* Posts by Len

751 posts • joined 26 Jan 2009

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As Europe hopes to double its share of global chip production, Intel comes along with $20bn, plans for fabs

Len Silver badge
Meh

Re: gimme gimme gimme

I’m talking about policy stability. Here in the UK we’ve always had a bit less policy stability due to the political system. One lot comes in, spends a few years tearing up what the previous lot had created and develops its own policies. This is followed by another lot who subsequently tears up what the predecessor had built etc. etc. The Brexit process that we'll be in for the next ten years or so has only amplified that.

In coalition based political systems that are common on the Continent it’s rare for a new coalition not to feature members of the previous governments. In Germany it’s even rare to have a government without the CDU. This makes for much more gradual shifts. Even in winner-takes-all presidential systems such as France the policy shifts are always gradual. You’d need to be a serious Élysée-watcher to notice the difference in policy between Sarkozy, Hollande and Macron when looking from abroad.

And, honestly, out of the three countries my client is looking at, you don’t seriously think that either Luxembourg, Germany or the Netherlands is suddenly going to leave REACH, or the European electricity market, or the EU carbon trading system, or the European labour market, or the European Internal Market do you? Otherwise I have a bridge to sell you.

Anyway, my client has made the decision to leave the UK, the shareholders are on board and I expect to hear which country they have chosen some time in the next two weeks. Even if the UK government would be able to give a solid guarantee that no environmental and chemical regulation will change over the next ten years (which they can't) it's already too late.

Len Silver badge
Unhappy

Re: gimme gimme gimme

This. The uncertainty is killing for some sectors. A client of mine is currently comparing Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg to move to from the UK. Even all the directors are emigrating with the company and they plan for the UK entity to be dissolved before year-end.

For them the biggest problem at the moment is that nobody in the UK (not even the government) can tell you what certain regulation is going to like in two years, five years or ten years time. Whatever the regulation is going to be will be the outcome of a tug-of-war between economic nationalists, free marketers, tabloid headlines, ministers with an axe to grind, and a few airheads who, inexplicably, write influential newspaper columns.

In more stable politico-economic environments you do not know to the letter what the regulation will look like in ten years time but you will already know a direction and focus areas. That drastically limits the number of scenarios.

My client is about to raise around 20 million in their next funding round and that is almost impossible in a heavily regulated sector like theirs where the unknowns for operating in the UK are too plentiful. Which investor is going to invest in a heavily front-loaded capital intensive UK operation when there are dozens of potential regulatory scenarios?

Len Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: When they say EU

In this case I very much doubt that it will be Ireland.

Europe's biggest single semiconductor biz is French-Italian and Europe's biggest chip cluster is Silicon Saxony around Dresden where all the world's major semiconductor players (including Intel themselves) already have a presence).

I suspect that the Netherlands is on the shortlist because of the presence of the world's largest manufacturer of semiconductor photolithography machines. I also suspect that is not enough to be a serious draw for a fab.

My money is on Dresden, otherwise somewhere in France near both suppliers and customers.

Mind the gap(ing mouth): London's Underground to get ubiquitous mobile phone coverage

Len Silver badge
WTF?

Re: Overground coverage

Why would Transport for London be responsible for mobile coverage outside the tunnels?

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: 1986

Mobile phone coverage in metro systems is typically a solved problem. In many cities across the world this has been possible for nearly two decades.

The standard approach is to use a 'leaky feeder'. This is essentially a coax cable along the tunnel wall with little holes punched in the outer mantle so it acts as a very long aerial. This is also how Tube drivers already communicate with the control centre. The Tube uses a packet switched radio system called 'Connect' that isn't even that far from standard mobile telecoms.

The London situation, at least for the deep level lines, has always been a bit of a barrier as there is sometimes not even ten centimetres between the train and the tunnel lining to install the infrastructure.

It looks as if they finally found a solution that is not only technically possible but also economically viable. Although it might only make economic sense because the infrastructure cost are offset by being able to lay a cross London fibre network without major digging and renting out capacity.

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: Thanks I hate it

First of all, people barely make voice calls anymore. It's almost all text based nowadays, whether it's WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, Matrix, Twitter, Mastodon, Facebook, Diaspora, Instagram or Snapchat, who uses their phone to talk?

Secondly, THE RIDICULOUSLY LOUD BACKGROUND NOISE, will make almost everyone who would still make a call opt for text anyway.

