* Posts by Any other name

68 posts • joined 14 Apr 2019


End of an era for ULA as the last Delta IV Medium rocket leaves launch pad

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Re: I could never

Unless of course , you were worried about the US turning off access to the GPS if they did'nt like what you were upto.. like say.... independent military action...

Or perhaps refusing to sell an island or two which the US happens to fancy at the moment? Or may be being a host to a telecom company which is getting a bit too succesful? Or something like refusing to hold a ship which didn't break any of your laws, but is owned by a country the US does not like? Or being a little too efficient at making aluminium and steel?

A capricious and arbitrary external power, which is not accontable to any outsider in any meanigful way, is not a very good sole provider for a safety-critical system or resource. Which at this point GNSS arguably is.

Canadian ISP Telus launches novel solution to deal with excess email: Crash your servers and wipe it all

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Re: This has all happened before, this will all happen again

Speaking about Bell Canada and e-mail: Didn't they also undertake to build the unified, government-wide e-mail system in, oh, around 2013? [yes, they did: https://o.canada.com/business/bell-canada-gets-400-million-contract-for-federal-government-email-system]. The rumour at the time was that they've never buit a business e-mail system of that size (or even 1/10-th of the required size - we are talking about 300,000 direct employees, and many more actual e-mail accounts) before; apparently their plan was to run the entire thing on a single Exchange cluster. Five years later, the system was still not ready [https://globalnews.ca/news/3709736/canadian-government-email-project-stalled/]. I sort of lost the interest in following the story since then ...

If there is one thing all Canadians unite in, it's the mild dislike of Bell, Telus, and Shaw ;o)

UK.gov has £12m to help kick-start quantum techs that could be 'adopted at scale' – which is pretty niche, if we're honest

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Quantum technology is in the eye of the beholder

Quantum technology, not unlike practical fusion power generation ..., is one of those things that promises much, but has singularly failed to deliver.

The outcome of that particular judgement is rather dependent on how one defines "quantum technology". For example, atomic clocks are unquestionably a very useful technology; they are based on quantum transitions and draw on many decades of research in spectroscopy and quantum mechanics. High-temperature superconductors (and all other superconductors, for that matter) are very much based on quantum mechanics; making new and better ones does require a very good understanding of their quantum properties (among many other things!). One might argue that these superconductors are a rather handy technology. Most lasers (with a possible exception of free-electron lasers, which are a bit special) are quite certainly quantum devices; designing lasing medium with the desired parameters _is_ a non-trivial quantum problem (and a rather hard materials engineering problem). I do find lasers a rather useful technology. We can keep going - quantum Hall sensors? quantum key distribution? specroscopic remote-sensing techniques? magnetic-resonance imaging? OLEDs? All rather useful, all rely on quantum effects and our understanding of those. In my book, these are all "quantum technologies".

Of course, the ISCF funding call uses a narrower definition of "quantum technologies": ... quantum technologies including:

- connectivity: techniques for securing data in storage and in flight

- situational awareness: this includes autonomous systems, sensors and detectors for the built environment, transport and infrastructure, and imaging and sensing to “see things currently invisible”

- computing: transformational computers for solving currently intractable problems


Even with this narrow definition, we already have quite a few quantum technologies in widespread use - e.g. radioactive-decay based random number generators (quite useful for securing data); IR- and UV-based remote sensing, various spectroscopic techniques for medical imaging; and so on.

I know it is the ground-state of El Reg's being to be cynical, and I fully approve of this state of affairs, but in this case it seems a little over-egged.

Looming US immigration crackdown aims to weed out pre-crime of poverty. And that may be bad news for techie families

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... it is for people legitimately resident in the UK, regardless of citizenship.

Correct, but a bit too narrow: with certain restrictions, it is also for visitors holding a valid EHIC card - at least until Oct. 31st.

Science and engineering hit worst as Euroboffins do a little Brexit of their own from British universities

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Re: Brexit bollocks

The issue of health insurance is interesting. The Germans already have private health insurance ...

Yes, they do - however, it is important to understand how it works, since the system is quite different from what Americans would recognize as private health insurance. First of all, it is means-tested: in order to be able to be privately-insured, you need to have an income above a certain threshold. Below that threshold, you must be a member of a public insurance scheme (although you are free to choose your insurer; there are several). The cost of the public insurance depends on your income - it becomes more expensive the more you earn, up to a cap; you can also include your dependents in your public insurance without an additional cost, provided that their own income remains below a certain (rather low) limit.

