* Posts by bombastic bob

5200 posts • joined 1 May 2015

Insert coin: Atari retro console is coming back

bombastic bob Silver badge

RPi, Linux, xmame, LICENSED ROMS!

Here's a thought:

Get an RPi, running Linux, with xmame, and provide a nice menu with LICENSED ROMS that work correctly with the attached hardware (joysticks, buttons, trackballs, whatever). Plug this into your HDMI-capable TV, and you've got a working 80's style game console with all of the classic Atari games!

Easily priced under $200.

(sadly, some d0rk will assume "Win-10-nic" and ruin it from that point forward)

Oops! Facebook outed its antiterror cops whilst they banned admins

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad.

oh now THAT deserves a song!

(to the tune of 'puff the magic dragon')

Zuck the cold-blooded tightwad

Lived in Silicon valley

And frolicked with his zillion bucks

In the land of Cali-Fornicate-Ye!!!!

(and so on)

Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: It's beginning to seem like a race to the bottom

the race to the bottom is happening out here in Cali-fornicate-you where...

a) single use plastic bags were banned in all stores, in an ELECTION no less. grocery stores MUST charge money for "re-usable" bags, and 75% of people NOW "go bagless" instead. It's irritating as hell. And with so many people HATING it, how did it PASS a VOTE? Voter fraud much?

b) huge gasoline tax and car tax increases on the horizon. Even electric cars will be taxed. "for the roads". Because highway funds were diverted to a) illegal immigrant social services, and b) the 'crazy train' that NOBODY will EVAR use.

c) state legislature "passes a law" to make it HARDER to recall politicians [basically using bureaucracy to slow down recall petitions to the point where they don't do any good] . It's a blatant violation of the state constitution, too. But they don't care, apparently.

d) The "crazy train" to nowhere and illegal immigrants get plenty of free state money, at the expense of those fewer and fewer Californians who actually EARN a living. Yeah, it's a "sanctuary state", with minimum wages constantly being raised, along with taxation. It's gotten WAY WORSE within the last year or so.

and so on.

So YEAH, I'm thinking about moving to Texas. I'd form a Texas corporation, sell the California corporation to it, and then MOVE. Houston is on the gulf coast, probably an ok place. I'll have to trade hurricanes for earthquakes.

I don't blame Texas for making it very very attractive for tech companies. It's already very attractive because of what the idiots in Sacramento are up to these days.

But if Google and Facebook (and others) pick up and move to Texas, how long before they change it for the WORSE...?

Teen girl who texted boyfriend to kill himself guilty of manslaughter

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Munchausen syndrome by proxy?

an odd, but interesting analysis. But I wouldn't blame the drugs. I'd blame the drama queen.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Do you have kids?

Sorry, that was way to "feely" for my stomach to handle. I need some pink liquid now...

take the 'hardass' approach on crime with kids. they'll respect you (and not commit crimes). "If I ever find out you XXX I'll call the cops myself." Make sure you follow through. Tell them about this long before the potential arises. They'll always know you'll do it. chances of actual crimes, from drugs to pushing someone to suicide, will be a hell of a lot lower. By the time they grow up, they will have grown used to the idea of disciplining themselves, and there you have it.

getting my coat now. I ran out of pink liquid.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Stupid but?

how did the topic go off into pedophilia-land?

anyway my $.10 on that: people should be able to THINK or FEEL whatever they want. You can't have thought/emotion police [that's just stupid]. It's what a person DOES that matters. And if you're discouraging a potential kid-rapist from seeking psychological treatment before he commits an actual crime, by throwing his name onto an embarassing registry (etc.) then it's NOT helping...

And if no actual children are harmed... who cares WHAT happens? I'm sure there's a (NSFW) solution or two available online...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Stupid but?

"You're getting down votes for telling the truth"

that only happens when you express something with a _conservative_ viewpoint.

In this case, the overt "black lives matter" type of thinking, i.e. "non-whites are the only ones who get jailed", is what's getting the downvotes.

So yeah, dropping the racial/racist comments SHOULD make the downvotes go away.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Stupid but?