Gov.UK taskforce publishes post-Brexit wish-list: 'TIGRR' pounces on GDPR, metric measures

Len Silver badge

Re: Ahhh imperial measurements!

That actually made me think. Peculiarly the UK still advertises car efficiency in Miles per Gallon even though petrol has only been sold in litres for god knows how long.

But, is American MPG different from British MPG because an US Gallon is 3.785411784 litres and a UK Gallon is 4.54609 litres?

Len Silver badge
Pint

Re: The UK political sphere has been so overtaken by Brexit

It seriously took me quite some time to find out what a Floz was. I had no idea how much an oz was but I knew it existed. I just didn't know it had a fluid version too.

Mine's the one with just under 570ml --->

Len Silver badge

Re: The UK political sphere has been so overtaken by Brexit

The interesting thing is that EU law currently has some derogations regarding the use of Imperial for certain fluids because one of its member states (despite formally introducing Metric in late 19th century and formally switching to Metric in 1965) still had some in use for beer and milk.

Now the UK is no longer a member I wonder if those rules will be streamlined at the next opportunity and not allow the UK exporting products in anything but Metric to its biggest trading partner.

Mensa data spillage was due to 'unauthorised internal download'

Len Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Wow

Unless they're a total knob, membership of Mensa is not something that people wear on their sleeves. A friend of mine is a member and it helped a lot with sorting out personal issues that are partially down to high intelligence.

This is someone who may know nothing about monetary policy/HTML development/derivatives trading/drilling for oil/etc. when you mention it in an off the cuff remark. The following day, after having pulled an all-nighter, they have read the three standard works on the subject and are lecturing me about it.

A useful skill, you might think. Alas she's 44 now and hasn't been able to hold down any job (or a partner for that matter) for more than a year. Despite her law degree. It's the working with other people that she struggles with, and they struggle with her.

Her high IQ diagnosis came after she tested negative for ADHD and Autism and came as a massive eye-opener (just like later-life autism diagnoses can). It seems she has now finally found peace in being an artist with a frightfully good eye for composition, seeing beautiful things in everyday structures that I don't see until she points them out.

Anyway, having an IQ far above the average is not necessarily the gift that it's sometimes made out to be.

Hate to break it to you, but football's not coming home if this AI pundit is to be believed

Len Silver badge

G7 nations aim for global 15 per cent tax on big tech and bin digital services taxes

Len Silver badge

That is a reasonable point, to look at ultimate registration for companies. Your massive headquarters and R&D labs might be in Paris, if you are registered as a Delaware company then you are not a French company but an American one (not naming any names but this is an actual example).

I had hoped that the pandemic rescue funds would sort this out a bit. Oh, you are an "American/Spanish/German/British/Danish" company and want to apply for support funds? Why not ask help from your own government, that of the Cayman Islands?

Unfortunately in practice it's a lot harder than this. The Italian government could have told Agip, Aprilia, Barilla, Benetton, Enel, Eni, Ferrari, Ferrero, Fiat, Luxottica, Mediaset, Piaggio, Pirelli and Segafredo to apply for support in The Netherlands were these companies are registered and pay tax instead of Italy where these companies are originally from but don't pay tax. In practice, however, these companies employ far more people in Italy than in The Netherlands and so the Italian government can't risk the economic damage of such an approach.

After staff revolt, Freenode management takes over hundreds of IRC channels for 'policy violations'

Len Silver badge
Go

The Django Project has moved too

"At approximately 3 am UTC on May 26, 2021, the operators of the Freenode IRC network assumed control of the #django* channels on that network. This means that representatives of the Django community no longer retain the ability to enforce Django's Code of Conduct on the Freenode IRC network. Additionally, we do not have the ability to set a topic on Django-related IRC channels on this network."

[..]

Django IRC Channels migration to Libera.Chat

They're coming in thick and fast. Makes you wonder what will be the point of being in control of a deserted FreeNode. The more they keep digging the more value it loses.

The Home Office will need to overturn a long legacy of failure to achieve ambition of all-digital border by 2025

Len Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Will it really?

Not quite. It’s airlines that, understandably, require documentation about who’s on their planes for internal flights, not the countries. I’m fairly certain I flew London - Edinburgh without going through passport control.

