* Posts by Peter Mount

216 publicly visible posts • joined 14 Feb 2008


Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move

Peter Mount

Re: The app doesn't make RPC calls?

You have heard of RFC 1149?

Twitter begs some staff to come back, says they were laid off accidentally

Peter Mount


As someone who used to use Twitter a lot, it is definitely noticeable.

I joined Mastodon back in April and it's been refreshing, none of the bitterness that you would normally see on the birdsite is visible.

However over the last week it has been evident that his takeover has had an effect - in that my timeline has definitely slowed down. It used to be really busy first thing in the morning or in the evening UK time, but it's now like a ghost town (hence the title).

From what I can see, mainly from the daily email/spam of whats been happening, of those new accounts, they seem to be porn bots. Before it used to be handy seeing 6 tweets I probably missed over the previous day. For example this morning's email is 2 useful tweets & 4 scantily clad images which I don't want & could get someone in trouble if they opened it up in a work setting.

Xiaomi reveals bonkers phone with bolted-on Leica lens that will make you look like a dork

Peter Mount

Samsung 10 years ago?

Sort of reminds me of my old Samsung Galaxy Camera from 2012 - which was an android 3G phone with a big lens attached to the front.

I've still got it, although it's a tad slow and under-specced compared to today's offerings.

He's only gone and done it. Ex-Register vulture elected to board of .uk registry

Peter Mount

Re: Chew gum and kick ass?

Sadly that video is unavailable :'(

Twitter edit button coming later this month ... for some

Peter Mount

Mastodon has Delete & Re-draft

Been using Mastodon since April and that does have a "Delete & Re-draft" option which does as it says, deletes the post & put's it back in the editor so you can re-draft it. Any interaction between the original post & delete is then lost which is a good thing as that prevents misuse.

So if this is not an undo but a true edit then expect it to be abused. They could do one version, people interact then change it but the interactions remain and if the context has changed it could get messy

GitLab plans to delete dormant projects in free accounts

Peter Mount

Always keep a backup, cloud/remote sites can vanish

Although unlikely Github would do the same thing I've been using gitea locally to keep a backup of all of my public repositories as it has a handy mirror mode which can keep itself in sync with anything pushed to the remote.

It's also handy for local stuff I don't want public (like personal ansible scripts etc) or stuff not yet ready to be made public.

I remember a similar issue when Sun's code hosting Kenai went offline after Oracle bought them.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

Peter Mount

Are you thinking of the 1024 week number rollover in GPS (about 19.6 years)?

The last time was 2019 and the next 2038.

There is a new version of the protocol which adds 3 bits to the week number so it's first rollover is in 2137.

The underlying second count however remains constant so when a leap second occurs then the offset is just increased (or rarely decreased)

First-ever James Webb Space Telescope image revealed

Peter Mount

Re: Correction or have I misunderstood...?

It's in a halo orbit around L2 so the Sun is never actually behind the Earth from JWST's point of view.

The Raspberry Pi Pico goes wireless with the $6 W

Peter Mount

Re: Pounds?

Just ordered one & it was £5 + VAT & Shipping, so £6 + shipping

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP

Peter Mount

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

That was the case when delivering maps online, think openstreetmap etc

Although you might have the server maps.example.com before http/2 it was best to have a.maps.example.com, b.maps.example.com, c.maps.example.com & d.maps.example.com so that you could request the map tiles across all of them & get more throughput as browsers limited it to 4 connections per domain name.

Since http/2 however, it's now better just to have the original maps.example.com site as it can send just as many down the single connection. Most libraries now support this, so if the connection is http/2 it ignores the alternates.

Brute force and whiskey: The solution to all life's problems

Peter Mount

Re: Narrowing it down

Going by some of the early history of the JPL (Jet Propulsion Laboratory) that probably has more truth to it.


Four times that day they tried to test fire their small rocket motor. On the last attempt, they accidentally set fire to their oxygen line, which whipped around shooting fire! These were the first rocket experiments in the history of JPL. They tried again on Nov. 15, 1936, and their experiment finally worked.

Logitech Pop: Stylish, portable, but far from the best typing experience

Peter Mount

I made the foolish mistake of looking at their site - there are other colour schemes which are even worse than that one

Google keeps legacy G Suite alive and free for personal use

Peter Mount

I've already migrated

As I only used it for email & didn't use any of the other services at the end of April I migrated away and I'm back running my own mail server.

