* Posts by Paul Crawford

5385 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

CERN experiment proves gravity pulls antimatter the way Einstein predicted

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Drat. That rules out my plans for an anti-gravity drive based on a magnetically bound pot of antimatter.

Now what am I going to do with it?

Twitter, aka X, tops charts for misinformation, EU official says

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Re: Disinformation --- or Truth

Freedom of speech is not the same as having any rights to public amplification via the media.

So what gives someone the right to silence anyone?

Legal precedence. For example, if I found out your real name and address, employer, etc, and started posting rumours about you and $shock-story-de-jour it would put you and your families safety in jeopardy. Should my right to talk like an asshole trump your right to safety?

Teardown reveals iPhone 15 to be series of questionable design decisions

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Re: Fine

A virgin you say?

In which orifice?

The home Wi-Fi upgrade we never asked for is coming. The one we need is not

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Re: Too pessimistic

And a good quality SDS bit, not the 10 for £2 sort! Armeg make some worth getting.

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You sometimes have to read the details. I now have FTTP (CityFibre cable, ISP is Fibrecast) as well as VM for cable TV (yes, I known...) and the catch with mine is it is on a VLAN so I needed to set your router's WAN port to match.

Other than that it works brilliantly!

Why Chromebooks are the new immortals of tech

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Re: Data

Very true, but most folks search using Google and buy using Amazon and just don't care.

The simple low-support aspect of a Chromebook is great for them, give them anything more complicated and they will make your job MUCH harder. These days I simply won't do Windows support for friends or family, as it is just so much pointless trouble. Linux is easier, but again, they still find creative ways to screw stuff up.

I did give a friend a Chromebook years ago for that reason. Eventually they broke it by standing on it with the power cable ferrite lump between keyboard and monitor. Doh! Worst thing was they told me "It was OK the last time I did that" FFS!

BOFH: A security issue, you say? Activate code tangerine

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Re: Anonymous Survey

You could design it so it records who submitted a response separately from the actual responses, though time-tags might de-anonymise that easily...

UK Online Safety Bill to become law – and encryption busting clause is still there

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Re: The biggest surprise...

Greater Manchester and PSNI might have something to say about that now...

World's most powerful free-electron laser upgraded to fire a million X-rays per second

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What is this Fahrenheit shit?

No one in the scientific world would use that, and if they did certainly not be as the first choice, only when talking to educationally-challenged Americans.

Is that really El Reg's target audience?

BT confirms it's switching off 3G in UK from Jan next year

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Re: Rolled My Own....Yup...Please Decrypt!

My nipples explode with delight!

If anyone finds an $80M F-35 stealth fighter, please call the Pentagon

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Reminds me of the time Tommy Cooper went out to buy some camouflage trousers, he couldn't find any!

37 Signals says cloud repatriation plan has already saved it $1 million

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Re: Is it comparable?

People didn't switch to cloud to save money, at least no one with any sense did.

How many did it with sense, or on the promises of some slippery salesman to the CFO?

The points you raise about backup/redundancy/etc are all very valid, but the UPS & redundant A/C side would be the data centres responsibility. While cloud providers promise a totally stress free and safe system, we still see them going down with outages or strange data losses from time to time. When it happens, take a ticket, you are 10,451th in line for support. And then we get to the locked-in aspect...

What this article raises should be considered - your costs might be much less keeping stuff on-premises, but of course that only works out well above a certain size of technical staff levels when you have your own folks to take care of it. There are other cases where cloud makes a lot of sense, for example rapid scalability.

Probe reveals previously secret Israeli spyware that infects targets via ads

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Re: Insanet only selling to Western nations?

But we do have no-execute options on memory segments, and other containment approaches such as AppArmour, but using them is just kind of hard so developers generally don't. As always, it comes down to the fastest/cheapest/easiest route. And so orifices are left gaping...

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Re: Insanet only selling to Western nations?

It is not just the OS that is the problem, it is also the fact we now allow arbitrary code to run on our machines in the form of Javascript, etc.

NASA wants to believe ... that you can help it crack UFO mysteries

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Re: Cunning Plan

Extra large tub of lube?

BT dips toe into liquid cooling in quest for a chill network

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Re: Even better

Power generation is largely out as the temperature difference is too small, and your usual heat engine's thermodynamic efficiency limit is based on the ratio of absolute temperatures so a 10-20K difference on 280K or so would lead to really low efficiency of extraction.

District heating, where you just want to take a chill off rooms in winter, etc, is another matter and only issue is the cost of infrastructure - i.e. pluming in homes.

Meet Honda's latest electric vehicle: A rideable suitcase

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Re: So, Honda is now

Oh pack it in!

