* Posts by Charlie Clark

10827 posts • joined 16 Apr 2007

Arm founder says the UK has no chance of tech sovereignty

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Joke

Re: Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

What, you've "corrected" your daughter for being born in the nineties? That's a bit extreme, isn't it?

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

25 years ago, here's a calculator.

Bitcoin worse for the climate than beef, say economists

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Re: The real gold were the profits we made along the way

Blue Pill: kill me now

Red Pill: wake when it's over

The agony of choice!

Google kills off Stadia

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Yep, Teams still manages to annoy me every time I have to use it.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: This may come back to bite Google eventually

To be honest, for the free stuff, I think that's a bit unfair. Think of it like a series of start-ups. Some succeed but most flop. Google is in the business of making money, so it makes sense to drop things that aren't working-

And it does stick with some things: YouTube was an absolute money pit for years: bandwidth, development, legal worries, etc. but they stuck with it.

If you look at the other providers, they're mainly also trying to see running games for people remotely can work despite all the problems with latency. Time will tell whether Google was right to get out when it did.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Well.....

The refunds are probably peanuts in comparison with development and running costs. Okay, there will probably be a special account that lists the refunds as costs, but it's probably a lot more than anyone would have got from a start up offering the same thing.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Failed because failure was expected?

You know the answer: put another dollar in the meter!

I mean CEOs got to eat you know (finest international chefs on private planes don't come cheap).

UN's ITU election may spell the end of our open internet

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Re: Who voted for whom?

Not really: Russia, China, Syria, North Korea, Venezuela, Iran, probably Turkey, the remains of the GUS and any of the African countries currently "benefitting" from Russian largesse (Mali, Eritrea…).

Ever suspected bankers could just use WhatsApp comms? $1.8b says you're right

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Do as we say, not as we do

To be honest, as long as WhatsApp is using the Signal protocol, this is better than most of the other options: end-to-end encryption, no data stored on servers. This is why Facebook Meta is desperate to introduce advertisting on WhatsApp.

But there's lots of metadata such as location that is leaking and that's probably worse at a forces base. Remember the Strava incident? And the US and others are probably pulling similar stunts on Russian military personnel.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: They admitted to it...

Quite easy, really. Keys are only handed to admins of member companies and the app only runs on company devices. Think of what BlackBerry used to be or Bloomberg terminals.

Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing

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Re: ALGOL, PASCAL, MODULA 2, ADA

Unix wasn't sold as software, largely because the idea of software that could be installed, uninstalled, swapped, etc. didn't exist at the time. You bought a machine and it came with the necessary documentation, including the source code in order to be able to run it.

Unix became a standard, largely because of C, and as a result and some fairly large DARPA projects, the BSD effectively became the first software and it was both free to use and "open source", inasmuch as it was assumed you'd need the source code in order to fix any of the inevitable bugs.

Soaring costs, inflation nurturing generation of 'quiet quitters' among under-30s

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Re: Getting what you pay for

To anyone who thinks "if we can get people to work 10% harder, we can sack 10% of the workforce", I recommend an industry standard such as "The Mythical Man Hour". Then again, people who think this probably have no time for common sense because "This Time Its Difference".

In some situations people can raise their game for a limited period of time. However, study after study have shown that working longer than normal quickly has a lasting effect on quality and subsquently on morale. Also, it's not just about money but "Pay People Peanuts and You Will Get Monkeys".

Is it a bird? Is it Microsoft Office? No, it's Onlyoffice: Version 7.2 released

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Re: Interesting?

TBH, given the fact it's using a decent GUI toolkit, I think that, for many people, OnlyOffice is the best free Office clone out there.

I'm still getting feedback about random problems with LibreOffice's handling of perfectly good OOXML files, with which OpenOffice doesn't have problems, which suggests they have problems both with the development process and QA.

Charlie Clark Silver badge
FAIL

Re: but if you prefer something ... more like Office 365

If you've never understood the importance of not having a single supplier then you've never run a business. Monopolies are never good for customers.

Iran blocks Whatsapp, Instagram as citizens protest death of Mahsa Amini

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Tehranical wrecks

Things would never have got this bad if the Brits and Yanks hadn't colluded with the Shah in order to get at all that lovely oil. Unfortunately, just one of the many truly shameful episodes.

Arm execs: We respect RISC-V but it's not a rival in the datacenter

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Last time I checked the number of mobile phones was continuing to increase, they're just not selling as many expensive ones as fast.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: More bad news for Intel

Intel's entire business is based around very high margins, which it won't be able to charge with RISC-V, if it ever makes any: back in the day it also had ARM licences.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

More bad news for Intel

RISC-V and ARM are complementary. ARM becomes relatively more expensive at very large volumes but only if you have an army talented and experienced designers. It's difficult to see phone makers moving from ARM because it solves so many of their problems. x86 is expensive from the start and only has the legacy of industry applications to keep it attractive. More and more IaaS providers will be offering ARM as an alternative.

