* Posts by SteveK

391 posts • joined 23 Jun 2009

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Russian anti-satellite test added to a 'pressing threat to security' in space

SteveK

Just speculation but ...

Given the timing of the creation of this debris cloud a few months before the invasion of Ukraine began, you have to wonder whether this was a planned event to make it harder and/or more risky for the US and other governments to get monitoring equipment into orbit or to use it as effectively.

I have no idea one way or another and no agenda to push, it's just the way my brain joined the dots.

Homes in London under threat as datacenters pull in all the power

SteveK

Re: And we also want EV's?

Last month I used the grand total of 12kWh of grid power to run my home.

Shame that you still have to pay the daily standing charge to the power company even when you're not using any power.

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'

SteveK

Re: Still no answer...

Isn't Dulwich where the Elder Gods stalk their prey?

LIDAR in iPhones is not about better photos – it's about the future of low-cost augmented reality

SteveK

Teams does that sometimes, leaving the background in perfect clarity but blurring the meeting participant...

Google issues third emergency fix for Chrome this year

SteveK

Re: How happy I am

A strange game. The only winning move is not to browse.

How about a nice game of chess?

Tomorrow Water thinks we should colocate datacenters and sewage plants

SteveK

Re: On Call

I foresee a future episode of On Call, where our IT hero has to debug the cause of some degraded web app performance, only to find that the whole rack is overheating due to a large brown lump stuck in the inlet hose.

Many years ago, we had the opposite problem. I work in old Victorian buildings, with walls up to a couple of feet thick, with plumbing frequently contained within.

One room was frequently getting toilet blockages and unexplained leaks. On investigation, it turned out that the cabling contractors, who had some years previously installed Ethernet throughout, had managed to drill through and then run Ethernet cabling across the waste pipe from the toilet which was running inside the wall between two rooms. This was causing an obstruction, and resulted in many jokes about log messages and so on.

Another 100 space tourists buy a ride from Virgin Galactic: $25k of that ticket deposit is 'non-refundable'

SteveK

Re: Don't you have to go into space in order to be an astronaut?

Really? According to the Institute for Fiscal Studies (admittedly from a 2019 report):

To be in the top 1% of income tax payers in the UK (i.e. to be among the 310,000 individuals with the highest income), a taxable income of at least £160,000 is required. £236,000 is required to be in the top 0.5% and nearly £650,000 to be in the top 0.1%. 43% of adults pay no income tax and to be in the top 1% of all adults (or the top 540,000 people), a pre-tax income of at least £120,000 is required.

SpaceX-powered trip to ISS grounded by 'medical issue'

SteveK

Re: It's probably gas...

Ah, so it wasn't really 'rogue thruster burns from the Soyuz module' that changed the station's altitude a couple of times recently, but overuse of the space toilet..

Analogue tones of a ZX Spectrum Load set to ride again via podcast project

SteveK

Just remembered the graphpaper with the colour grid copied onto it using 1,2,3 and 4 to represent the colours.

My dad did it. Will have to mention it next time I see him

My mum did ours.. She used the 1,2,3,4 model on graphpaper too. Clearly the way to do it!

Computer scientists at University of Edinburgh contemplate courses without 'Alice' and 'Bob'

SteveK

Surely using western transliteration of Russian, Japanese names etc is the sort of thing they'd be trying to prevent with their 'decolonization', and all names must be in their original language?

Windows terminates here. Please remember to finish setting it up on arrival

SteveK

More annoyingly it repeats that screen periodically, after installing W10 version upgrades or some-such, whether you wanted them or not, which is most likely what has happened here,

With a Lidl bit of luck, this Windows installation will make it through the night

SteveK

Re: "a system was placed last winter"

I think it pushes you down the 'finish setting up your device' thing when you next login after it (automatically) installs W10 feature upgrades, in the hope you'll accidentally not turn off the various 'let me send your info back home' options.

Whether they should have full internet access (in order to fetch the updates) or just limited to being able to show updated content from corporate servers, or not be set to only install approved updates are other questions though.

Here boy! Making the Sample Fetch Rover that'll collect soil from the Red Planet

SteveK
Alien

All the rover need do is package whatever it's sending in metal cylinders and fire them back at Earth, aiming for Horsell Common. It'll be a million to one chance, but still they come.

Microsoft patches PrintNightmare – even on Windows 7 – but the terror isn't over

SteveK

Re: Why?

