* Posts by eldel

106 posts • joined 11 Jun 2009


Good news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back


Re: Oh dear

I, rather unfortunately, resemble that remark.

I watched it during the reception for my cousin's wedding. It was so important a whole room of Scots stopped drinking to watch it. Rarely has such an event been seen. (Moon landing or Scots not drinking at an open bar - take your pick)

Restoring your privacy costs money, which makes it a marker of class

Black Helicopters

And here is the list of the cross-site trackers on this page alone ..









Annoyed US regulator warns it might knock SpaceX's shiny new Texas tower down


The most feared words you can hear

I'm from the government and I'm here to help you.

The FAA have an 'interesting' view of where their authority stretches to - probably because many (most??) airports in the states have been in receipt of grants for infrastructure improvements. The rider that comes with the grant is that it gives the FAA a huge amount of say in the ongoing activities at the airport. This is often a good thing when local governments try to sell off a local airport to generate money and find that they can't. For subjective values of 'good' of course.

I rather suspect that attitude is being shown here despite this not being an FAA funded operation.

BOFH: Oh for Pete’s sake. Don’t make a spectacle of yourself


Re: Brilliant

You say that as if it was a bad thing

You want a reboot? I'll give you a reboot! Happy now?


Re: Hands up, intentional mixup

Email (and it's associated audit trail) are a lifesaver and the reason that I refuse to do anything on a verbal/zoom/chat instruction without an email confirmation that "yes, as per your instruction/request/recommendation, I will be doing x". I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer but even I learn eventually.

The silicon supply chain crunch is worrying. Now comes a critical concern: A coffee shortage


Re: A year on from the great bog roll hoarding ....

FTO is about 3x that price nowadays (was about 2x a year ago)

For me anyway ...


Boldly going where Elon Musk will probably go before: NASA successfully tests SLS Moon rocket core stage


Re: Musk

Whilst you are correct I think you are somewhat misrepresenting the situation. SLS is a throwaway - in the best pork barrel traditions of the US Gov. The Artemis 1 mission could fly on Falcon Heavy and you'd still have the boosters.

Starship (both the 'capsule' and the booster) are early representatives of the next generation - SLS is just another iteration of the same tired old system. So for the record it's Starship 1 out of 10 'successful' landings vs Boeing 0 out of 0. Hey - at least they are consistent, Also - SpaceX do seem to already have a 7 seater human rated capsule that has flown 2 more missions than Orion - so if you are comparing like with like that would be a closer one.

For the record - while I think Boeing/ULA are little more than a highly efficient leach on the public purse and long ago stopped innovating - I really really want the Artemis program to work and be a spectacular success. It's a popular conception that NASA were once a freewheeling outfit that degenerated into a bureaucracy - but if you read the accounts of the early days it was always thus. They were just given political ego generated unlimited budgets. They still managed some of the most stupendous achievements in history despite the paper pushers and I sincerely hope they continue to do so.


Drinking in Tx

You omitted the 10000 kg of sugar (or suitably cancer inducing alternative) and approx 10000 lt of "colorings" from the recipe. Not that I have opinions about the drinks they serve in Texas - no Sir - not me.

Oh - and enough ice to clear the Weddell sea - what? they already did?

If at first you don't succeed: Engineers power up the computers of NASA's monster SLS core stage once again


Re: What could possibly go wrong?

From whose perspective?

Boeing? Hardly - they're (re)using those propellant barges to move their massive cost plus payments so they don't care. It's also the closest to booster reuse they'll ever get.

NASA? Well they care - but they are at the mercy of congress critters who are using public money to fund re-election campaigns in the districts that make the bits.

SpaceX? The company doesn't really GaS although they're largely staffed with space geeks who want all rockets to succeed. They've got boosters almost as powerful that you can order more or less off the shelf (and re-use them) which would easily cope with the early Artemis loads (note - I think they would have issues with the capsule width though) and by the time Boeing et-al get Artemis II payloads ready I strongly suspect the Starship booster will be firing.

Blue Origin? Boeing/ULA MK2 - just funded by Bezos rather than the taxpayer. They'll probably have something in orbit around Earth by the time NASA are around the Moon and SpaceX around Mars.

Anyone living within 20 miles of the test? I suspect that they have ear plugs and strong windows.

