* Posts by whbjr

33 publicly visible posts • joined 24 Oct 2010

Texas blacks out, freezes, and even stops sending juice to semiconductor plants. During a global silicon shortage



"stopping semiconductor production mid-cycle can damage products."

Boo-f'ing-hoo. People DIED in this rare freeze. Samsung et al will be back in production in a few weeks or months. The dead will not be back, and their families won't care about delays in semiconductor production.

(FYI, I live in Austin)

When a deleted primary device file only takes 20 mins out of your maintenance window, but a whole year off your lifespan


Not Then, You Couldn't

In the days of Sun / Solaris, there was no /proc/anything at all, so no, this was not an option.

Source code for seminal adventure game Zork circa-1977 exhumed from MIT tapes, plonked on GitHub


Re: Schmoo?

Unless I'm very much mistaken, your machine is attempting to pass you a note. I'm not saying you should accept it, or read it, or follow its directive(s), I'm just saying that it's there...

Google engineering boss sues web giant over sex discrim: I was paid less than men, snubbed for promotion


Re: 'Outside the bubble' issues maybe?

"You just can't get a reliable network engineer to work in austere, violent, life-threatening conditions that *hasn't* already experienced combat..."

So, you only get hired if you've already been shot at? I'm trying to escape the Catch-22 aspects of this, where you won't hire me for a shot-at position unless I've already been shot at - unless you're hiring network engineers who weren't network engineers while they were in "austere, violent, life-threatening conditions" (austere?).

Call-center scammer loses $9m appeal in stunning moment of poetic justice


Re: Not poetic enough

"... do you think it would be any trouble for them to con a psychiatrist into thinking they had changed?"

Psychiatrists, particularly those who work with convicted felons, are usually pretty good at avoiding con-jobs. "The subject presented himself as reformed, but was unconvincing. Recommendation: Continued confinement."

Don't let your dreams be dreams! Itty-bitty space shuttle to ride into orbit on a Vulcan Centaur


Taking technology for granted

"One of the main landing gears failed to deploy... "

If only we could have had the same landing gear used by THOUSANDS, or perhaps ZILLIONS of aircraft which land every day, across the globe, using landing gear which does not fail to deploy! Oh, but *this* landing gear has to survive high altitudes and zero gravity! The vacuum seals have to operate even after being exposed to a vacuum!

Are you sure you've got a floppy disk stuck in the drive? Or is it 100 lodged in the chassis?


Re: One, OK, hundred, I have my doubts

I've often said - I thought I was going into the Computer business, I didn't know I'd be a sheet-metal worker!

Adobe Flash zero-day exploit... leveraging ActiveX… embedded in Office Doc... BINGO!


Flash, Java, and IoT

In my workplace, which is so far from the cutting edge of technology that we can't even see the handle, we have a device which requires Flash for remote access... and of course, the people selecting this device claim to NEED remote access.

We also have a device which uses Java... but not any of the new versions, this requires Java from, as I recall, six or seven years ago. Thank goodness for archives of old versions of Firefox (and Portable Apps, so it doesn't interfere with newer versions)! This device does not have a physical control panel, and as far as we can tell there will be no updates to the firmware ("Buy our newer hardware, which is more expensive and not suited to your needs").

Early experiment in mass email ends with mad dash across office to unplug mail gateway


Back when eBay had interesting Chat Groups, they had a profanity-checker which (for better or worse) ignored whitespace, so you couldn't say "the PEN IS mightier than the sword" or "It's a BIT CHilly out tonight." Those of us familiar with HTML learned that it didn't understand the "nbsp" character.

Just when you thought it was safe to go ahead with microservices... along comes serverless


Re: Is it just me

Apparently, they're creating a new database, or table, or something, to back up the request... then trashing it when the request is complete. I don't claim to understand this.

Nor, for that matter, do I understand this: "That means being able to A/B, or blue/green, a deployment..." What is a blue/green deployment? Did I miss the color-coding class at the recent Bleeding-Edge Briefing?

Google slaps mute button on stupid ads that nag you to buy stuff you just looked at


"Alphabet said that $24bn of its $27.7bn company revenues came from advertising."

Clearly, this is false - or, as we say in the Dark Days of the United States, "Fake News." There's no way that the Googlebet gets $3.7bn from non-advertising sources!

Wondering why your internal .dev web app has stopped working?

Thumb Down

Re: also ICANN

A local church uses .faith, as in ChurchName.faith, and in fact they have a .org address which redirects to the faith-based (ha!) hostname. If my DNS server dropped that on the floor, I'd never be able to get info which is required for my BUSINESS (not my personal life). Dropping valid DNS requests is not an option.

President Trump to his council of industry CEO buddies: You're fired!


Keep talking, but nobody's listening

I would admire Michael Dell for sticking with the now-gone council, in the hopes of influencing the president. I would admire that with just about any other president. However, this president is only going to listen to the voices in his head, he's not listening to Michael Dell, or any others, unless they echo what he's already decided. It's just as well that he's disbanded the council - now they can go back to realizing that they were wasting thei time.

Hackers can turn web-connected car washes into horrible death traps


Re: "I just wait for it to rain, me."

Clearly, you don't live in Texas - that's a long wait, here. :-) There are plenty of Laserwash locations in this area - I'm thinking of giving them a try! (With a friend's car, that is, while observing from a safe distance.)

You shrunk the database into a .gz and the app won't work? Sigh


Re: When life imitates art...

Don't count on the switches to be intelligent. Ping (continuously) the lost host, and start unplugging cables. If ping continues to work, plug the cable back in. If it doesn't, then the lost host is somewhere at the end of that wire.

All but full-fat MS Office to be had on iPads, Droidenslabben for NOWT


Re: I remember

"Blame the teaching of product-specific IT at schools for that."

