* Posts by Sir Lancelot

62 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Sep 2009


German defense chat overheard by Russian eavesdroppers on Cisco's WebEx

Sir Lancelot

Re: Paranoia Is Mandatory In 2024!!

It is very true: https://theintercept.com/2014/12/13/belgacom-hack-gchq-inside-story/

Boeing goes boing: 757 loses a wheel while taxiing down the runway

Sir Lancelot

Re: click bait

The non-fiction version is even better: https://a.co/d/4su5AQn

United Airlines’ patience with Boeing is maxed out after repeated safety issues

Sir Lancelot

Re: 'Boeing'

Nikki Haley sat on the Boeing board…for less than a year.

One door that seems to be working very well at Boeing is the revolving door between the company, the regulators and the politicians.

Perhaps they should consider plugging that door.

RIP: Software design pioneer and Pascal creator Niklaus Wirth

Sir Lancelot

RIP professor Wirth

Thanks for making me realise I did not want to be an electrical engineer after all!

First Pascal, Fortran and Commodore PET Basic at technical university, then on to CHILL (CCITT High Level Language) and 808x assembler on ITT's public S12 telephone exchanges.

Later on to C on Apollo workstations and that was end of my professional programming track - I wonder why ;-)

And yes, I can still read and understand the Pascal programs I wrote a long time ago without major mental contortionism!

War of the workstations: How the lowest bidders shaped today's tech landscape

Sir Lancelot

Re: Seamless Clustering

Seems to me your knowledge and understanding of VMS Cluster technology is rather limited.

Canonical intros Microcloud: Simple, free, on-prem Linux clustering

Sir Lancelot

Re: Unix doesn't have anything like this

Even HP didn’t manage to port the Tru64 clustering and the Tru64 cluster-enabled AdvFS file system to HP-UX after acquiring Compaq/DEC. Proper share-everything clustering requires deep integration of the cluster code into the OS and file system(s) so it is not trivial to port it from one system onto another one.

Want to feel old? Ethernet just celebrated its 50th birthday

Sir Lancelot

Re: Rings

“ TCP/IP didn't have a field to indicate other protocols so we used an illegal length to indicate the other protocols.”

An Ethernet II frame does have a upper level protocol field (as have TCP, UDP and IP) but in the IEEE 802.3 Ethernet standard this field was redefined as a ‘length’ field creating the problem (and solution) you described.

Sir Lancelot

Re: Rings

DEC used its own MAC addressing scheme to ease DECnet to MAC address mapping. Given the destination DECnet address the sending computer is simply able to compute the MAC address used by the destination without having to use an ARP-like broadcasting system. It does not have anything to do with the MAC address size. The embedded MAC addresses were used by for example the DEC cluster protocols which ran quite happily and simultaneously with DECnet.

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris

Sir Lancelot

A MicroVAX is MicroVAX powered, not Motorola 68x00 powered. Motorola did use the Digital PDP/VAX architecture as the basis for their 68x00 series microprocessors and the instruction sets are very similar.

Fancy trying the granddaddy of Windows NT for free? Now's your chance

Sir Lancelot

Re: The modern museum

“ About all I remember of VMS is that every time the team dealing with it got a new hire someone would have to deal with a machine clogged up by a full disk because VMS defaults to creating new versions of files instead of overwriting.”

So the team didn’t seem to know about (proactive) version limits available on files and/or directories? I remember teaching that in the “VMS Utilities and Command” course when working at Digital.

PanWriter: Cross-platform writing tool runs on anything and outputs to anything

Sir Lancelot

Re: A plea for AsciiDoc i.s.o. Markdown

Thanks for confirming my suspicion!

Sir Lancelot

A plea for AsciiDoc i.s.o. Markdown

Use whatever editor you like with or without extensions but rather try to write in AsciiDoc and not in yet another non-standard extended Markdown dialect. And yes, AsciiDoc is Markdown compatible (for the 'standard' Markdown bits).


Buggy code, fragile legacy systems, ill-conceived projects cost US businesses $2 trillion in 2020

Sir Lancelot
Thumb Up

Re: To quote someone I know

Let's get a PDP to do it.

What was Boeing through their heads? Emails show staff wouldn't put their families on a 737 Max over safety fears

Sir Lancelot

Re: "the FAA remains focused on [..] returning the Boeing 737 MAX to passenger service"

Firts: MCAS is not about fuel burn. It's about correcting unwanted aerodynamic behaviour in very specific circumstances such as being in a banked turn with high angle of attack close to a potential stall.

Secondly, the "AoA Disagree" alert does NOT signal MCAS activation. It simply reports an excessively different AoA being reported by the left and right AoA sensors of the 737 Max.

