* Posts by RichardBarrell

245 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Oct 2010


Shock horror – and there goes the network neighborhood


Re: The last time I heard a loud noise and things were restarting...

The next big use for nanotechnology will be to put thousands microscopic DRM chips into every millilitre of liquid ink.

Making the problem go away is not the same thing as fixing it


Re: So, shoot the messenger is still well and alive

Don't serve long pork to customers!

US prosecutors slam Autonomy tycoon's attempt to get charges tossed


Well of course the prosecutor would say something strongly worded - they have more dog in this fight than Crufts. The interesting part is the extent to which the judge agreed.

Workload written by student made millions, ran on unsupported hardware, with zero maintenance


The latency on a thermal printer is really good. The only thing I think could possibly keep up is a line dot matrix printer? They go very fast and I believe have negligible start up time. https://youtu.be/KnPBWru2Ecg

I think thermal printers are almost definitely going to be the winner here because they are mass manufactured and hence cheap. If you had throughput problems keeping up with the amount of sheets you need to print, you could just get several thermal printers and send different sheets to each one in parallel.

Microsoft drops official support for Python 3.7 in Visual Studio Code

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Re: That is SO StackOverflow

You might prefer Stack Overflow surveys because those ask people to report whether they like or dislike each language they use, too. https://www.theregister.com/2022/06/22/stackoverflow_survey/

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Re: Python 3.11 is where you want to be

I think the biggest speed ups are in benchmarks in which list comprehensions got much faster. If you have code that spends much of its time doing list comprehensions then you may actually see those very big speedups.

Epic cut: Fortnite games maker culls 16% of staff


Re: A free third party one every week

In 2021, a snapshot became publicly available of what the giveaways cost up to September 2019. Epic published this document for some reason related to the court cases against Apple. https://kotaku.com/heres-what-epic-paid-to-give-away-all-those-free-games-1846815064

Search for phone signal caused oil spill, say Japanese investigators


Understandable on one level - geosynchronous satellite internet is slow as the hills.

If only they'd had Starlink instead, the dumbass would not have been so tempted to try to get a cellphone signal from shore.

Unity apologizes, tweaks runtime install fees after gaming world outrage


Re: The damage is done

Mobile games built on Unity will have to update to the newest version sooner or later because the Google Play Store and Apple App Store both introduce changes to requirements every couple of years. Complying with these usually requires you to update whatever framework you are building on and increase the target SDK version so that your app opts into newly changed defaults. This isn't unique to Unity: it also happens with React Native, Cordova, Flutter, Java/Kotlin and ObjC/Swift.

Desktop AI isn’t happening, says AMD, and might not for quite a while


Re: Why shove this into the CPU

> GPUs - where you get far more processing units and associated RAM than you'll get onto the CPU

Speed yes, capacity no. Video RAM (GDDR) has higher throughput than normal RAM (DDR) but it's sold at fairly eye-watering prices per byte of capacity and you don't get very much of it even on the biggest most expensive GPUs. nVidia's current datacenter GPUs top out at 180GB.

It is cheaper to buy a server with multiple TBs of RAM in it than to buy a GPU with 80GB of RAM on it. A H100 with 80GB of RAM costs north of £30k.

Techie labelled 'disgusting filth merchant' by disgusting hypocrite


Re: One Good Earworm Deserves Another

That one doesn't really work any more because I've since heard pop music which was so much more annoying.

And I enjoyed it, too!

Microsoft calls time on ancient TLS in Windows, breaking own stuff in the process


Good plan

TLS 1.0 isn't as well designed as 1.2 is. I think we should be expecting that there will be protocol vulns found in TLS 1.0 in future, and when they are found we will all have to turn TLS 1.0 off everywhere in a massive hurry. Similarly to how SSL3.0 had protocol vulns that required everyone to turn it off a few years ago (the "POODLE" issue) in a massive hurry.

In light of this, it's a good idea to turn off TLS 1.0 now, while we can all do it at a leisurely pace, rather than suddenly having to turn it off in a massive hurry if (but probably when) the next big TLS 1.0 protocol vuln is found.

(As has been noted by other commenters, TLS 1.1 can be ignored because just about everyone who implemented TLS 1.1 also implemented TLS 1.2.)

With version 117, Firefox finally speaks Chrome's translation language


Re: FF convert

I have Firefox for Android on my phone because I can use the NoScript extension with it, which makes it vastly faster and easier on battery life than any other browser.

IBM says GenAI can convert that old COBOL code to Java for you


Re: Programming is independent from language

> I don't really have any time for employers who simply employ people based on their having exactly the right skills for their requirements at that particular moment

I'll argue that if your organisation still has COBOL in it in 2023 then you should expect to still have COBOL in it in the year 2223. No contractors are going to live that long. Plan accordingly and set up training that can create the skills you need instead of just praying that you'll be able to find them outside.

Social media is too much for most of us to handle


Re: American spelling

I'm frankly bewildered by the concept that you seem to have in your head, of an English person who isn't constantly preoccupied with thinking about the Norman conquest of 1066.

