* Posts by RichardBarrell

169 posts • joined 11 Oct 2010

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Rust is eating into our systems, and it's a good thing

RichardBarrell

Re: Something C++ can do that Rust can't

Totes can. I've seen someone write up the process before of turning a working C program into a working Rust program one `.o` file at a time.

Backblaze thinks SSDs are more reliable than hard drives

RichardBarrell

Re: Maybe

The accusation isn't that the data is worthless, it's that it's doomed.

...DOOOOOOMED!

Hybrid work not working? Try building an 'intraverse' to fix it, says Gartner

RichardBarrell
Devil

If I may advocate for Screwtape's boss for a second here

While this is an exceedingly strange idea, one possible upshot: an enterprising group of developers could perhaps use this to work on something mildly-fun for a bit, like say WebGL game engines. Convince the organisation that it should be BSD licensed and the work wouldn't even be wasted.

Go programming language arrives at security warnings that are useful

RichardBarrell

That's rather smart. I'm impressed.

Google Maps, search results to point women to actual abortion providers

RichardBarrell

I think the domestic terrorists already know.

Cloud and datacenters start to feel the slowdown amid spiking energy costs

RichardBarrell
Joke

Re: Extended server lifespan

OVH may hang on to their machines until they go up in smoke, but that doesn't take all that long by industry standards. ;)

South Korea cracks down on unlicensed foreign crypto businesses

RichardBarrell

Re: "crypto businesses"

Cryptographers and cipherpunks.

It's unfortunate that the words are a little longer. The silver lining is that both sound better in poetry.

Keep your cables tidy. You never know when someone might need some wine

RichardBarrell

Re: So an annualised uptime of less than 75%

This is one of the reasons why I advocate that most services should be targeting a nine-fives SLO rather than five-nines.

Our software is perfect. If something has gone wrong, it must be YOUR fault

RichardBarrell

Re: '...own web-hosted user community forums...'

They'll usually name a different distribution than the one you're using. Or several.

DoE digs up molten salt nuclear reactor tech, taps Los Alamos to lead the way back

RichardBarrell

Re: REstart?

I bet you tuppence they use the word "agitation".

Linux may soon lose support for the DECnet protocol

RichardBarrell

You can run custom network protocols over Ethernet from user space by opening a SOCK_RAW socket and send()ing and recv()ing raw Ethernet frames on it. This works without needing to completely take control of a NIC.

You can also drive hardware from user space on Linux. You can write a program that mmap()s files in /sys/devices/pci${X}/${Y}/. I'm told this is a common way to interact with small-production-run custom hardware from Linux, because user space is much less difficult than kernel space (e.g. gdb & lldb mostly just work in user space, whereas they are less easy in kernel space). It's also how things like Snabb Switch and Intel DPDK work.

Pull jet fuel from thin air? We can do that, say scientists

RichardBarrell

Re: Chemical process

Ideally we'd use the shittiest, least-otherwise-useful land on Earth for it.

NASA: Mars rocks won't make it back to Earth until 2033

RichardBarrell

Re: Seems pretty normal to me

That makes sense. Another thing is that the sample return mission is much more tempting now - "look, the samples are already there and collected".

RichardBarrell

Seems pretty normal to me

In Kerbal Space Program, I too pretty often do the whole sample collection phase of the mission before starting the design & launch of the retrieval phase.

Java SE 6 and 7 devs weigh their options as support ends

RichardBarrell

Re: Let the chaos begin

> If you're going to pick a rapidly evolving programming language, you should probably update your compiler every few years.

Not meaning to start a flame war or cast a judgement on whether this is a good thing or not but... are you really calling Java a "rapidly evolving programming language"? Java?

I think C++ of all things has a higher rate of change.

Fujitsu: Ammonia could power datacenters in the near future

RichardBarrell

Re: What's the power density of ammonia compared to diesel?

> unless you're planning on killing tailgaters

More of a feature than a bug.

Firefox kills another tracking cookie workaround

RichardBarrell

Re: Sounds great

Unrelated to the argument above, I hope you are hoarding compatible hardware spare parts for that. (and have disk image backups)

A miserable work week spent toiling inside 'the metaverse'

RichardBarrell
Joke

Re: But... but... but...

