* Posts by rcxb

316 posts • joined 22 Aug 2018


Windows Terminal hits the big 1.0: Fit for production?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: A terminal program?

Unix has only been around for 50 years now, and it certainly didn't have any terminal emulators at the time. Initial release of XTerm was 1984, 36 years ago. OpenVMS dates from 1977, 42 years ago.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Why don't they join the ends?

Brits sure do like their ring circuits, don't they?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Can someone explain?

Material resistivity σ (S/m) at 20 °C

Silver 1.59×10^−8

Copper 1.68×10^−8

Gold 2.44×10^−8

Swedish data centre offers rack-scale dielectric immersion cooling

rcxb Silver badge

Re: With 500MW

You're correct, but you can still use that "low grade heat" to at least pre-heat the incoming working fluid (water) for a power plant or similar. Would be perfect if you needed to melt snow on a massive scale.

You overstepped and infringed British sovereignty, Court of Appeal tells US in software companies' copyright battle

rcxb Silver badge

Re: US Law applies worldwide

And are those fines based on the income of just the "child companies"?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: US Law applies worldwide

US Law applies worldwide in the eyes of Lawyers and Judges in the USA.

It certainly applies to those businesses that maintain a presence in the US. And the EU does the same, quite happy to fine US companies for not following EU regs.

'We're changing shift, and no one can log on!' It was at this moment our hero knew server-lugging chap had screwed up

rcxb Silver badge


The office, he recalled, was an open-plan space the size of four football (or "soccer", if you will) pitches.

No point in translating football to soccer for US audiences, while in the same sentence using a complete British-ism like "pitches".

Penny smart and dollar stupid: IT jobs slashed in US, UK, Europe to cut costs – just when we need staff the most

rcxb Silver badge

Did any of the DR plans you drew up or contributed to contain any consideration of the circumstances we are currently in; I suspect not, as I know despite all my years of experience, none of my Business Continuity plans covered the current situation.

Our DR plans most certainly considered several scenarios where nobody would be allowed into the offices and everyone would have to work remotely for extended periods. The current circumstances are far less devastating than most DR scenarios.

rcxb Silver badge

"such a high proportion of companies are allowing employees to share confidential company data on personal devices, using outdated apps as well as knowingly operating in breach of GDPR rules."

For companies that weren't prepared (most of them?) it's a matter of doing ANYTHING necessary to continue business operations immediately, or else having to close up shop entirely and everyone finding new jobs. Given that, risking a GDPR fine doesn't seem a bad choice...

Of course they've put themselves in this position by not having working DR plans, and not having enough IT staff to do things properly, etc. But right now, companies everywhere are breaking all kinds of rules to varying degrees, and just hoping their luck holds out and the fallout won't be completely devestating. Look no further than COURTS using Zoom...

Airbus and Rolls-Royce hit eject on hybrid-electric airliner testbed after E-Fan X project fails to get off the ground

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

Aircraft are routinely flown empty to reposition for route changes

Very difficult to fly a plane with zero fuel.

I suspect you have no idea what your talking about.

I'm the one supplying numbers and linking info. What you're accusing me of actually applies to everyone else but.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

A 787 is 120 tonnes empty, and can carry 180 tonnes of fuel.

That may be true, but it's useless (and impossible) to fly an empty aircraft. Throw in the crew, passengers, baggage, or other cargo, and the fuel isn't such a large percentage. Plus, a significant fraction of the fuel is maintained as reserve capacity, which would be much less necessary without the vagaries of liquid fuels.

See: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Takeoff_weight_diagram.svg

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

Buit that wasn't the question.

The "answer" was just before the part you quoted...

"Li-Ion batteries do maintain a very, very flat power curve until they are deeply discharged,"

You don't get less energy from your petrol when the tank is 10% full than when it's 90% full

Actually you do, though really quite minor at that scale.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

As far as I can see jet fuel retains the power supply characteristics until the tanks are dry.

