* Posts by Brad Ackerman

221 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

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University staff voice 'urgent, profound concern' as Oracle finance system delays payments

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

IOW they can frak up as well as the US DoD. Congratulations. I think.

Breached health insurer won't pay ransom to protect customers, warns of more attacks

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Re: Good!

It would generally be illegal for a private entity to put that sort of reward up, yes. But the government could do it. (Whether they should is more complicated even if we can all agree that they deserve it.)

Indeed, the Australian government is currently providing lethal aid for Ukraine; doing in Russian ransomware operators is a third-level effect of doing in the Russian Armed Forces and not a direct goal, but it doesn't matter whether the cat is black or white so long as it catches mice.

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

The legal theory would presumably be that Medibank negligently allowed unauthorised persons access to information they were required to protect. Paying the perpetrators doesn't somehow retroactively render them authorised.

SpaceX's Falcon Heavy rocket launches after three-year hiatus with secret US sats

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Re: Yeah the fog was disappointing

Jewish space lasers are USAF (or USSF?) assets, not NSA. DoD takes its turf wars very seriously, possibly even more so than actual wars.

I never figured out how a laser manages to be shomer kashrut, but that's a different story.

FYI: Microsoft Office 365 Message Encryption relies on insecure block cipher

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: The "ECB penguin"

That's why ECB stands for "Electronic Colouring Book".

The CHIPS Act won't end US reliance on foreign foundries

Brad Ackerman
Stop

Re: water

That should be "the free-market capitalism that Texas claims to support". They'll happily send men with guns to stop Safeway from selling whiskey on Sunday morning; and forget about opening a card room that competes with the state-run numbers racket. Even the gun laws aren't very permissive compared to hard-core red states like (checks notes) Washington.

Nomad to crypto thieves: Please give us back 90%, keep 10% as a reward. Deal?

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Control of a cryptocurrency wallet is irrelevant to whether a transfer of ownership has been perfected. The government doesn't give a flying toaster what a smart contract does when deciding if someone has broken the law.

Intel ships crypto-mining ASIC at the worst possible time

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Are they at least usable (and economical) for password cracking?

Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

Brad Ackerman
Trollface

Re: Seen this poo before

867-5309. The area code is unimportant; Jenny is omnipresent.

Lonestar plans to put datacenters in the Moon's lava tubes

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: RE: Simple question: if knowledge is so completely lost...

I'm being nibbled to death by cats.

Who you gonna call? Premium numbers, but a not-so-premium service

Brad Ackerman
Devil

666-HWHY gets you the St. Judas Church of Holy Tribulation and Tax Evasion.

The Ministry of Silly Printing: But I don't want my golf club correspondence to say 'UNCLASSIFIED' at the bottom

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: Back in the early 90's

Emacs still calls them frames, and the thing most applications call a tab is what Emacs calls a window.

Facebook may soon reveal new name – we're sure Reg readers will be more creative than Zuck's marketroids

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Protogen, not that Zuck is a fraction as competent as Jules-Pierre Mao.

Dell won't ship energy-hungry PCs to California and five other US states due to power regulations

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: As a Californian, all I can sat is "Who cares?".

If the GOP weren't lying through its teeth about wanting small government, TX would indeed be a libertarian paradise. Make sure to try the unicorn brisket when you go there, because we don't have that stuff in the real world.

Anyone fancy a Snowmobile full of Bags O'Crap? It'll be on the list somewhere

Brad Ackerman

Day 6: bobcat

Gung-ho tank gamer spills classified docs in effort to win online argument

Brad Ackerman

Re: Does OSA apply if you are outside UK?

In the US it's illegal for someone who has lawful access to classified information to disseminate it in an unauthorised manner. But someone who receives classified information doesn't share the obligation to STFU if they didn't direct the unauthorised dissemination. (New York Times Co. v. United States, 403 U.S. 713 (1971))

Big Blue's big email blues signal terminal decline – unless it learns to migrate itself

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

All the virtualization technology that Amazon and Microsoft are making big bucks off of today was invented by IBM so long ago that the patents expired before Amazon was a thing. The big cloud companies are having to vertically integrate to work around some vendors' *cough*Intel*cough* inability to deliver and to cut out other vendors who are at risk of being bought by a direct competitor. You know which company other than 3M was really good at vertical integration? Three guesses, and the first two don't count.