"but did it rise to the level of manslaughter"

depends on how that's defined in a Massachusetts courtroom. And after the appeals, it will be clarified.

I think most people would regard what she did as SOME kind of crime. But don't worry, politicians will "harumph" because "something MUST be done", and make this more complicated than it needs to be.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Not my kind of girl "friend".

yeah, she's maybe a symptom of the kinds of vacuous, self-centered, uber-feminist, drama queens being excreted by the millennial generation, i.e. "undateable" and reason for the '3DPD' acronym. She probably spells 'women' as 'womyn', too.

I blame Patricia Ireland and Gloria Steinam and others for helping to create multiple generations of these *kinds* of B.I.itches. [fortunately not ALL women fall into this trap, just way too many of them, and if they quote the 'fish needs a bicycle' idiocy, they're UBER undateable!]

Anyway, combine "that attitude" with a twisted desire to act like an intarweb troll (i.e. "Be An Hero" de-motivational showing someone with a gun to his head) and you get a 17 year old chick attempting to do an assisted suicide "for the lulz".

yeah. I'm probably right. watch the downvotes that come from people who hate hearing the truth, though.

Yeah, if you could just stop writing those Y2K compliance reports, that would be great

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: A Y2.1k problem...

"The simple solution to the Y2038 problem is to use unsigned as time_t. "

should be 64-biits, actually.

Looks like 32-bit linux still has 32-bit integer as time_t [the libc would have to be updated, most likely]

64-bit linux has it as a 64-bit integer, however. no problems there.

but I'm pretty sure that the 'time since epoch' i being stored internally as 64-bits within the kernel. If someone finds differently, it would be interesting to know.

however it looks like libc itself (on 32-bit machines) needs to be fixed.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: I guess it'll depend how people "fixed" their problem

33 bits from "the epoch", fixed already in more recent Linux and BSD kernels. Unless you have a 30 year old wifi router...

As you head off to space with Li-ion batts, don't forget to inject that liquefied gas into them

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Space only

flourocarbons are the lightest of the halogen+carbon chemicals, and actually has a chance at reaching ozone, since F + C + 2H = 18 + 12 + 2 = 32, only slightly heavier than nitrogen, and about the same as oxygen. in other words, it's an actual ozone depleter.

If they can do it with chlorine instead, then no danger of ozone depletion. you'd have to light it on fire to get it "up there" (and by then it breaks down from burning, so no longer a problem). Also diflouromethane would nearly be too heavy to get "up there" without a volcano to help. But flouromethane, that one is a valid concern.

CFC's and HFCs etc. react directly with ozone and deplete it, if it can get "up there" where the ozone is. The question is whether the chemicals are light enough to actually DO that, or if they just hug the ground.

So there is a lot of truth in the CFC + ozone reaction, and the HFC/CFC ability to be a greenhouse gas. My question is whether or not the heavier ones actually DO that. I have seen what happens when an entiire chiller's refrigerant tank leaks into a confined space. It's very very difficult to remove [because it's heavier than air]. So with modern refrigerants (and even R12) they're much too heavy to get to the upper atmosphere. If one of THOSE chemicals would do the trick, it would be a lot better than using flouromethane.

But yeah, flouromethane, bad idea for general use. Except in space.

Software dev bombshell: Programmers who use spaces earn MORE than those who use tabs

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Bad Surveys

(re: quiche)

"It is *not* a pie! It is a flan."

I killed a lot of Flan playing the Final Fantasy XIII series... not to mention "His Royal Ripeness" in FF13-2 (complete with a death-metal sounding leitmotif during the battle).

obligatory reference to a book from the 80's, "Real men don't eat quiche". I suppose real programmers don't use C-pound. heh.

bombastic bob Silver badge


" If you write for both you end up growling all the time"

solution: add different users with different editor settings. If you use X11, you can 'su' to the user, and (unless you're on a system that b0rks this) use X11 as a different user via the 'DISPLAY' environment variable. Ok there ARE some systemd configs that b0rk this. But it works right with Debian 8 and of course FreeBSD.