That's completely wrong. As fuel level goes down, you're spending more energy pumping it to the engines, dealing with vapor, and running risks of stalls due to the fuel not being over the pump inlet while the jet is turning, and there are dangers of inaccurate fuel gauges, etc.

Battery-electric vehicles are vastly superior on that front. Li-Ion batteries do maintain a very, very flat power curve until they are deeply discharged, and engineers prevent deep discharge to extend battery life, anyhow. At the low discharge rates used in vehicles, they are extremely consistent and predictable. I would NEVER consider driving my petrol car down to 5% of a tank of fuel, but with a battery electric car, it's quite safe to do and not uncommon.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

But they're still there for the whole flight, unlike the liquid fuel that burns off during the journey.

Much of the fuel burns off, but the engines, storage tanks, pumps, etc., do not. Jet fuel can be as low as 20% of the overall weight. And the weight is of most concern at take-off, where both types of planes would be fully loaded in any case. This single effect you're focusing on is really just a footnote, for a theoretical jet that doesn't exist with as-yet unknown technology.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

A: being able to keep the diesel engine running at the most efficient speed whilst moving the train at a range of velocities

No. Locomotives don't have a huge bank of batteries. The engine has to throttle up and down as power needs vary, as it would with a mechanical transmission. Although in the case of multiple locomotives you can turn some of the engines on and off as needed to try and improve fuel efficiency to a small degree.

B: regenerative braking: there's a lot of energy in a moving train

No. Again, diesel electric trains do not have a huge bank of batteries to dump that energy into. Regenerative braking only works for electrical grid-connected electric trains, while it's a benefit there, it has nothing to do with why trains became diesel electic.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Electric planes?

Electric batteries are about fifty times the mass of airline fuel for a given amount of energy.

This is a nonsense comparison. Lithium-Air batteries have a theoretical specific power of 11.4 kW/kg, compared to the theoretical maximum of 11.99 kWh/kg for Jet A-1, so very close.

We don't have those theoretical Lithium-Air batteries, you may say, but that's fine, because we don't have theoretical engines with 100% conversion efficiency for jet fuel, either. And if we did, they wouldn't be zero mass and zero volume, so would negatively affect those numbers. And that's without mentioning that jet fuel needs things like storage tanks, pumps, which also add mass and volume.

The only realistic way to reduce airline fossil fuel consumption at the moment is to fly a lot less.

Actually, a large number of options to reduce fuel consumption exist. Flying wing designs improve performance by 1/3rd, lower air-speeds propelled by turbo-props instead of turbofans are more fuel efficient, just flying slightly at slightly lower throttle (which some airlines have already done) reduces fuel usage at the expense of slightly longer flight times.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test

rcxb Silver badge

Re: When will Starlink become operational?

Get them a proper directional antenna, and mount it on a pole as high up as practical. Avoid obstructions (trees) directly between it and the direction of the cellular signal.

Work from home surge may work in Wi-Fi 6's favour, reckons analyst house

rcxb Silver badge

Re: another Pink Elephant

The best solution in a crowded radio environment is still: move to the 5GHz band

Which is exactly what an upgrade gives you. From 802.11ac onward, 5GHz band support is required, and your devices will choose to use the 5GHz WiFi signal whenever available, and 2.4GHz only when necessary. Of course if you are able to shut of the 2.4GHz band on your router entirely, good on ya!

rcxb Silver badge

Re: another Pink Elephant

This is frankly PR to sell their kit which will make little difference to people on 100Mbps broadband and none to people on 20 Mbps or less Broadband.

Not at all. Go 15m from your WiFi router, and you'll see speeds drop below 20Mbps... Much lower with older tech. The newer kit will keep speeds higher as the reception conditions deteriorate.

Billionaires showered with wealth as experts say global economy set for long and deep recession

rcxb Silver badge

Re: whenever governments grab MORE control...

As the Chinese government has grown in power over the recent decades, many of the poor have moved up to middle-class. As power in the UK moved to Parliament and away from the King and aristocracy, the political power and weath of commoners drastically increased.

