* Posts by lurker

401 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Jun 2010


Google proudly regards dented shovel as Flash lies supine on the floor


That page works fine for me, and I disabled flash in chrome years ago.

AMD is a rounding error on Intel's spreadsheet and that sucks for us all


AMD's bulldozer cores are not 'full' cores either, though they are "more of a core" than hyper-threading (which is essentially 'simulated cores') admittedly.

But none of that really plays into the issue of gaming performance - for gaming you just want two or more actual physical cores (so that your OS can dedicate one core full-time to a game) and the best per-core performance you can get.


When it comes to the gaming PC market (which is the one I know well, can't speak for servers or home and office so much) AMD basically bet the farm on multi-threaded, and that hurt them.

There's no point having umpteen cores when it's still the case that barely any games are multithreaded, so Intel runs everything much better on it's 2 and 4 core i3/i5s due to it's massive lead in IPC (instructions per cycle). Hoping for some shangri la multi-threaded paradise in the near future is not going to work out well - any programmer can tell you that designing proper multithreaded software is a huge leap in complexity, and the benefits really just aren't there for the game studios to justify the increased development cost.

AMD really need to reverse this trend/approach with Zen if they want to make any inroads into Intel's stranglehold on the PC gaming/enthusiast market next year. I work for a company which sells gaming PCs and i'd say over 90% are Intel - unless you are really on a super-strict budget AMD just aren't in the running currently.

Personally I really hope AMD do come up with the goods this time, a single-vendor stranglehold of the desktop CPU would be terrible for the consumer.

123-Reg drowns in ongoing DDoS tsunami


Re: Kicked in immediately

@dwarf To truly make use of cloudflare/similar you need to hide your DNS behind theirs, which is the 30 minute job, and then move onto a completely different network so that the attackers can't simply bypass cloudflare and continue to attack you directly. (an attacker launching a large organised attack is likely to have done some preparation which would include making note of network addresses etc). This process will take more than 30 minutes.

E-cigarettes help save lives, says Royal College of Physicians


Re: 2 years

@David Webb

I could have written almost exactly the same, except no heart attack (yet, touch wood). 2 years here also. My lungs feel much better for having switched from tobacco to the vaporiser, and my wallet is very happy about it too.

Obviously, the healthy option is to not smoke at all, but as someone who smoked for 15 years (habit acquired in university) I found it very easy to switch, and am very glad that it was an option. Plus it doesn't stink like 'real' tobacco, so the other half is all in favour too.

The web is DOOM'd: Average page now as big as id's DOS classic


"Are people pulling in 290K of CSS for every page?"

A lot of that will be CSS frameworks, more CSS supporting javascript plugins and the like, yes.

Pro who killed Apple's Power Mac found... masquerading as a coffee table


I had a sun IPX serving as a door stop for about a decade. Lovely solid and deceptively heavy little things those were.

Sadly it was culled during a move, something I regret now.

Linux is so grown up, it's ready for marriage with containers



The comment was in the context of business usage of VMs really. You won't find much slackware or gentoo in use in large companies, Debian is very popular because it has a very stable release and update cycle and is widely supported.

I've been using linux for a long time, my first install was slackware from crapload of floppy disks onto a 386, and I have tried many distributions since, and I opt for debian normally for my VMs.

So it depends what sort of 'hardcore' you are looking at. Slackware, gentoo, arch etc are good for hardcore enthusiasts but less popular when you are looking at running very large numbers of servers/VMs.


Re: Succinct

Main difference is that VMs run typically on a hypervisor and are 'complete' operating systems in their own right, whereas a container is usually not a fully-functioning operating system in it's own right, for example it would not normally have it's own kernel, instead it would be sharing the kernel of the host.

This means less overhead to run a container, faster startup and 'hibernation', and smaller footprints and simpler configurations. An ideal container would contain only the code which is unique to the application it is intended to run, though in practice I think they are rarely that efficient. VMs still have their place of course - in fact most containers are run ON VMs. Things are heading towards a three tier model, with containers running on VMs which run on bare metal (OK 4 tiers if you count the hypervisors).