Once you are above the threshold, you can still choose to join the public insurance scheme. In this case, you'll be paying the maximum contribution. You also have an option of getting a private insurance. Doing that has a number of advantages as well as disadvantages. The advantages are that you'll be probably paying less than the maximum in the public scheme, sometimes much less. It is often also easier to get specialist appointments - private schemes tend to accept higher billings than the public scheme.

There are also significant disadvantages. Most importantly, including your dependents will cost you more. You will have to pay most of your costs upfront, then get reimbursed (it is possible to arrange for direct billing for major costs, like hospital stays - but it is not automatic as in the public scheme). Finally, getting back into the public scheme is quite complicated - so you better be sure that your income levels will consistently remain high for the rest of your life, or at least for the rest of your stay in Germany.

With a few exceptions, deciding on whether the private or the public scheme - even if you are in an income braket where you do have a choice - is better for you is not trivial. The exceptions are those making well in excess of 100K per year (which are fairly few and far between in Germany), and healthy young professionals, coming to Germany for a stint of work and sure of moving out after a few years, before starting a family. Then, private insurance is clearly the right thing to do. In most other cases, you really need to run the numbers, and see what comes ahead ...

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Re: Brexit bollocks

.. this breexshit ... as some Brexiteers are right wing thugs.

Downvoted, even though (as an interested, but not directly involved bystander) I do not see how Brexit is or could possibly be in Britain's national interest either.

Whatever happens, you will still need to share your country and your daily life with roughly half of the population who voted the other way. Why make it worse than it already is by making all these people angry, or worse - convincing them that you are an idiot not worth listening to?

Canonical adds ZFS on root as experimental install option in Ubuntu

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Re: Oracle is a patient predator

Oh, I see now.

For a second, I thought you were accusing Oracle of eating people undergoing treatment at a medical facility - which I felt was probably a little over the top and potentially unwarranted.

Psst. Hey. Hey you. We have to whisper this in case the cool kidz hear, but... it's OK to pull your data back from the cloud

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Re: It's the future... and it will always be

Cloud will win out over time but right now isn't the 100% solution to all people.

It appears very unlikely that any single way of organizing your computing needs and resources will ever be the 100% solution to all people - at least not for very long.

In all healthy, complex ecosystems you invariably find multiple species occupying specific niches, each with nearly perfect efficiency. Most of these specialist species start out as generalists, who moved into a new niche, adapted to it, and outcompeted their generalist brethren. Conversely, an ecosystem with a single, dominant species occupying all available niches is not healthy, and liable to be disrupted by an agressive newcomer.

There is no reason to expect computing is different - after all we do have many historical examples of dominant players (or at least dominant ways of doing things) being upstaged by new technologies and new ideas. Sometimes they disappear completely; sometimes they transform themselves into a specialist, addressing a specific niche. Historically, the only thing which has been certain is that the things will change if you wait long enough.

WTF is Boeing on? Not just customer databases lying around on the web. 787 jetliner code, too, security bugs and all

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May I humbly suggest a solution?

... IOActive reviewed only one part of the 787 network using rudimentary tools, and had no access to the larger system or working environments ...

That could have been and still can be easily remedied - for example, by setting up a facility where the software can be inspected, using the appropriate tools and in a working environment, by suitably-vetted, independent reviewers - who can then reveal their findings in, say, an annual report.

Perhaps that's something the UK can take a lead in - after all, there is already a precedent of HMG positively insisting on such procedure, for software far less safety-critical than a passenger airliner control system.

I am sure that should be satisfactory for all reasonable and open-minded parties.

Googlers hate it! This one weird trick lets websites dodge Chrome 76's defenses, detect you're in Incognito mode

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Re: Everything is for the Best in this Best of All Possible Worlds

This is about the differing performance of disk stores vs memory stores on the same computer, whether lightning fast SLC SSD or a 5400rpm slow laptop HDD. The speed of even the fastest SSD available pales in comparison to memory, it is an order of magnitude or more difference, with spinning rust being a further 1 or 2 orders further back.

For many years now, my SOP has been to symlink browser cache and local store directories to a ramdisk as a part of my .login script. This has the twin benefits of speeding the things up rather considerably, and guaranteeing that the browser won't accidentally-on-purpose forget to purge some of its remotely-set cruft when I restart. The downside (if you want to call it that) is that I have to re-enter my credentials after a reboot, instead of relying on the browser to remember them.

