* Posts by the spectacularly refined chap

1086 posts • joined 27 Dec 2008

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RISC OS: 35-year-old original Arm operating system is alive and well

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Gone industry

You mean like MOSIS? Turn around time is a bit longer than a week but apart from that it's precisely what you ask for. Costs are rather high (depends on design but think in terms of £1000/chip in sample quantities) but those reflect the costs of the processing.

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: We can do better than 8.3 these days, can't we?

Actually, as the dot was implied on MS-DOS and DEC files-11 filesystems, it only took 11 characters.

Not really. From memory the dot was mandatory if there was an extension but optional and made a logical difference if there wasn't. That is, "file" and "file." referred to two distinct files.

BOFH: Tech helps HR investigate the Boss's devices

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Re: Inspirational!

Or at least I have never met one who could find their arse with both hands.

I broke my collar bone perhaps ten years ago. I suggest trying to wipe your arse with the "wrong" hand. It is ... a voyage of discovery.

EU lawmakers vote to ban sales of combustion engine cars from 2035

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Re: And the UK ?

You really need to get over Brexit. It's happened and denegrating those who voted for it is not very adult and all it does is keep fueling divisions.

No, it's perfectly legitimate to continue to advocate one's position. If you voted Labour at the last election are you supposed to roll over and praise how great the Tories are simply because they won? Of course not. Why is Brexit any different?

Multiplatform Linux kernel 'pretty much done' says Linus Torvalds

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: HPE iLO

Thank you for grinding that particular axe.

And it relates to the subject of the article how, exactly?

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Can anyone provide more context on "multiplatform"?

I wouldn't say I'm overly familiar with it but from other platforms I gather it is largely about the ARM ServerReady initiative. Historically x86 has had the benefit that essentially everyone follows the rules for IBM PC compatibility. That puts basic devices at known locations, the BIOS provided a uniform boot environment, and later buses (PCI(e) or USB) provided built in enumeration capabilities to pick up the rest.

Historically none of the above has applied to ARM which is why you will e.g. have a Raspberry Pi kernel as opposed to a generic ARM kernel. Linux's structure has traditionally not been ideal either - device drivers are not isolated from the details of the bus they connect to - which results in a fairly thick adaptation layer for any specific platform.

The ServerReady initiative covers the initial boot environment too but that is beyond the scope of the kernel - the kernel only starts once it is already loaded. Ultimately the aim is to permit generic ARM operating systems rather than a bespoke system for each platform.

IBM ordered to pay $1.6b to BMC

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Re: What's there to appeal?

Yes, it seems at first sight the customer is getting lost in all this. This kind of side agreement sounds intrinsically dubious, possibly anticompetitive or even corrupt, but I have to assume AT&T were on board with this to at least some extent since the court didn't throw it out.

Standard disclaimers for legal cases - I wasn't there, I haven't considered the evidence as presented, I'm not legally trained etc - but this does at least raise an eyebrow from me.

Dell's rugged Latitude 5430 laptop is quick and pretty – but also bulky and heavy

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: You're whinging about a 6.5 pound laptop?

Now I have a little laptop which is very portable but has a tendency to glitch every so often, and needs a complete denial of electricity to sort it out. In the absence of a removable battery, all I can do is set it to one side for a few hours and wait for the battery to run flat.

Press and hold the power switch for at least four seconds. On desktop systems with ATX boards and power supplies the spec guarantees this causes a hardware power off equivalent to cutting the power. On laptops you don't have the same guarantee but I've yet to meet a machine from the last 25 years that didn't honour the same convention.

Will this be one of the world's first RISC-V laptops?

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Re: Obvious Fake is Obvious

Particularly when for something like you need to give the software guys 3-6 months at a minimum to put a basic software load on there. Forget simulation or "use this other board instead" - at times you really need something at least close to what will ship.

I've had a Lego model of a crane on my bench before. Yes I was working on a full size one but for some reason the one made mostly of Lego was more convenient.

