* Posts by JacobZ

67 posts • joined 26 Nov 2014


FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars


No real danger

If this depends on Pai actually doing his job, we're all going to be fine.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Re: No love for CORAL 66?

We used to call that the Pessimizing Compiler

It is unclear why something designed to pump fuel into a car needs an ad-spewing computer strapped to it, but here we are


Relief from the ads

If you mash all of the buttons around the display, you will usually find one that silences the adverts, and occasionally want that turns them off entirely.

Dell to unleash hybrid server/storage boxen that can run virtual machines


Re: Boxes

Kids today, eh?

Official: Office 365 Personal, Home axed next month... and replaced by Microsoft 365 cloud subscriptions


Re: Aduntgeddit

Algorithmic Interference, amirite?

I'll be here all week. No, really, I will. We're in lockdown.

Blow me down with a feather, well, storage server software update gone awry: Nest vid streams go dark for 16 hours


Tape FTW

After visiting one of Iron Mountain's underground facilities, I have a great deal of faith in the physical security of offsite tape. The onsite FBI office is quite reassuring, as are the submachines on the wall behind the receptionist.

Robbing-some Caruso and pal lived life of luxury using victims' millions in crypto-Ponzi scam, say prosecutors



So they spent most of the money on cars, private jets, and gambling sprees, and the rest they just wasted?

The winners and losers of infrastructure clouds revealed: AWS, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba get fatter


No surprise really

Is anybody genuinely surprised that the big are getting bigger? The cloud business is ideally suited to favor economies of scale. And like enterprise software business in the days of on-prem software, it's almost inevitable that you'll get 3 (in this case 4 because of geography and geopolitics) big winners and a host of distantly-trailing niche vendors. Look at the evolution of the markets for relational databases, Linux distros, application servers, ERP/CRM suites, and any number of other software markets...

Bose customers beg for firmware ceasefire after headphones fall victim to another crap update


Re: Criminal Damage

It's only a matter of time before the small print nobody reads says that you don't really own your headphones, you merely have a license to use them and the manufacturer retains the right to update the firmware at any time at its sole discretion...

First Python feature release under new governance model is here, complete with walrus operator (:=)



I just wanted to note the irony that the entire discussion so far is about the specific feature, and barely at all about the new governance process...

AWS celebrates Labor Day weekend by roasting customer data in US-East-1 BBQ


Convenience of the cloud

In the old days we all had to be constantly alert for the possibility of power loss, network outages, server failures, and other physical disasters.

Nowadays you can pay a Cloud vendor to provide them for you.

Frontiersman Cray snags $50m storage contract for 'largest single filesystem'


Re: Underpriced

That's assuming they are using the formal definition of EB as decimal quantities. If they are using the technically incorrect but widely adopted practice of using EB, PB and TB as binary quantities then 1 EB = 1024 PB etc. Once you get up to PBs and EBs it starts to make a material difference...

There was a court case in the US some years ago regarding consumer storage that established that when the packaging said "MB", buyers had a reasonable expectation that this meant 1024 GBs (and so on down).

Gee, SEC, how did that get out?! 'Leaked' Tesla email claims big boost in Model 3 production


Perfect Storm Re: Tricky

My Christmas wish: Tesla goes under because of mismanagement, the assets are bought by a company run by adults that makes it a huge success.



I see ludicrous numbers of Teslas around here, mostly 3s of course. And hardly any of them are black. Red seems to be the most popular color.

I'm no fan of Billionaire Bro Musk, but you're just on the facts on this one.

Pure Storage swallows Swedish filer biz for its, er, purely file storage software


Moot point

Nice usage of the rarely-seen usage of "moot" in the sense of "open to question" (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/moot). Well done!

IBM so very, very sorry after jobs page casually asks hopefuls: Are you white, black... or yellow?


Re: Ethnicity != Race

...or they might be wanting this data so that they can comply with Federal law that requires them to collect it, and so that they can verify they aren't discriminating *against* anybody.

No brownie points or imaginary preferential hiring required to explain it.

But it's fascinating how easily trigged the "anti-PC" crowd are by anything that challenges their privilege.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died


Re: Intel Dev system

That was the first system I worked on professionally, close to 40 years ago. I was an apprentice programmer at Satchwell Control Systems writing very bad code for a building management system. We developed under ISIS and cross-compiled to RMX, if memory serves.

