* Posts by MD Rackham

284 publicly visible posts • joined 26 May 2007


If you suddenly can't print to your HP Printer from your Mac, you're not alone: Code security cert snafu blamed

MD Rackham

Or got promoted into top management.

Aut-doh!-pilot: Driver jams 65mph Tesla Model S under fire truck, walks away from crash

MD Rackham

Re: Carshare

No passenger needed in California for all electric vehicles; those get a sticker that authorizes them to use the carpool/carshare/diamond/HOV (High Occupancy Vehicle) lane.

As for those asking why the Tesla didn't swerve: he was on the 405--the HOV lane may have been clear enough to allow 65 MPH driving, but chances are the adjacent lanes were bumper-to-bumper stopped. "Rush hour" on that stretch of the 405 lasts 24 hours.

FCC Commissioner blasts new TV standard as a 'household tax'

MD Rackham

Re: Is anything ever obsolete?

SECAM - System Entirely Contrary to the American Method

What does the Moon 4bn years ago and Yahoo! towers this week have in common? Both had an awful atmosphere

MD Rackham

Re: Fly me to the Moon

Had much more to do with the cost of the Vietnam war than the "Great Society" programs.

Nixon was the one that killed Apollo, killed the Mars follow-on, and settled on the flawed and under-funded STS development.

He also cut back many of the Great Society program while escalating the Vietnam war.

So it was politics, but as practiced by Nixon and his "southern strategy" (i.e., promoting racism).

Five ways Apple can fix the iPhone, but won't

MD Rackham

Those are the features that the iPhone is missing?

You have a strange set of user requirements.

User demanded PC be moved to move to a sunny desk – because it needed Windows

MD Rackham

Re: As any good medical professional will tell you

We called them WORN drives: Write Once, Read Never.

Scientists measure magnetic field around most distant galaxy yet

MD Rackham

Not So Hard

I learned how to do this in grade school. Just put a piece of paper on top of the galaxy then sprinkle some iron filings on top.

Physicists always want to make a big deal out of everything.

Surfacegate: Microsoft execs 'misled Nadella', claims report

MD Rackham

Re: Not surprised...

This is a terrible new trend!

And what's with the integrated floating-point unit these days? I remember when an FPU was delivered in its own separate rack, as dog intended (FPP-12)!

Steve Bannon wants Facebook, Google 'regulated like utilities'

MD Rackham

It also had more to do with deregulation than regulation.

Fast-spreading CopyCat Android malware nicks pennies via pop-up ads

MD Rackham

Re: 2017 and people copying games and planting malware inside hacked versions.

"We have never had an undetected error."

While USA is distracted by its President's antics, China is busy breaking another fusion record

MD Rackham

Huh. A new place advertising "Chinese Fusion" just opened down the street. I guess it's not at all what I thought it was.

AES-256 keys sniffed in seconds using €200 of kit a few inches away

MD Rackham

The headline has been altered from when it first went up.

It was originally "a metre away" which is 3x the 30 cm the article discusses. The current headline of "a few inches" is better. Still misleading, but not something I would have commented on.

MD Rackham

The headline lies about the actual content of the story. The 50 second time is for kit 30 cm away. The one metre time was 5 minutes.

Changing the headline to "You won't believe how long it took to crack an AES-256 password!" would be more ethical clickbait.

I fought Ohm's Law and the law won: Drone crash takes out power to Silicon Valley homes

MD Rackham

"a white adult male with white hair who fled the scene in a white hatchback car"

Police went on to say they have apprehended 4 black male suspects.

Google can't spare 113 seconds of revenue to compile data on its gender pay gap

MD Rackham

Complicated by the fact that those juicy government contracts that Google has contractually obligates them to keep such data. And to make it available to auditors.

I (briefly) consulted for a company that thought those federal contract details were just "boilerplate" and could be ignored. When the feds were done with the audits and started assessing penalties and yanking contracts, the company was shut down as it was suddenly bankrupt. Oops.