To be honest it's making things a bit easier and more flexible.

GitHub to require two-factor authentication for code contributors by late 2023

Peter Mount

Re: Git is distibuted, so I hear

I'm the same, GitHub is good for making a project discoverable.

I run my own instance of Gogs locally for hosting private repos. Handy whilst working on a project before pushing it to GitHub to make it public.

It also supports mirroring so you can make a local copy of a GitHub (or any other git repo) and it will keep it in sync.

Rocket Lab to attempt mid-air recovery of descending booster

Peter Mount

Stream URL now available

Here's the Youtube link for the actual stream of tomorrows launch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6nODVPGHQcc&feature=youtu.be&ab_channel=RocketLab

It's scheduled to start at 23:05 April 29th, weather permitting

Peter Mount

Re: I would love to watch this!

Usually on their stream on youtube https://www.youtube.com/c/RocketLabNZ

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

Peter Mount

Re: Only just started with Home Automation

They'll be docs as well as multiple git repositories for the software ;-)

Peter Mount

Re: I'll allow myself a smug grin

See my comment I just posted below - Zigbee does work with no external connection required as I've just built a system from scratch.

Peter Mount

Only just started with Home Automation

As I've just bought the house I've been renting for quite some time I've finally got around to automating it.

No external services, just a Raspberry PI 4B with a Phoscon RaspBee II which connects to the GPIO pins & running zigbee2mqtt & some custom home written software.

Tried OpenHAB & Home Assistant & I either had issues with the UI not working or it was overkill for what I wanted it to do.

So right now it's all Zigbee based lights, light switches even the smoke detectors link up to it - with no external services in use*. If a switch fails it's probably a battery replacement but they are all standard batteries.

* I tell a lie, it is submitting stats to Graphana so I can monitor stuff but that's also my own server so my own fault if it goes down.

Amazon opens MASSIVE AI speech dataset so Alexa can speak your language

Peter Mount

Re: Note to self:

Obligatory XKCD https://xkcd.com/1807/

Three Twilio developers charged with insider trading

Peter Mount

Re: Profitable development

That was part of the plot line for one of the Superman movies with Richard Pryor doing exactly that

Dev rigs up receipt printer to spit out GitHub issues

Peter Mount

Re: PI Pico would be tricky

I do have sitting here for another project an add-on board for the RP2040 with an Ethernet jack on it (did see they had one with the pico chip on the same board).

50 lines of Bash to bring a Wordle fan out of their shell

Peter Mount

Re: Prior art?

TechTangents released a video yesterday showing both Mastermind and an electronic game which does look like a calculator.

Link should show the calculator in that video


Crack team of boffins hash out how e-scooters should sound – but they need your help*

Peter Mount
Thumb Up

The last couple of years there's been one locally

In 2020 & 2021 there's been a young lass who's been riding a scooter past my house on a semi-regular basis.

I know when she's passing by when there's this beep-beep-beep as she goes past.

It's actually a nice, clear & plain to alert someone near by that she's there.

She probably doesn't realise what good she's doing but one to push forward as the way to go,.,,

Theranos CEO Elizabeth Holmes found guilty of fraud: Blood-testing machines were vapourware after all

Peter Mount

20 or 80 Years?

The BBC was reporting earlier she could get 80 years, so was surprised to see 20 here?

Analogue tones of a ZX Spectrum Load set to ride again via podcast project

Peter Mount

Re: Software via teletext...

I got my hands on one of the teletext cheese wedges for the BBC back in May.

Been meaning to do a youtube video about it with the intention of getting it to work. I've got everything needed to do it & sending a valid teletext signal except Time :-(

Chiptune to brighten your afternoon: Winning 8-bit throwback music revealed

Peter Mount

I still play Chuckie Egg every so often as I've still got 2 BBC's working & occasionally still write stuff for them.

NYC subway SNAFU probably caused by someone turning it off accidentally, say reports

Peter Mount

Re: Who dun it?

