* Posts by Mike 125

244 posts • joined 1 Jun 2010


Co-inventor of the computer mouse, William English, dies

Mike 125

Re: Revolutionary

"Doug Engelbart had the idea. Bill English did the engineering"

Add a dreamer to an engineer. Subtract a beancounter. Sprinkle some place and time. Stand back and watch.

It doesn't always work, but it's a damn good start.

Twitter says spear-phishing attack hooked its staff and led to celebrity account hijack

Mike 125

Re: Give us the method details!

Barry's a great guy. And I like to help people. What's wrong with that?

Twitter hackers busted 2FA to access accounts and then reset user passwords

Mike 125

insider trading

"the attackers successfully manipulated a small number of employees and used their credentials to access Twitter's internal systems,"

This is an attack from inside the security model. This is equivalent to an Intel processor side channel attack.

*Some* employees will always have access to tools which permit account access, at the very least enabling a credential reset. *Some* can modify system code! If those employees go rogue, or stupid, then it's game over. There's no mystery to that.

Fasten your seat belts: Brave Reg hack spends a week eating airline food grounded by coronavirus crash

Mike 125

Re: We should retain only minimal flights; no 50-mile jollie

>Do YOU decide what is a "jollie", and what is "essential travel"?

No, COVID-19 decides. And CO2 decides.

None of the shouty little kids like their nasty medicine, but sometimes they have to suck it up. Can't be much worse than "protein chunks in spiced slurry".

Oh crap: UK's digital overlords moot new rules to help telcos lay fibre in sewer pipes

Mike 125

"the UK government is examining the possibility of giving broadband firms access to more than a million kilometres of underground infrastructure owned by other utility firms: including electricity, gas, water, and sewerage networks."

Joined-up stinking.

Brit MP demands answers from Fujitsu about Horizon IT system after Post Office staff jailed over accounting errors

Mike 125

still up...

'Over 3.5 million lines of programming code were used tocreate Horizon's sophisticated functionality.'

"Wow. I mean like. WOW. I gotta get me some of that." thinks the suit.


Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

Mike 125

Re: At least..

This was a bug. It requires a fix.

Boeing MAX was a catastrophic, company busting, system design failure. And that requires instant denial, followed by total focus of company resources on defending it.

They can't outsource denial.

Turns out Elon can't control the weather – what a scrub: Rain, clouds delay historic manned SpaceX-NASA launch

Mike 125

I approve.

-Arm Launch Escape System

-Load Propellant

-Scrub Scrub Scrub

-Offload Propellant

-Disarm Launch Escape System

That's a good sequence. I like that sequence.

It was oddly gripping, partly because it's been a while, and partly because it's such a relief from the relentless idiocy of politics. At last: real people, doing a proper job, and doing it well. (You too NHS)

Roll on Saturday.

While waiting for the Linux train, Bork pays a visit to Geordieland with Windows 10

Mike 125

Re: Need a bit of Raspberry Pi action

>New versions need to be tested properly before roll out.

Ermmm... BORK?? You had me, up to that point. I think you'll find testing any new version or patch is generally... a good idea.

"but "we're about to upgrade all of our production machines to a custom Linux build to improve their stability and generally operate with more efficiency." "


Easyjet hacked: 9 million people's data accessed plus 2,200 folks' credit card details grabbed

Mike 125

Re: Other reports are saying they became aware of this in January

>What gives?

Lazy security. It's the gift that keeps on giving.

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you

Mike 125


"One thing we have got to change in our strategy - allowing Office documents to be rendered very well by other peoples browsers is one of the most destructive things we could do to the company. We have to stop putting any effort into this and make sure that Office documents very well depends on PROPRIETARY IE capabilities," Gates wrote in a memo to Microsoft in 1998.

And nothing's changed.

It looks like you want a storage appliance for your data centre. Maybe you'd prefer a smart card reader?

Mike 125

Re: Bit like Amazon at the moment

>but was offered page after page of cheap nasty PPE medical visors. Totally useless,

Yea, the irony being that your 'table saw, big angle-grinder or chainsawing down trees' really matters.

On the other hand, who gives a toss what useless crap doctors, nurses, paramedics, cleaners etc. are forced to use. Lucky their crap is really cheap, since they're having to pay for it themselves. Even stranger times.

And back towards topic: Amazon search has always been useless. It's impossible to search out the 'slightly better quality' from the dross.