Think of it is 'VM Lite' and you won't be too far out really.

Neighbour sick of you parking in his driveway? You'd better hack-proof your car


You think that of me? I am the one who hacks.

Roll on driverless car tech, and the glorious day when the typical demographic of this site (ageing nerds) can relocate our neighbours' inconsiderately parked drive blockers armed only with our smartphones.

Rent a denial-of-service booter for $60, wreak $720k in damage


Yeah nice idea, except that unless the DDOSer is a total moron it's basically impossible to identify them. It's all done with bitcoins, anonymised email addresses, and typically from a basement somewhere on the other side of the earth.

Building a fanless PC is now realistic. But it still ain't cheap


Re: Nothing new?

I think the article is talking about x86 architecture PCs, for current-gen gaming and similar. Atom based devices have very low TDPs, yes, but I assure you that while your tablet can run the tablet version of XCOM, it doesn't have the grunt needed to run the newer XCOM-2.


Although you CAN build an entirely fanless PC, if your primary objective is a QUIET PC it can be a good idea to have a sensible case with a low-RPM 120mm or 140mm fan to generate some moderate airflow, as these can be basically silent while still providing some air flow (noctua fans are usually a good choice on this front). The fractal design cases are excellent for these kinds of purposes; the case doors have layers of bitumen padding attached for sound dampening.

On a similar vein, some decent high-end PSUs while not fanless, have quiet modes where they will only switch on the fan when needed. Seasonic produce both varieties (fanless and hybrid silent fan control) and are excellent units.

Wikidata makes Wikipedia a database. Let the fun begin


Re: Earlier coverage...

Everyone knows wikipedia is not perfect. However I'd be interested to hear of an alternative online and free repository of information which is better. ("Citations needed").

Let's face it, it's easy to criticise, and harder to 'do'; a fact which generations of mediocre middle management have turned into careers.

PC sales aren't doing so great – but good God, you're buying mountains of Nvidia graphics cards


There is definitely some truth in this. All the progression in CPUs is in the field of efficiency / TDP properties (due to increased prevalence of mobile and rack-mounted devices to support 'the cloud'). The difference in IPC between a 2500k from 5 years ago and a 6600K from the current gen is negligable, but the latter draws a lot less power and consequently has better thermal characteristics.


Re: Homebrew PCs are simply becoming more common

I work at one of the specialist builders you mention, and I think that while 'PC sales' on the whole might be on the decline, gaming PCs and 'custom built for you' gaming PCs are definitely growing, hence the increased sales of NV GPUs.

There is no real growth in overall PC sales because all you need to do for most work/home uses is run a web browser and maybe MS-office (though even that is moving into the cloud), and a PC has to get very old to become incapable of doing that, so mostly the market is just replacing aged units which fail.

Ubuntu's Amazon 'adware' feature to be made opt in


Not a day too soon

"Improved user customisation" as an excuse for adware and privacy violations is getting tiresome now, and coming from a supposedly 'open source' company with an operating system named after a philosophy based on 'human kindness' it was always going to irritate people.

An excellent case study in how to destroy much of your company's built up goodwill for the sake of a quick buck, in my opinion.

Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!


Perl has all the things*. Not for nothing is it known as the swiss army chainsaw of programming languages.

*Somewhere in the bowels of CPAN, if not in core.

Bitcoin inventor Satoshi 'outed' as Aussie, then raided by cops – but not over BTC


Re: Superb at computer science...

Well, looking at his history he seems to have issues with 'traditional' accountancy practices, which in fact might make him an ideal candidate for the inventor of a cryptocurrancy. The fact that he runs a company which owns one of very few privately owned supercomputers on the top 500 tables suggests he can't be all that bad at bean counting in at least some way.

It's wait and see at this point, but he's certainly an interesting candidate.


