* Posts by xenny

159 publicly visible posts • joined 19 Aug 2009


UK facing electricity supply woes after nuclear power stations shut, MPs told


If there's a glut of Pu, why am I seeing stories like https://science.howstuffworks.com/plutonium-238-fuel-shortage-nasa.htm about a shortage of the stuff hindering space exploration?

Got enterprise workstations and hope to run Windows 11? Survey says: You lose. Over half the gear's not fit for it


Re: new hardware requirements

You sure about the dropped CPU support? I'm writing this on an Ivy Bridge machine running 20H2, and we still deploy Nehalem machines for some people without problem.

Fake prudes: Catholic uni AI bot taught to daub bikinis on naked chicks


Do I detect a reference to the tape that came with the BBC?

Microsoft patches patch for Meltdown bug patch: Windows 7, Server 2008 rushed an emergency fix


Re: aregross

There are definitely 32 bit Meltdown/Spectre patches available now.

Looking at https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/help/4073757/protect-your-windows-devices-against-spectre-meltdown (there's a section explicitly for 32-bit Windows) and https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/4088878/windows-7-update-kb4088878 I think they went on general release with the March patch Tuesday.

I remember (no link, sorry) seeing them offered an an out of band not on general release update perhaps in late January or Feb.

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty


Re: Motherboard Fixes

If it's any reassurance, I've just done several hundred, deploying the initial Intel microcode and then rolling it back as they've acknowledged it is buggy.

I'd suggest waiting until you've got a BIOS release with the final microcode, and then it should be plain sailing....


Re: Motherboard Fixes

Are you certain?/Do you have a link? The BIOS updates are typically for Spectre mitigation.

All the meltdown patch does is stop mapping the kernel into each application's address space.

The BIOS updates contain fresh microcode to allow finer control of branch prediction to make Spectre mitigation easer.

Microsoft patches Windows to cool off Intel's Meltdown – wait, antivirus? Slow your roll


It's set automatically if your AV including Defender is compatible


Re: Doesn't matter

There's a microcode component to the spectre mitigations. See https://newsroom.intel.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/11/2018/01/Intel-Analysis-of-Speculative-Execution-Side-Channels.pdf

If at first you don't succeed, you're Microsoft trying to fix broken Excel 2016


Re: When the only tool you have is Excel

32 Bit Excel 2013 and 2016 patched up to date support 4GB of RAM if run on 64 bit Windows. 3GB if you must run it on 32 bit windows. See https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/3160741/large-address-aware-capability-change-for-excel for details.

SpaceX's Musk: We'll reuse today's Falcon 9 rocket within 2 months


Re: Pricing's gonna change...

They'll still need to produce 2nd stages, which use the same tooling - one advantage of a common tank diameter.

The work force released by making fewer Falcon 9 first stages is now avaialbe to start making MCT parts. I suspect this is why Musk is now ready to release the plans for that project - he's got the skilled workforce avaialble to get started on enacting them..

Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday


Re: OTA vs USB

What are tablets and e-readers if not computers, abacuses with fancy displays?

AMD to fix slippery hypervisor-busting bug in its CPU microcode


Re: I'd have assumed that their test code suite would catch something like that...

I'm unhappy about the latter, but then I consider the recent history of Intel CPU bugs that have been discovered, admittedly more in computational accuracy than basic stack operation, and I wonder about the test process in both cases.

I do remember one of the P4 architects describing how they could no longer mentally anticipate how the CPU was going to behave in some circumstances though, so maybe this kind of thing is now just really really hard, and I don't have a good enough understanding of how one might go about designing a test suite.

The Mad Men's monster is losing the botnet fight: Fewer humans are seeing web ads


Re: And I still don't understand

Many of us have met these people who enter that draw. I sometimes call them users.

The fracking oil price drop whacked Panasas – who's next in energy IT?


Re: Who's next?

If we're wishing for the moon, I'll wish for a direct environmentalist->energy converter.

That taboo is going to be insanely hard to break.


Re: Who's next?