Gerstner had some of the right ideas; if he had been a better CEO IBM could have become what Amazon is today. Instead, they bootstrapped a competitor and sold off critical businesses to them; abandoned and then sold off many of their software lines; ditched their microelectronics fabrication capability; and so on. Even the current IBM could be doing a lot better; Intel's inability to give a shit has pushed everyone to start moving off x86_64, but IBM could and should have sold hot and cold running POWER9s where we now have wall-to-wall ARM64.

India tweaks telecoms laws to make itself an even more attractive offshoring destination

Brad Ackerman
Happy

Re: Offshoring destination…

I suspect the scammers don't exactly care about following either the current or previous rules, since, y'know, they're not following the (unchanged) laws that prohibit wire fraud.

This change is about allowing multinational companies to not run a totally separate PBX with reduced functionality for their users in India; the previous law was an own-goal that the Union government has finally fixed.

Dem, Repub senators propose tax credits for factories that churn out chips on US soil

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

There are definitely national security reasons to want more modern process nodes in the US. Whether this is the best way to acquire them remains to be seen, although I'm more worried about companies pulling a Foxconn and pocketing billions for a massive current-gen facility that turns out to be one guy in a Portakabin making minimum wage.

There are some things that Congress could do, if it actually gave a flying toaster, to address this problem; all of them benefit literally everyone in the country other than the rentiers. Bringing down health care spending to French levels would be a good start. Then eliminate all federal spending on highway expansion, redirecting it to system maintenance. (Inputs don't magically appear at the factory.) Pick an EU country and copy their telecom regulatory scheme wholesale; better regulation of e.g. special access service and not catering to cablecos and ILECs would cut communications costs in half and increase the available workforce for remoteable jobs.

But if Congress really wanted to make US manufacturing great again they'd repeal the Trump tariffs; change the law so presidentially-imposed tariffs expire in 60 days without a Congressional bill affirming them; repeal the Jones Act and Buy America Act; and finish full metrication ASAP.

That sounds too much like actual work for Congresscritters to be bothered with, though.

Lenovo refreshes workstation ThinkPads with 11th-gen Intel CPUs, RTX graphics, 5G

Brad Ackerman

Re: Just one question

While there aren't many, Lenovo is assuredly getting a large percentage of the ones Nvidia does ship since they're the largest PC vendor; and P ThinkPads should be a higher-margin product so Lenovo will prefer to use the GPUs they get to build them rather than, say, consumer laptops.

Say helloSystem: Mac-like FreeBSD project emits 0.5 release

Brad Ackerman
Alert

Wayland may be more complex than X11, but how functional will X11 bindings for GTK/KDE still be in five years? They may as well get it working for the 1.0 release of this DE and avoid making it a lot more work later on.

Frontier sued by FTC, six states for allegedly over-promising, under-delivering broadband

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Re: "has retained many satisfied customers"

Three could reasonably be described as "many".

Ah, you know what? Keep your crappy space station, we're gonna try to make our own, Russia tells world

Brad Ackerman
Flame

Re: @FF22 - Don't believe it for a second!

Between budgetary constraints and corruption (probably more the latter), Russia can't even build an aircraft carrier that is capable of spending more time out of drydock than in—and speaking of drydocks, they managed to sink one. At least they haven't managed to pick a fight with an unarmed civilian cruise ship and lose in record time, unlike some countries I could name.

If the Russian government cares more about defense than lining their pockets (spoiler: they don't), they'll focus on objectives that they can actually achieve.

Foxconn and Wisconsin reach new deal to do something different at Donald Trump's favourite (flop of a) factory

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Would you believe 3000 people? 300? One guy in a Portakabin making minimum wage?

Sherlock because Max Smart wasn't an option.

Guilty: Sister and brother who over-ordered hundreds of MacBooks for university and sold the kit for millions

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: Assets disappears

When I order a computer at work, it comes with the corporate asset barcode already applied by the reseller. Stanford is big enough that it should be doing the same thing.