You can fly within the Schengen area without coming across passport control. Major airports like Amsterdam are even divided into a Schengen and a non-Schengen zone so you could do a connecting flight Toulouse-Amsterdam-Berlin without ever passing passport control.

As for the Irish Republic joining Schengen? Not a chance before Irish Unification. The other Schengen countries would never allow an open border with the UK and all 26 of them have a veto on new applications.

Len Silver badge

Re: Border hawk

That has very little to do with sovereignty. North Korea is very likely the most sovereign country in the world yet not known for treating its citizens that well.

That Salesforce outage: Global DNS downfall started by one engineer trying a quick fix

Len Silver badge
Big Brother

Re: "We have taken action with that particular employee"

This is definitely a case of needlessly ambiguous terms.

Gone in 60 electrons: Digital art swaggers down the cul-de-sac of obsolescence

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

Agreed, NFTs are not a way to store the artwork, they are a way to store the ownership document.

Remember when we used to be allowed to enter museums? Especially if they are showing a special exhibition of works that are not in their own collection, the little signs next to them often show you who actually owns the artwork and is effectively lending the artwork to the curator for the duration of the exhibition.

Somewhere (in the vault of a notary?) will be a document that shows that Family X or Museum Y is the owner of this work, even though the work is not kept with them at the moment. NFTs actually replace this document, not the artwork.

A benefit of this is that the artist has an opportunity for a continued share of the value. If you're a struggling twenty-something artist you might sell a work for a couple of hundred bucks because you need the money. If, through increased appreciation and smart dealers and traders selling it on, that work becomes worth tens of thousands then it's not the artist that benefits but the new owners. With NFTs you could have the original artist share a tiny percentage of each subsequent sale, long after its value has increased.

I have dabbled a bit in the crypto space (not so much owning it but launching an ICO etc.) and it has made me quite skeptical of the whole thing. This, however, is one of those areas where I could see it really add value.

And those artworks themselves? They are probably stored in a PNG file or summat, but that's irrelevant. Yes, it's easy to copy those PNGs. But then, so is a FLAC file of a particular Beatles track. I may have the FLAC file but I do not own the rights to said Beatles track.

If you have a QNAP NAS, stop what you're doing right now and install latest updates. Do it before Qlocker gets you

Len Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Presumably...

Isn't the problem with many of the online backup solutions that they are very cheap to upload to but very expensive to download from? Presumably because people want their backups to cost nothing but are willing to pay through the nose when disaster has struck.

How is that with AWS S3 Glacier?

India appoints ‘IP Guru’ to push nation towards IPv6

Len Silver badge

Re: Time to give up on IPv6?

I am not sure about your LAN point. Running an IPv4 LAN is fairly complex compared to an IPv6 LAN, the latter being a case of just connecting your devices and everything sorts itself out. No messing with DHCP servers, conflicting IP ranges, port forwards etc.

Most of the stuff on my LAN at home (from printer and Apple TV to thermostat and smart lighting) all talks over IPv6 without me ever having to do anything about it, it just works. I wish I could say the same about the IPv4 space in my LAN.

Len Silver badge
Facepalm

Re: Time to give up on IPv6?

All the networking hardware I know has the IPv6 firewall enabled by default.

I have heard some horror stories in the olden days but 2012 was the turnaround year for IPv6 in CPE and I very much doubt suppliers would not get publicly shamed for still messing this up, nine years later. We would also be bombarded with stories of break in that happened thanks to disabled IPv6 firewalls. I am not aware of any of those.

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

About time

This is long overdue. Ever tried to get anything more complex than a website in the hands of the average Indian punter?

I have, a couple of years ago, and it's a nightmare. It's completely normal for internet users in India to be behind multiple layers of CGNAT. Setting up slightly more advanced connections with someone behind NAT is quite a task, trying to connect through three or four layers of NAT is bad enough to simply give up. I wonder if P2P applications are even possible in India.

IPv6? Bring it on!

FreeBSD gives ARM64 green light for production over x86 alternative's 'growth trajectory'

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

ARM based OpenZFS NAS

What I only just realised, this opens the door for home built NAS using OpenZFS 2.0 based on ARM.

When the people of XigmaNas release their next version based on FreeBSD 13 (they’re currently using FreeBSD 12.2p5) I hope they release an ARM build too.

Especially for backup situations where you don’t have a NAS constantly pumping out gigabytes it might drastically reduce power consumption.