The screens in Minority Report are more like AR than VR, so it's not surprising that the results fail to generalise from one situation to the other. ;)

Will optics ever replace copper interconnects? We asked this silicon photonics startup

RichardBarrell

Re: Wake me up when it ships, which will be about never.

Yep. Startups have been making noise about using optical interconnects to eliminate crosstalk in high throughput applications for decades at least.

Maybe this one will actually ship? the chiplet approach might be a big improvement since it means whatever weird process they need for making the lasers doesn't matter to the rest of the silicon that goes in the package, you put drop it in and bond a lot of very short wires to it.

Meteoroid hits main mirror on James Webb Space Telescope

RichardBarrell

Re: Disappointing

No, he means we have satellites capable of being hit by millimetre sized specs of dust. So we should have some experience with things which we put in space getting hit.

As for the speed, 10-12km/s is normal., but 100km/s has to be rarer, surely? cuz that's a pretty elliptic orbit if it's swinging by Earth rather than slamming into the atmosphere.

RichardBarrell

Re: Shields Up!

One of the most difficult parts of problem a) above is that a little bit of armour can be worse than no armour when an impact with it causes spallation.

I love the Linux desktop, but that doesn't mean I don't see its problems all too well

RichardBarrell

Somewhat tangential, Android's userland is, off the top of my head, mostly BSD (*) licensed and there's little to no GPL licensed or GNU stuff in there. For example, it comes with a BSD licensed thing called "toybox" instead of the GPL licensed "busybox".

(* or similar)

IETF publishes HTTP/3 RFC to take the web from TCP to UDP

RichardBarrell

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

The old one was hexagonal. They're trying for at least 12 sides this time. Hopefully it'll be quieter and smoother.

RichardBarrell

Re: QUIC can do what TCP cant

> 4. future extension: QUIC can be extended without...

Something I'm cautiously optimistic about is that at the moment some ISPs mess around with UDP traffic, and I'm hoping that widespread deployment of QUIC / HTTP 3 will punish that severely, forcing them to stop doing that. I think this would have the knock-on effect of making the internet more friendly to future innovations by other parties.

RichardBarrell

TCP was a very good design. No disrespect.

In a modern world, it's unfortunate that TLS is layered on top of TCP rather than integrated, so you get 2 handshakes before anything starts really happening. If you were designing TCP again from scratch in this century, you'd consider merging the handshaking parts of TLS into it to save the RTTs. Or changing the interface a bunch so that the TLS handshaking could piggyback on the same packets as the TCP handshaking.

Also TCP has always had problems over flaky connections with head-of-line blocking.

RichardBarrell

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

No difference in this case because HTTP 3 builds a connection on top. When you're using HTTP 3 there's still a handshake implemented on top of UDP.

What you describe is an issue with protocols like DNS that send a response out immediately in reply to a single packet.

RichardBarrell

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

Yes. HTTP 1 keepalive mitigated some of the problem. There's a lot more to it besides. HTTP 1 has a lot of other issues with the way it uses TCP that lead to dead time where the network isn't being used well.

RichardBarrell

Re: TCP needs a few back-and-forths

The round trips which HTTP 3 shaves off relative to HTTP 1 and HTTP 2 are pure overhead, with both ends of the connection just sitting around and waiting. At the start of a page load, your network connection is mostly idle for several RTTs (think dozens to hundreds of ms, depending on latency) while both sides wait for lookups and handshakes to happen before they start shoving bytes down the connection in earnest.

Only Microsoft can give open source the gift of NTFS. Only Microsoft needs to

RichardBarrell

Not to get into too much of an argument here, but the gold standard for non-interoperability in software licensing is the AGPL.

Concerned about cloud costs? Have you tried using newer virtual machines?

RichardBarrell

How fast the newer VMs run

I would hope the numbers would get a little better again if you take performance into account - hopefully the newer VM flavours are able to service more clients from a given number of instances?

Rocket Lab successfully catches falling rocket booster with a helicopter

RichardBarrell

Re: Wish there was a video

My favourite comment on that video was the person asking when this will be added to the Olympic games. :)

Microsoft exposes glue-free guts of the Surface Laptop Studio

RichardBarrell

Re: Not really surprised

Yes

RichardBarrell

Re: Not really surprised

My attitude to really heavy laptops has been that, oh well, carrying it is just bonus exercise. :)

Microsoft points at Linux and shouts: Look, look! Privilege-escalation flaws here, too!

