* Posts by Brad Ackerman

208 posts • joined 25 Aug 2008

Page:

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.

Four or so things we found interesting about Qualcomm's Snapdragon 888, its latest 5G chip for high-end Androids

Brad Ackerman
Flame

Re: I must admit...

It'd be cool to see this on a Gemini type phone device though - having Linux for business and android for pleasure without having to restart would be quiet the boon.

Maybe something like Gemini that actually provides software updates. Planet can't be bothered to patch at all; they'll happily sell you a £600 device with a two-year-old OS that will never get an update. Holier than Swiss cheese out of the box and it will only get worse.

SiFive inches closer to offering a true RISC-V PC: Latest five-core dev board includes PCIe, SSD interfaces

Brad Ackerman
Devil

The USD 665 price seems like a thinly-obfuscated homage to the Apple I, which was originally sold for $1.66 more — hence the choice of icon isn't really a choice at all.

Have no idea WTF is going on with the Oracle-Walmart TikTok deal? Don’t sweat it, here’s our latest rundown

Brad Ackerman
Alert

Do not fall into the trap of anthropomorphizing Larry Ellison.

Huawei mobile mast installed next to secret MI5 data centre in London has 7 years to do whatever it is Huawei does

Brad Ackerman
Boffin

Re: You've heard of Tempest?

Well-shielded, or just a ton of metal in the way? GPS is easy; put an antenna on the roof and done. Unless you didn't plan for needing to know what time it is and failed to contract for the appropriate roof access, in which case you are bad and should feel bad.

The general relativity necessary to use the GPS system isn't that difficult, but everyone's using the helicopter icon in this thread already so science guy it is.

Brad Ackerman
Black Helicopters

Shielding a room is straightforward and not outrageously expensive. Shielding a building is somewhat more difficult; window film is definitely a thing and helps but according to the datasheets I can find it provides 40ish dB of RF attenuation (vs. 90ish for a shielded enclosure), so it works with rather than instead of physical separation.

If the Security Service somehow didn't have a plan for mitigating such attacks, they'd be utterly screwed because anyone with a river-view room at the Doubletree next door and a telephoto lens has a great view into the back side of Thames House. (Decent hotel, but I haven't stayed there since it was the City Inn.)

Beer rating app reveals homes and identities of spies and military bods, warns Bellingcat

Brad Ackerman
Holmes

Not using social media at all might be an even more blatant indicator than putting too much information on it.

US threatens to turf out four Chinese telcos amid concerns over national security... and COVID-19, doctors, schools, jobs, communists, etc

Brad Ackerman

Re: government involvement in computer intrusions and attacks

This is just doing to China what China does to everyone else; they don't allow foreign carriers to operate outside of HK.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Brad Ackerman

Re: The real mystery is how Paula discovered the clock work around ...

You get the strangest looks from procurement when you ask for a dozen black goats, a silver knife, and a Dho-Nha summoning grid.

Among waves, blisters and sleep deprivation, rowing duo add Microsoft's Teams to list of transatlantic ordeals

Brad Ackerman
Linux

Re: What do people do with all these photos?

Take a few thousand photos; sort them out later. A $140 external drive stores a low six-digit number of raws, or keep them in a cloud provider's archive storage tier for $1/TiB-month.

People have collected warez like Pokémon for a long time, possibly since 1969 (before that all software was either open-source or not distributed at all). Whether you're actually going to binge all 275 episodes of Cheers is irrelevant to deciding to click that magnet link.

Tux, because all my torrents are Linux ISOs. (Except the ones that are actually BSD.)

Oracle leaves its heart in San Francisco – or it would do if, you know, Oracle had a heart

Brad Ackerman

Re: "...a whole lot of great things available that have nothing to do with any of that."

There are several Cirque du Soleil productions, plenty of magic acts (Penn & Teller are a must-see), any sort of live performance you can think of, golf, restaurants, the Pinball Hall of Fame, Red Rock Canyon, the Grand Canyon, Lake Mead, fancy shopping, and so on. The national (Zion, Bryce Canyon, Arches) and state parks (Snow Canyon, Kodachrome Basin, &c &c &c) in SW Utah aren't quite in day-trip range but are a good stop before/after LV.

Fairytale for 2019: GNOME to battle a patent troll in court

Brad Ackerman
Mushroom

Re: Prior art not that important

At least cold fusion could theoretically bear some vague resemblance to a method that could conceivably exist. The working-model requirement needs to be a lot broader, to encompass e.g. US6025810A, which purports to describe a superluminal communications device. It doesn't exactly take a rocket scientist to realize that this is causality violation and therefore just as impossible as a PMM.

Brad Ackerman
Terminator

Even the dullest and laziest patent troll knows that Facebook has more money than some countries. The subject of this article, however, appears to have not known that a decent number of IBM employees are paid to contribute to GNOME.

The black gate of Armonk may be about to open.

Pokemon Go becomes Pokemon No as games biz Niantic agrees to curb trespassing addicts

Brad Ackerman
Facepalm

Re: They had to go and ruin it

Niantic doesn't give a dog's wet shit about portals in restricted areas. There are five on the NSA headquarters compound (seriously restricted access) and more on Ft. Meade proper (slightly easier to get in but still not an open post). There are a half-dozen at Guantánamo Bay, which they can't possibly not know is restricted. NASA facilities have portals, too. CIA headquarters may be the only closed-access USG facility that doesn't have at least one.

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