* Posts by Mike 125

322 posts • joined 1 Jun 2010


Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants

Mike 125

Re: More to the story....

> reduce the losses inherent in long distance transmission.

Agreed. It's also the standardised model of the minis: in relative terms- mass production.

The large sites (HPC etc.) are more bespoke one-offs, despite what the designers and builders claim. The site itself always has different characteristics. So they inevitably overrun, for that reason at the least.

The same regularity will apply to waste management.

We need the Model T of nuclear.

Mike 125

Can you please explain the difference between 'preexisting' and 'existing'?

I want to be reassured in my existing belief that they're exactly the same.

I asked my insurance company, but haven't heard back.

What if ransomware evolved to hit IoT in the enterprise?

Mike 125

Re: Next on security

>What exactly is new here?

IT, OT, and IoT? A new level of confusion: mixing of TLAs, CamelCase TwLeACs, etc.

Other than that, not much.

The end of the iPod – last model available 'while supplies last'

Mike 125

1.8 inches

"the untimely death of an iPod disk. The telltale clicks of a broken part presaged its untimely demise. "

I bought that model secondhand from a colleague- (I just needed to own a 1.8 inch disk!)

In my case, and probably in a majority of cases, the problem was the battery not the disk.

The battery aged, and eventually failed to provide the disk spinup current surge (not much for 1.8 inch, but still much larger than normal running). So it just ticked. I proved it by wiring a capacitor across the battery. It worked perfectly.

And then I got bored and moved onto solid state, as you do.

Switch off the mic if it makes you feel better – it'll make no difference

Mike 125

Re: If you can turn almost anything into a speaker, then I have bad news for you...

>With the right electronics behind it, a speaker is already a microphone too!


"but I'm fairly sure that if you can get something to vibrate, you may be able to adapt it to pick up sounds instead of playing them."

That's kinda the whole point.

Arm to IoT devs: Go faster with our pre-made chip subsystems

Mike 125

Re: Too much of the wrong sort of technology

>that's just a bit too much.

Yea but....

"Because they can leverage the scale of the cloud and don't need to build hardware farms, they can take advantage of all the benefits of modern development flows, things like continuous integration and streamlined ML DevOps and simplified security,"


Ok, he's talking about the development process. But inevitably that cloud model will be forced on end users of the product, no doubt justified by 'securidddy'.

They've slowly accustomed us to endless updates for OSs. Why not for thermostats?

Brave new world.

IoT biz Insteon goes silent, smart home gear plays dumb

Mike 125

Re: Kinda SAD, the original uses Houselinc (still available for download) and working.

>I don't think folks where the Internet is not 100% wanted anything offsite.

And where do all the other folks live? 'Cos I'm buying a house right there.

SerenityOS: Remarkable project with its own JS-capable web browser

Mike 125

Re: "Just for fun"

>just the achievement in terms of the hours of sweat and horror spent, when you finally make a breakthrough, is often worth it - because developers are masochists.

Sounds like you just hate fun. Sheldon would be impressed.

Sometimes, I get paid learning how *not* to do things i.e. 'improving' (fixing) other people's garbage. But that's no fun.

The fun is doing it right in the first place. And that's often in my own time.

The wild world of non-C operating systems

Mike 125

Re: Jupiter ACE

It was, and probably still is used to control large telescopes.

And the BBC micro had a full fledged version:


These guys still support it with some high quality, native compilers:


C: Everyone's favourite programming language isn't a programming language

Mike 125

Re: Other languages....

Just read back through your comments and now have a much better perspective on this. Thanks.

>I wouldn't code in C++, but that's because, as a responsible person, I recognize my own limitations.

"Man's got to know his limitations" - Harry Callahan

>As for comfort level, I'd say that I *could* get more comfortable with C++, but I just generally don't feel comfortable being responsible for correctly using languages that make accidental memory-unsafety so easy.

That sums up why things *must* change.

C's legacy, good and bad, is vast. It's spread into use cases for which there is no justification whatsoever- a bit like Windows on warships.

