* Posts by elkster88

16 posts • joined 22 Aug 2016

Surprising absolutely no one at all, Samsung's folding-screen phones knackered within days


Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

"there's no functional reason to have red cars and green ones."

Pfffft. As any fule kno, the red ones are faster.

Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh


Re: Why it's important to specify units.

Actually I think Abe said he gets 40 rods / hogshead which is a fairly spectacular rate of consumption... (not that 80 rods/hogshead could be considered economical) considering that 40 rods is an eighth of a mile and a hogshead is either 52.5 or 64 gallons depending on whether you want to use the wine or beer measure.


Six Flags fingerprinted my son without consent, says mom. Y'know, this biometric case has teeth, say state supremes...


Re: cancelling your face.

"You can cancel your credit card but you cannot cancel your face."

Well, you sort of CAN cancel your face... but bringing home a chimpanzee for a bit of face eating does seem a bit of an extreme measure to scrub your identity from a biometric database.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins


Re: Dark matter/energy question

Just a thought, but am interested if anybody has any thoughts and if I'm wrong, help me understand.

If ever the situation called for it...

Paging Amanfrommars1 to the green telephone.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left


Re: lets try something new.

"Here's your star charts" [boss hands prospective space explorer a sheaf of papers]

"But they're all blank!"

"Yes, if you wouldn't mind terribly, be a good chap and fill them in as you go ..."

(Shameless rip-off of "Potato", couldn't help myself)

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!


Trick question?

what do we get from “faster download speeds” if there isn’t a corresponding, and most significant, increase in data.

Oh, you'll get a bump in the size of your data plan. Along with a significant increase in price, naturally.

Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC


Re: Too complex to be true

'Not even examination of the silicon would make it immediately apparent, because the bogus silicon could be marked with the correct chip ID and a bogus "new revision" number.'

Many moons ago I worked for the Semiconductor Control Facility of Sperry Univac. Our incoming inspection/failure analysis lab routinely de-lidded integrated circuits and looked at them under an electron microscope, and also subjected them to scanning by a secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS). Any such undisclosed modification would have been flagged and a full and frank discussion with the supplier would shortly ensue. It did happen on occasion that there was a die shrink or a design change that was not communicated to us beforehand, and such behavior was explicitly against the purchase agreements we made with our suppliers. Violations could and did result in suppliers being struck off the approved vendor list of the part control drawing.

Since that time, the state of the art in quality assurance has shifted, with more trust placed in suppliers, and incoming inspection has been mostly replaced by supplier audits, sending component engineers out to the fabs or simply reviewing data provided by the manufacturer. So I would not be surprised if a counterfeit IC could be inserted into the supply chain by a nation-state spy agency.

Another comment about this paragraph from the story:

'It claims that its system is "designed so that no single Supermicro employee, single team, or contractor has unrestricted access to the complete motherboard design."'

As someone who does this for a living: I'm almost certain that the engineers who develop the functional and in-circuit tests for these motherboards do in fact have unfettered access to the complete motherboard design at the IC interconnect level, since they need the netlist, the bill of materials, FPGA programming images, firmware images, boundary scan vectors, physical board layout (Gerber files), schematics, etc.

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth


Re: Bah!

> I used to know a carpet fitter called Walter - dont remember his surname.

Had to be Wall, didn't it?

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?


Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

"Garmin is humorously wrong in northern Spain".

Not just Spain. I've run into some places in the US that have been unchanged for at least 2 or 3 years, yet Garmin still have not updated their maps, despite the fact that they release new maps at least once a year.

Open Streetmaps are a viable alternative to Garmin, which I've been happy to use on trips to Iceland, Norway, Italy, etc. on my North America maps only equipped mapped Garmin units. I've been loathe to spend $100 for a set of maps that I will be using only for a short time, and have low confidence in their accuracy. And because the data are crowdsourced, I'm fairly confident in its accuracy, at least the POIs aren't going to be years out of date (and if they are, I can do an instant edit).


Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park


Re: Had the fire brigade called to a five star hotel, in Malta....

Also worked at Burger King. Can advise that laying down a ring of mustard approximately 100cm diameter on the side of a burger wrapper and popping it in the microwave, produced an entertaining display of sparks. Apparently mustard, or what passed for it at BK, is sufficiently conductive to function as a loop antenna.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?


"MGB batteries - two of them, 6v each, were under the rear seat, either side of the transmission tunnel."

So right. And they were hung from a sort of open metal basket arrangement, which was particularly prone to rust. I discovered both of them hanging from their cables, dragging on the road, after driving over a surprisingly large speed hump at a rate of knots. After that, they were replaced by a single 12V battery living in the boot, where I reckoned it was less likely to make a bid for freedom.

That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it


Re: Does not compute

"...the government says the only thing on the chip is the passport number. "

That's news to me, but I'm not saying you're wrong.

"So are they lying, or is this fake news?"

Install the "READID NFC Passport Reader" app from Google Play and find out for yourself. I did this just yesterday after reading about it in a comment here on El Reg.

Among other things, there's your date of birth, the issuing location, date of issuance, date of expiration, and so on.

Along with the crypto certs that the USA CBP agents can't verify.

Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!


Re: Well done Google....

"If a web-site is only publishing information..."

So there's no harm done if wrong and potentially harmful information gets re-transmitted by a MITM attack, instead of what was intended?

OK, then.

SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation


Re: Pumpkins?

"When I were a kid, we had to make-do with turnip. "


We had to make do with Turnip Helper™, without the turnip.

Motivational speaker in the slammer after HPE applies for court order


Re: @VulcanV5 re "motivational speaker"

>On the other hand, once upon a time a couple of decades ago I unexpectedly had the great pleasure of listening to an Apollo astronaut (Aldrin? Armstrong? sorry guys, it was a long time ago) address a sales conference for a techy company.

>*That* was inspirational.

Years ago I had the good fortune to meet Buzz Aldrin on board the USS Sequoia, as a guest of Textronix, who had engaged him as a speaker. It was a works jolly for test engineers attending ITC in Washington DC. Everyone was given a signed copy of his book "Men from Earth".

It's not something I am liable to forget. But I probably stopped after only a couple of glasses of champers...

Mr Sage, on the other hand, sounds eminently forgettable, with or without the aid of alcohol.


Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards


Re: Only debit cards!

"The US does not issue chip'n'PIN *credit* cards, only *debit* cards."

Umm, yes they do.

My Andrews Federal Credit Union VISA credit card (most emphatically not a debit card) was specifically applied for before my last trip to Italy because it is a Chip & PIN, not Chip and signature.

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