The offices were in Slough, just on the fringe of the famous Slough Trading Estate, and at the time we were a subsidiary of GEC.

VMware and Lenovo are about to hit go-go on Project Dimension beta

Paris Hilton

Well it's certainly fully buzzword compliant, I'll say that for it.

Punkt: A minimalist Android for the paranoid


Crazy old man

I may be just a crazy old man, but I want one. I still miss my Samsung T509, which was the last phone I had that felt comfortable in my hand or my pocket.

Now you can tell someone to literally go f--k themselves over the internet: Remote-control mock-cock patent dies


I read that as "patient"...

...not "patent", so I had entirely the wrong mental image

Hooray: Google App Engine finally ready for Python 3 (and PHP 7.2)


Re: App Engine is the OG of serverless

Apparently, "OG" means "Original Gangster", which apparently is a "hip" way of saying "first".

Honestly, there has never been an occasion where I looked something up in Urban Dictionary and did not immediately regret it.

Declassified files reveal how pre-WW2 Brits smashed Russian crypto


The clue is in the name

"By reusing one-time pads..."

There's a clue in the name, folks.

Trump wants to work with Russia on infosec. Security experts: lol no


Security cooperation? He's Putin us on, isn't he?

I'll get my coat. And umbrella.

Micro Focus offloads Linux-wrangler SUSE for a cool $2.5bn


Re: Cut-and-shut

Great story, but I think you mean "undamaged halves"?

Big Blue's Summit super sits, aptly, at the peak of official Top500 beast list


shout out for storage?

How about a little love for Spectrum Scale, which is the file system behind Summit and Sierra? It takes a lot of work to keep these blisteringly fast systems fed with data and to keep up with the pace of their writes.

Linux literally loses its Lustre – HPC filesystem ditched in new kernel


Re: IBM’s IBM Spectrum Scale

No, Tyler Perry

Unbreakable smart lock devastated to discover screwdrivers exist


Re: Devil's Advocate

Sounds like the lock is worth stealing

AIOps they did it again, played with your heart, new acronym shame


Autonomic computing?

So... autonomic computing all over again?

Don't we go through this about once a decade?

Microsoft patches problematic OS to deal with SSD woes


As a child, "Picked Last For Sports" was my Indian name.

Microsoft's Pelican brief, MAID in Azure* and femtosecond laser glass storage


MAID to order?

I remember a lot of excitement about the potential for MAID about three years ago, but then everything seemed to go quiet. As I recall, one of the concerns was that repeatedly powering drives up and down would shorten their lives significantly.

Since Microsoft is talking about this publicly again, I assume something significant has changed. Perhaps what they asked of the drive manufacturers was disks that can sustain the power cycling better?

Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way


HAMR time!

You can't touch that!

Twilight of the idols: The only philosophy HPE and IBM do these days is with an axe


East India Company Re: Marx

The EAC is a pretty fascinating example. Although it started out as a trading company, and was certainly a very large corporation in every formal sense, before long it was hard to tell the difference between it and a country in its own right. It controlled a huge amount of trade, established rule in India (laying the foundation for the British Raj), and even fought wars with its French counterpart. Real wars, I mean, not just trade wars.

From Wiki: "By 1803, at the height of its rule in India, the British East India company had a private army of about 260,000—twice the size of the British Army. The company eventually came to rule large areas of India with its private armies, exercising military power and assuming administrative functions."

There are probably fascinating parallels to be drawn between the EAC and companies such as Facebook or Google, but I leave that as an exercise for people smarter than I.

Footie ballsup: Petition kicks off to fix 'geometrically impossible' street signs


Perfectly possible

Perfectly possible to have a ball made only of hexagons, all you need is a non-Euclidean space. If I remember my college math correctly, a positively curved space in the vicinity of the ball should do the trick.

P≠NP proof fails, Bonn boffin admits


I have a remarkable proof...

...that P!=NP is formally undecidable within axiomatic arithmetic. Unfortunately, the proof is too long to fit in this margin.

ThoughtWorks acquired by British private equiteers Apax


Re: Thoughtworks are good guys

And: ThoughtWorks is proof that you can have a company full of smart, curious people who deliver really good stuff without being assholes.

I once had the privilege of delivering a lunch-and-learn session at their Chicago office, with Martin in the audience. Probably the most intimidating audience I ever presented in front of, even without him -- I spent the whole time up there thinking "is there anything I can tell them they don't already know?".

