* Posts by toughluck

420 publicly visible posts • joined 22 Jun 2009


Back to drawing board as Google cans AI ethics council amid complaints over right-wing member


So the only reason they wanted an ethics board was to rubber stamp notions and attitudes that they already decided upon and making the group diverse was a good idea because they would claim there's no bias.

And the only thing they achieved is that they showed that they are indeed biased against a certain set of opinions or beliefs that are shared by a large portion of the population (up to roughly half), thus losing any legitimacy?

Foot, meet mouth.


Re: Cowardly option

"Do no evil" is passive. It simply requires that you refrain from taking a stand on any topic that might alienate some of your customers. You might not do any good this way, but hey, at least you didn't do evil.

"Do good" would require them actively do something that requires courage and might cause them to lose some revenue.

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

Gone in 60.121 seconds: Your guide to the pricey new gear Nvidia teased at its annual GPU fest


Re: I don't know for a fact or even if its happening..

And this lets AMD compete on price. And eventually, squeeze Nvidia out of the volume midrange market (and scratching on the bottom end of the enthusiast market) by releasing APUs similar to Intel's Kaby Lake-G. Could come in a year or so (when they move to 7 nm).

I guess Nvidia would actually be willing to sacrifice mainstream to keep margins up. I'm well aware that AMD was unable to overtake Nvidia in market share even when they had superior products at much better prices (Evergreen vs. Fermi), but I wonder if gamers would be similarly willing to pay $800 for GeForce that has similar performance to $500 Radeon?

Oracle's Safra Catz joins Mickey Mouse board


I don't understand. Did I miss anything?

You say she joined Mickey Mouse board, but I thought she already worked at Oracle for years.

Docs ran a simulation of what would happen if really nasty malware hit a city's hospitals. RIP :(


Re: Seems you can't win.

They don't need to get it right. They just need to be able to cause some havoc.

Seems the NotPetya crims were unable to decrypt drive contents after victims paid up. Never mattered to them, they still got paid.

Suppose they'd used a known vulnerability, but only managed to infect and severely disrupt (=shut down) one hospital in a hundred. That's still a terrifying prospect if they attacked a thousand of them. Worse still, the remaining 99 would still be infected to some extent, possibly disrupted, potentially having a lingering latent threat.

The only real problem for criminals is developing a business model that would allow them to extract money from such an attack. If there's no benefit*, there's little likelihood that anyone is going to do it just to cause havoc.

*) Allowing for a scenario of an attack gone out of control by an arsonist firefighter, some hacker with a grudge or somebody on a vendetta against the medical system, but I don't think these are likely, or we would have had them by now.



Except you will run into problems regardless.

The badge can be compromised.

The badge might malfunction and fail when it's needed the most.

Given how a brand new USB token sometimes registers and sometimes (like 95% of the time) doesn't, it's not a stretch of the imagination to think that it might not be viable where lives are at stake.

Then there's the matter of the network being up to negotiate access to the device using the RFID chip, which essentially means that both the device and badge connect to a wireless network successfully and that the network is running and able to connect both devices to a server.

HP denies rumours Elite x3 is for the axe, admits coveting neighbour's OS


Win32 emulation on ARM, perhaps?

Microsoft apparently had a phone platform around x86 for a while and were pushing Intel to finally release a mobile CPU worth using, but Intel then pulled out of the mobile market altogether and screwed Microsoft in the process.

Enter emulation and Windows Phone with Continuum actually makes sense. That is, you use the native ARM apps wherever possible, and turn to emulation when you need the software and don't care about speed as much.

If Microsoft pulls that off, the winners will be those that held on to their 950 and 950 XL phones, as they're going to be plenty fast for running emulated win32 apps.

Sensor-rich traffic info shows how far Silly Valley has to drive



The idea that the auto industry was ripe for new entrants, based on the complacent observation that "software is eating the world", has not got the newcomers very far.

Oh, so making a software-defined car is proving to be harder than they thought? How strange.

Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug


I have a hard time understanding your post

Not a word about AMD in the article. Nothing mentioned about GPUs.