Go back to the "Gilded Age" to see what a weak government means... "Robber Barons" monopolizing entire segments of the economy, easily able to prevent others from entering those markets, and holding state-like control.

You know what helps the lower and middle-class? Unions. And Unions only work when the government has enough power to stop private corporations from firing anyone and everyone who votes to unionize. Much like Wal-Mart immediately shutting down any stores where it looks like employees might vote to Unionize.

Cisco UCS servers slugged by 'This SSD will self-destruct in 40,000 hours' firmware farrago

rcxb Silver badge

WD again... they'll lose market share bigtime...

It was actually SanDisk, before WD purchased them.

I doubt WD is worried. They've got no effective competition in the spinning hard drive market (60% market share), and the enterprise SSD market is a 3-way race between WD, Samsung and Intel at this point. WD has long since managed to buy-out their competitors, like HGST and SanDisk.

The rumor that just won't die: Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length in 2021 with launch of 'A14-powered laptops'

rcxb Silver badge

Arm-based chips also have several key advantages, particularly on the power efficiency

ARM looks good only in apples-to-oranges comparisons. Extremely low performance ARM CPUs have very low power usage, but the higher performance ones use more power than an Intel Atom or some mobile ULV CPUs. Those touting the low power and high performance of ARM CPUs are either lying or are themselves falling for the lies of interested parties, and sadly propagating them.

There isn't a single ARM core out there which comes anywhere close to the performance of a single modern x86 core. Either Apple will have to wait for that to change, or they will have to force all developers of MacOS apps to continually maintain fat binaries for two architectures indefinitely, or Apple will just have to surrender the high performance PC market entirely, which won't make graphical designers and video editors very happy.

If Apple was smart, they'd only consider releasing an ARM laptop as an iPad-with-keyboard type device running IOS. Call it an iClam... That would avoid the risk of hamstringing their MacOS business in the process.

Web pages a little too style over substance? Behold the Windows 98 CSS file

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Bring back win98 UI

Actually, NT4.0's UI and overall design was much better than 2000, but not as many people were exposed to that one.

New York Attorney General probes Charter over claims it forced staff to work in offices amid coronavirus pandemic

rcxb Silver badge

Re: COVID-2020

Yes, working remotely eliminates some of the costs of running an office building. However, it also eliminates the time and cost of people traveling to and from the office as well, and that is a huge savings for most people, as well as quality-of-life improvement.

SAP decides one head is better than two in a crisis, parts ways with co-CEO Jennifer Morgan

rcxb Silver badge

Re: It is simpler than that

You'd prefer to have a nice female CEO in charge, eh?

How about:

Meg Whitman

Ginni Rometty

Elizabeth Holmes

Carly Fiorina

Marissa Mayer

Heather Bresch

Just a few off the top of my head, mind you.

IBM == Insecure Business Machines: No-auth remote root exec exploit in Data Risk Manager drops after Big Blue snubs bug report

rcxb Silver badge

Re: And thus is why hackers profit...

Crime is always more profitable in the short-term, but tends to be a bad career choice over the long-term. Until very recently, NOBODY paid bug bounties, and It's still debatable whether they are making things safer or not.

Ask yourself why blood and organ donations don't net the donor a nice big check.

There are always two sides to every story – except this one, which is just a big billboard borked in all directions

rcxb Silver badge

Academics: We hate to ask, but could governments kindly refrain from building giant data-slurping, contact-tracing coronavirus monsters?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Location, location, location

there is a reason that I keep BT switched off.

Oh, that was YOU? Would you mind turning BT back on, lots of people would like to get their internet service back.

British telecom (BT) customers are facing an issue with cable and internet services, and it is not working for many of the customers. One of the renowned outage tracking websites also confirms the same.

As nice as Pai: FCC chairman comes out in favour of Ligado Networks' 5G proposal, despite criticism from airlines and military

rcxb Silver badge

"it is time for the FCC to make a decision and bring this proceeding to a close," wrote Pai

The FCC did make a decision... Back in 2012. The answer was: NO

NASA makes May 27 its US independence day from Russian rockets: America's back in the astronaut business after nearly nine years

rcxb Silver badge

The Demo-2 launch also represents a major milestone for SpaceX: It will be the company's first crewed mission since the firm's founding in 2002.