Len Silver badge
Devil

Re: Also covers Raspberry Pi 3+ and 4.

Funnily enough, FreeBSD is not an OS that makes me think of gaming but Sony Playstation 4 and 5 run on FreeBSD so it’s not impossible. It just needs a bit of tailoring.

License to thrill: Ahead of v13.0, the FreeBSD team talks about Linux and the completed toolchain project that changes everything

Len Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Re: Speed and OpenZFS 2.0

I can't say I understand much of that space, CPU architecture is not my thing, but as I understand it they're not talking about the 486 CPU but about the i486, i586 and i686 architecture. Not quite the same.

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: Speed and OpenZFS 2.0

This is donating, it may have involved relicensing but that is a separate matter.

Let me give an example. When SUN open sourced their ZFS implementation in 2005 it was at that point the only ZFS implementation around. All other versions, the open source Illumos implementation, the closed source Oracle implementation, the macOS version that Apple briefly shipped on their install DVDs, the Nexenta implementation, the ZFS-on-Linux implementation etc. were all forked from the original code dating back to 2005 and therefore did not include support for TRIM. SSDs were not really a thing in the early 2000’s.

This meant that every implementation had to develop their own TRIM implementation (Illumos, Nexenta, perhaps Oracle too) or simply not support TRIM (ZFS-on-Linux).

Out of the various implementations of TRIM for ZFS, the one from Nexenta was by far the superior as it supported queueing. This means that the Queued TRIM command can be queued to run after all scheduled (arguably more important) read and write operations have been completed. Especially on high concurrent use storage systems that is a big deal.

Nexenta has donated their implementation to the OpenZFS project and queued TRIM is now part of OpenZFS 2.0. The code was probably previously closed source and has been relicensed under the open source CDDL license so it could be included in OpenZFS. It is referred to as a “donation” so I assume that the OpenZFS team did not have to pay Nexenta for their code. What I don’t know is if the copyright still rests with Nexenta or whether that has been transferred to OpenZFS too.

That is queued TRIM, just one example, but the development of Sequential Resilvering, dRAID, Zstd compression, Persistent L2ARC, Dataset Encryption, Fusion Pools and Allocation Classes has largely followed a similar path. Either developed straight under an open source CDDL license (so no relicensing required) or donated by companies and relicensed under the CDDL so it could be included in OpenZFS 2.0.

None of this has anything to do with Oracle, they didn’t own the copyright to the specific Nexenta, Delphix, Intel, Datto, iXsystems or Illumos code or were involved in setting the license for the code. The only copyright they bought eleven years was on the original SUN code. As that was forked fifteen years ago, before Oracle even considered buying SUN, the majority of the current code in OpenZFS is no longer based on the old code produced by SUN as development moves on. None of the features I mentioned above existed in 2005.

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: The Network stack

Yes, the BSD network stack used to be the gold standard of TCP/IP network stacks. It probably still is. It was also the first major network stack to become fully dual stack IPv4+IPv6 back in the day (15 years ago?). That means that it made a lot of sense for OS developers to just use the BSD stack instead of reinventing the wheel.

If I recall correctly you could see in the acknowledgements for Windows that they used BSD code.

To the day you can see that networking (thanks to this network stack) and storage (thanks to in-kernel ZFS support) are the strong points of FreeBSD and why you see it being used in areas where one or both is extremely important. Hence Netflix using FreeBSD for their content distribution network or so many storage companies building their products around FreeBSD.

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: Speed and OpenZFS 2.0

I think you're confusing ZFS (a file system) with OpenZFS (an implementation of the ZFS file system).

Until last year there were probably five or six different implementations of ZFS. Most notably probably a closed shop developed Oracle implementation, the Illumos implementation (maintained by former SUN engineers), the FreeBSD implementation (largely based on the Illumos implementation but with many tweaks by storage corporates), and the ZFS-on-Linux implementation (maintained by Linux enthusiasts with some corporate support). All with varying degrees of compatibility. You couldn't just take out a ZFS formatted drive from an Ubuntu server and fully use it on macOS for instance.

Rumour has it that Oracle lost interest in ZFS (they probably couldn't make enough money out of it) and has closed the entire department that was working on it. All the other implementations joined forces and donated their code to the OpenZFS project. That resulted in OpenZFS 2.0 which contains code from Illumos, FreeBSD, ZFS on Linux, iXsystems, Nexanta, Delphix and quite a few others, from enthusiasts to scientific institutions and large corporates.

