* Posts by Orv

1098 posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

Page:

A few reasons why cops haven't immediately shot down London Gatwick airport drone menace

Orv Silver badge

If it's a decently-sized "industrial" type drone, I think radar would have no trouble detecting it at that range. I'm told geese show up pretty well and they probably don't reflect radar nearly as well as something metal.

In the past drone reports have mostly been due to pilots seeing and reporting them, sometimes after a near miss. It's possible it was originally detected that way.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Cut off the GPS so it lands

It'd be a lot more practical to jam GPS in the area than to shut down the whole system. But that has some of the same issues as jamming the drone's signal; it's hard to know what the result will be and it's also very illegal.

Orv Silver badge

Re: It's not like they can triangulate the signals!

Yes, in this case I believe the problem isn't triangulating the signal -- that's quite straightforward, as you note -- it's figuring out which signal is the correct one. Unlike WWII-era signals there's no reason for this transmitter to identify itself in any human-readable way.

Orv Silver badge

Re: How about a high power laser burst ?

The risk-reward equation is rather flipped, there. A V1 that continued on course was likely to kill someone. A drone is not going to kill someone unless you zap it and it lands on someone's head.

Also, minor niggle -- the Spitfires didn't actually touch the bombs. That would be too risky. They used their planes' wingtip vortexes to make them bank, in a way the primitive autopilot in the V1 couldn't handle. Basically they sent them out of control using wake turbulence.

Linux.org domain hacked, plastered with trolling, filth and anti-transgender vandalism

Orv Silver badge

Re: Hopefully

Someone who has a cock and a pair of balls between their legs is a man, regardless of whatever happened in the womb and no matter what he believes he "really is" or what he wants to be. You might not like that it, but I'll make it crystal clear for you, it is a biological FACT.

I have one of those things but not the other. Which bathroom should I use, given those biological facts?

Orv Silver badge

Re: Hopefully

Transgenderism is not something like homosexuality or bisexuality which has existed since the beginning of most species as a safe fallback for reproduction.

At 1:1 mass, a man is chemically designed to be physically stronger. Is men in women's physical sports fair...

Counterexample: A *female-to-male* trans professional boxer just won their debut match against a cis male:

http://time.com/5475037/boxer-transgender-male/

This is tricky stuff. The Olympics have long struggled with the issue of gender, especially after their frankly humiliating treatment of Caster Semenya. The problem is it's hard to divide people into two decisively binary categories -- it's more like two overlapping bell curves when you look at size, weight, etc. Syndromes like androgen insensitivity mean that there are cis women who are XY, so genetics doesn't work; there are also a surprising number of chimeras out there who are XX or XY depending on where you take the sample. For a while female athletes had to all undergo genital inspections, which were both humiliating for the athletes and still resulted in ambiguous cases. Their current technique is to rely on testosterone levels. While there is a strong correlation with strength (people who transition male-to-female lose a lot of upper body strength when they start taking hormone therapy), this has had the bizarre result that some cis women who happen to have high T have been required to take testosterone blockers in order to compete.

It's official. Microsoft pushes Google over the Edge, shifts browser to Chromium engine

Orv Silver badge

Re: Worst possible outcome

I'm not too worried about "extend" because this isn't a market niche where Microsoft has much market penetration anymore. If they started adding proprietary extensions, very few web devs would actually use them because there's already a rich set of features that's common between Chromium and Firefox.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Bloatware

Yes, but unlike MSN, I can't go get a cup of coffee while it finishes loading. Having to wait for the browser to become responsive every time I want to quickly visit a URL is annoying.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Chrome

1. When it first came out, it was faster than anything else. It long ago lost that edge, but that got its foot in the door.

2. It came out at a time when Firefox had only just emerged from the ashes of Netscape, and Opera was beginning to feel pretty creaky. It shook up the field.

3. It went to a multi-process architecture early, which made it more stable than competing browsers. The idea that you could use a browser all day and not have it crash out was revolutionary.

