* Posts by Mike 16

1294 posts • joined 17 Jun 2009


Apple tried to patch this security hole in macOS Finder but didn't consider upper and lowercase characters

Mike 16 Silver badge

opening unknown resources

You forgot to prefix that with "intentionally"

The recent patch-fest to avoid zero-click pwning is ample evidence that sometimes these things get done without your permission.

Mike 16 Silver badge

Consider the source

I presume your two downvoters are unaware that filenames on MacOS are not case sensitive, or not always, or not on some of the filesystems used over the years... This manifests in various _interesting_ ways, generally when you have the least time to spend on exorcising the bugs.

Hellfire and damnation: Two French monks charged over 5G mast arson attack

Mike 16 Silver badge


I dimly recall reading about a a project by Thomas Jefferson: "The gospel according to Jesus", which involved doing style analysis on the earliest versions in an attempt to separate "stuff reliably attributed to Jesus" from "Stuff tacked on to promote the latest would-be theocratic despot" and "stuff that may have been the result of drug use or STDs". No idea how far he got, but it's definitely an interesting idea.

Of course he is probably best remembered for his relationship to his half-sister-in-law.

-Werror pain persists as Linus Torvalds issues Linux 5.15rc2

Mike 16 Silver badge

Content in the file name

IIRC (but it was a long time ago) some variant of some Cray OS stored sufficiently short files directly in the inode (or non-ix equivalent). So, prior art, sorta.

Forget that Loon's balloon burst, we just fired 700TB of laser broadband between two cities, says Alphabet

Mike 16 Silver badge

Animal Interference

Dunno about Africa, but the main hazard of animal driven damage to telecom structure here in the U.S. seems to be certain bipeds that like to use pole-mounted telecom gear for target practice.

Meanwhile I can't be arsed but maybe someone could calculate how many Aldis Lamps would be needed to accomplish this task.

Patch me if you can: Microsoft, Samsung, and Google win appeal over patent on remote updating

Mike 16 Silver badge

It would be illegal

As the New Orleans madam said about legislation to outlaw prostitution:

They can make it illegal, but they can't make it unpopular.

Plenty of well publicized cases of forced updates at the worst time extant. I have no recollection of anybody being arrested.

Ghosts in the machine learning pipeline will be impossible to exorcise

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: @Fruit and Nutcase - It's not imortality.

Or as my grandmother would say

"Did you see an armored car following the hearse?"

Speciality electronics outfit boasts of 64-fold density increase for its latest space-ready MRAM parts

Mike 16 Silver badge

Flash replacement - Hurrah!

Flash without serious endurance issues

Flash without dodgy controller firmware that hides the impending doom by shuffling blocks (sometimes correctly)?

Flash that allows you to delete/erase those hidden blocks?

Flash where the special commands to do that erasure actually _works_?

OTOH, with 1Gb chips, a 128GB memory would cost too much to use the normal "retirement" process involving heavy construction equipment and thermal lances.

OTOOH, those extreme measures may not be needed...

Boffins say Martian colonists could pee in buckets, give blood if they want shelter

Mike 16 Silver badge

$2M bricks

Not sure about the other side of the pond, but around here it looks like all building materials are headed rapidly in that direction. Of course, construction workers are also in short supply, so maybe waiting for the bricks is not a big deal.

Talent shortage? Maybe it's your automated hiring system, lack of investment in training

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: 88 per cent of employers agree, telling us that qualified high-skills candidates are vetted out

Why do they persist in using a system they know is broken?

To Clarify:

One "They" is the manager who managed to wangle a hiring slot for a needed task.

But another "They" is involved. That "They" does this for the same reason they buy utterly crap development tools and demand the company standardize on them. Same reason "They" continue to buy parts with a high defect rate from a known-shady vendor...

That second "They" are the folks a step or more above the first "They". Decisions are made based on what their nephew says about the latest hot methodology and what their golfing partner promises are temporary issues.

Or a brown envelope...

(Aside - It's a bit amusing that the mention of this HR CV-scanning plague is in the rough temporal neighborhood of an article about flinging boobytrapped Office files. At least a few of those scanning services require all CVS to be in Word (tm) form. Yeah, even for Linux kernel devs)

Samsung offered tax rebates for 30 years to build $17bn chip plant in Texas

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: What the Feds might do

A situation well explained by the title of a Firesign theatre album:

Don't Crush That Dwarf, Hand Me the Pliers

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: Abbott and Walker, two of a kind.

