* Posts by Baldrickk

649 posts • joined 26 May 2016


Secret weekend office bonk came within inch of killing sysadmin

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I hope these were supposed to be humourous.

Sometimes low-tech is the best tech.

The less complicated it is, the less there is to go wrong.

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Tax write-off

I mean, who bothered to report on Dragon's maiden flight's cargo? (a soft cheese, as it happens).

Well, in that case, the fact that they didn't reveal it until after the flight had happened and 90% of the news had already been reported, leaving it as a side-note for bloggers etc to comment on after the fact did that.

Of course a mystery website attacking city-run broadband was run by an ISP. Of course

Baldrickk Silver badge

Pai: "Of course we can trust the ISPs and Cable companies when we repeal net-nutrality."

Google's cell network Project Fi charged me for using Wi-Fi – lawsuit

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Looks like I'll soon be seeing a RED BANNER when using cell data

And that is why the first thing I did was to turn that feature off when I unboxed my new phone a year ago - and on the old one too, when it came in an update (yes, an Android update delivered by the carrier!)

I prefer to have control over which service I am using, especially when one has no limits, but is positionally restricted (home broadband) and the other can be used anywhere but has usage limits, I obviously don't want to be using the 4G connection at home, despite the mast being across the street, and delivering comparable connection bandwidth.

South Wales cops crow about facial recognition arrests on social media

Baldrickk Silver badge

Presumably they don't get flagged up in Birmingham because the tech is being trialled in Cardiff.

And yes, it is exactly like pulling over a car based on matching model and colour from the description of a vehicle used in a crime.

Provided it is used properly, i.e. faces are captured only for checking against the wanted faces, then I have no problem with this. If not, well...

If it makes the police more effective at their jobs, so they can be more effective, then I wish the best for then. If used as a way to cut numbers of police on the streets, then it's being used in the wrong way.

Spectre shenanigans, Nork hackers upgrade, bad WD drives and more

Baldrickk Silver badge


I wonder if Briony G. will be feeling hot under the collar today?

Disengage, disengage! Cali DMV reports show how often human drivers override robot cars

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The "Kitty Hawk" moment

Have you considered that these were often the first actual tests that they ran? They would have been a spectacle regardless of whether they worked or not - and if they did, they would have wanted some proof.

The only parts of that footage that appear to be at a proper show are the three shots of the same aircraft - the one flying into the mock house. It is notable that the design on that aircraft looks more like a properly viable aircraft. Indeed it's flight was stable, if on a collision course with a solid object that it appeared unable to avoid.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Paradoxically, yes

Why would they need one, if their car is fully self driving?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: I'm not sure I want to be in an AV on a dark rainy night.

Darkness will not be an issue, at least not if the car is using Lidar - it doesn't rely on ambient light.

Rain will be a problem, but only so much as it is to humans too - it's a physical obstruction.

Baldrickk Silver badge

I still think that maybe we don't have the full information.

The article mentions the difference between manual and automatic switching of control back to the driver. How much of this is because of a different testing strategy, and how much is because of failure of the control system?

Seems like Waymo is doing allright.

I half suspect that once one company has cracked it, it'll become a de-facto (if not enforced) standard. The Marketing seems to write itself.

I also quite firmly think that anything beyond what we pretty much have already with Tesla "Autopilot" but falling short of fully autonomous is doomed to fail as a product - purely because of easily distracted bags of meat not being ready to take over controls in case of emergency.

Windows Defender will strap pushy scareware to its ass-kicker machine

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hahaha

I don't disagree with the point at all. While a specific identifier is useful in identifying a particular error, it's almost completely useless as the sole output of en error message.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hahaha

Can you elaborate on 0x6c0029?

A quick search on the G only returns your comment.

New click-to-hack tool: One script to exploit them all and in the darkness TCP bind them

Baldrickk Silver badge

It's pretty hard to invent a "good" use for this, although perhaps I'm lacking imagination.

Automating security updates to vulnerable kit?

PC not dead, Apple single-handedly propping up mobe market, says Gartner

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Hardware lasts

That 750 is a lot newer than 2009.