Re: Tulip Trading


ASCII @dventure game NetHack gets first upgrade in ten years


It would be nice to see updates to nethack, I can understand that they are conservative in not wanting to radically change the game 'design', but it would be great to see it given a UI overhaul similar to that recently applied to ADOM (now available on steam!), i.e an 'official' NotEye release.

I know ASCII purists will scream at the thought, but there's a lot of depth in nethack and it's a shame that no kid in their right mind today would give it a second glance.

Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin



This hasn't been an issue using the frameworks I have commonly used, perhaps I have been lucky.

And if one takes care to use both input filtering and a structured database interface, it would be necessary for BOTH sets of methods to have exploits in order to inject SQL, which seems somewhat unlikely. I strongly suspect that the vast majority of SQL injections found result from programmers not even making an effort to program defensively, rather than cases where the effort has been made but a library has subsequently been found to be vulnerable.

You're right that it's a risk though, and having such features built into the core language to some extent would be preferable.



Anyone with any sense writing with PHP is using one of a number of MVC frameworks which all provide structured database interfaces giving 'free' SQL injection protection. They also provide input filtering interfaces to HTTP get/post. Using either (or normally both) will ensure with minimal effort that 'Little Bobby Tables' won't ruin your day.

The difference between PHP and C#, Java etc is that in those languages such interfaces come as standard, whereas in PHP you need to make a conscious (although not difficult) effort to use them.

Can't say I'm shocked by the results though, when I started my current job I inherited a huge estate of classic ASP with basically no code reuse (essentially every page was a self-contained application) full of 'handmade SQL' with absolutely no user input filtering whatsoever. But 'stakeholders' never care about such things until it bites them in the ass, unfortunately.

Hold on, France and Russia. Anonymous is here to kick ISIS butt


Cloudflare down

Can't currently login to cloudflare's control panel. Looks like they are being DDOSed. Sigh.

Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off


Re: Bloody Emacs...

Emacs a great operating system, lacking only a decent editor.


Licence to snoop: Ipso facto, crypto embargo? Draft Investigatory Powers bill lands



So would PGP become outlawed in the UK as a result?

I thought we'd already been through all this in the USA decades ago. Maybe it's time to dust of the RSA algorithm t-shirts. You can't outlaw maths, clueless government is clueless.

Cyber-miscreants use Brit e-tailers as personal cash machines


Re: Clueless and pointless

I work at one of the retailers concerned (and was very directly affected by these attacks).

Judging by the language in the email my guess would be that the attacker is almost certainly not from the UK, quite likely eastern Europe somewhere - so $4000 dollars might go a bit further. Unfortunately it would be very difficult to track them down, email communications were through an email anonymising service in Switzerland, the bitcoin wallet address we received has zero transaction history and was likely created for the purpose.

Naturally we didn't and won't ever pay up for something like this. Apart from anything else, although the attacker promised that when paid they would 'never come back', we have no reason to believe them, and you have to suspect that if you coughed up once your name would be passed around as a target which 'might pay up' in future threats. Plus, damn the little greedy script kiddies, not giving them any satisfaction.

The attacks on us at least were quite significant and caused some major headaches not just for us but for upstream providers, and likely had knock-on effects on others connected to the same infrastructure. The disturbing thing really is how easy this kind of thing is for someone with relatively little technical ability to instigate, relative to how much work is involved in defending yourself from it.


Re: Plods?

To be fair, there is very little they actually can do about it. But it's a relatively serious crime and still needs to be reported and recorded for the purposes of tracking such events and identifying trends, if nothing else.

Google and pals launch Accelerated Mobile Pages project


Re: Another standard?

"Seconded. Kill JS and CSS as many times you fancy -stake them, behead them, burn them, slice them, in sequence and in parallel."

I see a lot of people ranting about removing JS without really appreciating what that would mean. Javascript (or more specifically some form of in-page access to XMLHttpRequest or a mechanism which does the same thing) makes a huge difference to how web applications are built. Without these, we would be back in the mid-to-late-90s world of having to press the big old HTML SUBMIT button in order to have anything on any web page change, and full-page reloads for any change to the page content.