The result is OpenZFS 2.0 which has FreeBSD and Linux as its Tier 1 platforms (with macOS expected to join them in Tier 1 this year, Windows potentially later). So, yes, OpenZFS can be used on Linux and is used on Linux. Most commonly Ubuntu and Debian but OpenZFS 2.0.4 is compatible with 3.10 - 5.11 Linux kernels and with a bit of tinkering should be quite straightforward to use on most Linux distro's. Oh, and you can now read and write to your OpenZFS formatted drive you took out of a FreeBSD13 server on your Debian desktop.

I would argue that that is a level of cooperation we sadly don't see often enough in the open source world.

Len Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: @Len - Apple's use of Mach

Considering the driver system of FreeBSD is wildly different from that of macOS (you might as well ask Microsoft to work on FreeBSD drivers) I don't think Apple could be of much help there.

They have effectively given the wider *nix community the continued use of the printer system CUPS, though. When Michael Sweet, the maintainer of CUPS, wanted to close the project (as he couldn't find the spare time to work on it anymore) Apple put him on their payroll so he could turn maintaining CUPS into a well paid day-job for the next 12 years.

Apple have also donated to the world the iCal standard everyone now uses to store and share calender data, the MPEG4 container format standard, large chunks of Clang/LLVM and most recently Swift (the language).

Granted, it pales in comparison to what Red Hat or Canonical have given.

Len Silver badge
Devil

Speed and OpenZFS 2.0

The two things I'm really looking forward to in FreeBSD 13 are:

1) the considerably increased performance, largely due to better support for some of the newer CPU shenanigans, improvements to TCP handling and probably partially because they could drop some legacy stuff now they've made i686 the default CPU type instead of i486.

2) replacing the existing ZFS implementation with the new OpenZFS 2.0. Apart from a technical feat (the most comprehensive ZFS implementation ever) it's also a human feat.

Where open source projects tend to split up and fork like no man's business, OpenZFS 2.0 is a rare example of different Open Source communities actually coming together. Practically every voluntary and commercial group that has ever done anything with ZFS (except Oracle but they are rumoured to have stopped their work on ZFS altogether) has come together to work on one codebase. So many ZFS features that have been donated by commercial storage vendors that are now available for free to Joe Bloggs thanks to this. Soon we'll have dRAID (distributed spare) to play with too. You're basically getting features usually only found in >50K storage devices to use on your 4-bay drive at home.

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: FreeBSD has plenty of hardcore fans

Have a look on Freshports, currently 42714 packages ready to install.

Len Silver badge
Devil

Re: Apple's use of Mach

The amount of shared code between macOS and BSD is often greatly exaggerated. It's mainly chunks of userland, and probably originally the network stack, that have a background in BSD.

As someone who uses exclusively macOS on the desktop and almost exclusively FreeBSD on the server I wish there was more shared codebase. If FreeBSD could easily repurpose drivers for macOS for instance then that would help many of the BSD-on-the-desktop initiatives. Alas, the hardware layer of macOS doesn't look anything like that of BSD. It's also considerably easier to run Linux applications on FreeBSD than macOS applications.

OVH founder says UPS fixed up day before blaze is early suspect as source of data centre destruction

Len Silver badge
Flame

Re: Is there a lesson here about putting your eggs in one basket?

I understand why you'd put four of these buildings next to each other as you can share some resources such as perimeter fencing, entry control, security etc. I also don't think it should be such a problem as fires of this kind are very rare. What probably makes this the exception is that it looks as if the fire did not start in a cabinet (where most of the fire mitigation tech is geared towards) but in a UPS that will not have been placed on the actual floor among the racks.

Also interesting is that two of these four building were too far away from the fire to be damaged yet went offline too.

I think the most important lessons that should be learned from this are:

a) house your UPSs away from the actual datacentre (minimum 50m?).

b) house the individual UPSs away from each other (minimum 10m?).

c) split the incoming power lines (and network lines?) away from the buildings (minimum 100m?) so even if one of the buildings is on fire and the fire brigade has to shut off power to it (or the fire has taken care of that) the other buildings can keep operating.