Yet you bring up both topics. And then you add a conspiracy theory about AMD being behind this.

While I understand that this may be simple trolling or fanboy knee-jerk reaction, I still feel compelled to ask: Why did you actually type that flame out?

Samsung releases 49-inch desktop monitor with 32:9 aspect ratio


Re: Games

I found that there are only two reasonably nice monitor configurations to work with comfortably (for me):

Either a single 32~40" ultrawide, or three 20-21" 4:3, maybe with a 24" 16:10 (1920x1200) in the middle (though I'd love to take three of Eizo's square 27" screens for a spin).

The ultrawide fills my field of vision naturally, but leaves enough room above and below and to the sides to give peripheral vision something to process (if I'm totally immersed, I find I always do involuntary moves to see what's going on around me).

If I'm watching a movie or playing a game, I don't see individual pixels at all, but when I'm working, I can see them just fine which makes the screen 100% useful (no screen real estate wasted for eye candy).

I can't understand the infatuation with ever higher pixel counts, as I mentioned before, I think 5120x2160 is more than I would ever find useful (although I think something like 4320x1800 would already be perfectly enough).


Re: Games

I have a flat 3440x1440 screen, too. LG now has a 3840x1600 screen which would actually be enticing, but I'm not sure curved screens are actually better, and I'm holding out for 5Kx2K (5120x2160) screens in ~40" size.

Boeing preps pilotless passenger flights – once it has solved the Sully problem, of course


Re: There's something fundamentally important they're missing.

Since then, procedure has been changed

Oh, goodie! In other words, it's perfectly fine to have an accident because it's not going to happen again thanks to updated procedures, correct?

Luckily nobody was killed, but would you have the balls to go and tell grieving relatives that the cause of an accident was perfectly preventable and it will not occur in the future because procedures were changed?

Intel to Qualcomm and Microsoft: Nice x86 emulation you've got there, shame if it got sued into oblivion


About baking x86 emulation into ARM

No need to do that. AMD can simply manufacture a double quad core. Four x86-64 cores and four ARM cores. Running on ARM exclusively most of the time, running x86 code emulated if needed, and switching on x86-64 cores only if more performance is needed. The only problem is cost, I don't think such a CPU would cost less than $100, and that really precludes all low-end segments and much of midrange, too.


64-bit instructions are owned by AMD. I suspect AMD would be perfectly happy to license them to Microsoft.


Software emulation has already been done.

Bochs did it to a lesser extent, but more recently, DOSBox does full x86 emulation.

If Intel wins this suit against Microsoft, does that make DOSBox illegal, too?


Re: It'll be great, so true!

For Alpha, it worked perfectly fine, it was already mentioned above in another thread (~80% native performance).

As for Itanium, when Intel was designing IA-64, their decisions made IA-32 very costly to emulate. Not even remotely comparable.



Unfortunately, at least in theory, AMD loses its x86 license if it is bought by a third party.

Why Microsoft's Windows game plan makes us WannaCry


Re: Conflict of interest and anti-trust

Oh, goodie. I got two downvotes. I'm sure that a really cogent argument will now follow.


Re: Conflict of interest and anti-trust

Open Source prevents this conflict because anybody can access the code, detect bugs, and fix them. There is no monopoly of support provision.

Sure they can. How much does it cost?

Suppose NHS was on Linux and had a support team for that. Would they have found and patched Heartbleed or Shellshock before it went public?

Does NHS have more resources than NSA in hiring IT? Suppose you wanted to find vulnerabilities. One outfit wants to patch them, the other wants to weaponize them.

Do you think any public or commercial entity would be faster than NSA in finding vulnerabilities?

Once a vulnerability found by NSA is leaked, an exploit will always come faster and be cheaper to write than a patch.

The patch needs more careful programming and has to be tested, while you don't really care if your ransomware only encrypts data on 25% of computers, but wrecks and bricks the remaining 75% with no hope of recovery.

You cannot hope that any independent outfit is going to be better than NSA at looking for vulnerabilities and faster at patching them than NSA at exploiting them.