For this setup, the only difference between the incognito and normal mode is the lifetime of the files - not the speed at which they are are accessed (ok, except for the overhead of the filesystem layers - which presumably is small compared to the medium speed, except for the ramdisk).

In any event, like any copy-protection measure, timing-based incognito mode detection will only end up inconveniencing and alienating the users - including those willing to pay. In my particular case, I do subscribe to an electronic version of my local newspaper - even though essentially all content they probide is also available online wihout a paywall. The reasons are simple: I feel the need to support a reliable local news source, and I much prefer news sources which, like the printed or an electronic newspaper, remain immutable once they are punlished. This way I (or my local library) can save them, and refer to them later if needed.

There is absolutely no way I will subscribe to a random site which nags me to give them money because I was curious about a couple of articles linked to from elsewhere; if they become too persistent, and it can't be cured by an adblock or noscript, I simply won't come back, ever.

Fed-up graphic design outfit dangles cash to anyone who can free infosec of hoodie pics

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Re: Funny thing

... pretty much everyone in IT uses at least two monitors if they can these days ...

I find either 3 or 4 to be the optimum. Two in portrait orientation and either one or two in landscape.

Possibly that's my way of compensating for the foibles of the late middle age: with my memory starting to go funny at the same time as the number of things I need to mind continues to increase, I usually have to keep multiple documents open and ready for reference. That works a lot nicer in portrait. On the other hand, writing code and debugging somehow feels more natural on a landscape screen. Mind you, they all need to be of the same pixel density on both axes - or things start to look seriously ugly.

I guess to qualify for an über-hacker, I'll still need to mount them on individually-programmable motorized arms ...

Capital One gets Capital Done: Hacker swipes personal info on 106 million US, Canadian credit card applicants

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You keep it for how long?!

The pilfered data was submitted to Capital One by credit card hopefuls between 2005 and early 2019.

The real outrage here is not that the data was taken - it is that Capital One still keeps the data from 14-year old credit card applications, presumably including those where the application was refused or where the customer has cancelled the card long ago, and no longer has any business relationship with Capital One.

This is is exactly why we need tools like GDPR, and we need them agressively enforced by state regulators.

Freshly outsourced Home Office project: Overseas student visa IT slammed for delays

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Wait, foreign students need to provide biometrics and documents to apply for a VISA ... in the City of London....in the UK?

Can someone fill in the gaps for me here?

Plenty of people can initially come to UK without a visa, but still need a visa to study full-time or over an extended period.

Apollo 11 @ 50: The long shadow of the flag

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Re: The most expensive dick swinging contest in history

"The Russian Space Hoax" by Lloyd Mallan featured prominently in Science & Mechanics magazine for several issues.

Thanks, that was a fun piece to read. A somewhat blurry scan of the articles can be found here.

As is often the case, it reveals more about the state of the mind of the person who wrote it and of the people willing to believe it, than it does of the subject matter. It is fascinating to see that this mindset is still alive and well - not in the least in the discussions of Chinese science and technology, in particular as pertains to their originality and state of advancement relative to the American conterparts ;o)

Experts: No need to worry about Europe's navigation sats going dark for days. Also: What the hell is going on with those satellites?!

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Re: "Galileo is doing a literal fandango in the sky"?

is "fandango" supposed to mean anything?

Well, I did read it as a reference to the hemp fandango, but that's just me ...

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Galileo SAR

The SAR service has presumably been kept live because 500 meters inaccuracy is better than nothing when trying to find someone lost at sea ...

A more lilely reason is that Galileo SAR component is mostly independent of its GNSS function - it is a COSPAS-SARSAT receiver/transmitter (it is a common practice to piggy-badk them on other satellites these days). The native location accuracy of COSPAS-SARSAT is on the order of a few kilometers (which is already very impresseive, given that it relies solely on the analysis of the radio signal of the emergency beacon)[1]; a few hundred meters extra won't affect its usability in any way.

[1] the beacon is free to transmit its own coordinates if it knows them through other means (e.g. by having its own GNSS receiver, which presumably will be smart enougth to use the GPS/GLONASS/Beidou signal as well) - the responsible SAR service will receive both sets of coordinates from COSPAS-SARSAT.

