* Posts by Roo

1636 posts • joined 21 Sep 2010

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

Roo
Windows

Re: how many people here use twitter.

I recommend answering as many of those "You can earn $xxxx at home" ads as you can - I'm sure one of them will offer the remuneration that a professional troll such as yourself fully deserves. If you've already done that, you've probably been scammed, try another ad.

Roo
Windows

I suspect Thiel sees Levandowski as an investment - all that IP he stole from Google might actually be worth something with a pardon behind it. :)

Roo
Windows

There is little practical value in making party political points around Epstein because he sleezed up to anyone who could keep him in cash and out of jail. That said I think it is worth paying attention to the folks who enabled Epstein and are still active players in the Justice biz - like Alex Acosta who brokered a non-prosecution deal and was subsequently appointed Labour Secretary (by Trump if you want to do the party political thing).

We should be worried about folks like Alex Acosta still being big time operators in the GOP. These bastards decided that it was OK to rape a minor because they magically lose their status as a minor and become prostitutes the moment you offer payment.

Remember when the keyboard was the computer? You can now relive those heady days with the Raspberry Pi 400

Roo
Windows

Seems a bit churlish to object to HDMI only - when it has been a standard for nearly two decades and standard fit on TVs & monitors for well over a decade. Even my 2008 vintage Samsung flat panel TV sports VGA/DVI & HDMI, so you should be able to find something as good if not better in a skip or on freecycle.

If skip raiding isn't on the menu or you simply don't want another TV in the house you could always buy a HDMI -> VGA converter for under a tenner (HDMI->DVI cables are also pretty cheap).

FWIW we had to buy a TV cable for our BBC 'B' Micro back in the day too. :)

Be careful where you log into GitHub: Dev visits Iran, opens laptop, gets startup's entire account shut down

Roo
Windows

Re: Ban these guys then this happens

Classic, good spot.

Roo
Windows

Re: relying on third-party services

In practice it appears that you don't really need to avoid the US authorities. Certainly doesn't seem to present much of a problem for the oligarchs that funnel huge amounts of money through the London property market, multiple UK shell companies and tax havens.

For extra cover you can insinuate yourself into the circles of the ruling classes, scratch a few backs, buy a newspaper, buy football clubs etc, you could probably buy the entire Tory party for less than the price of a second hand yacht. :)

By the beard of Zeus! Arm takes another tilt at serious servers with SVE-capable 96-core Neoverse V1

Roo
Windows

Re: Solving the wrong problem

Not sure that the problems Fujitsu addressed for their Fugaku beast are going to apply to many other ARM based systems as it's a very different kind of machine from a typical Server/ARM box (HBM2 main memory, Tofu network for comms vs Ethernet etc).

Let’s check in with that 30,000-job $10bn Trump-Foxconn Wisconsin plant. Wow, way worse than we'd imagined

Roo
Windows

Re: El Reg becoming political now ?

Speaking for myself, I don't pay much attention to BloJohnson because he is utterly irrelevant. He takes his marching orders from Lord Ashcroft, Rupert Murdoch, Russian Oligarchs and US Billionaire backed think-tanks. If he were to get shot tomorrow another stooge would step up with exactly the same policies.

Trump is awful, but I think folks need to be more worried about the fact the Republican Party are hellbent on creating a one-party state - and simply refuse to deal with anyone who isn't a fully paid up member or has enough wedge to buy them. The Tory party are going the same way, all bile and finger pointing, no actual policies, interest or ability to run a country.

Roo
Windows

Re: "political neutral factual tech reporting"

"say nice things about crap ideas to make people feel better, and others feel worse, then, yeah, we're not gonna do that, and have never done that TTBOMK."

That's is precisely why I read the Reg. Thank you for sticking to your guns all these years !

Roo
Windows

Re: El Reg becoming political now ?

Just because an article points out stuff that you don't like doesn't mean the substance is untrue or biased.

Murdoch has a lot to answer for - he can't pop his clogs soon enough.

Selling hardware on a pay-per-use or subscription model is a 'lie' created by marketing bods

Roo
Windows

Re: Spot on!

"OEMs like HP offer 5 years of next day on-site repair coverage as an option for both servers and workstations"

Not convinced about the value proposition because the vendors don't seem to carry enough spares to actually fix anything - which is a problem when boxes are dropping like flies (5% failure rate within 12 months) and their suppliers retooled before the boxes were even shipped. In once instance the vendor (one of the pillars of the PC vendor establishment) shipped the machine with a slew of BIOS versions from the previous generation Xeon boxes - all of which had *different* configuration options. The boxes were 2 years old (and substantially reduced in number through failure) before the vendor managed to come up with a BIOS that supported the processors *and* a way to remotely update the BIOS.