In 2008 my 9600GT was new. I bought a GTX 570 in 2011, so it's newer than that too.

Your point is still valid though.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Usable business PCs

They can take my 16:10 (1920x1200) monitors from my cold dead hands.

It's a shame that form factor has pretty much died out, but I managed to grab a few before they were chucked out from a recent office move.

They are big enough for two 'sheets' in a pdf to be displayed side by side at 1:1 resolution, and are nice and wide in portrait too.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "Gaming is better on consoles"

And here I am having just discovered Rags' delightful YouTube channel.

Funny how these things coincide.

A few of his arguments are a bit nebulous but I can't say he's actually wrong about anything I've heard him say so far.

I'm personally of the opinion that people can choose what they want. I prefer PC, having gone from PC, through four different consoles, and then come back, but if you personally prefer something else then that's up to you.

Sysadmin crashed computer recording data from active space probe

Baldrickk Silver badge

RE: They had to retype it from the latest listings.

Well, its a forced code review, and one where you can't just go "yup, I see what they are trying to do, looks ok" and hit the OK button. If there were bugs, it's perhaps not so surprising that they were found.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: NOT ONE WARNING to the effect of "don't use spaces" existed

To this day "C:\Program Files\" and "C:\Program Files (x86)\" annoy me every time I see them.

At least "C:\Documents and Settings\USER\" is now vanquished for the more sane "C:\Users\USER\"

Biggest Washington DC lobbyist is now a tech giant (yes, it's Google)

Baldrickk Silver badge

Reads the title.

Google are only just now considered a tech giant?

Maverick internet cop Chrome 64 breaks rules to thwart malvert scum

Baldrickk Silver badge

What would it take for me to remove my adblocker?

I do whitelist sites who I want to support, and who haven't (yet) served me anything offensive.

What would it take to make my adblocker go away for good though - being as I'm not against advertising as a way to generate revenue for sites.

No scripts - that's most of any threat gone.

Images - fine

links - fine

animated images (gif, apng) fine

html5 video with nixed audio - fine assuming file sizes are limited

html + css? fine - as long as these can't be used to "break out" of the advertising panel (might need to subset what is allowed)

99.9% of all legitimate ads wouldn't be impacted by this - at least in terms of making an imprint on the viewer. If some fingerprinting capability is lost, then that's only a good thing.

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The Nasty Little Truth About Deep Learning

That's a worrying facet for a machine that's driving your car in the real world. Pretty much if a UFO were to park itself on the M25, people would still recognise it as a hazard and know how to stop their cars safely. "AI" like this won't necessarily, and you have absolutely no way to tell what it'll do until the day it happens.

I would hope that an unknown object, vehicle or not would be identified as an obstruction and handled appropriately.

It's 2018 and… wow, you're still using Firefox? All right then, patch these horrid bugs

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Misc

FF on my mobe seems to work just fine. The mobile UI is just slightly more clunky than it should be - but only just.

I'm finding myself using it more and more on mobile, and it's my browser of choice on the desktop.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: "could be exploited by dodgy webpages to execute malicious code within the browser"

You can usually ( at least you can in the cinemas and theatres near me ) phone up to book in advance, then pick your tickets up from the front desk, avoiding the website entirely.

When I go to the Cinema, it is most commonly with a voucher that precludes online bookings, so that helps a lot.

Death notice: Moore’s Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Pete and Repeat sitting in a tree...

They made quite nice space-heaters though - and ones that do useful work to boot.

I still have my P4 rig, though it doesn't see too much use these days.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Just wondering

The TL;DR of the answer to the question you asked is that it's the users who drive the market - you can argue whether they should or not, but it's what they do.

Some cheap phone shipped from a cheap warehouse in china with terrible device security in place? Urgh. "But it's 10% cheaper than the equivalent Apple/Samsung mobe" - cue a long line of shoppers wanting a good deal.

Users don't "see" security - even if they are aware of it, it's something that they expect to be there, particularly when it isn't. They only really encounter it when it gets in their way.

'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Speculative but maybe workable fix

Imagine a room filled with abacuses, and one or more people to use them.

