* Posts by Fred Goldstein

264 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007


Patching Windows Server without needing to reboot is a handy feature – but it's only available on Azure

Fred Goldstein

Re: Meanwhile Linux users are all like...

Yep, I work in telecom too. Embedded CPUs in switches were almost always redundant, able to switch over without losing a call, and the down side could be updated off line. But then some switch software designs did hot patch all along. I think Ericsson had a stack processor (remember those?) that enabled any part of its code to be updated live. Unix, of course, was not designed for mission-critical real time, and Linux is just a clone of that. Windows NT is based on VMS and that too required some down time, but not much; Microsoft moved too much into the kernel and didn't have the four rings of VMS (KESU). And Microsoft's heritage was MSDOS, where any prolonged uptime was a matter of good fortune, and you were expected to turn it off when you went to bed.

DISH Wireless hooks up with Helium's decentralised 5G network via FreedomFi gear

Fred Goldstein

CBRS rules require the access points (and higher-power client radios) to be entered into a Spectrum Access System (several are on line) by a Certified Professional Installer (CPI). The CPI's personal certificate credential is the key to entering anything into the SAS, which is a prerequisite for the transmitter to turn on. Ordinary folks aren't about to become CPIs, though I suppose a geek could take the online class and take the test (it costs several hundred dollars from Google and others). The Helium/FreedomFi folks seem to be omitting this critical detail. Absent a validated CPI, the radio won't even turn on. (A possible exception exists for indoor radios whose GPS is accurate within 3 meters vertically, which is rare. Outdoor radios need CPI in almost all cases.)

Software Freedom Conservancy sues TV maker Vizio for 'GPL infringement'

Fred Goldstein

Do they know that Vizio touched the kernel, or is it all in userland? I point by analogy to Mikrotik routers. They use RouterOS, Mikrotik's proprietary software. Oh, and it has a Linux kernel, but don't ask for sources... they say they don't do anything that obligates them to publish anything.

Microsoft shows off Office 2021 for consumers ahead of the coming of Windows 11

Fred Goldstein

Re: Standalone versions need an MS Account . . . BUT

Oh, come on. The LibreOffice competitors to Word and Excel are much better than their supposed equivalent to Access... now if you want a real dog, try its Base.

But Office 365 (latest) doesn't always even *work* -- Excel has this nasty habit of losing its relationship with an obscure peripheral called a keyboard. So I do real work in Excel 2010, disregarding the warnings.

IBM's first 7nm Power10 chip arrives in E1080 server system with a wealth of shiny features

Fred Goldstein

Re: What's your definition of "competitive"?

I see POWER as a contemporary mainframe, not at all in the same world as AMD, Intel, or historic SPARC chips. POWER architecture seems to merge main memory with mass storage, throwing lots of that fancy memory around to keep things moving. It is expensive per CPU but has vastly more throughput, not just processing power. POWER 10 makes a Xeon look small, both in price and performance. But if you don't need it, you wouldn't want to bother with it.

Why we abandoned open source: LiveCode CEO on retreat despite successful kickstarter

Fred Goldstein

Re: DarkBasic

Yes, BASIC and its variants don't get the respect they probably deserve. Beginners All-purpose Symbolic Instruction Code was easy to use for simple programs. In its original Dartmouth DTSS version (which I used back in the 1960s), you could basically treat it as a calculator, noting that pocket calculators didn't exist yet. It also had decent string functions. The use of line numbers for structure didn't scale well, of course, and EDIT RESEQUENCE was often necessary. But later versions fixed that.

Hard-core programmers prefer C-type languages, which get closer to the hardware, but most people would probably get more done with a higher level of abstraction.

Fred Goldstein

We're used to if/then constructs if we have ever programmed in the usual languages. But you may have a point about how people understand things. I was working on a protocol specification recently and put in an if *foo* then *do this* description. Government reviewers (important role in this case) rewrote it to *do this* if *foo*. They thought it was clearer that way, it was semantically equivalent, and nobody objected. So LiveCode may have a point.

Thunderbird 91 lands: Now native on Apple Silicon, swaps 'master' for 'primary' password, and more

Fred Goldstein

I'm still using version 68, since 78 broke a lot of important add-ons. I'd pay extra if they'd add the "personalities" feature of old Eudora; v68 supports the Folder Account add-on which matches the from address to the folder your cursor has selected, but it really is best to match the message itself. It looked to me like the t'bird developers were more content with playing around with new tools than with maintaining capabilities.

