* Posts by Chronos

1247 publicly visible posts • joined 21 Oct 2007


US 'considering' end to Assange prosecution bid


Prodding the bear

As much as I may sympathise with Julian as a journo, he is sort of reaping what he has sown. We tend to forget that all of this came about when he refused to answer a completely unrelated charge in Sweden, which then got him staked out by the plod while he was enjoying the Ecuadorean Ambassador's "hospitality" - which then left him open to the US' claim as he was already pretty much "in custody." All the hand-wringing and gnashing of teeth is fine if you're coming from an Arnie Rimmer "facilitator" angle but the rest of us tend to live in the real world where not much is fair, excrement happens regularly and most of us aren't "net celebs" so don't have hoards of goggle-eyed followers to wave placards for us even when we may not be as pure as the allegedly driven snow ourselves.

"Let he who is without sin" has to be the lesson here. I hope the US do drop the case for two reasons: One is it doesn't really matter; they're learning the lesson the rest of us have already learnt, that once you splurge your data into any sort of connected system you never get it back and, secondly, it'll stop this attention addict from appearing in the pages of this esteemed publication. Hopefully.

Can AI shorten PC replacement cycles? Dell seems to think so


This again?

Thing to bear in mind is there will always be a huge risk buying into the first tranche of any new "generation" of processors. Your CPU socket is obsolete as soon as you buy it, there will be a new DRAM standard before you've even unsealed the box and it'll be utterly impossible to upgrade past the first iteration of the gen. Without fail, every single time. That's before we get the *bleed/OoO execution smeg-ups discovered, which means your previous, immune system was a better bet anyway...

BOFH: In the event of a conference, the ninja clause always applies


Glory to you - and your commission!


The sort of person who uses the words "I think" and increases their truth deficit every time they utter them.

I yearn for my old ToughBook which conveniently doubled as a bludgeon and still performed its primary function afterwards, thereby providing a plausible alibi. We did it to ourselves, of course. We let AOL and Geocities happen and it became the Anti-Social Media circus we now know and hate.

A small Alaska town wants a big bronze Riker


Re: Make it so!

According to Robert, Jean-Luc's brother, the '47 was the better vintage.

Moving to Windows 11 is so easy! You just need to buy a PC that supports it!


Re: It is easy

I had this discussion with a colleague while standing outside in "meeting room 5" a few weeks ago. We were discussing the more general issue of Operating System Evangelism as a curse, nay a pox, upon humanity as a whole. The general consensus following the application of copious amounts of mild stimulant via both respiratory and digestive tracts was that an operating system's job is to abstract hardware and then stay out of the way. If you're spending more time tinkering with the OS than doing Useful Stuff™, the OS is doing it wrong. The corollary to that is if the OS is shiny and full o' features enough to make you excited about it, it's too bloated in the first place, especially if it needs a GPU with the power of an early 2000's supercomputer and more memory bandwidth than most of us had for VRAM just a few years ago just to render the window decorations.

In a perfect world, you'd get perhaps hardware abstraction, a window manager of suitable flexibility so you could make it look comfortably nice and personalised and a package installer and set of A[B|P]Is with which to interact with all the boring under-the-hood bits to attract devs, who would then make the other bits you would like. It'll never happen, of course, because people are used to being "force fed" instant gratification and will not, under any circumstances, consider what they actually *need* from a general purpose computing platform, workstation or desktop.

What really irks me about the commercial side of the deal is how tightly integrated MS's operating system progression is with hardware vendors' need to perpetuate sales, even when the current crop of hardware is more than adequate for most people's usage patterns - and then we get blasted by various ecomentalists for being "consumers" and "feeding landfill" because we have bugger all choice but to upgrade. To be frank, I don't really care whose UI I'm using, I just want to get my day's work done without open wallet surgery or intrusive ads, irrelevant mithering from the underlying bad decisions made by committee or pointless features that I don't - and probably never will - need. It's not just MS, of course. All the phobile moan people do the same thing and even the flossie crowd keep finding new ways to use up all that Moore's law gain with pointless and irrelevant - but very shiny - fluff.