Hence the painful transition, probably waiting on a new generation of programmers. But from the perspective of the old one, it's damn fascinating to sit back and watch!

Mike 125

Re: Other languages....

Seems to me reality has finally hit home. And the new language people are kicking their toys out of the pram, blaming history, because reality is harder than they thought.

No sensible person is arguing against a C replacement, for the appropriate use case. But to be accepted, it must be shown to solve real problems, in the real world.

As for 'getting it', I think most people get it. But if an abstract IDL is required, then maybe the new language designers should have considered that a teensy bit earlier! Then demonstrate why it's needed by their new language, why it's better, and how that solves real world safety problems.

We're (hopefully) in a transition phase. And during that phase, it will get messy. (Traditionally, this is known as 'wrapper hell !')

But it helps nobody to just rail against the current state of things, just listing endless new examples of how reality is hard.

Mike 125

"My problem is that C was elevated to a role of prestige and power, its reign so absolute and eternal that it has completely distorted the way we speak to each other."

No. Your problem is with History. Just grow up and damn well deal with it.

Really getting sick of these people whining about a revolution that happened 50 years ago, and blaming all their current problems on that.

If you can't take it, hand over to those who can.

Zero trust? Not yet a must for most IT departments

Mike 125

Putin has zero trust. It's not going to help him, in the long run.

It's a meaningless buzzphrase.

ARPANET pioneer Jack Haverty says the internet was never finished

Mike 125

Re: TCP?

>It does have its uses

It adds data integrity to the link. That was basically the original requirement. Nothing more.

That sounds easy, but it's not. It's ludicrous to question its usefulness.

The messy stuff is options and optimisations, which have accumulated over the years. (And of course, the mess and flakiness added by people who don't know what they're doing- just poor libraries, i.e. bad coding.)

"At one of the quarterly meetings Vint Cerf came in and dropped a bombshell on us: he said TCP had become a standard."

It sounds like he went for 'scale' early, to beat anyone else to it: and that's a very modern mantra.

Reality check: We should not expect our communications to remain private

Mike 125

confusion reigns

A vote 'For the motion' is a vote for 'we should not expect it to remain private'. Right...?


I don't expect my communications to remain private, unless I pay for the tools to make it so.

Equally, I expect to be paid when others make use of my data, for their gain.

Trio of Rust Core Team members take their leave

Mike 125

history lessons

C is a systems language. A systems language is relatively niche. It has very specific requirements, which are less important for general purpose applications. In serious, critical applications, it should only be used by people who know what they are doing.

Taken from the link below, the story told by Dennis M. Ritchie:

"By early 1973, the essentials of modern C were complete. The language and compiler were strong enough to permit us to rewrite the Unix kernel for the PDP-11 in C during the summer of that year. (Thompson had made a brief attempt to produce a system coded in an early version of C—before structures—in 1972, but gave up the effort.)"

History shows that C developed alongside a real-world, large, complex, ultra reliable, system application: Unix.

I think there's a lesson there for Rust.

The Development of the C Language Dennis M. Ritchie

It's more than 20 years since Steps topped the charts. It could be less than that for STEP's first fusion energy

Mike 125

Re: Do I want one in my own back yard?

>Do I want one in my own back yard?

The word is NIMBY. In my case, N is for 'N'ature. But each has their own version.

I suspect the modular mini-nuke will overtake fusion in the near term. The mass production and standardisation aspect will be irresistable.


"told us "2040 sounds about right" once one considers the infrastructure and sign-offs needed to build a power station. "That's what's taking the time," he said, "it's not the fusion."

I know a sparky working on HPC. It's exactly the same issue there: ya 'elf 'n' saf'ty, regs, planning, etc. Every site is different. They're designing / revising as they go along. That's what's going to make it way late and over budget.

Open source maintainer threatens to throw in the towel if companies won't ante up

Mike 125

Re: My admiration

>Big endian is almost non existent now.

Hardly- it's only used in every single packet traversing the Internet. Try designing a little endian network header and you'll see why.