OpenBSD 7.1 is out, including Apple M1 support

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Be careful there, I haven't checked the others but on Net poweroff essentially does just that, the kernel comes down and machine is powered off. A graceful shutdown and power off needs a "shutdown -p", otherwise to usermode processes (e.g. your DB server) the effect is the same as cutting the power.

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Learn once

There may be a lot to learn but it's a long term investment, the BSDs are indeed structured as traditional Unix, the skills learned don't change.

I've been a NetBSD for 25 years, it's been my primary system for 20. If I had gone to sleep 20 years ago to wake up in front of a modern system it would still all look familiar. If I needed to install on a drive over 2TB sure I'd have to read up on that newfangled GPT stuff, may even need to spend a few minutes reading up on the rc.d system (systemd could learn a lot from it), but the bulk of the system would function just as you expected.

Of course there have been plenty of developments and improvements in that time but not the back and forth breaking changes of other systems. The rate of change may be slower compared to Linux but it's also surer and more considered.

ASML CEO: Industrial conglomerate buying washing machines to rip out semiconductors

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Rear seat air conditioning

The problem is that automakers build their cars needing separate chips to control every little function. There's no reason that a property designed car couldn't have a single system controlling the rear seat air conditioning, front seat air conditioning, heated seats, heated steering wheel, cabin lighting and so on instead of each needing their own chips.

There's no reason why they couldn't, but also no reason why they should. MCUs have long been just another electronic component from the designers perspective. If a chip is 50p it's easy to justify if it saves other cost and weight (e.g. that of wiring), allows flexibility for design variants (e.g. 3 door, 5 door, van versions) or keeps the component generic in nature so it can be used on different models.

That's before you consider the benefits of a distributed system. If one chip runs one electric window there might be a hundred lines of code in there and it's trivial to analyse. If one big chip it's doing all the windows, the heaters, the demisters, the central locking and so on it becomes a lot more complex. The interactions become a lot less predictable as a result. Would you be happy if your ABS stops working at a key moment because the passenger happened to be winding down their window at the same time?

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Standards?

So they're installing salvaged commercial grade components in industrial specification equipment? I predict quite a lot of failures.

Typically the only difference between industrial and commercial spec is the temperature rating. For many devices that is a complete non-issue. If so why would there be a issue?

Google tests battery backups, aims to ditch emergency datacenter diesel

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Re: Nuke

British and American designs do, using stuff that makes weapons grade material look puny. That's how our subs can go their whole lives without refuelling.

That isn't universal though, e.g. the French subs use regular commercial grade uranium enriched to 5% which it why they need refuelling every 10 years or so.

But regardless of the fuel nuclear won't be on the cards for something like this for the foreseeable future. Nuclear power plants are essentially uninsurable so there always needs to be government support and a public utility for it to be a goer.

Google tracked record 58 exploited-in-the-wild zero-day security holes in 2021

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

:doh: ! All of these are devs' blunders.

Of course, this suprises you? What did you expect them to be?

If you don't know how to manage memory correctly, go back to school or find another job.

If you think this stuff is simple perhaps you are the one that needs to go back to school until you at least grasp the scope and complexities of the problem.

Wiki community votes to stop accepting cryptocurrency donations

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: "Beggars can't be choosers"

But their hosting costs are a tiny fraction of their revenues, and the bulk of the value is created by a volunteer community. El Reg has reported repeatedly on the foundation's finances, noting the bulk seems go on political lobbying in the USA and not always for causes that are natural bedfellows of the community.

Something to bear in mind next time they put that disruptive begging bowl header on top of every page.

First rocket launch from UK soil now has... a logo

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Re: Surprisingly decent

Sadly I can't find a colour reference to it, but I remember at the time I quite liked Rhythm of the Trees.

European Right to Repair resolution headed for vote

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Re: My wishlist

These things wouldn't be workable in practice. Law by it's nature needs to be both watertight and cover any conceivable application.

So you want upgradeable memory? What about the Apple M1 chips with on package memory? It comes at a price but that integration does enable better performance. Are you insisting that everyone should have poorly performing machines based solely on your own preference?

