* Posts by steelpillow

557 posts • joined 16 Jun 2016


SpaceX dodges lightning while storms keep Japan earthbound

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: It's not...?

It's not like teaching infosec to politicians.

Top antivirus tool nuked from macOS App Store – after it phoned browser histories to China

steelpillow Silver badge

Top stuff

If you were a top motor car brand, would you allow any self-promoting clown to add their product to your approved accessories catalogue and then wait for a series of lethal accidents before pulling it? No, you would take some care to assure yourself of their respectability.

If you were a top food franchise, would you allow any self-promoting clown to add their product to your range and then wait for a rash of lethal allergic reactions before pulling it? No, you would take some care to assure yourself of their respectability.

If you were a top smartphone maker ... oh.

Tesla's chief accounting officer drives off after just a month on the job

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Re: Who knew they make roof tiles

It's to protect them from all the **** raining down on them all the time.

What's AI good for? Industrial or consumer tech? Meh. Airliners? AHA, says UK.gov

steelpillow Silver badge


Sod the video. Blast the wing with ultrasonics and analyse the echo. Any ice build-up will change the wing's signature. There's a place down in Wotton-under-Edge who make that kind of gear to test for micro-cracking in the structure. And there are several outfits who do similar stuff to monitor helicopters in flight. I smell an attempt to avoid paying the people who know how to do the job properly. Or is bone ignorance more likely?

It looks like tech-savvy drivers will have to lead connected car data purge

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Re: Users?

consumers also have to get into the habit of removing their data and dissociating their smartphones when they sell on their connected cars.

Indeed not. The manufacturers need to design-in remote access on a secure per-user basis and give their agents the apps to manage it right. But it will probably take class action lawsuits and appeals all the way to the top of the legal system in several countries before either the manufacturers or the regulators in their pockets will give a flying f*ck.

Official: Google Chrome 69 kills off the World Wide Web (in URLs)

steelpillow Silver badge

All together now

"URL-y one morning, just as the sun was ri-ising

I heard a maiden singing In the Google below.

Chorus: Oh, don't deceive me, Oh, never leave me,

How could you use my poor data so?"

Neutron star crash in a galaxy far, far... far away spews 'faster than light' radio signal jets at Earth

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Re: Einstein you say. I think you mean...

Maxwell calculated the speed of light in classical or Newtonian space. Michelson and Morley's measurements revealed that this speed appeared constant in all directions, showing that either the Earth stood still in space or something very weird was going on.

Einstein made a key advance in theorising that this constancy was relative and not absolute, and a second key advance in theorising that nothing else could go faster either. But because nobody could back that up with experimental data for decades, he won his Nobel prize for his work on quantum theory. One smart cookie.

Go Pester someone else: TSB ditches CEO over bank's IT meltdown

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Re: Dreaming

Worked on a project which was fine except the automated failover system was botched so badly it would even screw up normal ops when it wasn't needed. Solution was to disable failover and keep the kit handy for manual swap-out.

Spies still super upset they can't get at your encrypted comms data

steelpillow Silver badge

98 percent

What they are doing is trying to create a narrow slot in the graph of security strength and force everybody in there. 97% illegally fails to protect privacy, 99% illegally fails to allow easy snooping, every supplier has to hit 98% secure.

Who will be first in the dock in one country for illegally lose code, while simultaneously in the dock in another country because that same code is illegally tight?

The only conceivable way ahead would be an international standard and certification body for 98% code, with supplier indemnity from prosecution under international law, once their code is approved.

OMG look, Hell is freezing over...

UK.gov flings £95m at public sector superfast broadband rollouts

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Yeah, right

I live about a mile and a half (2.5 km) from a fibre cabinet, along with about a dozen other homes scattered nearby and another dozen along the route. There are hundreds if not thousands of patches in similar situations scattered across the county.

No government pocket money is going to bring superfast to all us "hard-to-profit from-reach" areas. We need legislation to force telcos to deliver at a fixed price.

Keep yer plastic, says analyst: eSIMs aren't all they're cracked up to be

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Nice thing about the Gemini is, the eSIM is not embedded. It is an optional slot-in and is removable. If you don't like it you can swap back to a good ol' vendor-locked SIM.

Judging by the comments here, a lot of you folks don't realise that. I'm not sure that the esteemed analyst concerned did, either.

steelpillow Silver badge

Built on IoT

I do think that the idea of a few bleeps and the user is happy is more attractive to everybody than managing little pieces of plastic, so it will probably happen.

Given that IoT eSIMs must be serviced reliably, it is hard to see how the telcos can block smartphones from the same flexibility. I'd just download a "pretend I'm my Skoda" app to my Gemini. (Yes I do have one, and very futuristic it feels too: all that "retro" shit is just that, shit. I digress.) Um, now what's Indiegogo's url?....