It would be really nice if some vendors took advantage of the slow down in Moore's Law to have a box in production for 3+ years rather than a few months - so they have a realistic chance of characterizing the weaknesses of the product and creating enough spares to support them properly (and profitably) for another 3-5 or even 10 years.

Roo
Windows

Re: Spot on!

"And do bear in mind that specialisation and economies of scale make things cheaper to buy in than doing them in house, generally. No one suggests offices should contain paper factories, for example."

I agree with your point, but your strawman is a bit pants. Case in point it's generally cheaper to cook + eat at home than it is to go to a 3 star Michelin Restaurant. :)

Roo
Windows

Re: Spot on!

I think some negativity is inevitable with respect to renting hardware...

- avoidance of capex (and potential debt/difficulty to get loans)

- avoidance of maintenance cost

- avoidance of obsolescence

Not convinced the customer avoids any of that - as a money making business will pass those costs + margin onto the customer. Unless of course they sell at a loss (hint: vendors might do loss leaders - but they actually do need to make money at some point in order to survive).

- elasticity/flexibility up and down and in terms of contract terms

In principle yes, but it does require the vendor having a pile of idle kit hanging around burning money - they have a strong incentive not to do that. What actually seems to happen is that they have a ~3 month lead time on the kit getting put into their datacenters... Oh and good luck enforcing an SLA on that.

- immediacy of services (for cloud services at least) with no lead times

IME that can be true if you are lucky or you are a very small customer. ;)

- outsource of infrastructure expertise

Vendors have a tendency to skimp on expertise, choosing to keep costs to a minimum (as you'd expect) - their idea of adequate skill levels and acceptable SLA is somewhat different from the customer.

- outsource of hosting and connectivity

I think that point stands. :)

For the record I definitely see valid cases for renting kit - but I haven't seen it work out cheaper yet. :(

Trump administration reportedly offers Oracle cheap end to $400m wage discrimination case

Roo
Windows

"They are a bunch of incompetent public school boys who are easily conned by "consultants" - but I do not believe they are actually corrupt."

I strongly disagree. :)

In practice they are *very* competent at looking after themselves, their cliques, their donors, school chums, and their mates.

The evidence indicates that competence in their appointed role isn't actually necessary or required in order for them to continue to enjoy a successful career in government and politics.

In Today's UK government we are seeing are a bunch of ministers that are sponsored to enact particular policies by 'Thinktanks'. They don't actually need to have any competence or interest in the policies at all - their appointed "consultants"/SPADs are there to do the legwork for the 'Thinktanks' so they don't have to. Anyone stands in the way of the implementation of those policies because they put their duty to their appointed role before compliance with the wishes of the 'Thinktanks' are persecuted, hounded out or replaced with a malleable crony.

Not every politician follows this mode of operation, but sadly the current cabinet are very much on board with the 'Thinktanks' doing the policy making - all the folks who didn't toe the line have been forcibly removed.

Sources: Oracle Commerce Cloud devs laid off as platform struggles to gain traction, move to modern architecture

Roo
Windows

Re: Downsizing

They should have fired all the management and sales teams a long time ago given that they failed to look after their customers and failed to make proper use of their developers.

Trump gloats, telcos weep, and China is furious: How things stand following UK's decision to rip out Huawei

Roo
Windows

Re: A sad day

"He tried to, but the legal system stopped him doing so. That’s the difference between China and the US (and other democratic societies) right there."

The threat of a 300% tarrif was enough trash Bombardier's order book and kill off their business. Mission accomplished for Boeing & Trump.

AMD pushes 64-core 4.2GHz Ryzen Threadripper Pro workstation processors

Roo

Re: ARM will rule them all

This isn't intended as a nitpick - but when you say "processors" you appear to mean x86 compatible processors. The RISC guys were generally ahead in these milestones by a few years. Case in point MIPS shipped the first 64bit microprocessor in 1991, and IBM shipped their multicore POWER4 in 2001. :)

It's handbags at dawn: America to hit France with 25% tariffs on luxuries over digital tax on US tech titans

Roo
Windows

Re: more US dairies to try to make real cheese

About 20 years ago I found that there were a number of very decent creameries around Stowe in Vermont, even managing to source some cheddar that was firm, didn't leak oil when squeezed and tasted like a good mature Cheddar.