Laptops must have upgradable hard drives? I'll leave to one side whether that means sending them back ten years by mandating spinning rust - how exactly are you supposed to ”upgrade” the drive in any case? Remember you have said the hard drive needs to be upgradeable, not replaceable.

As the saying goes, be careful what you wish for ...

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: (Yet) another regulation the UK will need to abide by

Way ahead of Europe. Go look for yourself.

No, it's simply the UK implementation of EU legislation. The six year term refers to design flaws, in the UK and across the EU. Two years for faults in materials and workmanship is the rule here as well as in the EU. It is exactly the the same law at play, which we grandfathered in to our law on leaving.

The time you solved that months-long problem in 3 seconds

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Fuck that

Sometimes people want to simply know they've been dealt with properly, even if it means the other party is simply going through the motions.

I work in insurance, mostly business processes, but a few weeks ago I was front line claim handling as a result of all the storm claims we were getting. You really don't want to waste time with non-claims when you know there are dozens of other people in the queue.

One perennial issue we get with storms is blown out fencing. For the team I was on it's simple: none of the policies cover fencing for storm damage, it is a specific exclusion on every policy. The calls can be broken up in three ways:

The first is a simple "Am I covered?" query. Simple, check what policy they have to ensure they're with the right team and advise not. Matter closed in two minutes.

You break up the the remainder by judging the reaction to your "Oh, we need to see if you're covered..." observation. If they appear more speculative than anything else you establish which policy they have, look up their individual schedule if need be, advise as in the first case. Takes perhaps five minutes.

If they're more assertive they want to make a claim then fine you create a claim and take all the details. At the end you find the schedule and then point to the specific exclusion in the policy. It takes the customer twenty minutes on the phone, ten further minutes of admin afterwards for us. Ultimately the same result for the customer but it's only actually those we get our claims handling fee for (i.e. if a claim isn't set up we get nothing for advising you're not covered).

Ultimately it works against the customer's interest: once there is a claim the underwriter is charged. Underwriters vary in their opinion as to whether a claim closed with no customer payout affects their no claims but in many cases yes it does. But if you were adamant you want to make a claim, sure, I'll open and decline it in the space of a single call.

Debugging source is even harder when you can't stop laughing at it

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Scunthorpe Sans

What an ⬛⬛⬛⬛, ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛, ⬛⬛⬛⬛ idea.

I detest ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ that only ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛ with a large loaf and ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛ ⬛⬛ ⬛ ⬛⬛⬛⬛⬛ perhaps a used typewriter ribbon.

Fucking twat.

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: No one else had this experience?

I still recall being righteously incensed the first time the language I was using (can't recall which) complained that I had named a routine with a reserved word. I believed I had found the perfect descriptive name - it really shouldn't have offended me so much that I was right, just not first.

I've tripped on something similar in GCC several years ago, only in this case it was a poorly thought out extension that would conflict with a function called "index". Not a reserved word in C but that version of GCC didn't like it in default trim.

I believe it's been fixed now but that kind of stunt instantly causes you to lose faith in a tool. If some numbskull with an ego thinks he can "improve" things by deliberately causing valid code to fail what else is lurking in there?

Oxidation-proof copper could replace gold, meaning cheaper chips, says prof

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

That was my thought too. Instead of "damage" though, simply think "wear". Contact surfaces rub against each other on regular insertion and removal. Small amounts of wear are not generally an issue and indeed may even be desirable since they give the connection self-cleaning properties.

However here we are talking about surfaces smooth right down to the atomic scale. Surely a single insertion is going to scuff the surface sufficiently to completely destroy that fancy finish you're just applied?

How legacy IPv6 addresses can spoil your network privacy

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Underwhelming

I was expecting something jaw-dropping when I started the article but on reaching the end I can't help feeling "ho-hum". It the kind of thing that's fairly obvious if you think about it. Of course, like many of these obvious "new" threats the claims are over-egged.