(Of course the CEO was a libertarian asshole (but I repeat myself) who didn't think any rules should apply to him.)

Boffins gently wake the Large Hadron Collider from annual hibernation

MD Rackham

Sure, like a black hole.

Or Brexit. Or President Trump.

(Please, just bring on the Earth-devouring black hole rather than more of that.)

It's Russian hackers, FBI and Wikileaks wot won it – Hillary Clinton on her devastating election loss

MD Rackham

Re: Comey was required by Congress to inform Congress

There was no "email fiasco" except in the minds of low-information voters.

She handled email the same way as her predecessors. Sorry if you fell for the Republican con.

Really, really sorry if you fell for the Bernie con (which Clinton diplomatically didn't mention as another reason for her loss).

Western Digital relocates HQ, sheds jobs

MD Rackham

So which executive has a kid just starting at Stanford?

Can think of no other reason to move offices from a high-cost area (Irvine) to an extreme-cost area (San Jose).

High Court hands Lauri Love permission to appeal extradition to US

MD Rackham

Re: Mummy has a few "connections" and has worked them to death..

The problem is not that Mummy cares enough to make the effort, but rather that her "connections" could actually make a difference.

Justice should be blind to the presence of connections, or even the presence of a doting mother.

It may not be the way the world actually works, but don't expect sympathy from me when it sometimes does.

Alabama joins anti-web-smut crusade with mandatory opt-out filters

MD Rackham

No way this could could go wrong

Well, the obvious thing to do is report all the legislators' re-election websites to this central contact that is obligated to block sites.

And maybe I'll report my neighbor's business website. He still hasn't returned my circular saw.

Then there's the coach of the soccer team that beat my son's team last week.

Oh, I know! I'll report the site that you report sites to. They'll have to block themselves!

Nope, no way this could go wrong.

Apple squashes cert-handling bug affecting macOS and iOS

MD Rackham

Re: Why won't Apple backport security?

You might want to check for updates before complaining too loudly.

"Security Update 2017-001 10.11.6" is available to fix the cert bugs on 10.11 via Software Update.

Google's stock rating downgraded as YouTube ad boycott contagion goes global

MD Rackham

Re: Huh?

The article points out that advertising makes up most of Google's revenue, so if this boycott starts to affect ad revenue it will show up quite clearly in their bottom line revenue and profits.

Reduced revenue and profits tends to negatively affect share price. I'd say both count as "market forces."

SpaceX yoinks $96m GPS launch deal from under ULA's nose

MD Rackham

I expect some surprised faces...

...on their neighbors if they are going to launch from their HQ in Hawthorne. Not only surprised, but probably singed too.

I think you'll find that they are going to launching from Canaveral in Florida.

Microsoft nicks one more Apple idea: An ad-supported OS

MD Rackham

Re: But,

Better yet, buy the space to advertise Windows 7.

Uber loses court fight over London drivers' English language tests

MD Rackham

Re: Correction:

I don't understand what makes you "cringe."

Is it your own ignorance at not being able to read those languages? Is it the thought of "those people" being able to vote? Is it the color of their skin? Is it typical American white male insecurity? Is it shame at the size of your "hands?"

Frustrated by reboot-happy Windows 10? Creators Update hopes to take away the pain

MD Rackham

Re: Stopped using

I think it's sort of telling that Mossberg thinks that iPad apps cover the totality of what is done on computers. There is more to life than word processing/spreadsheets/games, although most "pundits" don't know that.

(Not to mention that ARM really isn't up to the task of those non-word processing/spreadsheets/games uses.)

SpaceX blasts back into the rocket trucking business

MD Rackham

Credit where credit is due

This is the second launch since the September kaboom. The first was a launch for Iridium from Vandenberg.

It's the first from Canaveral (actually KSC this time), the first from LC 39A, and the first ISS resupply mission since then. Maybe that's what you were thinking of?

Crack in black: Matte iPhones losing paint at alarming rate, gripe fans

MD Rackham

Re: "I just open the casing once a week to wipe the dust off from the phone."

