* Posts by Tinslave_the_Barelegged

154 posts • joined 6 Aug 2016

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Lenovo literally has a screw loose – so it's recalled flagship Carbon X1 ThinkPads

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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> .Just picked up and shook my Thinkpad. It rattled. Fantastic.

..As did mine for years until the screen hinges just couldn't keep it up any more (being unhinged can affect your.... etc etc) The solution was epoxy putty, squished well in, doing duty as screws. Six year old crappy thinkpad still going strong but I'll not risk trying to get it through airport security...

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Monday: Intel defector touts Arm server chip. Wednesday: Intel shows off new server chips

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Linux

ABI finaly available

Anything But Intel may finally be not just preferable but possible.

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Russian-monitoring Shetlands radar station was nearly sold off

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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> The Admiralty is living in the past.

This issue has nothing to do with strategic defence or anything similar. It's all to do with broadening the trope-du-jour of demanding more MOD-spend from the Treasury. We've had widely trailed speeches, dutifully reported on the front page by the BBC, about some military type seeing reds under the bed, and other drips of info creating a new threat against which to spend money. The strategy is not defence, it's pork.

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Shopper f-bombed PC shop staff, so they mocked her with too-polite tech tutorial

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: The worst customers...

Not strictly IT related, but some years ago, I boarded an early morning flight from Edinburgh to Heathrow, one of those 10am meeting, 12 noon flight home occasions. Soon after door closure a smell of burning plastic filled the cabin... It turned out ground crew had used a starter generator not designed for the aircraft type, and had reversed it too close, and the hot exhaust pointed straight and too close to the skin of the aircraft - something plastic behind the skin was melting. Not unreasonably, the pilot said he wanted an engineer to check that all was well before departing.

We stayed on the ground for about 2 hours, very frustratingly, of course, but we were all in the same boat, as it were, and the situation was a clear one. Eventually they said if anyone wanted to leave the plane, they could, and as I had missed the meeting I went to wait at the door. Somebody came up from the back of the plane, and absolutely ripped into the poor stewardess, saying he had "very important" clients with him, and this was unacceptable, and he wanted the captain to come and apologise personally to him and his guests etc, a real over-the-top rant, far more to do with his ego than the problem with the aircraft. The stewardess did her best, and as he calmed down, for once in my life I said the right thing. I turned to her and loudly asked "DO you have to deal with arseholes every day?" Self-important glared but slunk off, and the stewardess looked at him, turned to me and said "Thanks."

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Apple whispers farewell to macOS Server

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: CUPS

Oh, don't spoil the gag - it was early when I posted that...

(Mea culpa anyway)

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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CUPS

echo "I wonder what will happen to CUPS" >> lpr

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

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Improbable

> There's nothing in PC, modern or 30 years old, that could have caused this.

Speaking as one who, in the early 90s, had to install am internal modem (those plastic-encased jobs) in a tower system under a desk, switched on the PC following the rule never to close the case immediately after installing something, because cockily closing the case straight away means it's guaranteed not to work, and saw a large spark emanate from said modem, followed by a definite conflagration, I would say your confidence in equipment and power supplies of 30 years ago is somewhat misplaced.

I did discover that it is possible to leap from under a desk straight to the wall-mounted fire extinguisher and back under the desk in two easy bounds. But after this episode, I never used internal modems again.

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Court throws out BT's plans to reduce pension rates

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: RPI not reliable

RPI not reliable? Then use some other ARM-based single board computer...

(Coat retrieved...)

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Have three WINEs this weekend, because WINE 3.0 has landed

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Cautionary tale

Picture the scene: Late 90s, running the fabulous AMEOL CIX off-line reader under WINE, suddenly noticed a WINE process under htop when none should have been active. Discovered that WINE is quite capable of running Windows viruses too... No damage done except to confidence and bragging rights about Linux's malware resistance.

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Flying on its own, Thunderbird seeks input on new look

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: To be honest

> I really don't care what the paint job looks like as long as it works.

