* Posts by Remy Redert

535 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Mar 2007


BOFH: We're an industry leader … in employing idiot managers

Remy Redert

Re: Have not found a way to set glass on fire.

I believe it was 'lab assistants', not people in the original write up. It's an important distinction to make.

Nvidia faces lawsuit for melting RTX 4090 cables as AMD has a laugh

Remy Redert

The best part is that testing by various parties has shown that you can drop that power by half or more and still get most of the performance available out of the card. It really is the last 10% of performance doubling power usage.

Remy Redert

Re: The card should monitor and alarm beep or self-limit in such a case

It is possible to detect resistive faults such as a cable not completely plugged in or a bad connection from FOD (both seen as problems with the new connector). There is no need to give any warnings at the driver level, simply turn the card off (or don't even start it) when a fault is detected.

The first thing you (should) do when troubleshooting a graphics card problem, especially a newly installed one as would be the case for almost of these faults, is check and reseat power connectors.

Of course the hardware to detect those faults isn't present on the 4090 board, so we're back in redesign territory.

Remy Redert

Re: What will this accomplish?

More importantly, Nvidia knew or should reasonably have known that the connectors were prone to failure even before the release of their cards.

IT manager's 'think outside the box' edict was, for once, not (only) a revolting cliché

Remy Redert

This is when you discover that grounded outlets were not specified in the design, so all the outlets are without ground.

Sharing is caring, except when it's your internet connection

Remy Redert

Re: "What the neighbours made of their sudden disconnection is . ."

It was a problem with some of the more poorly designed powerline adapters in the early days of them. The competent designs use passwords of some sort to configure.

Now of course it's all push-button-to-sync stuff and while it's theoretically possible that you and your neighbor are doing your network setup at the same time and you end up cross connected, that really is quite unlikely.

How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem

Remy Redert

Re: thorough vacuuming removed enough cat hair...

As a veterinary assistant, I've had quite a few long haired cats that required anesthesia to trim because they wouldn't allow the owner or trim salon owner to do so while they were awake.

We'd often remove multiple cats worth of hair from the cat. At one point we even jokingly placed the pile of removed cat hair in one of the kennels when the owner came to pick them up, which did briefly fool the owner until the cat had enough of our shenanigans and loudly voiced its disapproval from the lower kennel.

As a cat owner myself, I regularly clean the filters on my PC that help prevent cat hair from getting to the internals and it has helped massively.

One-size-fits-all chargers? What a great idea! Of course Apple would hate it

Remy Redert

Re: Really?

Yes, for safety and ease of maintenance reasons. Where we take the efficiency losses for granted. Also, shavers, toothbrushes and the like use a lot less power than a smartphone and those chargers are typically designed to specifically fit the one device they're charging, allowing for much tighter magnetic coupling than a generic inductive charging device and thus better efficiency.

WTF? Microsoft makes fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job

Remy Redert

Re: "fixing deadly OMIGOD flaws on Azure your job"

Yes and no. There's probably a lot of Linux hosts without OMI running, but more importantly, in its default configuration the OMI host is not exposed to the internet at large. Only to machines within the same (virtual) network.

So for most people, this gaping hole is covered up by the fact that you can't easily get to it from the internet. It still needs patching, but it's not as absolutely disastrous as it would be if the default configuration was open to the internet.

That of course also means it's difficult for researchers to tell just how many vulnerable installations exist. Most of those installations will be invisible to the researchers.

BOFH: Pass the sugar, Asmodeus, and let the meeting of the Fellowship of Bastards … commence

Remy Redert

Re: And another classic!

We have a nightly compile job that starts at 21:00 and would sometimes terminate abruptly at midnight because that is the time the server administrators had chosen to reboot all of our machines.

This caused several days of lost work for 30+ employees over a period of weeks before our department manager asked the CFO if he could bill other departments for time spent on their behalf. The CFO agreed this was fine and our department manager dropped a bill the size of that server admin's team entirely monthly budget on their desk.

The next week our build servers were set to reboot after midnight, 5 minutes after the scheduled build task was completed and our problems were resolved.

