* Posts by Jens Goerke

42 publicly visible posts • joined 25 Aug 2006

Musk bans private-plane-tracking @Elonjet on Twitter, threatens legal action

Jens Goerke

Re: stalker

Why doesn't he use one of his fully self-driving Teslas for those short distances?

Is it because self-driving doesn't work and he can't afford to pay a driver or because the battery charge doesn't last that far?

Or is it because his ego is so fragile that he has to show off his wealth at every opportunity?

Cats: Not a fan favourite when the critters are draped around an office packed with tech

Jens Goerke

purring dog

Get a Rottweiler and gently ruffle its chest when it nudges you to be petted - in my case it was a guard dog while I was chatting with its owner.

Result: a grown Rottweiler purring like a kitten.

BOFH: Rome, I have been thy soldier 40 years... give me a staff of honour for mine age

Jens Goerke

Great minds think alike.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Jens Goerke

Re: That's settled, then.

Try replacing the antenna with 2 100 Ohm resistors in parallel - the transmitter won't know the difference, but the ranger will be measured in meters instead of miles.

Jens Goerke

Re: That's settled, then.

It's called a Münzblinker - you need to insert a coin for every flash of an indicator. It's been standard in Mercedes cars for ages.

Germany is helping the UK develop its COVID-19 contact-tracing app, says ambassador

Jens Goerke

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.

If you can't laugh at your own stereotypes, you haven't learned.

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...

Jens Goerke

Like shutting off when the remaining minutes countdown reaches 29.

Bloke rolls up to KFC drive-thru riding horse-drawn cart only to be told: Neigh

Jens Goerke

Re: Burgers?

> A good burger is a fine, occasional, treat.

Too true - I still remember a nice cheeseburger from half a decade ago, made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients, including Angus beef, served with homemade fries and a salad of the same top quality.

These days kebab shops usually provide the best quality concerning fast food at affordable prices.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

Jens Goerke

Re: Worse in principle

> slinging software into situations that designers knew would NEVER happen

...with any reported errors ignored because "that NEVER happens". BTDTGTTS

Elevating cost-cutting to a whole new level with million-dollar bar bills

Jens Goerke

Climate control could only be set in the morning

before the big printing press was turned on, as it disrupted the RS232 signals between the control panel and the actual climate control unit.

Replacing the cable with a length of fibre and a converter on each end was the most effective solution, though a bit pricey, but also reduced the amount of environment-related problems of the printing press.

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

Jens Goerke

Re: Just a guess, TTL timing?

I once built a printer interface for a CP/M machine, using an 8 bit latch for data, routing the write-signal through some unused inverters to get a properly timed strobe-signal. Worked like a charm and reduced those two BIOS routines to 12 bytes in total.

What happens when the maintainer of a JS library downloaded 26m times a week goes to prison for killing someone with a motorbike? Core-js just found out

Jens Goerke

Re: "continuous development"

Java - I'll have a look at it when they're done with the final version.

Why is the printer spouting nonsense... and who on earth tried to wire this plug?

Jens Goerke

Re: DIY Electricians

Three phases coming in, each is a different Live. Neutral is not transported from the power plant, but from the local power distribution station, where the phases are mostly balanced so that Neutral can be provided as a return path to the customers. However, Neutral is only at Ground level at the power plant, so there can and will be voltage differences between Neutral and each customer's Ground, depending on the resistance between the Ground at the customer and the Ground at the power station.

'Literally a paperweight': Bose users fume at firmware update that 'doesn't fix issues'

Jens Goerke

Banana software

Delivered green to ripen at the customers', who have agreed to do the testing according to the small print in the manual. Ever since computing has become cheap enough to replace dedicated hardware, customers demanding replacements under warranty get told that their problems will be solved "in the next update" until their warranty expires.

Hacked or open source software is available for more and more devices, so whenever I have the choice I go for those products which have already been hacked - no problems with updates anymore, the open source community is far better than any company.

Remember the Uber self-driving car that killed a woman crossing the street? The AI had no clue about jaywalkers

Jens Goerke

Re: Surely

There's a saying here in Germany: "es kann nicht sein, was nicht sein darf" - "it can't be what isn't allowed to be", resulting in the faulty reasoning that pedestrians aren't allowed on the road, so whatever _is_ on the road can't be a pedestrian.