$600m in cryptocurrencies swiped from Poly Network

Fred Goldstein

And steal more than a billion from the Feds and you can maybe pay a token fine and get elected to the Senate. Ask Rick Scott. (Okay, it's Florida. Of course.)

Wireless powersats promise clean, permanent, abundant energy. Sound familiar?

Fred Goldstein

Re: Casual reference to 5G sceptics as 'wingnuts': author already is on wrong side of history

No, 5G isn't about THz. Such frequencies don't go far and don't penetrate anything. 5G is simply a modification of 4G LTE to enable wider speed and frequency ranges. In the US, T-Mobile calls its 600 MHz network 5G, though it works almost exactly like a 4G network (the software module APIs in the Core are partitioned differently). The highest frequencies used are around 28 GHz, for some Verizon and AT&T sites, but those too are extremely range-limited, though they're fast if you're within about 100m or so and have visual line of sight. Basically optimized for football stadiums.

All of the bullhockey about 5G radiation harm ignore details like radiation level. The sun shines RF on us too.

Tech spec experts seek allies to tear down ISO standards paywall

Fred Goldstein

OSI was not meant to be descriptive of other people's work, like TCP/IP, it was meant to be a common network protocol suite that all vendors could use. The Reference Model was simply a way to organize the subcommittees, and got misunderstood to be much more than that. And its errors (the existence of layers 5 and 6 outside of the application layer where the functions ended up in practice) are taken as gospel that you're supposed to accept, because they must have been smarter than you (they weren't).

But in that mess came IS 8648, Internal Organization of the Network Layer, which explains the difference between networks and internetworks, and is really useful educational material. But it's very hard to find, paywalled and downright obscure as a result. That's the kind of thing that gets lost when paywalls go up.

Open-source dev and critic of Beijing claims Audacity owner Muse threatened him with deportation to China in row over copyright

Fred Goldstein

Re: Muse Group hit the headlines in May

It's a Russian company. They're merely acting in a manner consummate with their dictator's own style.

Age discrimination case against IBM leaks emails, docs via bad redaction

Fred Goldstein

Re: What a bunch of scumbags

A decade ago, an attorney I knew was dealing with one of those ARRA stimulus grants, which his clients believed was being misspent. NTIA, the overseeing agency, seemed okay with the diversion of funds from where it was promised to where it would compete with his clients. And the funded agency was using some IBM donations-in-kind, not cash, as their 20% match. Some FOIA requests got heavily redacted documents from NTIA. And they were redacted by putting a black box over the text that was still there, easily accessible with a PDF editor, even OpenOffice. You'd think IBM, deep in that mess, would have learned by now.

Of all the analytics firms in the world, why is Palantir getting its claws into UK health data?

Fred Goldstein

Whether or not Palantir makes money, or how, is an interesting question, given their secrecy, and their main role as an outsourced spy agency of the US government. But Alex Karp made the news for getting the largest compensation of anyone in the US last year, making $1.1 BILLION US dollars. That probably warms the hearts of Tories, who like the rich to get richer and recognize CEOs as the American version of royalty.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10

Fred Goldstein

Re: Two possibilities

VMS was a more advanced OS than Unix, having been started in 1977 with fairly large machines in mind, while Unix began in 1969 with fairly small machines in mind. Of course any old low-end PC today has many times the CPU power, storage, and memory of a 1978-era VAX-11/780. But VMS was a fine OS! Don't knock it unless you've lived with it. Linux is usable, especially for servers, but still displays hack upon hack.

Fred Goldstein

You missed the point... I just tried winver and I'm using version 2004. And this is a fairly new machine, so why is it using a version from the XP era? ;-) That 2d-of-year+month convention worked okay before Y2K...

Firefox 89: Can this redesign stem browser's decline?

Fred Goldstein

I use Firefox and have the menu bar active. I *hate* the hamburger; it takes more clicks and precise hand-eye coordinated gestures to do things; it is much easier to find things from the menu bar on top. I'm at FF 88 now. If I go to 89 do I lose the option of a menu bar?

Firefox has a good privacy ecosystem, with Facebook Container, Ghostery, and a clean separation (if you want) between the URL bar and the search bar. I don't trust Chrome at all in that regard.

Wyoming powers ahead with Bill Gates-backed sodium-cooled nuclear generation plant

Fred Goldstein

Re: location, location, location..

Wyoming mines are mainly open surface pits, not deep.

