* Posts by phuzz

5972 posts • joined 23 Feb 2010

Microsoft submits Linux kernel patches for a 'complete virtualization stack' with Linux and Hyper-V

phuzz Silver badge

Most non-hosted software has the benefit of being a one-time charge that is always available, and can continue running for decades at no extra charge.

Not had the 'pleasure' of having to deal with Oracle then? Or SAP. Or Sage, or any one of the many bits of enterprise software that insist on annual license fees (which never seem to get cheaper).

Also, these days "Your whole business stops when your internet goes down" is a problem that doesn't happen if you're using cloudy stuff (because everyone is at home), but is a problem with on-prem. We just keep shifting out single point of failure around.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: The way forward?

Maybe we can all soon run Linux, with Windows in a VM for Office

Nothing stopping you doing that right now (although legally you'll need a valid Windows license for that VM). Several of the people I work with do that, others have a Windows VM on OSX. I'm the odd one out because I have Linux VMs on Windows.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

phuzz Silver badge

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

When it comes to custom number plates, do the DVLA still sell plates which could possibly be confuse?

(eg OO7 and 007?)

Howdy, er, neighbor – mind if we join you? Potential sign of life spotted in Venus's atmosphere

phuzz Silver badge

Sky at Night

For those in the UK, may I recommend the Sky at Night special about this discovery that was on BBC 4 last night.

Just a whole bunch of incredibly excited scientists, being geeky. Wonderful stuff :)

Wow, you guys have so much in common: Oracle hotly tipped to power TikTok’s operations as Microsoft deal rejected

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Technology providers

"and thus will claim this solves all the imaginary problems"

This. He'll claim to have 'won'...and that's it, that's all he needs to do to excite his supporters, just to say that he 'did the thing', even if he did the exact opposite.

He'd claim he was responsible for the sun coming up if he thought it would make him a buck.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: What will the dancers do....

"Cell phone manufacturers baffled as young people opt for single core phones over multi-core"

Microsoft releases kernel for unique (but critically panned) Surface Duo phone

phuzz Silver badge

My guess would be that it's taken them so long to develop that they actually started off five years ago with cutting-edge specs.

NASA is sending two small hand-luggage suitcase-sized spacecraft into the void to study binary asteroids

phuzz Silver badge

NASA has given CU Boulder the thumbs up to start the final stage of designing the hardware for the spacecraft.


Typical '80s IT: Good idea leads to additional duties, without extra training or pay, and a nuked payroll system

phuzz Silver badge

Re: whoops - wrong disk

New HP removable disk caddies (gen9 and 10) have a big red light on the eject button, which is clearly an error light of some sort. So when I had to go swap a disk (well, SSD) in a RAID1 array, I assumed that the red light indicated the failed disk.

It turns out that the red light actually means "Do NOT remove this disk".


phuzz Silver badge

Re: Wotsits' law

I was thinking of the one that goes something like "it's not a real backup until you've tested a restore at least once."

If you think you've got problems, pal, spare a thought for these boffins baffled by 'oddball' meteorites

phuzz Silver badge



Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin. Hang on, the PDP 11/70 has dropped offline

phuzz Silver badge

Re: We’ve had plenty of these Molly cover stories

molly-guard is also named after this. It's a bit of software that makes you acknowledge that yes, you really did intent to run shutdown -h now in an ssh session.

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

phuzz Silver badge

Re: What are they going to do with the heat?

"Something like those Mylar blankets they give to fun runners."

You know they call them "space blankets"? It's because they're a spin-off from the space program, most of the outside of Lunar Module was made of it (it looked gold because it was covered in a layer of Kapton).

Capita's bespoke British Army recruiting IT cost military 25k applicants after switch-on

phuzz Silver badge

Re: I get it...

I wouldn't be surprised if over time the number of people interested in joining the armed forces has gone down, but a 20% drop in one year is pretty steep.

Mind you, the 50% jump in applicants in 2016-17 needs some explanation as well. Particularly effective adverts? Young people suddenly becoming more bloodthirsty? Counting error?