AWS power failure in US-EAST-1 region killed some hardware and instances

Mike 125

Re: Ever heard of a UPS?

>Amazon is not stupid

On, that we agree. It's a company. It can't be smart or stupid.

>If a big UPS fails then it would take some time for the engineers to manually reroute the power connections.

That's weird- on Star Trek it happens instantly- well, usually within 5 mins or so of the end of the show.

Hey, check this for a plan: how about Amazon configure... wait for it.... >1 UPS? Do you think that would help?

£42k for a top-class software engineer? It's no wonder uni research teams can't recruit

Mike 125

>Its the "decimate it down" bit that bothers me,

Then try 'it's'. See if that helps you.

I think the guy is on our side!

Mike 125


"a different set of skills to the person who fixes your printer when it's broken. [Universities] think: 'Oh, you're an IT person...' "

It was ever thus:

'Oh, you're an electronics engineer- can you fix my toaster?'

This issue is huge. 'Good' science (i.e. science) has enough trouble getting recognised these days, thanks to the 'alternative fact' brigade.

Universities should start training and maintaining their own world class IT departments. But then, there'd be less money for the management layer...

And don't even dare to consider AI. How will scientific consensus decide if results are skewed (genuine) or not, when AI is needed to assist the research? Who's AI? Is the AI good enough?

Exciting times.

Timekeeping biz Kronos hit by ransomware and warns customers to engage biz continuity plans

Mike 125

Re: Being grumpy

To generalise: having been completely and utterly incompetent, and entirely unable and unwilling to even try to solve my obvious problem, they end with:

"Is there anything else I can help you with today?"

Anything 'else'?? ELSE?????????? So.... what... are you more concerned about other problems, (possibly as yet unknown) I may have, than this one, which I've just spent 10 minutes explaining? Are you saying my 1 problem isn't enough for you?

"Is there anything more I can help you with today?"

Anything 'more'?? MORE??????????

At which point, security is called.

China's Yutu rover spots 'mysterious hut' on far side of the Moon

Mike 125

>whole different ballgame.

Yes but still nobody will understand it, and they'll argue for years about its meaning...

Rust dust-up as entire moderation team resigns. Why? They won't really say

Mike 125

Re: Maybe

"...disarray following the resignation of the entire moderation team, citing the "structural unaccountability" of the core development team.

Come on, that's a lot of frothy excitement so early in the language's life. I'm simply adding to the ifs, buts and maybes, just like everybody else.

I don't really give a damn about the politics. But we do get a lot of people making great claims for the language, based on a few contrived examples, it seems to me.

Until a significant piece of real-world system code (i.e. a portion of a kernel, or network stack, or other library etc., and probably that means Linux, but could be any number of real-time kernels) demonstrates Rust's advantage over C, I'm just along for the ride. Let the code speak for itself.

And by the way, I do hope Rust works! Just like everybody else.

Mike 125


Maybe someone spotted the elephant, and now they're panicking. People are looking for a new Messiah. And she doesn't exist.

'But it can't have failed, it's in Rust!'

'How can it have been hacked, it's in Rust!'

'You told us if we used Rust, everything would be cheap and easy!'

'The Boeing cannot crash- it uses Rust!'

Maybe someone realised that it's a very bad idea to expect a new language to fix all the software safety problems in the world.

Server errors plague app used by Tesla drivers to unlock their MuskMobiles

Mike 125

Re: Unusually uninformed and biased article by the Register here.....

>My takeaway from this article is not "tesla fail", it's that there are people in this world that rely on apps for critical operations

Then you're extremely late to the party. Hope you brought good beer and drugs.

Amazon tells folks it will stop accepting UK Visa credit cards via weird empty email

Mike 125

Re: Coincidence?

>an increibly valuable data collection tool for Amazon

Yep. To qualify, they want everything there is to know about me.


Amazon Platinum Mastercard

Qualifying criteria:

Be 18 years or over and have a regular income

Have a permanent UK address (unless you are HM Armed Forces Personnel)

Have a current UK bank account and a mobile phone number


Keep calm and learn Rust: We'll be seeing a lot more of the language in Linux very soon

Mike 125

safe 'subset'



Why Rust?