3. It offered really good dev tools. Firefox's have caught up, but for a while nothing had anything quite like Chrome.

The data slurping became a concern later. Keep in mind some of what gets filed as "slurping" is optional stuff people actually like, like bookmark sync between systems (which Firefox has added too, now.)

Orv Silver badge

Re: Good news for Linux

At the time they were sort of right. Sort of. A fair number of things depended on IE's rendering engine. That didn't require the whole browser, but it did require some of its DLLs. This was something of a circular situation though; because IE couldn't be uninstalled, software would quietly rely on it because it had to be there, which meant you couldn't uninstall it without breaking things...

Orv Silver badge

Re: This will save Edge

Safari is the Toyota Yaris rental car of browsers. It's a bit slow, there aren't many fancy options, and I wouldn't want to drive it every day, but it gets me where I'm going reliably in a pinch.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Worst possible outcome

What recent Chromium features are, in your estimation, aimed at stealing more user data? Keep in mind Google tends to push everything onto the standards track, and withdraw stuff that doesn't make it into the specs (e.g., Object.observe, which I actually found useful.)

Orv Silver badge

Re: And who got fired for taking all the wrong decisions?

I can't remember the last time I actually edited the registry on a machine. I think it was under server 2003, so probably not overly recently.

Yup. What sysadmins really care about is "can I manage it centrally? Will it fit into my existing infrastructure?" If it understands GPO and talks to Active Directory they're mostly happy.

A big reason Windows still rules the corporate world is management tools. macOS has been actively getting worse in this area (it was never good), and Linux is stuck with a lot of creaky old tools that require you to roll your own integration.

For fax sake: NHS to be banned from buying archaic copy-flingers

Orv Silver badge

Re: such as secure email

Though with a Fax you KNOW it's connecting and printing

Although not necessarily that anyone will see it, or that the printout is legible, or that you haven't misdialed and sent it to the wrong machine.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Security and but also third party issues

The big problem with fax is that there is no method of asserting the recipient is the intended one - the details could be out of date or the number misdialled - you don't know until the notes have gone somewhere they shouldn't have.

I used to work at a place that had a block of 16 DID fax lines, all going to a single computer fax system, all numerically sequential. Numbers that weren't currently assigned went to my email. I used to get an amazing number of misdirected medical faxes. From what I could tell a prosthetics lab at a local university hospital had a number similar to one of ours.

The US medical system is also heavily reliant on fax. The biggest problem I've had with it is faxes often disappear into the aether. Fax compatibility is far from 100%, and I once had to change pharmacies just because their fax machine could not successfully receive faxes from my psychiatrist.

Blighty: We spent £1bn on Galileo and all we got was this lousy T-shirt

Orv Silver badge

Re: GPS and EMP

Over smaller areas it's pretty easy to jam on the surface, but that's nothing like knocking out the whole system. Anti-satellite weapons are possible but not as easy as science fiction makes them out to be, and they can't be pre-deployed stealthily.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Trident

Auto landing airliners is done via airport radio beacons. It’s a solved problem, and nobody is interested in GPS type nav for it.

There's actually quite a lot of interest, at least in the US. Maintaining all those radio beacons is expensive and they're seeing increased failure rates as the equipment ages. ILS will probably be the last to go, but we're already seeing experiments with using GPS instead of VOR beacons, allowing more direct flight paths.

No, you haven't gone deaf – the Large Hadron Collider has been wound down for more upgrades

Orv Silver badge

That's a government project for you. Always behind schedule, always over-promising and under-delivering.

Big Falcon Namechange for Musk's rocket: BFR becomes Starship

Orv Silver badge

Re: You'd have to be a Dummy,....

Vandenberg allows polar orbit launches, which makes it doubly useful.

