* Posts by Joe Gurman

595 posts • joined 21 Dec 2007

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Businesses should dump Windows for the Linux desktop

Joe Gurman

“Macs, which are, after all, expensive”

Particularly in business and government, try to get past this patently false assertion when examined in the light of total cost of ownership. Look at IBM’s experience in this regard, and consider the amount of handholding new Linux desktop users need.

South Korea's lunar orbiter launches and phones home happily

Joe Gurman

Is there another kind of camera?

"[M]ake images out of photons"

I mean, there are electron "cameras" that produce images by scattering electrons off things, but by and large....

Micron releases DDR5 DRAM ready for next-gen servers

Joe Gurman

Gotta have configurable memory for server, I guess

But discreet memory components, with slots for them on motherboards.... how quaint.

Intel to sell Massachusetts R&D site, once home to its only New England fab

Joe Gurman

And then there was the whole enclosure airflow direction issue

Iirc, it was "IBM sucks, but DEC blows."

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

Joe Gurman

After working in France for six months….

…. Thirty years ago, I think of it as la poubelle. Certainly prevents mixups.

How did you mourn Internet Explorer's passing?

Joe Gurman

How to mourn?

Party like it’s 1995.

Apple gets lawsuit over Meltdown and Spectre dismissed

Joe Gurman

What a novel concept in the law

At least for non-lawyers: That a party must be able to prove they've suffered some damage before bringing suit for damages. Duh.

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

Joe Gurman

Face facts

The Linux desktop will never be as big as macOS now is, much less Windows.

We sat through Apple's product launch disguised as a dev event so you don't have to

Joe Gurman

Re: Are they sure about this

The OS also has a feature dubbed Rapid Security Response that can install vulnerability patches as normal software updates without needing a full iOS update process.

This sounds like an attack vector that would be irresistible to black hats and 3 letter agencies alike.

----

And yet, it's been in place and used quasi-regularly for updating XProtect, Gatekeeper, MRT, and so on for years. Have you heard of any such attacks, against systems where SIP hasn't been disabled?

Joe Gurman

It might be worth asking

....how many iPad users actually want to side load software not in the App Store. And for that matter, whether they want to risk the old "hive of villainy" model in an age of adware, ransomware, and so on.

Starlink's success in Ukraine amplifies interest in anti-satellite weapons

Joe Gurman

Re: Would ground/plane based laser be effective ?

Satellites that have been serviced, and had parts retrieved and returned for earth for study showed _lots_ (many thousands over a few years) of impacts from such debris, including paint stripped from Space Shuttles by the highly reactive, if extremely tenuous, atomic oxygen at those altitudes.

Most of the debris, of course, had impacted solar panels, which tend to be most of the surface area of earth-orbiting spacecraft. While that may have degraded the output of those arrays, it didn't do sufficient damage to affect the missions involved.

Joe Gurman

Re: Would ground/plane based laser be effective ?

A directed-energy "solution" to constellations of communications satellites could degrade service, but replacements could be launched faster than they could be knocked out. Unless, of course, the Chinese hired SpaceX to shoot down their own satellites with another constellation, this time of killer sats. I wouldn't put it past Mr. Musk to accept a sufficiently lucrative offer.

The only saving grace in such an idiotic war would be that the satellites are for the most part, orbiting at altitudes used by not much else, so the immense cloud of debris the destruction would create wouldn't be likely to affect other spacecraft.

France levels up local video game slang with list of French terms to replace foreign words

Joe Gurman

This nonsense

....all goes back to la loi no 94-665 du 4 août 1994 relative à l'emploi de la langue française, the project of Jacques Toubon, the French minister of culture at the time. Preserving the French language, particularly against the insidious creep of English into it, was viewed as a sacred duty.

The law, of course, is known to my French friends as "la loi de Jack Allgood."

Safari is crippling the mobile market, and we never even noticed

Joe Gurman

Wait..

What fraction of desktop/laptop browser usage did IE have back in the day referred to in the article?

And what fraction of the mobile browser market does Safari command today?