The sole fact that NSA are actually looking for vulnerabilities and weaponizing them means that it's worthwhile for them.

If you're imagining that going to supported open source would have no trade-offs whatsoever, and would be cheaper, faster and better, you're completely off your rocker.


Re: If I had a Ford vehicle...


When the media commentators tell us to upgrade our systems they don't realise the OS cost is not the problem - it's the time to re-install and re-test everything now that USoft stopped the previous upgrade paths.

Absolute bullshit. Microsoft didn't suddenly stop previous upgrade paths. Quite the contrary, everything was clear and obvious from the start. You knew exactly how long XP was going to be supported and how much time is left for Windows 7.

A good developer would have known that using IE6-specific features is not the smartest thing to do and that everything could have been accomplished and implemented using standard technologies and APIs.

Sure, you might decide that dropping IE6 was a mistake and that Microsoft should have instead tried to patch every bug that they introduced there, but still have every feature working (where some features relied on the bugs, at least for more than a couple of vendors).

Robot lands a 737 by hand, on a dare from DARPA


Re: "Flight deck crew costs doesn't even enter into the picture."

@John Smith 19:

However that represents one recurring cost (pilot salary) versus 1 single payment (with a service contract as well?)

Not until they invent planes that you only fuel up once and never pay for fuel again.


Suppose that, on average, a captain earns $200,000 and the first officer earns $100,000 (these figures are way overstated) and both fly 100 times a year (and that one is way understated).

Each flight would then cost $3,000 in flight deck crew cost.

Fuel capacity of an aircraft varies between ~15 tons for a small passenger jet (737 or A320), and ~70 tons for a widebody like 787.

That's between some 4900 and 23000 gallons of jet fuel. I've searched for current prices of jet fuel and I found wildly different prices, from ~140¢/gal (IATA) to as high as 293-790¢/gal (aviationweek, low-high prices across the US). Going with the lowest figures, it costs from $6,800 to $32,000 to fuel up an aircraft. Flight deck crew costs doesn't even enter into the picture.

Microsoft's Windows 10 ARM-twist comes closer with first demonstration


Re: Enough negative energy -_-

@Hans 1: Ok, I love ARM. But, it must be said that ARM cores are much, much slower than x86_64 cores [citation needed], so you need more, and even then, single threaded performance lags behind like mad.



Re: Business case

My wife and I are both Windows Phone users. She's a teacher. She needs to teach in school (two, actually) and she also has house lessons with some students.

Other than a couple of useless apps for iOS or Android, and some web app functionality, virtually all education software is written for Windows on x86 (win32 environment).

It's all fine on a laptop, but she wouldn't need a full blown laptop, just a dock for use at school with a projector or at home. If the phone has a large and clear enough screen, she can use it in the field for most uses. If not, it's possible to get a small battery-powered screen with a keyboard for use in the field.

As soon as a Surface Phone appears, or as soon as this emulation is confirmed to become available on, and work well on Lumia 950 or 950 XL, I'm getting one of them for her and another for myself.

Red alert! Intel patches remote execution hole that's been hidden in chips since 2010


Re: Removing the driver doesn't affect the vulnerability

The good news is that according to Charlie at SemiAccurate, consumer PCs are only vulnerable to attack from the local network

Yeah, like public WiFi used by millions around the world.

Boeing 737 turns 50


Retire the 737 already!

I may be a bit grumpy, but 737 is not the best small aircraft anymore. One huge disadvantage it has is that it does not allow automatic cargo loading and requires manual handling. This substantially increases costs.

Moreover, limited ground clearance means it works well with airstairs, but it means it cannot use larger engines than it currently has.

What Boeing should really consider is revisiting the 757, since 737 basically reached it in capability, and introducing something to compete better with Airbus's A320 family.


Re: Is aviation progress grinding to a halt?

@Stuart 22

Yes over 50 years Boeing has refined the design - as they have for the still in production(?) 747. But 50 years before its first flight - this was cutting edge design with what appears to be winglets, asymetrically profiled engines and unpaved runway capability ... plus non-stop transatlantic range capability. Yes I admit the 737 and its predecessors were amazing progress but even its proposed replacements today use a very similar configuration.