And provides some unforgettable light shows for those of us in SoCal.

https://www.cnn.com/videos/business/2018/10/08/spacex-rocket-launch-lon-orig.cnn-business/video/playlists/business-spacex/

Orv Silver badge

Re: You'd have to be a Dummy,....

To be fair, unlike NASA, SpaceX didn't have the military sidling up to them and saying "we need it to do [CLASSIFIED]," which was the source of a lot of the excess fat in the Shuttle's design.

Influential Valley gadfly and Intel 8051 architect John Wharton has died

Orv Silver badge

Re: 8051

I remember hand-assembling 6502 code for my VIC-20 because I didn't have an assembler. It was good practice for programming PIC microcontrollers and the like.

Behold, the world's most popular programming language – and it is...wait, er, YAML?!?

Orv Silver badge

Re: Whitespace

To me the problem with Python (and significant whitespace in general) is that whitespace characters are by nature invisible, and a lot of editor tooling assumes they aren't significant. Anyone who's ever dealt with a Makefile where someone accidentally put a space where a tab should go knows this can only lead to tears.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Makes me pine for the days of XML...

XML proved handily that it's possible to make something verbose and inefficient for computers without actually making it human-readable.

5.. 4.. 3.. 2.. 1... Runty-birds are go: 12,000+ internet-beaming mini-satellites OK'd by USA

Orv Silver badge

Re: Sorry, I was picking my mandible up off the floor...

IIRC a big complaint about Iridium was that they were very reluctant to change their birds' orbits to avoid potential collisions.

BTW, as you probably know but I think some other commenters might not, the term for the potential catastrophic situation we're discussing is "Kessler syndrome." Probably worth a Google.

Orv Silver badge

Re: What could possibly..poison our atmosphere?

What next- a bunch of low-flying birds that are powered by plutonium?

We already did that with some space probes, although we took pains to make sure the plutonium wouldn't burn up if they re-entered. (Even if it had, mind, it would be a faction of what was already released by WWII-era bomb fabrication plants.) The satellites powered by fission reactors were more of a potential threat, as was demonstrated by Kosmos 954.

Super Micro chief bean counter: Bloomberg's 'unwarranted hardware hacking article' has slowed our server sales

Orv Silver badge

Re: I give SuperMicro the benefit of the doubt.

@Jtom: It's not that cut and dried, at least under US law. Statements of opinion and rhetorical hyperbole are protected, for example. Ability to show damages is not enough. US law tends to fall on the side of not chilling speech, even that speech is really assholeish. (You may be correct in terms of UK law, though.)

Ken White has an analysis of Elon Musk's statements calling Vernon Unsworth a pedophile that is probably instructive here, in that it shows which of his statements are defensible and which may not be:

https://www.popehat.com/2018/09/17/cave-diver-vernon-unsworth-sues-elon-musk/

Alphabet gives bipedal robots the Schaft 'cos no one wants to buy its creepy machine maker

Orv Silver badge

Re: After the Google acquisition, it completely clammed up

I think they're thinking of the ED-209, which demonstrated an inability to successfully negotiate stairs in Robocop.

Upset fat iOS gobbles up so much storage? Too bad, so sad, says judge: Apple lawsuit axed

Orv Silver badge

Re: It's marketing lies allowed to become reality.

Erm, firstly TVs and then subsequently monitors have always been measured by the size of their diagonal screen dimension. When I say always, I mean at least many decades, at least 5 of them to my personal knowledge. It's the industry standard, nothing to do with marketing.

They also have traditionally been marketed by the diagonal size of the CRT, in spite of the fact that the screen bezel will make the actual picture smaller. This stems from the fact that beam control is hard at the edges of CRTs, so the bezel hid the wavy edges and distortions.

Some of this is no doubt marketing -- bigger numbers are better -- but some of it may be because early TVs actually used round CRTs, with a rectangular mask over the front to delineate the picture area. A 10" CRT was 10" diameter before you put the mask on it. The diagonal measurement would have been closest to the actual CRT diameter.