Speaking as someone who has been a web application developer since before either javascript or CSS were things, I'm not a huge fan of either javascript or CSS as a language or markup respectively, but that cat is most definitely out of the bag now and cannot be put back, and if they didn't exist similar functional alternatives (with their own sins and issues) would be required. I can only guess that people making these 'remove JS' requests are either wearing rose-tinted nostalgia glasses or lack understanding of how modern websites work.

The project in question isn't talking about replacing javascript anyway, it works simply by using a single 'amp' javascript library to which it expects developers to stick with the goal of increasing performance.

It's not going to work though, projects like these stem from a naive engineering desire to 'refactor the web', and big as google and it's little coalition of the willing may be, I can't see this succeeding.

Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store


Re: Bigger picture

"Their market, their rules"

It should not be the case that companies 'own the market', that's not healthy competition, that's monopolistic. Of course this is the entire goal of the walled garden software/content ecosystem, but it would be short sighted to accept it as 'the norm'.

175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams


3.3 million people caught by scammers.

That's 1% of the population of the USA. Seems like a lot, especially when you consider that 2.5% of the population is in prison, and probably another 15% are too young or too old to be valid targets.

BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer


Re: About time...

Came here to post the same, the BBC is one of the few places I have to right click and run flash player nowadays (have had it set to not auto-run for a couple of years).

PEAK FONDLESLAB: Fewer people will use tablets next year – claim


"fewer people using the things"

"fewer people using the things"

Not sure this is true, fewer people buying does not necessarily mean fewer using, just that the market is saturated and there's really very little reason to upgrade if you have one.

I'm using a Samsung tab 2 from 3 years ago now, and it does chrome and youtube fine, and really that's all I need it for.

As for uses, pretty much all I seem to use mine for is youtube/twitch apps in bed, but that's a perfectly reasonable use-case as far as I'm concerned. The little boy has had quite a lot of use out of it on angry birds and similar, too.

Brimming with VM goodness: Qnap TS-453mini 4-bay NAS


Cooling and Noise

It would be helpful to have a description of the noise it makes. It's sounds funny, but the main reason I moved from using things like this to using a larger more traditional PC case for my NAS (home use) is because these things often come fitted with tiny fans running at high RPMs which sound like a bottle of aggrieved wasps. To me, for home use, this matters more than the performance side of things.

KREMLIN: Google is ABUSING ITSELF, misusing its mighty market position


Re: Surely the Kremlin would be familiar with rule #1?

True, but when even Putin thinks you're a crazed tyrant, it might be time to stop for a bit of introspection.

Wangling my way into the 4K gaming club with a water-cooled whopper


Re: 4k vs VR

I don't think VR is likely to replace regular monitors any time soon, whether 4k, 1440p, or 1080p.

The technology is only really suited for / compatible with some games, using it for extended periods is tiring and a little uncomfortable, and apart from anything else it's not really even out yet.

For the near future I see VR headsets being an additional item for enthusiast gamers, something you have on the desk next to your monitors and use when appropriate.

Personally I'm not really sold on 4K though. I'm perfectly happy with 1440p or even 1080p myself, and given the jump in GPU prices involved in effectively using 4K I'm in no hurry to switch.

Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill


Re: Nominative Determinism

"If you don't know who he is, you don't develop with Git and you're probably not a developer at all."

Really? I know who Donald Knuth is, and who Kernighan, Ritchie (RIP) and Ken Thompson are, but I'm not a developer because I don't know some (googled this) .NET blogger?

I'm sure he may be a good programmer and a leading light in your personal firmament, but that's a pretty narrow definition of what a developer is.

All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking


I'd love to be able to justify an upgrade but like you my 2500K is still more than capable of everything I ask of it, without even needing to overclock it so far.


"1.2 Billion PC Gamers"

That's a nonsense figure. I doubt there are 1.2 billion PC owners, let alone gamers.