True - but that includes the schools which accepted Apple's hefty discounts to create a zillion Mac users... which, in my humble opinion, resulted in a zillion iPhone users, and now here we are with MS apps on Apple products.

AWS’ gift to sysadmins: a cloudy command line


Re: Automation and Anything Else?

"Given the choice between using an API and a CLI to automate, the API is always the preferable route. Less "geeky" but more stable and less dependent on a person to write and maintain the scripts on your side."

As a long-time script writer and script-READER, I find it much easier to read, maintain, and update a shell script, as opposed to a compiled program which requires knowledge of an API with calls and hooks and layers to semi-documented libraries. Yes, I'm a geeky sysadmin who prefers CLI, but I have a verifiable reason for preferring it.

Newsweek succumbs to ad slippage, will kill print pub


Re: M'eh, big deal. I won't miss 'em

"It certainly didn't help that when cable TV ushered in the 24-hour news cycle, outfits like Time and Newsweak became more and more irrelevant when, by the time they hit the stands, the "news" between their covers could really have been more accurately called "olds"."

Actually, when the 24-hour news cycle hit, I relied even more on newspapers and Newsweek to give me reporting with a bit of perspective - when every item is treated as "Breaking News!!" then no item is treated as uninteresting. Print news does a much better job of sorting that out... unless they stop spending the time and effort to do that, which is what happened at Newsweek.


If it wasn't dying already, Tina killed it

For some strange, inexplicable reason, once Tina Brown became editor, Newsweek's coverage of the fashion industry increased greatly... and coverage of just about anything else, including national (US) and world news, declined horribly.

I've been a subscriber since 1978, and it'll be strange to not have it in my mailbox. On the flip side, I feel incredibly intelligent for ignoring their offers: "Renew your subscription now! Before it expires! Only six months left!"

Mozilla isn't a charity case - and Google's $300m will do nicely


"Better" at what?

It helps if you extend the quote: The purpose of Chrome is "to make the Internet better" at displaying the ads which provide Google with revenue. There, does that provide a better fit into your view of Google as a business?

Yelp update ridicules Republican (ex)-hopeful Rick Perry


Again and again and again

Graham: As a registered voter in Texas, I'm forced to agree with you. We seem to have gone bat-sh*t crazy at three (!) gubernatorial elections... My only hope is that the rest of the country sends Mr. Perry back to Texas, where we'll either reject him or put up with him. But please please please don't make him the leader of the country and our representative to the rest of the globe.

(Boy, this was supposed to be humorous, but then I started crying in my beer...)

Dating sites can be haven for sex pests, say cops


Only on "dating sites"?

So, aah... What're you wearing?

Parliament has no time for 100,000+ signature e-petitions


Is this one of those delicious moments when those of us in the States get to chortle* about flaws in the British government? We need all the chortling time we can get, given our impending presidential campaign...

* Chortling so rarely happens here - the US is more of a guffaw sort of place.

Hey Commentards! [This title is optional]


I was a bit worried at first, since I read that as "... but we are thinking of opening up forums to reader-generated threats."

Although, come to think of it, readers seem to generate their own threats all the time, here.

Microsoft's MS-DOS is 30 today


The honest ones are not "highly competitive"

(Announcing features before they're ready for release is) "now a common tactic employed by highly competitive tech companies."

Meaning, MS and Apple? Anybody else, really?

Developer fury as Google makes Android apps vanish


Searching by what means?

Why do I have the feeling that searching plain old google.com for "Android Market foobar" would get more reliable results than searching the Android Market for "foobar"?

April Fools Day's Finest



Geeks.com has several one-day specials today:


Oh, and in case anyone forgot to mention, Gmail motion... (*runs away, laughing like an April Fool*)

The Bayeux Tapestry archiving model

IT Angle

Yes, yes, but it's really...

the first comic strip. Well, perhaps not the *first* comic strip, but one of the more significant ones. There's a direct artistic and storytelling link from the Bayeux Tapestry (which I've loved ever since National Geographic printed the whole thing in '66) to Peanuts, Doonesbury and the like.

But (said in my most condescending voice) if you IT folk would like a small claim to it, then we'll not object.

Catch Notes



I've been using Catch for, oh, almost a year, and it does everything I ask of it. And no, they don't pay me to say this - I guess maybe I'm not asking much of a note-keeping service. Perhaps I should be more demanding!

One of the highlights for me is the lack of ads, and the lack of nagging to upgrade to the paid version. I sincerely hope they're making money - maybe someday they'll make money from me...

Beer because you don't have an Android icon, and I'd rather have a beer than a penguin.

Diary of a Not-spot: The readers speak


Safety Last!

"... a shock would require multiple failures, and be cut off by any modern fuse box, so overall a good deal safer than climbing around on the roof with insufficient safety equipment"

This whole project is a delightful series of slightly-less-dangerous choices. I'm expecting the next step to be a choice of TNT vs C3 for putty.

(Posting title courtesy of Harold Lloyd)

Paris Hilton

Mixed messages

"Keep feet together" --?! But then, how will I be able to RUN LIKE HELL?!

Amazon invites 5 terabyte mondo-files into the heavens

Thumb Up

Everything's Bigger in Texas...

...apparently, including file, er, "object" storage. On behalf of my fellow Texans, thank you for not messing with us (this time).

Apple bolts chastity belt on super svelte MacBook Air

Black Helicopters

The accountants stepped in and...

"Okay, how much do regular screws cost? Plus a sticker saying No User-Serviceable Parts? Let's compare that with Rare, Exotic, Tools-Not-Available 5-Prong Torx Screws? Ah, look - now we don't need the sticker at all! Penta-Torx it is, then!"