Twitter Qracks down on QAnon and its Qooky Qonspiracies

phuzz Silver badge

You could argue that by not distancing themselves from the whole QAnon thing, that that is exactly what the Republicans are doing. As another commenter notes above, to whatever extent there is a "deep state", it's broadly Republican.

Don't strain yourself, Zuck, only democracy at stake... Facebook makes half-hearted effort to flag election lies by President Trump

phuzz Silver badge

Re: why aren't postal votes considered a fraud risk in the US?

Worth remembering that (as pointed out in TFA), in the US, the entire election can hinge on a single state.

For example, in 2000, Bush won Florida (and thus the presidency) by 537 votes*, which is in the realm of being a plausible amount of votes to tamper with, across an entire state.

To put it simply, vote tampering in US elections doesn't have to be pervasive to get results. A well targeted campaign could theoretically skew things with less than a thousand altered votes. Assuming of course that the 'real' votes are close enough to allow that.

*(After recounts and all sorts of legal back and forth)

phuzz Silver badge

Re: why aren't postal votes considered a fraud risk in the US?

Worth noting that in the UK, the norm is for a letterbox to be in the front door of a house, so as soon as the postie pops the letter in, it's inside your house and pretty difficult to steal. It's rare for a letter box to b accessible to anyone except the owner.

As far as I know, in the US it's more common to have an easily opened box by the kerb. (Which seems ridiculously insecure to me, but whatever).

Motorola Moto G 5G Plus: It won't blow your mind, but at £300 we're struggling to find much to grumble about

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Thats a fairly epic price for this spec...

Are there any phones that aren't manufactured in China? Or at least depend on Chinese made components?

(Turns out, yes, a few).

The volcanoes on Venus aren't dead, say astroboffins, they're merely resting, pining for the planet's lava fjords

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Resting?

I'm sure enough Iron Bru will have them up and about in no time.

SpaceX to return NASA 'nauts to Earth with a splash

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Meanwhile...

I'm wondering if/when customers will ask to use a pre-flown booster rather than a brand new (and technically untested) one.

After all, most people would prefer to fly on a plane that's been test flown at least once since it was built.

With a wave of Nokia's wand, behold as your 4G network magically becomes... 5G

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Remember 2.5G?

This has been part of the '5G' spec from the beginning, but it has been overshadowed by the big change, which is the use of shorter wavelengths to allow more speed (but shorter range).

It just goes to show that ever since '3G' became a thing, any incremental upgrades to the mobile networks have to have a marketing name, to help sell to the public. After all, it's much easier to sell a new phone (on a 24mo contract with all the extras) to Jo Blogs if you can say "It's 4G! That's one better than 3G!", than to try and explain what LTE is.

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

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Timetables matter

By the time of the next election

Well there's the rub. Theoretically this Parliament has about another four and a half years to run, but we've had three in the last five years of "Fixed Term Parliaments", so I don't think I'd bet against the next election being sooner than that.

Japanese probe to land asteroid rock sample in Australia on December 6th

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Called while you were out...

If they're anything like the delivery drivers round here, it'll be left in Austria.

I suppose when you're on your 400th delivery of the day, and you wage will be deducted by Bezos if you don't deliver another 500 in the next hour, it's not surprising that reading comprehension gets a bit slack.

Spotted the ISS in the sky yet? How about pulling out some spare kit and giving it a listen?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Slow scan TV through Internet?

Especially VHF frequencies. The cheap SDR dongles come from some clever type realising that some of the cheap USB TV receivers were capable of receiving a wide range of frequencies (20-1500MHz, depending on the model of dongle) with the right antenna. Of course, you had to pick the right models. (More info here)

These day's you can get ones that are purpose made for SDR which can cost over £100, but you can also pick up a cheap one for about £20. (Oh, and you'll still be able to use them to pick up DVB and )

Anyway, stick "RTL SDR" into your search engine of choice for all the information you could want.

If it helps, I picked up a NESDR Smart and it's well made, although it turns out I live in a proper radio blackspot, and RF electronics is not something I'm very good with.

Soft press keys for locked-down devs: Three new models of old school 60-key Happy Hacking 'board out next month

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Alternatives?

How pleasant a keyboard is to type on depends on the shape of your hands (and wrists, elbows, arms etc.), so it's really subjective.