Keen to go _ExtInt? LLVM Clang compiler adds support for custom width integers

Mike 125

Re: Ugh!

>I turn off alignment with #pragma pack. The resultant code generated by the compiler to access this structure is obviously more complicated,

You're forcing the compiler to use a non-native data representation. That is nearly always a bad idea.

The resultant source code is subtly non-portable and dangerous, giving rise to one of the worst categories of bug: it can come and go depending on something as obscure as the exact alignment of the binary in memory. Even on the local machine, its runtime can vary according to alignment, causing further strange behaviour.

Saving memory by sensible ordering of C structures, is a well explored and explained issue.

The Lost Art of Structure Packing.

Lockdown endgame? There won't be one until the West figures out its approach to contact-tracing apps

Mike 125

Re: Singapore

>you cannot be sure 100% that it will be stopped they claimed that you can be sure 100% that it wouldn't work.

110%, surely???

It's only politicians and nutjobs who talk about 100% certainty in any of this. It's the red flag. Medicine is science and science is hard, and some people can't handle that.

A vaccine will be the real exit. (Corexit? Covidexit??? Here we go again.)

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables

Mike 125

Re: Data Centre Management

>Failure to comply with using the software is quite simple: Everyone gets to take the piss out of you for causing someone else pain. (Yes, I've been on the receiving end) No management intervention required as peer-pressure is a far more effective stick in this situation.

This is also a tried and tested method for compliance with source code version control rules. Not that I'd know, obviously. A friend told me...

Zoom's end-to-end encryption isn't actually end-to-end at all. Good thing the PM isn't using it for Cabinet calls. Oh, for f...

Mike 125


"Currently, it is not possible to enable E2E encryption for Zoom video meetings...."

It's not just Zoom's lie about E2E encryption. It's the way they encourage 'ease of use'. I am regularly sent this legitimate (numbers changed) invite over open webmail, (by an outfit which believes what Zoom tells them).


Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 123 456 789

Password: 123456


Zoom are lying f'cking idiots.

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

Mike 125

Must get the order right...

Here's the problem: any camera drone that lands in my back garden sure as hell isn't leaving in one piece:

1) Underpants back on.

2) Balaclava up.

3) Test drone resistance to baseball bat.

And if Amazon complain? It's my word against theirs - see them in court.

It's time to track people's smartphones to ensure they self-isolate during this global pandemic, says WHO boffin

Mike 125

Awww :) You're so funny :) :)

It's hilarious when people expect others to act rationally, and then get irrationally angry when they don't.

Mike 125

Re: Yes, I'm being monitored

>But the phone I left on the kitchen table failed to observe me slipping out to buy a burner...

Good luck with that. Shelves round here emptied of burners last week. That should've been the warning..

'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw in millions of Intel chips could spell 'utter chaos' for DRM, file encryption, etc

Mike 125

The best.

" 'Unfixable' boot ROM security flaw..."

That's my favourite kind, a bit like 'impossible milestone', 'challenging deadline', 'unreachable dream'.

My advice is take a beer, stretch out, and self-isolate.

Microservices guru warns devs that trendy architecture shouldn't be the default for every app, but 'a last resort'

Mike 125

Re: I'd be interested...

>and what sort of experience they have in large scale, multi-team, multi stakeholder software projects.



"but for whatever reason, we have to deploy the entire system together as part of a lockstep release. Often this can occur because we've got our service barriers wrong."

In the old days, we used to scream "Sheeat - who checked in that modified header file without warning anyone?"

Kids today.

If you're writing code in Python, JavaScript, Java and PHP, relax. The hot trendy languages are still miles behind, this survey says

Mike 125


>(Many/most jobs that claim to be C++ are actually good ol' C ... ... but that's a rant for another day.)

It's a worthwhile rant. 'C/C++' is usually a bad indicator for an advertised job. The *appropriate* use case for each is (correctly) very different. OTOH, if it's just a C++ compiler constrained (caged!) to C, that's fine.

It's one of the first questions I ask these days. The answer reveals a huge amount about whoever's doing the interviewing/ advertising, although not necessarily much about the actual job!

If there's a bustle in your hedgerow, don't be alarmed now: Brexit tea towel says it'll just be the gigabit broadband

Mike 125

Re: The Internet of Hedgerows

>protected by Privet Key Encryption.

Good, that'll stop 'em getting root privileges.

Internet's safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe

Mike 125

How long?