Distro inferno: Debian's still rocking at 25

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Re: Fond of Debian

"Devuan's certainly an option. The only reason it's not really on my radar for this is because I'm not familiar with it (aside from on a superficial level), and when I look at changing the OS in all of my machines, being familiar with what I'm changing to becomes important."

Devuan ASCII = Debian Stretch - SystemD

Devuan is literally just Debian with SystemD exorcised. It pulls its builds from Debian repos, waves bell, book and candle over them and presto! the latest Devuan build. There are a few necessary changes such as installing eudev instead of udev, but the /udev directory paths don't even get renamed. I got more grief upgrading from Debian Jessie to Stretch than I did from upgrading to Devuan Jessie. You'll be 99.99% right at home - more so probably that with Debian's SystemD builds.

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: And another one

1 Devuan, 1 still Debian but quaking in its boots.

Adopted Debian many years ago. Tried on occasion to elope with RedHat, Suse, Ubuntu, Mint or whatever, but always came back when Debian mended its ways and the others lost the plot again. Will I ever return from Devuan? Ladies and gentlemen, place your bets please....

Connected car data handover headache: There's no quick fix... and it's NOT just Land Rovers

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Yet Another Dickhead Industry that Needs A F*cking Wake-Up Call

Gartner's Great Vanishing: Some of 2017's emerging techs just disappeared

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Slide of oblivion

It's actually a quite sensible idea to graph all this year's ridiculous buzzwords so ignorant execs and investors can see where the gravy lies.

But that also needs a second path out of the trough for all those buzzwords that underwent a reality check and got tipped down the slide of oblivion.

The future of humanity: A Bluetooth ball hitting your face – forever

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Extra marks if you hit the thing with a paintball gun.

Where else would it be safe to use? The padded cell the inventors now live in, perhaps?

The Death of the Gods: Not scared of tech yet? You haven't been paying attention

steelpillow Silver badge

Yeah, the Singularity will sort it all out for us.

I just know it will haver a special soft spot for me because I am so much better inside than everyone else.

Home Office seeks Brexit tech boss – but doesn't splash the cash

steelpillow Silver badge

No foreigners, then

If you are an overseas IT worker in the UK, you must be earning at least £120k before your work permit will be renewed.*

The £100k on offer here must mean that one interview question will have to be, "If you are not a UK citizen, does your work permit cover the full period of the contract?"

* Was why child chess prodigy Shreyas Royal needed the Home Secretary to get personal, his dad's an IT Project Manager: BBC report

Speechless with indignation at our inhuman immigration laws.

Hey, Mr. Royal, maybe you should go for this low-paid-scum job, as a little personal "thank you" to said Home Secretary? You could let your kid do the actual migration strategy, he'd be pretty hot on it by all accounts.

steelpillow Silver badge

I am agog

From the recruitment leaflet:

"our strategy of bringing back ‘in-house’ our key design and architecture decisions, more directly controlling product development, putting users at the heart of our solutions"

Can I believe my eyes? Has the leopard changed its spots? Has .gov.uk actually discovered the twenty-first century?

Or, is it just puff to gloss over the fact that all the approved mega-contractors are currently in the political doghouse?

Home Office opens AWS cash firehose a little wider with police IT deal

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And in other news, the RAF will be renting its F-35 frontline fighter jets off Lockheed Martin and Theresa May will be renting her shoes off Marks & Spencer using her existing M&S account.

If you drop a tablet in a forest of smartphones, will anyone hear it fall?

steelpillow Silver badge

big screen landfill

If you actually need a screen as big as a tablet then you need a decent keyboard. Maybe they should include Chromebooks in the stats count. Or rename the current stat "big screen landfill"

Dropbox plans to drop encrypted Linux filesystems in November

steelpillow Silver badge

Lost the plot

Already we have to enable Google XSS just to log in on the web.

Already official support for the Debian client has been dropped and the version frozen.

Now we see a pruning of *encrypted* filesystems of all things. Unencrypted I could understand, but ENCRYPTED (he shouts) is just two fingers up to us.

Dropbox, you are driving away your foundational user base, the geeks who seek out and support independent and privacy-strong providers. This is no way to grow your reputation or bottom line. You are undermining your USP in just about the most efficient way imaginable.

Windows is coming to Chromebooks… with Google’s blessing

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Whose side is it not worth being on

I'll bet Google see this as a way to stave off Surface sales - "We run your familiar Office apps too", meanwhile M$ see it as a way to do the exact opposite and penetrate the Chromebook market, and are busy putting together a suite of crippleware for it - "Our apps work so much better on our own hardware".