Recommended reading: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/times-watchdog/the-inside-story-of-mcas-how-boeings-737-max-system-gained-power-and-lost-safeguards and https://www.satcom.guru

Facebook crushes Belgian attempt to ban tracking of non-users

Sir Lancelot

Re: re: jurisdiction

It was the Brussels Court of Appeal. Oh the joys of a Napoleonic law system in the 21st century!

Singapore Airlines 777 catches fire after engine alarm

Sir Lancelot

Re: camera phones

The Qantas Flight 32 Airbus did not have an engine fire. The Qantas crew was correct not to evacuate because of the hot brakes (they landed fast because of degraded flap functionality), the fuel leaks and the inability to shut down engine 1.

In the SA scenario people were not evacuated of a plane with an engine and a wing on fire. That wing carries a lot of fuel on a 777 ER (extended range). My guess is that SIA crew will have a bit of explaining to do as to why they did not immediately evacuate via the left side exits. The crew and passengers were very lucky to escape as they did!

Oracle, Intel team on server with a dimmer switch

Sir Lancelot

No no

Probably gives Oracle more flexibility for manipulating your server is such a way as to guarantee a very successful software licensing audit. Successful for Oracle, not for its customer.

Streak life: Oz woman flashes boobs at Google Street View car

Sir Lancelot

Re: No, its not the same

Makes you wonder hoe these Aussie cops mate...

Apple boots Windows 7 out of Boot Camp

Sir Lancelot

Re: An odd decision by Apple

Seems to me you didn't do your homework and now you are blaming Apple for that. Developer I presume?

Can someone please standardise cloud standards?

Sir Lancelot

The joke called "Safe Harbour"...

"That’s what Safe Harbour is all about". Had a good laugh with this one! Please tell me you are joking, right? Just one word: self-certification...

Filthy – but sadly frothy – five door fun: Ford Focus 1.5 Zetec

Sir Lancelot

A major omission...

The tester forgot to mention the Focus is so much better for the school run than the Porsche 911 Turbo S. The 911 Turbo S is much better at scaring naughty children from 0 to 60 and beyond however...

Jaguar F-Type: A beautiful British thoroughbred

Sir Lancelot

A trend? Tesla vs Panamera revisited

"There are two very good reasons to buy an F-Type, the first is how it evokes the spirit of Malcom Sayer’s original, and the second is that it’s not the Porsche Boxster."

Pretty cheap shot. I'll have the Cayman, preferably the new GT4. Would love to see a shoot-out between the Jagwire and the Cayman on the Nordschleife.

Microsoft's patchwork falls apart … AGAIN!

Sir Lancelot

An Enterprise Agreement is the solution to all your MS problems...

Software Assurance indeed. Yuk!

Oracle adds Osama Bin Laden's NEMESIS to board

Sir Lancelot

LMS relocating?

So there might be some truth to the rumor that the Oracle LMS team is relocating to Guantanamo?

Twitter complies with Turkey's 'national security' blackout demand – BLOCKS newspaper's tweets

Sir Lancelot

Erdoğan is the Prez, not the PM.

"the Turkish government led by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan": wrong. Currently, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan is Turkey's President. Turkey's current PM is Ahmet Davutoğlu who attended the pro free speech "marche Républicaine" in Paris on 11 January 2015, joining an impressive number of other political hypocrites.

Police radios will be KILLED soon – yet no one dares say 'Huawei'

Sir Lancelot

Re: Why change the system?

Thanks for the downvote on a purely informational post. The loonies are really taking over the Reg I guess.

Sir Lancelot

Re: Why change the system?

Unfortunately the TETRA standard only covers the interface between the TETRA network and the TETRA handsets/devices. Internally (i.e. in between the TETRA switches) the TETRA network uses vendor-specific, proprietary interfaces. So you'll need to rip out all your TETRA switches and replace them with new gear supporting the required functionality. Nicely played by the TETRA vendors!

'Open' SIMs, brain chips and Google's Nest: What to expect in wireless in 2015

Sir Lancelot

It does needs a bit more

Remember the SIM (soft or hard) is pricipally used to store the IMSI(s) i.e. the handset's identity. Currently in the large majority of countries (ITU members) the only organisations allowed to manage and distribute IMSIs are MNOs owning an operational wireless GSM/LTE network. So even with softSIMs or handset vendor provided SIMs you would need to have an agreement with a MNO to get the IMSIs for your SIMs. Organisations thinking about rolling out M2M applications are also confronted with this problem and so far the MNOs are doing whatever they can to retain control over IMSI distribution. The critical part is not the SIM (hard/soft/reprogrammable), it's the IMSI.