Even with synthetic fuel, there's a lot of energy tied up in fossil fuels that would need to come from somewhere in a synthesis process, so it wouldn't/couldn't be an easy fix.

Boeing's X-Wing 737 makes first flight


Re: Less drag, not more lift

NASA seem pretty confident it's drag:


The winglets themselves are near enough vertical, so they don't really increase projected wing area.


Less drag, not more lift

The benefit of the winglets is a reduction in what's called 'induced' drag rather than any increase in lift.

They do this by reducing the strength of the tip vortices (and presumably the amount of energy transferred to them, hence helping efficiency).

Most of the world still dependent on cash


Re: nowt wrong with cash

Given the growing prevalence of negative interest rates (although they've yet to reach the consumer in most countries) Cash in the matress may start losing value more slowly than cash in the bank.

I wonder if one appeal of moving to cashless societies is that it makes it more practical to deploy negative interest rates come the next economic downturn, as it looks as if they're never going to raise them much if this one ever really finishes.

2015 Fiat 500 fashionista, complete with facelift


Outside the urban. Driving at higher, although not IIRC just motorway speeds

Microsoft kills TWO Hacking Team vulns: NOT the worst in this Patch Tues either


Re: What can the numbers tell us?

The no of patches/month doesn't seem to be decreasing, so some variant of infinity, although the end of the universe will prevent them all being patched.

What kind of infinity needs more maths than I know.

What? EMEA PC sales dropped by HOW much?


Have you considered the slow Android Studio compilations may be CPU bound?

Number 5 is alive! VirtualBox the fifth debuts


Para-virt settings

I found I had to explicitly enable these for each of my VMs. Setting default seems to result in it successfully offering hyper-v mode to windows guests and Kim to Linux guests, which was nice.


Re: VirtualBox RPMs have the version number in the package name field

I had scaling problems which went away when I updated the box guest additions, or whatever they are called.


Re: Bi-directional! Schmectional!

You need to enable it in the vm's settings

BUZZKILL. Honeybees are dying in DROVES - and here's a reason why


This year 40% died out. Last year 23% died out. That seems pretty close to the 30% per year average the article considers normal.

New Windows 10 will STAGGER to its feet, says Microsoft OS veep


Re: Tech enthusiast, not necessarily IT.

I have a horrid feeling you'll never read this, but you can drag Metro apps down to take up say 1/3 of the screen, leaving the classic windows desktop taking up the other 2/3. No need for a second monitor at all

KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST


Re: Parachutes

BTDT. They tried parachutes with the Falcon 1. They presumably decided they prefer powered landings, possibly for the potentially better accuracy.

As an aside, note that thrust to weight in this process is greater than 1. The rocket never hovers, but must come to a halt at the bottom of decent as it touches the pad for everything to succeed.

El Reg regains atomic keyring capability


Re: Try lithium deuteride instead

It turns out that tritium is actually rather handy for getting better performance out of a typical nuclear weapon, which in turn lets you build a smaller/lighter thermonuclear weapon.

Russia considers keeping its own half of the ISS alive after 2024


Re: That reminds me, I saw 2001 the other evening

Trouble is, without the motivation of making better sticks to hit the other monkeys, we wouldn't have got this far technologically :-/

'Utterly unusable' MS Word dumped by SciFi author Charles Stross


Because the mindless drones return the Word document with tracked changes which need reviewing before you can import it into Scrivener for the structural changes you may need to make?

SpaceX HOVER-SHIP landing scuppered by MASSIVE ocean waves


Quite a few. The centre stage of a Falcon Heavy may end up much further downrange than that of a Falcon 9, at which point not having to do a large U-turn will save lots of fuel/payload.

Why 1.6 million people will miss Microsoft's Windows Server 2003 date with fate


Re: What I've found...

How are you replacing the off site backup the tapes allowed?

BITE that APPLE if you want to escape the Android garden, Microsoft


Re: MS wants users

Apple's profitability isn't relevant.

However the App store appears to pay more to developers than Google Play.