Discovering that Cheddar was a watershed moment in my life - suddenly the US became a viable place to live. :)

Oracle tempts users to run its cloud in their own data centres – for a mere '$6 million' commitment

Roo
Thumb Up

That is a gem. Well played !

UK space firms forced to adjust their models of how the universe works as they lose out on Copernicus contracts

Roo
Windows

Re: I GOT 1 wordz 4 all u traytowers!!!

You are Vladimir Putin and I claim my $5.

When one open-source package riddled with vulns pulls in dozens of others, what's a dev to do?

Roo

Re: Minimize dependencies

... and Spring

... and Boost

... and APR

... and ... etc... etc... etc...

Roo
Windows

First to market is king in (most) software development, first to go bang is rarely considered by the folks throwing money at it.

Roo
Windows

Minimize dependencies

Minimizing dependencies is the rational way to minimize the vulnerabilities that are pulled in. The vast majority of code I work with pulls in a vast amount of unrelated and unused code, the proportion of stuff actually used tends to be tiny - and worse still quite a few of the imports are redundant - they are replicating stuff that's already available in the stdlibs or other imports.

YMMV, the stuff I work with on a daily basis has been worked over by a team with a high turnover of staff where the focus is very much on adding new stuff rather than fixing technical debt for over a decade, so I recognize that my viewpoint might not fit everyone's situation. :)

It's interesting that the report identified the imports brought in by containers as a problem - it's an issue that has been glossed over by too many people for too long. Glad they brought that up because I am seeing containers broadening and deepening the pool of dependencies in practice because Devs now get to pick and choose what bits of the OS they want - and it's rare that two of them agree. :)

Windows 10 Insider wondering where Notepad has gone? Fear not, Microsoft found it down the back of Dev Channel

Roo
Windows

I think that post pretty much captures my beefs with using Redmond gear for anything beyond casual gaming. I say casual gaming - because the chances are the sod will be mid update-spasm at the time your clan match is due to start. :)

Section 230 authors despair of Trump, Barr, Biden, US Congress’ aggressive ignorance of critical tech law

Roo
Windows

Re: Smaller, less intrusive government?

Trump et al are pushing for 230 repeal so they and their donors can shut down free speech that they don't like. Their antics don't bear scrutiny, so they are simply preventing all scrutiny.

What's the Arm? First Apple laptop to ditch Intel will be 13.3" MacBook Pro, proclaims reliable soothsayer

Roo
Windows

Re: Emulation

While I don't think there's a major technical obstacle to doing a decent job of x86 emulation on ARM, I suspect there will be significant IP issues. Intel has been diligent in acquiring the firms that have cracked the emulation nut. :)

Roo
Windows

Re: Emulation

"You are quite right. I'm talking about emulation, and the pain that would happen when what you're emulating is a virtual machine host."

Oddly enough that is exactly the problem that has been solved many times over from the 80s to the current day. Even today's common-or-garden VMs emulate (a surprising amount of) PC hardware sufficiently to host Windows 10.

While I it doesn't belong in the "trivial" bracket, emulating the CPU isn't as hard as you may think - as evidenced by the last 40 years or so, and Windows 10 and it's apps don't require cycle accurate emulation for everything either - as evidenced by the fact they run under VMs - even with PCI(e) passthrough quite happily.

"ranslating all of Windows's instructions from X86 and X86-64 to ARM will require a lot of emulation, and it will either take a lot of processing (meaning it runs slowly) or require a massive cache of pretranslated instructions as you have mentioned, "

I have to respectfully disagree with you on that point - based on what I saw over 20 years ago with NT x86 binaries running quicker on an Alpha box - and the current state of the art with respect to VMs and JVMs. :)

"Remember that Windows 10 weighs in at eight gigabytes, a lot of which is X86 binaries. "

Another way to look at this is modern CPUs have a certain amount of cache - and a very high penalty for accessible data in the DIMMs. Windows 10 like all other software executing on modern CPUs, has to be kind to those caches to get close to acceptable performance, this means that the code is tuned to make those caches effective, which in turn helps you if you're loading up caches with translated instructions.

Additionally - most, if not all AMD & Intel processors are actually RISC style machines under the covers - they have a front end that decodes (aka translates) x86 CISC instructions into micro-ops... The emulator would be doing something similar...

In summary I don't think it's a stretch for Apple to make on the hoof translation work - but I think (very pragmatically) they've taken the approach of generating fat binaries instead.

Roo
Windows

Re: Emulation

"The worst case scenario is ARM-compatibility layer virtualizes X86, VM host runs in X86, tries to run another OS in X86, and probably screeches to a halt before the application can even be started. It will depend a lot on the companies producing VM software."