"... protecting the victims of rape and incest"?

He's just taking a slightly different approach by, according to him "eliminating rape in Texas".

This will presumbly be achieved by changing the legal definition of the offense, "de-criminalizing" it, or the usual fudged statistics and victim-blaming.

Has Samsung factored in what they will need to set aside for on-campus private schools and medical facilities?

Already gathered enough downvotes for one comment, so I'll stop short of Mark Twain's opinion on rental property.

Kim Kardashian and Big Tech slapped for spruiking craptocurrency – and holding back useful crypto

Mike 16 Silver badge

Who can give investment advice?

How about Henry Adams with the Million Pound Note.

Italian stuntman flies aeroplane through two motorway tunnels

Mike 16 Silver badge

Mountain tunnel takeoff

You may be thinking of the Night on Bald Mountain segment of Fantasia

Banned: The 1,170 words you can't use with GitHub Copilot

Mike 16 Silver badge

Good thing I don't work for

the Bureau of Land Management, or I could not indicate what the code was intended to do.

Also puts me in mind of a friend who was attacked by social media vigilantes when someone (probably pirating the software) discovered the (OK, fairly naive) encryption used for the "stop list".

Windows 11: Meet the new OS, same as the old OS (or close enough)

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: breaking the calculator app

So, copying Apple again?

IIRC about the PPC ->x86 transition (10.5?, or was that the time they borked xterm if you were using a client on an other-endian machine) using the Mac calculator app in Programmer RPN mode would do odd things when switching between radices after logical operations. Thankfully, I still had my HP-16C in the drawer, and even more fortunately, the batteries still had enough charge to work.

Et tu, Samsung? Electronics giant accused of quietly switching SSD components

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: Is it such a big problem in this case?

Thinking of backups, where do they hide the UPS to make sure all the data that was streamed into the cache (and claimed to be written) has made it through to the (possibly drastically slower) SSD chips before a power fail.

Which leads me to wonder whether the read of long requests is similarly diddled. Given the nature of the actual chips, I suspect "maybe, but not near as much".

But there is no such thing as a backup if you can't restore.

GitHub's Copilot may steer you into dangerous waters about 40% of the time – study

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: keeping an eye on the AI

So, in other words, they will be the dog in the old joke about a powerful machine, a man, and a dog, where the dog's job is to keep the man from messing with the machine.

Playdate handheld game system torn to pieces, crank and all

Mike 16 Silver badge

128Mb or MB?

Considering the lineage, I half suspect the Mb is correct. AKA 16MB

Samsung: We will remotely brick smart TVs looted from our warehouse

Mike 16 Silver badge

Who is daft enough...

...to connect a "Smart" TV to the internet? If one could still purchase a non-smart (and thus non-hostile) TV, there would be no need to wear a ski mask and a voice changer while watching anything disliked by this government (or the next)

Hacking the computer with wirewraps and soldering irons: Just fix the issues as they come up, right?

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: PL/I and LSD

the IBM 1401 went so far as to offer LSD math as a (hardware) option. At extra cost, of course, just like the console sense switches that _rented_ for $6/month apiece, IIRC.

One of the working 1401s at the Computer History Museum in Mountain View CA is alleged to have that option.

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: Whitespace

Lovely! I had no idea that someone had extended Stroustrup's whitespace overloading for C++

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: that would be a D

well, actually, C++ means increment C but _use_ the previous value, so you'd be using C, as a lot of "C++" code does...

Dallas cops lost 8TB of criminal case data during bungled migration, says the DA... four months later

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: Advisory write protect.



All it does it tell the drive that the tape is supposed to be read only, though,


I'd love to know when that particular cock-up occurred. Old-school mag tape drives (at least from IBM, like the 729 and even the budget 7330) had a groove in the back of the reel, which could be plugged with a "Write Ring" if one intended to allow that reel to be written. "No Ring, No Write". It was not advisory, but actually was needed to apply power to the write head drivers.

In the (two) installations I was familiar with, the ring was _ALWAYS_ removed as the tape was taken off the drive and put back in storage, only to be added when a tape was mounted and the "run sheet" specified it. If the Boss caught you carrying around a reel with a write-ring, you were due for an ear-roasting.

My recollection of 8-inch floppies is similar. At least some drives had the "Write enable" sensor physically control ability to write. Later 5.25inch drives did not (IIRC), and switched from "put the little sticky-tab on if you want to write" to "put the little sticky-tab on if you want to prevent writing, and pray it doesn't fall off on its own". I assume this attitude extended to also making the sensor merely advisory.

