* Posts by simpfeld

126 posts • joined 24 Sep 2009


Strike days should serve as 'wake-up call' to BT's top brass, says union


Re: Greed

It's also hard to understand the stupidity of a boss taking a massive pay rise and not thinking that might be a red rag to a bull. What was he thinking!

And with staff having foodbanks in some offices.

Windows Network File System flaw results in arbitrary code execution as SYSTEM


I used Windows NFS

But only to share Windows files out for Linux desktop users. So light usage. It was okay for this (maybe very okay), but the lack of reasonably handling of filename case issue would prevent me from doing anything deeper with it.

One thing was there is no group ownership file that you can set in the GUI even though this is stored in NTFS and used by their NFS. I had to write my own chgrp in PowerShell :(

Would have been easier if they had just exposed the NFSv4 ACL's mapped from NTFS ACL's (they are pretty identical), but they only map ACL entries for owner, group and other (everyone on NTFS) to basic unix perms. Hence the need for a chgrp.

Here's one way past Moore's law: Chips that mix photonics and electronics


Problems with pure optical computing

There have been fundamental problems with photonic computing for a long time.

One is heat dissipation, when an optical gate is off it effectively goes black so just generates heat. Transistors don't do this.

Secondly, light is quite large. Chips are already have feature massively smaller than optical wavelength, lithography requiring ultraviolet light these days. So any optical chip will have to be larger (features wise) than an equivalent electronic chip.

So basically for bulk across board/CPU maybe high bandwidth comms is the likely immediate and perhaps only possible use for photonics in the immediate future.

Surface plasmons are probably a more likely path for actual computation.

One other thing is that optical fibres have a pretty slow propagation rate has a VF (Velocity Factor) of about 0.6-0.7 (of the speed of light in a vacuum), decent coax can do 0.8-0.9. This higher bandwidth of fibre usually makes this much more preferable but for certain in computer functions this maybe a limiting factor (memory buses perhaps). I just mention this as hardly anyone seems to know this.

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP


The end of the IP protocol number field?

I see why they aren't doing QUIC/IP or QIC/IP as current routers wouldn't implement it, but this effectively renders the IP protocol number useless.

A new protocol layered over UDP (as we have layered a load of crap on port 443) just more layering inefficiency.

Could this not have been a full IP protocol with drop back to UDP if this wasn't available?

How legacy IPv6 addresses can spoil your network privacy


Re: I don't care what the experts say....

To be honest you can do really smart on IPv6 with Prefix Translation, because you have so many external addresses you can have 1-to-1 mapping of external to internal addresses, it should work great. Much better than IPv4 port hackery.

Sadly there is a big BUT coming, the private addresses you can assign officially in IPv6 ULAs (fd00::/8) will NEVER be used for Internet traffic (I believe usually hard coded into the stacks and will drop back to IPv4 if you try, so I have read (not tried it)). So your choice is to use an unused piece of the real address space, it's unused this week, so this may well come back to bite you.

Sadly the Ivory Tower people that architect these sort of things have made NAT IPv6 hard to do well.

A bit analogous to the Ivory Tower people that don't want to give out a decent set of private top-level domain names for internal use....


Re: Underwhelming

I have to agree. Very ho-hum. Given how rarely IPv4 addresses change (and you want this) and a fixed IPv4 address is common, I don't really see this is massively worse. Also my IoT devices (hopefully) talk to their single AWS cloud services, so not really leaking to lots of Internet sites, a TV a little more but still a very limited pool of sites. Phones and things that actually leave my house are all random assignment.

Besides I have a fixed PD delegation anyway, knowing my end device isn't a big further hole.

To be honest, I'd personally love to us pure DHCPv6 and not SLAAC at home, but Android doesn't support it! Due to a super awkward Android developers with an obsession that we should all use SLAAC and nothing else...


Microsoft slides ads into Windows Insiders' File Explorer


Sympathy for Windows users very low

If you like and choose to run Windows, realise that you have no control and no say in it's direction.

