* Posts by Dave Pickles

163 posts • joined 12 Sep 2011


Apple said to be removing charger, headphones from upcoming iPhone 12 series

Dave Pickles

So are Apple guaranteeing that they will use the same charging connector/method and audio interface for the next five generations of their phones?

Thought not.

Ransomware crims to sell off 'scandalous' files swiped from Mariah Carey, Nicki Minaj, Puff Daddy's legal eagles

Dave Pickles

Someone has been watching the Monty Python "Blackmail" sketch.

Microsoft emits a colourful Windows Terminal preview

Dave Pickles

Windows Terminal Preview

A preview of the end of Windows???

Health Sec Hancock says UK will use Apple-Google API for virus contact-tracing app after all (even though Apple were right rotters)

Dave Pickles

Re: distance and signal strength

Bluetooth radar? At the mandated 2m distance the round-trip delay would be about 7ns.

Better would be to use sonar. Send an ultrasonic 'chirp' through the phone speaker and pick up the reply via the microphone. The round-trip time of ~12ms is rather more manageable, though having the microphone live all the time would not be easy to sell...

Dave Pickles

Re: Can they still nab the data?

The Ts and Cs for use of the API are as draconian as you would expect from Apple and Google's legal departments, and one would hope that any infraction would result in their usual response.

RIP ROP, COP, JOP? Intel to bring anti-exploit tech to market in this year's Tiger Lake chip family

Dave Pickles


It seems Intel have rediscovered the mythical COMEFROM instruction.

Windows Server to require TPM2.0 and Secure boot by default in future release

Dave Pickles

Re: Well now....

But how do you install Linux if new servers come with compulsory Secure Boot?

US Air Force wants to pit AI-powered drone against its dogfighting hotshots in battle of the skies next year

Dave Pickles

Re: How?

Leaving the pilot on the ground gives a few advantages:

- The drone can pull higher 'G' without squishing or disorienting the pilot

- The drone can be more aerodynamic without the need for a human-sized space up front and a window to look out of

- The drone can be expendable. If the opposition carries four air-air missiles just send up five drones.

Beware, space Chuck Norris inside: Wacky flight rules for Chris Cassidy's first mission unearthed as Navy SEAL greets Dragon crew

Dave Pickles


The acronym for "Ad-Hoc Network Demonstration for Extended Satellite-Based Inquiry and Other Team Endeavors" should be the rather more worrying ANDESBIOTE.

Beardy Branson’s 747-assisted sat-launcher can’t get it up

Dave Pickles

Re: To be fair

Failed to go all the way.

Facebook to surround all of Africa in optical fibre and tinfoil

Dave Pickles

Why don't they join the ends?

From the map it seems it would be a simple matter to continue the fibre through the Straits of Gibraltar and make a complete loop. Then if (when?) there is a break, countries downstream of the break can be fed from the other end.

Or they could try continent-sized FDDI...

Swedish data centre offers rack-scale dielectric immersion cooling

Dave Pickles

Re: With 500MW

There is a photograph in the Kinlochleven museum showing what happened when they had a pipe burst in the power station. Not the kind of Dielectric Cooling most data centre owners would be keen on.

UK COVID-19 contact-tracing app data may be kept for 'research' after crisis ends, MPs told

Dave Pickles

Like SETI?

So as I understand it, nothing leaves the phone until you decide to 'out' yourself and declare yourself infected. As with the search for extra-terrestrials, the rational decision is to listen but not to transmit.

Getting a pizza the action, AS/400 style

Dave Pickles

Apropos of nothing...

The volume of a circular dough-based foodstuff of radius z and thickness a is pi*z*z*a.

Delivery drones: Where are they when we really need them?

Dave Pickles

Drones with wheels are a thing...

in Milton Keynes.