That would be about 1 in 6 people being a PC gamer - which might be feasable (just) in rich first world countries, but is hardly a likely statistic when you consider the relative poverty which much of the world lives in.

Slippery, slimy find: LEGGY, WRIGGLY fossil shows SNAKES weren't legless. Or ARMLESS


Re: Sankes [sic] with legs are still around

I feel hidden vestigial pelvis bones and legs are not quite the same thing.

However if your point is that this is not actually news which "upset the applecart in the world of palaeo-snake boffinry" that's obviously correct, that's just El Reg trying to make this more exciting or fit in a colourful boffin-based turn of phrase I guess.

I guess the actual 'news' is that a fossil has been found which confirms something we already assumed to be the case due to circumstantial evidence.

OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android


Re: $60.00(USD) difference

Could be worse. Apple charge $125.00(USD) for the same upgrade (16 -> 64) on the iPhone 6.

Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it


Re: The best bit is....

There's also a flash banner on the front page of el reg.

I've had flash disabled in chrome for a year or so now, can't say I've really missed it, everything worthwhile runs without it and I can elect to run it in the rare case where I need to.

King's Bounty (1990): Enter the kleptomaniac dragon


Yeah HoMM2 was the high point, 3 was 'okay' but since then (and the ubisoft buyout) they have increasing levels of polish but decreasing levels of charm.

Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term


Re: How many of these are using Google as their address bar?


Am I the only one who just clicks on a URL in my favourites list?"

That was the norm back in the 90s. But I suspect that most people (like myself) found at some point that ever-growing favourites folders are cumbersome, and become a crutch rather than a valuable tool.

Nowadays I only tend to bookmark very specific pages, usually reference pages which required a bit of digging to search up.

Apple will cut down 36,000 acres of forest in 'conservation scheme'


Re: Forestry != woodland

It's due to the 'intellect distortion field' which surrounds the devices.

How else do you think they sell so many at that price?

IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'


Re: Actually I think el-reg have the point entirely.

If El Reg really understood the point of terrorism - and in particular the fact that media coverage is what makes it 'work' - they probably wouldn't have written anything at all on the subject.

I'm not saying western media should censor themselves and not cover terrorism. But the fact that the amount of coverage is so completely out of proportion to the actual effect (when you compare e.g deaths through road traffic vs deaths through terrorism) is precisely how terrorism works - essentially people like to be scared, governments like people to be scared, terrorists like people to be scared, and the media like to be profitable and can do by facilitating all of the above. It's just the rest of us who don't profit from this equation of misery.

I do take your point though that if you have to write about it, it's better to write a 'two fingers up to terrorism' article than a 'hide under the bed the terrorists are coming' article.


I think you're missing the point of terrorism, which has absolutely nothing to do with achieving a traditional military victory such as could be judged based on a 'us dead vs. them dead' calculation.

Analyst dons Tim Cook mask, thinks: Glass went well for Google. Let's do that, too



Strange how many people completely fail to understand the point of Glass, which was never intended to be a commercial product at this stage, being more in the way of an R&D exercise. Par for the course for the BBC News, but you might expect a bit more acumen from a 'tech' news site.

One's speedy, one's a fat boy: WD and Toshiba spin out new HDDs


Re: Maybe I'm ignorant, but?

Thanks a lot, very informative answer, cheers for taking the time :).

However, with SATA, unlike SAS/SCSI, the drives aren't on a shared bus, they are each cabled individually to the controller, rather than being on a chain, so wouldn't a SATA raid controller be able to speak to all drives simultaneously using the full SATA bandwidth? Or do SATA controllers acually share bandwidth between the attached SATA devices?

I can see how it would make sense though in the scenario you initially described, where a controller could maximise thoughput by interleaving the dumping of drive-ram-buffer-sized chunks of data very quickly over a highspeed interface.


Re: Maybe I'm ignorant, but?

That doesn't really explain it. There is no reason why RAID would require a much higher interface speed than the disk is capable of. The raid CONTROLLER would obviously require a higher interface speed, but not the drives connected to it.