UK govt refuses to give up on scoring Arm dual-listing for London

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Re: NY for liquidity not valuation

The window for Softbank closed when the nVidia deal fell through. Even so, it looks like they'll make a profit on an IPO, just not as much as they hoped for. New York will might make it slightly easier for companies with a major stake in ARM to buy chunks, but there is a lot to be said for continuing the hands off approach. This has worked well so far and stopped ARM going down the committee or Symbian routes.

Charlie Clark Silver badge
Coat

Re: Fun Fact

You are David Icke and I claim m £5!

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NY for liquidity not valuation

largely because businesses tend to have higher valuation when they float there…

Given how much stuff is automated, fees and valuations will be similar whichever exchange is chosen. The NYSE and NASDAQ have significantly more liquidity, which makes future operations in the capital markets easier.

EU puts smart device manufacturers on the hook for cyber security

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Re: Offline

I've often thought about that kind of technical "living will" and I think it has a lot going for it. I have almost no "smart" (ie. connected to someone else's computer) gadgets because I'm pretty sure I don't need them and don't want that kind of dependence having seen a few people buy into the dream only to have throw the kit away a few years later.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: I can understand...

Don't want to get into that particular discussion just highlight that Apple thinks there is money to be made in highlighting the security and privacy of their devices and software.

Some examples of regulation having a beneficial effect for consumer products: max power draw in standby; max power for vacuum cleaners (turns out more power, didn't mean better cleaning); lower vehicle emissions.

The argument that regulation is the enemy of innovation is just something that Silicon Valley likes to use to try and remove regulation because VCs love unregulated markets and the profits that can accrue to their monopolistic (monopsoditic) exploitation.

Charlie Clark Silver badge
FAIL

Re: I can understand...

just an observation that regulation is a cost on industry, not an enabler

There are countless examples that demonstrate how it is precisely rules spur innovation. For example, if fanbois are to be believed, Apple's toys are popular because they're more secure.

Charlie Clark Silver badge
Stop

Re: I can understand...

Why is this any different say to car safety or fireproof regulations?

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Does that include TeleScreens?

You might, but how do you do the locating?

Eastern European org hit by second record-smashing DDoS attack

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Numbers

That the same organization is being targeted yet again with a record-breaking attack indicates a DDoS arms race is developing between the attacker and victim

Not so sure about that. For DDoS attackers rely mainly on the number of machines they control, the CDNs, however, have got better at detecting the attacks through the packet signatures are blackholing them quickly.

If you want an analogy with the war: Russia has thus far favoured massive bombardment over combined forces attacks, so much so that it has been using anti-aircraft (S300 and S400) missiles for the purpose. On the battlefield the 10:1 superiority was for a while indeed effectively if slowly grinding the Ukrainian defences down. Then they got MARS and HIMARS and started taking the depots and in some situations the artillery out, whereupon the lack of air defence due to repurposing became a real problem. The analogy isn't perfect but DDoS and bombardment both rely on quantity and are vulnerable to changes in strategy.

Former Cisco boss launches upstart to rattle old employer's cage

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: The real reason for the USA's stance on Huawei

No one has yet found backdoors in Huawei kit and they provided source code. Don't forget the backdoors in Cisco's own kit. Lots of people have moved away from Cisco not just because of the cost, but because other companies, including Huawei, make better products.

WordPress-powered sites backdoored after FishPig suffers supply chain attack

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Re: Ah, Wordpress

Having seen the Wordpress source code I'd say that it's just as much to blame not least for the shit plugin archictecture.

The real problem is people without sufficient understanding trying to use it to do something for which it really isn't suited such as e-commerce.

Twitter whistleblower Zatko disses bird site as dysfunctional data dump

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Musk is just using Zatko for publicity because it's convenient.

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Re: Twitter has aslo problems with severance packages....

The Whistleblower Act should provide immunity. NDAs are very common in the US and they can be very broad and contain excessive penalty clauses.

Charlie Clark Silver badge
Coat

Let me introduce to Lord Beaverbrook and William Randolph Hearst… Public opinion has always manipulated.

Mine's the one with a copy of Rosebud in the pocket.

Google faces fines of up to $25.4b in UK and EU ad tech case

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Re: "could face claims of up to €25 billion"

It might work in the EU but in the UK, whoever is currently Digital Diva, will agree to be schmoozed by Google and the case will go away, as if by magic.

Automating Excel tasks to come to Windows and Mac

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Re: wtf?!

It's still the case in modern OOXML that the workbook must be designated as having macros. Excel enforces this with the .xlsm filename extension.

Chinese researchers make car glide 35mm above ground in maglev test

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Done correctly, energy is used mainly to lift the vehicle rather than keep it floating. I certainly agree it's not really suitable for cars - apart from the problems of laying the track, you've got all the as yet unsolved problems of having multiple vehicles on the same section of track.