Snopes lawsuit latest: Judge orders disputed cash can flow to fact-checking site


Buried the leed

So what I took away from this is that David and Barbara split up and I'm only just hearing about it.

U Vlad bro? Docker accidentally cuts off Ukraine



At first I misread that as "Doctor accidentally cuts off Ukraine" and I thought, that's an odd euphemism even by El Reg standards...

Fancy a toothpicked-rollmop from our storage smorgasbord?



Great, now I'm craving rollmops. We just can't get proper ones with the toothpicks and the onion rings in this part of the US.

Oh yeah, and also something about storage.

Shared services centres flop: Only one UK.gov department uses them



If only one department is using it, it's not really "shared", is it?

'Daddy, what's a Blu-ray disc?'


Re: quality..

some people clearly like something about vinyl (handling discs? bigger artwork?) enough to cause a revival.

I do think this is part of the story: the rituals and practices heighten the anticipation of the moment. The fact that many of the rituals are tactile (e.g. the special way they wipe the dust, the care with which they lower the arm) is important. Regardless of what it may (or may not) objectively do to the music reproduction, it really can change some people's subjective enjoyment. (Compare: tea-making rituals).

And then behind that is the opportunity for geekery: to know more than the average person about selecting and matching components for the "best" reproduction, to read endless magazine articles about the specs of the latest equipment, agonizing over whether to upgrade now or hold out for better: for many of this type, the equipment is more important than the music.

And third, there's the lure of exclusivity and collectability: vinyl, especially older vinyl, is a physical artifact that exists in finite quantities and is found in physical locations. The search for a rare copy in good condition of a particular edition can itself be rewarding in a way that finding an MP3 online really is not.

And to be honest, I have no problem with people who enjoy vinyl in any of those ways, so long as they don't insist that their end result "must" be better than mine and that I'm doing it wrong by listening to MP3s on a tiny SanDisk through ear buds to drown out the noise of the lawn mower.

World religions stake out positions on Pokemon Go



It's "Book of Revelation", not "Revelations".

It's a common enough mistake: even Pratchett / Gaiman slip up in Good Omens when a character who should beyond a shadow of a doubt know better gets it wrong.

Jaron Lanier: Big Tech is worse than Big Oil


Must read

If you haven't read Lanier's "You Are Not A Gadget", you really, really should

Seagate revenue numbers rain on cloud after market misses


Re: Maybe if the drives lasted a bit longer...

Surely if the drives lasted longer, you'd need to buy fewer?

Yahoo! kills! search! APIs!, games! and! Astrology! site!



Pisces: Bad news may come in the mail. Do not make any long-term plans.

Outsourced Virgin Media techies botched this infosec bod's Poodle fix


So they screwed the pooch?

I'll get my coat.

Toshiba rolls out PC-busting monster: 1 terabyte TLC flash SSD


Yep. SSDs provide a lot of bang for the buck.

I upgraded my wife's aging Thinkpad to a 480GB SSD and it's massively faster, especially startup. There's not another investment that would have remotely come close in terms of performance improvement versus cost. And when I do eventually replace the Thinkpad, I'll move the drive over.

The only downside is that here in consumer-land we're still stuck with legacy interfaces (SATA) designed for spinning rust. It's going to get really interesting when NVMe reaches consumer-friendly prices...

Software devs' new mantra: Zen dogs dream of small-sized bones


Cloud vs on prem

A lot of what you describe here is goodness, but I think it's important to add: It's orders of magnitude more realistic to aspire to this if you are running a cloud-delivered business:

1. You only have one image to manage, and you control it. You don't have to rely on customers consuming and deploying your updates.

2. You can do partial roll-outs, e.g. with feature flags, to progressively test whether (a) something works and (b) makes the users' lives better...

3 ... and if it doesn't, you can [more] easily roll it back.

And that's not just for consumer stuff. Look at Salesforce.com for an example.

eBay scammer steals identity of special agent investigating him


Should have talked to Uncle Owen

He'd have told them never to trust a Jawa

Block storage is dead, says ex-HP and Supermicro data bigwig


Well done. Re: really?

You are correct, sir.

I am old enough to remember the days when interleaving was a standard part of laying out a disk, and getting the skip factor right was critical to performance.

Space fans eye launch of Lego Saturn V


Microfigures? Re: Scale?

There are microfigures now -- the Shield Helicarrier was one of the first sets to have them. I wonder if this would be a good use for them?



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