Small business loans app blamed as 500,000 financial records leak out of ... you guessed it, an open S3 bucket

Dave Pickles

You get fibre, you get fibre, you all get fibre: UK Ministry of Fun promises new rules to make all new homes gigabit capable

Dave Pickles

Re: Even when fibre arrives it may not be suitable for techies

"(*) Covid-19 permitting. They've done one street away but I haven't seen them for a couple of days."

That's because they're parked across my drive. Luckily Covid-19 also means I don't need to drive anywhere at present.

Hey, £18bn-revenue defence megacorps screw up ERP overhauls too: BAE took a £36m hit for delayed rollout

Dave Pickles

Just hope it is not a train coming in the opposite direction...

...or muzzle-flash.

Brit banking sector hasn't gone a single day of 2020 without something breaking

Dave Pickles

More likely someone wrote "3rd January 2019" on the top of the BACS transfer form.

Cheque out my mad metal frisbee skillz... oops. Lights out!

Dave Pickles

Re: The kind of boss I like to work with

A PHB of mine from long ago (now sadly deceased) had a saying "a mistake is evidence that someone has attempted to achieve something".

Post Office coughs £57.75m to settle wonky Horizon IT system case

Dave Pickles

Re: Not good enough.

Those PO staff and others who testified in Court that money was missing have presumably committed perjury.

Questions hang over Gatwick Airport after low level drone near-miss report

Dave Pickles

You forgot measuring fuel in pounds. Unless you're flying the Gimli Glider.

UK ads watchdog slaps Amazon for UX dark arts after folk bought Prime subs they didn't want

Dave Pickles

Been there, done that

To punish them I placed several low-value orders on 1-day delivery and then cancelled before the 30 day free trial ended.

Now that's integrity: Bloke sinks 7 beers, turns himself in. Cops weren't looking for him

Dave Pickles

Sadder Budweiser

(Joke (C) Tom Robbins 1980)

HMRC's HTTPS howler: Childcare payments site cert expired at 1am on Sunday, down for hours

Dave Pickles

Still down

They slapped in a new certificate at 10:53 BST but Firefox at least will have none of it; SEC_ERROR_UNKNOWN_ISSUER comes the reply.

Possibly being in too much of a rush they forgot to install the intermediate certificate(s)?

Enterprise Java spec packs bags, ready for new life under assumed name – Jakarta

Dave Pickles


No - she went of her own accord.

A carbon-nanotube RISC-V CPU blinks into life. Boffins hold their breath awaiting first sign of life... 'Hello world!'

Dave Pickles

Re: But how fast does it clock?

From the article their demonstration ran (?) with a 10KHz clock, but experiments on individual gates maxed out at 1.19MHz.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours

Dave Pickles

Re: What is overflowing?

149 hours is near-enough 2^29 milliseconds.

It's so hot, UK needs to start naming heatwaves like we do when it's a bit windy – climate boffins

Dave Pickles

Re: Not the LSE

The French have shut down a couple of their nuclear power stations which were getting a bit toasty in their water intake departments, so we're burning gas to make up their shortfall.

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...

Dave Pickles

Re: B****r!

Thanks for the reminder, unfortunately my bro-i-l has thrown away the packaging. Sometimes Amazon can be too efficient!

Dave Pickles


Guess who bought a Pi3 (as a gift for a relative) yesterday...

Overzealous n00b takes out point-of-sale terminals across the UK on a Saturday afternoon

Dave Pickles

Re: When was the last time your over-zealous attempt to fix a problem back-fired heavily?

And the first non-compliance with Apple terms and conditions.

Ethiopia sits on 737 Max report but says pilots followed Boeing drills

Dave Pickles

Report issued


Techies take turns at shut-down top trumps

Dave Pickles

Re: did anyone ever use these buttons the way they were intended to?

Many years ago I was taking a short-cut through the data centre and spotted smoke coming from one of the (washing-machine sized) disk drives. Naturally I pushed the Big Red Button. My boss was not entirely happy; he pointed out that the drive wasn't loaded at the time so just powering it down would have been sufficient. Perhaps.

