* Posts by Christopher E. Stith

188 publicly visible posts • joined 21 May 2007


Facebook tells users to report crappy customer service from advertisers

Christopher E. Stith

Where do I report the RNC, DNC, and the Clinton and Trump campaigns?

Does this count for political ads, too? The US got sold bills of goods in the primaries and generals that both proved defective. So far Congress isn't helping on the return and recall front. We need some customer service.

UK's 'homebrew firmware' Chinooks set to be usable a mere 16 years late

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Of all time?

Maybe on that side of the pond. The US has multiple Northrup B-2 Spirit "Stealth Bombers" designed for a first-strike nuclear capability over Russia, at a cost of over $737,000,000 per plane (over $2,000,000,000 per plane lifetime amortized cost) and $135,000 per flight hour to operate (and more than double the prep time per hour of flight time compared to other bombers more suited to conventional weapons roles).

Meanwhile most bombs are dropped by fighter/bomber aircraft for smaller sorties or by the B1-B (rescued from a cancelled project because of the cost and time overruns of the B-2) or the B-52 (flying since 1952).

The total program cost for the B-2 as of 1997? Around $45,000,000,000 in then-current dollar valuation.

IBM lifts lid, unleashes Linux-based x86 killer on unsuspecting world

Christopher E. Stith

TCO on the server is great and all, but where's the workstation?

Great TCO on a server is one thing. Where's the fully compatible, if a bit slower, $200 impulse buy desktop? Where's the $400 low-end laptop? Where is the $3000 professional workstation version? One of the reasons x86_64 is a server hit is because code for it can be banged together and sanity tested on any number of other, cheaper systems. The final performance tweaks might need access to actual server hardware.

With lots of development in Python, Java, Clojure, Perl, Ruby, et al being a Linux box is nearly sufficient. Even then, though, if there's no C or C++ library to call from those languages then you'll be porting those libs or coding around them, and spending a bunch on programmer salaries in the process. If IBM wants to make IBM great the way IBM previously made IBM great, they need to intentionally do what they did accidentally the first time: align a desktop architecture with what they want to sell in entry-to-mid tier racked servers.

Reg readers battle to claim 'my silicon's older than yours' crown

Christopher E. Stith

Makes me want to go home after work and play with my 5150, or maybe my Atari 800 XL. Or the CoCo MC-10. Or the Apple IIc. Or the C= C64c. ...

Oracle Java copyright war latest: Why Google's luck is about to run out

Christopher E. Stith

Re: I remember this analysis from the SCO case.

Let me fix that for you.

Well the options here are:


Utah sheriffs blow $10,000 on smut-sniffing Labrador

Christopher E. Stith

funded by Darl McBride?

SCO Group is based in Lindon, Utah. It's good to know as long as he's an idiot he's a tenacious idiot. Best make it probable cause to be searched by police to put an ISO of that infernal Linux onto a DVD or USB stick and carry it around.

Hold on a sec. When did HDDs get SSD-style workload rate limits?

Christopher E. Stith

Re: We use

If you're doing software RAID on top of JBOD you don't need to stick to the same manufacturer. Buying some Toshiba, some Hitachi, and some Seagate makes getting the same lot much less likely.

Bay Area man forced out of his $400 box home

Christopher E. Stith

shouldn't have called it a room

That's not a bedroom. It's a bunk. It's not illegal to have a bed in a room. It's not illegal for that bed to be an enclosed bunk. When you say it's a structure rather than furniture you're inviting building codes into the conversation.

Microsoft lures top Linux exec from Oracle to Redmond

Christopher E. Stith

"And, my friends, in this story you have a history of this entire movement. First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you." -- Nicholas Klein, 1918, concerning the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America

I chuckle sometimes thinking of Donald Trump quoting a unionist...

Snowden WAS the Feds' quarry in Lavabit case, redaction blunder reveals

Christopher E. Stith

The cynical part of me wonders at this being a blunder. You threaten a company that's big on encryption and privacy and bully them into closing their doors for good. Then you release "fully redacted" documents that show other companies that the FBI is willing to do that over a single email address. This sounds like a mafia tactic to me.

Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Genuine question!

Tandy/Radio Shack had a whole line of models that were 81086. NEC v20 and v30 chips used in things like my HP 95LX, 100LX, and 200LX had 80186-compatible instruction sets.