Splunk junks 'hanging' processes, suggests you don't 'hit' a key: More peaceful words now preferred in docs

Brad Ackerman

Re: Primary...

However, most of the black folks' grandparents would have been slaves without the right to vote, so pretty much none of the illiterate blacks would be grandfathered in, compared to the majority of illiterate whites.

Whether someone's grandfather was actually registered to vote was totally irrelevant; White people would be allowed to vote unchallenged and Black people would be required to prove their eligibility.

HP loses attempt to deny colossal commission to star sales staffer

Brad Ackerman
Thumb Down

Re: Because they think they can!

If HP paid based on value received, Carly Fiorina's paychecks would have all been more negative than reviews of a Steven Seagal movie.

So, bye-bye mighty nerd haven Fry’s, took Silicon to the Valley... and now you must die

Brad Ackerman

Re: Not entirely mutually exclusive

Amazon and AliExpress should affect both Fry's and Micro Center equally, and yet as far as I know no Micro Center location is even remotely struggling. There are areas where both Fry's and Micro Center had stores within a short drive (e.g. Houston and NE Atlanta exurbs); in every case the former stopped restocking the shelves two years ago, and the latter is still in business and full of customers. Best Buy is also doing quite well, even in the market segments where it's easy to buy online.

There are certainly other things Micro Center does better (more name-brand maker stuff instead of clones) or differently (no white goods) that could have an impact, but with 98% of their shelves bare (look at the Swift On Security thread for some more recent pictures) the real mystery is why it took them so long to turn off the lights.

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Fry's failed because they couldn't be bothered to actually put anything on the shelves, not because of Amazon or direct-from-China. Micro Center has both inventory and tons of customers.

IT contractor caught charging Uncle Sam expert rates for newbies, agrees to pay back $6m in settlement

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: "Consultancies" v. independents

Winning government contracts is a complicated skill set, and is totally orthogonal to the services a contractor provides. In Usonia the federal government (which I worked for for fifteen-ish years) has procedures for scoring bids on past performance, but in practice it never happens; actual malicious behaviour by government officers does happen but isn't the main contributor to waste.

What actually is (not an exhaustive list):

  • The experience necessary to evaluate technical factors is limited in government because the overwhelming majority of positions that would allow one to develop such expertise are contractor
  • Congress wants to minimize the on-paper headcount of the federal government
  • DoJ rarely pursues serious penalties

In this case, the settlement only required the alleged offender to pay restitution and 1x damages. Assuming that it was just the immediate management at the contractor who were scamming the government, prosecuting them (civil or criminal) in their personal capacity would be the bare minimum; if upper management is witting of the fraud, the company needs to permanently lose its facility security clearance and said management needs their personnel clearances revoked.

Icon because it's the only way to be sure.

SD card slot, HDMI port could return to the MacBook Pro this year, says Apple analyst

Brad Ackerman

An HDMI port and (sadly) a USB type A port make some sense, but who are the target users for the removable media slot? I'd expect a large percentage (if not yet a majority) of people who'd use one are on CFexpress now.

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: Yes it's unusual.

Congress should take the secessionists seriously and hand them a quote for relocating Pantex (just to start).

Toxic: Intel ordered to pay chip fab worker almost $1m after he was gassed at its facility in 2016

Brad Ackerman
FAIL

Re: Hardhats

I've heard of closed-area penetration, but this one seems a bit excessive.

Oracle exhumes ‘Older, Still Useful Content’ penned by Solaris and SPARC veterans

Brad Ackerman

Re: RE: where did that article go

That ship sailed a long time ago, when they broke docs.sun.com (sometime between 2010 and 2013) and anyone with half their sanity remaining decided to start moving everything off Solaris ASAP.

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

Brad Ackerman

Yes, e.g. page 52.

Brad Ackerman
Pint

Wireless for everyone is totally impractical. Even with 100 devices on a floor not needing gigabit data, you're going to have fun. Besides which, in the EU (and UK if the Tories haven't axed that law) you're going to be required to have a docking station for your laptop because ergonomics, so may as well plug in the network port.