Recovery time objective missed by four weeks, but Parler is back online


Re: Disqus provides no way to contact them about this

I think "wooosh" is appropriate here :-)

Salesforce: Forget the ping-pong and snacks, the 9-to-5 working day is just so 2019, it's over and done with


Re: Up yours to HP and Yahoo etc

HPE were one of the first to ditch the cube farms and declare remote as the ongoing norm.


My bad! So you're saying that redacting an on-screen PDF with Tipp-Ex won't work?


Re: Amazon drivers

I'd have to agree with this. Especially when compared to the demented gibbons employed by UPS hereabouts.

Musk see: Watch SpaceX's latest Starship rocket explode while trying to touch down


Re: Maybe it needs a clunk tank

I'm fairly sure I read that (one of the points of) SN8 was to test the pressurised header tank. This one talked about the landing tanks. I would have assumed that they would also be pressurised given that they have to supply fuel from a 90 degree (ish) angle to allow it to align for landing.

Whatever the reason I suspect that we'll find out about it in a few days. Muskies girls and boys seem to be very open about what went wrong. Of course - when you aren't having to justify another $XB from congress that sort of thing is probably easier.

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop


Re: NIC?

HP as well. My work laptop is sitting next to me - a single USB-C cable from the dock. Drives a pair of 24" monitors, USB ports for headset, keyboard and mouse and an RJ45 to hook up to the office switch.

I think that's a fairly standard arrangement for modern high(er) spec setups. Certainly seems to be reliable once you have the correct drivers in place.

Engineers blame 'intentionally conservative' test parameters for premature end to Space Launch System hotfire


Re: Well That Doesn't Sound Too Bad

I'm not so sure - and that may be the reason that Space X and Blue Origin to a lessor extent are moving much faster than Boeing. They leave it to fail and gather more information.

In this test Boeing stopped it at the first sign of trouble - no doubt to try and protect a politically imposed launch date - but now have no idea if the problem would stabilize or get worse and cause a catastrophic failure and when. Space X would just let the bastard blow up and thus characterize the whole thing.Yeah it ain't cheap - but when you have stuff rolling off an assembly line instead of hand crafted by a cost plus band of artisans then it's a quick turnaround and another learning experience.

SLS has effectively been in development since 2005 (if you include the Constellation program) - only 3 years less than Space X has been in existence. Not only that they even had the engines 'gifted' to them so they didn't have to develop them. Since 2011 the development costs for the first stage booster alone are running at somewhere north of $20B and all they have to show for it are some politicians getting fat bribes. For reference Space X developed the Falcon 1 and 9 for around $400M.

Suckers for punishment, we added a crawler transporter to our Saturn V


Re: Meccano Vs Lego

I had a couple of basic kits then around the mid 60s 'inherited' a huge amount, like 3 large holdalls full, from one of my father's colleagues who had a large collection of nieces but no nephews. Note the date - gender equality was a far future concept back then.

Twas wonderful - building 'motorised' models with the clockwork motor sets. 10 years later, within a couple of months of me leaving home, my mother had 'donated' it because she thought it was a waste of space and I was 'too old' to care about such things. The sudden change in the earth's magnetic field is a result of her spinning in her grave at being reminded about it. Again.

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet


Re: Both SX and Tesla have come a very long way in 2 years

Heard an interesting (well, I thought so) take on Apple getting into cars the other day. Before the world's biggest cash cow of consumers paying $1000 every other year to replace their pocket computer at huge mark up - the previous biggest cash cow was people paying $000s every 5 years to replace their car.

Remember the "what's good for GM is good for America" meme?

'Best tech employer of the year' threatened trainee with £15k penalty fee for quitting to look after his sick mum


While not trying to devalue your (totally shit) experience - it's not always that way. About 15 years ago I was working for a large US multinational in California when I got the phone call from my mother telling me that my father was in hospital and was terminal. I was at work and desperately trying to find flights to the UK (in December - good luck with that) when my section manager overheard me and popped her head into my cube asking what was wrong. I told her and said I would try and get back in time to not exceed my holiday. Her response was "screw that - go take care of your mom".

So yeah - it's generally about the people. When you have real humans running the local environment it's a good place to be.

Ad blocking made Google throw its toys out of the pram – and now even more control is being taken from us


Re: "server-side tagging"

Excellent introduction and thank you for that link.