The licensing deals would make interesting reading.

I am reminded of George Orwell's Animal Farm, in which the rest of the animals could no longer tell the pigs apart from the men they were doing deals with.

Talk about left Field: Apple lures back Tesla engineering guru

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On the stroke of midnight

would you rather your car turned into an Apple or a pumpkin?

Clap, damn you, clap! Samsung's Bixby 2.0 AI reveal is met with apathy

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"Because speaking a trivial command out loud is still too intrusive"

Researchers accustomed to working in libraries will never, ever use a voice assistant as their primary UI.

I am sure I am not the only one. For us, the keyboard will remain paramount, as it is faster than any other silent data entry (except maybe for Chinese, where hunt-and-peck character pickers can hold their own).

UK taxman told: IR35 still isn't working in the public sector, and you want to take it private?

steelpillow Silver badge

So much for growth

"We are overrun with orders, turning customers away"

"Then take on more staff"

"There isn't enough experienced talent out there that can hit the ground running"

"Then take on more contractors"

"It'll cost - have to raise our prices"

"[Expletive deleted]"

"And we'll have to take on someone to do the IR35 shit"

"A contractor to administer their own payroll?"



"Time to sell out and move on, my dears."

Top Euro court: No, you can't steal images from other websites (too bad a school had to be sued to confirm this little fact)

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: Wikipedia, yawn

"This file is in the public domain, because as the work of a non-human animal, it has no human author in whom copyright is vested."

Wikipedia, the encyclopedia any monkey can edit!

steelpillow Silver badge

Wikipedia, yawn

This is all old news for us Wikipedians. We have created a special website for images, called the Wikimedia Commons. Only free-licensed and out-of-copyright images are permitted. "Don't know" is likely to be taken down for the well-worn legal reasons just discovered by the school.

There is also a "fair use" rationale for some copyright images in certain circumstances, and those can - with care - be uploaded to Wikipedia itself.

I suppose the big news is that even though the EU legal advocate missed the plot, the judgement didn't.

UK.gov to tech industry: Hands up who can help cut teachers' admin

steelpillow Silver badge

>Cough< Open Source >Cough<

Proprietary lock-in? What could possibly go wrong?

Seriously - connect the codies to the teachers and then just get out of the effing way!

IPv6: It's only NAT-ural that network nerds are dragging their feet...

steelpillow Silver badge

Big deal, huh

At a technical level, IP 4 and 6 are incompatible. Yet on a functional level they are: both do the same job in allowing my web client to visit sites with both v4 and v6 addresses, and for those sites to serve to both kinds of client.

It does not seem rocket science for a v6 configured NIC to run a parallel v4 emulator and direct traffic internally to the appropriate process. You know, ARM and x86 processors are incompatible but you can still emulate the one with the other and run its code, just do the same with IP. If such a need ever develops, I am sure someone will start meeting it. But at the moment, with NAT being so mature and useful, there is not yet a need. What v6 advocates really want is a killer upgrade that irretrievably borks NAT for all time. Good luck with that.

Meanwhile, we have multiple processor architectures, we speak multiple languages ourselves, we fuel our vehicles with petrol, diesel or electric, we will just run two protocols on our networks. Big deal, huh.

Icon for the children who will live with the reality.

Reckon you deserve a Wikipedia entry? Try getting this bot's notice

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Quality of cites is more important than quantity.

Every academic knows that a high publication count will help your career, and many form rings who regularly cite each other's stuff so as to bump each other up the ladder.

Bots counting Google hits is a sure way to include the biggest scammers with the thinnest papers in the list.

Greybeard greebos do runner from care home to attend world's largest heavy metal fest Wacken

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: Care Homes had better get used to it

BOFH, then?

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: Care Homes had better get used to it

Now I have this vision of an album cover featuring an ageing rocker on his Harley, getting airborne as he bursts through the wall of his care home, wings of Death looming in the red sky behind.

Album title anybody?

steelpillow Silver badge

"disoriented and dazed"

Wasn't everybody? It can't have been much of a gig if that marked them out as different from the rest of the pack.

icon for the softer passages.

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Re: "Dazed and confused", surely?

Upvote for Led Zep ref.

Rights groups challenge UK cops over refusal to hand over info on IMSI catchers

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: "ISMI is or ISMI ain't fake access?" (with apologies to an ancient TV advert)

How sad, the typo has now disappeared.

steelpillow Silver badge

"ISMI is or ISMI ain't fake access?" (with apologies to an ancient TV advert)

Edit > Find > [clicketty:] ISMI > replace > [clicketty:] IMSI [Return]

Microsoft's cheapo Surface: Like a netbook you can't upgrade

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Re: Linux

Upvote for stealing my post. I had even copied the same quote to my clipboard, ready to paste in.