Fred Goldstein

Re: Go for it

Yes, we are getting closer to viable fusion reactors all the time. Why, every 20 years or so we get halfway closer than we were 20 years earlier. Ad infinitum.

Unihertz Titan Pocket: Like asking Mum for a BlackBerry and she tells you 'but we've got a BlackBerry at home'

Fred Goldstein

Re: Where do these rocket scientists come from?

I retired my Classic and got a KeyONE, since in practice the Android in Classic was almost useless. The Amazon store didn't have most important apps and there was no access to the Google ecosystem that most apps now depend on. Google screwed them badly, for no good reason.

What smartphone reviewers often miss is that reviewers are fans of fondleslabs, and thus don't get PKBs. We PKB fans are often, like me, incapable of using slabs -- it requires good eyesight and hand-eye coordination, and usually pointy-thin fingers like Beelzebub and Steve Jobs. The reviewer has trouble adapting to a PKB because it's not meant for him, any more than a wheelchair is meant for a track star.

I wish the Titan Pocket were just a bit longer, so it would have an Android-friendly aspect ratio. It might then be a good replacement for the KeyONE, which hasn't gotten an update in maybe three years (it's at 7.1.1 without years of security patches). But as a tiny novelty with a square screen, it won't do. Onward is still MIA and rumor is it will be very expensive. I'm in the US on Verizon so it needs to support that network, which Unihertz does.

Lessons have not been learned: Microsoft's Modern Comments leave users reaching for the rollback button

Fred Goldstein

Re: Efficiency?? Ha ha ha ha….

Even with Storage Sense turned off, it appears to sometimes delete files from the %temp% directory, a place that many applications use. With it on, it pretty much wipes that directory, breaking lots of applications. But then MS still thinks a PC is a game machine that rune one or two applications at a time, a glorified DOS, and why would you still have an application running after you go to bed, when it wants to reboot gratuitously in order to break more things?

IBM says it's built the world's first 2nm semiconductor chips

Fred Goldstein

Re: Sounds like it is time for a new standard

Spanish flea. With music by Herb Alpert.

Adobe co-founder and PostScript co-creator Charles Geschke dies, aged 81

Fred Goldstein

Re: I understand

Quite standard American usage nowadays. A euphemism, perhaps, but very normal usage here. It ahs gotten more common in recent decades.

Fred Goldstein

Interpress. Shortly after Adobe was founded, someone I worked with at DEC, who had been at Xerox PARC, told me about that new startup. Interpress had some limitations, and Adobe PostScript had filled them in, making it a more proper page description language. But I've since heard that Interpress was enhanced (v2?) so in its final form it could do more than PostScript or its derivative PDF. I haven't seen it, but supposedly it exists.

Pigeon fanciers in a flap over Brexit quarantine flock-up, seek exemption from EU laws

Fred Goldstein

IPoAC has only limited usefulness. The bird can only carry a payload of about 140 characters, or 280 if they're double-sided. So mostly the birds just tweet.

Yep, the 'Who owns Linux?' case is back from the dead

Fred Goldstein

They lost on everything that mattered. For one thing, they never owned Unix in the first place; that was a lie. They had purchased a master reseller license from Novell, not the ultimate ownership that they had claimed. And the stuff allegedly copied wasn't proprietary. Etc. The case was weaker than a wet sheet of toilet paper holding up a cinderblock.

Another Windows 10 patch that breaks printers ups ante to full-on Blue Screen of Death

Fred Goldstein

Re: "in some apps"?

I had a PDT-11/150 running RT-11 on a pair of 8" floppies. Actually I still have it but it won't boot, the power supply capacitors probably having dried up. Might be fun for a paleocomputer geek. RT-11 was the predecessor (i.e., what they tried to copy) of CP/M and QDOS/PC-DOS/MS-DOS.

FCC announces winners in $81bn 5G spectrum auction. Congrats to Verizon, which must cough up $45.4bn

Fred Goldstein

So-called "5G" won't actually offer many users much more than 4G does; it's a hype bubble of historic (remember the 3G auctions of 2000 or so?) proportions. The licenses will be used in core cities where their 10 or so other bands are crowded, but not much beyond. The bankers must be treating them as a form of currency, a financial asset backed in the hope that somebody else values them so much too. Otherwise Verizon's debt will be crippling.