I'm not sure if you're trolling, or just uninformed?

Winglets are a very recent addition.

Asymmetric engine nacelles come from the second generation where they were needed because of too small ground clearance (designed for turbojet engines and adapted to turbofans).

New 737 is no longer capable of operating on unpaved runways because of the engines hanging a bit too low.

Non-stop transatlantic range -- only a recent addition, not present with the first two generations.

The biggest advantage that 737 brought to the market was that it could be operated by a flight crew of two instead of three.

Boeing and Airbus fly new planes for first time


Re: Yes, they look beautiful


Airbus certainly didn't go from "nothing", since it was formed as a consortium of assorted European manufacturers.

Other than A320 being a bit wider (not that much, mind you!) and having higher undercarriage, there is one vastly more important change: A320 allow automatic baggage handling (with load containers) as opposed to manual baggage handling on 737. In fact, what Boeing should do is revive the 757 and offer it at 737 cost level.

Yes, I am omitting what gets them from "revive the 757" and "offert it at 737 cost level", but ultimately, if Boeing offered a modern in A319-A321 variety of sizes (or slightly larger for the same capacity), they would have a winner. As Airbus gains foothold, servicing A320 family becomes as inexpensive as servicing 737, which makes Boeing's position untenable in the long run.

@lglethal: At cruise altitude (FL350, 35,000 ft. and up), speed of sound is ca. 1062-1063 km/h (compared to ca. 1225 km/h at sea level). 787's speed at cruise altitude is Mach 0.85 -- precisely in the transonic zone, which actually gives the most efficiency.

Going higher than the speed of sound creates a problem with heating up (air pressure can displace air particles only up to the speed of sound, so compression heating does not occur up to the speed of sound).

Hardware 'dislodged' from HPE SAN during cable replacement


I think this article was posted in the incorrect section. Wasn't it supposed to be On-Call?

Sony: Never mind the phones – look out at what our crazy lab scientists have done


It also has a ludicrous 4K display, which has a kind of grim inevitability about it: the only question was whether it would be LG or Sony that would come up with such a thing. Sony wins the prize with a 3,840 by 2,160 pixel LCD packed into a 5.5 inch diagonal. To save you the maths, that's 801 pixels per inch.

Kinda hard not to win if they already did it over a year ago.

SQL Server on Linux? HELL YES! Linux on Windows 10? Meh


Re: a lot of software that didn't work on Me

That software would typically fail to work in Windows 98 as well, as Me was not NT-based.

Microsoft made developers aware in advance that DOS-based Windows will be abandoned and that all development should proceed on NT.

Those that listened, moved to NT, and didn't give a hoot about supporting 9x in any meaningful manner.

There is one thing that Microsoft screwed up totally with Millennium Edition. It was released half a year after Windows 2000, and a lot of people expected it would be newer and better and incorporating NT/2000 technology.

Around late nineties, was Sage 100 actually supported on anything but NT?


Re: Worse than Vista

Sigh. Windows 7 is not just a service pack for Vista. It had a new kernel and a significantly upgraded security model. It also lowered system requirements compared to Vista.


Re: Windows ME was worse

I disagree that 98 SE was superior to Me. It was more or less equal. Windows Me was basically Windows 98 SE with all patches included, some extra bundled software and disabled DOS prompt (which could be restored). For me, it was more stable than 98 was.

There are a few reasons why Me is so badly remembered:

- It didn't fix any underlying issues with older consumer Windows versions, Microsoft was already focusing on marketing 2000 to desktop users and making XP

- Windows 2000 was so far ahead of 98, Me and NT that people tend to compare everything to it

- When XP was released, it instantly obsoleted everything

Zut alors! Uber wrecked my marriage, fumes French businessman


Re: The Fail is strong in this one.

Or, they both agreed to go through a divorce, let him win millions, and then get back together?

Dell to reveal 'micro data centres' for outdoor use


Re: Déja vu

Yes, but a 20' container had ample space to put AC with filters inside and not rely on hardly filtered air intakes.