If we were in the office at my current employer (in the US), most people would be working from a desktop or docked laptop. When we do go back there half-time, I'm probably going to ask for a 10G network drop for my desktop; it would be helpful rather often despite not needing to pass terabyte-sized datasets around.

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

It depends how the government agency that's signing off feels (which can encompass both technical and political factors), and also site-specific criteria (e.g. TEMPEST). If the tenant controls the entire building, there's no reason why fibre to the desktop would be required for security reasons, and that's been the case for decades.

Wireless classified networks are doable under current policy and NSA publishes guidelines for implementing them. They're great for people who run around attending meetings all day, but won't replace classified wired networks for the same reason that unclassified wireless won't replace those wired networks.

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

Brad Ackerman
Devil

Re: Colour me surprised

Pat Cipollone appears to have convinced him that it wouldn't help; there are enough state-level investigations into Deutsche Bank that he's going down even if the feds do nothing.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency refuses to pay ransomware crooks over 1.2GB of stolen data

Brad Ackerman

Re: Danegeld

Aren't those the things that come inside empty sewing-equipment tins?

Trump tries one more time to limit H-1B work visas with new minimum salary requirements

Brad Ackerman
Childcatcher

Re: Good idea

There's a simple fix that would make lowballing H-1B salaries a lot riskier: eliminate all restrictions limiting the recipient to a specific employer for everything but diplomatic and internal transfer visas, and eliminate all the waiting for a green card after five years (or whatever the number is supposed to be) of residency - apply, State does a NACI, green card in a week or less.

A competent Republican would easily have been able to get some sort of H-1B reform through Congress with overwhelming support, but Trump just wasn't interested in doing anything other than grifting and golfing.

Brad Ackerman
Alert

Re: We beat you to it!

I'm sure the EU can slap you with massive fines and won't hesitate to do so if they think you knew it was illegal and did it anyhow, which is definitely the way the US operates.

(On the gripping hand, smuggling Kinder Eggs is almost the US's national sport, or was pre-pandemic.)

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

Brad Ackerman
Flame

Re: My friend backed this

The removal of Wi-Fi 6 is unfortunate, since that seems like a feature that people will wish they had in 3 years.

People will definitely be using Wi-Fi 6 in three years, but it will be on a different device regardless. No version upgrades at alll; and only rare security patches, the latest of which will be a year or more in the past at that time.

Theranos destroyed crucial subpoenaed SQL blood test database, can't unlock backups, prosecutors say

Brad Ackerman
Childcatcher

Re: Why 'science'?

¿Por qué no los dos? The company pretended to be in a scientific field. (Of course, there was nothing there but snake oil, but it's still a science story.) It could also be filed under 'legal', or possibly 'future Victorville residents'.

Lenovo ThinkPad Carbon X1 Gen 8: No boundaries were pushed in the making of this laptop – and that's OK

Brad Ackerman
Thumb Down

Re: Nothing? Surely you jest.

My camera takes CFexpress and my phone doesn't take removable media at all, so while the SD card reader was useful five years ago it's much less so today.

On the gripping hand, not having a 16:10 or 3:2 display is a much bigger deal.

After 11 years, Australia declares its national broadband network is ‘built and fully operational’

Brad Ackerman
Pirate

Australian ISPs are "value for money" only when compared to the US and Canada. NBNCo's (wholesale) ARPU is substantially higher than a retail ISP's in a competitive market.

UK on track to miss even its slashed full-fibre gigabit coverage goals, warn MPs

Brad Ackerman
Pint

Re: No Surprises there

The interwebs may be crap, but they've got some amazing lahmacun in N4.

Brad Ackerman
Go

Re: GigaClear

Eg: our main water pipes for the whole street and neighbouring village are on the completely opposite side of the road to where they should be. And they have been for likely 70 years.

In the US you call 811 before starting work (legally required) and all the pipes/cables where you need to dig will be marked. Is that not a thing in Brit-Cit?

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

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Tribunals can't issue the same judgments as a civil court (source), which would explain why the claimant wasn't awarded costs and punitive damages.

Channel Isles cop sacked after abusing police database to track down women drivers for Instagram 'comic' page

Brad Ackerman
Trollface

Re: Punishment

Carl Showalter has some useful suggestions.

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