The persistent host portion allows network prefix randomisation to be unscrambled, it do not allow further tracking of other devices in the network. In the example given you can't confirm the laptop is the same machine as yesterday, only that it is a system on the same network.

Unable to write 'Amusing Weekly Column'. Abort, Retry, Fail?

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: MS, obvs.

In this case there is a difference, and it signifies the enormous difference between Windows 3.0 and 3.1 when it comes to memory management as Windows 3.1 used "protected mode" and Windows 3.0 used "real mode".

Windows 3.0 had three operating modes - Real, Standard and 386 Enhanced. 3.1 dropped support for Real mode but it was hardly ever used even there because of its limitations. The only reason to use it at all would be on XTs and systems with under 1Mb memory.

And yes, Windows on either class of system was just as painful as it sounds.

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Error saving filename.txt: Operation successful

I've seen variations of this one here and there over the years and it always makes me smile. You may have no idea what the original error was, but you know exactly what the error in the error handler is.

ITC judge recommends banning toner imports that infringe Canon's IP

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Epic names

I have a good friend called Hefeierlandianzishangwuyouxiangongsi. We shoot a few games of pool in the pub after work.

How CAPTCHAs can cloak phishing URLs in emails

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: "Given how often the average user fills out a CAPTCHA challenge..."

How often is this? The statement implies this is a regular thing for 'average' users, but for myself, I get a CAPTCHA very rarely!

Same here. Except for ID checks that I was expecting (new employers and so on) I can't recall ever jumping through such hoops for either personal or work email.

In fact asking me to do things like that is a good way to get ignored. The way I figure it is that it was you whom emailed me, so you want MY attention. I get more than enough email as it is so it you want my attention don't throw roadblocks in the way to getting it - that just gives me an excuse to ignore you.

Prototype app outperforms and outlasts outsourced production version

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: So

You don't want your PHB to show you the horn. Seriously.

Toshiba's top investors signal strident opposition to planned two-way split

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Re: What would happen if...

Footnote: Ye gods and little fishes but formatting a post with HTML is painful. When is El Reg going to get with the program and use markdown?

ISTR it is one of those perennial requests that has been considered and ultimately dismissed. The argument is essentially the too many standards one - do you go for Markdown, BBcode, Wiki, some other flavour of the month?

HTML has the virtue that basically any technical user has at least a basic grasp. The downside is entering all those angle brackets is painful on a phone. And possibly the list of allowed tags is a little too restricted: if unordered lists are permitted why not ordered ones for example?

Amazon cuts credit for charities to access web services

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: So?

I haven't looked into this in detail but reading the article it appears to me they have not "promised" anything. From the outset they made clear that is was not a "free service" but a grant, i.e. it has a fixed value and duration.

Apply for a grant and are successful, congratulations, we will cover up to $2000 of our services over the next 12 months. There is no promise at the end of that period, it was never offered. Sure if the scheme still exists you can apply again but there's no guarantee you'll be successful or indeed as here the terms of the scheme won't have changed.

Charitable giving is always a minefield for corporations, they can't write blank cheques even for gifts in kind as here - ultimately they are real services that cost real money to provide. Amazon have made some changes because they don't want to say "no" to as many applicants. They decide their own criteria for their benevolence, the fact they are a trillion dollar corporation makes them no different in that regard to you or me.

Proprietary neural tech you had surgically implanted? Parts shortage

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: the presenter squealed "Tac!" every time he clicked on something

One of my regional engineers was bought a rubber keyboard (one of the portable roll-up jobs) for that very reason.

She used to have very long nails, and that combined with her mechanical keyboard drove everyone else in the office nuts.

Obligatory Petticoat 5 reference.

Saving a loved one from a document disaster

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Imperrfect

Always found it useful tool myself. It was also great for showing out WP really jumped the shark when Corel introduced that awful shadow cursor thing and could see all the codes inserted simply to save having to set the margins yourself. At least you could turn it off.