My initial thought is that we are going to have to get a lot deeper than (for example pi-hole) current domain level blocking and actively filter the return traffic to the server side. Of course this means a much greater (finer) control over what the browser will supply. Given that all the evil empire browser derivatives will give anything that is asked of them that leaves us with few options - though it will be interesting to see what the response of Brave and Opera is. With Mozilla looking like they are caving to Google pressure - follow the money and see where most of their income comes from - the choices are looking very thin indeed.

Palemoon with better browser data fuzzing maybe?

A 1970s magic trick: Take a card, any card, out of the deck and watch the IBM System/370 plunge into a death spiral


I once, many decades ago, dropped the boot stack for the University 1904S. The operators were less than impressed and I had to reassemble it by hand. Fortunately for my sanity they did have sequence numbers.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it





Trump fires cybersecurity boss Chris Krebs for doing his job: Securing the election and telling the truth about it


Re: Nice to see you all have completed your subversion training courtesy of commies

Ooh look - the mango moron's twitter feed just got channeled to El Reg, Including caps and speeling mistaikz.


Re: Voting

No - I think Tom38 has nailed it. First time I voted here I turned to one of the election officials with a 'is this for real?'. After decades of UK voting it was one of the larger culture shocks. Some states are mail-in vote by default. You *can* go to a voting center to vote on the day - this is mainly to accommodate people who have lost/mangled their ballot - but using it to change your mind is also allowed.

Colorado is one such - our results for the main races were announced within a few hours. Much more civilized and much less open to the voter suppression tactics that the mango moron and his cohort like to use. Even screwing over the postal service didn't do them much good as there are many dozens of official places to hand your ballot in. They're even in the damn supermarkets on election day.

New lawsuit: Why do Android phones mysteriously exchange 260MB a month with Google via cellular data when they're not even in use?


Re: Firewall

NoRoot Firewall has different permissions for cell data and wi-fi. My data plan usage fell dramatically when I installed that and basically blocked everything but messages and browser.

You only live twice: Once to start the installation, and the other time to finish it off


German efficiency

Somewhere around 2005 I was in Berlin giving a seminar and lab session. The hardware was shipped in its own travel rack but I was in the habit of carrying a bluetooth battery powered inkjet printer with me in my checked luggage so that we could update the handouts to suit local 'conditions'.

No problems getting in - but coming out I heard my name over the airport tannoy telling me to contact an airport official. I find a sample of such to be told that they had some questions about my luggage. Turns out the printer had a suspicious outline on the xray and then the chemical sniffer reacted (to the inkjet ink??? I never did find out). So I get shown into the windowless room - with 3 cameras mounted on extending arms, two severe looking men in suits and 2 guys with sub machine guns and uniforms. My case is on the table in the middle of the room. Cue buttock tightening moment.

Suit #1 asks what is in the case. I tell him, paperwork, handouts, clothes etc. Suit #2 produces xray printout and says "what is this". A printer I reply. Suits exchange glances and one of them says "it's too small to be a printer". I shrug and say we can always look at it. You want me to get it out? Suits exchange another look and say yes. I move towards the case to be told, in no uncertain terms, STOP. Cameras are moved into place - one of them watching my face, another watching my hands and another, I assume, getting a wide angle look. Uniforms unship the guns. Am told "proceed". I unzip the case and veeerrry slowly remove the printer. Ask if they want to see it do stuff. Another exchange of looks and "yes". Fortunately the battery was charged so I flipped it open, put a sheet of paper in it (also from the case) and hit the test button. Out comes a test print. At which point I start breathing again.

Cameras are stowed, uniforms leave and suit says "I suggest you don't fly with that thing in your luggage". I had to agree,

ISS? More like HISS, am I right? Space station air leakage narrowed down to Russia's Zvezda module


Re: T minus 7s?

Am I the only one that's impressed that they can shut down something that energetic and dynamic safely only 7 seconds (and they can probably get closer) before it all goes very hot?

I love my electricity company's app – but the FBI says the nuclear industry bribed politicians $60m to kill it


Re: An honest question...

That's interesting and I hadn't seen it before. Looking at that I think what I really want is a smart circuit breaker. To replace the ones in the "fuse box" - showing my age there. That way I can see the usage per circuit on an ongoing basis. Makes it easy to track down where all the power is going and if it seems unreasonable then I can always dig deeper.