The group that developed Palemoon as an improved version of Firefox also developed Fossamail, apparently using similar techniques to develop a fast, sleek, working Thunderbird. The last few years of Thunderbird, like Firefox, have seen it getting slower and more bloated. I wonder if this is because of all the old crufty Firefox stuff in T'bird. It is still such an important, useful bit of software to so many, and needs years of layers of paint removed, rather another layer for today.

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Microsoft extends patent protection shield on-premises

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Who...

...would want to do business with Doug and Dinsdale Piranha?

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Wait, what? The Linux Kernel Mailing List archives lived on ONE PC? One BROKEN PC?

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Old school

> This is refreshing in a world where I see people burning insane amounts of money on their ...

Absolutely.

A pity only a single upvote allowed.

Infrastructure-by-auditors-tickbox is rarely universally satisfying.

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NASA is pretty pleased with its pulsar-sniffing intergalactic GPS tech

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Something missing...

The technology is very impressive of course, but what's missing is the terminology. Was the ISS, we need to know, within 3 miles of sector ZZ plural Z alpha?

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Brit transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: They will never work in an urban environment.

..or a very rural environment either. In our area, where there are many single track roads, the car would need to understand the concept of give and take, fairness, light gestures to invite one to continue past a passing place, etc. Mapping passing places won't work, as the passing places may be closed, iced-over, or full of tourists with caravans.

What a relief that someone has finally said that, if the emperor is wearing any clothes at all, at best its an itsy bitsy yellow polka dot bikini

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Taiwanese cops give malware-laden USB sticks as prizes for security quiz

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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"prizes turned out to be wretched hives of malware and villainy."

Bravo, Richard Chirgwin.

These are not the USB sticks you're looking for...

Move along...

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Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Filesystem choice?

> terrible performance on the test system with zfs+compression+lustre,

One aspect I have been wondering about, regarding apparent performance hits, is whether the choice of filesystem has any bearing on performance loss. Back around 2003, someone produced a set of benchmarks on various Linux filesystems, and one of the criteria was processor impact. If memory serves, jfs, followed by xfs, was especially light on processor cycles, while one would imagine zfs or btrfs would be fairly heavy on the processor. So I wonder if there is variation on performance of the patches depending on filesystem choice.

I suppose it is very early days on this issue, though, and those with most at stake will be testing these variables.

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It gets worse: Microsoft’s Spectre-fixer wrecks some AMD PCs

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Redmond office hours only

You're drinking the wrong kool-aid - yet another "news" outlet actually saying Meltdown and Spectre "are not bugs, all they're doing is abusing the normal function of Intel, AMD, and ARM processors."

https://www.csoonline.com/article/3245770/security/spectre-and-meltdown-what-you-need-to-know-going-forward.html

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Here come the lawyers! Intel slapped with three Meltdown bug lawsuits

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: timing attacks

> Cant you just reduce timer accuracy for untrusted code and get all your performance back?

There is a good discussion on this at LWN this week - https://lwn.net/Articles/742702/

As comments there are by People Who Know, I can only understand every fifth sentence or so, but it boils down to the fact that nothing is simple any more.

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

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: @ Tinslave_the_Barelegged

> You're missing the point.

Fair enough, but it was a general comment about culture using this issue as an example.

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Intel execs - a warning from history

Mildly off topic, but maybe not. Many years ago, I attended some tech conference at the corporate suites of a London premiership football ground. Among the great and the good presenters was due to be an Intel exec, one whose engineering background made me especially look forward to his talk. His time slot came and went, so other talks took his place until he finally graced us with his presence. He then ranted about how it was ridiculous that his helicopter was not allowed to fly directly to his destination and that, can you believe it, his pilot said he wasn't allowed to land on the football pitch. He never really got into his presentation.

I spoke to him afterwards, and he was still fuming, and the only thing I can recall as a takeway about Intel was a mistrust owing to the disconnect and disdain this exec showed that day, his audience was one that was not appropriate to his petulance. He may just have been masking his embarrassment about being late, but it came across as not seeing why air traffic rules should not be bent for him, made worse by a football club wanting to protect its ground.