"What if Harold had just-" no, mate, no. Let it go.

Google accused of ripping off advertisers with video ads no one saw. Now, the expert view


Re: It Pays to Advertise?

Those VPN services are a really high-margin service (ARPU >> COGS), so they can afford to spend exorbitant amounts on avertising (CAC can go into the stratosphere without them really noticing).

Bosses face losing 'key' workers after forcing a return to office


Re: The same government employees who did nothing when they worked in the office?

Rump Sandpaper Injury


Re: The same government employees who did nothing when they worked in the office?

> "repetitive stress injuries" caused by prison grade single ply toilet paper

Roughness-induced Shitting Injury >:D

Metaverses are flopping – hard – says Gartner


Second Life isn't dead

For what it's worth, Linden Labs is apparently profitable and employs a couple hundred people. What appears to have happened to it after the initial round of hype was that it grew a user base who like it and spend money on it, for recreation? I assume this is because they have innovative features such as "legs", no "real names policy" and they don't kick people out for being weird. Also it works on cheap computers. You can't beat "it runs on cheap computers", it's practically a super-power.

I'm not at all disagreeing with you that it's way short of the "this is going to change everything!!!!!" hype that surrounded it in the early days, of course. I certainly haven't heard of anyone using it for business for real.

Cunningly camouflaged cable routed around WAN-sized hole in project budget


Re: Weather?

I wonder could you put the laser on some kind of very slow precise motorised mount so it could re-aim itself?

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


Re: What a waste

It was only an Ultra 5. Just about the lowest end thing that Sun ever produced that wasn't explicitly marketed as a thin client.

BOFH: Get me a new data file or your manager finds out exactly what you think of him


Re: Oh the pain!

Oh that's genius, I will have to remember that one.

Dyson moans about state of UK science and tech, forgets to suck up his own mess


Re: With two-faced "friends" like Dyson, Britain doesn't need enemies

Please, let's keep the historical timeline in-order here: the French copied us.

Charles I of England was abridged in 1649, more than a hundred years before the French revolution kicked off around 1789.

New York AG offers law to crack down on backfire-happy cryptocurrencies


Re: Lawyer / Government-Officer Mentality

Ehhhh it's not that bad when the new law sets a standard that is easier to judge, and especially when it creates a simple bright line where there used to be ambiguity.

Rather than going through a long winded argument to demonstrate that trading in company scrip is done only with the intent to defraud people (which it is, obviously), you just make trading in scrip illegal and skip all the hassle.


Ban it all

Not a bad move but a much simpler and more effective one would be to ban it all. Impose huge fines for touching cryptocurrency in any way, shape or form. You would delete the entire ransomware industry practically overnight.

Dump these insecure phone adapters because we're not fixing them, says Cisco


Re: Bit hard on the bright young things?

Distorted in a way that they like.

Mandiant's 'most prevalent threat actor' may be living under your roof – the teenager


Did they do the Scooby-Doo villain "IF IT WEREN'T FOR YOU MEDDLING KIDS!" voice all through this talk?

Amazon CEO says AWS staff now spending ‘much of their time’ optimizing customers’ clouds


Re: Chicken, welcome to the roost...

There's this thing called Jevons Paradox. If AWS tech you to use AWS in a more cost effective way, then the effective per unit cost of doing a thing in AWS goes down for you. At a lower per-unit cost, it becomes economical for you to do more things in AWS. A lot more. So your total spending goes up and you are happier about the results.

It's mainly known for being the reason why you can't fix road congestion by building more roads

OVH punts hybrid water and immersion cooling for high performance systems


Re: Liquid cooling


I think I wasn't clear there - last paragraph, I wasn't talking about how OVH do it. That bit about consumer PCs was meant to be a totally separate conversation. Maybe I should have put it last instead.


Re: Liquid cooling

The cooling system itself uses electricity to move the heat away from where you don't want it. Usually it does this by pushing the coolant (air, water) around. More efficient cooling systems use less electricity to move a given amount of heat. That's where the touted energy savings are coming from.

The stuff OVHCloud are talking about doing here is passively cooled, so they're able to get very close to zero energy being used by the cooling system. Hence the claimed PUE almost equal to 1. It's really impressive because normally it's hard to get passive cooling to scale up to moving lots of heat.

In a PC, in theory a liquid cooling system may use less electricity than just fans because the liquid system moves heat from the CPU to the radiator very efficiently, and then moving heat from the radiator to the environment is much cheaper than moving heat directly from the CPU to the environment would've been. The radiator is easier to cool than the CPU because it has a much bigger surface area. Also the radiator tends to maintain a fairly uniform temperature too because it's made of metal and full of circulating water. If you want to bring the electricity cost of cooling down even further, I've heard of DIYers using huge radiators which are so big they can be passively cooled. I remember reading once about someone going to a scrapyard and picking up a car radiator.

How much to infect Android phones via Google Play store? How about $20k


Check haveibeenpwned.