Pentagon anti-missile-on-missile test actually WORKS, for once


Re: One in ten H-bombs will go off

I find that likely in late 70s. Part of the reason why there were so many warheads back then.

The only reason that massive disarmament was possible is because the reliability went up dramatically.


Re: Shooting down satellites

Shooting down satellites has been a possibility for over 30 years now (ASM-135 ASAT), so not much changes in that regard.

Parents have no idea when kidz txt m8s 'KMS' or '99'


My favorite was

Grandma died. LOL.

LG's $1,300 5K monitor foiled by Wi-Fi: Screens go blank near hotspots



Thanks for that tip!

I have an LG 34UM88C and it has exactly the same problem (I have my access point underneath my desk, directly beneath the monitor). If I shuffle in my chair, or as much as anyone goes by the room, it goes blank for a second or so.

It only happens on the HDMI connection, I noticed no problems with DisplayPort. Strangely, though, this is my second unit (the first one was replaced due to a panel fault) and I never noticed that on the first unit.

2014: El Reg booze lab proves Bluetooth breathalyzers are crap. 2017: US govt agrees


*Sigh* Told you a million times, don't use *that* lab!

According to the FTC, Breathometer sold more than $5m worth of its alcohol testing devices and claimed that they were “law-enforcement grade products” that were subject to “government lab-grade testing.”

Of course they used lab tests. The problem is, they used the labs dedicated to testing blood samples collected from politicians and rich businessmen.

Oracle lied: Database giant is axing hundreds of staff – at least 450 in its hardware div


26 quarters still deserves a mention

Oracle completed the Sun Microsystems acquisition in July 2010. It kept spending money on developing Sun hardware for 6.5 years. That's 6.5 years more than almost every analyst predicted that Oracle would maintain interest in hardware.

I'm pretty sure everyone just said that Oracle was after Java and control of MySQL, and that they would axe or sell off everything else right after the acquisition closes.

Oracle spent huge sums of money to turn around the hardware business. If it wasn't for cloud, I figure they would have succeeded, too. Just look at what they achieved with SPARC over the last few years -- from the underperforming T2, unsuccessful Rock and SPARC M line licensed from Fujitsu to T7, M7 and S7 which are excellent processors in their own right.

Same goes for pretty much every hardware line that Sun used to supply. It's clear Sun did not have the kind of money that was necessary to turn around the hardware business, and Oracle did. However, Oracle doesn't have the kind of clout they would need to turn around the mass migration to cloud.

You still have to hand it to them that they did soldier on for 6.5 years.

Uncle Sam sues Oracle for 'screwing over Asian, black and women staff'


One problem here is that economy is not constant. Two employees join fresh out of college five years apart and behave exactly the same. The first one will have a family and children after five years and limit his engagement outside of what is required, while the second one will do a lot of overtime at the same time.

If the first one joins when the economy is booming, his eager attitude will net him a higher salary, while the second one will feel left out; that despite his extra hours, he's not getting the appreciation and pay he feels he deserves.

In tech companies, the first one could have joined in 1997/8 and the second one in 2002/3. Then compare the salaries of the first one in 2005 and the second one in 2010. There's bound to be a huge disparity.

Or conversely, the first one joins in a slump, while the other one joins when the economy has recovered. The first one would have worked his ass off for no salary increase, and would miss out when there are raises at the company. Or promotions.

There are so many variables that it's literally impossible to account for all of them when evaluating if the pay is equitable.

I'm not arguing that the suit should be dropped and that the case should not be investigated, but this may fizzle out completely and there will be a lot of money wasted down that particular avenue.

Tech moguls dominate Oxfam's rich people Hateful 8


I've taken a look at Forbes 400. Top 10 richest have ~ 523 billion between them. If you divided it all between everyone around the world, everyone would get about 70 bucks.

I suppose if you took all the money of everyone and divided it up, you'd still end up with some 120 dollars per person. That money isn't very useful in the middle of a jungle or desert.

How far does that go? A few weeks later, everyone gets their paychecks and we're back to current wealth distribution.