If you have print servers elsewhere in the organisation, the DC runs a periodical job of cleaning up old jobs, allegedly.

I read that too (although think it was more about cleaning up old print queues rather than print jobs), don't understand why it's the domain controller's job to clean up after the print spooler running on another server - let that server do it rather than run unnecessary services that do more than is even needed on a domain controller. At the very least separate the housekeeping functions to another service.

‘Staggering’ cost of vintage Sun workstations sees OpenSolaris-fork Illumos drop SPARC support

SteveK

I have a bunch of SPARC desktops and servers that have been gathering dust in a basement (along with my collection of acquired SGIs, all waiting for a time that I never had to bring them to life) which I'd been thinking to scrap. Maybe I'll try eBay instead...

Microsoft demotes Calibri from default typeface gig, starts fling with five other fonts

SteveK

I reserve a special part of hell for the people (and I'm not just talking one or two) who over the years, when asked to provide a photo of something for a website or whatever, have taken or obtained a suitable photo in digital form, inserted it into Word and sent me the resulting document.

Europe is falling behind in AI, we need to launch our second machine learning-powered satellite soon, says ESA

SteveK

A network of AI satellites?

Did they learn nothing from Terminator?

Nvidia may be mulling lopping Arm off Softbank: GPU goliath said to have shown interest in acquiring CPU design house

SteveK

Re: What is the point ?

Having its arm twisted you mean?

A real loch mess: Navy larks sunk by a truculent torpedo

SteveK

Re: Kids Toys

A few years back we went to Christmas markets in Aachen. Every time they needed to interrupt the music coming over the PA system with a message, it was preceded with 'Achtung achtung'. We all were expecting to be warned of raiding Spitfires each time..,

Drones must be constantly connected to the internet to give Feds real-time location data – new US govt proposal

SteveK

Re: Turn it round

Actually it could be quite useful for golf. Many's the time (well, once or twice anyway, ahem) that I've wished there was a tracking device fitted to the ball.

They appear to exist (whether they have yet come to market is another thing):

https://chip-ing.com/

https://www.golfpunkhq.com/equipment/article/the-genius-ball--golfers-dreams-come-true

There was another one on Amazon, but that turned out not to use GPS but a direction finder, and had to buy a dedicated handheld device to track it.

SteveK

Turn it round

Just curious. How would people react if it was turned around and applied to other hobbies?

Guns come to mind as ownership seems polarized. Sure, you can own a gun. But it must be connected to the Internet, constantly report where it is, whether it is loaded, whether safety is on and whether it is being fired. And if it can also be blocked from operating in certain areas, that would be grand.

I suspect some rather strong views would emerge.

Complete with keyboard and actual, literal, 'physical' escape key: Apple emits new 16" $2.4k+ MacBook Pro

SteveK

Re: Selective deafness

I agree on the obsession with thinner/lighter. Now, on a laptop that does make some degree of sense and I can see that many people appreciate that when travelling (with the trade-off of having to carry a pile of adapters and accessories - or more likely in my experience turning up at their destination without any chargers, adapters etc and expecting that we have a full set of all of these things for them to borrow. But that's a different rant)

But it doesn't make sense on desktop machines. Going on about how the iMac is a couple of mm thinner after removing the optical drive etc. It's a desktop, it's not intended to be carried around, so does it really matter? I'd prefer it to have the functionality, expandability and repairability than be thankful that it's 100g lighter on the one occasion that it needed to be moved across the room.

Azure consultant to sue Google for linking his cached pics to cloned site, breach of copyright

SteveK

Re: Not sure, but...

What is this Bing of which you speak?

A small black rabbit of toddler age, who lives in a strange and undefined relationship with what appears to be a knitted 'carer' 1/3 his size, in a town filled with similar pairings of knitted creatures and their oversized wards.

At least, that's what I've gleaned from watching with my 3 year old in the mornings.

More info

This news article about the full public release of OpenAI's 'dangerous' GPT-2 model was part written by GPT-2

SteveK

Trawling websites

I just gave it a paragraph or two copied from an email discussion about virtualization. It threw back a few more buzzword-laden paragraphs, and ended:

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.

SteveK

I gave it the first verse of Jabberwocky and ran it a few times. The first few weren't too bad, then it seemed to trip over itself a bit (hardly surprising) and start writing an essay about the poem instead (more surprising).