Train maker's coder goes loco, choo-choo-chooses to flee to China with top-secret code – allegedly

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Re: Trains'n'spies

Ignorant and ill-informed.

Care to elaborate? For example, who, on which point(s), and why? Otherwise, it really sounds like an introduction ...

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I've taken trains in China. I've taken trains in the US. I know which ones were priced reasonably, which ones were comfortable, which ones were fast, and which ones were on-time. None of these four round go to the US.

Not really surprising either, given that the last time the US made a serious investment in its railways was over more than 50 years ago - while China has been developing their rail (and of course ”borrowing" from other advanced rail nations - such as the Japanese, French, and Germans) non-stop for the past 20 years, and now runs the world's largest high-speed rail network.

It would not be a shock if a US company tried to steal train designs and software from China, but the other way around just does not make sense - unless they are looking for the exhibits for their museum of railway history, of course.

Engineer found guilty of smuggling military-grade chips from the US to China

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How long before smuggling chips from China into the US is also a crime?

You need to be more specific. Generally speaking, whether an act is a crime or not depends on (at least):

- who is performing it

- where it is done

- when it was done

- who is doing the judging

In a hypothetical case of smuggling an controlled item to another country, one can easily be:

- a dangerous criminal (according to the country trying to control the item - on either end)

- a national hero (according to the country desperately needing the controlled item)

- nobody in particular (according to most everybody else)

All three labels can change at any time, including retroactively

A Register reader turns the computer room into a socialist paradise

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I have reread my paperback copy of Solzhenitsyn's Cancer Ward so many times it is now seriously fragile. Hard back copies are serious money alas. I should check Gutenberg . . .


Oh, and I hope you didn't mean you need an English translation ...

Suspected dark-web meth dealers caught by, er, 'using real address' when buying stamps

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Re: ???

Aderall is methamphetamine.

Adderall is a mixture of several salts of amphetamine; the Wikipedia's article on it is quite detailed. (we can debate why the mixture is quite so complex, given that the active ingredient(s) of all these salts are the same; my bet is on patentability rather than on any measurable therapeutical advantage).

Methamphetamine is a different chemical compound - it has an extra methyl (ie CH<sub>3</sub>) group at the amino nitrogen. Pharmacologically it is similar, but not the same as amphetamine. In particular it appears that it is significantly easier to develop an addiction to methamphetamine than to amphetamine - such as Adderall.

The dread sound of the squeaking caster in the humming data centre

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Re: Gone fishing?

A dodgy caster would be putting the bait in the wrong place, a castor however, may steer you wrong.

Is that castor canadensis or castor fiber? I really had no idea either had a thing about castrating bos taurus.

I should really be more careful around the little buggers.

Epyc crypto flaw? AMD emits firmware fix for server processors after Googler smashes RAM encryption algorithms

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Re: hmm

If you don't directly control the hardware and what software is running on it you are lying to yourself it is secure.

You forgot the troll icon. As anybody haunting Reg for any length of time is well aware, there is no such thing as "secure". Rather, there is a whole spectrum of being more or less trouble (ie money, skill, and risk to life and limb) to breach your security. On that spectrum, guest memory encryption with cryptographically-sound key management is a very useful point. It won't stand up to a determined and resourceful state-level attacker - nothing would - but it does protect you from an electronic equivalent of a casual smash'n'grab, while still allowing you to rent somebody else's hardware.

For many uses, that's plenty secure enough.

Iran is doing to our networks what it did to our spy drone, claims Uncle Sam: Now they're bombing our hard drives

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Re: What goes round, comes around

What choice do they have? Standing up in the UN and asking everyone just to be nice to each other (please)?

That would be a good start.

The next step would be to sit down with everybody else, and to try to really negotiate, at the very least listening to other nations' concerns and ideally doing something constructive to alleviate them. This is difficult, and it takes skill, and patience, and it takes a lot of time, and eventually one might have to concede a bit more than one would have been willing to give up at the beginning to get something one really needs. However, this is exactly how many key international treaties have been negotiated.

Since we are talking about Iran, the nuclear deal currently coming apart has been negotiated in exactly that way - with all sides very slowly and painfully coming to the point where they are ready to sacrifice something they value very highly to get something they really need.

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Re: Imperial v Metric

The US claim that the territorial airspace extends 12 miles off the Iranian coast. The Iranians claim that they have a territorial limit of 22Km. Twelve miles is approx 19300 meters, not 22000 meters.