Digging a few thousand wells or building some schools goes much further than that.

Opera scolds stale browsers with shocking Neon experiment


Re: Stop fannying about

What a nice coincidence. I finally switched from Opera 12 to Vivaldi yesterday for my browsing. I'm still getting used to it, but at least all pages load fine and I get no more 406 errors or high CPU usage (where opera:cpu showed 100% utilization by "Other").

I'm still waiting for Vivaldi to replicate the mail client functionality, at which point I have no more need for Opera. I can't say I'll miss it too much with what they did between version 12 and 19493 that they're apparently on now.

Microsoft sued by staff traumatized by child sex abuse vids stashed on OneDrive accounts


Re: @Pascal


And, just as an example, shouldn’t it be illegal for MS to view your private photos?

Should it be legal for law enforcement to rummage through private belongings in search of contraband, drugs or explosives? I specifically say law enforcement, because people frequently complain about them. Assuming we agree that they have a right to search, let's go further on this.

Namely, if you see somebody acting suspiciously, should you report it or not? Should you intervene in any way? The reason I'm bringing this up is that you may be held liable for aiding the perpetrator if you were the only witness and there was no way for you to not notice the suspicious activity.

Same goes for every cloud operator. If a trial finds that a specific cloud storage service was used to disseminate illegal data, you can be sure that prosecution will follow up on this and go after the operator to check if it was possible to prevent this.

And it makes perfect sense. Otherwise corporations could not be held liable for individual employee illegal activities (for instance, participating in corruption).

Kerching! That's the sound of Barracuda customers feeling the ransomware fear


Is it just me...

...or does that huge loss in Q4 FY16 look like they cancel out all profit that they made and then some? (I'm not even talking about overshadowing all other losses that they had).

With that huge revenue, they should really be looking at improving their margins.

CES 2017 roundup: The good, the bad, and the frankly bonkers


Re: Predator

There you go:


You can pair it with this workstation:


Can be dual Xeon, six hard drives, multiple GPU.

If you need more storage, how about this:


The workstation with its three monitors fits in one Pelican, two sets of three screens fit in another Pelican, and you're set to go. It really looks like an awesome solution, though the screens are only 17" diagonal.


Re: From Google.....

Dyson uses a perfectly fine abbreviated form of a digital inverter direct drive motor. A lot of appliances started using one in the last couple of years, they're simpler to run, more reliable and more powerful than belt driven motors using thyristors.


Re: Project Valerie

@Ogi: Your info is out of date. Since Ivy Bridge, Intel's integrated GPU supports up to three independent displays, but has two PLL signals, which means two of these displays must have the same specifications for sync, preferably two identical models. As of Broadwell, even Intel can now drive three displays completely independently.

The only problem is how actual laptop vendors configure video outputs, as they typically choose to have two digital outputs and one VGA (who the hell still prefers to use VGA?), but even with that configuration, you can drive 8, 10 or 12 screens (plus one) using DisplayPort splitters (MTS hubs) at 8 bits per color -- eight 1920x1200, ten 1920x1080 or twelve 1680x1050 screens, as DisplayPort 1.2 supports 4096x2160 streams with 10 bits (I'm not sure, but it might support 10 bit 5120x2160, in which case the number of screens increases to twelve 1920x1200 or 1920x1080 and fourteen 1680x1050. With 6 bits per color, it can be even more.

AMD's mainstream laptop chips support 4 independent video streams (at 4K using DisplayPort 1.2), and the latest video cards (even in laptops) may support 4-6 video streams at 5K (5120x2880).

The only real limitation is how many video output the vendor chooses to implement, but the only reason I pushed hard for a new laptop at work was so that I could drive three monitors from a single laptop.

And you can get a nine-monitor portable workstation [http://www.rugged-portable.com/multi-screen-display-rugged-portables/ags-mccs-9u_front/|right here].

Dotdot. Who's there? Yet another IoT app layer


Breaks technological ground, reuses old symbol


I have an impression that this will repeat the "success" of all the other competing standards. The thing being it's n+1 competing standards now.