RichardBarrell

Re: Auto update and reboot anyone?

I have very definitely reconfigured pulseaudio without rebooting.

Fedora starts to simplify Linux graphics handling

RichardBarrell

Re: I actively use nomodeset.

Probably don't run the 'dpkg' one on Fedora, though. ;)

Smart contract developers not really focused on security. Who knew?

RichardBarrell

Re: Quicksand vs Ponzi

Wash trading, too (which is a mechanism for pump-and-dump).

Windows 11 usage stats within touching distance of... XP

RichardBarrell

Re: Rock solid HP

Ah thanks! I didn't realise "suite" meant more than one box.

RichardBarrell

Re: Rock solid HP

Stupid question: since a PC that will run Win11 is well under £1k new, where does the other £17k go?

Growing US chip output an 'expensive exercise in futility', warns TSMC founder

RichardBarrell

Re: To paraphrase

What he says about cost is plausible but I don't think cost was ever the point. Everyone is now scared of being cut off from semiconductor supply.

RichardBarrell

Re: To paraphrase

Nowhere near as many as there are now but quite a lot: chip manufacturing was already an established industry there when TSMC started.

The origin legend (possibly true) of TSMC is that there were lots of chip fabs around which belonged to chip vendors. Some would sell fab capacity to fabless firms. A problem for fabless firms was that the fabbing firm might steal the design and sell competing chips cheaper (because they don't have to recoup the design cost since they stole it). So the idea for TSMC was to start a chip fab company that *only* ran fabs and did not sell any chips itself. This way it had no temptation to steal designs & so could be trustworthy.

Northwest England councils in £31m SaaS HR system tender

RichardBarrell

I expect they actual meant RHEL. RHEL 6.2 was released in December 2011.

The right to repairable broadband befits a supposedly critical utility

RichardBarrell

Re: Lightning Protection

> Protecting data carrying ports (such as modems) is very complex.

Huh! I had wrongly assumed that it would be relatively simple - that either you can use an opto-isolator and that solves it, or you can't and you're totally doomed. ;)

Think tank: US will need to import semiconductor talent to fill new factories

RichardBarrell

Re: Competition

I sincerely hope they already have.

DBAs massively over-provision Oracle to protect themselves: Microsoft

RichardBarrell
RichardBarrell

Isn't it the same, though? While the button is there on a SQL Server instance in Azure to just click it and upsize the instance, does the DBA actually have permission to click it if they haven't secured budget in advance?

Research casts doubt on energy efficiency of 5G

RichardBarrell

Jevons paradox

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jevons_paradox

It's entirely expected that reducing the price per bit of mobile communications will make the total spending on them go up.

This isn't necessarily a bad thing if they're displacing other activities that would have cost even more energy, as other people have mentioned.

Google kills download-shrinking Lite Mode browser tech

RichardBarrell

Re: Not really my experience...

47MB is impressive(ly bad).

I mustache for clarification, please. Do you mean literally correcting your French, as in you called it a "c'etait un peut de merde" and the boss corrected the grammar/spelling/conjugation/noun gender or something....

...or are you alluding to the figurative "pardon my French, but, $SWEARING", and the boss took the swear words out?

:D

NASA taps Lockheed Martin to build Mars parcel pickup rocket

RichardBarrell

Re: Flatbed

May just be down to boring engineering limits. How much payload you can put on any one rocket or how much budget you can ask for for one mission ;)

No, I've not read the screen. Your software must be rubbish

RichardBarrell

Re: Simples...

First question: do you really want to delete all your data?

Second question: are you going to sue me if deleting all your data makes all your data be gone?

:D

To err is human. To really tmux things up requires an engineer

RichardBarrell

Re: Moar visibility

I think I've heard of at least one person who had their terminal set up so that when they switched which server they're logged into, the xterm they were using changed the colour of its menu bar.

Using ANSI colour escapes in PS1 to have different colour prompts on each machine (both as ordinary user and as root) is definitely something people have done. Probably saved a few jobs by now. :)

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