That's your processor.

There is an interface to the processor, which we will imagine as a series of pipes that you can pass messages down to the people in the processor room.

(yes, this is a very loose analogy)

The Spectre and Meltdown flaws are, in this analogy, flaws in how the people in the room use the abacuses.

Your proposed solution is to insert something into the pipes, to do... what exactly? The people in the room only respond to specific messages that are passed, so you can't go changing them, or stopping them, or...

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

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Finding fault capacitors with high current PSUs used to be the norm

I have however done it with an XBox 360 optical disk drive.

This was to replace the mechanical hardware, the electronics being cryptographically signed and registered to each machine.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Exploding chips - not fun

I never did it myself, but each of the three desks around me in UG labs managed to separately insert Op-Amps into their circuits round the wrong way.

They each blew the top half of the casing off and sent it bouncing around the room with a surprisingly large bang.

I've also seen the magic smoke released numerous times from faulty motherboards (ran a recycling (back into use) shop a while ago) but those occasions somehow all managed to be surprisingly quiet. (small pops followed by fizzles mostly, one "whoosh")

OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: MDNS just a _trigger_ for a router problem

A hundred thousand packet burst is an "unfriendly" behavior, good neighbours should not do that.

Well there are definitely reasons for that. what if I am transferring bulk data over the network?

Butcher breaks out of own freezer using black pudding

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: This is a serious problem.

They shouldn't freeze - I've had experience in a few walk-in freezers of various sizes.

If you are to get it to freeze you need excessive liquid present that can then freeze in the button - if that happens it's because of poor maintenance or spillages.

The buttons work fine in the standard humidity of the freezers

Woo-yay, Meltdown CPU fixes are here. Now, Spectre flaws will haunt tech industry for years

Baldrickk Silver badge

The fix isn't to disable it entirely, though it's true that when it is not done, the chips are not vulnerable.

The problem is from when boundaries between processes need to be crossed. The speculative execution was crossing that boundary to continue its work, was then invalidated by a conditional that evaluated a different way to that which was predicted, and is then not cleaned up properly.

The flaw is the last step.

Because the data remains in the CPU's registers, it can be read by the new branch of code that is being executed.

This works because some protected memory is mapped into the application's memory space. The fix stops this, so that there is complete separation between the application and the kernel. Going from one to the other (system call) now involves a complete context switch (which does properly wipe the registers)

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Optional mitigation

on Linux at least, there is a boot option to disable it.

Baldrickk Silver badge

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

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Late to the party

It was going mainstream anyway, The Register were just first to that party.

Basically, as soon as Linus revealed that there was a kernel patch that would have a notable performance penalty, the whole thing was going to be exposed.

Apple + MS reporting the same? not so much as it is closed source, but as Linux is open source, any changes are in the public domain as it were.

To the best of my knowlege, The Register didn't sign any NDA.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Gamers largely unaffected by KPTI?

a certain game I'm having trouble wrestling with
Care to share just what game that is? or is it one in development still and these are problems that will be ironed out?

Ubuntu 17.10 pulled: Linux OS knackers laptop BIOSes, Intel kernel driver fingered

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Ubuntu only?

It's not just the kernel version, but also what modules are installed / compiled into it.

Probably the case that other Distros don't have the driver enabled, and its likely that not everyone will even notice a problem.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Its serial all the way down, mate

Why would Lenovo want to put in a UEFI fail-safe that almost none of their potential buyers understand well enough to make it a selling feature?

They just have to put something into the marketing material to say that their new PCs are resistant to problems with firmware corruption with their NEW [SUPER FEATURE NAME]

That should be enough,

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

Nimbusoft seem to be all sold out, but I'm looking at Entroware.

Thanks to both of you for the recommendations.

Baldrickk Silver badge

If you want Ubuntu laptops there is System 76.

I would love to. Care to get them to supply me with a UK keyboard layout?

Microsoft Surface Book 2: Electric Boogaloo. Bigger, badder, better

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Eh?

My last laptop cost me £750, and got me through my entire university degree. LAN parties included.