Anyone who says the 80186 never existed is an idiot with a poor grasp of the history of the field and no willingness or ability to use a web search engine.

'Linus Torvalds is UNFIT for the WORKPLACE!' And you've given the world what, exactly?

Christopher E. Stith

Re: How bad is Torvalds?

Well, if your tax solution is too complex it should matter more what your accountant's computer runs.

Christopher E. Stith

Re: How bad is Torvalds?

Upvoted you, but there's one niggle. Not all Raspberry Pi systems run Linux. RISC OS, NetBSD, Plan 9, Minix, and maybe a few others sometimes make an appearance, and that's a good thing. Certainly Linux distros both full-ish and stripped down (like OpenELEC) are the most popular.

Christopher E. Stith

Re: How bad is Torvalds?

Regular people don't spend money on Windows. They spend money on hardware that comes with Windows or OS X.

CONFIRMED: Tiny Windows Server is on the way

Christopher E. Stith

just buy Mandriva already

Oracle and Novell->Attachmate->MicroFocus got into the game. It's time for Microsoft to buy a team and offer a Microsoft Linux distro, or maybe a BSD flavor. That way they can put IE, Office, and Visual Studio on Windows, OS X, BSD, and Linux clients and put Exchange and Sharepoint on Windows, OS X, BSD, and Linux servers without this Windows vs. Linux rant fest going on all the time.

AMD's new Carrizo: The x86 notebook processor that thinks it's a GPU

Christopher E. Stith

Re: AMD is moving forward

Intel will likely get a performance boost going from 10nm to 7nm as they'll be ditching silicon for something along the lines of indium gallium arsenide.

Linux clockpocalypse in 2038 is looming and there's no 'serious plan'

Christopher E. Stith

That's not how the epoch time works. The time zone conversion on a typical Unix system is applied at input and output time. The time internally is all UTC.

Christopher E. Stith

time_t is used for more than the current time. Often software uses the same type to look forward... or would you like a credit card that expires in the past when it's first issued?

Quantum of Suspicion: Despite another $29m, D-Wave doubts remain

Christopher E. Stith

Quantum computing is only faster for certain classes of algorithms, but for those it is much, much faster.

Ten Linux freeware apps to feed your penguin

Christopher E. Stith

Umm... "freeware"? That's a term with an accepted definition. That definition does not include the concepts of free software or open source. "Freeware" is closed-source software offered for gratis use.

SanDisk's flash chip nightmare: How I'd escape black hole if I was in charge

Christopher E. Stith

Hmm. Netlist's full market capitalization appears to be about $42 million. Sandisk could offer a 100% premium and have a controlling interest for probably less money than a two month shutdown on these units would cost them.

I'm not saying SanDisk will or should buy Netlist. It's probably prudent for them to make a direct licensing agreement, though, and continue to source wherever they want. They could give Netlist a big bump in the bottom line for what to them is not a lot.

4K off, Google Fiber: Comcast, Broadcom tout 2Gbps cable

Christopher E. Stith

I get around 14 MiB (that's mebibytes, not bits) per second downloading from Steam on Comcast "105". Yet they like to drop the connection and make me wait for it to renegotiate after the first 20 to 30 minutes of any Netflix stream. Screw more speed. I want reliability when I use it the way I want.

Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Brought to you by...

Full-disk encryption with the passwords kept away from the hardware would slow someone down considerably in the task of accessing the installed system, but how common is that on a server?

Judge spanks SCO in ancient ownership of Unix lawsuit

Christopher E. Stith

Re: groklaw and grokthelaw

Maybe they should cast Ray Wise or Viggo Mortensen. After all, they've both played the devil before (in "Reaper" on TV and in "The Prophecy", respectively). I vote for Ray Wise, because his devil was comical.

Remember that tale of a fired accountant who blamed Comcast? It's kinda true, says telco

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Fat luck on the recording

If they've informed you that the call may be recorded, as most call centers do, then they've already consented to being recorded.

Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

Christopher E. Stith

Maybe having no contact with the kernel team or other open source teams explains why systemd goes against so many time-earned tenets of the movement.

IT blokes: would you say that lewd comment to a man? Then don't say it to a woman

Christopher E. Stith

Unfortunately there's some bad advice here.