Good try, but the nice thing about miles is that there are so many to choose from. In this particular case, the relevant mile is the nautical mile, which is 1852 meters. 12 nautical miles is 22.224 km.

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What goes round, comes around

Unfortunately for all of us, this sort of attacks against both military and civilian infrastructure has been effectively legitimized a while ago. If it is (il)legitimate [1] for the US to hit Iran's centrifuges or air-defence network with a destructive virus, it is equally (il)legitimate[1] for Iran to hit defence and government installations in the US. If it is (il)legimate [1] for the US to booby-trap Russian civilian energy infrastructure, it is equally (il)legitimate [1] for Russia to do the same to the US. And on and on it goes.

Unlike the convenventional warfare, it is the more technologically advanced opponent, which presents a bigger target, who ends up at a greater risk and a greater disadvantage. It is inconceivable to me that this point escapes american military and civilian leaders - and yet it is the US which continues to enthusiastically push "cyber warfare". I'd really love to understand what logic and what compulsion drive them.

[1] Feel free to choose the word according to taste.

You're Huawei off base on this, Rubio: Lawyers slam US senator's bid to ban Chinese giant from filing patent lawsuits

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Too late to ban

Moves like this might have been able to contain China's develppment in computing and telecoms 20 years ago, when China had minimal indiginous R&D capability and had no choice but to rely on the western designs and western IP. By now it's too late - while the Chinese can and do use the US-sourced technology to a good effect, they also have adequate, if sometimes less polished, domestic technologies in nearly all areas of computing. Blocking their access to US technologies might slow them down by a few years - but at the cost of making the US-developed technologies less relevant and ultimately risking killing them off altogether.

A case in point is the fate of the Intel's Xeon Phi, which was a nearly-perfect HPC cluster-on-a-chip - easy to program, versatile, and delivering exceptionally good performance for a broad range of applications. China's supercomputers were soaking up a very large fraction of these chips - so naturally the US government decided to block their sale to China. While this wasn'g the only reason behind the Phi's eventual cancellation, I would be very surprised if the loss of the key market didn't contribute to the outcome. And Chinese supercomputing industry? Doing very well, judging by the Top-500 rankings - although probably not quite as well as it would have done otherwise.

Give it a few years more, and I won't be shoked if the US is reduced to sourcing the next genefation of supercomputers from China :o)

Google: We're not killing ad blockers. Translation: We made them too powerful, we'll cram this genie back in its bottle

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The art of misleading with numbers

"we’ve increased the size of the engineering teams that work on extension abuse by over 300 per cent and the number of reviewers by over 400 per cent."

Ah, the smell of a fresh, beautifully-crafted deliberately misleading statement.

The snippet above could mean that the extension-abuse team, which used to consist of Joan (a really cute intern sitting in the second sub-basement of the branch office in Porto) now also includes Peter, Eva, and Marek (the new summer students at the recently-opened Krakow branch). (To bring it over 300%, Joan was allowed to bring in her favorite cactus to keep her company, since we still haven't gotten around to install any network or power sockets in the sub-basement area.)

Of course, it could also mean that the 1000-strong extension-abuuse team have grown to 4500, forcing construction of a campus annex at the headquarters to make them comfortable and productive. However, it is much harder to show impressive growth figures when you start in a strong position already.

It would be very nice if the Reg could use its inside line to Google to tell us which version of 300%+ is closer to the truth.

Hate your IT job? Sick of computers? Good news: An electronics-frying Sun superflare may hit 'in next 100 years'

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10^36 erg per second


I would like to express my deep disappointment and the sense of moral outrage at the failure of this esteemed publication to adhere to the proper, commentard-approved system of units. An anybody remotely qualified to report on any matter of science knows, the Reg-approved unit of energy is Jub-(sheep-in-vacuum)-squared, which must be used in preference to the obscure "erg", which is virtualy unknown outside of the narrow and cloistered bunch of people calling themselves "physicists". Likewise, the Reg-approved unit of power is not "erg per second", it is the much more comprehesible, understandable, and friendly Norris-(vaccum sheep). You would do all your readers a sterling service by remonstrating with the more recalcintrant of your scribes to exclusively use these approved units.

Sincerely yours,

A Disappointed but Loyal Reader.