Meet Neptune OS, an attempt to give seL4 a Windows personality transplant

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

It's easier than it might first appear because of the NT architecture. It is working at the system call level rather than the API level. The API level is the one with tens of thousands of calls making a large surface to emulate. The system call layer is AFAIK publicly undocumented but is believed to be far simpler, more in line with the few hundred on other systems - the documented API is what is exposed by the subsystem and libraries on top of it. In a very real sense there is no such thing as a "native" Windows app since you are always on one subsystem or another, whether it be the 64, 32 or 16 bit Windows, DOS, WSL or Interix/POSIX or even the old OS/2 subsystem.

Emulate the syscall layer and the original subsystems can run on top of it. In principle this is no different to e.g. lxrun for running Linux apps on other Unices, although there is admittedly less in common between the two system making the translation layer a bit thicker.

File suffixes: Who needs them? Well, this guy did

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Magic numbers are not reliable either. There is no universal location or format for the magic string and so files can and do get misidentified. At least with extensions they are under the control of the user.

There are plenty of other cases too, such as layered formats such as .tar.gz or formats that package multiple elements in a single .zip. Using magic all you see is the outer container.

Finally it's an expensive way of doing it. Every file needs to be read and compared against a long list of possibilities. What if you are looking at a remote FTP server for example where you want as many clues at the directory level as possible.

Dark-mode Task Manager unveiled by original's creator

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

I can't help thinking about a couple of spoof articles from years ago, about customisable BSODs and them carrying advertising. Of course everyone laughed, they show up that frequency of course their appearance is important. Getting excited about the appearance of task manager is similar in that in an ideal world you don't need to bring it up.

Google's Chrome OS Flex could revive old PCs, Macs

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Hot Garbage

The thing that irritates me is that half the tech websites all ran an article like this, basically at the same time.

Of course, it's a new release, so it gets reported at around the same time by all the news sites. And yes, the articles will point out what it is aimed at and what's it good for, they wouldn't be worth reading if all they did was comment on how badly it works for things it's not designed to do.

The article told me all I needed to know. Lightweight, minimal configuration, management tools (which Unix tends to suck at)... I'm interested. Oh, but you have to use Google accounts? Sorry, without LDAP integration it's a toy and I'm moving on.

The articles done its job for me, it presented an option and I was able to dismiss it in the space of five minutes.

Toshiba reveals 30TB disk drive to arrive by 2024

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

For $/GB 16TB is ahead on the cheapest drives going measure. Looking at Amazon right now the cheapest 8TB drive is a Tosh at £150. A 16TB Seagate Exos unit is £270. Noticed it was close 9/10 months ago topping up my Microserver, back then the 16TB option was perhaps a fiver more than a pair of 8TB drives. Still preferable since it keeps a bay free.

Apple, Broadcom allowed to press Ctrl-Z on billion-dollar Wi-Fi patent payout to Caltech

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Re: Ctrl-Z?

Nah, the deities intended control to be directly under the tab key.

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Users, no matter how long they might use an application, never mind their instructions

I remember something similar at the Inland Revenue 25 years ago, terminal based app, tab between fields, there were perhaps 50 such fields on some screens. Since the system was a bit sluggish it was easy to tab over the next field you wanted to make an entry in.

I did this being walked through the app as an A level work experience type and was told I'd need to tab all around to get back to the field I wanted. While I was being told this I instinctively hit shift tab (backtab) and returned to the field I wanted. Cue the question "how did you do that?” from users of the app for years

UK's new Brexit Freedom Bill promises already-slated GDPR reform, easier gene editing rules

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Operation Distract-The-Electorate in full swing

As far as the bulk of Tories are concerned, the name of the game now is "hold on and hope that Labour implodes again". Which means they've got to avoid imploding their own party. Is Johnson more dangerous than a new leader? - is the calculus that has to be thought out and reviewed pretty much daily.

But what have Labour done recently? They've not recovered from the last implosion yet, coming up with absolutely nothing of note recently. I know it's normal for opposiiton parties to go to sleep for a couple of years after a general election, especially after a heavy defeat, but the Labour's profile at the moment rivals that of a ballistic missile submarine.