OVH data centre destroyed by fire in Strasbourg – all services unavailable

Len Silver badge
Flame

Re: DR Plans

I did wonder about that. But considering OVH has nearly 30 DCs all over the world I bet that having your data in Strasbourg and your back-up DC in Strasbourg too sounds intuitively wrong enough for most people to have selected a different city for disaster recovery. Even if you did not know that all four Strasbourg DCs are effectively next to each other.

GPS jamming around Cyprus gives our air traffic controllers a headache, says Eurocontrol

Len Silver badge

ILS?

Could this be partially solved by Larnaca airport upgrading its Instrument Landing System (ILS) so aircraft can lock into a glide path early enough to be less dependent on GPS? At the moment you can probably find more planes out there that are ILS CAT III capable than ones that are Galileo capable.

Can we exhale yet? EU set to rule UK 'adequate' for data sharing in post-Brexit GDPR move

Len Silver badge

Re: If UK data rules have not changed ...

As I understood the FT article this only applies to your average punter data, held by private companies etc. Let's say, Vodafone head office in the UK processing data from Italian customers for instance.

The UK has not been granted access to the Schengen Information System or the European Arrest Warrant data so police and other security operations will not enjoy data sharing. No more alerts about that chap that has just shown up at the passport control booth in Heathrow.

I also seriously wonder whether the latter is coming back. The UK has a bad reputation when it comes handling sensitive data or sticking to agreements (UK taking 'steps' after illegal copying of EU Schengen data) and I think Brexit is quite an easy way for the EU to never have to share sensitive data again.

Len Silver badge
Holmes

Re: If UK data rules have not changed ...

It's not necessarily about whether you have changed your regulations or think you are still compliant. It's all about whether your counter-party agrees.

Thankfully it sounds like they are agreeing because I can't begin to describe the omnishambles for some UK sectors if this adequacy had not been given. Not just tech startups, there are many sectors that rely on cross border data transfers, from billing and research to marketing and human resources. Large chunks of the service sector would have been affected as they could no longer handle data from customers in the EU.

For a while it looked like the recognition was only going to go one way. That means that any serious business model for all of Europe would mean moving data heavy operations to the EU and handling UK data from there. Imagine the exodus...

Europe promises all-out assault on batteries to counter China’s lithium-ion domination

Len Silver badge
Stop

Re: state aid program to build a full production chain for battery tech

Small nitpick, this is not EU funding. These are a bunch of countries, all EU members, that have joined forces and put their own money in a pot to accelerate these developments. The only role for the European Commission has been to give a seal of approval that the project has been designed to not fall foul of EU state aid rules. Apparently it doesn't have a market-distorting effect, probably because joining the project was open to every company and every member state.

The giveaway should be that it lists which countries are involved, you would not see that for an EU project. The fact that it's such a merry band of countries (and some notable countries missing) also shows that these are all countries that have some businesses in this field already and that they would like to support without falling foul of state aid rules. Countries that don't have a foothold in this sector already have clearly passed on the opportunity.

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

Northvolt

I was surprised to see them missing from the press release but fortunately they are involved too.

Northvolt are on my ones-to-watch list as they are doing some very interesting things (Battery gigafactory energises the frozen north and Europe’s Tesla rival is fixing the huge battery recycling mess) and have the investment to back it up (Northvolt: $3 Billion For 2 Battery Gigafactories In Europe).

I would love if it El Reg sent a reporter to see how they are getting on.

Barbs exchanged over Linux for M1 Silicon ... lest Apple's lawyers lie in wait

Len Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: Good if

The Mac Mini has been popular for build farms for a while now. Thousands of Mac Minis running macOS, Windows or Linux. It means you can natively build your code for that environment but only need to support one hardware type. I don't know if they still do but Mozilla used to have a Mac Mini server farm to produce the three 'Tier 1' flavours of Firefox.

Any build farm worth their salt will probably also be able to change the composition on the fly. Trouble with the Windows build? Just take 10% of the Mac and Linux builders and reboot them into the Windows build process for the day.

Now, obviously I don't expect those users to jump on a Linux distro hacked together by a slightly fly-by-night operation in one week but this is a start. In due course we will probably see mainstream distros running on Apple Silicon and they will have learned from these guys what works and what doesn't.

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

Len Silver badge
Meh

Re: The fickle finger of blame...

That is not an unreasonable assumption with regards to the timing of the incident. It would, however, suggest that the UK government is serious about not breaching agreements. And they have a poor reputation with regards to sticking to their word when it comes to sticking to data agreements

Len Silver badge
Holmes

Re: The fickle finger of blame...