(Yes, it did play Crysis, pretty well in fact, on medium settings, and I bought the laptop about when Crysis was released, so the meme is applicable)

My (£1000) desktop PC is pretty high spec, and these days, with faster network/internet connections, I can't really think of much that can't be farmed off to a cheaper, more capable static machine, with the exception of gaming, and even then only e-sport level low latency games. My SteamLink delivers an experience that is 99% that of what I would get sat in front of the machine, over Wifi.

As your only machine, I can see the attraction, but it still seems like a lot.

That SSD will be a big chunk of that price though.

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

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: That probably explains..

Why not a battery that is user replaceable?

Oh wait, it's Apple.

form over function.

'Please store the internet on this floppy disk'

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Stolen Focus

Anyway. Focus stealing becomes even worse on Windows when some idiot writes an app that pops up a requester and the WORST POSSIBLE ACTION is the default choice. So you're tapping away in Outlook, and something pops up and says "Do you wish to format your hard drive and all connected network drives? [YES] [no]" just as you hit the spacebar which naturally chooses default settings.

Urgh, yeah. Ran into that the other day. Was directory diving on a file server, went to hit ENTER to er... enter a directory. My finger caught the DELETE key on the way. Cue the creation, and immediate dismissal (as my finger finished it's journey to the ENTER key) of the "Are you sure you want to pernamently delete this" confirmation. Of course the default is "Yes", isn't it...

Turns out that said file server only has backups for a small part of the filesystem on it, and the vanished directory was not included.


Magic Leap blows our mind with its incredible technology... that still doesn't f**king exist

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Or.....


Graphics Card:

Windows Mixed Reality Ultra PCs

NVIDIA GTX 960/1050 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

AMD RX 460/560 (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

GPU must be hosted in a PCIe 3.0 x4+ Link slot Integrated Intel® HD Graphics 620 (or greater)

Windows Mixed Reality PCs

DX12-capable integrated GPU (check if your model is greater)

NVIDIA MX150/965M (or greater) DX12-capable discrete GPU

Where does the spec say that your 7850 should be capable of running this?

It doesn't meet the requirements for an "ultra" Pc, and your entire manufaturer isn't listed for the non-ultra option.

This is a comparison of your card, the (high)mid-range card from 2010 I recently gave away for free, and my current (compatiable) card.

The 7850 is underpowered and not compatiable, and almost 6 years old, predating the occulus rift kickstarter. Note that it only supports DirectX 11.2

Sorry to burst your bubble, but it was never going to be enough for VR, as VR needs more grunt.

UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: The turn of the millenium called...

I can only see 9G/Mo for £18 om Giffgaff - what am I missing?

Almost a decade.

They did unlimited data when they started out, but stopped offering it about 8-ish years ago I believe - at least for phone plans.

A 4G mobile internet connection might have better deals.

How Google's black box Knowledge Graph can kill you

Baldrickk Silver badge

Interestingly enough, the few times I have used "OK google ..." to look up something on my phone, it has replied:

"According to wikipedia..."

Hot chips crashed servers, but were still delicious

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Monitor weirdness

I found that using a spark igniter (the sort you can extract from a handheld gas firelighter) within about four or five metres of my keyboard causes it to instantly cease operation. No contact required. Even the backlight fails (I thought that the static backlight would be more resilient).

It needs to be unplugged and re-inserted before it will work again.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Power Cables...

You can throw *almost* any memory into a computer (dependant on space).

It may rattle around though.

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: My keyboard stupidity.

It's a bios setting, usually.

HMS Queen Elizabeth has sprung a leak and everyone's all a-tizzy

Baldrickk Silver badge

Re: Aren't those fighters going to get a bit dated?

The Harrier is still in service, albeit only with the US Marines, 50 years after introduction.

Still think we should have kept ours until we actually receive the replacements.

UK good for superfast broadband, crap for FTTP – Ofcom

Baldrickk Silver badge

What will you do with all that bandwidth?

I'm getting FTTP sometime in March-May when I move.

The answer to the question is... I don't have a clue. I'll be able to start livestreaming if I feel like it though.


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