Rust is a systems programming language that brings several key advantages over C in the context of the Linux kernel:

- No undefined behavior in the safe subset (when unsafe code is sound), including memory safety and the absence of data races.


'Safe subset' is what this is all about.

>At the same time, Ojeda insisted, if you program with Rust well, you "can generate code as good and fast as C or C++."

Yea, of course you can. But in his insistance, he conveniently leaves out safety.

I can write safe and portable system code in C. But it's slower than platform-optimised code, which may well produce undefined behaviour if compiled for the wrong platform.

There's an unavoidable conflict between speed (efficiency) and safety. At the system level, speed counts. If there's ever a speed issue in Rust (and there will be), what will happen? Turn off the safety + call some C. So it doesn't help.

What helps is 'programming well', running lots of tools, and testing.

For applications, fine, bring on Rust or whatever.

Techies tell BCS: More and richer data required if COP26 climate pledges are to be met

Mike 125


>not least knowing how much C02 is actually being produced by what.

Real-time, detailed, continuous monitoring of output across the globe, with strong, immediate penalties for failure, is the only way there's a chance in hell of getting this under control.

Get those bazillion satellites busy doing something more useful than pushing Facebook to the Taliban et al.

Teen bought Google ad for his scam website and made 48 Bitcoins duping UK online shoppers

Mike 125

>What I never understand

Rich people don't need to understand money laundering. They simply employ the best accountants. It's the life blood of the City of London.

For some reason, less rich people think crypto makes laundering easy. But at some point cash becomes crypto, and crypto becomes cash. Information leaks at every step.

Cleanup on aisle C: Tesco app back online after attack led to shopping app outages

Mike 125

Re: "an attempt was made to interfere with our systems"

I interfered with their system once- swiped a bunch of bananas across this weird lasery beepy scanny thing they had instore. And their bastard system charged me 99p!

Not going there again.

Canon makes 'all-in-one' printers that refuse to scan when out of ink, lawsuit claims

Mike 125

Re: To be fair all *home* printers are shit


I've had a Brother HL2035 laser for over 5 years. Cost about £70. I don't use it much- but that's the point: it always works when I need it. Never failed. It gently blinks Toner low now, but still works. No bullsh't.

And certainly no bull-f'king required.

Facebook rendered spineless by buggy audit code that missed catastrophic network config error

Mike 125

Re: locked out by their own system


And what Resides in FB's data centres is even more Evil !

Mike 125


Janardhan said he found it "interesting" to see how Facebook's security measures "slowed us down as we tried to recover from an outage caused not by malicious activity, but an error of our own making."

Way to go with the positive spin. If he really found it so 'interesting', he's in the wrong job.

These failure scenarios are logically predicatable. If humans can't be arsed, then use AI to suggest such scenarios. Virtual networks can then model and test such scenarios.

Why are people like Janardhan failing do that? That is their job. And they should be kicked out when these things fail.

Them saying 'Oh well, the tech teched the tech, with the unexpected result that backup tool tech failed to tech the tech...' is not good enough anymore.

With thanks to - Charlie Stross.

BTW, I detest FB too, like any sane person.

Compromise reached as Linux kernel community protests about treating compiler warnings as errors

Mike 125

Re: No warnings = healthy code

No warnings == healthy code

at least in my language.

Adding AI to everything won't make sense until we can use it for anything

Mike 125

think Bluetooth

"won't make sense until we can use it for anything"

Everything is better with Bluetooth AI. (Even an electric toothbrush.)

Ch-ch-ch-Chia! HDD sales soar to record levels as latest crypto craze sweeps Europe

Mike 125

Re: Chia

Crypto creates the same parodox as social media: terawatts of heat and noise, with the result of Absolute Zero.

Fastly 'fesses up to breaking the internet with an 'an undiscovered software bug' triggered by a customer

Mike 125

Re: Fastly 'fesses up'


Then these outfits must stop claiming the whole edifice is anything other than a flaky, fingers-crossed, hackjob.