We all do. Are you saying you don't?

Next I suppose you'll tell us you skip the monthly recalibration of your car's Johnson bar.

It's that time of the year again: Texas school district blabs staff tax documents to phishers

MD Rackham

Re: Quite an achievement!

I just received my W-2 as a PDF. It's 45K in size.

For 250 employees that's 11 MB. Even less if it was a single PDF so all the PostScript header stuff wasn't repeated 250 times.

A bit large for an email attachment, but if the District Superintendent asks, then you do whatever it takes!

Amazon files patent for 'Death Star' flying warehouse

MD Rackham

Re: How can this be patented?

Kiki approves of this idea.

If you bought a dildo in Denver, the government must legally be told

MD Rackham

At Least...

At least she seems pleased with her new package.

Even if everyone knows about it.

Everything at Apple Watch is awesome, insists Tim Cook

MD Rackham

Re: Just because sales have tanked

A salesman are you?

"Blame the product" is the #1 excuse salespeople trot out when confronted about their own poor performance. (Occasionally it's true, but most often not.)

Wannabe Cali governor gives up against beach-blocking billionaire VC

MD Rackham

Re: Super Cali ...

It died of old age.

(It was increasingly tired over the last few years.)

Facebook Fake News won it for Trump? That's a Zombie theory

MD Rackham

Re: Oh, not again....

If we went "with the vote of the people" we'd be discussing President-elect Hillary Clinton.

Shhh! Shazam is always listening – even when it's been switched 'off'

MD Rackham

Re: Red light

On laptops that have an LED indicator to show that the camera is on, clever people (pronounced "bastərds") have managed to reprogram the microcontroller to disable the indicator function. So an indicator isn't as useful as one might assume.

No spin zone: Samsung recalls 3M EXPLODING washing machines

MD Rackham

Re: Uh oh!

Start counting down. Between 6-9 months from now the main processor board will fail in some fashion, ranging from bogus indicators to complete (literal!) melt-down of your freezer contents.

The cost of replacing the board is greater than the cost of the fridge. Samsung will not honor any warranty on it; there's always some way that it's Not Their Fault.

This is from a sample of six Samsung refrigerators from myself and friends. All six have had processor board failures. All six have been replaced by units from more reliable manufacturers.

(The ice maker usually fails around four months in.)

Accessories to crime: Facial recog defeated by wacky paper glasses

MD Rackham

Where Can I Get...

...the ones that make you look like Milla Jovovich.

I want to get a pair for the Mrs. for her birthday. Or maybe for mine....

Did Apple leak a photo of its new Macbook Pro in an OS update? Our survey says: Yes

MD Rackham

Re: MEH x 10

Those other laptops that attract more flies are undoubtedly more "specked".

Apple to automatically cram macOS Sierra into Macs – 'cos that worked well for Windows 10

MD Rackham

The fact you consider the Mac Pro (Late-2013)™ to be "dildo shaped" suggests that you may have some misconceptions about how to use computers.

I would seriously suggest further investigation before attempting to use an older "cheese grater" MacPro.

One-way Martian ticket: Pick passengers for Musk's first Mars pioneer squad

MD Rackham

Re: Journey time

If anyone actually looked at the Musk presentation data, they'd see that the 80-day transit time is the "best case" scenario with one particular Earth-Mars alignment. Worst case was 150 days, or nearly twice as long.

And all of that was in support of determining thrust and fuel requirements for the desired payload mass to Mars, which determines the size of the booster, not for the purposes of scheduling how long you need to board your cat for.

While I'm at it, he also didn't promise 100 passengers to Mars in 2022. The 2022 date is for a completely different mission to Mars (Red Dragon), and he specifically stated in the Q&A that the first test flights of his "spaceship" would have many fewer than 100 people on-board. I would expect that the first flight(s) would have 0 humans on board.

Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

MD Rackham

Re: Our Windows windows will be resizable, soooon, vows Microsoft

Obligatory pedant comment pointing out that neither Smalltalk on the Alto nor Star Office featured overlapping windows. They were both tiled systems.