Look at the security implications, too: If your desktop is yours, that one annoying chap in every office will probably take one look at it on the one occasion you forget to lock it and decide to either change someone else's screensaver to print a very rude word 500 times or just swap your mouse dongle with someone else using a Logitech Ubiquitous Wireless Mouse Type M175. Again.

BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription


Re: Indicators?

You obviously don't live near and have never visited north Wales. There are drivers here who have been on the road for "fotty year" and have had their left turn signal on for as long as they've held their licence, usually because there's something hanging from the stalk and the cancel pawl has long since worn to a nub.

AIs can produce 'dangerous' content about eating disorders when prompted


The real Skynet

This is how AI poses a risk to humanity and it ties in with the modern day culture of populist truth.

[anti-]Social media is already influencing society, we know this. In a world where the most thumbs-up/likes/stars or whatever is accepted as the truth unless you happen to be the runner up, an AI manipulating this could easily polarise a whole heap of people. Get that to critical mass and you have a civil war. No killbots needed. Your little AI has just manipulated humanity into doing its dirty work for it.

Someone just blew over $190k on a 4GB first-gen iPhone


Re: A fool and their money


I'll just leave this here, no particular reason.


Re: A fool and their money

So the deliberate slowdown of older models, the lock-in for replacement parts and the iPhone 4's stupid "you're holding it wrong" didn't happen then? Not saying you're wrong about the landfill problem but please let's have some perspective here as Apple have actively encouraged some of their products to the wheelybin. No vendor loves you, trust me on this, unless you're a shareholder.

Veilid: A secure peer-to-peer network for apps that flips off the surveillance economy


I think the takeaway point there, as I understand it, is the protocol is constructed in such a way that individual nodes, although "equal," cannot compromise the entire network in this manner. If one tries, in the manner of a three-letter agency, to weaken the network, be that interception, origin tracking or decryption of passing traffic, it is no longer able to function as a Veilid node and is simply dropped from the network.

Nearly every AMD CPU since 2017 vulnerable to Inception data-leak attacks


Re: What about the FX-8370 8-core?

LUXURY! His "friend" is positively down wid da kidz on that spec...

Processor name string (BIOS programmed): AMD Athlon(tm) X4 860K Quad Core Processor

And I 'ad to work down t' pit for 26 hours a day...

Soft-reboot in systemd 254 sounds a lot like Windows' Fast Startup


And the sledgehammer will break first, peppering the nut with cast iron and making it inedible.

Soon the most popular 'real' desktop will be the Linux desktop

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Re: functionality

It has *always* been because of preinstallation. MS knew this right from the start, right from the 8086 clones, that getting the user from first boot means they'll stay with what's familiar. It goes back even further; remember the arguments we had about the BASIC on the Speccy vs. the BASIC on the C64? Don't get me started on the Beeb...

Quite frankly, nobody cares about operating systems outside of these hallowed halls. They're not religions, they're a means of abstracting the hardware and then, ideally, staying the hell out of the way. Most don't, and I include many of the "desktop environments" penguiney in this critique.

Ukraine seeks volunteers to defend networks as Russian troops menace Kyiv


Re: Not optional

5M Rubles? After this disgrace, that's about 50p, isn't it?

BOFH: The Geek's Countergambit – outwitted at an electronics store


Re: Electronics shop

There's RS if you are extremely wealthy and CPC if you live in Preston. Cricklewood still have a counter accessible by the general public, assuming you can afford Sadiq's eye-watering charges for the privilege, but the options for a place to go on a Saturday to have an argument over 85 degree and 105 degree electrolytics are severely limited these days.

Admittedly, that has been the case even before Craplin closed all their shops; finding someone working at a Craplin who knew what an electrolytic is was a challenge. I never thought I'd miss Tandy but one never knows where life will take one...

Online, Bitsbox are rather good if you want a proper, old school, family run electronics shop.

How to get banned from social media without posting a thing


Influence this

we should always do what influencers tell us to otherwise they won't be influencers any more. And, well, that would be a disaster, wouldn't it?

Oh yes, a disaster akin to Vlad becoming a friendly old chap respecting borders, Sleepy Joe cancelling student debt and Boris keeping it in his pants for once.