>Once the ceremony is complete – which takes a few hours

A few hours? Jeez. Given a choice, I'd poop that party and hit the nuke launch code testing ceremony instead.

Microsoft boffin inadvertently highlights .NET image woes by running C# on Windows 3.11

Mike 125

Re: IDE?

>command line, TSE, and a makefile.

That's IDE, but without the magical ingredient of vendor lock-in. And what would accountants do without that?

Windows 7 and Server 2008 end of support: What will change on 14 January?

Mike 125

Re: Welcome

Spending that sort of cash on a machine tool, (or a warship), I'd need to know it was not controlled by *anything* Microsoft. There are high quality kernels out there designed for that kind of job.

Windows has always been at best a machine for light office data processing. Early versions (pre NTFS) were nowhere near mission-ready, even for that. It was *never* envisaged as a control system.

Somewhere down the line, people got lazy specifying what they thought they knew best, and Windows ended up in a 1000 places it had absolutely no right to be.

That's not really Microsoft's fault. It got rich. That was its sole purpose, and it did it very well. And now, it's doing the same, but in the Cloud. It couldn't care less about the desktop. (American translation: it could care less.)

Someone get Greenpeace on the line. Boffins clock carbon 'pollution' cloud 30,000 light-years wide choking galaxies

Mike 125

Re: Carbon "pollution"

>Carbon "pollution"

>No. It isn't. The carbon is clearly where it's meant to be (since it's, well, there).

By your logic, pollution which exists, cannot exist! But yea, it's a bit odd to classify elemental carbon as such. It would be rather tragic if we successfully move to carbon-free, only to be fried alive by the unexpected arrival of a giant carbon fart.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze

Mike 125


>referenced memory is always valid, memory references can only be written to from one place, inter-thread data races are prevented

I'd like to see how that's achieved *efficiently*. And by efficiently, I mean in the 'language appropriate for system code', 'language as fast and compact as assembly and yet still portable' sense.

But I'm a sceptical old dog, so I got my favourite old bones...

Magic Leap rattles money tin, assigns patents to a megabank, sues another ex-staffer... But fear not, all's fine

Mike 125

Re: It really is interesting

>certainly not as interesting as the hype machine it pushed on everyone. Kind of like the Segway,

And a lot like Theranos. It keeps happening. We have a system which massively rewards utter bullsh't. It's only a matter of time before politics goes the same way. Oh.

Amazon is saying nothing about the DDoS attack that took down AWS, but others are

Mike 125

Re: The trouble with clouds

>>I don't think that the existing Reg Standard Units give a suitably intuitive measure of large volumes with relatively low densities -

And while we're at it, an RSU for DNSDDoS Density.

(assuming frequency can be interpreted as density...)

Welcome to the World Of Tomorrow, where fridges suffer certificate errors. Just like everything else

Mike 125


Come on you people- this fridge has a 'Digital Inverter Compressor'. I gotta get me some of that. That beats the pants off Dyson's digital motor.

When did 'digital' get cool again? It was boring by the late '80s. Everything sprouted red 7 segments- even stuff which needed to show a trend. Nonsense.

Must be a retro thing...

DoH! Mozilla assures UK minister that DNS-over-HTTPS won't be default in Firefox for Britons

Mike 125

Re: Shifting what where?

>incidentally encrypting the traffic

DoH is about en-route privacy and protection from MITM spoofing, intercepting etc. As many people are commenting, endpoint privacy is no different.

>some third party advertising site runs

But I take your point...

Switch about to get real: Openreach bod on the challenge of shuttering UK's copper phone lines

Mike 125


>As Openreach doesn't deal with customers directly,

Yea... funny, that. Almost like it was a precondition.

Like a grotty data addict desperately jonesing for its next fix, Google just can't stop misbehaving

Mike 125

Re: Actions not people?

>I'm old enough to remember the early Google.

Me too. The irony of this is that now, Google as a searcher (I refuse to call it an 'engine') doesn't actually work well. Back then, the results were stunningly accurate- it was a revelation. Indexing cross links is a super effective method to get high quality results... until money corrupts the index. Then it all goes to sh't. I could forgive some of the data issues if the search worked like it used to.

Having said that, it's disturbing that some people on here don't seem to appreciate the superpower which Google's data operations yield.

Finally! A solution to 42 – the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything

Mike 125


Great work. That would've made Douglas very happy. But it's a travesty that the proof is so simple.