Complaining later will be too late.

Live with your computer really being MS's computer.

Shut off 3G by 2033? How about 2023, asks Vodafone UK


I'd want a phone with WiFi calling turned on all the time at that location.

IPv6 is built to be better, but that's not the route to success


What's the alternative?

The problem with complaining about IPv6 is what else are we all supposed to do? Bodging v4 would just fix for a short while and/or would also break all clients for little gain. IPv4 with CGNAT will only buy so much time. Consider:

1/ Some mobile networks already have used up all the space for the mobiles on their networks. Splitting this apart to multiple network is very hard to manage!

2/ For busy networks we are already burning through port numbers for all these outbound services, this is a fundamental limitation of any NAT.

3/ Already an IPv4 address costs more than an computer to connect to it. That's ridiculous.

So either we all switch to IPv6 or it has be something else entirely. IPv4 just isn't going to cut it forever

French telco tycoon Patrick Drahi ups Altice UK's stake in BT to 18%, says he is not planning a takeover... at least not yet


Not sure what BT's for really

It's only the last mile stuff from Openreach that the UK cares about, surely. Nothing else of BT is really worth a damn anymore.

Let him have the boat anchor that is the rest of BT but force them to sell off Openreach (which isn't great either but it's a bit of a monopoly).

CentOS Stream 9: Understanding the new Red Hat OS release for non-Red-Hat-type people


Re: Rocky Linux

Rocky does look to have the community behind it. I have switched home machines over to this and it's working fine.


Re: No-one sane runs Streams in any business use

I would tend to agree with you. With that, it really surprised me that CERN are using Centos Streams 8:


Sun sets: Oracle to close Scotland's Linlithgow datacentre


It's in Linlithgow not Aberdeen....oh controversy!

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint laid low. Not by malware, but by another buggy Windows patch


Windows Server, a contradiction in terms

Having administered it for years, I still haven't changed that view!

Calendars have gone backwards since the Bronze Age. It's time to evolve


Re: By hand!

Until you lose the diary or it gets in a fire or the information gets stolen etc etc

Red Hat forced to hire cheaper, less senior engineers amid budget freeze


All too common

This is the sort of behaviour that buys you cost saving and better profitability in the short to medium term. But sows the seeds of your long term undoing. No problem though, the MBA who thought of it got a big bonus and will by then have moved on to the next business triumph (cost savings and long term business failure).

Worse still this kind of crap is rewarded by the stock market, make a pile of people redundant and your share price goes up. Doesn't matter that there are less people to do the work and a pile of skills will have walked out the door (so some work maybe impossible to do now), so will maybe reduce future profitability.

Having made £1bn in gross savings well ahead of March 2023 deadline, more cuts could be on BT's agenda


Re: Management Idiocy in full effect

Yup I'm surprised there isn't more of this on the Exchange building front. I don't believe BT has said anything about this, but currently I think FTTP fibres still terminate at the usual exchange?

Once an area retires copper phone lines, you are correct you could (in theory) reduce these to almost nothing. A few key sites countrywide in the extreme.

Anyone know if this has been talked about anywhere officially?

Weeks after Red Bee Media's broadcast centre fell over, Channel 4 is still struggling with subtitles


Missing a few key points here

1/ Slightly glossed over is the fact the servers are fine but the hard drives in them died. It was generally known that the noise from gas fire suppression systems can damage hard drives, but not sure it was well known. I certainly didn't know how extensively, percentage of HDD's that would be destroyed, this can cause.

A little bit more from C4 themselves.


2/ "Red Bee Media got the pictures and audio up and running again quickly," , yes but the key thing is here not from the primary site but from a DR site.

They are all still on DR, see Channel 5 with the white and black square in the right hand corner, indicating they are *still* in DR playout. The issue is Channel 4's DR subtitle playout isn't working. I heard some concern that fixing this is dangerous whilst in DR (as they have no further DR if they break something). So changes to the Red Bee's DR being made are very limited.

