* Posts by Fazal Majid

532 publicly visible posts • joined 16 May 2007


Last rites for the UK's Online Safety Bill, an idea too stupid to notice it's dead

Fazal Majid

Re: "Nothing to Hide, Nothing to Fear."

Since pretty much everything they did was illegal, it’s not too surprising

Meet the guy trying to drag HM Treasury's data strategy into the 21st century

Fazal Majid

Using a Microsoft stack

Means they are probably unable to attract the best Data Scientists from Big Tech companies who are used to working with open-source analytics stacks like Jupyter notebooks as front-ends. At some level, basic BI capabilities are a commodity (and having Tableau probably means more people can actually access data without needing a data specialist to assist), but cutting-edge predictive analytics and machine learning are not available first on commercial products.

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office

Fazal Majid

For a contrarian take

See this:




US vendor accused of violating GDPR by reputation-scoring EU citizens

Fazal Majid

Carefully parsed statement

GDPR allows a legitimate interest exemption for preventing fraud against yourself. Not for selling fraud-scoring services to others.

Mark Zuckerberg would kick Elon Musk's ass, experts say

Fazal Majid

Considering Twitter has never been profitable, a better question is why would anyone bother cloning it?

Google HR hounds threaten 'next steps' for slackers not coming in 3 days a week

Fazal Majid

Re: Coming together in person.

Boardroom tables are hard and it’s not as pleasant an experience as you’d think, beyond the transgressive thrills.

Brexit Britain looks to French company to save crumbling borders and immigration tech

Fazal Majid

Boris Johnson’s great-grandfather was a Turkish minister


Cisco Moscow trashed offices as it quit Putin's putrid pariah state

Fazal Majid

Goes both ways

The US used shell companies to buy titanium from the USSR as it could not source enough on its own to make the SR-71 Blackbird spy plane otherwise.

Russian developers blocked from contributing to FOSS tools

Fazal Majid

Re: Other major Russian open-source projects

Oh, and Zabbix also

Fazal Majid

Other major Russian open-source projects

Nginx, Clickhouse, quite a few contributors to PostgreSQL. Not open-source, but JetBrains was founded by Russians and had a lot of R&D done in Russia.

I realize the ban is Microsoft complying with US sanctions law, but ipmitool is critical infrastructure with privileged access to hardware that would be a prime vector for malware or root kits if compromised, so there is a sound national security rationale for a freeze there.

Fazal Majid

George W Bush was re-elected

So much for democratic accountability

Vessels claiming to be Chinese warships are messing with passenger planes

Fazal Majid

Re: Peak China?

And yet the Vietnamese, who lost 5M civilians and 1M military within living memory to the Vietnam war, are still throwing their lot with the US against China.

US government says Silicon Valley Bank depositors can get their cash on Monday

Fazal Majid

Re: Am I wrong in my thinking here?

It was forced to realize losses on bad bets on interest rates due to capital reserve requirements, that would not be an issue if held to maturity. As part of a larger bank with reserves, they will just hold those treasuries until they mature.

SVB has a unique skill set in catering to startups, some of which will be future unicorns or FANGs. Traditional banks are just too hidebound to address the]at market, and it is incredibly valuable. The problems did not come from the retail side. That retail expertise combined with a more diversified entity and competent risk management means whoever buys them will make a killing.

China's efforts to influence standards are mostly fake – and flopping

Fazal Majid

Re: chasing our tails

Indeed. I started my career at France Telecom R&D, and the guy who was responsible for attending standards organization meetings I wouldn't even classify as a C player. The UN's stewardship of the ITU also means one nation, one vote so Burkina Faso gets the same voting rights as the US or China, and usually ends up selling its vote to the highest bidder.

MacStadium brings macOS instances orchestrated by Kubernetes to AWS

Fazal Majid

Re: Hilariously expensive

The Intel Mac Mini is no longer available for sale, although refurbs will probably continue to be available for some time.

Sure looks like Beijing stole blueprints from chip fab world's ASML

Fazal Majid

Fairly obvious consequence

This was guaranteed to happen. The Dutch intelligence services are pretty competent (remember when they had hacked into the security webcams of the Russian troll farm that was trying to influence US elections?) and I’m sure they have intercepted far more attempts that we don’t know about.

Signal says it'll shut down in UK if Online Safety Bill approved

Fazal Majid

So will Element (Matrix)

Matthew Hodgson, CEO of Element, the home of the Matrix secure messaging platform also said he will move their HQ away from the UK if this passes:


If you're struggling to secure email forwarding, it's not you, it's ... the protocols

Fazal Majid

It’s Outlook’s fault

Basically Outlook allowing an account unrelated to state.gov to launder forwarded email using an allowlist is the issue, but like GMail they are too big to fail and can get away with gross insecurity like this.

Securing email is pretty much impossible due to all the legacy and a fool’s errand.

Could RISC-V become a force in high performance computing?