Turns out policies that can't be changed can suddenly be changed awfully quickly when the people responsible have to start justifying massive bills from other departments for loss of work.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Remy Redert

Re: Speeding

Mythbusters tested this with a speeding camera in the US and managed to beat it at 245 mph, considerably faster than this airplane. In their earlier testing they got up to ~160mph which is was not fast enough to beat the camera, so for their second take they brought out a jet engine powered car.

Microsoft wasn't joking about the Dev Channel not enforcing hardware checks: Windows 11 pops up on Pi, mobile phone

Remy Redert

Re: Anti Competitive

Except that in the case of Windows 11, Microsoft have very specifically said that the installer won't LET you install on hardware they don't support. At all.

And unlike Apple, they are a monopoly.

UK gets glowing salute from Bezos-backed General Fusion: Nuclear energy company to build plant in Oxfordshire

Remy Redert

Re: already got one

There are quite a few solar collectors that work for FAR more than 12 hours a day. Some even manage 24/7 operation.

Yes, those collectors are up in space, which means powering your home with them is a little more difficult.

There are designs for massive solar collector farms in various orbits, but they often have issues with power transmission to the ground. Laser or Microwave transmission to the ground is relatively lossy, but more efficient than solar panels inside the atmosphere would be, but people are for some reason worried about GigaWatt lasers or microwaves being used as weapons or causing disasters.

Remy Redert

Re: 2025?

T-4 was meh. T-4B was an improvement. T-5 was under construction in 2019, but I see nothing more recent.

MIT and Commonwealth Fusion Systems have also recently announced they're building a prototype compact fusion reactor and that they were aiming for 270 MegaWatts of net power by 2025.

They started in 2017 and the most recent news from that is late 2020 with construction underway.

'There was no one driving that vehicle': Texas cops suspect Autopilot involved after two men killed in Tesla crash

Remy Redert

There are ways to extinguish a burning battery with powder or foam extinguishing agents. Unfortunately most fire departments don't carry said chemicals around with them because prior to the proliferation of electrical vehicles, they simply didn't need them.

Any battery fire they did encounter they simply extinguished by dousing the (small) battery with very large amounts of water. Much easier to do of course when it's a phone or laptop battery.

Our fire departments here are actually starting to carry the necessary hardware now, so they'll knock the fire down with water, then spray foams/powders over the burnt out wreck to keep it from reigniting immediately so they arrange a container to immerse the battery in water long enough to make it safe.

Yep, you're totally unique: That one very special user and their very special problem

Remy Redert

Re: Where’s the effing handbrake!?

My (manual transmission) car won't even turn over if you don't have your foot on the brake pedal and the clutch. It's an idiot protection feature, as in it prevents idiots from trying to move the car with the starter motor or accidentally throwing themselves off a cliff/into the car in front while trying to start the car. I'd have expected that kind of feature to be standard in automatics where it's even more important to hold the brake.

Forget GameStop: Keyboard warriors and electronic trading have never mixed well

Remy Redert

Re: Just last week....

We have an admin-credentials required set of tests. Since we don't have admin credentials on our testing VM for reasons, we need to make a ticket for IT to start such a program.

So we made an agent instead. IT starts the agent, the agent starts our jobs whenever we need them. This of course completely circumvents the controls IT put in place.

The problem is that the agent would regularly get killed or fail to start on a reboot of the VM, so we'd have to bother IT.

After a particular week with daily outages on our remotes (which would take hours to fix and render us unable to work) our team leader decided ended up writing around 200 manhours onto a timecode for IT related overhead.

We now have admin credentials for our software testing VMs and no longer require IT intervention.

Edit: The restrictions on admin credentials where put in place because of certain people in marketing/sales/HR. Everyone in QA and development still has local admin rights

Boeing 737 Max will return to flight after software updates, says EU's aviation regulator

Remy Redert

IIRC both sensors were present on every plane delivered. But without the optional AOA element, the AOA display wasn't part of the instruments on the display and because of that, the AOA disagree warning wouldn't show up.

In other words, the hardware was there all along. The software to display this warning was there all along. It just didn't work unless you paid for an optional flight instrument.

If they had included the AOA disagree warning on every plane, we may have never found out how flawed MCAS really was, or at least it would have taken a lot longer.

Zoom strong-armed by US watchdog to beef up security after boasting of end-to-end encryption that didn't exist

Remy Redert

Re: End-to-end?