P.S. As a matter of mere curiosity, neither unit used in the article is a part of that new-fangled frenchie "international system of units" either, which would rather have us rely on "Joules" for the energy and "Watts" for power. Nowever, never shall we stoop so low as to abandon our Norris-Sheeps. Never!

Bear insistent on playing tonsil tennis with you? Just bite its tongue off

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Re: license, hell

I heard an interview with Ranulph Fiennes about one of his Actic expeditions. Apparently they had to attend a training event by the Canadian government - or the Mounties - I can't remember which. And this was to learn the law on shooting polar bears.

The branch of Canadian government you'd want to be learning about dealing with polar bears are almost certainly the Canadian Rangers, not the Mounties. For many years, their standard weapon was a .303 Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle. Plus an ax - although I doubt that would be anybody's weapon of choice going against a polar bear.

When it comes to DNS over HTTPS, it's privacy in excess, frets UK child exploitation watchdog

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* Many web sites share an IP number amongst more than one web site, e.g., example.com and example.co.uk could be different sites both served by a server at If you access the server using its number it won't know which site you want.

You are conflating three different things here: The symbolic host name, the numerical IP address, and the HTTP Host: header. Each time (barring caching) I ask for www.theregister.co.uk in my browser, the following happens:

1. My browser asks the DNS server for the address record associated with www.theregister.co.uk

2. My brouser opens a TCP connexion to the numerical IP address it received in the step 1.

3. My browser sends the "Host: www.theregister.co.uk" header down the pipe, to indicate the web site I want.

There is no particular reason why the symbolic names used in steps 1 and 3 should be the same: I could just as well directly open a connexion to a numerical address I already know, and instruct the browser to use the symbolic name I want through an extension (or eg in wget --header command-line option).

The rest of your objections are circumvented in the same, trivial way - by setting the appropriate HTTP headers in a request sent to a known IP destination. Please note that this is not a "hack", and not a bug - it is the fundamental property of the TCP/IP and HTTP design. It cannot be fixed without breaking either protocol.

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Re: The ol' Dual-Use Problem

So what's it gonna be: anarchy or the police state?


Russian Jesus gives up food to meditate on how he can improve crypto messenger Telegram

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Re: This should be encouraged

If you're dead, are your thoughts clear?

Mr. Slant of Morecombe, Slant & Honeyplace certainly claimed it does. His rather spectacular posthumous legal career appears to support the claim.

Apple strips clips of WWDC devs booing that $999 monitor stand from the web using copyright claims. Fear not, you can listen again here...

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Gaffer taping a monitor to your serf is a bit cruel isn't it?

I am sure the monitor would not mind.

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Does the monitor come with a stand at all, or do you basically have to pony up for it or the over priced vesa adapter?

Let me quote from that obscure source, https://www.apple.com/pro-display-xdr/specs/:

Price: $4999

Pro Stand and VESA Mount Adapter sold separately

So yes, you would need to lean it against your two morning's capuccino lattes if you forget to buy the stand.

Apple kills iTunes, preps pricey Mac Pro, gives iPad its own OS – plus: That $999 monitor stand

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Re: How much? They gotta be kidding, right?

Where can you get 32GB of RAM for $100?

You are right - the RAM is probably closer to $400 retail. Mea culpa - that reduces the profit margin from 90% to 85%.

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Re: 1.4kW???

If anything, the "1.4 kW" may be a little under-powered for the maximum specification of that system.

First of all, it's only rated at 1.3 kW at the normal US or European voltages, dropping to 1.2 kW below 108V supply voltage. Secondly, just the Xeon W CPU in the max config is rated up to 255W TDP (so it will probably happily draw 350W briefly). A single Vega2 duo card will draw up to 550W. Add 100W for the miscellaneous stuff on the system boadd and hanging off external ports, and you've maxed out the PSU.

If you were to add any more high-power-draw PCI cards (the advertised specs say up two 300W per MPX module, of which there are two), and you'v almost certainly blown your power budget and something will have to cutback.

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How much? They gotta be kidding, right?

Coming this fall, the $5,999 base spec model sports an eight-core Intel Xeon processor, 32GB of memory, a Radeon Pro 580X graphics card and 256GB of SSD storage.