I've got a very nice mechanical one at home, but I've found no change in my typing from the cheap one I use at work, and I could afford another ten or so as replacements for the cost of my mechanical one. (I do draw the line at the ones with 'laptop' style keys though, I need the full length travel).

I'd always suggest that someone tries as many different types of keyboard as possible, because what works for one person won't work for another.

Oh what a cute little animation... OH MY GOD. (Not acceptable, even in the '80s)

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Head

I think the version they play on the BBC now censors the word "head", but my memory might be faulty.

Heir-to-Concorde demo model to debut in October

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Can it reduce the time spent at airports

"(be one of the last to arrive, so you don't have to queue as much)"

Turns out that, sometimes, if you do that you'll find that the flight is overbooked and you don't have a seat any more.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Lost Opportunities

BA (and Air France) had the advantage that they didn't have to pay the fast majority of the R&D costs, they were all paid by the British and French taxpayers.

Ignoring those costs though, BA at least managed to make a profit off of Concorde (even ignoring the publicity it brought). This was helped by the bright idea of asking their passengers (most of whom presumably had their secretary/PA buying the tickets) how much they thought that a ticket cost. This turned out to be quite a bit more than the actual ticket price, so BA bumped the prices up to what the market could evidently bare.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Lost Opportunities

Don't forget that Concorde was a joint project with France. It wasn't just British technology.

(Judging from how many French people I know who work at Filton, it's a project that's still bearing fruit).

But to answer your question: Money.

GCHQ's cyber arm report on Huawei said to be burning hole through UK.gov desks

phuzz Silver badge

Re: No doubt

Or "Huawei causes cancer!" Followed in a few months by "This one weird Huawei trick can cure cancer!".

I propose the 'Daily Mail Quantum Cancer Uncertainty Principal', whereby everything exists in a supposition of states of both, curing, and causing, cancer, until a journalist has tor knock out a quick article to hit their story count.

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Like it or not

The Falcon Heavy can get enough mass on a Mars trajectory*, but back when they were planning the Mars 2020 mission the FH hadn't flown. Swapping launch vehicles halfway through the planning phase isn't something NASA do very often.

Also, I suspect they were always going to stick with the same rocket they used for Curiosity. That said, I'd be pretty sure that any Mars missions in planning right now, will be looking at the FH as an option.

* SpaceX claim about 16,800kg for a full expendable launch, and the rover+landing system+cruise stage is less than 4,000kg

Linux Mint 20 isn't exactly bursting with freshness but, hey, there's kernel 5.4 and it's a long-term support release

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Upgrading can be painful?

Since Vista upgrading Windows has become more viable, I'd probably put it on par with doing a major upgrade like a service pack (or whatever they're calling these twice yearly updates we get now). ie, very much luck of the draw.

I've never had any problems with it, but I'd put that down to lucky hardware choices.

Two out of three parachutes... is just as planned for Boeing's Starliner this time around

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Technically

I'm assuming that it can land on land, although it would probably rely a lot on crush structures (crumple zones), if only in an emergency. Similarly, both Soyuz and Starliner are capable of a water landing, although it's non optimal. (So far, only Soyuz 23 has had to do a water landing because it landed in a lake).

I'd also assume that they've tested land landings, even if that just meant dropping one from a crane, but I can't find anything after a few minutes of searching.

You wait ages for a mid-air collision spoofing attack and along come two at once: More boffins take a crack at hoodwinking TCAS

phuzz Silver badge

Or, with the same drone, but without the transponder, you could just crash the drone into the aircraft.

Why make it more complicated?

Stinker, emailer, trawler, spy: How an engineer stole top US chip designs, smuggled them to China to set up a rival fab

phuzz Silver badge

"was found guilty of economic espionage and theft of trade secrets, as well as conspiring to commit both crimes"

It does seem slightly harsh that you can be convicted of both committing a crime as well as planning it, isn't that like being charged with murder, and the attempted murder of the same person?

I'd assume that the pre-meditated aspect of the crime would be dealt with in sentencing for the 'larger' crime (eg, premeditated murder is treated more harshly than a 'crime of passion').