Happy birthday, Linux: From a bedroom project to billions of devices in 30 years


Re: I've got a suggestion...

To be honest Windows is wrong to have a case insensitive file system.That quick hack has landed us all with the problem that people think this is a feature.

It's easy to decide what upper and lower case is in English but not for all the world's languages as well. This is a lot of crap to put into an OS level driver to make that work. Better to do this at a UI level.

Windows 11 gets chatty as Teams integration turns up


Re: Dear Rejects of Redmond

Yup, but like mobiles, these companies think it's their machine/platform. You changing it is unwanted to them.

As someone said recently you will likely not own any device in 15 years! Sad to say they are probably right. Routers, media devices, Alexa (and it's ilk), even door bells are all like this.

If you use free software, (which I do on mobiles and computers), things are maybe (often just a little) harder to setup. Most people will take the convenience over their freedom every day. My sympathy for their complains about lock-in is very small, esp professionals in this area who should know better.

I'm amused, for example, that people accept that rooting your phone should stop you running banking apps, for example, hell it's my phone and it's okay on my computer to bank with! But that will likely go in a later windows version, as this frog is further boiled.

The coming of Wi-Fi 6 does not mean it's time to ditch your cabled LAN. Here's why


Network Mantra

"Wire when you can. Wireless when you have to" , still and maybe always will hold.

I need to use WiFi for tablets, phone, mobile applications. But my desktop doesn't need to be WiFi, not does my TV, it doesn't move.

I hate seeing people stream 4K on their TV over WiFi about 2 metres from the ISP hub. Even if cabling is hard, over the mains Ethernet Homeplug devices

seem to perform much better than WiFi (in a domestic setting).

Finally a sensible article about WiFi. I have similar view of 5G, which is the new you'll never need a cable again technology fallacy!

Devuan adds third init option in sixth birthday release


Re: PulseAudio?

Interestingly a planned change for Fedora 34 is PipeWire to replace (and remove) PulseAudio and Jack.

Claimed to "PipeWire can support both Desktop and PRO Audio use cases"

Another unpleasant upheaval in the audio system or a decent audio system finally? I don't know....does anyone?

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop


Re: "when Wi-Fi gets more reliable every year"

Mantra should be: "Wire when you can. Wi-Fi when you have to"

My TV doesn't move, wire that one (or a mains extender even).

My phone/tablet needs to be Wi-Fi

Red Hat defends its CentOS decision, claims Stream version can cover '95% of current user workloads'


Such a stupid decision

We are a pure RHEL shop, but RHEL is much more valuable to us with Centos. We need third-party repos and these get built with Centos. Lots of HowTos and documentation exist just because Centos exists. Centos drives ISV's to release RHEL software, as it gives a large market share. Our staff learn with Centos at home. The Centos many users find bugs we do too. Centos streams, by not being the same as RHEL pretty much stops all of these.

This decision massively diminishes RHEL! This could rank up there with Nokia, Ratner etc as bad decisions that hurt companies. RH are basically taking away eye balls from their products.....given they are fighting against Ubuntu in the server space, this is very very unwise. Why would anyone starting out look to RHEL.

CentOS project changes focus, no more rebuild of Red Hat Enterprise Linux – you'll have to flow with the Stream


A Very Unhappy RHEL customer

This is probably the worst decision I have ever seen from RH (And I have used a RH distro for 22 years):

* We use RHEL exclusively at our company and have a large contract with RH for this. We recommend our users use Centos at home for personal learning of RHEL.

* We make heavy use of third party repos which will likely suffer/disappear now. Centos also provided a fast environment to test things we planned to deploy on RHEL with extra licensing (e.g Clustering). We need these repos to make RHEL a user friendly desktop OS.

* I use Centos for home server use, I likely will in the future switch this to something Debian based. It seems to to make no (business) sense to encourage people to learn other Linux distros, thereby moving them out of the RHEL family. Therefore other distros will be considered in the future for commercial use.