Those covers on the big red switches are called Molly Guards for a reason ;-)

Icon because it looks like a baby/little person

Astro Pi 2: New Raspberry Pi hardware with updated camera, sensors to head to the ISS this year

Peter Mount

They did say earlier that are working on 3D printable cases just like the original Astro PI case.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Peter Mount

Re: Wings

Taffy Holden but I'd agree with you I'd prefer that one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4d7VKvG1z0&ab_channel=TheHistoryGuy%3AHistoryDeservestoBeRemembered

Docker Desktop no longer free for large companies: New 'Business' subscription is here

Peter Mount

Need better examples out there...

A lot of the large image sizes are down to badly written Dockerfiles - most examples show the basics which become the "standard" & you get bad images.

However with some simply care & the use of stages you can keep the image size down to a minimum.

I do that with my builds, e.g. use debian as a base, then a stage adding gcc or other compilers, then a stage to do the build & install into a custom directory then a final stage extending the base (no gcc/sources) & copy the compiled version into the destination.

I prefer alpine when needed as it's far smaller but sometimes have to use debian as a base depending on the project.

Come fly with me. But first we need to find a boot device

Peter Mount

About the same as "London Ashford Airport" which is actually located just outside Lydd on the Kent coast... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lydd_Airport

Have you turned it off and on again? Russia's Nauka module just about makes it to the ISS

Peter Mount

It's not over yet

About an hour ago Nauka decided to randomly fire it's thrusters, throwing the ISS 45 degrees off axis.

Sounds like they've now got the errant thrusters under control but it's a bit worrying that they've still got issues with this new module even though it's docked.

Google: About that whole getting rid of third-party cookies thing – we're gonna need another year or so

Peter Mount

I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.

The first thing I thought when I read this:

“I love deadlines. I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by.”

― Douglas Adams, The Salmon of Doubt

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing

Peter Mount

Re: implications and questions

That was the weird part, amazon's own site lost their images which made me thing they were down.

Why would they use a 3rd party CDN?

File this next to Mars bars under 'things that should not be deep-fried': Marks & Spencer's Colin the Caterpillar

Peter Mount

Re: Deep Fried *

Down south in the 80's we had Deep fried Shepherd Pies...

Consisted of a core of Lamb mince & veg wrapped in a mash potato shell then covered in batter & deep fried.

Don't know if it was just a Kent thing but they were lovely

Looking for the perfect Valentine's gift? How about a week of retro gaming BBC Microlympics?

Peter Mount
Thumb Up

Re: Who needs an emulator?

I've got one for the internal tube interface on my BBC Master. I did a video for Doscember showing DOS (DOS Plus not MSDos) running on it with a couple of PC games working fine.

Just search for "Running DOS on a BBC Master 128" on YouTube

Bare-metal Macs-as-a-service come to AWS. Intel for now, M1 silicon in 2021

Peter Mount
Thumb Down

It's not cheap

"Sadly, Amazon’s pricing pages had not caught up with its announcement"

It's there under https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/dedicated-hosts/pricing/ - mac1 $1.207 per hour, so it's not cheap, especially when the linked article states "with a minimum tenancy of 24 hours"

The GIMP turns 25 and promises to carry on being the FOSS not-Photoshop

Peter Mount

Re: A heartfelt 'Thank You' to everyone who has ever contributed.

As you I had some exposure to Photoshop in the past so some concepts like Layers came naturally to me when I started using GIMP 20 years ago.

Some tasks I need to lookup but those are the odd ones when I want some special effect or a task I rarely do.

Most normal tasks I just get on with it

Halt don't catch fire: Amazon recalls hundreds of thousands of Ring doorbells over exploding battery fears

Peter Mount

Shows people don't read the instructions

I got one of these a couple of months ago, mainly as I'm moving my home office indoors & needed something like this to answer the door (i.e. camera not just a dumb door bell).

Anyhow, the thing is it had a warning inside the box about this exact problem & not to mix the screws up.

The security screws (which they provided the appropriate tool) is to attach it to the mounting thats screwed to the wall so it's difficult for someone to nick the door bell.

The warning clearly stated the overheating problem as the wood screws could "puncture the battery".

2020 hasn't been all bad – a new Raspberry Pi Compute Module is here

Peter Mount

Still not pleasing some

All morning I've seen people complain about the lack of USB3... totally ignoring that on the PI4B the USB3 is actually hogging the sole PCIe channel - some have hacked their pi's removing the controller to get at the PCIe.

Unlike the earlier dev boards, the new one allows existing hat's with it (one of my gripes with the old ones) but again some complaining about that.

