* Posts by david 12

1659 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

Software developer cracks Hyundai car security with Google search

david 12 Silver badge

Outsourced

Some contractor built the code and handed it over, with the documentation: just change the keys and it's good to go.

Excel @ mentions approach general availability on the desktop

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Re: Gerrof my lawn!

Excel is a programming language with persistent storage and a rich UI. Exactly what FORTRAN and COBOL were, back in the day. c represented a historic split: a programming language of only 32 keywords, with no storage or UI (those provided through OS library). It was an active area of discussion at the time, but, like /* block comments :*/, the biggest advantage of the c approach was that it was different, //and suitable for situations where FORTRAN and COBOL were not.

Even 35 years ago, programming languages had not kept up with advances in storage and UI. The current equivalent of FORTRAN or COBOL is javascript + database server + web server + browser. Which is suitable for the vast majority of programming tasks, but still leaves cases where a modern programming environment of "language (including persistent storage and rich UI)" is most suitable.

Australian court overturns 'Google is a publisher' decision

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Rules and penalties on defamation have always considered distribution and access. A newspaper that you have to request special access to, from a special library, is and always has been different from publishing or republishing.

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape

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Three mile island was not a nuclear accident

Three mile island was a successfully avoided nuclear accident. They 'advised pregnant women to leave the city'. The same year, they evacuated a city in North America because of a rail accident involving fire and shipping oil.

I don't have an opinion on nuclear power: I've got too many friends on both sides of that argument. But it's always burned that the successful avoidance of a nuclear incident should be mentioned in the same breath as Chernobyl and Fukushima

There can be only one... Microsoft Excel Champion

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Access is built on top of the (DOS era) database primitives provided by the file system. There was a move to update the record handling primitives, which would have naturally led to a new version of Access, but the project was canceled. There was also Access 2000, which could live in SQL Server 7 --- but that was killed by SQL Server 2000 a few months later, which dropped the API used by Access 2000 for project storage.

So both the new directions for Access were killed.

The modern equivalent for Access is Web applications, with a Web Server and Database server. The web page description is very similar to an Acess/VB6 form description. Access never got into this area because ... VBA in browsers was killed, HTA's were killed, JET back-ends were killed, and Access front-ends were killed.

It's unfortunate because, although a web server and database is standard for development now, it's still a step larger than having that API built into the workstation operating system. What may be on the horizon now is having that API available in the Browser. You can get a web server operating in a web browser now, but the whole 'sandbox' thing is the enemy of persistent shared storage. Still, that's where I see an Access replacement might come from.

david 12 Silver badge

Yes, I was a bit surprised at the way that was expressed. Our next door business was an SMS provider around yr 2000, and they had a DDE channel process that was designed for use with Excel.

DoE digs up molten salt nuclear reactor tech, taps Los Alamos to lead the way back

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Water

In AUS, the soviet-line communists ran a successful political party called the Nuclear Disarmament Party, formed to prevent uranium mining and power. The muscle was provided by a wide array of Australians of various stripes (mostly anti-government protest voters of one kind or another), but the backbone was Moscow-aligned communists.

The party collapsed in disarray because the membership wanted to condemn Russian nuclear arms and development (as well as Australian and American), and the organisation refused to allow that.

General Motors charging mandatory $1,500 fee for three years of optional car features

david 12 Silver badge

Options were always compulsory

It was part of the dealer model for GM from the 1920's.

General Motors was a motor company that joined up with some coach builders ('body by Fischer' in the USA, Holden in AUS). Dealers finished the vehicle by adding the equipment that wasn't provided by the coach builder or the engine builder. Things continued to be called 'options' even after they became standard equipment, because the dealer contracts included dealer payments for 'options'.

Dealing with legacy issues around Red Hat crypto versions? Here's a fix

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Why is it difficult to add new encryption/hash methods to old OS?

Just curious. What is the difficulty around retrofitting old RH versions with new crypt/hash methods?

Want the very latest Windows Insider Dev Channel build? Check your disk space

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Re: I've worked it out

The default install for Windows puts everything on the same disk. And both Program Files and System32 are unsupported except on the same disk. And update roll-backs go into the Windows folder. winsxs is 20GB on my Win764 machine

Even if the base install was 4GB (sadly, it's not), you're still going to need 64GB on the c: drive after installing Office and running update.