In a true end to end encrypted system, provided the meta data itself isn't considered overly sensitive, you can use third parties to reduce the bandwidth requirements and still be sure that this party can't read your information.

A, B, C and D decide on an encryption key together, this is the really hard part because you need to be certain only those four parties have the key.

Then each of them can connect to server X and send their encrypted video and audio streams there. X will forward those streams to the other parties in the chat, so upload speed requirements are the same no matter how many users there are.

X doesn't have your encryption key, so they're sending this data back and forth blindly, they can't tell what's in it.

If the meta data is important and you don't want anybody to know who is taking to who, things get a lot harder.

The reason most of the open source solutions have those huge bandwidth requirements for multi person conversations is because they don't have a server X to bear that cost for you, you have to send the stream to every person separately.

The day I took down the data centre- I mean, the day I saved the day. Right, boss?

Remy Redert

Re: Takes me back

We routinely make other testers angry when our automated tests run. Usually when we're doing single machine test runs to verify our automated tests are good before putting them in the weekly run over the weekend.

Since the transition to the cloud servers, we've routinely soft locked machines over the weekend and come back to find over half our tests have timed out.

Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 debut derailed by website glitches, bots, lack of supply

Remy Redert

Re: Several Problems Caused This

This was a problem with the Radeon 6990s when I got one on release. I went through 3 cards before I had a functioning one. The first one I could swap at the retailer I bought it from, when the second one also turned out to be a dud it had to be shipped back to AMD, took a few weeks before I got a replacement that did actually work.

Net neutrality lives... in Europe, anyway: Top court supports open internet rules, snubs telcos and ISPs

Remy Redert

The only way I could see zero-rating being acceptable at all is when the user gets to pick (freely) what websites or services to zero rate. Of course that would never happen because then ISPs can't make deals with a limited number of services and collect money from them.

Competitive techies almost bring distributed disaster upon themselves – and they didn't even find any aliens

Remy Redert

Not mine thankfully, but a friend of mine had a (legitimate) folding@home setup running on their test rigs overnight, when no overnight tests were scheduled.

This setup happily ran for a few years without issues and with approval from management. Then they decided to go cloudy for these test rigs and despite warnings from the test teams not to, IT copied the existing setups straight onto cloudy machines. And then set the limits for cloudy instances up appropriately generously so that the multi threaded memory heavy tests would run well.

And then they got hit by a stupidly high bill in the first month because of course the folding@home jobs had gotten copied across and were configured to use every bit of CPU and memory they could. This cost rather a lot more in the cloud than it had previously in power bills.

Digital pregnancy testing sticks turn out to have very analogue internals when it comes to getting results

Remy Redert

Re: "Surly we can come up with a similar device with replaceable strips?"

One of the things we had at the veterinary clinic I worked at was a strip reader for a multi-test urine strip. Dip strip in urine, wait 5 minutes, put strip in reader. Reader pulls the strip through and dumps it into the trash container.

That thing came from human medicine and was probably 20ish years old. It was toaster oven sized. There wasn't much incentive to make them much smaller though.

'A guy in a jetpack' seen flying at 3,000ft within few hundred yards of passenger jet landing at LA airport

Remy Redert

Re: Radar?

Even if they were running primary radar and someone was looking at those screens, he'd most likely be filtered out as noise. A human sized target is unlikely to make enough radar return to pass the noise filters.

Remy Redert

Re: Did the guy look like Elon Musk?

It's undoubtedly capable of a 1G barrel roll, even if doing so would give the insurance people conniptions.

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does

Remy Redert

Re: Does this mean all MI5 could find was a 30m cable?

At school we had a few spots were a switch was installed with 1 cable in, 1 out, because the 4 put switches and the unshielded cable did not approval, but the shielded cable necessary to cover the same distance without switches or other repeaters was too expensive and would have to go through the (lengthy) tender process.

The fact that this solution was well over twice the cost didn't matter because the individual parts were below the threshold so could simply be bought off the shelf.

The truth is, honest people need willpower to cheat, while cheaters need it to be honest

Remy Redert

Re: Piracy is called that for a reason

Theft is taking with the intention of depriving the owner of the thing stolen. Software or music piracy does not remove the thing copied from the owner's possession. More to the point, a lot of forms of software piracy or music piracy in the US don't (and shouldn't) count as piracy elsewhere, such as ripping CDs to MP3 (for personal use) or downloading videos/songs from YouTube (again, for personal use).