It'll be interesting to see how one of these compares with the 4B & earlier CM models, I've just got to wait now until early/mid November for mine to arrive

'Get out of my office, you're being a pest!' Yes, son. Toymaker releases work-from-home-themed play sets

Peter Mount

A meme going real?

I wonder if they saw the various joke pic's of Fisher Price toys during the rounds during lockdown & though why don't we actually do that?

Burn baby burn, plastic inferno! Infosec researchers turn 3D printers into self-immolating suicide machines

Peter Mount

Not really new

Any 3d printer can catch fire, which is why they shouldn't be left unattended.

Remember, 3D printers run at high temperatures, I'm usually running the extruder anywhere between 180C & 200C

All you need is either a head crash or the filament to fail to extrude so it builds up as a blob around the nozzle & it will overheat. I've seen pics of print heads encased in a plastic cocoon which effectively needed them replacing, but if left longer could have been more serious.

Whenever I use my printer I'm always around & can literally pull the plug if things get serious.

Dutch Gateway store was kept udder wraps for centuries until refit dug up computing history

Peter Mount

Some Gateway stuff is still out there unopened

RetroManCave did an unboxing of a Gateway CRT last week (I'm a patron so saw it before the public release yesterday) on his channel so there are some unopened stuff out there - here's at the point showing the classic cow box with an unusual for them black crt https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCQuUwHH45w&t=969

I do remember Gateway back in the 90's - was working in local government back then & Gateway was out supplier for a few years so saw hundreds of those machines. Some of their tower cases had an interesting design where you could convert to a desktop simply by moving the logo - there was no difference in the design between the two other than the logo

We're going underground, and this time it's not an inebriated banker crapping themselves, but Transport for London

Peter Mount

That API is public

I consume a lot of those API's from TfL, National Rail & Network Rail & it's quite normal for those feeds to contain data not for public consumption, even though the feeds are freely available.

Normally that information isn't to be presented to the public mainly to stop confusion - i.e. for NRE you can get a platform number for a train but it's suppressed so you shouldn't show it - mainly to stop people crowding on a platform before it's known the train will actually go there - e.g. late platform change. Busy stations can also suppress them again for crowd control.

The TfL one you can get from https://api.tfl.gov.uk/

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address

Peter Mount

Re: Sad to see it go

They never did archive images back then so a lot of my early stuff is now gone, although some text is still there, e.g. http://web.archive.org/web/19970821205517/http://maidast.demon.co.uk/finder/postgres/index.html

Ah those were the days when you only had a text editor to create anything...

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

Peter Mount

Had one of those

I had the ICF-SW100 when it first came out & was a brilliant little world band radio - up until I lent it to my father & broke it. Gah.

These days I have an Eton G3 which is bigger but has similar battery life & slightly better SW coverage.

In reserve there's the emergency radio that has a manual charger (literally a handle you turn to charge it).

In both cases no way would DAB work & around here DAB signal is very poor

If you don't cover your Docker daemon API port you'll have a hell of a time... because cryptocreeps are hunting for it

Peter Mount

Their own fault opening the socket?

It must be a cloud thing as most Docker installations have their API sockets as a unix socket, so it appears as a file in the host's filesystem & as such isn't accessible from any network interface.

Instructions on how to expose the socket on the network is out there but even Docker's documentation states why that's a bad idea.

So for them to be exposed it's either someones done that manually or someone's provider has exposed the API socket without any appropriate Firewall rules against them

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary

Peter Mount
Thumb Up

Re: Choice

I did the same thing back in the 90's when it was the original StarOffice (before Sun bought them & open sourced it as OpenOffice & hence before the fork to Libre).

I had back then users saying their Excel files were corrupt so I'd load it into my copy of Star, resave, hand it back & it worked for them - it was a life saver

Pi in the sky as ESA starts testing encrypted comms on International Space Station

Peter Mount

Re: Rad hardened Raspberry Pi

Reading the press release fully it's not in the crew area, that beige box in the articles photo is it.

"CryptIC measures just 10x10x10 cm."

“A major part of the experiment relies on a standard Raspberry Pi Zero computer,” adds Emmanuel. “This cheap hardware is more or less flying exactly as we bought it; the only difference is it has had to be covered with a plastic ‘conformal’ coating, to fulfil standard ISS safety requirements.”