* As a RHEL users we benefited from a large Centos community providing extensive bug analysis, blogs and how-to information, applicable to RHEL.

* So many people run Centos it provides an greater incentive for third party developers to release on RHEL/Centos. What now, less incentive to release on RHEL. This diminishes RHEL as a supported platform by these ISVs so will will diminish it for us. Will Google release Chrome for RHEL without this Centos large community base. Will MS Teams (our corporate solution, rights and wrongs aside) we have relied on this being on RHEL, will MS bother!

Centos Streams is NO replacement. As it's no longer identical we can't use repos generated from it, can't guarantee binary compatibility or provide a recommended learning platform.

I fear I see some MBA thinking this will increase revenue, or the Dead Hand of IBM.

Ubuntu must be delighted.

Remember the days when signs were signs and operating systems didn't need constant patching?


Re: Why Windows?

So much agree with this. This is just asking for it to use Windows for a sign and other such devices (e.g. cash machines). It's not like you can cut down Windows easily.

Plenty of people do Linux embedded for this application, so it's not like it's impossible.

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology


Re: IE for UNIX

Yup and then ditched it as soon as they had a monopoly in the browser space.

This was also when Netscape wasn't free for commercial use, that was why I was landed with IE for UNIX, which was.

Nvidia to acquire Arm for $40bn, promises to keep its licensing business alive


Re: Shameful

"Would you prefer random interventions in company ownership by Trump?"

No I'd prefer a STRATEGIC intervention!

Just cause Trump randomly does things doesn't mean this sort of intervention is all bad.

Maybe some conditions should have been imposed.



Should never have been sold in the first place. Not sure many countries would let a technological leader escape like this.

Worse was the Tories trumpeting this as faith in Britain after Brexit....apparently giving away all your key industries is us taking back control!

UK smacks Huawei with banhammer: Buying firm's 5G gear illegal from year's end, mobile networks ordered to rip out all next-gen kit by 2027


Terrible Decision

No Huawei security issues shown by GCHQ testing or anyone else for that matter.

Plenty of security issues shown in US originated equipment (Cisco, Juniper, encryption standards with introduced weaknesses).

Yeah, cause UK intelligence sensitive information is travelling over mobile networks without end-to-end crypto, if so that person needs firing.

Of course we didn't want to annoy the orange one, but I guess we are keeping our options. The Chinese leader may tell him he's great and allow him to open a few hotels and Huawei will be okay again.

July? British government could decide to boot Chinese giant Huawei from the UK's networks by this month


Re: Still Waiting to See Evidence

Ermm, a third party security researcher could easily show evidence of Huawei backdoors, this hasn't happened! But it has happened with numerous US originated equipment.


Still Waiting to See Evidence

We still haven't seen an example of Huawei having backdoored their equipment. We have had vague suggestions it is (or might be in the future).

Whereas our transatlantic friends have had numerous public examples of them backdooring kit, Juniper Cisco it goes on.

GCHQ even have (had) a lab security testing Huawei equipment and never found anything.

Yet another example of the government saying trust us (how has that worked before). Whereas the truth is we just don't want to upset the Americans.

Openreach tells El Reg it'll kill off copper sales in 118 UK locations next year


Re: Quick Question regaring Fibre

I wonder why it would be asymmetric, I can understand why on DSL (limited frequency range so optimised to use for each direction), but on fibre. Sounds like an artificial scarcity situation again so people still have to pay for business class leased line. There isn't so much asymmetric network gear!

Admins beware! Microsoft gives heads-up for 'disruptive' changes to authentication in Office 365 email service


Re: Help me understand

Yes, I'd like to know what is so wrong with Basic over TLS (IMAPS on a dedicated port). I guess starttls has had issues with "Man in the Middle" with not passing the starttls to the real server, so being able to intercept. But I don't see any difference between IMAPS vs an HTTPS based authenticator. A genuine question from me too!