Apple, and, ER, eggs that have gone off.

Apple's grip on iOS browser engines disallowed under latest draft EU rules

Joe Gurman

I'm sorry....

....but trying to be as courteous as possible, that "argument" is the product of the south and of a horse headed north. Your choice is in buying a device that does what you want. Want Chrome? Buy an Android phone. Done and dusted.

My choice, on the other hand, is to buy a phone that doesn't allow any hive of scum and villainy aboard, other than than the manufacturer. Might not be your choice, but it's (sorry, can't bring myself to use uppercase) my choice.

Joe Gurman

Re: Shiny shiny ...

If I invented a revolutionary, new television that did (I don't know) some wonderful things that would make hunters scoop them up like hotcakes, but which were hard-wired not to show Fox "News," what would the "markets" (*cough*) committee say? The buyers who wanted that "feature" could always buy one of the TVs manufactured by literally dozens of other vendors. They might not have my spiffy, new features, but they'd have the product they wanted.

Now explain to me what EU bureaucrats' interference is required in this case. If Apple's limited web browser implementation is to terrible, there are simple (and less expensive) alternatives at hand.

macOS Server discontinued after years on life support

Joe Gurman

As the fruit company itself mentioned in its announcement

The purportedly most popular remaining features of the server product, Caching Server, File Sharing Server, and Time Machine Server, have over time become features of mac OS. So not so much third-party action necessary.

Brave, DuckDuckGo to unplug Google's AMP where possible

Joe Gurman

I have a problem

I cannot use the words "trust" and "Google" in the same sentence, without a negative somewhere in there, I cannot lie.

'Bigger is better' is back for hardware – without any obvious benefits

Joe Gurman

Breathes fire?

The maximum sustained power consumed by the Mac Studio with the M1 Ultra CPU is 370 W. Quite a bit more than the most efficient, full-sized laptops, but quite a bit less than a lot of full-sized desktops. Don't mistake efficient thermal design for wasteful power consumption (e.g. Xeons).

NASA in 'serious jeopardy' due to big black hole in security

Joe Gurman

Some unintended irony here

The reason so many NASA users request elevated privileges is that they want to be able to install security updates either before the IT contractor gets around to their machine(s), or prevent the patch installation procedure from taking over their machine during the last two or three hours of submission windows for major funding proposals or conference abstracts.

In one case, a Microsoft Office “upgrade” did exactly that to quite a few scientists in the outfit I used to work for. It’s the kind of thing makes unwilling elevated privilege users out of many non-IT professionals.

Joe Gurman

Re: No real changes

A bit of a niggle, but the Rovers were controlled by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory of Caltech. That institution is under contract to NASA, and thus has to follow a lot of NASA rules and regs, but NASA has at times had a difficult time getting the contractor JPL has doing its institutional IT to follow all of the corporate procedures.

114 billion transistors, one big meh. Apple's M1 Ultra wake-up call

Joe Gurman

Not an Apples to apples comparison?

Apple claims that its Apple silicon-based machines don’t need as much RAM as, say, Intel-based ones because (1) the memory access is so much faster than in conventional, off-the-SOC designs, the memory bandwidth is so much less and (2) their CPUs just move the data in and out faster, too.

I haven’t used such a machine yet, so I can’t say whether I’d agree in practice, but people doing light and medium video creation loads appear to agree Apple’s done it right. The good news? Intel may catch up in two to three years…. with where Apple is now.

RIP Katherine Johnson: The extraordinary NASA mathematician astronauts trusted over computers

Joe Gurman

And now….

….the NASA headquarters building in Washington DC is named for Ms. Johnson.

Beware the techie who takes things literally

Joe Gurman

In the manner of the BOFH....

.... "Frank" should have torched the boss's new car.

Russia's naval exercise near Ireland unlikely to involve cable-tapping shenanigans

Joe Gurman

The US Navy....

....has a submarine dedicated to exactly this kind of operation; hardly "advanced," because it was commissioned nearly two decades ago. It contains any extra section amidships to allow deploying, among other things, special-purpose submersibles. Think that might include fibre optic mods?