I often find there are things two men who consider one another friends or pals will say to one another that would be vastly inappropriate to say to anyone else. So the standard of "would you say it to another man?" may be the wrong standard to recommend.

Anonymous threatens to name cop who shot dead unarmed Michael Brown

Christopher E. Stith

St. Louis County police are not Ferguson city police. These are two different agencies. If their problem is with the city why are they messing with the outside agency helping the investigation?

Brit balloon bod Bodnar circumnavigates planet

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Countries Crossed

Mr. Putin counts 16:

England, France, Italy, Albania, Macedonia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Russia, Mongolia, China, North Korea, Japan, USA, Canada, Greenland, Holland, Denmark, and Sweden.

Forgot About Dre? Not us. Euro bods give nod to Apple and Beats deal

Christopher E. Stith

But Dre has the right to be forgotten in the EU.

Dre has the right to be forgotten in the EU, whatever that means. I doubt he'd want to be, though.

White? Male? You work in tech? Let us guess ... Twitter? We KNEW it!

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Terminology?

They aren't necessarily encouraging grandma to take up coding. They're encouraging high school and early college females to go into lifelong careers in the future. You know, those adolescent females who, being adolescent, are particularly not entirely adult and might sometimes be referred to by the word suggesting youth.

ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US

Christopher E. Stith

Re: I really think that the USA should think about what they are saying here.

I should think your naivete and that of the article's author would need to be pardoned. The ITC is an executive function with limited scope. This patent falls outside their scope for the reasons stated. The patent courts, a judiciary function, are not limited by the same scope.

Banning handheld phone use by drivers had NO effect on accident rate - study

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Danger

For one thing, Google gets employees who can work during their commute without getting shouted down by San Francisco renters for putting them all on a shuttle bus. For another, they'll probably license the technology to any and all car manufacturers on a per-unit basis.

Third, and most important to this article, if you're not driving then it is safe to use the phone. You can talk on it, read from it, edit things on it, and otherwise use Google's software on it.

Fourth, you can spend more time that you're not using the phone or laptop to read targeted Google ads on video billboards.

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Do tell...

Yes, because holding a phone or other camera steady long enough to get a clear picture of one moving car from another moving while driving is much safer than holding the phone to one's ear.

New Star Wars movie plot details leak, violate common sense and laws of physics

Christopher E. Stith

Re: H2G2 style

Garbage chute to trading vessel, trading vessel to Tattooine, most of the junk to Watto's junk shop. The hand and light saber conveniently drop off the cart into the sand, or Watto finally dies or moves locations (how long do his type live?) and that gets left behind.

It's only fitting that the hand Anakin cut off of his son revisits the land of his slave home, right?

Watch: DARPA shows off first successful test of STEERABLE bullet

Christopher E. Stith

Re: My hopes are dashed

But what if Banana is on sale?

'Disruptive innovation' is nonsense? Not ALWAYS, actually

Christopher E. Stith

Sorry, Bell Labs...

Sorry, Bell Labs...

It seems the laser, transistor, Unix, C, C++, Hamming codes, CCDs, wireless LANs, fiber optics, and 32-bit microprocessors were completely non-disruptive technologies. So much for your seven Nobel prizes and two Turing Awards.

'I don't want to go on the cart' ... OpenSSL revived with survival roadmap

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Still, forking the code is good

GnuTLS an the Mozilla NSS are roughly similar, competing libraries to OpenSSL.

Facebook: Yes, we made you SAD on PURPOSE... for your own good

Christopher E. Stith

Re: we have always been rats in a cage

If you have a Facebook account you are the product. Their business model is to keep eyeballs on the site as much as possible so their advertisers can serve content to you. They advertise you to the consumer goods companies.

App maker defends selling S.F. parking spots as a free speech issue

Christopher E. Stith

If it was about information, it shouldn't be one to one.

Charge a monthly, weekly, or daily subscription to the service. Maybe have it ad-supported. Have all the open spaces shown to all the parking space seekers. That's how you sell the information without encouraging people to linger in a spot waiting for money.

Some small cut or a discount on the subscription could go to people who inform the system about opening spots. This would encourage sharing the information, but each space seeker has multiple options and the person leaving the space doesn't need to wait for a particular person. This would mean there's as much incentive to list the space as open no matter what, although less than the current situation. However, the cost to the seeker would also be lower, so overall participation should remain high.