Tesla Full Self-Driving 'fails' to notice child-sized objects in testing

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Re: You're supposed to keep your hands on the wheel and be able to take over at any time.

40 years ago one of my friends was a car delivery driver. He'd deliver a car somewhere in England or Wales, then hitchhike home again. He did so much driving for so many hours that he actually had a dream about it.

When he woke up, he found he was driving...

Microsoft's fix for 'data damage' risk hits PC performance

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Re: Data damage come again ?????

If the encryption was faulty, then the encrypted backups were faulty. Or even that only the backups were faulty.

Since it's encryption, it's possible that the original fault did encryption which could not be reversed.

(Not this fault, which is only a speed fault)

The original fault was clearly not very widespread, or we would have heard about it before now.

Virgin Galactic delays commercial suborbital flights again

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How far could the flight get?

I understand that they leave and return to New Mexico, with a flight time of 2.5 hours. If, instead, they landed somewhere else, how far would they get?

FDA clears way for an AI stethoscope to detect heart disease

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A general check-up used to involve listening to the heart. If you know what to listen for, that still detects unexpected conditions -- unless you are planning to just send all of your patients to a cardiologists all the time at every presentation for cold or flu or pregnancy or broken arm.

The problem is that you have to listen to every patient every time to get a clear idea of normal and abnormal heart sounds. Very few doctors do that now.

They are reporting that around 1% of COVID cases result in heart conditions, most of which are easily detectable, few of which are easily fixed. Exactly the kind of thing primary care physicians use to do:

"To Cure Sometimes, to Relieve Often, to Comfort Always"

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Ausculation is on the decline

Only nurses wear stethoscopes now. And fewer and fewer of them: it was used by nurses to take blood pressure on nursing rounds, (you use it to detect when the pressure cuff has released enough to allow peripheral pulse) but that is being replaced by automatic detection.

Now that doctors don't wear white coats, and nurses don't wear uniforms, you can identify Doctors by the 'smart casual' clothing, and Nurses by the stethoscope.

The US grid is ready for 100% renewables, says DoE

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"Behind electronic inverters" is a red herring. It's just being used as a short-hand description for sources with low rotating mass and rapid connect/disconnect characteristics. It's not how it's connected that is important, it's what it's connected to.

ESA declares the Sentinel-1B mission over after payload resuscitation ends

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There was an engineering design fault in the Apollo 13 oxygen tank: the switch was rated for the original voltage/current, and was not replaced when the design voltage/current changed.

This is a beginners mistake: a switch is just a switch, right? It doesn't need an AC/DC rating and a voltage rating and a current rating?

To be fair, the engineers involved probably weren't beginners, it was probably a project management failure, but clearly a lot of the engineers involved at the project management level were mechanical engineers, not electronic (as demonstrated by the discussion about how many 'Amps' they had left after failure).

The switch didn't open under load, because the switch contacts were under-rated. The heater didn't turn off, the shielding overheated, and later failed, exposing the heater wiring to the oxygen.

Here in Australia, something similar happened with a popular portable electric heater, leading to several fires and at least one death. Again, because the switch contacts were under-rated, the heater element did not turn off, the shielding failed, and fire was the result.

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol

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The underlying point of the linux model is that you can build the kernel yourself, from the Open Source. It doesn't traditionally come with a way of loading/unloading kernel modules, because it had to be portable to generic CPUs, which didn't generally have a hardware-supported method of loading / unloading kernel modules.

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

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AAPowerLink

This would be an explanation for the proposed Australia-Asia Powerlink, connecting Singapore to electricity from Darwin. Singapore is the hub for data cables from all over the Pacific, Indian Ocean, and South China sea, making it a natural location for data centers.

I had thought that the proposed link was just blue-sky investment speculation, greenwash and supply diversification, but this would suggest also sharply-rising power demand.

Bad news, older tech workers: Job advert language works against you

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Re: So?

Sure, but how about Recreation room, Bean Bags, Festival tickets, Health Club, Friday night drinks, climbing wall, Sushi bar, Basketball ring, Tuition re-imbursement, international transfer opportunities, and "exciting team environment"

That stuff says "under 25" just a surely as "no boomers".