This is a much bigger deal that any of that. This is the first time any non nation-state has put people into orbit, ever.

A paper clip, a spool of phone wire and a recalcitrant RS-232 line: Going MacGyver in the wonderful world of hotel IT

rcxb Silver badge

Come with us to the 1980s, when computers cost proper money

The ZX81 kit debuted in early 1981 at £50 (about £200 in 2020).

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Cables with labels on

Better option is to to buy the technician a set of EnChroma glasses.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Cables with labels on

Absolutely! Painted my chain-link fence that way. Only took a few hundred cans.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Cables with labels on

Ran into that at a previous job, One day a slightly different rack with slightly different wire management made the longest run slightly longer than the longest cable of the proper color we had on-hand. Had a black cable in my bag that would do, and wouldn't clash with the scheme and appear to belong elsewhere. But how to label it? After much thought I printed out a handful of labels which said "I AM GREEN" and attached them to various positions. Others who came upon the mismatched situation would inspect the oddity, find the label and (after a few moments of careful consideration) the quizzical look on their faces gave way to a sudden bolt of clarity.

IBM age discrimination lawsuit suddenly ends, suggests Big Blue was willing to pay to avoid discovery process

rcxb Silver badge

Re: (IN)Justice has prevailed!

It was cheaper than fighting (theoretically the lose pays the costs ... but if the loser has little money he will declare bankruptcy and we end up paying our legal costs anyway)

You might want to understand the concept of moral hazards. Yes, it's cheaper to settle one case than to fight it. However, you are incentivizing such invalid lawsuits, and guaranteeing more to come. If you'd fought it, you'd lose more money, but so would the other side, and others (lawyers, really) would think twice about filing weak lawsuits against you.

See Newegg's stance on (patent troll) lawsuits:


AMD takes another crack at Intel's server stronghold with more Epyc silicon

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Sorry AMD fans...

A shrewd move would be to stick An FC or infiniband controller onto the server board by default.

Seems like practically all server-class network cards in the past decade have been CNAs, so I don't see a lot of benefit there.

Server product lines often (but not always) have a longer life than any given network standard, anyhow, so while the 1st gen version of a server released now might be 10GbE or 40GbE, the 2nd gen version in a few years might come with 40GbE or 100GbE (still CNAs) in the base model instead.

Second-wave dotcom Uber-investor Softbank forecasts gargantuan losses as world economy faces slump

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Business models

Uber's underpaid employees are a symptom of weak government regulations, while their success has brought the issue to public attention and caused wide-spread changes for the better in some locations.

Besides, if you choose not to do business with every company whose employees don't like working for, you'll quickly find yourself out of options. I suppose everything is relative... Uber is bad until a company comes along that treats employees worse. Walmart vs Amazon, who is exploiting their employees the worst?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Business models

I know plenty of people who hate taxis, but love Uber.

Sure, taxi companies could have adopted new technology and beaten Uber to the punch, but they didn't. Being able to see in real-time how far-off an available taxi is, up-front pricing of the trip, etc., was enough of an innovation that we're talking about Uber and Lyft...

Just as GPS device makers weren't the ones that brought GPS to ubiquitousness with cheap smart phone apps, the taxi companies were caught napping as well. No doubt there were ice delivery drivers complaining that mechanical refrigeration is nothing new or innovative, newspaper publishers deriding radio news broadcasts as nothing special... etc.

Linux fans thrown a bone in one Windows 10 build while Peppa Pig may fly if another is ready in time for this year

rcxb Silver badge

Re: explorer.exe from the Linux command line.

Since when did Linux fans care about Windows or Unix / Linux subsystems on them?

Ever since the first time they were asked to help with a Windows box, and would REALLY have preferred to use their familiar tools to get things done instead of the god-awful Windows UI...