Orv Silver badge

Re: It's marketing lies allowed to become reality.

In the computing word KB, MB, GB, and TB were all understood to mean powers of two until hard drive manufacturers noticed they could use powers of ten and claim that the size difference may very due to the space used by putting a filesystem on the drive.

I used to call the power-of-10-based units "salesman's gigabytes," since they bore no relation to what the OS would claim you had.

The TiB, GiB, etc. unit designations are an attempt to retroactively make their chicanery OK. I refuse to use them, mostly because they sound stupid when you say them out loud.

Orv Silver badge

Samsung probably includes the disclaimer because they already got sued over this same point -- but in China:

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2015/07/samsung-sued-for-loading-devices-with-unremovable-crapware-in-china/

They'd let it get rather out of hand. Some of their phones would eventually run out of storage without you doing anything, just from accumulated updates to the pre-installed crapware.

Another Meltdown, Spectre security scare: Data-leaking holes riddle Intel, AMD, Arm chips

Orv Silver badge

Re: Speed vs. Security

If you want real security you have to physically separate different classes of users and not run them on the same chip/computer/memory system etc.

Which is why these are of particular concern to cloud hosting providers. An important requirement for cloud systems is that a program running in on user's VM shouldn't be able to observe what's going on in another user's VM.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Waiting for bug-free CPUs?

Itanium's VLIW architecture was safe in that the optimizations were mostly done at compile time, so things like speculative execution aren't done on the fly nearly as much. That approach has its own problems, though, like requiring a recompile for every new chip iteration.

Orv Silver badge

Re: New phone

Z-80 derivatives continue to have a distinguished career as microcontrollers. They just aren't discussed as much in hobbyist circles because very few game systems used them (the GameBoy being one exception.)

Official: IBM to gobble Red Hat for $34bn – yes, the enterprise Linux biz

Orv Silver badge

Re: At least is isnt oracle or M$

I just want to salute you, AC, for a brilliant troll.

Orv Silver badge

Re: At least is isnt oracle or M$

The OS is from Linus and chums, Redhat adds a few storage bits and some Redhat logos and erm.......

From a customer standpoint the main thing RedHat adds is formal support. There are still a lot of companies who are uncomfortable deploying an OS that has product support only from StackExchange and web forums. This market is fairly insensitive to price, which is good for a company like RedHat. (Although there has been an exodus of higher education customers as the price has gone up; like Sun did back in the day, they've been squeezing out that market. Two campuses I've worked for have switched wholesale to CentOS.)

Orv Silver badge

Re: If IBM buys Redhat then what will happen to CentOS?

If IBM buys Redhat then what will happen to CentOS?

As long as IBM doesn't close-source RH stuff -- most of which they couldn't if they wanted to -- CentOS will still be able to do builds of it. The only thing RH can really enforce control over is the branding and documentation.

The D in Systemd stands for 'Dammmmit!' A nasty DHCPv6 packet can pwn a vulnerable Linux box

Orv Silver badge

Re: There is a reason ...

Funny. I used to cart laptops between home and worksites, often only 'sleeping' between sites. Never had a problem with the wired or wireless network changes. Only times there was an issue was when the network itself had issues. This was back when I had to put nearly a week's wages on a PCMCIA card to even get wireless into the laptop. Still got the matching PCMCIA card that provided the wired network BTW.

I remember that era too. I also remember having to fiddle around on the command line every time I switched networks. At the time it seemed acceptable because WiFi was so new and shiny. Now I'd be kind of annoyed, I think.

Also, if you got 1990s Linux to actually wake up from sleep consistently you were doing pretty well. ;)

Orv Silver badge

Re: Reason for disabling IVP6

My NAT router statefully firewalls incoming IPv6 by default, which I consider equivalently secure. NAT adds security mostly by accident, because it de-facto adds a firewall that blocks incoming packets. It's not the address translation itself that makes things more secure, it's the inability to route in from the outside.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Old is good

BSD init and SysV init work pretty darn well for their original purpose -- servers with static IP addresses that are rebooted no more than once in a fortnight. Anything more dynamic starts to give it trouble.