I know this is an anecdote about my own prejudice based on one incident, but it has coloured my view of the processor world, and processor choice, since.

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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> And what about PowerPC or MIPS?

If only Apple had stayed with Power chips, providing a bit more diversity. And if only China's MIPS (moonsong, was it?) processors made it to the west.

While the way we measure the utility of technology remains by "winners" and "losers", we will continue to build insufficiently diverse environments, and be forced to allow the likes of Intel to get away with statements like "it's all working fine - reality is at fault."

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

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Old is new again?

> I haven't heard about anyone "this time" mysteriously jumping any gun, what do they mean by that?

As the article reads like a cut 'n' paste job, it's not worth while trying to analyse it. The layers of obfuscation are geological in complexity, suggestions it's just a software issue, poor Intel with some fearful leaker being nasty to them, suggestions of it all being sorted if only they'd had time etc etc. Even El Reg has had to conflate two separate issues, and each is complex. Expect colleagues, family and friends to start conversations with you today with "I don't understand what they mean..."

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Old is new again?

> And people say I'm crazy for using SPARC.

No, Intel have made clear that it's not anything to do with your OS or your CPU - its your source of news. X-ref this El Reg article with, eg, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-42561169

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Brazil says it has bagged Royal Navy flagship HMS Ocean for £84m

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Basic arthimetic

> and it is STEALTHY (somehow "stealth" is wrong in caps, so: *whisper* "stealthy") - oh so *whisper* stealthy,

You mock, but have you ever even SEEN one of the them on our fabulous carrier? THAT's how stealthy they are....

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Open-source civil war: Olive branch offered in trademark spat... with live grenade attached

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: The most disturbing thing...

> Personally, I know half a dozen people called "John", yet miraculously

> I have no difficulty telling them apart.

How many identical twins both named John do you know?

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

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

> UK keyboard

In the UK, there is Entroware who sell Linux, especially, Ubuntu-based, laptops. Herself has one, and is very happy with it. I'll probably go for one when my old Thinkpad, currently held together with epoxy putty, gives out. I think they are quite a small outfit, but al went well with the purchase of my wife's machine.

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Surveillance law slip-up in sight for staff stalking citizens on socials

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Thurveillance

> the commissioner Lord Igor Judge

The Igor said "Thir thould not thnoop tho much."

STPA

(Sir Terry Pratchett Applies...)

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Firefox 57's been quietly delaying tracking scripts

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: That explains a few things.

> It's quite an impressive improvement.

Must agree. I became a convert to Palemoon some time back, as Firefox took forever to load (on OpenSUSE), became slower and slower, and used more and more system resource, especially memory. When Qauntum came out, it was worth a go, as I would be losing nothing. I cant stand the default look. and of course the themes I have used for years no longer work, but I found some CSSs on github that improved the look no end. As I use a small screen, use of space is important, but several more tweaks resolved that too. uBlock origin and Privacy Badger were the most important add-ons, and they were ready, as was Zotero.

Now Firefox is back to being my main browser, and apart from the irritating warnings when sites load slowly, it feels like firefox in the days when Mozilla subscribed to the "we try harder" mantra.

The info from this article re-inforces that conviction. I am grateful to Palemoon et al, but I think the issue they were trying to resolve has been sorted. Hope they continue, though, for diveristy's sake.

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UK.gov pushes ahead with legal right to 10Mbps

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: So Openreach get to pick up the bill?

> Or do you think all that fibre was in the ground back in the '80s?

What fibre? The proposed USO is for merely 10mb/s, so fibre is hardly needed. In areas where fibre has been rolled out, it's already exceeding this modest target. In the intervening 30+ years, BT have been getting line rental, from which one imagines they might just out of the goodness of the hearts do a touch of investment. No, BT's record on infrastructure at the national level really cannot be defended.

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: So Openreach get to pick up the bill?