Sure, they've taken the lead in polls recently, but that isn't due to anything they have done. It's just the last three months or so have been one self-inflicted wound after another for the Conservatives. Not so much shooting themselves in the foot as aiming a P90 straight down and emptying magazine after magazine.

If you want a competent government you need an effective opposition. Without that the party in power (particularly the Tories, Labour is good at publicly fighting with itself) can afford to be too self-indulgent, and you end up with the utter mess we see at the moment.

Bouncing cheques or a bouncy landing? All in a day's work for the expert pilot

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Re: In the pilot's defense...

Not for the Direct Access Scheme (for over 24s), but even teens on lower power bikes needs additional testing for the higher rated bike so still qualify as learners when going up to ~600cc and above.

Instant Ump: HP Inc's subscription ink services hiking prices from next month

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Ability?

I'm probably showing my age here but wasn't it Ability Plus (as bundled with Amstrads) which used "Ink, Inc" as the case study in the user manual?

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

You would need a compromised router...

Routers running NAT will not forward any packets inbound unless they have an entry in their NAT translation table to allow packets.

No and no. Any router will route across NAT in the circumstances described. By design. The A in NAT stands for address, the inbound interface is not a consideration. The packet hits the routing table and gets routed accordingly, where it came from is irrelevant to the routing logic. From the routing table it may or may not get bounced to NAT when leaving the router, but that won't happen if the destination is a local subnet. That packet sent to 192.168..., 10.... Etc gets forwarded with no consideration of where it came from.

If you don't believe me try it, you can do this with any home router with a WAN side ethernet port, a pair of Linux systems back to back, or even something like Packet Tracer.

I won't get started on what is meant by an "inbound" interface - the very concept is meaningless outside the realm of domestic and toy networking. Just do some reading and find out how this stuff works. If you regard NAT as some form of firewall you are in reality outsourcing responsibility for security to your ISP and potentially other service providers.

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Won't happen in my lifetime

because IPv6 hasn't been adopted, devices don't have a public IP address and peer-to-peer networking is impossible.

Eactly, people need to be careful what they wish for. Over the last twenty years or so network services that were open and decentralised have been replaced by centralised services. So things like Messenger are proprietary and harvested for advertising. This is even truer for ancillary functions (cloud print, Ring style doorbells) which end up inevitably going through commercial services because of the lack of end-to-end connectivity. There's always plenty of anguish ahere about dependence on such services, that is only really tenable if you are willing to opt for resolution of the core issue.

Aside from end to end connectivity NAT brings pletny of other issues - yes, performance has been both cited and challenged here but it's difficult to even conceive of a hardware routing backplane that can handle NAT. From a user perspective how many network forums have been utterly ruined by random teens asking "how can I set my NAT type to moderate?" or similar every two minutes?

As for security, of course that is a consideration. IPv4 or IPv6 doesn't change that. NAT doesn't somehow hide the nodes on your private network - assertions of the contary lull users into a false sense of security. In reality this simply trusts your ISP to keep your LAN secure.

News flash - if your ISP routes a packet to you with a destination address in your private address range it gets routed to that private node even though it originated on the WAN side. That is precisely how NAT is supposed to work.

I've said before if you want to see mass adoption of IPv6 the way to do it is to prent it as the "easy" option when setting up the likes of Playstation and Xbox. End-to-end connectivity with no messing around with NAT settings. If you want to use IPv4 these are the hoops you have to jump through, which is in reality no more than you have at present. ISPs would be falling over themselves to roll out support. Perhaps then we'd have networking like it was orignally intended and not this crippled world where bodges are presented as "features".

January edition of Azure Sphere OS cancelled after Microsoft actually listens to customer's complaint

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IoT -> real world consequences

Hmmm, I'll admit I am that sad bastard that read ENC28J60 and immediately thought "but that's a Microchip 10BASE-T serial part". Not being familiar with Azure Sphere I couldn't see the relevance.

Looking into it I can see why they may be hesitant. It's the kind of thing that could brick a device during a firmware update. On a PC or server they have got used to getting away with it, the denials of liability in the EULA may or may not hold legal water but when any mess is generally easily recovered there is little motivation to test that in court.