But the Apple visitors to PARC thought they'd seen overlapping windows so that's what they implemented, and did a rather clever job of it.

(Around the same time the AT&T Blit did have overlapping windows, but I've never heard any claim that anyone from Apple saw a Blit. And I no longer recall the exact timing of who released first. Needless to say the Blit didn't go very far.)

IPv4 wealth redistributed

MD Rackham

Re: Remember an IPv6 numer? And not use DNS?

And when presented with one of those misconfigured DNS installations, you never have to look at, type in, or mentally compare an IP address?

This reminds me of calling tech support because your computer won't boot, and you're told to fill out a trouble ticket on their website. The high-level solution is best until it isn't there.

Human-readability of addresses isn't the most important issue (by a long shot), but it sure is annoying.

The dev-astating truth: What's left to develop? Send in the machines

MD Rackham

Fads Come, Fads Go

Will the latest fad be the last one? (said breathlessly)


Some of us remember when "goto-less programming" was going to fix everything. Sigh....

Philando Castile death-by-cop vid mysteriously vanishes from Facebook

MD Rackham

Re: He is the 506th person to die in a police shooting this year in the Land of the FreeTM

What difference does it make where he was headed or what he does in his spare time? He could have been headed to the local fluffy-kitten sacrifice cult annual BBQ and he still wouldn't deserve to get shot for explicitly following a cops orders.

Being a cop is not terribly dangerous compared to other jobs. Being a crab fisherman is considerably more dangerous, but we don't use that as an excuse to allow crabbers to shoot people.

Having grown up around cops I can say quite confidently that most cops are racist assholes who are incredibly insecure anytime they are not 100% in control. There are some good cops out there, but they've been bullied into just going along with the rest.

Thunder struck: Apple kills off display line

MD Rackham

ADB a Failure?

Here I am typing on a wonderful Mac II ADB-interface mechanical-switch keyboard connected to a current round Mac Pro. Works just fine, thank you, and is the best keyboard this side of a Selectric.

I have a stack of 5 more of them in the closet just in case, but I can't kill this keyboard no matter how hard I pound on the thing.

Yes, I use an ADB-to-USB converter, but still...

Smut shaming: Anonymous fights Islamic State... with porn

MD Rackham

Too bad that...

...all of the ISIL "supporters" on Twitter are actually FBI agents trolling for marks for the next sting operation.

And those FBI boys like their pron almost as much as the Secret Service guys.

SpaceX winning streak meets explosive end

MD Rackham


I'm sure the EUTELSAT folks will be surprised that SpaceX is "taxpayer funded", considering that they paid $60 million+ for the launch of their satellites.

Or does receiving government contracts for one thing mean that everything else you do is "taxpayer funded"?

Apple quietly launches next-gen encrypted file system

MD Rackham

Re: Next-gen?

Since case-insensitive is the default setting for HFS+, what is it that you think makes it "not work (properly)"? Locale handling? Honest question.

Yes, there are issues with HFS+, mostly just showing its age. Not sure anyone is going to argue with you there. But whatever follows it is sort of by definition the "next-gen," at least for Apple.

ZFS appeared to get canceled by Apple's legal department, not because of technical issues.

MD Rackham

Re: Adobe

Since we talking about case sensitivity, it's "Xcode", not "XCode".

Broadcom sues Sony over MPEG, wireless etc patents in PlayStation 4

MD Rackham

Re: This is why we cant have nice things

But there is no evidence in this article that Broadcom is abusing patents via submarining or patenting the obvious. These 10 patents are well known and widely licensed and, as the article noted, were previously licensed by Sony.

It's possible that it's an oversight on Sony's part, but if Broadcom has really contacted them then an oversight could have been quickly remedied. More likely Sony is using their lawyers to try to cut a better licensing deal as part of a settlement. ("Well, you could continue this expensive patent litigation for a few more years, or we could just license the patents for 10% of what we were previously paying. Your choice.")