Sir Lancelot

This would require (1) existing M(V)NOs to abandon their SIM-based network approach - rather unlikely - or (2) new SIMless networks to be established - any takers? I'm afraid the GSMA/ETNO train has left the station quite some time ago and will be hard to stop. The whole operator-centric SIM/IMSI approach has been engineerded into the GSM standards with the complicity of the ETNO and ITU and they are not in the habit of listening to what the end user wants.

Sir Lancelot

An Apple SIM is not a soft SIM and it requires a non-Apple network

"...and Apple included a "soft SIM" option in its latest iPad. This allows the user to select from a list of operators (and switch between them) when activating the device, passing the control from the carrier to Apple."

Wrong - Apple's SIM is not a soft SIM, it's a simple physical multi-IMSI nanoSIM (with limitations e.g. AT&T swap restrictions) still requiring network and suscription support from a participating MNO. The Apple SIM can still be replaced by whatever SIM you prefer so control has not passed from the carrier(s) to Apple. Apple has other means to put the pressure on carriers such as 4G network certification and commercial terms for the promotion and sales of handsets. Or is Apple thinking about becoming an M(V)NO?

Brit smut slingers shafted by UK censors' stiff new stance

Sir Lancelot

Go for it, Max!

Just asking: is Max Mosley by any chance a member (or perhaps an employee) of this British Board of Film Classification?

New Euro digi tsar 'H-dot' Oettinger to host sort-of-live Twitter chat

Sir Lancelot

Re: Annoying

It seems he got parked into the EU Commission by Angela Merkel.

Allegedly she got tired of him in Germany.

How iPad’s soft SIM lets Apple pit carriers AGAINST each other

Sir Lancelot


"Carriers and manufacturers would love to kill the SIM, which has made the consumer king for over 20 years."

You might want to talk to the GSMA about this. They actually fiercely object to the idea of a soft or virtual SIM according to them for security reasons: http://www.gsma.com/connectedliving/wp-content/uploads/2014/10/Embedded-SIM-Toolkit-Oct-14-updated1.pdf

And as mentioned before: for mobile devices it's not about the hard, soft, virtual or embedded SIM (the vehicle). It's about the IMSI and the encryption keys (the contents of the vehicle) stored on the SIM. In the large majority of countries currently only mobile network operators and mobile virtual network operators are allowed to issue IMSIs which are preprogrammed into the SIMs and distributed to the network users. There is no particular good reason why IMSIs should be controlled by M(V)NOs. Only very recently the GSMA has released an architecture and standards for "Over The Air" reprogramming and switching of IMSIs on embedded SIMs because they were pressured to do so by the growing M2M community that does not like its devices to be tied to a specific M(V)NO during the typically long contract period. Mind you there currently are no wide-scale implementations available of this OTA embedded SIM nirvana.

By the way: in the past the GSMA also opposed the idea of the OTA SIM reprogramming!

One other thing: the currently launched Apple iPads still allow you to replace the Apple SIM with the SIM provided by an operator of your choice so make sure you target your arrows at the proper villain. It's a bit silly to condemn Apple for something they might be able to do in the future I think. Predictive crime analytics at work?

But there is hope: maybe in a number years from now babies will be born and will come with an embedded SIM and IMSI supplied by 'fill in whatever organisation or company you dislike and/or distrust' which can then be linked OTA or good old dipswitches with its preferred M(V)NO ;)

Fiat Panda Cross: 'Interesting-looking' Multipla spawn hits UK

Sir Lancelot


Two comments on this article:

1) a Porsche Cayenne doesn't need to descend a hill. The Cayenne has a magical characteristic called weight that flattens the hill when at the top so that it doesn't need to descend ;)

2) I'd prefer this over the FIAT and the Cayenne: http://youtu.be/wdy8CG09rSU Sit back and enjoy the Vorsprung durch Technik as presented by the mighty Walter Röhrl. Those were the days!


Sir Lancelot

Miley Miley Miley!

Does the list include Hannah Montana?

La da di da di...we love to party...

Apple iOS 8 'will put end' to crap map app rap flap misery

Sir Lancelot

Where did I leave my Gulfstream G650?

So how am I supposed to find the way to my private jet then when Apple withdraws taxiway routing?

Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack

Sir Lancelot

Re: It's bad procedure to take off using your backup systems

GPS does not indicate airspeed and it's airspeed that generaties the lift to keep the aircraft in the air. If airspeed indication is unreliable pilots fall back to flying on known pitch and power settings

Sir Lancelot

Re: What? No pitot covers?


