengen...

If by 'and this makes border controls easier' you mean 'means that this situation is not in one iota comparable with what we will need so this article is utterly beside the point' I agree.

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It's 30 years ago: IBM's final battle with reality

John Styles

Re: Make sure your driver strategy is in place if you launch a new O/S

Yes, this a thousand times. Most of my experience of OS/2 was in the 1.2 / 1.3 days. The closest I have ever got to throwing a PC out the windows was trying to install the sodding thing on some random bit of hardware. Every time I wiped it and tried something else it somehow got less far. Microsoft were much better at running on random bits of hardware. The IBM approach was equivalent to the self driving car that works fine on clean roads with no pedestrians, fine in theory but useless in practice.

The one message queue was a big mistake though - and IBM were a nightmare to deal with. To be fair I suspect that unless you are the CEO of a Fortune 500 company they are a nightmare to deal with. And I suspect if you are outside the top 100 companies they probably aren't THAT great.

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John Styles

Re: Interesting times

Nah. I started work in 1985 and only really ever worked on PCs (apart from some weird odds and sods), all the development was done on PCs - these were all expensive vertical market applications going for 20K or thereabouts a copy, with teams of 10 to 20 people in a couple of cases. Mostly FORTRAN 77 and C. (Lahey Fortran, Lattice C then the Microsoft ones).

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Indian Business Machines? One-third of Big Blue staff based there and Bangladesh

John Styles

Was I the only person to think 'that few?' ?

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New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

John Styles

Millenial, I wish. Generation X here. No stupid beards and no enormous houses bought for 10 grand.

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John Styles

Re: "300 football fields of rainforest per hour is cleared"

How can anyone who, since they read the Register presumably has something to do with computing, possibly think that a football pitch is 7 square kilometres?

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John Styles

One of the 3 Brexit minsters - surely we don't need Johnson, Davis and Disgraced. They can draw straws.

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John Styles

Roadkill badgers

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BDSM sex rocks Drupal world: Top dev banished for sci-fi hanky-panky

John Styles

There is a local bus company called Goride - it amuses me to imagine that this is a synonym for Gorean and that the collection of little old ladies on their buses are being taken away to act out these fantasies.

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Time to make up: Realtime collaboration comes to Excel

John Styles

At last, a technological breakthrough that will truly bring about the end of the world. All the people with MBAs who can **** things up by buying / moving / closing businesses based on bug-ridden scary 135 worksheet spreadsheets can now do it collaboratively in real time.

In particular I look forward to Davis, Johnson and 'Disgraced' Fox collaborating on Brexit.xlsx from their respective bed-rooms in Chevening (with the Russians having full access too, obviously)

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Miss Misery on hacking Mr Robot and the Missing Sense of Fun

John Styles

For fans of the random stuff that Channel 4 put on on All4, I recommend 'Heartless' - a tale of pouty bisexual Danish energy vampires (and witches, obviously). A very gothic high-school, ancient curses, people bursting into flames, it has everything you could want and more. It follows the US mode of having good looking 20-something actors as high school students.

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Favored Swift hits the charts: Now in top 10 programming languages

John Styles

Re: A bit of perspective.

It is impressive that Delphi / Object Pascal is hanging in their. As lots of people have said the TIOBE thing clearly has its own structural biases, but clearly those biases are going to be unfavourable to Delphi.

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John Styles

Re: Interesting to see what people say/think is the new hottness and what's actually being used.

In the words of Sartre, 'hell is other people's C++'.

The wonderful thing about the multi-paradigm C++ is that everyone in the team can choose their own subsets and no-one could possibly ever have time to write team standards as to what you can and can't use (and would almost certainly be misguided anyway based on their favourite bits from how C++ was when they did most of their hands on development).

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John Styles

Re: Interesting to see what people say/think is the new hottness and what's actually being used.

A PIC PIC16F54 has 25 bytes of RAM, pretty sure a PDP11 was more powerful than that. What is going to clobber you with the PICs is the lack of a stack (that one has 2 stack levels).

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This ONE easy cloud trick is in DANGER. Why?

John Styles

Port-eight-oh salad you might call it

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Devs bashing out crappy code is making banks insecure – report

John Styles

Counter take - this article is regurgitating PR for some sort of consultancy trying to drum up business for their 'we inspect code' business and the metrics are probably worthless.