Age checks for online pr0n? I've never heard of it but it sounds like a good idea – survey

Dave Pickles

Re: Age check = ID

Shame the age-checking scheme in "Leisure Suit Larry" (asking questions an under-age person wouldn't be expected to know the answer to) doesn't work now we have search engines.

Opportunity's mission is over, but InSight almost ready for a driller thriller below Martian surface

Dave Pickles

Haven't they done this the wrong way round?

First they install a super-sensitive seismometer, then they start drilling a 5-metre-deep hole one metre away...

Townsfolk left deeply unsatisfied by Bury St Edmunds' 'twig' of a Christmas tree

Dave Pickles

I come to Bury St Edmunds...

not to praise it.

Bloodbath as Broadcom slashes through CA Technologies personnel

Dave Pickles

As ye sow, so shall ye reap

CA, under their former name of Computer Associates, had (allegedly) a reputation as asset-strippers in the 1990s. Maybe now it's their turn.

GitHub lost a network link for 43 seconds, went TITSUP for a day

Dave Pickles

Wasn't Split Brain solved 30 years ago?

VMS clustering had the concept of 'quorum'; if there should be N nodes accessible then the cluster would stop if the number fell below int(N/2)+1. This made it impossible for the cluster to partition into two operating sub-clusters.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

Dave Pickles

Re: Another shot of Code

Wikipedia reckons that it was written in PL/M (a minimalist version of PL/1). From memory of poring over the disassembly of CP/M 2.2 I suspect that only the CCP was written in high-level language.

Everything DM gets direct message slap: Marketing biz cops £60k ICO fine

Dave Pickles

Re: 23.6p

23.6 is the number of emails per £1 fine. The cost per email is 4.225p.

Google shaves half a gig off Android Poundland Edition

Dave Pickles

"What was the storage capacity of the typical PC when XP was released?"

I bought a laptop in 2000 with a 20 Gig HD, so 40GB for a desktop machine sounds about right.

'Can you just pop in to the office and hit the power button?' 'Not really... the G8 is on'

Dave Pickles

Re: Long ago.

My turn to say I didn't know they existed...

After a hiccup at my ISP took down my VPN to home ("just reboot the router, sir") while I was 1000 miles away, I built something similar using an Arduino and a GSM modem. An SMS containing the correct password power-cycles the router.

Microsoft devises new way of making you feel old: Windows NT is 25

Dave Pickles

He brought just about everything else. At one time it was reckoned that the best tutorial guide to writing a device driver for NT was the VAX/VMS Device Driver manual.



You've heard that pop will eat itself. Boffins have unveiled a rocket that does the same

Dave Pickles

Like a hot melt glue gun stood on end

... with the payload on the top of the glue stick? Doesn't that mean that the rocket gets shorter as it burns, that must give some interesting aerodynamic problems.

NASA dusts off FORTRAN manual, revives 20-year-old data on Ganymede

Dave Pickles

Re: Article is a bit light on facts.

VAX FORTRAN may have been standard, but the VAX floating-point representation was decidedly strange. There were four different formats and all of them had the exponent in the middle of the word with the mantissa wrapped around it. I believe the aim was some level of compatibility with earlier generations of DEC hardware.

https://nssdc.gsfc.nasa.gov/nssdc/formats/VAXFloatingPoint.htm for the gory details.

Facebook: Crisis? What crisis? Look at our revenue, it's fantastic

Dave Pickles

Re: Supertramp

Bloody Well Right...

Cosmic prang probe: Euro space boffins to smash sats, virtually

Dave Pickles

Re: Serious question.

Satellites don't all traipse round in neat circular equatorial orbits. Most are inclined to the equator and many have elliptical orbits, some very elliptical indeed. Imagine a three-dimensional motorway with traffic continally swapping lanes; sooner or later someone's going to get side-swiped.

Microsoft Lean's in: Slimmed-down Windows 10 OS option spotted

Dave Pickles

Re: The funny thing is that...

And Windows NT was around 30Mb...



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