I am not sure if backups are really a problem here. This process might have actually require there to be no backups.

The police WILL have records that they are not allowed to keep indefinitely and that will need to be permanently removed when certain criteria are met. Perhaps because by law they are only allowed to keep some record for X years. Or because the longer retention of some data is based on the outcome of court proceedings where a not guilty verdict might have a legal impact on retention of some records.

The police SHOULD have a system that culls any data that meets these criteria and that data SHOULD not be retained in backups.

The police MIGHT have a weekly automated job to delete all the records that have met the deletion criteria in the previous seven days. This process MIGHT have some manual requirements (because of a flawed design or because of a deliberate safeguard). If there is a human error involved this is where that might have happened. It may not be a coincidence that it happened at the start of the year. Perhaps someone accidentally changed something to the wrong year and an additional year of data was deleted. In a process that is meant to be legally irretrievable so no backups.

Just speculating but it would explain a thing or two...

Euro cloud slingers fight for niches on their own doorstep as AWS, Microsoft and Google inhale market share

Len Silver badge
Unhappy

It's all about money

This is all about money, not tech skills. Tech skills are not lacking on a continent that produced SAP, ARM or Spotify. And if they are missing then you can import them from far away, that's what Silicon Valley has been doing for decades. It's the people queuing up to invest hundreds of millions in your business years before it makes a profit that are sorely lacking in Europe.

Offering cloud services or developing the underlying infrastructure doesn't make much sense when it's on a small scale. To some extent it gets cheaper and easier the bigger you are but to get to that size to make a serious dent requires serious investment. How do you start a cloud giant from your garage? You don't. All the major players were big in something else before they dipped their toe into cloud. That in turn means that there are only a handful usual suspects in Europe that have the scale to move into this space. And even then the lack of many millions of high risk investment of a number of years is hard to find.

Among the European leaders, Deutsche Telekom has built the biggest cloud market share in the region of 2 per cent, followed by OVHcloud, Orange and a string of national telcos, and regional cloud and hosting specialists.

By the way, who are they? Is there a list of all these European cloud providers in this report or do we have to make do with 'other'?

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: The whole point of continuous delivery is to make each release as stable as the one before

I was just going to ask if this could have repercussions on stability but you have already more or less answered that question.

I am not that familiar with CentOS but if the order was CentOS Stream -> RHEL -> CentOS Linux doesn't that mean that CentOS users would be the last with new stuff? I'm not thinking of 'teh shiny' but support for most recent hardware, new protocols, new APIs etc.

In that sense moving to Stream would provide more access to new stuff, or am I mistaken.

Len Silver badge
Devil

FreeBSD

I have to use the odd Linux instance (and use it quite a bit at home) but I am glad all our core business servers run FreeBSD. I don't think FreeBSD has ever surprised me, which for servers is a good thing. There is just one FreeBSD project, one code base, one set of conventions, one package manager, one repository and one group of developers responsible for both kernel and all base packages *. Sure, there are countless maintainers of external packages ("ports") but these are not a required part of the OS or they wouldn't be external.

Sure, it has downsides too. FreeBSD's business model is more a charity than a corporate and is largely reliant on corporates donating to the FreeBSD foundation as a thank you for providing the OS they have built their business around. That means that they are some times cash starved. Also, practically every VPS provider offers ready-made CentOS instances whereas with some you'll have to install FreeBSD from scratch yourself (I'm looking at you, Hetzner).

* There is also zero systemd but let's not get into that discussion.

Leaked draft EU law reveals tech giants could face huge 6% turnover fines if they don't play by Europe's rules

Len Silver badge

Re: Design by committee

I beg to differ re:committees. That committees produce inferior solutions is the stuff of ‘Great man’ fantasies. Apart from perhaps some novels, pieces of music or paintings every great achievement or product is the result of teams, groups, combined effort and, yes, committees.

From winning wars to making films, from planning cities to creating the Apple Watch, from developing mightily successful business strategy to drafting laws, none of those things are the work of individuals.

You don’t believe that Steve Jobs personally designed computers or that Elon Musk knows how to build cars and rockets himself, do you?

If you want to do something well, don’t do it alone.

Oh, no one knows what goes on behind locked doors... so don't leave your UPS in there

Len Silver badge
Happy

VAX/VMS!