Ex-barrister reckons he has a privacy-preserving solution to Britain's smut ban plans

phuzz Silver badge

Re: This could actually make $$$

Plenty of internet and mobile providers already offer content blockers (Vodafone's is called SecureNet) either for free as an incentive, or as a paid program. They mostly seem to be aimed at parents wanting to censor what their kids can look at.

I'm in two minds about it, because I fell that working out how to circumvent a censorbot would be a good learning experience for kids.

Apple to keep Intel at Arm's length: macOS shifts from x86 to homegrown common CPU arch, will run iOS apps

phuzz Silver badge

Windows CE has supported ARM for years, and there's also Windows 10 ARM, which as far as I can tell is pretty much the Microsoft equivalent of everything that Apple has just announced (x86 emulation and everything).

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Probably not a big deal, if you already have reasonably solid code.

you are frankly an amateur

Plenty of software used by millions of people is written by amateurs. Linus Torvolds wasn't paid for his work on Linux until 2003.

Belief in 5G conspiracy theories goes hand-in-hand with small explosions of rage, paranoia and violence, researchers claim

phuzz Silver badge

Re: We have our own US-based All-American 5G Conspiracy Theory!

Well, unless you happen to have clearance, there's no way of knowing who the UK are spying on right now. But from the Snowden leaks we know that they were spying on any country they could, just a few years ago.

Hey NYPD, when you're done tear-gassing and running over protesters, can you tell us about your spy gear?

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Don't bring politics here

I knew that Americans had weird ways of spelling words like 'colour' and 'aluminium', but I'd never have guessed that that is how they spell 'only tells me what I want to hear'.

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Sounds good.

It's open source (here), but after a quick search, I can't find any evidence of anyone trying to port it.

Shame really, can you imagine how many flame wars that would encourage? ;)

Ex-director cops community service after 5,000-file deletion spree on company Dropbox

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Backups? We've heard of them...

A good admin knows how to restore from backups before anyone realises they fucked up...

PC printer problems and enraged execs: When the answer to 'Hand over that floppy disk' is 'No'

phuzz Silver badge

Possibly the original word that 'Tom' used might have identified what company they were talking about, and the editor removed it to preserve their anonymity.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: I think he was glad when I left

For some reason I can't give this the upvote it deserves

Hmm, same here, I just get "Sorry, this post is no longer open for votes".

What's that about elReg?

The incumbent President of the United States of America ran now-banned Facebook ads loaded with Nazi references

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Golly. RED trangles?

Has bob registered a new account?

One way to check; Hey Jemma, what's your thought's on Windows 10's GUI design?

NASA to send Perseverance, a new trundle bot, and Ingenuity, the first interplanetary helicopter, to sniff out life on Mars in July

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Interplanetary Hellicopter

I don't know how they can replicate the conditions to test a Mars helicopter.

As you guessed, they tested in a vacuum chamber (although not in a complete vacuum), and effectively suspended the 'copter from a string to simmulate the reduced weight. More info

How do you run a military court over Zoom? With 28 bullet points and a ceremonial laptop flunkey, of course!

phuzz Silver badge

That put hairs on their chests

Well, that could be a problem in today's Army, now that women are allowed to serve.

Mind you, it might cut down on fraternisation...

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Me too

I only know my weight in kilos, but I'll admit that in some respects 'stones' make more sense.

Mostly because your weight can vary up to a couple of kilos between eating and defecting*, so kilos are too precise.

Still, if I'm going to be doing any maths at all, I'll use SI units and thus stidestep all the random "base twelve, no sixteen!" of Imperial units.

* I once measured a 2.1kg reduction in my weight after one visit to the toilet, of which I am unaccountably proud.

phuzz Silver badge

Re: Spelling

Personally I just spell it kg.

If you're despairing at staff sharing admin passwords, look on the bright side. That's CIA-grade security

phuzz Silver badge

Yes. For example there's "Facedancer21" to attack things like routers and APs using an embedded Linux. They also seem to have developed Linux versions of some multiplatform tools (eg).

There's probably much more, but it's difficult to find without spending days trawling through the documents.


Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2020