In lower level embedded stuff there may not be the same recovery options. That's a particular concern for something using that sort of chip since it's not something I'd expect to see in mass market stuff. 10BASE-T these days is short run niche or even bespoke stuff. We're not talking fridges or toasters here but industrial plant and instrumentation. Pricey stuff with potentially pricey consequences if it goes wrong.

Working overtime? Those extra hours might not be hurting your wellbeing after all – just don't tell Jeff Bezos or Jack Ma

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

But what's the motivation?

I've been in places where overtime makes you feel better about work. Other places it makes no difference?

What are you spending the additional time on? If it is on your own workload, whether that be an assigned caseload or what happens to come in, yes OT allows you to get top of things, attend to housekeeping and so on. It reduces stress because you can see yourself making progress. Ditto for project work, if you know you make progress to the goals with reference to any internal deadlines etc that ultimately destressed you. This assumes you are being paid of course, unpaid time to keep on top of workload quickly creates resentment.

There are other places I've been where OT simply means more work gets allocated in which case it is neutral in terms of your work position. But could be bad if you need to de-stress.

I know one place I've been was a real pressure cooker environment due to the management culture, but they seemed to think they could get away with this by throwing money at you - regular OT was triple time and when they really wanted you it was quintupal. Paradoxically you're then in a no win situation: you can't help but feel bad turning down £100/hour but you know it will make you physically ill if you exploit it.

The robots are coming! 12 million jobs lost to automation in Europe by 2040 – analyst

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

People keep on making that assumption. It has never been proven as a fact.

Of course it has. Who worked in IT 75 years ago? How many are in the industry now?

200 years ago the mechanised cotton mills in Lancashire were well established. The need for weavers nosedived. People benefitted in that clothing became a lot cheaper. Money that had been needed for clothing could now be spent on something else. In other words, people were richer: their clothing needs were fulfilled but they now had additional money left over as well.

100 years ago 40% of the British population worked in agriculture. Now it's less than 3%. The difference in the tractor and other mechanisation and other technology such as fertilizer and pesticides. Even factoring in those working in these associated industries you don't have a third of the population on the dole, they are doing other things.

Again the population has benefited - food is comparatively far cheaper. You may spend what, 10, 20% of income on food. A century ago it would have been the majority. That "spare" money isn't just mounting up in bank accounts, it is being spent on other things that would not have been viable previously. Your standard of living has increased because you can afford those extras, the money you spend on them supports those providing them.

Epoch-alypse now: BBC iPlayer flaunts 2038 cutoff date, gives infrastructure game away

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Cisco have got round the y2038 problem by redefining 'day zero' for the RTC... some default to 1/1/2010, others to 1/1/2013, when the NVRAM battery goes flat (depending on IOS version)

The RTC has absolutely nothing to do with internal date format used by the software on top. The RTC format is determined by the actual chip used, generally it will be some representation of time in a wall clock-style format, i.e. separate fields for year, month ... minutes, seconds. Sometimes those are separate ints for each field, on some chips they are in BCD form.

Regardless it gets converted to some other representation after being read. That can be on use but most systems use it to set a timer at boot and ignore it after that, since most RTC chips don't offer better than one second resolution.

The default "bad info" date is purely a style choice when an invalid CMOS checksum is detected. It does get updated from time to time. For many years virtually all PC compatibles would default to 1981 but that started changing around the millennium, a date that long ago simply screams how old the code base is.

Alien life on Super-Earth can survive longer than us due to long-lasting protection from cosmic rays

the spectacularly refined chap Silver badge

Re: Needs a moon of decent size

Apparently not for a cold, rocky body. It has been in the past (why it is round) but it has cooled and it is now believed to be rigid enough to no longer qualify. One of the problematic issues of the planet definition, although I have no intention of debating that issue here.

Icy bodies or rock/ice mixes can be a lot smaller and remain in hypostatic equilibrium, but that doesn't describe the Moon.

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