Or you can log in to the correct user via gdm or whatever.

And of course THIS is a reason NOT to use Wayland, so you CAN have 3 or 4 different users with different editor settings (stored for each user naturally) working on 4 different projects at the same time, etc. etc. etc..

(works well for specific customer projects too)

Yes. CAN!

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: If Only ...

someone else already mentioned the linux/BSD 'indent' utility

what's more irritating to ME is editors that allow white space at the ENDS of lines... (I specifically wrote a utility to trim these in-place, which I must run once in a while)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: IDE's promote Tabs? Possibly

every decent editor lets you change between tab or spaces, and set the default tab to "something other than 8". Then hit the tab key if you want, or let it 'auto tab' for you. problem solved.

I've been using pluma for coding, lately. works pretty well. for make files I use 'nano' or 'ee' to keep the hard tabs.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Just let the IDE do it.

"Allman (AKA BSD)."


"And tabs."


(you are obviously a member of a rebellious sect)

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: tabs take fewer keystrokes

"you can configure pretty much anything (Notepad++ etc.) to insert 4 spaces when you press the tab key and detect them and delete 4 spaces on backspace"

true. and then ANY text-based program or editor (say 'less' or 'nano') will show what you did exactly as you did it, always lining up, always consistent, etc..

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Hey, did you know the editor could do that automatically?

the 'droid IDE goes way too far in this regard, and if you're not careful, it wants VERY much to re-format your nice Allman-style code into crappy-looking K&R code. bleah.

just tell the IDE to convert those tabs into spaces, select 2 spaces per tab column, and you get the best of all worlds, no excessive right-margin widths, lots of indenture, and readable via 'less' 'nano' or any complicated IDE when you're done with it.

(and stop it with the K&R code, especially "} else {", so that humans can read what you wrote more easily)

Crouching cyber, Hidden Cobra: Crack North Korean hack team ready to strike, says US-CERT

bombastic bob Silver badge

The hacking group is using botnet creation malware called DeltaCharlie

snicker snicker snicker

Kim Jong "Fatass" "Cartman" Un couldn't think up something BETTER?

Does he even UNDERSTAND the implication of using 'Charlie' to describe their malware creator thingy?

or am I just *THAT* old ?

It's 2017 and someone's probably still using WINS naming. If so, stop

bombastic bob Silver badge

WINS is needed if you have '9x as I recall, but anything after that can leave it off of the network.

Is Samba WINS vulnerable? I suspect not...

Firefox 54 delivers sandboxes Mozilla's wanted since 2009

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: I may try FF again someday

well, you COULD try joining the project...

(then YOU can write the 'GetTabThread()' function)

Several reasons why I still use firefox:

a) cross-platform, works well with Mate and FreeBSD (as well as Linux, and *cough* winders)

b) lots of plugins like 'noscript' and all of the classic theme restorers [or I'd be ranting about 2D FLUGLY]

c) because of 'b', does NOT force you into '2D FLUGLY' (unlike Chrome)

So I'm content with it, at the least. Currently using 53 on FBSD 11.

bombastic bob Silver badge

"Firefox 54 with the same tabs - 750MB RAM, 24% CPU."

try it again with NoScript enabled. The _CAUSE_ of the problem will be obvious.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Unusable

HD thrashing is often a windows problem. example, windows' apparent "paranoid cacheing" on things LIKE the registry, where you have to re-re-read things directly from the hard disk EVERY! STINKING! TIME! (or from my early performance measurements on win-10-nic, this is how it seemed, and the same for earlier versions).

I recommend a non-windows OS for web browsing anyway. It's *SAFER*

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: All I want

"Is a browser that doesn't hang when I've got umpteen tabs open."

or crash, for that matter, because of scripting problems.

then again, I use 'noscript' most of the time.

Also, 'classic UI' plugins to a) get RID of the hamburger, b) give me 3D-looking buttons, c) no "flatso" on ANYTHING (including tabs). Hopefully those don't break with the new FF.