The winners and losers of infrastructure clouds revealed: AWS, Microsoft, Google and Alibaba get fatter


Re: Welcome to the new mainframe.

So true. Then we are going to hit what I have heard people call "Cloudshock", when people suddenly realise how much cloud is costing and pull some things back in house (test environments being an obvious choice). I have heard stories of cloud companies that managed to very quickly spin up due to cloud but suddenly find 40% of their turnover was going straight to AWS.

People are quite naive about the cloud. I have heard a senior exec say in a meeting with all this competitions (between AWS, Azure and Google) things will just keep getting cheaper...Wow.

And an accountant saying to me, will the cloud deployment be always cheaper than our present On Prem one...We are simply swapping CAPEX for OPEX really was my answer.

This is just the latest version of what the Jargon Dictionary used to call the "The Cycle of Reincarnation". Their example was

"function in a computing system family is migrated out to special-purpose peripheral hardware for speed, then the peripheral evolves toward more computing power as it does its job, then somebody notices that it is inefficient to support two asymmetrical processors in the architecture and folds the function back into the main CPU, at which point the cycle begins again.".

This is just a new cycle of the mainframe -> distributed systems -> cloud (mainframe), with a different hat on.

Very little helps: Tesco flashes ancient Windows desktop on Scan-As-You-Shop device


ATM Software

I saw an interview with an ATM software vendor that said the best thing to use is Windows. I think they said, what else would you use. I thought ANYTHING just ANYTHING else. Ease of use (esp programming ease) doesn't seem the primary design goal on an ATM.

Some ATM vendor I saw was now using Android as a light weight UI OS with the smarts on a back end system.

Waitrose seems to use Android on it's self scanners from the look of the UI.

BT: UK.gov ruling on Huawei will cost us half a billion pounds over next 5 years


Why are they still in Business?

I can understand why Openreach makes money (no choices in so many areas) but BT. Especially BT Enterprise, easily the worst company I have ever dealt with!

I'd have had to deal with Oracle and Microsoft.

No Mo'zilla for about 100 techies today: Firefox maker lays off staff as boss talks of 'difficult choices' and funding


Switched back to Firefox for privacy reasons

As Firefox allowed me to host my own sync servers (bookmarks, history, passwords, open tabs on each device) which is impossible with Chrome or Chromium based browsers. Actually someone opened a bug about this on Chromium (hosting your own sync server) and they pretty much closed in straight away (the Google mothership would never allow that!).

The new engine is pretty fast but I doubt many other people care about their privacy! In the same way they don't mind connecting an microphone in their house to the Internet!

Just in case you were expecting 10Gbps, Wi-Fi 6 hits 700Mbps in real-world download tests


My Mantra

Wireless when you have to. Wired when you can.

Has served me well over the years. My phone needs to be Wireless but the TV doesn't !

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE


Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics that don't lie.

"Any idea why the IPv6 traffic has a 5% difference during the week versus the weekends"

It's thought this is due to corporates having lower IPv6 adoption than domestic ISPs.

Microsoft explains self-serve Power platform's bypassing of Office 365 admins to cries of 'are you completely insane?'


Re: IT Screwed over by Microsoft

"In my opinion (constantly being criticized for it) the cloud is not a good solution"

It's remarkably hard to find any critical analysis or comment of cloud solutions from a brief internet search. Seems to largely be treated as a "you just don't get it Grandad", if you ask for any analysis of the approach vs on prem.

One of the biggest issues I see are backups. Seems like even telling people that this cloud solution esp SaaS, will not really be able to be backed up by us (even if we have the data we probably won't have the software to run the backup against, if vendor goes tits up etc), is just being old fashioned.


IT Screwed over by Microsoft

This has pretty much always been MS's modus operandi. The always sold to other staff (in the past senior management and let IT pick up the pieces later). Things like Outlook, pretty much needed Exchange with this, but certainly (esp in the early days) wasn't the best email/groupware server out there, IT just had to suck it up.