Anyone know of anything like this? I suspect that the common ring main would make it unlikely in the UK (note - I haven't lived there for 20 years - the regs have undoubtedly changed) but the separate circuits layout in the US would be suitable

{Edit} A quick duckduckgo gives me this. There's probably others

With H-1B workers not exactly rushing to America this year, Uncle Sam plans to spend millions home-growing IT staff


<q>The largest recipients of those visas are tech companies and outsourcers bringing in foreigners with high-end computer skills<\q>

High end my sorry ass. Basic skills and paid Indian level wages while being shopped out at US level wages plus profit margin. Being an ex-H1B myself I know what it's like if it's done properly - I also see what a significant proportion of the current "crop" is capable of. The good ones are very good and a joy to work with. The majority are subtraction by addition but the bean counters don't care because they fill the gap in the HR spreadsheet.

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!


Re: No Paper

Oh I dunno about that. My wife did and she's made it work for the last <mumble mumble> years.

Happy Hacking Professional Hybrid mechanical keyboard: Weird, powerful, comfortable ... and did we mention weird?


Re: Because...

It's an interestingly individual thing. I work with a couple of folks with exactly the same reaction. On the other hand, my nascent carpel tunnel issues vanished within a couple of months of switching to a MS 4000 keyboard.

As you said, it's a good thing that there are choices.

Another anti-immigrant rant goes viral in America – and this time it's by a British, er, immigrant tech CEO


Re: adults pass it down to the children

So - I happened to notice a couple of months ago that 'Jokers Wild' was available on DVD. For those of you under the age of around 50 this was a very successful comedy show on ITV in the late 60s/early 70s. We watched it as a family and my memories of it are of a very funny program. So I purchased and duly took delivery.

Ye <deity> it's bad. The racism and misogyny just ooze out of every syllable. And yet 50 years ago this passed for completely acceptable light entertainment. So for the younger generations lambasting us boomers for being systemically racist - well, yes - we probably are because we were raised in an environment where it was the norm. But at least some of us recognise it and are trying to do something about it. Might I suggest that the current proclivity for rancid intolerance is something that we don't want to carry forward for another half century otherwise you can look forward to your grandchildren treating you with the same disdain.


Re: He's not an imigrant

Yup. Spot on. In 19 years as a Brit in the US the only time I've been told "fuck off back to your own country" was by a somewhat inebriated faux Irishman in Boston just after St Patrick's day. I'm not sure exactly what he was referring to though. Especially given that my grandfather was Irish and I'm eligible for an Irish passport.

It's kinda weird sometimes. We lived in Texas for 4 years and there's some seriously racist assholes there (as well as some of the kindest and most welcoming people I've ever encountered) who are virulently anti-immigration yet somehow we were always excluded from the "they ought to be sent home" list.

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again


But the "they're just amateurs" mob just lofted a new GPS sat into orbit yesterday - apparently the 88th Falcon9 flight. Looks like Boeing have the same engineering crew on the Atlas as the 737MAX.

NASA scientists mull sending a spacecraft on a 13-year mission to visit Neptune's 'bizarre' moon, Triton


Re: Do it, please.

I resemble that remark. It's depressing how fast father time sneaks up on you.

Looking for a home off-world? Take your pick: Astroboffins estimate there are nearly 6bn Earth-likes in the Milky Way


Re: Venus and Mars

Neither Venus or Mars are 'habitable' you are correct. They both, however, lie in the habitable zone of our solar system. Which is, AIUI, defined as they get enough solar radiation to allow liquid water to exist on the planetary surface.

Their human habitability shows just how little that 'habitable zone' designation means. It's a lower bound - nothing more.

Living up to its 'un-carrier' slogan, T-Mobile US stops carrying incoming calls, data in nationwide outage


Re: Strange Curves

Something, somewhere is certainly borked. My (Comcast) connection is OK - but only if I use the VPN. Going 'native' the performance is dire. Different browsers, different machines - same thing.

Bigger than big: Linux kernel colonel Torvalds claims 5.8 is 'one of our biggest releases of all time'


Re: Bigger! Newer!! Better???

Actually this sort of 'major upgrade' makes me very happy. It essentially means that the underlying structure is mature and stable and is unlikely to break in new and interesting ways. It's an operating system FFS - the details of a new version should really only be of interest to a very niche group. Granted that probably includes a larger than normal percentage of the participants in here.