Common sense and experience have shown that a young child will probably run after a ball, so any trained/experienced human driver will brake hard after seeing a ball rolling out into the street in front of the car, saving the child that's bound to run out shortly afterwards. Happened to me twice, once in each role.

US immigration uses Google Translate to scan people's social media for bad posts – Er, don't do that, says everyone else

Jens Goerke

My first job in IT was translating manuals and software, so I would read an English paragraph for understanding, then write the same content in German, often badgering colleagues who knew the topic for details so I wouldn't introduce errors.

I learned quite a bit about image processing, typography, and DTP in general during those times...

Revealed: The 25 most dangerous software bug types – mem corruption, so hot right now

Jens Goerke

Re: And, yet, in 2019...

BTDT back in the 90s when testing a new web chat system that didn't crop/constrain the user's input and promptly crashed the user's session with error messages in every HTML-frame it had open.

PHB's reaction was: "Nobody types that much text!", so it went into production.

Same thing happened with the next version, so I didn't participate in further testing - no use reporting a bug that won't be fixed.

Astroboffins have spied the largest star that has gone supernova and it's breaking all the rules

Jens Goerke

Re: Soup

I'll stop learning about the same time I stop breathing.

Backdoors won't weaken your encryption, wails FBI boss. And he's right. They won't – they'll fscking torpedo it

Jens Goerke

Like the TSA-mandated luggage locks for which the "TSA only" keys are freely available?

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

Jens Goerke

Re: Why is there a choice?

No time for maintenance, we're losing money while the bird is on the ground.

Braking bad? Van with £112m worth of crystal meth in back hits cop car at police station

Jens Goerke

Re: What are you in for?

...and creatin' a nuisance.

I don't know but it's been said, Amphenol plugs are made with lead

Jens Goerke

Re: So why did it have a dead power supply?

BTDT, albeit with a SAN switch - one PSU failed and took the fuse with it, so the other PSU ended up without power as well, taking out half of the SAN. That happened on a Friday evening with me on call, but no call went out.

Monday morning the fault was discovered, the only effect being that a multiple-hour long billing run during the weekend had taken a few minutes longer than usual.

The SAN had been planned and built properly, with redundancy in mind, so the second half still worked flawlessly and the PSU could be replaced and rewired to another fuse/phase without undue haste.

ReactOS 'a ripoff of the Windows Research Kernel', claims Microsoft kernel engineer

Jens Goerke

Re: @Lee D: really? @ReactOS: WGAF?

Programmers tend to use logical names for routines, variables, and macros.

A macro doing something would logically be named after what it does, even if that name then never makes it past the compiler.

So, a macro that reads a printer's status would be named along the lines of "read_printer_status" and used in several printer-related routines.

Such logically-chosen names make life easier for teams of programmers, especially when they're not all at the same location.

It's all in the wrist: Your fitness tracker could be as much about data warfare as your welfare

Jens Goerke

Re: "data warfare"

> Why on earth should private health insurance try to get you to drink more coffee?

Because they're not life insurance and don't have to pay for the funeral.

A fatal heart attack or stroke is cheaper than keeping a mostly healthy person alive.

Uncle Sam charges Julian Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion

Jens Goerke
Black Helicopters

Re: Is this the best that the USA can come up with ?

I'm guessing they'll discover that it's a maximum of 5 years per document.

Mini computer flingers go after a slice of the high street retail Pi

Jens Goerke

Re: Mini computer flingers

If it makes you feel better you could always buy an old teletype case, rip the innards out and stuff the pi inside.

There is enough room in an old teletype for a Pi, a 20mA driver board, and a suitable PSU.

Unless support for upper-case-only terminals has been removed from the driver it should work quite well...

Defaulting to legacy Internet Explorer just to keep that one, weird app working? Knock it off

Jens Goerke

Re: Count me in.

Now add a bunch of Java programmers eagerly studying the release notes for each and every Java sub-sub-release version, demanding from the system administrators to either install this new version *RIGHT NOW*, because it has a feature they want to use, or to keep the old version, because some feature has changed/disappeared.