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves

Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:

All mimsy were the borogoves,

And the mome raths outgrabe.

The gyre and gimble in the wabe,

(1) The original poem, and (2) a later version. (3) The "Mamey" that was originally part of the poem, with additional words added by the author. The original poem:

Woe unto thee! wherefore dost thou gape,

As with one mouth and a single look

The mome rath doeth borogoves?

The "Mamey" that was added in the later version:

Wherefore dost thou gape, as with one mouth and a single look

The mome rath doeth borogoves?

The original poem has the line "the mome raths outgrabe" and the later

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

SteveK

Re: Ring mains surely?

But I didn't see any power sockets?

SteveK

Re: Maybe the owner doesn't like to look for a socket?

..would suit family of androids with poor battery life..

SteveK

Re: Ring mains surely?

this place is in Birmingham, not Cupertino

West London, not Birmingham. Just outside Harrow, which probably explains the price-tag.

SteveK

Looking at the full set of pictures on the sellers site I also noted (at least) 4 double outdoor sockets in the garden along the outside wall of the conservatory.

And as I commented elsewhere about the front photo, it's not a garage on the side of the house, that's the fusebox and meter cupboard.

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday

SteveK

I know nothing of this particular range of kit, but one thing raises some hitherto unmentioned flags.

If it talks back to a standalone DNS-resolvable address, and they let ownership of that domain lapse for someone else to buy, what potential breaches of data security will arise from all of these still-connected devices talking back for someone else to listen to?

Mobile operators say they'll go halfsies with UK.gov on £1bn network to bring 4G to rural folk

SteveK

...to bring rural coverage to 95 per cent of the UK

Sorry, are they proposing to reduce to rural-level connectivity to almost the entire population?

Power to the users? Admins be warned: Microsoft set to introduce 'self-service purchase' in Office 365

SteveK

Re: But

OneDrive also. Even though it (like Teams) is installed to 'the PC', On first login for every user, it copies itself into APPDATA in the users' profiles and runs from there. I guess it means that MS can get it to update itself without having to wait for pesky administrators to do so. It also means that (for OneDrive, not looked at Teams) the user profile is about 100Mb larger than it needed to be.

And that's why W10 spends so long on first logon 'getting things ready', it's installing stuff like that and the various store apps.

And that made the experience poor on shared student computer labs, hence I removed all but the useful apps, and removed the OneDrive installer from the All Users 'run at login', and both disk usage and login times much improved.

Comms room, comms room, comms room is on fire – we don't need no water, let the engineer burn

SteveK

Re: Leap Out And Let It Burn

I was recently told that the fire extinguishers were purely to aid getting out of the building, not attempting to put the fire out. And in most cases they were of more use as a tool for smashing windows to get through than to actually use.

'Evolution of the PC ecosystem'? Microsoft's 'modern' OS reminds us of the Windows RT days

SteveK

(I love it when you uncheck an option to see "relevant ads", only to be told, "You'll still see ads, but they won't be relevant".)

"We'll still monitor your every move and send it all back to HQ so that we ensure you don't see any relevant advertising."

US kids apparently talking like Peppa Pig... How about US lawmakers watching Doctor Who?

SteveK

I just think of Rastamouse as a kids version of Death in Paradise..

1,700 lucky Brit kids to visit Apple Stores for 'Year of Engineering'

SteveK

Re: So really they're preparing the next generation for life in retail?

"Don't forget the gold plated usb cable, it'll transfer files *way* faster than an ordinary cable."

I notice Currys still sell a £50 goldplated optical audio cable.

And even talk up how the "durable gold plated connectors ensure the best possible connection".

My hoard of obsolete hardware might be useful… one day

SteveK

On a larger scale

Yes, I have the obligatory crate of random power supplies from obsolete kit 'just in case' and many boxes of tangled cables. But over the years at work I also appear to have collected or inherited a bunch of larger and less common items that I really know that I will never find the time to do something with (I haven't in the last 15 years when I had more free time so there's no chance now) and noone else wants, but I just can't bring myself to commit them to the WEEE recycling collection firm.

The largest of those is a Silicon Graphics Challenge L ('deskside' chassis the size of a small fridge). Also a bunch of other SGI and Sun workstations from the 90s, all in various states of disrepair and I think none actually working.