Orv Silver badge

Re: There is a reason ...

Pardon my ignorance (I don't use a distro with systemd) why bother with networkd in the first place if you don't have to use it.

Mostly because the old-style init system doesn't cope all that well with systems that move from network to network. It works for systems with a static IP, or that do a DHCP request at boot, but it falls down on anything more dynamic.

In order to avoid restarting the whole network system every time they switch WiFi access points, people have kludged on solutions like NetworkManager. But it's hard to argue it's more stable or secure than networkd. And this is always going to be a point of vulnerability because anything that manipulates network interfaces will have to be running as root.

These days networking is essential to the basic functionality of most computers; I think there's a good argument that it doesn't make much sense to treat it as a second-class citizen.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Meh

Not really, systemd has its tentacles everywhere and runs as root.

Yes, but not really the problem in this case. Any DHCP client is going to have to run at least part of the time as root. There's not enough nuance in the Linux privilege model to allow it to manipulate network interfaces, otherwise.

Linux kernel's Torvalds: 'I am truly sorry' for my 'unprofessional' rants, I need a break to get help

Orv Silver badge

Re: Stop F#cking Apologizing

I'm not sure Trump's management style has really been shown to provide good results. He's driven six companies into bankruptcy and, on the whole, has gotten a worse return on his money than if he'd passively invested it. Good talent leaves both his companies and his administration on a regular basis.

The "yell at people, never apologize, make everyone cower in fear of you" attitude may win elections but doesn't actually work that well as a business strategy. You rarely see it in CEOs today. Boards of directors rarely care about political correctness, but they do care about returns.

London flatmate (Julian Assange) sues landlord (government of Ecuador) in human rights spat

Orv Silver badge

Re: Lets Get Real

The DoJ is itself a political organ, so being under investigation by it doesn't mean much except that you displeased the orange guy at the top.

'The inmates have taken over the asylum': DNS godfather blasts DNS over HTTPS adoption

Orv Silver badge

Re: Bah!

No fat shaming intended. That Americans are getting larger in the waistline is a simple fact, one that the designers of airline seats and many other public accommodations have yet to allow for.

Orv Silver badge

Re: DNS over http

The thing about technologies designed by "web people" is they exist and get deployed, while the architecture astronauts are still debating what color to paint the bike shed.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Bah!

I have pretty limited sympathy for a company that chooses to deliberately exclude people with disabilities. I've seen lots of portable toilet installations that included a toilet for people in wheelchairs. It's not exactly unobtainable technology. It's mostly just the same thing, but roomier -- which isn't a bad idea anyway given the ever-expanding girth of Americans.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Paul Vixie is correct

The thing is, his argument against is "network admins won't be able to snoop." Which is exactly the point. So I don't see much room for a meeting of the minds between people who want to stop snooping and people who think snooping is essential to the Internet's function.

Orv Silver badge

Re: Cant trust my UK ISP

My ISP *already* messes with my DNS queries, by redirecting invalid hostnames to their own advertising pages. So I don't consider them especially trustworthy.

Super Cali goes ballistic, net neutrality hopeless? Even Ajit Pai's gloating is something quite atrocious

Orv Silver badge

Re: States’ Rights....

To be fair, having a Congress that declared from the start that their goal was to make him a failure didn't leave him much choice. Even things that Republicans used to support became anathema once Obama's name was attached. My wife suggested he should have written an executive order banning Republicans from jumping off cliffs, so that they would all do so in protest.

Orv Silver badge

It will be interesting to see if the FCC's "we don't have the authority to regulate this, but our non-regulation preempts your regulation" legal theory flies. The Supreme Court is now packed with conservatives, but not all of them are Trump toadies, and the ones that aren't are not big fans of federal power.

Page:

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019