New FCC boss leaps into action by… creating three committees to look at longstanding problems and come back at some point

Fred Goldstein

This was an unnecessary hit piece. The FCC has a wide range of authority -- most likely not including Section 230 -- and has to deal with a lot of things at once. 911 fee diversion, for instance, is when a state puts a 911 fee on the phone bill, which is normal, but it's not all used to support 911 and related services, but is simply used as general tax revenue. It's a sneaky politician trick, not legal, and so the FCC is properly looking into it. Mapping is a huge problem too since coverage maps are used to target subsidies, and (this should not be surprising) some carriers' coverage maps are, well, rather a *bit* generous. A lot of important stuff is going on there too, including spectrum policy and some refarming.

It's been a day or so and nope, we still can't wrap our head around why GitHub would fire someone for saying Nazis were storming the US Capitol

Fred Goldstein

Re: The problem

Hint: The "Camp Auschwitz" shirt, which said "Staff" on the back, was not Communist. It was prominent on one of the leaders of the insurrection.

Backers of Planet Computers' Astro Slide 5G phone furious after shock specs downgrade

Fred Goldstein

He's lying about Band 71/13. They are not harmonically related (i.e., one frequency a multiple of the other). Band 13 is in the 700 MHz range; Band 71 is in the 600 MHz range. Verizon is the largest carrier in the US and their LTE coverage network is based on Band 13, the only nationwide license in the US. Other bands are used to add capacity in urban areas. I'm in an urban area and the only Verizon LTE signal I get, just barely, is on Band 13. In some places, though, I still get their 800 MHz CDMA signal, which has amazing penetrating power. I use an aging Blackberry now and would have considered this phone if it were Verizon-compatible.

Intel CEO Bob Swan is stepping down to be replaced by VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger

Fred Goldstein

Won't the Reg at least once recall his old nickname Kicking Pat? And tell us why?

Dropbox basically decimates workforce, COO logs off: Cloud biz promises to be 'more efficient and nimble'

Fred Goldstein

Re: Is it just me.....

Yep, it confuses the hell out of me.

Worse, it doesn't just act as a repository, it seems to want to peek into files. We were using it to pass around a moby (~50MB) Excel spreadsheet. Rather than just let me download it, it insisted on trying to open it internally and create some kind of Javascript display of its output. Which, being moby, basically croaked the browser and didn't make the computer itself happy at all. And it thus failed at its one simple real task. I had my collaborator turn it into a ZIP file or rename it something like .docxno just so that Dropbox wouldn't try to open it.

Thought the M3 roadworks took a while? Five years on, Vivaldi opens up a technical preview of its email client

Fred Goldstein

Re: I felt your pain

You may have no use for old email but many of us do. A case I'm working on got a new attorney. Familiar name. I looked in the email archive -- old Eudora messages migrated to Thunderbird via a third-party app -- and there he was. Good background for rebuilding a relationship. And I could determine when I started working with our common client from the old email. So my 60 GB or old emails serves a purpose and Marie Kondo followers can go suck square-shelled eggs if they say otherwise.

KDE maintainers speak on why it is worth looking beyond GNOME

Fred Goldstein

Re: “There was really nothing good one could say about it, but it was popular.”

Windows 3 was remarkably unstable. DOS 6 was okay, but Windows 3.0 running atop it would crash when I did difficult stuff like walk into the room, touch the keyboard, or look at the screen. Windows 3.1 was better and at least usable. I think the whole registry thing began with OS/2. It was a pain there, and Microsoft split from IBM with Windows 95, but they adopted the registry. Go figure.

You can now pepper your Windows 10 desktop with Android apps... if you have a Samsung phone, that is

Fred Goldstein

I installed YourPhoneCompanion and discovered that ti Does Not Work. It once connected and downloaded some texts to the PC. In August. Since then it hangs. It also seems to want to connect to an account name that is one of my emails but not the one my Microsoft Account is on. The app on both ends is so stupid that it has no login -- once it infers from somewhere what account to use, it uses it, and if the phone and PC don't match, tough noogies -- why do you have more than one address when you could do everything on live.com (or gmail, which it's a bad coy of) and let them mine your work mail for advertisers? What incompetence.

Touchscreen holdout? This F(x)tec Pro1 X phone with sliding QWERTY keyboard might push your buttons

Fred Goldstein

Re: It sucks to be old.

Exactly. I'm not blind, just impaired, and have limited hand-eye coordination, so a touch screen doesn't work for me either, though I can play Candy Crush on my Blackberry and only sometimes move the wrong piece. The little BB keyboard is hard enough, but touch screens produce too many errors. Swype is totally hostile, sorta like cursive, which I can't do to save my life. I'm hoping the FxTec or something like it becomes available in the US for the Verizon network. The market seems to be aimed 100% at the fully-sighed well-coordinated 18-39 set. There are plenty of customers for niche markets like physical keyboards.