And yes, I look at that stuff and don't bother applying.

Linus Torvalds releases Linux 5.19 – using Asahi on an Arm-powered Mac

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Re: Que Sera, Sera ...... Who Dares Wins Win Wins.

How could an 'APAC Editor" write such turgid prose?

(Gunning-Fog level 19: requires degree-level education)

Why the end of Optane is bad news for all IT

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Database

Our small database system is backed up by a battery-backed RAID controller, which is limited by the speed of the drive it is connected too, which is limited by the fact that the transaction is not complete until it has actually been written to persistent storage. No amount of caching can speed up that final step. Even Intel's partner, who triggered this step by giving up on Optane, admits that their new large, fast SSD technology, is no match for memory storage "because of the latency of the disk interface"

Optane failed because of the inertia of the legacy industries (which I totally understand).

david 12 Silver badge

Re: “Drums”

One of my friends was on the bridge of a ship when the power went off. They didn't think anything of it: the power went off frequently, then came back on again. But it stayed off. And stayed off. And then someone was frantically trying to lock the gyroscopic compass, and then everyone was standing on their chairs, while the gyroscope, which had tipped and torn through it's housing, was wizzing around on the floor.

My ex-navy dad was beyond disgusted that the merchant marine could casually let the power go off and not immediately lock the gyroscope.

Sage accused of misselling perpetual licenses it knew would soon be obsolete

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TLS 1.3

Not to excuse Sage for their timeline, but MS is using TLS the same way. You were forced off XP because you couldn't get a browser that did TLS 1.3, and forced off old servers because new clients required TLS 1.3

Congress finally passes $52b subsidies for chip fabs on US soil

david 12 Silver badge

unlikely to see the first fabs funded by the bill

You get one election out of the announcement. Another election out of completing planning. Another out of starting construction. Another while work is in progress, and another on completion.

Sometimes the cycle is compressed, and sometimes ... there's a small bridge in NSW.au that was announced at every election for 15 years.

Bill Gates venture backs effort to bring aircon startup to market

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Re: aircon

It wasn't just the smart and great who supported eugenics. It was the popular science of the time.

And, although it is now modified by a common scientific understanding of 'regression towards the mean' and 'race', it is obvious that the fundamental idea of eugenics is making a slow comeback, as people who were directly affected by the idea in the 1940's, and their grandchildren, become less influential in society.

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Lest we forget...

"The hockey stick graph" was an error in the late 1990's. The mistake didn't disprove science from the 1960's, or science from the 2020's, but it did enormous damage to the 'climate change' cause.

The US's biggest datacenter market is short on electricity

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Transmission company appears to get most if not all of its power from one or two single interconnects to the Eastern Grid. It may be that increasing power demand may require planning and investment from the other transmission company?

Battle of the retro Unix desktops: NsCDE versus CDE

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Re: Opening a window on the windows

Edge Windows are individual processes. They are drawn over the Edge window, but that's just the way they are drawn.

That's the technical reason, but it illuminates a little bit of Browser history. MS wanted the screen to be the browser window, (active desktop, IE part of the OS). And the IE6 tabs, along the bottom of the screen in XP, were all individual applications.

But the users wanted the tabs inside the application window, the way Word and Excel worked in Win95. And Firefox gave them that -- the killer feature of Firefox. So, after loosing the second browser war, MS was forced to come up with a browser that had in-window tabs. But soon after went back to individual processes for individual windows.

FF eventually followed with separate processes for separate windows, but although they've improved, they've never been able to make it work right. The FF processes stillbloat out until they've taken all the available memory. I held out with http and NoScript for as long as I could, but most of the internet now demands js and https, no matter how big the demand on the browser and OS.

Why $52b chip subsidies are being held up – and what the White House is doing about it

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Re: Intel will need water where it isn't

Intel is moving to 100% water recycling. It looks like the new plant won't need much water.

Google brings Street View back to India following 2016 ban

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Re: tweak traffic light timings LOL

Is this technology in use in the USA? If not, why not?

I keep waiting for the 'driverless car' technology to make it to intersections. If cars can recognize cars and pedestrians, why can't traffic lights? Why aren't we seeing reports about that?

david 12 Silver badge

Re: It's so much easier...