BOFH: On Wednesdays, we wear gloves

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Future classic

This. This is the Simon we've all come to know and admire from a healthy distance behind a blast-proof screen in a secure bunker with a disabled and dishcharged halon extinguisher system armed with RPG launchers and killbot-defeating EMP devices.

Windows Terminal to be the default for command line applications in Windows 11


Quake mode

+WSL running Debian/ZSH. It's not perfect but it's a damned sight better than hitting your usual hot key and not getting a command prompt when forced to use Windows.

Oh no, here we go again, groans the internet as AWS runs into IT problems. Briefly this time


Re: Something, something, eggs, some, baskets

There's probably something to be said for not putting all your bits in one bucket. It tends to make one's April go tanner-half crown when it all goes mams vertical and you can't get onto the status page.

Of course, given the cyclic nature of this here industry wot we are in, someone is bound to come up with a new, snazzy name for hybrid on/off-prem infra, something like synergistic cache, for which you'll not only pay for the hardware, leccy and bandwidth but also a fee for the privilege of using what amounts to a blinged-up squid proxy, albeit one that reports back to base with not only stuff that was missed while the tubes were clogged/down/DNSless/serving the CEO downloading the entire box set of Outlander but also "telemetry."

Ain't life wonderful? May you live in interesting times.


Re: I assume

Who, Jeff? Yes, I suppose that is where all the money goes.

The rocky road to better Linux software installation: Containers, containers, containers


"Just Works™"

Apple has a huge advantage here: With both their hardware and software, they choose for the user. That's not how most of us "roll" and anyone using GNU/Linux seriously will eventually have software installed from various sources, all quite manageable after the initial pain of getting repos added, versions matched, deps installed, cmake behaving etc.

This is not to denigrate Apple's ecosystem; for some people I have no doubt it works very well. Equally, GNU/Linux will be unsuitable for many of those same people and more. The point is there's no "one size fits all," even within those ecosystems. Proudly proclaiming the "One True" anything is a hiding to nowhere. Every time I see a "this is the future" op-ed I know anyone without tunnel vision will be shaking their head by the second paragraph.

Reg scribe spends 80 hours in actual metaverse … and plans to keep visiting


Re: Metaverse?

Never mind Snowcrash, it's the third book of Gibson's Sprawl trilogy I'm thinking about. Even if your mind doesn't get wiped with a fancy pattern, it'll still be addictive escapism once to technology advances enough. Many people won't want to jack out, which is exactly what Zuck seems to want.

There won't be an evolved AI at the Centauris system to visit, either.

Toyota needs more than its Cheer Squad to deal with chip shortages, as five more home factories forced into idleness



They could always make the vehicles less complicated. Most of the need for custom chippery is locking the end user into dealership services. If we had a standardised ECU architecture, none of this would be an issue for base models. That does presuppose manufacturers are willing to drop the cash-cow of aftersales, though.

The planet survived six hours without Facebook. Let's make it longer next time


Re: Loyd Grossman accent <on> ... Who would run a company like this ?

Have you seen the man speak? He has an emotion deficit that Spock would have envied. The problem with Facebook and, indeed, most social notworks is a lack of empathy, both on the part of the companies running them and the users using them. It's like giving a man a chainsaw: Give any old munchkin a mechnism to destroy people with a pithy put-down and they're going to do it.

Why do we feel comfortable gesturing at other drivers when driving? Because the mobile box insulates us and virtualises interaction. It's the same with sitting behind a keyboard. I'm probably doing it right now, although I am always aware on ElReg that other commentards are at least as smart as I.

What is really dangerous, though, is the blurring of the lines between fact and opinion. Facts are becoming "number of likes/upvotes/thumbs up" with the proliferation of mob validation. This, in my opinion is driven by the social networks and real experts are being lost due to the low SNR. Covid has been an excellent heads-up. Whether we hear that warning us up to us.

IKEA: Cameras were hidden in the ceiling above warehouse toilets for 'health and safety'


Hat Mancock is an easy target, regardless of your political views.


Re: Excuses, excuses

Even little people have to draw the line somewhere...