It's not a free market except in some selected areas. Most of the country outside cities is dependent on BT's OpenReach infrastucture. That is what they inherited or were gifted. As this proposal is for a USO, it is not unreasonable that the effective monopoly supplier, for whatever reason that is, is obligated to provide a decent service.

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Autsch! Germany slaps Facebook in its abusive little face for 'limitlessly amassing data'

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: a summary of all possible ways to stop information being collected...

> and cannot download unless you have their online account.

Chances are one's life will continue without such a device, and possibly be happier.

To misquote Spock, the good of the many is outweighed by the good of the corporate.

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Google asks browser rival Vivaldi to post uninstall instructions

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Step one

> Also, take the time to dig around google's privacy settings pages and disable everything.

Also add a recurring diary entry to check again every few months, in case they unilaterally change the rules and/or an "update" modifies your settings.

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Engineer named Jason told to re-write the calendar

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: July and August must Go!

> Can't we get rid of May?

Jason means JASON.

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New battery boffinry could 'triple range' of electric vehicles

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

> Would you prefer car that can do half the range or

> the one that goes further but literally has 500Kg of

> TNT under your ass ?

If you drive a petrol car, that's exactly what you currently have, give or take a spark.

(As "arse" is spelt donkey-like, for "petrol" read "gasoline".)

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Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: How many battery "breakthroughs" is that this year?

>We do see modest increases in capacity, but all the

>while keep hearing of massive capacity breakthroughs

> that never seem to make it into production.

Yes, it's the use of superlatives that is frustrating. However, we seem now to be at a point where thee is so much invested in lithium that if an alternative to that chemistry was developed, it may well face pressures from big business keen to exploit the eggs they find in their basket. So lobbying/politics/vested interests may be the block on development.

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UK lacks engineering and tech skills to make government's industrial strategy work – report

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: All the jobs were sent offshore to get it for cheap....

> There is a cheap, however rapidly closing window to solve that

Or move to Scotland. We don't have undergrad tuition fees here. And our academic record's not too shabby either.

Disclaimer: Relatively recent graduate of UHI, at an unfeasibly unlikely age.

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VW's US environment boss gets seven years for Dieselgate scam

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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> he refused to lie.

Been there. Was told to lie about the status of a project to protect the bum of the person who hadn't done her crucial bit (secure premises for a new office in a country into which we were expanding). I refused, took it as the straw that broke the camel's back, and resigned a few months later. Bloke who told me to lie was out on his ear soon after. Person in the C suite who couldn't be arsed to do her bit still there, still incompetent.

Mildly off topic, but it feels good to tell.

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Surprise: Android apps are riddled with trackers

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Linux

F-droid off, PlayStore

It would be interesting to see a comparative analysis of, say, F-Droid vs playstore. On the face of it, Free-er software (as opposed to gratis) should have less reason to be addicted to data collection.

Apps - not so much heuristics as voyeuristics

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Forget Sesame Street, scientists pretty much watched Big Bird evolve on Galápagos island

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Adapt or die

Surely the increase in size is an adaptation rather than an example of evolution? One hears the words as interchangeable, but I am not sure that is the case. Recently heard a description of some sub-tropical animal in a UK zoo. which, they found, developed thicker fur as a response to the lower temperature described as "evolving" thicker fur, but it's surely just an adaptation.

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UK emergency crews get 4G smartmobes as monkeys attempt to emerge from Reg's butt

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Are we sure this is UK and not England?

> Are we sure this is UK-wide given the devolved nature of some of the emergency services?

Here in the far north-west of Scotland, they have just erected a new mast, apparently to "fill a gap" for this implementation. The fact that the mast was erected on a private landowner's land (nice little earner), and that apart from that landowner and his paying deer shooters, no-one is near by, is, I am sure, just a technical detail. Meanwhile 10 miles away, where there are larger (by local standards) clusters of population, an area 40 miles long by 10 miles wide, in hilly terrain, is served by just two masts. There are sections along the road where people park to make and receive calls, because the coverage, even in the townships and settlements, is so awful. Locals on EE only use their phones when away from the area.

The official response is probably to shrug and say "We did say 97%".