Yes. Kind of like the USA, Europe, China, or the Pacific nations.

There is a path to replace TCP in the datacenter

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Re: Multiple stacks

Its very easy to believe that there can be a better protocol than TCP for short range high speed networking.

There always was. For those of us doing database programming using the MS native API's, the move to put SMB on top of TCP/IP at the turn of century was a move backwards, only partly relieved by the move from 10MB networking to 100MB networking.

Micron's 232-layer NAND is a game changer for database workloads

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Bring back non-volatile mother-boards?

NVMe is the PCIe standard designed to work as fast as SSDs. There is latency, but that's not the fault of the interface: it's a characteristic of the SSD.

Memory has latency of the same nature, and it's not the 'fault' of the memory bus: like NVMe, memory bus latency is how the bus deals with source latency.

If it was just a question of connecting MS cards to the memory bus, they would have done that rather than connecting to the PCIe bus, and we'd have non-volatile motherboards.

Microsoft warns Windows 10 patch broke printing for some

david 12 Silver badge

Network protocol

It's not just the print system that has problems -- it's the complex, chatty, verbose 'automatic' network discovery of printers using ZeroConf, mDNS, DNS service discovery, and WTF all else.

That printer is gone, new one on the network is (1), No, that's gone, now we've got (2).

That system never worked properly in the first place, and because it's a network discovery protocol, as well as being newish and complex, it gets security updates -- which contain new bugs and breakages, because it's new, complex, and has to work with existing printers, each with their own idiosyncratic implementation.

The Great Pacific Garbage Patch: Now 100,000kg smaller

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Most of the large-item polution does not come from western countries. It comes from countries with large island systems and non-western countries with large unregulated river systems.

I know that Indonesia (a major source of ocean waste) is moving to a closed-cycle system of plastic use: if you sell it, you also dispose of it. They are working on it. But it is a massive problem, and they aren't yet a rich country.

There is also the problem of fabric micro-plastics. This program is working on removing large plastic items that break down into small plastic items, but there is also the problem of items that start off as microscopic. The clothes you buy often include the instruction 'wash before use'. This means that the manufacturer does not have to deal with the problem of factory dye and micro-plastic waste -- instead the problem is distributed to millions of homes. For western countries, which already have effective systems of garbage collection, micro-plastics as a direct result of washing, particularly new garments, is a major source of their present ocean pollution.

A character catastrophe for a joker working his last day

david 12 Silver badge

Re: get-aduser | set-aduser

The good bit about 2003 MS password complexity was that it didn't let you use your own name. If I could have set it to do just that, I wouldn't have disabled it.

IBM AI boat to commemorate historic US Mayflower voyage finally lands… in Canada

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Sticking with tradition

When the Mayflower arrived, they were helped by an English-speaking local. And found unused clearings exactly suitable for field crops.

There isn't any record of sickness on the Mayflower. Even if there was, epidemics were already ravaging the east coast.

Chinese chipmaker workers told to sleep at their factories

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Yeah, those aren't .com era garage startups

I don't know about these companies, but in general, many of the workers in Shenzhen do not have city resident status. They are 'internal migrant' workers. Even the ones who have lived there many years, and often including people who's parents were also 'internal migrant' workers, leaving the kids with the grand-parents in the nearby country-side.

That matters, because non-residents aren't eligible for food-relief or unemployment-relief when they are confined to the home. And when the city is locked down, they can't even leave to go back to live with their parents.

The rest of the city just gets locked into their residential towers. For "internal migrant"/ "non-resident" workers, that would mean starvation. Relaxing the lock down, so that the lock-down area includes the factory as well as the residential tower, is the way the government is allowing these people to eat.

Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected

david 12 Silver badge

Yes, this is exactly what our education system was claiming for the last 40 years. But the teachers had learned to read using look-say, and went through teachers college without learning anything else (3 years of writing essays). Our school has specialist remedial teachers to teach phonics to children whose reading skills are far behind their communication skills.

But even if the pretense that the schools were using blended appropriate methods was true (it wasn't), it is still the case that phonics should be taught before reading.

This isn't 'behaviorist'. It's got nothing to do with that.