So, the movement from write protection to "pretty please don't erase my data" probably started in the early 1970s

US boffins: We're close to fusion ignition in the lab – as seen in stars and thermonuclear weapons

Mike 16 Silver badge

Or Mercedes?


WhatsApp pulls plug on Taliban helpline, shuts down official-looking accounts

Mike 16 Silver badge

only real difference

Not counting them having a _lot_ of military gear abandoned by US and Afghan forces in retreat/surrender?

Internet Explorer 3.0 turns 25. One of its devs recalls how it ended marriages – and launched amazing careers

Mike 16 Silver badge


Through the article and all the comments so far, no mention of the origin story.

Palantir abandons any attempt at curating nice-guy image with 'Global Information Dominance Experiments'

Mike 16 Silver badge

Prior Art

The badge for NROL-39?


Tired: What3Words. Wired: A clone location-tracking service based on FOUR words – and they are all extremely rude

Mike 16 Silver badge

non-uniform Homonym collisions

I would expect pairs that are homonyms in one location may not be in others. Could be interesting when a tourist tries to give their location to a local at emergency services.

Shades of the voice-controlled elevator in Scotland.

United Nations calls for moratorium on sale of surveillance tech like NSO Group's Pegasus

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: IBM mainframe search engine)

There was a lot of spiffy tech developed from HARVEST and TRACTOR.

Somethimes you just have to take comfort in your executioner having a cutting-edge sword.

Microsoft fiddles with Fluent while the long dark Nightmare of the Print Spooler continues for Windows

Mike 16 Silver badge

Blast from the past

Perhaps you had an early encounter with "Every OS Sucks"?


or in text:


From which one can deduce it was written some years ago because it includes the lines:


The fridge, stove and toaster, never crash on me

I should be able to get online, without a PHD

My phone doesn't take a week to boot it

My TV doesn't crash when I mute it


Ah, for those halcyon days.

Mike 16 Silver badge

Blast from the past

Maybe an early encounter with "Every OS Sucks"?


or in text:


From which one can deduce it was written some years ago because it includes the lines:


The fridge, stove and toaster, never crash on me

I should be able to get online, without a PHD

My phone doesn't take a week to boot it

My TV doesn't crash when I mute it


Ah, for those halcyon days.

In Pakistan, a car company will soon be making Samsung mobile phones

Mike 16 Silver badge

Cereal Computing

At one point in WWII to the 1960s, General Mills built computers (e.g. the APSAC) for the US military.

Someone will always find some use for unused capacity and an opportunity to update the corporate image

'Prophetic' Steve Jobs autograph telling kid to 'go change the world!' among Apple memorabilia at auction

Mike 16 Silver badge

Should have been more specific

Like the old Lily Tomlin bit:

"I always wanted to be someone. Now I realize I should have been more specific."

Of course, "change the world" without the qualifier "for the good" is pretty much how humans have acted.

Giant Tesla battery providing explosion in renewable energy – not as intended

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: What it takes...

You forgot to mention the management structure needed to identify the proper local authorities and deliver all the brown envelopes.

In the '80s, satellite comms showed promise – soon it'll be a viable means to punt internet services at anyone anywhere

Mike 16 Silver badge

Satellite Latency

Here (California, but basically anywhere in the US, I suspect), you can readily find those long lags (tens of seconds to single digit minutes) reminiscent of "Live via satellite" pretty much anywhere, from broadcast TV local traffic reports to video conferencing. Without having to leave the atmosphere. LTE "phone" service often has a whole set of weird echoes and multi-second lags that remind me of satellite calls to Japan back when. I have to wonder if some bright spark decided that San Jose to Corvallis was best relayed via Myanmar.

BTW: buying one's own Cable modem is a mugs game. As soon as enough people have done so, the ISP "upgrades" the service to require a new Modem, so you can't amortize the CapEx.

NPM is Now Providing Malware – or was until recently

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: I feel sorry for...

Perhaps the miscreants are too busy fighting the version wars to get anything done?

A real go-GETTR: Former Trump aide tries to batter Twitter by ripping off its UI

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: 88 Seems More Traditional

For Valentines Day, maybe, if you are a radio amateur on CW.

88 for "Love" or some interpret as "Love and kisses" OTOH, probably not the top of the average NeoNazi's mind.