Now, about the multi-process and sandboxing... can't we make that TUNEABLE instead? You know, set our OWN limits and whatnot in about:config .

IBM will soon become sole gatekeepers to the realm of tape – report

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: I miss tape for my PC

I still have an old QIC/Travan drive banging about in the boneyard, and a couple of tapes to go with it. They store >1Gb per tape. Wow!


and I have a box of IOMega 'zip' drive cartridges, too. 10Mb each!

Amazing the money we all spent on that kind of tech, back in the day...

[it was SO quickly obsoleted]

Voyager 1 passes another milestone: It's now 138AU from home

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Not sure what they used...

I went back and looked it up:


I'd guess they used something _like_ this, to build the CPUs, hardened for space of course.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Not sure what they used...

"I don't know that any off the shelf commercial CPUs of the time would be sufficiently hardened against radiation damage."

Unlikely. However, there were 4-bit 'ALU' devices (which could be daisy chained to form 16 or maybe 18 bit words, as needed) available in TTL at the time. DEC used them in some of their computers, actually. They weren't really fast but a 250khz clock would run them just fine, most likely. A little bit of microcode and they'd form a CPU on a single circuit card. Using flat packs, maybe even CPU plus RAM.

but yeah they'd have to ruggedize it for space.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Not sure what they used...

I would guess discrete flat-pack TTL (possibly of the LS variety) using exotic semiconductor materials that are less susceptible to radiation than normal silicon. Then ruggedized (conformal coating, plenty of 'bend' for interconnecting wires/cables, etc.), and LEADED solder [which does not form tin whiskers], thick circuit board material, lots of gold wiring where it matters, etc. etc. etc..

as an example (not sure if v*ger is using this) :


I bet it lasts a REALLY long time. How long before NASA sends a repeater satellite to follow it and relay its signals back/forth, for historical/legacy purposes?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Middle Age

"Not bad for forty year old hardware."

a) ruggedized for space

b) uses LEADED solder [no tin whiskers]

c) NUCLEAR powered

all that helps. just sayin'.

and as you get further from Mr. Sun, all of that cosmic radiation isn't affecting your gear as much any more.

Britain's on the brink of a small-scale nuclear reactor revolution

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Underground

Fukushima's only design flaw involved the (non-nuclear) emergency generators, which were flooded out by the Tsunami. If electrical power could've been restored within 48 hours, none of the bad things would've happened. The Tsunami wiped out the entire town as well. The containment vessels that were there helped keep the problem down to a minimum.

And all of the FUD about radiation from Fukushima showing up in california is just nonsense. background radiation levels from Mr. Sun would keep it below detectable levels. Seriously, it's a BIG planet!

/me got LESS radiation living within 100 feet of an operating nuclear reactor on board a U.S. submarine than on the surface of the earth, and I know this because we recorded our radiation dosage. I got 80mrem per year [whatever new-fangled measurement THAT is] from Mr. Sun, and about 60 from Mr. Reactor.

Most of the radiation you get is from the Sun. You're in greater danger if you fly a lot or get a root canal, than from any failed nuclear reactor on the planet, including Fukushima and Chernobyl, so long as you're not "right there" at ground zero.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Sounds sendible but...

"And I think they use a far higher level of enrichment un subs - around 20% instead of 3-5% 235Uranium."

that little? come now, use your imagination. The higher the enrichment, the smaller the reactor size (due to smaller critical mass/geometry being possible). there's a LOT more going on than that, of course, engineering-wise [you want to make that a "lifetime of the boat" core, by pre-loading every bit of fuel you expect to need in 30+ years, right?] but 20% enrichment is a WAY small number. Just sayin'.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: no, still NIMBYish

"Water-moderated ones do, because of the low temperatures they run at and their very low thermodynamic efficiency"

not entirely accurate the way you put it. total plant efficiency is generally a function of the steam temperature going into the turbines, and the rejection temperature of the condenser.