F***=off, Google tells its staff: Any mention of nookie now banned from internal files, URLs

SteveK

So, if I change my name to something Google deems offensive, will I get purged from their databases, or stripped from data feeds to advertisers? That sounds like it has possibilities...

Sysadmin sank IBM mainframe by going one VM too deep

SteveK

Monkeys and snails

Going off on a tangent to the tangent (what people call the '#' symbol), the '@' symbol goes by rather a lot of names in different countries. Wikipedia has a list. Quite a few countries refer to it as either a monkey or a snail.

Google Chrome update to label HTTP-only sites insecure within WEEKS

SteveK

Re: It's not "browsing" anymore..

Can you do https to a 192. address?

Yes, provided whatever equipment is on that address supports https, but to the best of my knowledge you can't buy a certificate for it from any legitimate certificate provider, so unless you also run your own certificate authority and can deploy a trust certificate to any of your devices that need to access it, or deploy every self signed certificate to the devices, you will continue to have to jump through an ever increasing number of hoops every time you want to browse to it.

Southend Airport tests drone detection system

SteveK

Re: Trafalgar Square

Not forgetting London Oxford at 56 miles.

Transport pundit Christian Wolmar on why the driverless car is on a 'road to nowhere'

SteveK

“I don’t see the great advantage of these road trains above ordinary trains.”

How about "being able to go where the railway does not"?

UK.gov admits porn age checks could harm small ISPs and encourage risky online behaviour

SteveK

Re: From a legal perspective...

"Pornographic material" is defined in s15. It's too long for me to paste here, but it covers quite a lot, with an emphasis on material which was "produced solely or principally for the purposes of sexual arousal".

So material produced solely or principally for generating profit, by selling to those seeking arousal is not covered then?

'I knew the company was doomed after managers brawled in a biker bar'

SteveK

Re: "and gloves were forbidden"

The 'head of science' at my school seems to have been equally bumbling.

He set up a wave generator (water, not sound), somehow connected it up to AC rather than DC from the multifunction power supply. Then when it a) didn't work and b) started smoking, lunged for it and knocked the whole thing into the basin of water.

While teaching about electricity and transformers, set up a pair of step-up/step-down transformers with a low voltage source and just as he was about to invite us to grab the far end, realised he'd connected one the wrong way round and had actually set up step-up/step-up with the resulting voltage now in 4 figures.

'Alexa, play Charlie Bit My Finger.' I can't do that, Dave. No, really

SteveK

and just to prove the article inaccurate in one point, Echo Show (and some other tat - 'Echo Buttons'?) appears to have been released in the UK today...

BlackBerry admits: We could do better at patching

SteveK

I have a DTEK60

It's a good phone on the whole, but the support has been pretty patchy. As it's essentially the same spec as the Pixel XL, I had assumed it would at least get Nougat - the hardware is more than capable. The lack of updated OS I could excuse though, if it wasn't for their marketing departments promising that they provide the fastest rollout of updates, criticising other manufacturers for taking weeks or months to deliver security updates (https://uk.blackberry.com/smartphones/dtek50-60-by-blackberry/overview).

Yet after only 6 months, the DTEK60 has started missing the monthly security update releases (twice now, and the August update only lurched into view last week at the start of September), and the general response seems to be that they're only concentrating on the KeyOne now.

The promise of security and a rapid delivery of updates, coupled with lack of bundled bloatware and carrier addons was a key factor for me in buying the phone.

.UK domains left at risk of theft in Enom blunder

SteveK

The security lapse allowed .uk domains to be transferred between Enom accounts with no verification, authorisation or logs.

Any domains hijacked would have been “extremely hard or impossible” to recover, according to The M Group, the security firm that discovered the flaw.

Err, why? Surely if both victim and thief have Enom accounts, you just use the same trick to steal the domain back again?

Britons ambivalent about driverless car tech, survey finds

SteveK

Re: Sunday (autonomous) driving

Have you tried peering through other peoples windows at 40mph?

I need glasses. It took me two reads to spot the 'R' in 'peering'.

Currys PC World rapped after Knowhow Cloud ad ruled to be 'misleading'

SteveK

Re: There's another dodgy claim there

Maybe their 'military grade UK data centres' are in Cheltenham...

Snopes.com asks for bailout amid dispute over who runs the site and collects ad dollars

SteveK

Re: The Guarding Dark

His Grace, His Excellency, The Duke of Ankh; Commander Sir Samuel Vimes

You forgot "Blackboard Monitor".

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