Brit boson boffin Higgs bags Nobel with eponymous deiton

Sir Lancelot

Reaction of Englert when he was asked how he felt now: "Je ne suis pas triste!" i.e. I'm not sad. Haha!

I'll have a pint of Belgian triple to celebrate tonight!

Boffins build ant-sized battery, claim it's tough enough to start a car

Sir Lancelot

Boeing 787 - Batteries not included

Boeing might be interested...

Inside Adastral: BT's Belgium-sized broadband boffinry base

Sir Lancelot

Just saying

Do not underestimate the amount of computing power required to run a country as complex as Belgium

Windows 8: An awful lot of change for a single release

Sir Lancelot

Not that Digital!

"It turned out Microsoft, having hired kernel guru Dave Cutler from Digital Research in October 1988, was already hard at work on Windows NT."

Wrong - Cutler used to work for Digital Equipement Corporation where he was one of the main OS designers (RSX, OpenVMS, ...).

The iPHONE 5 UNDERMINES western DEMOCRACY: 5 reasons why

Sir Lancelot

A bit bored

Meanwhile in Fukushima...

Larry Ellison buys island 1000x bigger than Branson's

Sir Lancelot

Who needs a sub when you have a jet

It has an airport as well. The single Google Maps review describes the customer service at the airport as "Horrible".

Flying Dutchman creates dead cat quadcopter

Sir Lancelot

Room for improvement

Make it night flight compatible by fitting nav and strobe lights!

Playmonauts could down airliners, Canuck flyboy warns

Sir Lancelot
Thumb Down

Please check your facts before posting

"Bird into engine results in a bit of a cough out the back, and the engine casing being lined with overcooked finely minced bird. A cleaning job for the apprentices...."

You are a bit optimistic. Bird ingestion can cause major damage to the compressor section of a jet engine eventually leading to compressor blades breaking away from the compressor disk.

I hope in that case the repair is not left to an apprentice...

BTW Jets have multiple pitots at different locations on the hull. The only single bird able to take out all of them in one go is the ... flying elephant. Wasn't he called Dumbo?

SpaceShipOne man, Nobel boffins: Don't panic on global warming

Sir Lancelot

I can't help but wonder what expert-at-everything Newt Gingrich's opinion is on global warming. Should we all retreat to the moon? Using a Rutan designed Virgin Galactic shuttle?

Now where did I leave my spacesuite...

Apple dishes out cheap, tasty Macs 'n slabs to staff

Sir Lancelot

This article should have been published by The Inquirer

So does The Reg really considered this news????

Is there really nothing more interesting to report?

New account of Flight 447 disaster published

Sir Lancelot
Thumb Down


Why don't you read this first concerning the 'accuracy' of the Popular Mechanics article:


"You accuse people of posting nonsense with nothing whatsoever in your spew to demostrate that."

One example but there are many more: using GPS-derived ground speed in an analysis of the aerodynamical state of a stalled airplane descending in a tight right-hand turn!

"I think most intelligent readers can determine from the flight recorder cockpit transcript roughly what happened to those 228 people without being pilots.".

Of course they can (the plane crashed and the people died, didn't they?) but determining what the probable causes and contributing factors of the accident are, is an entirely different thing, isn't it?

"By the same logic, are you unable to grasp concepts that don't fall squarely within your area of expertise?"

I really think you need a bit more than grasping a few concepts about flying to be an accident investigator...

"If you ARE a qualified pilot, perhaps you could answer an earlier question: Why is it that the low altitude alarm doesn't sound until 2000 feet during midflight?"

A simple one to answer: it was not designed to measure heights larger than 2500 ft above sea/ ground level (the range of the radio altimeter). You do know the RADALT is part of the Groud Proximity Warning System, don't you? This system was designed to prevent CFIT (controlled flight into terrain) accidents. The chances of encountering terrain are rather slim at flight level 350 don't you think? The RADALT is only used by the GPWS and by autolanding systems. Pilots are not allowed to use it as a primary altitude measurement system. Your primary altitude measurement system is a barometric instrument with a selectable reference height/altitude/pressure.

On top of that: in IMC pilots are expected to scan a number of essential flight parameters including altitude and vertical speed. From the interim report released by the BEA (did you read it yet?) it is clear that all AF447pilots where perfectly aware of the plane's altitude and vertical speed during the decent. You do know that altimeters and VSIs use the static pneumatic ports which were not iced up, don't you? In others words: pilots should not be dependent upon altitude alerts to know what altitude the airplane is flying at! Scanning your instruments is one of the primary pilot tasks!

Better stick to simming...

Iran displays video footage of captured US spy drone

Sir Lancelot

So much for wireless controls

They should have equiped the drone with cabled control: simply pull the cable to get it back when lost!