You can run PWRs at very high temperatures, but the steam plant itself limits the total capability. I would imagine that a 1200 psi steam plant (with gas-fired superheaters) is "typical". The reactor would run in the 550 degree F range for that kind of pressure. Not a problem, really. Steam itself, in many ways, determines what the max efficiency will be for a power plant. If you could drive the turbines directly with molten salt, that would be different. but you can't. You still need steam (for a practical solution, at any rate).

Water, as convenient as it is, just has physics properties that limit your overall efficiency. You can't have steam above a certain temperature (its phase is indefinite, actually, neither liquid nor gas) and you can't have heat rejection below a certain temperature (i.e. ICE formation).


bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Heat engines

"along with tons of CO2."

hold your breath to reduce CO2 output. that'll help.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Sounds sendible but...

what size are the reactors on subs

it depends on the sub. most reactor specs are classified. Some are published in 'Jane's Fighting Ships' etc. but they're not official. Suffice it to say, they are much larger than you think, megawatt-wise.

Back in the 1980's I was on a 688 (Los Angeles) class sub that used a core that was originally designed for a destroyer, and was adapted for a sub. They actually had to do a post-manufacturing modification to the main engines (steam turbines) for it to use 100% reactor power. And it went fast enough for 'back then', enough that they had seat belts on key watchstations for "rig for high speed".

Now, add 30 years of technological development to that timeline, and speculate. You're probably close.

Needless to say, 30MW is probably close to what the Nautilus had when it first launched in the mid 50's.

but yeah I can't truly confirm any of that. it's classified.

On carriers, the Enterprise originally had 8 reactors. I think the newest carries have only 2, and they're pretty big (more total steam than the Enterprise's 8 reactors). That gives you a perspective on how the nuclear tech has advanced over the years.

I still haven't found what I'm malloc()ing for: U2 tops poll of music today's devs code to

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: happy medium

"Pap is just irritating .. you can ignore it for a while then it just overwhelms you with horror."

whenever "that band who shall not be named that sounds like you hold your nose while singing something repetitive and stupid about sharing a lonely view with birds" comes on the radio, I am _COMPELLED_ to shut that @#$% off NOW, dammit! like that?

yeah, better to have an icecast server of your own, with your own playlists, and an internet-capable radio-like device plugged into the big system, that you can switch to if "other people's playlists" start sucking or something.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: No vocals

"I find that words distract (maybe uses the same part of my brain that I use for coding)"

How about instrumental jazz and JPOP (since it's in a foreign lingo that I'm not entirely familiar with, the words just run by like it's part of the music when I listen to it). Then again, you can't understand Robert Plant at all... so maybe some old Zeppelin too?

bombastic bob Silver badge

when I do coding I listen to...

when I do coding, I listen to...

a) conservative talk radio

b) jazz (bebop and big band if it's playing)

c) Hotmix JPOP (streaming radio)

d) random sampling of 'whatever I have on hand', mostly 80's, JPOP, 'greatest hits' CDs, etc.

e) 'classic rock' station that mostly plays what I used to listen to back in the 80's.

RIAA excretions are generally crap these days anyway. 'new music' is usually overrated. Not always, though. Rare exceptions exist.

Five Eyes nations stare menacingly at tech biz and its encryption

bombastic bob Silver badge

the genii has been out of the bottle for DECADES

the genii of encryption has been out of the bottle for DECADES.

PGP and its various incarnations is there for anyone who wants to use it.

OR, you can roll your own method, NOT tell anyone else, and just hand the program to whoever you want to decrypt it via snail-mail or some other "untraceable" means [including sneakernet].

It's like "gun control" laws, which are intended to PUNISH THE LAW ABIDING, while doing NOTHING to stop gun violence and gun crimes. After all, if you're a CRIMINAL, you don't OBEY laws. So they don't do SQUAT.

Captain Obvious on pretty much everything implied here. Gummint idiots are just knee-jerk reacting to the FUD, without ANY understanding of the tech, the implications, or the likely results.