In the end you'll have a dozen different JDKs (a JRE might not have all the features they use in their programs) plus the "system" JREs on a production server.

Army had 'naive' approach to Capita's £1.3bn recruiting IT contract, MPs told

Jens Goerke

That would make sense

Even worse - they could let that bonus gather interest over those 5 years.

Perhaps add an incentive for further education - matching every quid the soldier pays in tuition costs or university fees.

Germany hacked: Angela Merkel's colleagues among mass data dump victims

Jens Goerke


IIRC there was a rather long period a while back when the German government's IT infrastructure had been hacked before being replaced with new kit.

The data could have been siphoned off during that time, after which it took the perpetrators even more time to sift through the raw data to separate the wheat from the chaff, and end up with what they finally dumped on twitter. So if the published data isn't newer that the date when the IT infrastructure was replaced that'd be a clue to the data's possible origin.

Detailed: How Russian government's Fancy Bear UEFI rootkit sneaks onto Windows PCs

Jens Goerke

Re: UEFI = ?

Unified Entry for Foreign Intelligence?

Unsecured External Flaw Invitation?

Expired cert... Really? #O2down meltdown shows we should fear bungles and bugs more than hackers

Jens Goerke

Graceful reconnect...

...was a concept that went out of fashion over a decade ago.

The mere idea of software actually checking the status of its connection and then retrying, rechecking, disconnecting (cleanly!) and reconnecting before trying again has been deemed ancient cruft - programmers have become too used to reliable always-on connections and never experienced firewall timeouts or line noise causing a modem to hang up.

$Deity, I feel old.

Check your repos... Crypto-coin-stealing code sneaks into fairly popular NPM lib (2m downloads per week)

Jens Goerke


Why should we pay for testers when we have customers paying us?

This kind of mind(?)set seems to be taught in MBA courses nowadays.

Mine's the one with the undocumented Z80 opcode list in the pocket.

FBI boss: We went to the Moon, so why can't we have crypto backdoors? – and more this week

Jens Goerke

Eggs out of pancakes

So he demands to be able to get the eggs back out of the pancakes.

Symmetrix daddy Moshe Yanai on chair-throwing and storage

Jens Goerke

That brings back memories

When I started at my last job one of my duties was to be on call for our Symmetrixen, just to make sure we weren't relying on any affected snapshots after a disk failed and was replaced by one of their technicians.

Since then everything has to be cheap(er) so as not to affect the fiscal quarter.

Got my coat in time...

Democralypse Now? US election first battle in new age of cyberwarfare

Jens Goerke

Sadly no, it was at least 8 years ago IIRC - the voting machine displayed the sum of the counts during startup, so nobody suspected anything, until the polls closed and in a smaller community one party had a negative number of votes.

I still prefer the way elections are handled here in Germany: each resident gets a postcard with the voting date and station, which has to be handed in to get the voting forms and an envelope on his/her way to the voting booth, with the sealed envelope then going into the ballot box.

Any member of the public has the right to inspect the empty ballot boxes before the election and witness the counting afterwards, which is usually done (and then checked) by members of different political parties.

That way the election is pretty much transparent and quite difficult to manipulate, unless you go for the postal votes, which would require a lot of nurses without scruples in several old people's homes and hospices.

Jens Goerke

Wasn't there an incident where a voting machine came pre-loaded with 0 votes in total, 100 for party A, -100 for party B?

UK Home Sec wants Minority Report-style policing – using your slurped data

Jens Goerke

Re: Not again!

You can't out-sarcasm reality.

Why was the modem down? Let us count the ways. And phone lines

Jens Goerke

Re: I cry bullshit

BTDT - my first question was if that modem was on its own line, which it was.

45 minutes later the customer mentioned that he had plugged in the phone he was using into the same socket.

Guardian lets UK spooks trash 'Snowden files' PCs to make them feel better

Jens Goerke

That explains their previous steps

So that's why they they wanted their subjects to be disarmed - they're playing the long game.

What conditions disqualify you from donating blood?

Jens Goerke

Another disqualifying condition

Here in Germany you can't donate blood if you've spent more than half a year in Britain between 1980 and 1996.