Hmmm... that's got me thinking... I wonder if anyone's ever tried solving

a^n + b^n = c^n

for n greater than 2? Maybe I'll have a go after the cricket.

Biz forked out $115k to tout 'Time AI' crypto at Black Hat. Now it sues organizers because hackers heckled it

Mike 125

quick, hide.


Enjoy the Matrix visuals- classic.

Then go down and follow 'Meet the Team'

'Page not found'

That'll be 'Team not found'.

Researchers find development and conservation aren't mutually exclusive

Mike 125

The elephant...

...in the room, is the transition to carbon-neutral. The way that transition is implemented will overwhelmingly determine what remains of existing species, probably including us and elephants.

Meet ELIoT – the EU project that wants to commercialize Internet-over-lightbulb

Mike 125

'Unlightly' to happen.

>Li-Fi is not susceptible to electromagnetic interference

Yes it is. It's just that there is none at that frequency, for now. The Long Wave radio band didn't used to have interference.

>why aren’t we using it?

It appears to be a solution looking for a need.

Literally rings our bell: Scottish eggheads snap quantum entanglement for the first time

Mike 125

Re: How entanglement really works, how to prove it

And here we clearly demonstrate entanglement- between YouTube and the Reg.

You're not Boeing to believe this, but... Another deadly 737 Max control bug found

Mike 125

Re: "triggers an exception that can't be handled and the CPU halts"

>I'm pretty sure that if the CPU halts it will be rebooted pretty sharpish.

CNN says:

'In simulator tests, government pilots discovered that a microprocessor failure could push the nose of the plane toward the ground. It is not known whether the microprocessor played a role in either crash.'

I suspect the 'revised' tests force a processor STOP, just to see what happens. Unfortunately, what happens is an aircraft STOP. Hence multiple redundant systems. I bet no tests like that have been done before on this system.

Watchdogs: I've seen a tickle done from a timer interrupt handler. And for his Full Gold Star, the engineer actually claimed he was being clever.

>When I was working with people writing diesel engine controllers 15 years ago

A lot's changed in 15 years, and none of it good.

Monster magnet in my pocket: Boffins' gizmo packs 45.5-tesla punch and weighs just 390g

Mike 125

Re: So many "look at this cool thing"

>Back then people actually applied things. >Waste of time while...

Part 1: Science => Engineering principles => Application prototypes

Part 2: Demand => Application development => Stuff to buy and/or (make world better and/or worse)

Always was, is now, always will be. So, which part is a "waste of time" ?

Mike 125

At last.

I knew it. They called me crazy, but now the people will queue for my 245.3A 9.45mV power supply, and I'll be rich!

Amazing stuff.

Hi! It looks like you're working on a marketing strategy for a product nowhere near release! Would you like help?

Mike 125


Large organisations/ software companies don't want "naturally curious" people - too much disruption and threat to the hierarchy.

So smart engineers must challenge and amuse themselves by developing a POConcept in their heads very quickly, and maybe even writing some private 'test' code.

Then it's the POCrap they submit for review. And of course, at the water cooler it's strictly cars and football.

'Software delivered to Boeing' now blamed for 737 Max warning fiasco

Mike 125

Boeing knew.

Ignore all the noise. The message is now simple and unambiguous.

Boeing knew.

Mike 125

Re: Surely...

>In the meantime, remember the saying "either go to sea with one compass or three."

Always take a bomb on a plane. What's the chance of there being two onboard.

Astronomer slams sexists trying to tear down black hole researcher's rep

Mike 125

I forget that irony must be flagged these days...

Mike 125

Great work by all.

"Bouman, a postdoctoral fellow with the Event Horizon Telescope and an assistant professor in the computing and mathematical sciences department at Caltech, was one of more than 200 scientists who participated in the project..."

This is real science. It's still being done! And that's the best news I've heard since the Referendum.

Beers to ALL involved.

Mike 125

>the author's LinkedIn profile list no prior professional IT

Wow. You really took the trouble? I'm guessing you've never been part of a team. Dude - seek help. We're here for you.

UK joins growing list of territories to ban Boeing 737 Max flights as firm says patch incoming

Mike 125

Re: Panic

>jumping to conclusions will not stop more shit happening.

Eh? How so?

If there's a problem, people are safe. If there's not a problem, people are safe. Where's the additional shit, sh't head?



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