Fazal Majid

Only if China pushes hard

The main driving force behind RISC-V is China's need to wean itself off dependence on Intel and ARM architectures subject to US sanctions, which is why all the major Chinese tech companies like Huawei, Baidu and Alibaba have RISC-V chip design teams, although how far they can get with the US also sanctioning cutting edge fab technology is anyone's guess. The Chinese government also obviously has HPC needs and will support this.

That said, RISC-V CPU performance is still far behind x64 and arm64.

The wages of sin aren't that great if you're a developer choosing the dark side

Fazal Majid

Not surprising

Most drug dealers would make more money flipping burgers for McDonalds. It's only the kingpins who make serious money.

Bringing cakes into the office is killing your colleagues, says UK food watchdog boss

Fazal Majid


I fail to see how only 1/3 or 33% of Americans are overweight but 2 in 5 or 40% are obese, which one would presume also means overweight.

Intel, AMD just created a headache for datacenters

Fazal Majid

Balanced architecture

This problem has been ongoing for decades. Very few applications need the highest-speed processors, and data centers need to be designed with racks that have a couple of high-performance servers surrounded by more efficient (and thus likely ARM64-based) servers to balance out the energy requirements. Since most enterprise workloads have yet to begin the process of migrating to ARM, that is going to take some time.

Washington DC drags Amazon to court for 'yoinking' driver tips

Fazal Majid

Why the scare-quotes around 'stealing'? It's a clear-cut case of wage theft.

Fazal Majid

Re: Tips?

I grew up in France, and it's traditional for the firefighters, postmen, garbagemen and others to come sell calendars for the New Year.

Fazal Majid

Right. Simply paying back money owed is not enough, there should be a punitive deterrent. They should pay at least treble damages to the victims, and also be forced to cooperate by naming the guilty executives so they can be criminally prosecuted. When executives know they can go to prison for misbehavior that benefits their company is when the practice will end.

Killing trees with lasers isn’t cool, says Epson. So why are inkjets any better?

Fazal Majid

Support costs will go down as well

Considering 50% of all help desk support calls are printer-related, that will also yield savings (and job losses).

Epson zaps lasers into oblivion, in the name of the environment

Fazal Majid

Re: Can't help feeling it's more a bottom line thing than a green thing...

Consumer laser cartridges are much, much more expensive, and not competitive with ink tank inkjet printers.

Fazal Majid

Re: Which environment we are talking about?

I have tow inkjet printers. An Epson EcoTank Pro ET-16600, where the price of refills good for 6000 pages is $22 x 4, far cheaper than any cartridge-based printer,

The other is a HP OfficeJet Pro X551dw that has the HP PageWide inkjet head that is 8.5 inches wide and can print the whole width of Letter/A4/Legal paper without scrolling back and forth, and thus exceptionally fast, but because it uses cartridges, they cost $120 x 4, or more than the price of the printer itself. At this point, I am going to decommission it because it is not economical to repair or even refill.

Interestingly, HP decided to discontinue PageWide in favor of laser technology, whereas Epson, the last maker of full-wifth inkjet technology (sadly not for consumer-level devices) is doubling down on inkjet.

Massive energy storage system goes online in UK

Fazal Majid

Coire Glas

There is a pumped hydro storage project in the works in Scotland at Coire Glas that would have 1.5GW power and up to 30GWh capacity (for reference, the peak power consumption in the UK is about 30GW).


Don't believe the hype: HP CEO says 3D printing hasn't met early hopes

Fazal Majid

Re: Perhaps it's because HP makes crappy 3D printers

I have a Prusa MK3S, and I wouldn’t call it plug-and-play. There is still a lot of art and black magic involved in getting decent prints and avoiding failures, specially when you move beyond PLA.

Linus Torvalds suggests the 80486 architecture belongs in a museum, not the Linux kernel

Fazal Majid

Heh, a blast from the past. I first installed Linux on my 33 MHz 486DX in 1991-1992 or so:


Most Metaverse business projects will be dead by 2025

Fazal Majid

I agree

My company wasted tens of thousands of dollars equipping every member of staff with an Oculus Quest 2. We used it once for a virtual meeting. Laggy, low-res, utterly pointless. They should have issued iPads and Pencils instead, whiteboarding using those at least has a fighting chance.

Meta mad as hell over allegations it let Indian politicians block content

Fazal Majid

Meta has zero credibility

First of all, Meta long ago forfeited the benefit of doubt. Despite knowing this, they still made at least two provably false or carefully parsed statements in their denial, thus providing The Wire with a huge stick to beat them. The DKIM signatures are particularly damning.

What I take home from this is that Meta is appeasing the Modi government with censorship privileges, not surprising since they are banned from China, losing ground in the West as they are shunned by younger generations, and India is their one real growth market, albeit only marginally profitable. This is unlike their involuntary abetting of the Myanmar junta's genocide against the Rohingya, but then again, perhaps we should reconsider if that was actually complicity. Furthermore, that program is probably not Xcheck but has another name, which is why the carefully worded non-denial insists so much on that irrelevant matter of terminology.