Corporate investment in AI down for first time in a decade


I was kind of expecting interest rates to be mentioned here, since those apparently have shrunk the pool of VC funding?

It does seem kind of early in the hype cycle for this to be dropping off.

After 11 years, Atlassian customers finally get custom domains ... they don't want


Re: Funny in a dark way

I worked in a company that changed ticketing systems somewhere and 4 to 6 times while I was there. I think it was only 4 but I lost count.

Switching isn't impossible. You either a) migrate your tickets over or b) lose them all, call it a temporary ticket amnesty, and then invite everyone to re file the tickets they care about most.

Cisco, Huawei, Ericsson on the hook for Philippine telco's $880M overspend


Small potatoes

They'll be amortising this stuff over decades. It sounds like a big number but a 20% cost overrun is nothing in an infrastructure project.

I am very doubtful of the implicit assumption that the project wouldn't have had this overrun if the procurement process had been followed to the letter.

Warning: Your wireless networks may leak data thanks to Wi-Fi spec ambiguity


Ah well

WiFi continues to be possible to snoop on, ever since the days of the WEP fiasco. Continue to use TLS for all the traffic you care about.

Moon's glass beads contain enough water to support a mission


Re: A lot and just a little

I guess it would be surprising if theropod pooping didn't work similarly to bird pooping, but there were a huge number of other extinct dinosaurs that aren't ancestors to birds, so who knows if any of them evolved peeing? That anatomy is mostly squishy and doesn't fossilise very well.


Re: A lot and just a little

Liquid water has about the same volume and density pretty much regardless of gravity or pressure (*). It's almost completely incompressible.

(* The temperature range at which it will stay liquid does change with pressure, of course.)

France bans all recreational apps – including TikTok – from government devices


This seems like a sensible step. It's much more reasonable and equitable than singling out TikTok, given plenty of other apps have the same problems.

Reg FOSS desk test drive: First beta of Fedora 38 drops


Re: When it comes to Linux, I can't be arsed.

When KDE 4.0 came out, the maintainers called it the "eat your babies" release. They acknowledged that as the first release after a lot of changes, it was going to have a lot of novel bugs.

Check out Codon: A Python compiler if you have a need for C/C++ speed


I'd be most interested to see a comparison against Cython.

Not just you in the night: Tiny bugs use superpropulsion to eject huge volumes of pee


My first thought was of spacecraft. If you could expel liquid at about 3500m/s ish then you could have a liquid propelled rocket that competes on Isp with chemical rockets that expel fire. ;)

I'm sure the scales are WAY off for that, but it's an amusing thought.

Backup tech felt the need – the need for speed. And pastries and Tomb Raider


> These days, of course, the whole lot can probably run on one Raspberry Pi Pico.

I expect you'd have more trouble with running out of GPIO pins than keeping up with the CPU throughput needed. :)

Chinese defence boffins ponder microwaving Starlink satellites to stop surveillance


Re: Working

FWIW the news coming out at the moment indicates that SpaceX has management that got very good at managing upwards and working around Musk. So you're allowed to be impressed by SpaceX without having to like Musk at all. :P

Eurocops shut down Exclu encrypted messaging app, arrest dozens


Re: Network Service == Single Point Of Failure!

Cryptographically this is perfect. It will conceal the contents of your messages.

You need to also worry about getting screwed by the metadata about who sent messages to whom & when.

BT keeps the faith in 'like fury' fiber broadband buildout as revenues dip


Re: Moving to FTTH

Also the maps are very optimistic. I found out the hard way that in the middles of cities there are places that are marked as wired for FTTP according to the coverage maps, but you can't actually get service. If you try to actually buy it then a small man with a large OpenReach van comes to your home a couple of months later and sadly tells you that there's no way he can get a fibre all the way from the nearest run to where you are. :(

I assume the root cause of this is that OpenReach get some subsidies or something based on coverage percentages, so they lie about which properties are covered in order to get them without having to pay to actually do the installations.

Go to security school, GoTo – theft of encryption keys shows you need it


Re: Persistent keys are the problem.....

I don't have an alpaca yet so I'm very invested in finding out.


Re: Persistent keys are the problem.....

DH is an online protocol. Both parties send messages back and forth in order to agree on a shared temporary secret.

When you encrypt backups, you are sending an encrypted message to your future self. There is no way for future-you to send messages back to current-you, so the communication only goes one way and you can't implement protocols like DH.

Space dust reveals Earth-killer asteroids tough to destroy


If you bury those fusion bombs inside the asteroid a bit, they will get way more thrust (at lower Isp) than if you push them out behind the pusher plate.


As someone mentioned above, freshly-vapourised nuclear missile casing.

Also thermal radiation. If you warm up the surface of an object so that it outgasses (possibly by evaporating some rock), the outgassing will act like a rocket.

Live Nation CFO on Taylor Swift ticket chaos: Don't blame me, bots made me crazy


I assume few of the people involved want this problem to be actually-solved, because otherwise they'd do something that would reliably work. Pick a mechanism by which to effectively ban ticket resale and kill all the ticket resale companies off.