What killed the first generation was $trong-arM tactics from the likes of Guess Who, making it clear to manufacturers and dealers that they had only one future.

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

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"Has Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy and Red Dwarf not taught these people anything?"

Yes, I cannot imagine why it did not offer the subjects toast.

Maybe the researchers were sensitive about what might become of their careers?

Well, this makes scents: Kotlin code quality smells better than Java

steelpillow Silver badge

The smell of outdated coding practices


Drink this potion, Linux kernel, and tomorrow you'll wake up with a WireGuard VPN driver

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: There is no proper installable device driver system

That is total bollocks. All those options are picked up or dropped according to choices made at various stages by the distro, kernel build and install options. For example I use Devuan Ascii's AMD64 build with MATE desktop and customised to my PC via a net install. Linux has even been run on smartwatches. Try that with your iOS or Windows 10!

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: Because it's still a module?

"I see that it will remain a module, but the intention I get from this is that they are trying to make it compiled directly into the kernel. Maybe the article is misleading"

A Linux kernel module is a flexible beast which can be treated in several ways:

Once it is in the kernel tree you can choose to:

1. Compile into the kernel, for speed and compactness.

2. Keep alongside for convenience in tinkering.

3. Ignore in favour of something else.

If it is not yet in the main kernel tree then the options are broadly the same, but 1. and 2. are harder and only 3. is the default.

The submission is about moving it into the main kernel tree.

The article is misleading because it appears not to understand this.

steelpillow Silver badge

Because it's still a module?

From the actual submission:

"This commit aims to be as self-contained as possible, implementing WireGuard as a standalone module not needing much special handling or coordination from the network subsystem."

So it appears to remains a module. Or is this just a module in the kernel and not actually a kernel module?

Amazon, ditch us? But they can't do without us – Oracle

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Wrong question

"Just 2 per cent of 154 execs surveyed said Oracle was their most integral vendor for cloud computing"

Which matters diddly squat, because migration to cloud is still a revolution in progress. What matters is the stuff you are migrating to the cloud. If Oracle have their suckers hooked on that, whose cloud are you going to migrate it to when the day finally comes?

IMHO if Amazon, RedHat and Google joined forces they could hammer out a usable OSS competitor. Pooling their patents and opening them to GPL copyleft style licensing would eventually push Oracle into a corner it couldn't escape from. In my dreams.

Now that's a dodgy Giza: Eggheads claim Great Pyramid can focus electromagnetic waves

steelpillow Silver badge

"These jars DO produce current - that is easily proven. Therefore, by definition, they are batteries."

A potato produces current if you stick the right wires in it and connect up a digital clock. You can buy the kit all over the place.

OMG! God made batteries and disguised them as potatoes so only the worthy would realise the truth!

At this point, all puns about chips should be exorcised with bell, book, candle and of course, spirit vinegar.

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: I have no idea if it works, because I've got a beard

The razor-blade claim has been around for many decades. When it first came out, several scientists tried it independently and all found it to be "irreproducible in the laboratory", i.e. bollocks. I cannot believe that the laws of physics have changed in the last thirty years.

Oh, yes, except for a friend of mine who kept his blades in an old envelope because they stayed sharper than the ones kicking around on the bathroom shelf. He reckoned that a cardboard pyramid would do the job just as well, and I am confident that he would be proved right.

steelpillow Silver badge

IgNobel nomination, anybody?

It is indeed a shatteringly world-changing discovery that an asymmetrically shaped lump of dielectric material will interact with wavelengths comparable with its physical features and, moreover, that interaction will be asymmetric. My legs have gone all wobbly at the implications for my (ex-)profession.

Next time I crap an asymmetric turd, remind me to point a millimetre-wave 5G communications signal at it and see what Mr. Hanky has to say for himself.

Nokia scores a $3.5bn deal to inflict 5G on T-Mobile customers

steelpillow Silver badge

Re: Stop 5G

The mm-wave GHz bit does look barking mad, I don't know why they didn't just go for IrDA again, that was the last steerable tight-beam game to flop.

Low-power narrow beams steered by algorithm, everything within sight absorbing or scattering it into the noise floor, gazillions of little repeater stations round every corner and behind every wall - all presumably funded by selling you a repeater station for every room in your house, plus one for the car whenever it draws up alongside a truck.

Reminds me of the periodic proposals to pump the Interweb over power lines, having to learn each time round that street lights are also half-wave antennae.

Still, what do I know? The voice of experience or an outdated grumpy old git? Not sure I care, just got myself a new 4G toy. :-)


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