Techie labelled 'disgusting filth merchant' by disgusting hypocrite

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He will be sent up to the Penthouse for that one

Scientists trace tiny moonquakes to Apollo 17 lander – left over from 1972

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Re: Metric AND Imperial

I think that came about as Michelin invented the radial tyre and as a French company did it in metric, however, older cars and cross-ply tyres were in inches, so to retro fit a better radial tyre they had to fit imperial wheels.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

50 years ago.

In the mean time most of the world has gone metric and ditched stupid old units with bizarre multipliers and units that are not constant across regions. What size of gallon are using today, Winchester, old English (Liz 1, or Anne), Irish, imperial, US, or US dry? Do you annotate which one is actually used?

True, the UK Brexit folks would like to bring them back, but that is even more stupid than retaining them for whatever legacy reasons.

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FFS this is a scientific site - what sort of a backward hick uses Fahrenheit today?

Watt's the worst thing you can do to a datacenter? Failing to RTFM, electrically

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Re: Silly Mistakes

"Earth fault" as in to-dirt? Can't happen here.

Here earth = ground = CPC (circuit protective conductor). Most UK installation are on TN earthing so a fault to earth is essentially close to a fault to neutral (=cold in USA parlance). To protect against contact with true Earth (as in some poor sod touching a live cable) we use RCD = GFCI as they (in the UK) are usually 30mA trip threshold (actual spec is 15-30mA).

I don't think ANYbody tests Interrupting Current on site. My sub-breakers are rated 22,000 Amps. That is a MAJOR arc-flash. Not a problem here because with my long line I can not pull even 1,000 Amps at my dooryard. But in Texas you can find four homes clustered within 20'(7m) of a 100KVA transformer, which is why they don't make 10,000A-interrupt breakers any more.

Nobody tests actual fault current intentionally, out side of approval laboratories that have controlled sources of many kA and a means to contain the usual explosion that follows!

Here in the UK we have less of an arc-flash risk in general due to a love of HRC fuses at the incoming point of most small-medium sized installations. They do a much better job of limiting fault energy that most MCCB/ACB style of breakers. In domestic UK it is unusual to see above 3kA fault currents, except in some cities where the LV grid is actually a grid, most LV networks here are deliberately smaller and isolated to keep fault results down. Our domestic panel = CU (consumer unit) is designed to be safe to 16kA fault current by the combination of the supply company's fuse (typically 60-100A) and the MCB used. Basically the fuse limits the peak current to that of something like 4-6kA equivalent even for underlying supplies of 16kA or a bit more.

Fuses are good! Cheap, reliable, with excellent fault energy limiting. But one-time, and usually need skilled replacement.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Re: Silly Mistakes

Of course electricians (proper ones, not DIY-Dave sort) have the equipment to measure the supply impedance, works by switching a load of a few amps on/off and correlating the voltage shift. If you try it on a cabin with a site cable feeding it you see the lights flicker during the test.

Such testing ought to be done so you know that (a) enough current will flow during an earth-fault the the protection will trip fast enough to avoid a shock risk and/or cable burning out, and (b) too much current won't flow beyond what the fuse/circuit breaker is rated to interrupt safely.

Linux 6.6's in-kernel SMB networking server graduates

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From a cited article:

However, the Samba team has moved active development of the project to the more strict GPLv3 license, which prevents Apple from realistically using the software commercially.

Given samba is a stand alone program, why is this an issue? Do Apple want to change it in some way and make it run only if signed and deny anyone from running an unsigned version?

IBM Software tells workers: Get back to the office three days a week

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Re: Why do people assume it is only upper management that supports back to office?

"yes, we discussed it in the break room"

If it is important you make sure it is communicated to all and written down.

Also there are tools like a phone and video conferencing that let you talk to those on and off site as well.

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Re: Impact on staff

That is true, useful if it is a face you need to punch, for example...

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If a company has problems with quiet quitters and all that BS, that's on them for hiring crap people.

But if they can't tell who they are without sitting next to them, WTF is going on in terms of measuring productivity and having an idea of who is actually useful?

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Re: Impact on staff

but what happens when they need Susanne or Robert who are also 'working' from home?

Oh, good point! Maybe if someone could invent a gadget that allows you to speak to someone remotely?

Or maybe some sort of space-age computer system that would allow you to talk AND show moving pictures at the same time?

Gee, this could be a good market opportunity!

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Re: Why do people assume it is only upper management that supports back to office?

Er, because the workers who wanted back to the office are already there?

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Has anyone actually produced an independent analysis of worker productivity remote/office to back this up?

I can see good reasons for being together as a team during certain aspects, but equally I can see that many jobs, especially software, can be done just as well, if not better, at one's own home with few distractions and less of one's life wasted commuting.

Okay, SMART ePANTS, you tell us how to create network-connected textiles

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Lets face it, if this is ever developed for military reasons they will find far, FAR, more money in the teledildonics market shortly afterwards. Sensing and haptic-feedback lingerie is going to be flying off the shelves.