Women found just TWO out of every HUNDRED US tech startups

Christopher E. Stith


With 40% of new firms started by women and 17% of technical degrees going to women, one might expect 7% or so of tech startups to be from women. Even with that low number, 2% is a significant departure from the raw numbers. Some sociology about what women and men value , statistically, in a career option might help make sense of this.

Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Christopher E. Stith

Re: My network...

No, no, no. Blocking devices by MAC address is not the same as deep content inspection, classification, and filtering. A MAC address is presented to your network and easy to check. Lots of bog standard kit will allow and disallow specific MAC addresses, or assign them specific IP pools, or what have you. It's easy to automated. Knowing that the file someone is seeding to a torrent (maybe over SSL or TLS) is an underage porn pic or that the credit card information they just ordered from Amazon with (definitely over SSL or TLS) is from a purloined card are not even in the same conversation.

HP reveals Apple-powered Android 'SlateBook'

Christopher E. Stith

Just bundle some circumaural USB Creative or Turtle Beach phones already.

Laptop speakers suck. You don't need to have a fancy soundcard and a preamp to your line out, either. Just put a cheap set of chirpy little things in it and bundle a decent $70 to $120 set of USB or Bluetooth headphones from someone who knows audio. Sennheiser, Polk Audio, JVC, Sony, Creative, Turtle Beach, and others are in these markets. There's no reason to go with cheaply designed up-priced Beats or for bright, brassy sounding Bose.

DevOps is actually a thing – and people are willing to pay for it

Christopher E. Stith

The words in the title

The words abbreviated in the "DevOps" are "development" and "operations". In our organization it's a group of people with experience in development and experience in operations who bridge an all-important gap between the application developers and the systems administrators.

We standardize and automate system, application, backup, and monitoring deployment a lot to leverage the work of our systems admins. We also explain the hardware impacts of application code to the developers who sometimes forget, and explain to the systems staff why sometimes they do need to provision hefty hardware for a project that just can't be handled by less. We don't need to hire developers and make them administer systems or hire administrators and have them also write code, because we have a team specifically to bridge that gap.

Chuh. Heavy, dude: HP ZBook 17 mobile workstation

Christopher E. Stith

Re: Middle Button

Or paste for those of us willing to try the Linux drivers for that video card. Having paste on the middle button is wonderful.

Still watching DVDs? You're a planet-killing carbon hog!

Christopher E. Stith

Watch it twice.

Seriously, I don't rent often. I'll buy a DVD or Blu-Ray once in a while at the store when I'm already there for food, beer, and toiletries. I rarely buy a movie I won't watch more than once (still just $12 rather than $15.8 for streaming it twice). If I rent a DVD, it's from the RedBox across the street at the convenience store or at the same store as the food/beer/other. I can get some of my daily exercise and rent two or three discs at once.

128-bit crypto scheme allegedly cracked in two hours

Christopher E. Stith

Re: New Uncrackable Crypto

Managing the pads is left as an exercise, but I have code for OTP encryption on my arm.

Archival Storage -- Perlmonks

Microsoft signs Motorola to Android patent pact – no, not THAT Motorola

Christopher E. Stith

royalties on zero?

Microsoft can't really sue Google for royalties on a free OS. Google makes their money on ads and Play. Google could, if it wanted, sue Microsoft for systematic interference with its business if it wanted and thought it could prevail. I'm not sure who would prevail, but it seems Google hasn't decided it wants to do that.

CSC: Brits, say hi to your new UK boss – say bye to 750 coworkers

Christopher E. Stith

They didn't say yet which staff they are cutting. As a US company I think someone else in the organization may have a basic grasp of the language. With a shortage of IT staff in the UK and a lot of CSC's work being in security and mercenary services I'd think letting other companies have a shot at a hot commodity might be welcome.

Plans for fully 3D-printed gun go online next week

Christopher E. Stith

Re: David, you missed the point

Apparently do you not only not know how to using a milling machine. You also don't know that it's possible to mill plastic or that milling machines have been CNC-ready for years before at-home 3D printers. You can get a ready-made CNC tabletop mill for around the same price as a 3D printer. It's just subtractive shaping rather than additive. Here's one model: http://www.robotshop.com/sherline-5400a-cnc-tabletop-vertical-mill-package-1.html