Back up for a minute – Backblaze HD reliability stats show oldies can be goodies

Joe Gurman

Do the stats distinguish....

....between pre-HGST acquisition and post-acquisition WDC stats? Not so long ago, WD had a reputation for some dodgy drive models. Since purchasing HGST, they've done considerably better, word-of-mouth-wise.

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success

Joe Gurman

Re: IPv6 is actually there in the home user worls

Don't know about elsewhere, but in the US, that would indicate that the editors are at universities, government sites, and Alphabet/Meta. All of them using their employers' networks to do something other than what they're paid for.

Joe Gurman

Re: re: In a global pandemic

Guess I won't be shopping in M&S anytime soon.

My favorite, here in the States, is people who wear masks, but pull them down so their noses are uncovered. I could waste time wondering what they're thinking, but I don't think they are.

Joe Gurman

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

"If the question is whether the majority of public internet traffic runs over IPv6, then I suspect that is quite likely to happen over the next 10 years."

Trouble is, I heard that ten years ago.

Japan solves 5G airliner conundrum: Keep mobe masts 200m from airport approach paths. That's it

Joe Gurman

I’m not close to being an expert

….but I have read elsewhere that not only are US 5G transmitters operating at a different frequency range from that in other places, as noted here, but also operating at something like 2x the radiated power. Perhaps something to do with the more spread-out. Suture of some American cities?

That aside, it appears to that parts of the US (and other) airline industry has had years to replace their radar altimeters with ones with no sideband issues vis a vis 5G, but have chosen to allow the issue to become literally a last-minute confrontation, in the hope of soaking the taxpayer for what ought to be a shareholder/passenger financial responsibility.

And not just the US carriers: business news outlets carried a good deal of coverage yesterday of the Emirates CEO bloviating about an “issue” his airline had lots of time to mitigate.

AWS postmortem: Internal ops teams' own monitoring tools went down, had to comb through logs

Joe Gurman

Re: DNS

Or BGP.

Assange extradition case goes to UK Home Secretary as High Court rules he can be sent to US for trial

Joe Gurman

Re: Missing the point

What on earth makes you think he will not?

The only thing certain about these goings on is that quality barristers will be able to bill a lot of hours.

It's primed and full of fuel, the James Webb Space Telescope is ready to be packed up prior to launch

Joe Gurman

An understatement

"Fingers crossed the telescope will finally take to space on 22 December."

How about all movable parts crossed, and all bodily sphincters puckered up?

Alleged Brit SIM-swapper will kill himself if extradited to US for trial, London court told

Joe Gurman

Re: "he might commit suicide, making his an "exceptional" case"

It is getting rather frequent, isn't it?

1. Every temporarily successful cyber criminal or social engineer in the UK is on the autism spectrum;

2. every one of those apprehended had a terminally ill mum or disabled wife or yet unborn child or some other family member who could not get care from anyone but Billy the (unextraditable) Kid;

3. if you even mention the word "extradition" within the suddenly sensitive lad's hearing, he will kill himself (and it's always he, isn't it?);

4. the similarity in too many cases indicates to me that that the defense briefs are all reading from the same script, and it makes me wonder whether the defendants ever have a say in the matter. Does none of them ever in fact say to his solicitor, "It's a fair cop," only to have the lawyers laugh?

Does anyone think that HM Wandsworth and Belmarsh are really any better than federal penitentiaries in the US? (I stress "federal," since so many states contract out their prisons to large contractors who may poorly trained guards minimum wage).

Russia's orbital insanity is almost beyond redemption – but there's space for improvement

Joe Gurman

Thuggism

Putin's Russia has made an art of it, on the ground, in the air, in space. What else would you expect from a former (not very good) KGByushnik?

Now that's a splash down: Astronauts spend 8-hour trip to Earth in diapers after SpaceX capsule toilet breaks

Joe Gurman

The boldly go line is cute

....but the history of space toilets, including the ones on US Shuttles and the ISS, is rife (ripe?) with examples of malfunctioning health and safety equipment. Space is hard, space toilets are harder.