That's some serious profit margin! Even if I take the top-of-line Supermicro $1200 workstation case+system board, blinged out with all possible heatpipes, wheels, and enough fans to levitate briefly (I swear by these cases - they are very much worth the money, and are built like a main battle tank. You can also slot them in a rack with $20 bolt-on rails, should the need arise), and add a $1500 Xeon Gold SSP, the rest of the spec costs peanuts - $100 for the RAM, $400 tops for the graphics card, and another $100 for the SSD. That's some serious profit margin right there - even if they buy their parts retail.


Wow, talk about a Maine-wave: US state says ISPs need permission to flog netizens' personal data

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Re: I can see why this was a thing.

Dial-up as backup for their broadband connection?

These developers don't have smartphones, or don't know how to connect via same?

May be JohnFen is living in Harrisonburg, VA?

Using smartphone as a backup can be hard if you've got no mobile signal ...

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Re: Market Forces

I need an internet connection with low speed and low cap, worth € 10,=.

Only i can buy cheapest mobile €23!=, cheapest copper € 27,=, cheapest fibre € 30,=. All per month.

Where are you located, if I may ask? Since you are quoting prices in Euro, I assume it is somewhere in the eurozone? Then these prices do feel a bit high. For Germany at least, there is a rather nice comparison-shopping service by check24.de, which lets me do some comparisons.

For mobile internet, if I look for 1Gigabyte/month (you did say low volume; it does not mean you'll get cut off after 1Gbyte, rather the connexion speed will drop) and a month-to-month contract or prepaid, I see 35 (!) offers under €10/month. The cheapest short-time tariff for 10Gbytes/month is €15 - a bit higher than you specified, but significantly below €23. You can get it cheaper on a long-time contract, but I am generally against those for telecom services.

For DSL, I see multiple offers in the €20-30/month range for the running cost, with no special deals; the best choice will depend on the location and your other requirements; for Berlin area I also see a special 2-year deal at €9.99 for 50Mbps down/4Mbps up (you did say slow is Ok!) - however it gets quite expensive after 2 years, so you'd just have to remember to cancel.

At least in Berlin, FTTP is not realy a thing yet, so these offers are rather expensive (€40 for 250/40 Mbps, going up to €125 for 1000/500) and are not available in most area. However, since you specified low-speed/low-cap, you are not really the target audience for FTTP.

That's a hell of Huawei to run a business, Chinese giant scolds FedEx after internal files routed via America

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Re: I will not attribute your post to malice, never.

The additional distance it traveled due to the misroute was over 21,000 kilometers.

21,000 km? Pfah. I had a small parcel from Montreal to Ottawa (the road distance between 180 and 260 km, depending on which part of either city you choose), which was sent by the parcel arm of the glorious Canada Post through Wellington, New Zealand. That's a misroute of 40,000 km, even as a crow (or in this case more likely a pointless albatross) flies.

On the way out, they stuck it on a boat, too - so it was very slightly delayed. (The NZ post had the decency to return the parcel by air.) Of course, they apologized profoundly, because my business is important to them. There was no extra charge, thankfully; with Canada Post you really never know.

Coverage concerns dog UK Emergency Services Network as boss admits scheme too ambitious

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Didn't Motorola get sold to those foreign chaps in China?

Are these different evil commie Chinese threats to national security than the ones at Huawei ?

You are thinking of Motorola Mobility, Motorola's consumer devices arm, which was sold off to Google and then on to Lenovo. The company owning Airwave and working on its replacement (weird, that) is Motorola Solutions. It is an American company, headquartered in Chicago, IL.

Whether that is a bigger or lesser cause for concern, compared to a Chinese company being involved, is for you to decide. With any luck, EE will source the equipment on its side from Huawei or ZTE - so that both big brothers could keep an eye on things.

We'll hack back at Russians, declare UK ministers in cyber-Blitz blitz

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Public confidence

Hunt continued: "Recent events demonstrate that our adversaries regard democratic elections as a key vulnerability of an open society. If cyber interference were to become commonplace, the danger is that authoritarian states would damage public confidence in the very fabric of democracy."

Personaly, I find that seeing Jeremy or his boss expostulating on TV does it all by itself - no hacking by either authoritarian or democratically-inclined states is actually needed.

Twist my Arm why don't you: Brit CPU behemoth latest biz to cease work with Huawei – report

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This will harm ARM as much as it will Huawei

Is anybody taking bets on what the Chinese government's response is going to be?

My money is on China suspending copyrights and patents of the Western companies in the technology sector until the Huawei sanctions are lifted. This looks like something they could plausibly argue is a proportionate response to an unlawful trade restraint under the WTO rules - see the Antigua vs. the USA gambling dispute (https://antiguawto.com/).