Probably on its own...

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

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Re: Pick your poison

Sadly I have to agree with this from my own experience of otherwise sensible folks ending up as raving right-wing USA nutters, in spite of having no connecting to American issues it real life.

Yes, there are left-wing nutters as well, but it seems the right has a far bigger stake in this.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Re: Pick your poison

Netflix is not really toxic. Social media like Twitter, Facebook, and TickTok, well that is another matter...

China reportedly bans iPhones from more government offices

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Re: Phones getting ubiquitous for work these days

2FA everywhere all expecting apps e.g. MS Orifics, Github.

Err, someone is using those in a secure area?

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Oh how foolish you are, assuming the problems are all down to deliberate backdoors. Piss-poor programming precedes penetration, probably.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

I was wondering the same, if this is specifically Apple, or part of some larger ban and it is just iPhone that gets the news headlines.

I can't see the Chinese being happy with Android either, given its Googly parents and less than impressive history of security and privacy. I think most likely is the Chinese spooks are doing exactly the same as USA/UK/EU/Aus spooks in telling the politicians that phones are just a bad thing to allow anywhere secret.

Mozilla calls cars from 25 automakers 'data privacy nightmares on wheels'

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Re: US conservative "fear" meme

No, they are far more sneaky than that.

They move you without consent on to a pay-as-you-go model and then if you don't have money you shut yourself off.

You patched yet? Years-old Microsoft security holes still hot targets for cyber-crooks

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Re: Windows targeted only because it's more popular?

I would imagine most corporate systems have mostly Windows for common software plus the odd specialist application like CAD, and if managing a large network you would stick with Windows for servers, especially if doing something horrible like supporting Exchange.

Globally I expect most servers are Linux for web use though, and some other places are mostly Linux or maybe FreeBSD for the likes of TrueNAS storage systems. In fact probably most NAS are Linux or BSD based?

But really the reason that anyone would target Windows as #1 is most non-technical staff use it, and Office, so your first entry point in compromising a system is likely to follow from targeting those folks and their systems. We are mostly Linux, but don't imagine for a minute we won't be targeted at all, and of course the most common vulnerability is the person sitting at the keyboard...

Paul Crawford Silver badge

The No. 1 flaw on the list was patched in November 2017, a code execution hole in Microsoft Office's Equation Editor we'd have hoped had been mostly mitigated by now.

What you omit to report is the "patch" breaks any ability to edit older documents that use the previous equation editor.


Yes, exactly. they DID NOT FIX the editor, they disabled it and told you to use the new editor, which cannot edit/migrate older equation objects in to a manner you can use.

X may train its AI models on your social media posts

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Re: it may train its AI models on user posts

We (as a business) nominally have a Twitter account but you have to log in to see it now, so I don't. It now counts for bugger-all in our world.

Microsoft calls time on ancient TLS in Windows, breaking own stuff in the process

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Re: This will be fun

Can you name and shame them?

Thankfully I could get Halifax/Bank of Scotland as well as Santander to work on sensible computers.

Given IE is out of support, it ought to be illegal to actually accept its use for high value activities...

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Re: Our experience: Problems are rare

The usual issue is bits of old hardware with some sort of web interface, like UPS or CNC hardware, or at home a perfectly good NAS from a good few years back. They are a problem and need steps to allow older TLE to work.

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Re: protocols were disabled by default

For enterprises I'd be a little more concerned...

I would hope, but don't expect, that enterprise systems would properly segment the network so such legacy TLS systems are not facing the world or those machines used for web/email access.

Attackers accessed UK military data through high-security fencing firm's Windows 7 rig

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Re: "the UK's Ministry of Defence [..] does not comment on security matters"

I also write offensive software, but that is more down to not studying software engineering...

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The attack targeted a Windows 7 PC used to run software for one of the company's manufacturing machines.

So they make good fences to segment areas of land, but lacked a firewall to segment areas of the internal network?

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?

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Or you can try Four King Maps as an alternative. NSFW

Twitter says it may harvest biometric, employment data from its addicts

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Turds all the way down...

(fixed it for you)

FreeBSD can now boot in 25 milliseconds

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Re: The bubble has burst

The microVM abstraction is a great idea - for cases when host & guest are cooperative.

My most common use-case for a VM is running older OS for software support, or to build binaries for running on other old machines, and there the traditional hardware emulation is more or less a necessity as such OS never even contemplated virtualisation.

Paul Crawford Silver badge

Re: The bubble has burst

As above, never use a crap algorithm when your library already has qsort() and similar properly implemented.

US Air Force wants $6B to build 2,000 AI-powered drones

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Re: $5.8 billion

Have you priced the F17 / F35 / etc that the wetware sits in?