We are going to see a lot more of this as the cloud becomes the only option, easy to get into for management, "hey we can save money on IT, we don't need to buy all this stuff", to "wow this is expensive to run month to month, IT how did you let this happen!".

Hell hath GNOME fury: Linux desktop org swings ax at patent troll's infringement claim


Have Big Players Contributed?

Given Red Hat, Ubuntu and Google (Chrome(books)) all use Gnome technology, shouldn't they fully fund this defence. It should be small change to this collection of companies.

Three UK goes TITSUP*: Down and out for 10 hours and counting


Re: "experiencing intermittent service"

Strange, the downdetector seems to suggest it's countrywide.


"experiencing intermittent service"

Yeah I have to say that bugs me. Has anyone got any access at all, the network looks completely down country wide!

Any to give zero feedback all night on any platform isn't good.

Conspiracy loons claim victory in Brighton and Hove as council rejects plans to build 5G masts


Re: Neoliberalism SUCKS

"PRECAUTIONARY PRINCIPLE", sounds like you are asking to prove a negative.

To say otherwise you'd have to show some evidence of risk.

Off somewhere nice on holibobs? Not if you're flying British Airways: IT 'systems issue' smacks UK airports once again


Re: Not again!

Yup it's working brilliantly, IT costs were reduced so some exec got a bonus for that and if problems result in executive heads having to roll, no problem, the golden parachute can be deployed.

Microsoft hikes cost of licensing its software on rival public clouds, introduces Azure 'Dedicated' Hosts


Re: $106k over three years

I guess the main thing is at some level you are swapping capex for opex. A lot of accountants/companies like this. And okay you can do leasing deals on hardware, but often this is seen as borrowing on the companies books and even if can be tuned (financially) to be pure opex, you cannot turn up and down costs as easily as Cloud/SaaS.

Not saying this is right, but some companies run on thinking it's being better to own nothing. And probably think they don't need as many IT staff to run this.

Will cost more in the long run, but doesn't matter as they didn't get a big bill upfront and have to get that approved (maybe by the board).

I have heard the phrase "Cloud Shock", when an accountant wakes up and suddenly sees how much all these cloud things are costing. I have heard of cloud companies who suddenly find they are sending 25% of turnover to Amazon, as it was so easy to spin up things.

We are just in a new Cycle of Reincarnation, mainframe -> Client Server -> Cloud (mainframe again really) --Probably--> in house some things (when people start seeing the costs of all this)

Freaking out about fiendish IoT exploits? Maybe disable telnet, FTP and change that default password first?


Re: How many home users *need* the admin password anyway ?

Sadly its getting very hard to buy a camera that doesn't need a cloud service to work. The best now are some cheap Chinese ones that can have it turned off.

I bought a Tenvis HD 720 for 20 quid. It works, but you either need to use an Android app to fully configure it (which I had little luck with) or an ActiveX IE (yes really!). But once setup it can be viewed with VLC , and can have the cloud service disabled.

My cheap web camera from 8 years ago let me configure most things and view it from Firefox. Why did they remove that and leave ActiveX!

Sadly most people just don't care!

Are there any cheap cloud free webcams anymore fully configurable from a modern browser? Anyone know?

Eggheads confirm: Rampant Android bloatware a privacy and security hellscape


Re: a critical application like Google Play Services

On my new phone (a PocoF1 if that matters) I decided to go cold turkey with LineageOS and not install any Google Apps or Google Play services. Most things are absolutely fine. A few things complain about lack of Google Play Service but continue to work (if you click through the warnings). These include the "National Rail" app, Hive and surprisingly Nest. For mapping I have use HereWeGo which is okay.

Everything else seems fine. The only completely broken thing for me is RingGo which starts but just blows away. I can use their mobile website for that. I guess it would probably work if I took a microG version of LineageOS but as I'm mostly there I have resisted. (microG being an open source reimplementation of the Google Play Services, not everything is there )



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