Similarly 73 for "farewell"

Calling all fanbois: If you can't wait to glimpse iOS 15, Apple is running a public beta now

Mike 16 Silver badge

You can check out any time you want?

Or does this follow the usual practice of not allowing you to revert to a working version, when you get tired of dealing with the "trial"?

Scientists identify sleep-like slow waves as responsible for daydreaming and... sorry, what were we talking about again?

Mike 16 Silver badge

Well Rested

I, for one, would like to know how they created well rested individuals in this day and age.

Calendly’s new logo perceived as either bog-standard or kind of crappy

Mike 16 Silver badge

Some staff worked at dutchwater.com?

internet connection via the "return path".

Of all the analytics firms in the world, why is Palantir getting its claws into UK health data?

Mike 16 Silver badge

entirely personal capacity

Wasn't something of the sort also stated by Standard Oil after one of their tankers was caught refueling u-boats?

I mean, it's clearly possible for a rogue employee to pick up the keys to a tanker from the guard shack and do a bit of freelance commerce, right?

Likewise the result of an extremely rare occasion of hiring someone who just happens to have a personal/monetary interest in the information they coincidentally end up managing.

Intel adds a new device – the ‘IPU’ – to its must-have modern data centre stack

Mike 16 Silver badge

Six Fives

Sounds like they need a bit of work to get to the "nine fives" that a salesdroid from a major networking vendor once pledged.

Some of us in the audience figured "this lot can just about manage that".

Ex-NSA leaker Reality Winner released from prison early for 'exemplary' behavior

Mike 16 Silver badge

Don't work for the gov?

She was a contractor.

Many governments like to use contractors a cut-outs.

Shades of Burn Notice.

Google says its artificial intelligence is faster and better than humans at laying out chips for artificial intelligence

Mike 16 Silver badge

Have they tried

Letting Slime Mold take a whack at the job?

Intel's latest patch set plugs some serious holes in CPU, Bluetooth, server, and – ironically – security lines

Mike 16 Silver badge

Re: Soft is hard

Am I the only one to fear/suspect/assume the "bugs" were on the order of "We forgot to enable the backdoor in the BLE firmware. Gotta fix that" ?

No digital equivalent to the impulse aisle found as online grocery shoppers buy fewer sweet treats than in real life

Mike 16 Silver badge

Fine iron powder

That usually shows up when you order aluminum powder.

At least it's a bit more sensible than gmail (back in the day when the deal was "free email if we can run related ads") started showing me ads for kilt rental and bagpipe lessons next to a thread on Functional Programming.

(I assume that went FP -> Haskell -> GHC -> Glasgow -> Scotland -> Profit!)

FBI paid renegade developer $180k for backdoored AN0M chat app that brought down drug underworld

Mike 16 Silver badge


Too bad about the totally unconnected person who happens to fit that profile.

It's completely unsupportable. Yes, we mean your brand new system

Mike 16 Silver badge

Tickets were closed

Ah, yes. Like when I worked for a major manufacturer of networking equipment and the access point that (allegedly) served the area including my cube lost its back-haul. I lost track of how many times I filed that, only to have it closed because the WiFi crew had verified that they could connect to the AP. It didn't matter how I phrased "test by connecting to something other than the AP".

I developed a strategy of carrying my laptop close enough to a nearby AP to connect, and _carefully_ walking back to my desk, where I could continue to work via the "wrong" AP until something hiccuped and the laptop sees that wonderfully strong signal from "my" AP and re-connects to the bridge to nowhere.

After a couple months of doing this a couple times a week, I took the obviously less hassle route by moving to another company. This of course is easier in an area like Si Valley.

Seagate finds sets of two heads are cheaper than one in its new and very fast MACH.2 dual-actuator hard disks

Mike 16 Silver badge

Random IOPS

If I am reading the article correctly (and it appears from the existing comments that I am not the only one noticing this), the two head assemblies serve distinct areas (platter sets?) of the drive. So Random IOPS are only boosted to the extent they are evenly distributed between the two "logical" (virtual? semi-conjoined?) drives. Enforcing that means they are not exactly "random".

Compare and contrast to the IBM 350 (RAMAC)


which could be had with two access mechanisms, each capable of reading/writing any sector on the disk. This option was introduced in 1958, and the last shipments were in 1961 (from article cited, so you don't _have_ to read it).

Note this was for "one of the last vacuum tube based systems" from IBM.

The follow on 1405 also (IIRC) had optional dual access mechanisms. Wikipedia


says "one to three" access arms.



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