* Posts by Stephen Beynon

15 publicly visible posts • joined 24 May 2007

Citibank accidentally wired $500m back to lenders in user-interface super-gaffe – and judge says it can't be undone

Stephen Beynon

Re: Interesting legal argument there....

There was also that the payment amount repaid the outstanding loan and interest to the penny, it was not a random payment amount where, or a decimal point shift so it was reasonable for the receiving party to believe that it was an intentional repayment of the loan rather than fat fingers on the amount transferred.

Watt's next for batteries? It'll be more of the same, not longer life, because physics and chemistry are hard

Stephen Beynon

Re: Why terrifying?

Depending on the EV you buy somewhere between 3 and 4 miles per kwh of electricity is typical.

A 32A (7KW) connection can supply about 56KW hours of electricity in an 8 hour overnight charge. This will provide somewhere between 168 and 224 miles of range. While I am sure there are some people that need more this will provide for the *vast* majority of use cases just fine. If you need more then some cars can charge at 11 or 22KW on a 3 phase connection. If you only occasionally need more then DC rapid chargers exist with maximum supply rates between 50 and 350 KW of power depending on charger model, and car, typically allowing an 80% charge in 20-40 minutes.

While there does need to be improved numbers of rapid chargers they exist at motorway service stations and many major junctions so long distance travel is quite possible.

I have read studies that suggest over 80% of car owners have off-street parking so the majority should have no issue getting a home charger fitted. Obviously more provision will need to be made for streets of houses without drive ways.

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos

Stephen Beynon

Re: They could

""Dredge out the bottom so the sea level went down."

That, clearly won't work as water finds it own level...and dredging the bottom of the river will just allow more water to fill the gap."

You are thinking small. If you dredge deep enough then eventually there will not be enough water to fill the gap and job done !

Admittedly raising the bridge is probably less work.

IBM looks to boost sales the same way it has for 65 years – yes, it's a new mainframe: The z15

Stephen Beynon

Re: "In The Box"?

If the data is not going onto the network then by definition there is no network latency. There will be memory latency for sure, but presumably that will be vastly lower than normal network latency.

Tesla big cheese Elon Musk warns staffers to tighten their belts in bid to cut expenses (again)

Stephen Beynon

Re: Servicing

Very little brake wear on my leaf as it is almost entirely regenerative braking. (To the extent that at my recent MOT they suggested I should try heavy breaking occasionally to stop excessive rust building up on the brake disks !)

So you've 'seen' the black hole. Now for the interesting bit – how all that raw data was stored

Stephen Beynon


Steerable radio telescopes can certainly catch the wind. At high wind speeds this can damage the telescope, and they generally have to be put into a safe position to ride out storms.

US Navy preps railgun for tests

Stephen Beynon

No need for a reactor

There is no need for a Nuclear reactor. Any ship with electric propulsion will have bloody large generators on board that can charge the rail gun capacitor bank.

But it said so in the manual

Stephen Beynon

Linux with 1 Billion files

Linux seems to scale far better than windows with large numbers of files. This article on LWN covers experiments to put 1 Billion files onto linux filesystems.


The basic conclusion is you can put 1 Billion files on a linux filesystem, but you require a lot of memory to check the filesystem (10-30 GB depending on filesystem type) That is far less than the requirement listed above for a mere 60 million files on Windows.

Linux kernel purged of five-year-old root access bug

Stephen Beynon

An X design flaw surely

The root exploit works because the X server (running as root) allows unprivileged process to direct access to its memory space, and permits those unprivileged processes to allocate so much memory that it gets dangerously close to the stack. The X server also allows those processes to send commands causing the X server to use large amounts of stack space.

This sounds entirely like a design flaw in X to me. The new kernel stack guard page is a good way of protecting against this design flaw (and other similar ones in as yet unknown programs). It would have been nice if the kernel stack guard had happened 5 years ago when a possible weakness was identified.

It is worth noting that the stack guard reduces the exploit from being a root exploit to being a X server crash (with SIGBUS) so it is still a denial of service attack in X.

India's Reva to pitch 'invisible' e-car reserve battery

Stephen Beynon

Battery Warrenty Issues

The batteries tend to last longer if you never let them fully discharge, so the real reason for keeping a reserve is to maintain battery life. Clearly it is good PR/customer service to let the customer tap that reserve rather than being stuck by the side of the road with a dead car.

I imagine the reason that they make it require a text message to enable the reserve it to stop people using the reserve every journey, and killing the battery would lead to unacceptable warrenty claims and a bad reputation for battery life time.

Date bug kills VMware systems

Stephen Beynon

@AC Testing for date problems

Testing for date problems is not exactly rocket science. I would suggest having a list of random dates you try during testing. In addition to that have several systems running with dates set in the future in test. Maybe 1 week in the future, 3 months in the future and 6 months. Hopefully the 3 and 6 month systems will catch date related bugs before shipment. The 1 week system will give you 1 weeks warning of a test escape.

I wonder why VMware did not do this.


Virgin Media in premium rate U-turn

Stephen Beynon

To be fair

Every time I have called the 25p/min support line (4 times) the cost of the call has been refunded, because the problem has been their fault. I did not know this would happen before my first call, so I can see why people would be annoyed about the idea of having to pay to report a fault.

Lenovo ThinkPad T61

Stephen Beynon
Thumb Up

Active Protection

The Thinkpad Disk protection works by having an accelerometer in the laptop to detect if the laptop goes into free fall (i.e it is dropped). It then parks the hard disk while the laptop is in mid-air. I am not sure what hard drives Thinkpads currently use, but the Seagate datasheet states that their drives are good for a 250G shock while operating or a 900G shock when they are not operating. This significantly increases the chances of your data surviving the impact, even if the laptop does not.

Spam King arrested in Seattle

Stephen Beynon


Andy: since I enabled spf on my domains I have had a vastly reduced number of bounces from messages that were faked from my domains. While spf is by no means perfect it has helped me.


Fancy a nuclear power station in your backyard?

Stephen Beynon

No reactors up north

I believe that most of the North-South electricity lines are running at close to maximum capacity taking electricity South, so I am assuming that if Scotland were to pick up more nuclear powerstations that more pylons would be required to bring the power south. I can see that being popular .....

As for the cooling towers - it is rather important to keep a nuclear reactor cooled, so I assume that there would have to be sufficient towers to keep the reactor cool even if some were out of action, or some way had been found to use the waste heat elsewhere.