Now Chinese-made drones rubbing US govt up the Huawei: 'Strong concerns' DJI kit threat to national security

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Re: Been Asleep Long?

Like Huawei, it's a camel's nose in the tent, collecting intel and surveillance here at home for the PRC intel agencies.

I never stop to marvel how we always tend to interpret other people's actions in terms of our own intent, so very rarely even trying to figure out theirs. It's a human thing to do, but as the sole basis for state policy it seems to lack certain finesse.

Sophos tells users to roll back Microsoft's Patch Tuesday run if they want PC to boot

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Its advice on what to do is pretty blunt: uninstall the Windows update. Specifically, revert KB4499164 (May's full-fat Patch Tuesday) and KB4499165, the security-only update ...

Hands up anybody who still thinks roll-up patch bundles, which a customer can either take or leave as a whole, is still a good idea? A patch for an pretty esoteric hardware bug, which has a low likelihoodod being exploited relative to the overall threat landscape, effectively blocking customers from patching against a catastrophic and trivial to exploit software vulnerability in one of the core components. Yes, that's going to make things secure.

As a less disastrous example, an aging but still perfectly functioning AMD FX-based system I have here fails to install every other monthly rollup. From the update trace logs, it looks like it tries to install an Intel microcode update (which it obviously does not need), fails, and then reverts the entire rollup. Next month's rollup goes through without a hitch. Why that system and not the others? I have no clue. Can I just block the failing patch, and let the rest apply? No, sirrah - you must wait for the next rollup. May be it will install. May be it wont. I could try rebuilding it, but there is no guarantee it'll help either ...

Cray's found a super scooper, $1.3bn's gonna buy you. HPE's the one

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DEC (was Re: SGI,...)

DEC was a poisoning acquisition for Compaq as above. Silicon carrion in the form of an ossified, arrogant brand. Not a healthy acquisition.

We must have lived in different universes then. At the time Compaq gobbled Digital, Digital's Alpha AXP systems were plainly the best architecture for high-performance computing applications - in terms of the raw performance, the price per achievable flops, the toolchain support, and the hardware build quality.

At about that time, I had some 100 of these beasties running in a self-built little cluster, which managed to beat some of national-level supercomputing centers on application performance - despite costing an order of magnitude less to buy and operate.

In just a few years, Compaq managed to squanter that techical brilliance, while fully preserving and internalising the worst excesses of the Digital's management and sales styles. Quite a feat, if you ask me.

Banhammer Republic: Trump declares national emergency, starts ball rolling to boot Huawei out of ALL US networks

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Re: Pardon me!

I see that Trump just pardoned Conrad Black. From the article "Last year he published a book entitled Donald J Trump: A President Like No Other."

I think that Trump has now entirely lost the plot. He's supposedly running a country but finds the time to pardon dubious people.

Ah, but there is absolutely no doubt what Lord Black of Crossharbour stands for, is there? We can go with his own words: ... "You have a right to say whatever it is that is on your mind, all of you," he informed his investors. "You don't know what you are talking about, but you are still welcome as shareholders." ... [http://archive.fortune.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/2003/10/13/350878/index.htm]

Kindred spirit and all that ...

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Re: National Emergency

I'm wondering if all these "national emergencies" are being declared because they actually are, or is this "attention getting"?

Declaring a national emergency also allows a president to do things which he or she would not be normally permitted to do, for good reasons. While the Congress could quash a presidential declaration of an emergency, this is extremely rare and takes time. So it is very far from being just posturing, and is a very real threat to the idea of separation of powers.

The Wikipedia's list of national emergencies in the US makes for some very amusing reading:


Japan on track to start testing Alfa-X, fastest train in the world with top speed of 400kph

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Re: Well....

Woah: "mountain spine" feels like an exaduration (unless you are Dutch!)... The highest point in England is Scafell Pike (978 metres : 3208 ft.).

Surely there are multiple examples of similar hilly terrain that fast trains already go through (Japanese? Chinese?)

Don't forget the Spanish, who run the second-largest high-speed train network in the world (after the Chinese). The Madrid-Zaragoza-Barselona route climbs up to a 1000-meter high mountain range along the way, at speeds of >300 km/hour. I've taken that route many times, and it is a truly magnificent piece of engineering.


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