* Posts by Roo

1623 posts • joined 21 Sep 2010

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.

Roo

Re: Microsoft shooting itself in the foot?

"Fully functional Linux embedded within MS Windows presents opportunity for enterprise, public sector, education, and individuals, all currently in thrall to Microsoft, to explore and evaluate alternative non-proprietary software without trauma of full system change with possibly expensive reversion should the outcome be unsatisfactory."

Strictly speaking that has been possible for a very long time - whether it be by CD, USB stick, VNC or whatever. The only material difference here is that you've got Microsoft embracing and extending Linux - and subjecting it to the hit and miss joy of Windows Update. I don't expect much to change, people have got over the shock of Phone apps and Web apps now, and that is pretty much going to kill off the majority of the Windows desktop market (for better or worse) - this is simply Microsoft trying to stay relevant to server side developers.

Your Agile-built IT platform was 'terrible', Co-Op Insurance chief complained to High Court

Roo
Windows

One wonders if IBM is mired in Multiple Agile Backlog syndrome which is the usual end state of Agile in a large corporate concern. Specifically multiple backlogs, one for the devs doing the actual work, one to present the state of play to the upper manglement, and another that holds all the technical debt that isn't allowed to see the light of day because it looks "untidy", with the devs having to enter everything in triplicate...

That upgrade from Java 8 to 11 you've been putting off? UK fintech types at Revolut 'quite happy' after a year in production

Roo
Windows

Re: Just put everything in containers.

The version of JRE that you're using is a serious problem, but containerizing it only solves the trivial cases.

In the case of the real world non-trivial Java applications we deal with (aka enormous multi-threaded monoliths with literally hundreds of dependencies), it's actually impossible to get *all* the dependencies to work on same JRE... Splitting that lot up into different processes (laughably called "Microservices") is often not pretty - and involves some serious effort and (usually) a big hit in performance.

Maybe in a few years time the dust will settle, everyone will have caught up and it'll be as easy as porting a bit of C/C++... YMMV ;)

US hands UK 'dossier' on Huawei: Really! Still using their kit? That's just... one... step... beyond

Roo
Windows

Re: It's cute

Judging by previous form I'm sure he'll follow that announcement up by spaffing a few million quid of tax payers' dosh on feasibility studies carried out by his unqualified friends, family, lovers and offshore/foreign Tory party donors.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways

Roo
Windows

Re: allow the US to down a plane at will

"And on the other other hand, until recently most people didn't realise just how stupid Boeing management and their regulatory colleagues could be."

In the case of Boeing Manglement and the FAA being self-serving pays better than being diligent or stupid.

EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax

Roo
Gimp

Re: To see such a regrettable fellow holding a position of power is normal in a shithole country

So people's votes don't count if you don't like their choice, but the vote of a square mile of land counts as it voted the way you wanted it to. Hope you enjoy your Monarchy, the Gimp suit is for you and your Monarch's enjoyment.

Roo
Windows

Re: To see such a regrettable fellow holding a position of power is normal in a shithole country

"He got elected because people hated him less than they hated Clinton."

OTOH Trump was hated by 3 million more people than Hillary was.

Running on Intel? If you want security, disable hyper-threading, says Linux kernel maintainer

Roo
Windows

Re: Updating Firmware isn't easy

There is an easy answer, but the vendors and "power users" aren't going to like it.

The hundreds of megabytes of Flash, the tweaking guff, weird Windows backwards compatibility widgers (eg: "A20" config), PXE boot loaders can and should get shit-canned. This allows a customer to have some confidence + control over what is actually executed and some assurance that their M/B can't be perma-bricked by some tosser at the other end of an Ethernet cable.

This could be achieved very simply and cheaply by replacing the Flash memory + fscking BIOS / UEFI with a tiny *ROM* bootloader that loads a few bytes off a bootstrap storage device (eg: a MicroSD card on the motherboard) and executes it. That ROM bootloader should do nothing other than load those bytes and execute them - everything else is to be done by the code on the MicroSD card that is firmly under customer control.

Another rewrite for 737 Max software as cosmic bit-flipping tests glitch out systems – report

Roo
Windows

Re: So...

The reports I read suggested the pilots weren't paying attention to the instrumentation enough with respect to the AF447 crash.

Roo
Windows

Re: So...

"The AoA sensors are not critical in that the plane can fly just fine with them as long as the pilots (and the flight control computers) know to ignore that input modality altogether with a failure"

... Yet AoA seems to be a recurring theme in airliner pilot error/accidents - it was a key parameter in AF447 accident as well. From this armchair pilot's point of view it looks like you really need some working AoA instrumentation to fly the aircraft "instruments only" in bad conditions.

Time to Ryzen shine, Intel: AMD has started shipping 7nm desktop CPUs like it's no big deal

Roo
Windows

Re: Spectre?

We knew the context switching on Intel gear was pretty bad, but had no idea that AMD was so much better - thanks for that ray of sunshine. In some cases post-fix we've had to reduce the process count on a box, as if the app has suddenly become memory bandwidth limited despite running on hardware that delivers more bandwidth, expensive context switching would explain that anomaly.

With respect to Intel's misfortune, it was a result of design. AMD took the view that they shouldn't evaluate permissions *after* doing the accesses. Intel chose to evaluate permissions during/after access - presumably to mitigate memory access latency. Pretty sure Intel aren't unique in taking that option, there were quite a few papers on reducing memory access latency in the mid-late 90s.

Roo

Re: Spectre?

AVX512 clock scaling does have an impact - it adds another set of variables when you're trying to work out why a particular machine is slower than another seemingly identical machine. :)

Roo
Windows

Re: Intel spokesperson quote

Pretty sure I recall seeing some AMD Bitslice gear on the VAX-11/785 CPU cards - maybe the FPU.

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