Ah VAX/VMS. I am far too young to have ever dabbled with those but in the late eighties I read a Chaos Computer Club book which was full of their hacking and phreaking antics, usually involving VAX/VMS.

Not their own machines, obviously, they typically ‘borrowed’ access to machines running in big companies.

Expect to work between Christmas and New Year as Brexit uncertainty continues, UK SAP users told

Len Silver badge
Holmes

Re: Silver Lining

The reverse is obviously also true. People with only UK Citizenship (about 60 million Brits lost their EU Citizenship in January) will no longer be automatically allowed to work in the EU.

A friend of mine is an ex CapGemini director who was giving those eye-watering costly trainings (you know the ones, those that make you think fondly of how cheap a whole year at university was) to people all across Europe. He will now have to apply for a work permit for a day's training in Milan or Berlin and so had to radically change his whole business model.

It's also been causing some issues in sectors where products or services come with maintenance contracts. You can't easily send Dave from the Warrington branch to the client in Ludwigshafen any more for annual maintenance or on-call troubleshooting. You'd either need to apply for a work permit for Dave or need to find someone with an EU passport for that.

I attended quite an interesting presentation on the impact of Brexit on HR policies two years ago. Not only did it state that Irish Citizens have now been promoted to god-status as they have the automatic right to work in the EU and the UK (because of bilateral UK-IE agreements), it also highlighted that in the UK we could see the phenomenon that people who kept their EU Citizenship in January and have Settled Status in the UK will become sought-after in some sectors as they can still work anywhere across the UK and the Continent without requiring a work permit.

OpenZFS v2.0.0 targets Linux and FreeBSD – shame about the Oracle licensing worries

Len Silver badge
Happy

Re: I can't stand misleading charts

The thing is, even older CPUs run rings around NVME drives when it comes to moving data, as long as it's in small chunks from cache. The speed difference between getting 32k off an NVME drive into a CPU or getting the same amount from Level 1 cache into a CPU is so big that it makes an NVME drive look glacial.

A well-designed compression mechanism optimised for speed (and less for compression ratio) makes use of the insane speeds available inside the CPU package to operate faster than NVME speeds.

Much of this is academic anyway as many people will only connect their NAS using at most 10GbE and that is limited to 1250 MB/s, below ZSTD speeds. Your network is more likely to be the bottleneck than the compression speed.

Len Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: I want to use this to do backups

Compatibility has been a bit of an issue in the ZFS space because there were so many different ZFS implementations around that didn't all support the same features. That will change after the release of OpenZFS 2.0, though, as practically everyone working on some variant of ZFS has now come under the OpenZFS umbrella and donated their code to v2.0.

That means that, once everyone has replaced their existing ZFS implementation with the OpenZFS 2+ version, you could take a set of drives from a TrueNAS device and read them on your Ubuntu desktop, or take a drive out of your FreeBSD server and read it on your Mac. You could take a set of drives out of your Joyent system and read them on Windows.

I am just hoping that XigmaNAS doesn't wait until the release of FreeBSD 13 in March before upgrading to OpenZFS 2.0 but go down the kmod route before then.

Glastonbury hippy shop Hemp in Avalon rapped for spouting 'plandemic' pseudoscience

Len Silver badge
Unhappy

Not surpring

I know it sounds attractive to divide the world into easy buckets, from nonsense such as "left" and "right" or "gammon" and "remoaner" to "boomer" and "millennial", things are usually not that simple black and white. The world is not a Disney film.

It is well-documented that people who describe themselves as "spiritual" are more than average likely to follow the QAnon conspiracy too. You probably won't find many spiritual "gammon" or right wingers but that doesn't mean they can't believe in QAnon. The art of QAnon is that it is so broad that it covers things for many different people to latch on to. From child abuse conspiracies to anti-vax, from deep state to gold standard, from 5G to fluoride, from anti-Semitism to misogyny. All one needs is to tick one of those boxes and they may ignore all the other stuff they don't care about.

It is well-documented that anti-vaxxers, for instance, are actually relatively educated people, usually definitely above average. It's just that having read media studies or history at Oxford doesn't prevent someone from denying biological sciences or physics.

If you then have a cohort of people who believe in the healing power of crystals or homeopathy it should not be surprising that the jump to "the scientists don't know what they're talking about" is not that big.

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