Fred Goldstein

I can't find a detachable phone keyboard on the market any more. One was built for a specific model of Samsung a few years ago, and for a specific iPhone some years ago, but a generic one (Bluetooth could connect it) even in a folding-case format doesn't seem to be available any more. If you find one let me know,. The Cult of St. Steve the Calligrapher has hurt the market.

Meet the ‘DPU’ – accelerated network cards designed to go where CPUs and GPUs are too valuable to waste

Fred Goldstein

Calling this a DPU is ridiculous. A main CPU is a data processing unit. This is an I/O processor, not a data processor. It takes one or more communications channels and handles their I/O processing. They handle blocks of data, multiplexed, typically, via the IP header (which is just a mux header anyway), so let's call this a block multiplexor channel. And since it's a processor, its API consists of calling programs that run on it, so let's call the API Execute Channel Program, EXCP. Heck, you could offload disks onto these too; it's not as if they were lame little byte multiplexors, though one might make the argument that a packet is just serial bytes and thus that's a better name.

Maybe this is such a great idea that IBM should acquire Marvell too. A great fit for those Power10 processors that support persistent memory, meaning mass storage devices that are directly addressed by byte, not needing a file system.


LibreOffice community protests at promotion of paid-for editions, board says: 'LibreOffice will always be free software'

Fred Goldstein

Libre in the name means about as much as Democratic People's Republic of Korea, which is of course not what its name implies.

Fred Goldstein

Re: @LDS - "Software can be open source, but you have to pay to use it"

DEC had a version of that too. VMS source code could be obtained, but it came on microfiche, not machine readable. And use licenses remained in effect. But you could see the sources if you needed to, mainly to help develop drivers.The term for it is "disclosed source".

Fred Goldstein

Re: What's the need?

How about dropping one letter and having Lire Office? Reminiscent of old Italian money, Italian for pounds.

Fred Goldstein

Re: "Doing a reverse takeover of IBM"

No, reverse takeover seems more appropriate, given that within IBM, the Red Hat profits are growing while other sectors' profits are shrinking. Red Hat's model -- it's free to use, but support is a product -- works well for them. After all, compare it to Microsoft, where you pay for the product and support is, uh, what?

LibreOffice slips out another 7.0 beta: Spreadsheets close gap with Excel while macOS users treated to new icons

Fred Goldstein

Compatibility. Everybody exchanges Word docs. LO comes close but risks breaking non-trivial things.

And for some users, Access. It's old and limited, but what it does it does well. LO has no usable database program, just a bad joke called Base which chokes on anything more than a teetotaler's wine list.

But Calc is pretty good, and Excel 2019/365 just sucks wind big time, buggier than hell. I am starting to convert things over to it just because it works and Excel often doesn't any more.

Surprise! That £339 world's first 'anti-5G' protection device is just a £5 USB drive with a nice sticker on it

Fred Goldstein

Yes, Barnum became mayor of Bridgeport, the largest city in Connecticut. That showed much more competence than Trump.

Tech's Volkswagen moment? Trend Micro accused of cheating Microsoft driver QA by detecting test suite

Fred Goldstein

Re: Petty or Pedant?

I used to have a role of duck tape and a roll of gaffer tape, and the gaffer tape was a whole lot better. Way too good for the average consumer.

Manco,in the US, may claim a duck as a trademark, but the tape may have been made from "cotton duck" material, and it is lousy for ducts, so duck tape seems reasonable.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

Fred Goldstein

Re: If only!

I turned off the telemetry service in my Windows desktop system. To be sure, I stick to the Pro version, which gives more control than the lame Home version. But a lot of hard-core Linux lovers seem to confuse Windows 7 and 10 with, say, Windows ME or Vista, which were unstable messes. The Windows NT kernel is not bad, even if overloaded with things that should have been in userland (also true of Linux).

Ofcom measured UK's 5G radiation and found that, no, it won't give you cancer

Fred Goldstein

Re: Giga HURTS, people

Well, there is a way for a 5G mast to kill people. If not properly secured and someone climbs high enough and falls off of it, that can be quite fatal. Professional tower climbers have safety belts and harnesses.

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign

Fred Goldstein

Credit to Intel, though. One of its susidiaries, McAfee, calls out how a product from another, MobilEye, misbehaves.



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