Mike 125

Fastly 'fesses up'

Jeeez all the congrats on here??? WTF????

"Even though there were specific conditions that triggered this outage, we should have anticipated it," he wrote.

What utter gibberish. Show me an outage without specific conditions. Everything is a specific condition.

The shares haven't budged. There's a significant perverse incentive for an outfit like this to occasionally 'prove' just how 'critical' it is. It needs to really hurt in the wallet when this happens.

Also, where is the testing? Where is the evidence of the ridiculous uptime guarantees they make? Redundancy is a thing. Reliability engineering is a thing. Fault tree analysis is a thing. And if hardware can do it, so can software.

Slowing down, Ok. Dropping out of the air stone dead- not acceptable.

These outfits are a joke. If we're serious about crititical infrastructure uptime, they need to buck the 'uck up.

Brit retailer Furniture Village confirms 'cyber-attack' as systems outage rolls into Day 7

Mike 125

Re: A cyber-attack and no data had been leaked

I don't get why any of this is surprising.

SolarWinds and its ilk planted the seeds. The tools were then dumped to grow the seeds. And now the 'script kiddies' can reap the whirlwind on whoever they choose.

Nation states are still discrete. It's just that now everybody else can start to take a profit. That's democracy.

As long as it's legal to pay up, this won't end.

Nobody expects the borkish bank-wisition: When I said I wanted some notes from the ATM, I never thought I'd see...

Mike 125

Actually MS have recently updated it: to 'handle' MS/Unix line endings.

And that really bugs me because it used to be an easy way to check the line endings!

Big red buttons and very bad language: A primer for life in the IT world

Mike 125

Re: Red Buttons, children

"Guess what I learned at school today, Mummy!"

I.T. is a lot more fun than I thought!

NHS-backed org reacted to GitHub leak disclosure with legal threats and police call, complains IT pro

Mike 125

Re: ftfy

Yep- indeed. I vaguely sensed that as I posted it. Getting lazy. Thanks.

Mike 125

>NHS-backed company not only threatened him with legal a

NHS and related managament hate whistleblowers. It's instinctive. They just can't help themselves.

Elon Musk hits the brakes on taking Bitcoin for Tesla purchases

Mike 125
Mike 125

Re: Odd that

>one wonders where he thinks the electricity comes from that powers his cars?

Batteries. DUH.

We need to move around. We don't need to mine an ephemeral, toy currency.

During the transition to renewables, a massive needless increase in consumption helps nobody.

Which? warns that more than 2 million Brits are on old and insecure routers – wagging a finger at Huawei-made kit

Mike 125

Tech is slowly taking control.. because we let it.

The average 'home router' is modem + firewall + router.

One major risk is following instructions that come with your shiny new IoT garbage to configure port forwarding.

Here's a suggestion to ISPs: supply non-configurable routers.

In one easy step, we make people safer... and sadly, dumber.

Bill to protect UK against harmful foreign investment becomes law

Mike 125

Yep. The British culture has become: grow, and sellout as fast as possible, for the fastest buck. Never mind investing for the future.

Oh, and: posh people don't do engineering. That's for plebs.

Mike 125

Re: Harmful foreign "investment" in political parties.

Damn you beat me to it...........

I was going to ask does it cover Boris Johnson selling most of London to Russian oligarchs who are happy with assassination, and Saudi princes who favour beating women?

Watchdog 'enables Tesla Autopilot' with string, some weight, a seat belt ... and no actual human at the wheel

Mike 125

Comments are missing the point

This is the significant point here:

"Tesla supremo Elon Musk, however, claimed data logs from the vehicle showed neither Autopilot nor the automaker's Full Self-Driving mode was engaged. "

Wow. I can just hear the investigators, lawyers, claims managers, etc. etc. forming a queue.

As I've said before- Musk should have been satisfied with the best electric car. He'd have sold just as many.

But then.. what sort of nut job / tech disruptor reuses rockets...



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