The longer we can avoid major perturbations like systemd (whichever side of that fence you are on) the more I like it.

Trump issues toothless exec order to show donors, fans he's doing something about those Twitter twerps


One thing to be amazed at

So much narcissistic delusion in so small a mind. It's amazing it all fits.

US govt can talk about the end of lockdown, but Silicon Valley says 'as long as it takes' – and Twitter says 'WFH forever'


Re: Negatives?

Rather depends on one's perspective. From the point of view of the worker bee it's an unmitigated positive. From the point of view of the clueless fuckwit who now has to measure output, and hence understand what's supposed to happen it's a total disaster. YMMV :-)

Reg readers have not one, but TWO teams in Folding@home top 1,000 as virus-bothering network hits 2.4 exa-FLOPS


Yeah - due to having a lot of cores running when the work was predominantly aimed at CPUs I got up to the lower 10,000s at one point after quite a few years of working. Nowadays a single GPU will outstrip the lot of them. No matter - it all helps.

Beware the Friday afternoon 'Could you just..?' from the muppet who wants to come between you and your beer


Re: The obvious get-out phrase...

My usual response is "I work in QA, I break shit, you haven't left me much to do".

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport


Re: You gotta shoot...

Ahh Budweiser - a testament to the urinary function of cats everywhere.

Believe it or not - they have a "beer garden" in the chemical plant that spews it out. I often wonder where they get the beer from.

Problems at Oracle's DynDNS: Domain registration customers transferred at short notice, nameserver records changed


Re: Yet another reason Oracle sucks.

I managed MySQL and Java - but getting rid of VirtualBox is proving somewhat more problematic. Convenient (and I stress that word) way of running ad-hoc VMs on Linux isn't something I found when I last looked. KVM sucks and I'm not about to implement an openstack setup.

What else?

[EDIT] Getting off my sorry ass and checking - it appears that VMWare Workstation now allows Linux as a host - I'll try that out. Of course - this is predicated on VMWare being any better to deal with than Oracle - which isn't something I'd put real money on.

Oi, Queenslander who downloaded 26.8TB in June alone – we see you


Re: Consumer hardware

Ah - 'happy' memories of dropping the boot stack for a 1904S and having to reorder the cards by hand. I think they call those 'learning experiences'.

Newly born Firefox 71 emerges from its den – with its own VPN and some privacy tricks


Re: Few legitimate uses of VPN?

Indeed. For those of us who live in the United States of Monopolies and are saddled with Comcast as an ISP a VPN is pretty much mandatory.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


Potato Clock alternatives

Sometimes the El Reg timings are eerily aligned with my reality. One of my home office potato clocks died this morning and I feel disinclined to purchase another. Any advice from the commentariat regarding a suitable alternative?

It's back: The mercifully normal-looking Moto 360 smartwatch


Re: 1 day battery?

My beloved kickstarter Pebble died earlier this year. I replaced it with a Garmin Vivoactive 3 (courtesy of Amazon 50% off). It doesn't look *too* much like a wannabe fitness tracker and I get a solid 6-7 days on the battery. Took a while to sort out notifications like I wanted (the app s/w is nowhere near as good as the pebble) but it's a suitable replacement.

TalkTalk bollocked after fibre marketing emails found to be full of sh!t


In light of this (and totally off the topic of TT and broadband) has anyone else noticed that the quality of the Amazon Basics stuff seems to have gone up of late. I use them for essentially disposable or short lifespan items, like usb cables, but the last few things I've had from them seem to be of somewhat higher quality. Certainly better than I would expect at the price point given the competition.

I wonder if this is a new strategy or just an anomaly on the race to the bottom?

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


Re: Doing this in parts of the US too

In my area (nestled up against the Rockies) they fitted 'smart' water meters - which have a SIM card. I pointed out to them that there's no effective coverage right there - but that wasn't deemed important. Cue the exasperated email "asking" if I'd tampered with it. Then the visit. Then another visit. Followed by monthly visits to read the meter. Wuckfits.

Gagarin's Start now Soyuz-FG's End as shutters pulled on historic launchpad


Re: The days of Gagarin and Apollo are truly over

They do - because the think the Russians are too liberal. Which rather bends the imagination.



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