Two leading ladies of Europe warn that internet regulation is coming

bombastic bob Silver badge
Big Brother

rules to "clamp down" on [certain] content

yeah, censorship, we know what it is, it sounds all touchy-feely-good when you first start out, then it steamrolls into a steaming pile of fecal matter at some point, becoming *like* "the great firewall" of China.

gummint just DOES that. it's part of its nature to grow to the point of oppression.

no thanks. ANARCHY is a better idea. The only requirements *might* be for log-keeping, but even that is pointless in a world where Tor and "the darknet" exists.

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Tough Times at Santa Clara

"And who says that 8 Cores in 200sqm marks the best price-performance compromise ??"

is it even POSSIBLE for Win-10-nic to run 8 cores like that? What, with Micro-shaft's ridiculous licensing policies, etc..

Intel should market desktop Linux and multi-core-ready applications to get CPU sales up. Just sayin'.

As for competition, let Micro-shaft emulate all they want. A good native Intel architecture will outperform emulation any day. you can also think of it as "validating the standard".

Teen texted boyfriend to kill himself. It worked. Will the law change to deal with digital reality?

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: The degree of coercion isn't important

'Suicide is Painless' was performed by Painless the dentist in the original movie, when he wanted to commit suicide because he thought he'd lost his libido. The other doctors fixed him up with a simple sedative, and had him wake up with a couple of hookers (or maybe it was nurses), thus "fixing" the problem. There was a big wake beforehand, where Painless played the title song on the guitar and was the 'live' star of the wake. Having that song become the theme song of the TV show was in many ways 'priceless'.

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: re: it's a crime to let somebody die if you could have prevented their demise.

actually "Good Samaritan" laws are intended to protect the 'hero' against later backlash from the 'victim' who might have been injured (permanently or otherwise) as a result of the 'heroism'.

Yeah, it happens. Reminds me of the beginning segment of "The Incredibles", yeah. Suing for having your life saved (when you didn't want that).

Maybe walking past is the better choice...

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: He who has no sin can cast the first stone...

I'm reminded of the "be an hero" de-motivational.

unless there was some kind of coercion or manipulation involved, saying what you want shouldn't be a crime [even if it's to repeatedly tell someone to commit suicide].

otherwise it's "he hurt my feelings, and I wanted to kill myself" *SLAM* go the iron bars!

bombastic bob Silver badge

"That girl is the devil incarnate."

no, THAT would be my X wife [and if I could text HER and get her to off herself...]

/me points out joke alert icon to avoid being investigated unnecessarily. "just kidding". heh. heh. heh.

You know this net neutrality thing? Well, people really love it

bombastic bob Silver badge

it's NOT the FCC's job - that's why

it's NOT the FCC's job to regulate what goes on the wires, or what the ISPs do with the data.

That would be the FTC, or for Congress to legislate.

Overstepping the boundaries of a regulatory body isn't a "solution" to ANYTHING.

Now, getting Con-Grab off of their collective asses, that's something to do about it!

I fought Ohm's Law and the law won: Drone crash takes out power to Silicon Valley homes

bombastic bob Silver badge

"a white adult male with white hair who fled the scene in a white hatchback car"

/me sings that one show-tune-like theme song from a recent 'Family Guy' episode...

Windows 10 Creators Update preview: Lovin' for Edge and pen users, nowt much else

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: a translucent background with blur, tinted overlay

"If it makes that unusable flat 2D design more like the UI in Windows 7"

that would be nice, of course, but the millennial CHILDREN running the show in the Halls of Redmond aren't about to let THAT happen... they *MUST* *CRAM* the 2D FLATSO FLUGLY up our collective orifices! For our own good!

"The rest of us" indeed. Like in the article's title. Totally abandoned, as usual.

Donald Trumped: Comey says Prez is a liar – and admits he's a leaker

bombastic bob Silver badge


today's soap opera, tomorrow's forgotten "fake news" drama.

nothing will come of it. might as well ignore it all, get on with life.

Kaspersky files antitrust suit against Microsoft

bombastic bob Silver badge

Re: Boo Hoo

"how can anyone assume their AV and security software is any better?"

it isn't.

(from about a month ago)

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