That is relevant, although possibly less significant than the relative likelihood of Apple v Android users spending money on O365 subscriptions.

Is Windows RT not invited to the Windows 10 upgrade party?


I really rather like my RT tablet. Battery life is good, and apart from the lack of Macro support, the Office implementation is of course excellent. The icing on the cake is that x86 malware goes nowhere.

Who wants SLEEP DEPRIVATION for Christmas?


Re: Display options

If you look at say an anandtech tablet review, the display section will discuss black levels.

An LCD screen's idea of black is still pretty bright. :-(

Seagate adds FIFTY PER CENT more capacity to new NAS drive


They've got several advantages over a traditional data recovery service. They don't need to buy obscure parts at retail, or buy drives and cannibalise them. Also, there's no need to reverse engineer a drive.

They can probably also offset some cost by using the large sample of failed drives to find frequent failure modes and designing them out of the next generation.

It's also $30-50 for any drive. If 1 in 10 fail and are asked to be recovered, they've got an effective budget of $300-500

Another lick of Lollipop: Google updates latest Android to 5.0.1



people's experience with Lollipop varies widely, and at least in part depends on what you install on. My 2012 Nexus 7 is essentially useless with it installed. A colleague's nexus 4 is perfectly pleasant to use, although he's not finding it the dramatic improvement you are.

Vendors coalesce around 'MGBase-T' 2.5/5 Gbps Ethernet


10Gb may never run acceptably over some existing cable plant. I've several hundred applications where 2.5/5Gb to the desktop would be a very attractive upgrade, especially if there's some hope of getting the desktop end for "free" with a client refresh.

10Gb has been on the 'will be cheap soon' list for quite some time. It doesn't seem to be getting closer to getting off it.

The last PC replacement cycle is about to start turning


Get a decent hardware supplier. 1920 x 1200 is still perfectly well available.

The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand


Re: Am I the only one who doesn't have wget installed?

IIRC, the Centos 6.x minimal install has wget but no sftpd, and if I were an attacker, I'd rather be trying to attack sftpd than hope the target will run wget carelessly.

Microsoft has Windows Server running on ARM: report


Are you sure? NT 4 was available on MIPS, PowerPC and Alpha as well as IA-32 wasn't it?

UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan


Re: systemd to incorporate a shell too!!!

To be contrarian, I can see an argument for systemd on a desktop, where I may reboot it often. I typically don't reboot servers frequently, so I'm unconcerned about a fast boot, but I value being able to debug the startup process of a broken server with a shell and a text editor, which I can do with sys V init scripts, but can't do with systemd.

Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how


Re: Cruise control

ABS was outlawed in F1 as a performance aid, which tells me that the best drivers can't outperform it on dry and presumably wet tarmac. Outperforming it in snow however is essentially impossible.

Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First


Re: Many of us are forced to use MS Software

> There are many many jobs out there that don't involve using Microsoft software, or even computers.

most of the latter are on borrowed time until people in the former finish writing shell scripts.

Revealed: Malware that forces weak ATMs to spit out 'ALL THE CASH'


Re: "32-bit Windows-powered ATM"

I think I'd rather have no network connection and out of date AV signatures. One less way in for thieves.

Xen security bug, you say? Amazon readies GLORIOUS GLOBAL CLOUD REBOOT


Re: First BASHing

It needn't necessarily, but a kitchen sink approach might reboot the host, which would at the very least require a VM to be suspended. What BTW has KVM got to do with XEN ?


Re: First BASHing

There's presumably also a bash vulnerability on the host....


Re: First BASHing

I doubt it, that shouldn't _require_ a reboot, and the top entry at http://xenbits.xen.org/xsa/ looks deeply suspicious.

Cutting cancer rates: Data, models and a happy ending?


Reading this article - which I found fascinating, I'm left wondering how many of the health issues associated with breast implants are actually due to the silicon implants, and how many due to the surgery disturbing near sleeping dogs. :-(

Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'


I've worked on late stage proof reading of novel length documents (admittedly generally technical documents). Paper and a pen is rather more flexible than track changes.