Nevertheless, I'd expect the research to be useful in multiple ways.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Maglev can be very efficient because you have much less wear and tear. The magnets need to be strong but we're not talking CERN or anything. Drive train efficiency is fantastic because there are no moving parts.

Apple patches iPhone and macOS flaws under active attack

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Not sure if their attack surface is that much greater but constant power use probably isn't the best thing. For something as dumb as Apple TV, you'd think that the OS could probably run on a read-only file system, which should seriously limit attacks.

Anyway for us plebs still ob Catalina there's no update. I don't know whether that's because we're plebs or because we don't have enough IOS to worry.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

If it's an OS vulnerability then drive-by attacks might be possible.

BOFH: It's Friday, it's time to RTFM

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SWMBO would kill me on sight if I failed to admit ownership! Of course, we really know who owns whom!

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Just sit back and admire "km" and think of all the things it could stand for!

Charlie Clark Silver badge
Coat

Re: When M doesn't mean what you think it means

m for mill (10^-3) and µ for micro (10^-6). But context is everything… Mines the one with a box of 10M Farad capacitors in the pocket!

Musk seeks yet another excuse to get out of Twitter buyout: This time it's Mudge's severance check

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Re: Grasping at straws...

He'd already been sacked before Musk made an offer and agreed to waive due diligence. The sacking was was a matter of public record and provision for severance will have had to be filed with the relevant quaterly report. Ie. nothing was withheld.

What Musk's team is hoping for is that Twitter had some kind of skunkworks that it was deliberately hiding.

Google urges open source community to fuzz test code

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Time and effort required

This is a great initiative and ane of my projects has been added and I've received a few reports. However, setting things up locally in order to be able to reproduce the problems is going to take time so it will have to wait until I'm free to spend a couple of days.

CERN draws up shutdown plans to save energy

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Another case of the CART drawing the HORSE

We have a war on our borders that could easily spill over them if we don't do anything to stop it. We sleepwalked into an overdependence on Russian energy despite the lessons of the 1970s.

As for US policy, both houses have voted to support the Ukraine so get your fucking facts straight!

Scientists pull hydrogen from thin air in promising clean energy move

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Re: Storage ? Transport ?

Syngas can indeed be produced at scale from atmospheric or industrial CO2 and water. It's generally considered to be not competitive with natural gas but that was before prices went stupid. If we spent anything like the money that's been thrown at hydrogen at syngas then I'm pretty sure we could get prices down quite a bit with a better catalysts.

Hydrogen from electrolysis can make sense in certain industrial environments such as steel. But we really need to get out of the business of artificial fertilisers which is one of the many consumers of industrial hydrogen before all the nitrates bugger then water tables forever.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Storage ? Transport ?

Fire risks with hydrogen are generally, ahem, overblown and date back to the films airship disasters. But while hydrogen is flammable it's nothing like as explosive as a load of other things we like to burn and with the Zeppelin et al. it was the canvas, the frame and, oh, the fuel for the engine which caused the problems.

High pressure tanks are big and heavy and the comparison with compressed air is poor: with compressed air you don't need to worry about dispersion as you just compress more; it's also a lot harder to compress hydrogen than nitrogen and oxygen. Then you have to deal with the containment problems with hydrogen which is known to break down containers through adsorption.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Re: Just wondering

In semi-arid areas water is more important as a resource than as an energy source. I think there's an Israeli team which is looking at stripping water out of the air for this purpose. The desert can otherwise be better used for solar panels to produce power for use elsewhere.

Amazon drivers unionize after AI sends them on 'impossible' routes

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Clearly this must be costing amazon in time and fuel so it needs sorting out.

Wrong: once Amazon outsources the problem to third party steering wheel slaves (it doesn't employ the drivers, it "contracts" them), it's up to the drivers to figure things out. I suspect that Amazon and others use a simple "capture area" algorithm to assign parcels to JollyBoysSpecial Village and leaves the rest to drivers.

Experience something similar with Ikea's TaskRabbit last week; the poor guys job order was Lünen, Herne, Dortmund, Düsseldorf, starting and finishing in Bochum. That transposes roughly to Chester, Preston, Liverpool then Manchester, starting and finishing in Wigan, easily 4 hours driving. Coupled with unrealistic timing for furniture assembly and we're back with unrealistic piece rates of yesteryear.

Charlie Clark Silver badge

Glad to hear it. As you know, solvers are great tools for certain generic problems. The more specific the problem, the better specific code will be.

I'd expect "Blang Reg Logistics Tokyo Inc." to have a library of detailed local knowledge that gets fed into program for every run. As I said, routing is a core competency of any logistics company.

The answer to 3D printing equipment on Mars might lie in the Red Planet's dust

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The elephant in the air lock…

…is the fuel for the rockets. The weight of this dwarves any payload, especially for missions that are supposed to return.

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