Fusion boffins apply plasma know-how to building thrusters

Remy Redert

Re: YES !

But they're proposing cutting the 9 month journey in half, when we have designs that will straight up cut travel time to 4 to 6 weeks. That we could build and launch with today's technologies.

It's called NERVA. Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Applications. And while some Nerva designs are T/W > 1, none of the mission designs made ever featured a fuelled Nuclear rocket being launched, they were all intended to launch the nuclear rocket, propellant and nuclear fuel in separate launches for payload mass and safety reasons. Once fuelled the rocket would make multiple trips to Mars and back, only needing new propellant and payloads.

US govt proposes elephant showers for every American after Prez Trump says trickles dampen his haircare routine

Remy Redert

Re: Wrong lightbulbs...

Good LEDs use between 25% and 50% less power than CFLs. But obviously that's a MUCH smaller savings than between CFLs and incandescent bulbs. A good reason to replace CFLs early however is that a lot of CFLs suffer from fading, which hurts both light output and efficiency.

My experience with LEDs so far has been that the early ones had a relatively high early failure rate, usually within the first 2 years. If they didn't die early, they'd last a good 10 years.

'We stopped ransomware' boasts Blackbaud CEO. And by 'stopped' he means 'got insurance to pay off crooks'

Remy Redert

Re: "Subset"?!

All but the one who hadn't migrated yet is a subset of customers. All of this year's back ups is a subset of their back ups.

It's been five years since Windows 10 hit: So... how's that working out for you all?

Remy Redert

Re: Win10 is Not Fit For Purpose.

I can answer that one. Performance and features. Vulkan performs better, is cross platform and implemented a bunch of new features. Not to mention that DX12 was late to the show. Vulkan APIs were out on win7 before DX12 APIs were available.

And then the few games that implemented both Vulkan and DX 12 found that the former ran faster on the same hardware.

Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

Remy Redert

Re: We're not done reading this kind of story, I'll wager.

This is why my power buttons do nothing. The reset button is recessed and needs a pin to be activated, so that's fine, but the power button is disconnected because PCs are warm.

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan

Remy Redert

Recently had a fun time with backing data up. A semi competent computer user asked me to help him get a Linux instead going on one of his PCs. Having set up a previous machine of this with Linux in the past, I said sure, helped him decide what distro he wanted and came over armed with a live USB.

I checked with him that he had everything important backed up, he had. So I plug the USB stick in and let it run the pre configured install while we talk.

I walk him through the steps so he can do it himself next time, including the part where the drive gets repartitioned.

At the end I said we were ready to put his backed up stuff on the machine and asked him for it. D:\backup he says. He'd created a new partition to put his back up on. It was of course nuked during the install.

I've learned to always ask for the backup before even starting the machine.

Beware the fresh Windows XP install: Failure awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth

Remy Redert

Re: Almost mouse free

First time we went on holiday and brought the cats, one of them came running in with a young rabbit. She was in a particular hurry because mom wasn't happy about the cat abducting her babies. Fortunately none of those involved were seriously injured and we managed to reunite the rabbits.

The same cat was harassed by a big fat pigeon a few years later. A couple of days after she came strutting into the bungalow with a pigeon almost as big as she was. The pigeon was very much dead already at that point.

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

Remy Redert

Re: Which aircraft will the meat pilot use?

The two biggest problems for the F-35 in current counter insurgency operations are speed and its cannon. The much slower A-10 has a much easier time acquiring targets (especially infantry) and the gun is both significantly more powerful and carries a substantial amount more ammo.

For reference, the GAU-8 fires a 30x173mm round, at 3900 rounds per minute with 1350 round carried aboard the A-10.

The GAU-22 fires a 25x135mm round at 3300 rounds per minute and a mere 180 rounds aboard an F-35.

The fact that the F-35 can't loiter as long didn't help of course, nor does the extremely low availablity of the F-35.

SpaceX Falcon 9 and Dragon cleared to hoist real live American astronauts into space

Remy Redert

The instantaneous launch window opens at 4:33 p.m. EDT, or 20:33 UTC

Direct from SpaceX's official website.

Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

Remy Redert

Re: Never store CC details

Speaking from the far off lands of the Netherlands, but also available in some other European countries, we have a wonderful system called iDeal, where a transaction is stated in the vendor's environment, transferred via a single use number negotiated between vendor and bank and then finishes the transaction in the bank's environment.

We also use IBAN, which can be used to transfer money to an account and identify the account, but cannot be used to charge the account without jumping through a bunch of hoops at which point a large part of the responsibility lies with the bank.

Obviously this is less attractive for Amazon and all, because they can't use their one click purchasing with these systems.

Britain has no idea how close it came to ATMs flooding the streets with free money thanks to some crap code, 1970s style

Remy Redert

Re: Experienced tester.

Have I got a great example of that one. The social security managing software that the company I work for makes has some very interesting 'features'. For example, the client in a dossier and his partner are stored in 2 separate fields in said dossier.

When we make a new dossier, we check the existing ones to see if there are any incompatible dossiers around and still active. If there are, we show an error. This check of course only checked for clients, not partners.

So you could give client A and partner B their social security check and then give client B and partner A their social security check as well, paying them twice because partner B didn't already have a dossier as far as the system was concerned.

It only took a year to get it accepted as a bug and fixed, because of course the user and their processes wouldn't allow that situation to happen in reality.

Lost in translation and adrift in cloud storage

Remy Redert

Re: google translate anyone?

3) Microsoft does, of course.

You'll get your money – when this bank has upgraded Windows 7... or bought extended support

Remy Redert

Re: Do I have this right ...

None. The EULA prohibits it.

Forcing us to get consent before selling browser histories violates our free speech, US ISPs claim

Remy Redert

I don't see 'Internet Service Provider' or 'company' in the list of protected classes, so it's perfectly fine to discriminate against people on the grounds of their being an internet service provider, a company or a specify type of company.

And companies are after all people.

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today

Remy Redert

Re: No lineage?

Planetes is an anime series where space junk and it's clean up occupies a central role in the story.

There's a manga too, which goes a fair bit further in the story.

Curse of Boeing continues: Now a telly satellite it built may explode, will be pushed up to 500km from geo orbit

Remy Redert

Re: Stupid (I'm quite sure) question...

Because it doesn't have anywhere near the Delta/V required to deorbit it. If you try, you'll likely just end up with an elliptical orbit that strays through the geostationary orbits on a regular cycle.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

Remy Redert

Re: Why is there a choice?

The technician has just found that floppy 412 is unreadable. Unfortunately that means the software will have to be completely removed and reinstalled from the back up. We've been assured that this shouldn't take more than 3 working days.

Chemists bitten by Python scripts: How different OSes produced different results during test number-crunching

Remy Redert

Re: Stating the bleeding obvious part #261

If they ran that on Windows ME they'd get the same result you always get on Windows ME.

A blue screen of death

Careful now, UK court ruling says email signature blocks can sign binding contracts

Remy Redert

Re: Email?

Generally typos are treated as they should be, mistakes where the letter and the intent differ and if intent can be established, for example with those previous emails, intent takes precedence.

Same if the result is held to be unreasonable.

Army Watchkeeper drone flopped into tree because crew were gazing backwards

Remy Redert

Following the instructions was not to hit the button because the aircraft was already in go-around mode.

My suggestion would to just power the camera down entirely when stowed. It's apparently a distraction for the operator.

Cloudflare punts far-right hate-hole 8chan off the internet after 30 slayed in US mass shootings

Remy Redert

Re: inspired by 8chan

You're missing mental healthcare in that list, I'd argue that the access to guns is the least of the problems in that list, with education and mental healthcare taking the 2 top spots.

Of course, improving education will take time and even if it happens today, it'll be a decade or two before the results start to come around. Improving mental healthcare would produce results faster, but the US seems allergic to any kind of affordable healthcare and has a cultural problem that has only recently started to shift of people not seeking help.

So access to guns and restricting speech that incites others to violence and discrimination are the lie hanging fruit. For certain values there of.

Our hero returns home £500 richer thanks to senior dev's appalling security hygiene

Remy Redert

Re: Ahhh passwords...

No, you take the new password which hasn't been hashed and the original forgotten yet and compute a whole bunch of likely variations and run those against the hashed old password. If any of them match, the new password is too similar to the old one.

If you don't get any matches, create the hashed password and get rid of the plaintext.