Apple's macOS Monterey upgrades some people's laptops to doorstops

Joe Gurman

Guess I'm luckier

Two iMacs (2017 and 2020 Intel), both updated without issue.

This is way less serious than an update bricking your system, but Monterey appears to have broken then Slideshow screensaver for many users. No productivity impact, purely esthetic.

Apple's Safari browser runs the risk of becoming the new Internet Explorer – holding the web back for everyone

Joe Gurman

For what it's worth....

....Safari Technology Preview release 133 (the current release), a.k.a Safari 15.4, clocks in at 85 on the same compatibility test page, which better than halves the distance to Chrome. Do we know if the remaining 11% is evil Web "standards" that seek control of your devices, or if there's useful functionality in that difference?

Report details how Airbus pilots saved the day when all three flight computers failed on landing

Joe Gurman

Don't forget the First Officer

"In a world of increasing automation, the incident serves as a reminder of the importance of keeping a human backup in the loop."

Or two, in case of applying the brakes manually.

The unit of measure for fatbergs is not hippopotami, even if the operator of an Australian sewer says so

Joe Gurman

Am I the only one

....who thinks the appropriate unit of weight for an article about Oz fathers is the Australian tram?

But really, Reg Soviet, "weight?" What an earth-o-centric view of things. Please, we need a unit for mass. This is, after all, the spaced age.

It's time to decentralize the internet, again: What was distributed is now centralized by Google, Facebook, etc

Joe Gurman

Funny....

This article by a network professional with decades of experience doesn't mention DNS poisoning, BGP vulnerabilities, DDoS storms, or IP spoofing, all of which were "baked in" from the beginning. Let's face it, TCP/IP was never ready for prime time as protocols for a dependable, worldwide network, and still isn't now, even after some of the holes have been plugged. Content distribution is fairly mundane issue by comparison.

Blizzard president, HR chief exit games giant in wake of sexual harassment uproar

Joe Gurman

Re: A Good Lesson

Some companies are so far behind the times. The last outfit I worked for changed the name from HR to "Human Capital Management" (seriously) quite a few years ago. We always pronounced the second word, "Cattle."

Right to repair shouldn't exist – not because it's wrong but because it's so obviously right

Joe Gurman

So….

….you want tat to be designed for the convenience of the relative few who find it “fun” to tinker, rather than according to the whims of the punters. I wish you the best of luck with that.

Western Approaches Museum: WRENs, wargames, and victory in the Atlantic

Joe Gurman

In addition to the 2700 Liberty ships….

of 10,000 tons, and up to 11 knots, the US also produced, starting in 1943, ~ 540 Victory ships of 15,000 tons, up to 15 knots.

Ah, I see you found my PowerShell script called 'SiteReview' – that does not mean what you think it means

Joe Gurman

Re: A few years ago ...

The department chair and who else?

Revealed: Perfect timings for creation of exemplary full English breakfast

Joe Gurman

Re: What is the world coming to?

In the US, hash browns are almost exclusively a breakfast thing, so hamburgers (usually) do not accompany them.

Things that needn't be said: Don't plonk a massive Starlink dish on the hood of your car

Joe Gurman

Re: Spaced-GenX?

Well played, that Coward.

Hungover Brits declare full English breakfast the solution to all their ills

Joe Gurman

Really?

"It is a sad indictment of Britain's socialising habits if struggling with a hangover in the sullen company of similarly afflicted friends is more fun than the evening that got you there."

Or is getting absolutely pissed by binge drinking next to other people but able to have no meaningful interaction with them when you're paralytic perhaps just a tad inferior to healthier food and drink the next "morning," under a broad definition of morning?

Spacey McSpaceface: Artemis takes shape ahead of '2021' launch – but first you need to name the crash-test dummy

Joe Gurman

How about

Donald?

SpaceX spat with Viasat: Rival accused of abusing legislation to halt Elon's Starlink expansion

Joe Gurman

Re: Goes without saying

"It doesn't actually do anything for the environment, of course."

[Citation needed]

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