On that separate subject: classroom teachers learn modern education theory, but go into a classroom and see that what they are actually doing is behaviorist. Teaching look-say and whole word methods, which are still in use (sometimes in parallel with the pretense of phonics) with behaviorist methods.

One of the reasons that they choose behaviorist methods for teaching reading is that the kids don't have the base of good phonics skill which would enable rapid discovery learning.

Children learn communication skills, including reading, talking and understanding. They learn to use their tongue and ears and eyes and fingers, and then develop those body skills further as they mature. Synthetic phonics is an arcane base skill that should be learned before reading, to enable further development of communication skills.

david 12 Silver badge

We can disagree on that. The published research supports the observed population statistics that teaching word recognition before or in parallel with phonics is counter-productive.

I (and the research I am familiar with) agree with you that reading is only one aspect of communication, and that it is difficult and unusual (impossible for most people) to learn reading without other communication skills. Phonics and alphabet recognition should be taught before reading, in the same way that finger painting is learned before brush painting before handling a pencil before writing.

Countries that have simple phonic spelling can defer reading and writing until after the child has learned 3 languages. English is an international language with no common pronunciation, only a common spelling, and the decoding skill is just as arcane as learning to effectively use a pencil.

david 12 Silver badge

Yes, our school also pretended that phonics was a tool in the array of different methods used to teach reading. By teachers who had learned to read without phonics, and gone through teacher training without being taught any phonics.

Word recognition is a method most people use to read. Teaching word recognition first interferes with the learning of phonics, used to learn word recognition. Most children learn to read anyway, just not as well as if they had learned phonics first.

Microsoft closes off two avenues of attack: Office macros, RDP brute-forcing

david 12 Silver badge

Accounts on our Win2K computers would lock after multiple failed login attempts.

I assume that this announcement means that the default local-policy setting has been changed for home computers. The basic feature has been there since a lot longer than 2016..

We've got a photocopier and it can copy anything

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Re: Don't know if it's just that my coffee hasn't kicked in yet...

In Australia, the first $100 note introduced was approximately black on white, on a polymer paper. There was a problem with counterfeiting. As I heard a policeman explain on radio "they look like photocopies".

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Don't try using a Dye-sublimation printer

In the 1971 a university I knew had one high-volume xerox copier (they weren't yet a common thing). At first it was self service, but they added operators after they realized that everyone from that corner of town was ducking in to do some copying.

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Years ago....

Royal Mail postcodes are delivery route identifiers. Some postal systems have postcodes which are area identifiers, but that's not the Royal Mail system.

Many postal systems also have delivery point identifiers (which are database primary keys), in addition to their postcodes. Has Royal Mail done this?

Australia has area-identifier postcodes, and many years ago added the delivery point identifiers. The postcodes are published free. The delivery point identifiers are only available under licence, which costs a lot. Delivery point identifiers addressing is required for bulk mail, and typically to get bulk-mail pricing, you have to go to a bulk-mail specialist, and they have the required delivery point database and licence.

As I recall, Ireland never got an area or route postcode system, and a couple of years ago introduced a public delivery point identifier, which they may be calling a 'postcode'

Open source 'Office' options keep Microsoft running faster than ever

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Options are always good

I only had a couple of dozen users, but even so I automated that shutdown and restart: users only have to log out. Why is your company making them shut down?

david 12 Silver badge

Re: Options are always good

A problem is that, unlike inches and mm, there is no standard for point size at all. Yes, 20 point is twice as big as 10 point, but how big is a point? There are some commonly used conventions, but that's all.

Outlook email users alerted to suspicious activity from Microsoft-owned IP address

david 12 Silver badge

I understood your point, but I don't think your explanation improved it. If you are trying to explain, why not just say 'local proxy''?

The 'tunnel' is irrelevant, and the 'VPN' is only a widely-understood example of using a local proxy (and some of the 'VPN' services provide the bare proxy without the overhead of a tunnel or private network)

Microsoft readies Windows Autopatch to free admins from dealing with its fixes

david 12 Silver badge

It's only available for enterprise customers, not for education customers. Also, although the distribution is set by the group the pc is a member of, 'reboot' is still configured by AD. (Or by local policy settings, but home/Small Business users aren't getting autopatch anyway)

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