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Amazon relinquishes data from Echo that could have dropped eaves on a killing

John Styles

Clippy appears on your smart TV screen: 'it looks like you're trying to dispose of a body'

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Google's troll-destroying AI can't cope with typos

John Styles

Re: Must be based on the Gmail spellchecker...

Glad I'm not the only person to think this about the Google spelling checker. I have noticed in particular that it is utterly useless at spotting obvious typos where you have mistyped the first character of the word

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John Styles

Is a bunch of regular expressions an AI now?

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Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook

John Styles

Anyone else buy a GeoFox one? Only me?

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John Styles

Re: IndieNoGo

Ha! I used to work with someone who was a tremendously accurate belwether for technologies that didn't work. I think he and a colleague of his's finest hour was when they evaluated two emulation libraries for something. One existed (and was, admittedly, a bit ugly on a number of levels), one had been promised real soon now but there wasn't anything we could see. By cunning belief in everything they had been told and by not weighting 'actually existing' very high on their scoring system, they managed to choose that one which was due in 3 months.

The project was (correctly) canned anyway, and I was amused two years later to get a call from the company that produced the one they had chosen saying that it was out now and were we still interested?

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IBM UK: Oh, remote workers. We want to be colocated with you again

John Styles

“stand-up design thinking”

They stand to reason

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Vinyl, filofaxes – why not us too, pleads Nokia

John Styles

OK

So, who's going to do the Psion 3 reboot next?

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Roses are red, violets are blue, HMRC confirms Verify can STFU

John Styles

Re: Not more confusion!

I did think it amusing that they added SMS 2FA AFTER (or about the same time as, I guess) NIST recommended SMS 2FA be dropped because of insecurities.

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John Styles

Re: Fixed headline

Roses are wonderful

Violets are great

We're "redefining the relationship

between citizen and state"

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John Styles

Re: the headline

Me too!

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Roses are red, you're over the moon, 'cos you work in infosec, and you're retiring soon

John Styles

Roses are red

Someone's just farted

The Reg's sub-edit-

-or's slightly half-hearted

I think all of the headlines should have been put in this format for the day. Go large or go home.

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Imagine a ChromeOS-style Windows 10 ... oh wait, there it is and it's called Windows Cloud

John Styles

"imagine Chrome-Os Windows

An easy thing to do

No hell below us

It's just like Win RT

Imagine all the people

Using Windows Store..... ah ah.."...

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Head of GCHQ Robert Hannigan steps down for 'personal reasons'

John Styles

Retired to spend more time naked in a red North Face bag in a bath padlocked from the inside.

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Japan's terrifying techno-toilets will be made foreigner friendly, vow makers

John Styles

That's what I thought, but an Internet search suggests that it's all 100V but some is 50Hz and some is 60Hz.

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John Styles

The secret apparently is to buy Korean ones since they use 220V 60Hz rather than the anemic 100V used in Japan.

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Two new Raspberry Pi models emerge steaming from the oven

John Styles

Off topic (a bit) but...

... I thought of a perfect slogan for Windows 10 IoT on Raspbery Pi

"The APIs

That you despise

Can now be run

On Raspberry Pis"

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D-Link joins hands with Microsoft to give 'Super Wi-Fi' a push

John Styles

We had an 'internet radio' (which I quite liked), but the WiFi in it had a bug so that if there were an 11N network in range whilst it was booting up then it wouldn't boot.

To get round this, I could put a metal saucepan over it whilst it booted.

I don't think our cleaner ever really believed this explanation of why there was a big old fashioned metal saucepan by the bed.

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Elon Musk wants to get into the boring business, literally

John Styles

Why is this delusional wank being reported by anyone, accept to mock (which the Reg wins many points for essentially doing (*))?

We are very much in Dunning-Kruger territory. Perhaps we should rename Silicon Valley Dunning-Kruger Valley, currency the Dunning-Krugerrand (aka bitco(i)n).

(*) Talking of which, given that The Independent an online news site seems to get free publicity on the BBC New Channel's newspaper round-ups by virtue of knocking up a fake tabloid front page, can't you just mock one up, send the PDF to the BBC and have it featured?

Or is it necessary to have rented a printing press once? What are the criteria? We have an office A1 printer if it is necessary to have used one at least once, I will gladly video the filming process and send you the A1 sheet if this is a necessary criteria.

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