UK.gov is launching an anti-Facebook encryption push. Don't think of the children: Think of the nuances and edge cases instead


Re: There are still terrorists and mobsters?

It's hookey fags and baccy now. Apparently, if you don't pay the sin tax on your demon weed, a Don gets rich on the 30p or so that the actual product costs. Whoda thunk?

EU to formally probe Nvidia's $54bn takeover over British chip designer Arm – report


Just wrong on so many levels

The ambivalence is killing me.

Firstly, this is a private company. The free market model means they should be free to trade. If that's the entire company, so be it. Beak out.

Secondly, the EU messing around with an Anglo-British deal despite not having jurisdiction over either party. Again, snout away.

Then we come to my overriding pain: As someone who grew up at a time when computer == Acorn, exporting the success that is ARM (it is - or was - an acronym, people, [Acorn|Advanced] RISC Machines) and the resulting diminution of tech boom in Cambridge is something of a disaster. Why do we keep selling off our success? I am within touching distance of one x86_64, a Cortex M0, two arm64 devices, two arm7s and a MIPS. That's a 5:2 ratio of ARM to other architectures, completely ignoring SMP capabilities of each and that's just my workspace.

My answer? Sod it. Que sera, sera. It's out of my control so I'll not worry about it.

Elastic amends Elasticsearch Python client so it won't work with forks then blocks comments


TL;DR: All that is old shall become new. From a technical perspective, katrinab's comment is spot on, i.e. you do not fully control the hardware or software, you just transceive data. The rest is either sophistry or economics, things of which we tend not to take much notice on here unless it's the canteen onion bhaji budget.

TL as in you lost my interest at the word "amortize."

Brain-computer interface researchers warn of a 'bleak' cyberpunk future – unless we tread carefully


I can imagine that future

You appear to be thinking about using an etherkiller on the director of HR's machine. Would you like some help with that?

Clippy. In your head. Icon, from orbit. It's the only way...

Audacity users stick the knife – and fork – in to strip audio editor of unwanted features



Following the current trend of sticking punctuation in names (Cee'd, Up! for cars) with the added bonus of only true escapists will be able to install it.

Or we could just call it what most people have been calling it for years: Thatsoundeditorthingywithroundbuttons-youknowtheone-yeahthat'sit.deb

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10


"The last version of Windows"

It can only be the last version of Windows when the next one releases. Don't you know nuffink? :-)

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)


Re: What is an OS for?

Unit files are quite good; your comment about rcorder problems is bang-on.

The problem is I would like to be able to read up to date log files when journalctl -xe blah... falls over into a cesspit of its own making and fails to pass what made it crap itself on to syslog. If Lennart could split systemd out into - oh, the irony! - Unix-like modules that do one thing well in their own PID, I wouldn't have a problem with it. The fact that he never will is what makes so very many of us into bitter refuseniks.

Also, while we're criticising Poetteringware, Pulseaudio. FreeBSD has had kernel mediated snd(4) multiplexing since, IIRC, FreeBSD-5 and it does not need a sodding userland daemon or complex policies and group management to work.


Re: What is an OS for?

Office indeed. And Teams, Sharepoint, Azure, O365...

The OS is pretty much an afterthought. MS under Nadella have achieved what His Billness wanted back in the day: They own the mechanisms used in business to get work done and they did it so quietly that nobody noticed.

BOFH: When the Sun rises in the West and sets in the East, only then will the UPS cease to supply uninterrupted voltage


Re: new battery dry as a nun's

Are you sure? Was it an APC? Because you only have to unwrap a sealed lead-acid within sight of an APC logo for it to boil off all the electrolyte.

For the curious: APC float voltage calibration

Playmobil crosses the final frontier with enormous, metre-long Enterprise playset



...stop motion fan flicks. Quite how Kirk is going to shag anything that moves with "Made in China" on his crotch is left as an exercise for the reader.

Of course, it couldn't be any worse than the Kelvin reboots and at least you'll be able to see what's going on rather than looking like it was filmed in the 1970s during the rolling blackouts, which seems to be de-rigeur right now.