I'd sure be happier if open source backup tools worked flawlessly on Windows systems (though NOT just Windows 10 systems), and if it was easier to use Linux GUI apps on Windows to gradually wean Windows users off the burning platform entirely.

rcxb Silver badge

Re: Linux developers

I understand that there are a couple of vm (including the best from Sun) but I was told that they are not as good as VMWare.

Virtualbox conveniently breaks every time you upgrade your Linux system.

KVM is quite nice, however. While not entirely dumb-user-friendly to set-up (switching your Linux system to br0 bridged networking and perhaps changing the disk image path), works quite nicely with a minimum of issue.

Microsoft attempts to up its Teams game with new features while locked-down folk flock to rival Zoom... warts and all

rcxb Silver badge

Re: All those billions spent in Skype

I don't think AOL is a Microsoft rival anymore either... Didn't cost them billions to make that one happen.

And other rivals just pop right up all the time, don't they?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: All those billions spent in Skype

Ah but Skype for Business is Windows-only, no Linux. Typical.

Commit to Android codebase suggests Google may strong-arm phone makers into using 'seamless' partitioned updates

rcxb Silver badge

Re: And how long will Google maintain/update versions ?

Life is perilous on the trailing edge, too. Your old Android version is vulnerable to a number of exploits, should anyone care enough to target you. And how about older SSL protocols being blocked by newer web-sites and apps that require data? Or newer app version dropping support for your old phone?

All that said, I keep a lot of old Android phones limping along, too. Can usually find some specific purpose for them... be it WiFi surveillance camera, digital music players for home or car, movie or game mini-tablets for kids on long trips, barcode scanners, etc. All with either no connectivity or minimal sensitive data, of course.

Time to brush up on current affairs. Because we're predicting Li-ion batt lifetimes using impedance and AI

rcxb Silver badge

There's nothing necessarily AI about this at all. AI seems to be a buzzword for just any computer algorithm at this point.

Cisco rations VPNs for staff as strain of 100,000+ home workers hits its network

rcxb Silver badge

no other vendor can come close to matching their performance per $.

Open Source VPN software on an old server running Linux is nearly zero cost... Be it OpenVPN, WireGuard, OpenConnect/ocserv, isakmp, etc. Easily beats everything else on performance/$$$ metrics.

Internet Archive opens National Emergency Library with unlimited lending of 1.4m books for stuck-at-home netizens amid virus pandemic

rcxb Silver badge

This completely undermines copyright.

Did you know there are buildings you can walk into, in practically every major city, where you can look through copyrighted works at no cost? You can even take them home for days or weeks at a time at no charge. Publishers absolutely hate those places. I've heard them called "libraries".

rcxb Silver badge

Re: WTF is that shit?

I never found it anything more than just an annoyance

Those looking for service manuals for old, small single-engine aircraft have quite a different opinion on the subject of copyright restrictions on abandoned works.

And there's a whole spectrum of people in-between those two extremes.

Leaving Las Vegas... for good? IT industry conference circuit won't look the same on other side of COVID-19 pandemic

rcxb Silver badge

Since your staff don't need t o be in the office all the time, they won't be and suddenly you don't need 15% of your in-office seats.

Except you still need to have all that office space when everyone does show up once in a while, whatever the occasion.

upgrade ability (in 15 years, I can count on one hand the number of desktops that have been upgraded - if someone needs more, they get a new machine).

Do you throw out the desktops when a monitor stops working? Or a keyboard? How much time does it take your IT department to swap one of those, exactly?

so when the office is shut due to power problems, nae problem, everyone gets a day off?

I'm sure companies like Amazon will be very happy to hear all their warehouse workers can go home and get their work done on company laptops when one of their warehouses loses power.

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

rcxb Silver badge

Re: "Futurist predict"

poles have a longer life than pumps, require little to no maintenance, and are cheap and easy to replace

There are plenty of areas where poles do NOT have a long life... some areas are dense with trees have frequent ice storms that bring down utilities lines and poles, etc. They're quite difficult to replace after such storms as well, due to dangerous icy driving conditions, many roads blocked by snow, downed trees, etc.



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