Linus Torvalds's faulty memory (RAM, not wetware) slows kernel development

Fazal Majid

The newest (12th gen) Alder Lake non-Xeon CPUs do support ECC

But only if you use an Intel W680 workstation (I.e. expensive) chipset, e.g. in the HP Z2 Mini G9.

Making ECC a Xeon-only feature was a classic case of market segmentation by a monopolist to allow them to extract maximum profits from enterprise customers willing to pay more for reliability.

Brexit dividend? 'Newly independent' UK will be world's 'data hub', claims digital minister

Fazal Majid

There is a very easy way to eliminate annoying cookie popups

And that is to give the Sec-GPC (Global Privacy Control) header force of law, something the old DNT (Do Not Track) header lacked, and ban cookie consent popups if it is sent.

But of course the real intention is to gut consent via opt-out as in the ineffectual US self-regulation free-for-all (except for enlightened states like California with its GDPR-equivalent CCPA/CPRA).

Nadine Dorries promotes 'Brexit rewards' of proposed UK data protection law

Fazal Majid

The damage is already baked in

Every company I know assume the UK will diverge from GDPR and lose equivalence. Thus the UK was ruled out from consideration for implanting our EMEA data operations.

W3C's planned transition to HTTPS stymied by legacy laggards

Fazal Majid

Wellnhofer is incoherent

If his concern is about loading schemas over the network, he should disable unencrypted HTTP as well.

Google promises to adjust search algorithm to favor 'people-first content'

Fazal Majid

An obvious tell

Is sites with affiliate links. Penalize them and you’ve killed the profit motive behind those “content” farms.

UK launches 'consultation' with EU over exclusion from science programs

Fazal Majid

It’s actually Philosophy, Politics and Economics, i.e. tosser central.

Fazal Majid

Re: What part of "Leave." ....

The EU put Horizon on deep freeze in retaliation because the UK reneged on the NI Protocol and fishing quotas. Two can play the game.

Fazal Majid

Re: Reap what you sow

Also the UK exported mostly services to the EU (finance, legal, advertising, media) and imported mostly goods. Services are not covered and they are the ones that get hit with non-tariff barriers like licensing requirements for lawyers.

Fazal Majid

Re: Reap what you sow

Also archive.is to work around paywalls

Fazal Majid

Re: Reap what you sow

It is also a fact the UK got a disproportionate amount of EU R&D funding. It was still a net contributor, like Germany or France, to be sure, but oddly enough the Treasury hasn’t replaced the former EU contributions with domestic R&D funding, just as the NHS is being funded by the NI hike (i.e. new taxes, not reassigned contributions).

Then again it is a national sport for politicians in EU members to blame the EU for their own failings, it’s just the UK press (owned largely by a US citizen, Rupert Murdoch) and political class showed an unusual level of mendacity, like one Boris Johnson making things up out of thin air.

AMD has a lot riding on its 5nm Ryzen 7000 CPUs. And so here begins the hype

Fazal Majid


big.LITTLE is great for mobile, but does not belong on desktop processors. I hope Sapphire Rapids also drops the E-cores.

Intel finally takes the hint on software optimization

Fazal Majid

Clear Linux

Intel’s Clear Linux is a good illustration of how optimizations can get an easy 10-20% improvement in performance, and it’s not Intel-specific, AMD also uses Clear for its own benchmarks. But the project hardly gets any love internally at Intel.

Fazal Majid

Re: a cunning plan?

And yet they disabled AVX512 in Alder Lake, the biggest differentiator they have over AMD, just because of those gimped E-cores that don’t support it.

Meta proposes doing away with leap seconds

Fazal Majid

It’s official US government policy

And has been for years, and most other nations agree. Unfortunately unanimity is required and the two big holdouts are China (“our culture requires time to be aligned with the seasons”) and the UK (“nothing should ever be done for the first time”).

DiDi in deep doo-doo over 64 billion illegal acts of data collection

Fazal Majid

Re: "It has apologised for its actions, accepted the fine, [..]"

The best example being eBay's campaign of terror against David and Ina Steiner. The CEO at the time escaped unscathed, only his flunkies were jailed.

Tuxedo Pulse G2: Linux in your lap

Fazal Majid

Consider Starlabs

Here in the UK Starlabs makes Linux laptops of their own design, not mere rebadged Clevos:


Apple's new MacBook Air: Is the jump to M2 silicon worth another $200?

Fazal Majid

Heat throttling

Preliminary results from the M2 MacBook Pro 13, where the chassis hasn't been redesigned, suggest the M2 runs hotter than the M1 and is encountering thermal throttling. Now the MacBook Air has been redesigned and may have better thermal design, but it still doesn't have a fan so it's an open question as to whether it can sustain the performance before throttling occurs.