Linus Torvalds tells kernel list poster to 'SHUT THE HELL UP' for saying COVID-19 vaccines create 'new humanoid race'


On days like this we need Old Linus back - after he's explained messenger RNA in a calm, scientific manner and questioned exactly what "the illuminati" want us producing a spike protein for, of course. Perhaps he could delegate taking down clowns to mjg59? He's another one with a pretty good record of not suffering fools at all.

Had my first AZ jab last month. If I grew another head or changed any of my opinions (sorry to disappoint) it was for a very short time. AdBlock is still there in the top right, I still won't let anything I haven't compiled myself on a router and I still enjoy cancelled 1970s BBC sitcoms.

Maybe it was a bad batch...

ASUS baffles customer by telling them thermal pad thickness is proprietary


It's not the implement, it's knowing where to hit it - usually just above the second cervical vertebra is a good choice.

Oh, you meant tech. Try gently reseating the VRMs (greybeard Proliant people are now back on the Valium - sorry for the trigger)

So what if I pay peanuts for my home broadband? I demand you fix it NOW!



Temporary Inability To Stream Unlimited Pr0n. Nobody gets hysterical due to the lack of Meetings That Should Have Been E-Mails. You're fooling nobody, Dabbsy :-)

BOFH: Postman BOFH's Special Delivery Service


Re: Dump-and-run

sed -e 's/Herm/Herp/'



All you really need is the acronym "NSR:" No signature required. It may even end up in the general vicinity, certainly the right county, of the boss' address. "Leave in shed which will be open" is ambiguous enough to get it delivered somewhere.

You know, this may well be the solution to e-waste. Every courier company in the country with a section of Dexion racking for holding boxes filled with Lexmark printers that never made it past the supplied cartridges, APC UPSen that have cooked their batteries (again) and old DLT drives.

We finally get to spot a burnt-out comet and what is it covered in? Talcum powder


Utterly wrong

It's an alien gummy milk bottle covered in that powdery flour they use to stop 'em sticking together. Even aliens drop them behind the couch of their flying saucer control centre once in a while.

The real threat to the Sol system is the Andromedan Hard Gum. The black ones are made of dark matter...

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead


Re: What?

Context, sir. Quantum mechanics, by its very nature or lack thereof, suspends the usual norms including those of when to apply the clue-bat.

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Re: My favorite screw-up

The best entertainment someone else's money could buy at the time. That was a howler, especially given that 4.4BSD-Lite had already been through its own SCO moment, albeit rather more seriously given the Deathstar's power, and was specifically tailored to nullify this sort of challenge. Thanks for reminding me. I needed a chuckle today.


Re: What?

I doubt it. Just load up the old site in the Wayback machine and sync it to the start of the case. As idiocy is defined as trying to do the same thing the same way and expecting a different outcome, I fully expect the transcripts to be very, very close.

Yet it could provide some entertainment for those who missed the last round of fuckwittery. errno.h, anyone? Because of course you'd reinvent the wheel and completely fsck up error parsing on a POSIX-compliant operating system running cross-platform code, wouldn't you?

What happens when back-flipping futuristic robot technology meets capitalism? Yeah, it’s warehouse work


Re: There's a few things....

Consider the boxes the likes of a certain well-known hardware vendor uses; you know the ones, mahoosive 3 acre box with three dozen #6 screws in it. Those boxes are put together by a machine with a sliver of hot glue and a prayer. Lift those by the lid and the whole shebang falls to bits. Actually, if the little packet of #6 screws ever nudges the lid, all bets are off.

Whoda thunk? Automation screws up automation. I suppose "not my department" transfers as seamlessly across botspace as it does fleshtube...

Move aside, Technoking: All hail the Sweat Master and his many inspirational job titles


Re: Uptitling

You forgot:

Whipping boy --> Customer Service Specialist

Hacking is not a crime – and the media should stop using 'hacker' as a pejorative


Re: Barn doors

That's an argument for the proposal. In this context, the "hack" is a useful shortcut or novel way of doing something to achieve a desired end. That, to my mind, is evolution of the original definition.

helloSystem: Pre-alpha FreeBSD project chases simplicity and elegance by taking cues from macOS


Re: Further simplicity and ease of use...

Ooh, rose gold Samsung? Suits you, sir!