Err, I think you're talking about emulation, and it's pretty old hat now... See SoftPC (late 80s), FX!32 (mid 90s), simh etc.

FX!32 made a big impression - it was a emulator layer for Windows NT on the DEC Alpha that ran x86 binaries as quick on a (very low end bargain basement) 166MHz Alpha as they ran on a very expensive maxed out 200MHz Pentium Pro box. IIRC it translated code on the fly & cached the translations - so you didn't pay the translation penalty over and over again - like Sun's HotSpot JVM.

The mini/mainframe vendors also shipped emulators for their legacy lines - some implemented in hardware, some software and some a mix of the two.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

Roo
Windows

Re: Please ask Uncle Bill to bring some of his wonderful scince fiction stories...

Juding by the track record of these particular Senators, the GOP and the Administration, I think it more likely that their intent is to criminalize privacy and enforce the legislation in an arbitrary and malicious way rather than bend the laws of maths and physics.

Franco-German cloud framework floated to protect European's data from foreign tech firms slurpage

Roo
Windows

Re: How will they build it?

They can start small and scale up across many sites, and they can license build CPUs if they want to. Key point is they don't need to do everything all at once... The world has moved on from Wintel SMP boxes. :)

Remember when Republicans said Dems hacked voting systems to rig Georgia's election? There were no hacks

Roo
Windows

Re: Move on

"I find it somewhat amusing (and a trifle sad) how many people in this forum try to brush the entire population of the United States with a single brush ..."

I did the opposite, I selected a very fine brush to highlight an 'induhvidual' case... The GOP are the folks applying the broad brush dipped in mud at the minute.

Roo
Windows

Re: Move on

He did get paid 132K for the work...

Roo
Windows

Sadly true. My interest in what goes on in the US is because UK government foreign policy has pretty much been dictated by the US government. Although that does seem to have evolved a little - the UK cabinet now takes it's orders from a bunch of shady think tanks that are set up & funded by US & Russian billionaires instead - I guess they cut out the middle man which makes sense if they already own the US government from top to bottom.

Roo
Windows

Re: Move on

"If you have actual proof of such wide-spread fraud, please alert the authorities ... and the Press. Posting about it here does absolutely zero good."

Fair point, but I suspect the poster may well have been thinking about such as "Leslie McCrae Dowless Jr" - he has been indicted recently. Funnily enough it's actually quite difficult to get search results for this stuff because of all the mud stirred up by the Republicans - the majority of hits reflect their narrative rather than the fraud investigations and their outcomes.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation

Roo
Windows

Re: Real Fix

The basket is a bit ambiguous, I was thinking of mixing customers on the same physical box - rather than AWS being an Intel only shop (which I know they are not).

Roo
Windows

Re: Real Fix

Kinda sad seeing a key Intel customer, AWS, flounder around trying to fix Intel's bugs instead of leaning on Intel to actually fix them. AWS are between a rock and a hard place - they either replace the hardware - with the unavoidable chance that the new hardware will also be broken, or they implement performance killing hacks on their heavily utilized shared boxes... Gee, maybe putting all your eggs in one basket was a dumb idea after all...

'5G for Five Eyes!' US senator tells Parliamentarians the world would be better without Huawei

Roo
Windows

If it's important to them I imagine the US would simply ask Boris to hand over the carrier and crew for free and he'd deliver it to them gift wrapped. That said I think it more likely the US would simply use it for target practice - or simply cancel the junket out of spite.

Apple owes us big time for bungled display-killing cable design in MacBook Pro kit, lawsuit claims

Roo
Windows

You'd have to shout pretty damn loud to be heard over the hordes of of the bean counters chuckling happily at the huge mountains of cash that Tim Cook sleeps on.

In case you need more proof the world's gone mad: Behold, Apple's $699 Mac Pro wheels

Roo
Windows

Re: Re Cycle Wheels

I worked in the AV installation trade biz for a while - where I got sample a very wide range of gear. The weird thing was - while we were all bowled over by the 10/50/100K speakers, in a blind test most folks preferred the (relatively) cheap Rega R3s over everything else (including the R7s). I'm fairly sure no one is going to claim the R3s are the worlds best ever speaker - but they just sounded nicer than the other gear. In the demo room customers tended to insist on starting at the high end and worked downwards - they rarely got below the 5K mark. On occasion they'd make it down to the R3s - and listen visibly entranced for a while - and then move back to the expensive gear that pushed more Watts... :)

'VPs shouldn't go publicly rogue'... XML co-author Tim Bray quits AWS after Amazon fires COVID-19 whistleblowers

Roo
Windows

Re: "XML"

"Plus you can do a ,lot of great things to transform XML data using XSL."