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Boss made dirt list of minions' mistakes, kept his own rampage off it

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Hot swap wheels

In the late 90s, we were completing the rollout of some new client-server systems. I had bought a big new server, with redundant everythings, including 4 hotswap power supplies, two of which were needed. he server wa s a huge beast and was on wheels. One day, fortunately just before going-live date, but the machine in full use by the developers, I decided to check something at the back, and wheeled the server forward. And all four power cables popped out.

After that, I bought locking power cables.

Yes, I was IT Manager at the time.

To complete my mea culpa, I did have a routine at that company, when having monthly one-to-ones with staff, of encouraging them to comment on me and my style, but it always felt a somewhat trite invitation, given the authoritarian nature of corporate workplace hierarchy. I meant it, though, and learnt plenty.

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Another UAV licence price hike? Commercial drone fliers rage over consultation

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Race to the bottom

Drone operators aren't sentient and cannot feel (financial) pain, say gov.

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MPs draft bill to close loopholes used by 'sharing economy' employers

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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The what?

> Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed

Really? Would be interesting to know exactly who or what pays the bills for such a grand name, as it doubtful whether the average deliverooer pays membership.

Perhaps in this age of corporate lobbying and dodgy think thanks, instead of "citation needed", the call should be "full statement of accounts needed."

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Car tax evasion has soared since paper discs scrapped

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: No car tax?

>simply enable automatic fining from ANPR camera'

Proposing additional automated surveillance yet posting as AC. The same kind of "works-for-me" thinking that resulted the decrease in car tax revenue and no doubt other (un)intended consequences

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Self-driving bus in crash just 2 hours after entering public service

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: re: Will self driving busses come in threes?

> following ones can catch up and pass the full one

Will no-one think of the poor sods wanting to get off?

A classic example of algorithm-speak where reality just doesn't want to play the game...

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Where hackers haven't directly influenced polls, they've undermined our faith in democracy

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Re: Voter apathy is the main issue

> Until it actually makes a physical difference to a person, they don't really care who's in power

If the issue of voter apathy is on the table, then First Past The Post also needs to be critiqued. What is the point of voting for what you believe, if it is not a majority view, if your vote will always become irrelevant. One could most legitimately put the blame on voters if no votes were wasted.

Instead, what we tend to get with FPTP is a hegemony for N voting cycles, after which the incumbents have become mad with power, often literally, and they get slung out to be replaced by the less mad alternative for N cycles. Any system that breaks the waste of both the cycle and the waste of a vote must be better than the lunacy of FPTP. It's hard to think of any advantage to FPTP, in fact, other to those currently in power, on their way to the madness brings.

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Dumb autonomous cars can save more lives than brilliant ones

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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"Got to think of the bigger picture and the number don't always work outside the lab in the irrational meatware that will make decisions."

Yes, this exactly the issue. Bandying numbers and percentages around is all very well in a "think tank" setting (pardon the elevation of the RAND corp) but let's take an IT example. When a new IT project goes live, it is always used in ways the designers didn't fully envisage. In the case of autonomous vehicles, this will also be true. Even given that, it must be possible to envisage some new form of danger from autonomous vehicles, and the question is whether society will accept such a new form of danger. We tolerate car deaths because of a greater good, we believe, and the human agency associated with driving. I am not so sure we should tolerate death-by-automaton as easily.

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Commuters' phone data could be tracked to save megabucks on census

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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Privacy? Doesn't apply, gov.

The BBC report on this reckons the results were anonymised, yet part of the idea is to work out where people live. No indication whether victims were volunteers, but the implications is that they were not even aware of being under this creepy surveillance.

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Man: Just 18 Bitcoin babies and my home is yours

Tinslave_the_Barelegged
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"Bitcoin is also the preferred currency of miscreants across the globe."

> Bitcoin is also the preferred currency of miscreants across the globe.

Really? I thought after re-branding their deeds "Credit Crunch", they simply got on with business as usual in conventional currencies, bar the occasional knighthood and a little local difficulty in Panama...

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