Yeah, that's cool and all, until you find that the folks who wrote the transforms can't actually maintain them because it's "too hard" after they've spent years adding cruft and not writing any tests to validate their changes.

Disclosure: I have been savaged repeatedly by rabid XSLTs.

Roo
Windows

Re: "XML"

Over the years I've found that validation against a schema doesn't really help that much in practice, it's another complex pile of stuff to parse with more bugs waiting to bite your ass. Using as simple-to-parse format as possible (to minimize the valid permutations of input), writing unit tests and integration tests to go with it has proven to be more effective the long haul than adding yet more attack surface to the input handling code.

Roo
Windows

Re: Who are the downvoters, in this comment thread

The "small disadvantages" of DDT that you glossed over include it killing ff a lot more than mosquitoes and persisting in the environment (and accumulating in larger organisms) over a long period of time. IIRC it takes 30-40 years to breakdown... Quite a few people see those as huge disadvantages - not least the folks who want their crops pollinated...

Roo
Windows

Re: Who are the downvoters, in this comment thread

"According to the article he wanted to strong-arm his employer into taking "climate action"."

I think that's a legit call when you take into account that Amazon is heavily into the Data Center business in the form of AWS - in addition to box shifting lots of shiny luxury items to the masses.

AWS runs on a huge amount of plant that is continually refreshed and burns a lot of juice. Furthermore AWS tends to run I/O intensive applications on Virtual Machines - which tend to impose a heavy penalty for I/O - thus increasing the amount of energy to run those I/O intensive apps.

Roo
Windows

Re: Who are the downvoters, in this comment thread

Companies impact all aspects of our individual lives and the environment we live in - but very few of them actually take responsibility for that. Furthermore there are plenty of disincentives to price the downsides in - as the 2009 crash illustrated so vividly. Hell, it took over 40 years of activists to kicking up a fuss to get DDT usage under some kind of control (note: it still isn't actually banned outright), and there's a some evidence that we're facing a similar problem again with Neonicotinoids.

I'm all for people having a roof over their heads and a comfortable life - and making money to facilitate that - but I'm also for folks taking responsibility, honestly considering the downsides to society and the planet as a whole, and moderating their activities accordingly...

TL;DR version: Narrowly focussing on the money is simply not sufficient to run a society or a planet.

Not really sure why you're so anti-Koala preservation - did one bite you in the nuts on a nudist beach ?

Roo
Windows

Re: "XML"

Agreed... To put it another way the worst aspect of XML (and to a much lesser extent JSON) is the expense of parsing the bloody stuff and the myriad vulnerabilities that result from folks getting it wrong, all to make it "readable" by meatbags..

Ex-Imagination Technologies boss tells UK Foreign Affairs Committee: Britain needs to stop overseas asset stripping

Roo
Windows

Re: The Value of the Company

"No one puts money in for National Security."

That's weird - because Boeing, Lockheed-Martin, General Dynamics, Dassault and BAe have been taking lots of money for National Security.

The Great British anti-5G fruitcake Bakeoff: Group hugs, no guns, and David Icke

Roo

Re: I just get cruel to them.

Might be wise to keep a fire extinguisher and a cricket bat on hand just in case.

Roo
Windows

The WHO are a coordinating entity (at best), they don't have a bunch of jackboots on the ground to bust asses - or the ability to apply sanctions at the drop of a hat. All they can do is to The buck stops with the power brokers. It's hardly a surprise those power brokers that dropped the ball are blaming the WHO, they haven't got anyone else to blame having shit-canned the advice and experts who advised them to prepare for pandemics before Covid blew up in the first place.

Microsoft frees Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 from the shackles of, er, Windows?

Roo
Windows

Re: @Yet Another Anonymous coward - @Snake - Microsoft shooting itself in the foot?

It's actually pretty easy under Linux too. :)

You run the heavyweight processing on Linux servers (because it is actually a lot cheaper to run at 10-100K node scale all your weird rants about FOSS aide), set a few aside for hosting Windows as guest VMs. Put 10-100K (Linux) remote desktop terminals on people's desks and they really don't care or notice the difference. It's not rocket science, and it's being done - at a lot of large multinationals.

Roo
Windows

Re: @Snake - Microsoft shooting itself in the foot?

"And that's why you people are not only DEAD WRONG but proven so with a 2.7% desktop adoption rate ."

Not even sure why you care so much about it, desktops are going the way of the dodo.

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