* Posts by elaar

359 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Sep 2011


Electric vehicles earn shocking report card for reliability


Hardly surprising though is it. Who would have thought that newer technology, electrically far more complex, would be more unreliable to begin with than a combustion engine that's had a century to be perfected/refined reliablility wise?

My 25year old gas boiler far outlived my brother's condensing boiler than had a corroded heat-exchanger after just 3 years. Far more reliable, but an awful 65% efficiency. We need the technological progress, and the reliability will catch up.

Chipmakers threaten to defect to US, EU if UK doesn't get its semiconductor plans sorted


Re: >Where's the Brexit bonus?

"and our local parliament would make the rules about (though not necessarily stop) immigration"

How would making "rules" stop immigration when you pee off the French and we're no longer able to use Dublin Regulation? All we've accomplished is less skilled immigration (which we desperately need in certain sectors) and more asylum seekers crossing.

Besides, the laws our parliament create still have to be ratified by our great House of Lords which is packed full of unelected cronies, isn't our democracy fab!?

Amazon warehouse workers 'make history' with first official UK strike


Re: 45%

A rep (when interviewed on the BBC this morning) plainly stated that the 45% wasn't expected or realistic, but was merely a starting point for negotiations. You have to start somewhere optimistically.

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system


Re: Hooray for Avoirdupois and pounds, shillings and pence

"What could be easier?" - a metric system....

"We Brits still call the standard building timber a "two-by-four". So much easier than "hand me a couple of one-hundred-by-two-hundreds, there's a good chap"." - You don't base a measurement system on which one's easiest to say. You can still call it a 2x4, as it's pretty close, I'm sure the person passing it to you won't get confused if you're a few mm out with your description.

I don't think we'd suffer any major issues if a pint of beer was 13% smaller, the US version is under half a litre, and that's the point really... a system where values differ between common countries has no place in a modern society. The only people that argue against this are those that grew up with said archaic system.

Cisco warns it won't fix critical flaw in small business routers despite known exploit


Re: Hardly the first problem

It does beg the question though, why not buy a proper Cisco SOHO router (like the C900) that has a proper IOS? All of those RV routers might have the Cisco brand attached, but they're the equivalent of the cheap Linksys stuff.


Re: Time to dump Cisco

This isn't a "security product" though, it's a very cheap 13 year old design SOHO router, and to be fair no business EVER should have remote web management enabled on a public facing device, that's a ridiculous thing to do fullstop.

Sony, Honda collaborate on 'premium' electric vehicles that are born in the USA


Re: "continuous relationships with customers across the entire value-chain."

You could just completely block a smart-TV in your firewall, that's what I do. I might unblock it once a year to check for updates and that's it. It's a shame to miss out on some of the best Panels just because you're put off by the "smart" rubbish.

Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler


Fixing toilets.

In my early years, we had a small team that worked alone in a DC we had a large presence in. Support, hands and eyes, installations, basically anything and everything required to keep the services going.

It was then decided by the Office Manager of the local London office (a few miles away) that we could carry out general office maintenance tasks for them, because after all if you have IT training you must also be a qualified electrician and plumber...

One day we had a request from her to repair one of their toilets. I told her politely to ring a plumber, which compelled her to write an email to my manager and hers about how "unhelpful" I was. I never went over there again.

Demand for software experts pushes tech salaries higher in UK


Re: Not just gender

We've advertised 8 different job positions in the last 6 months (all in IT, 2nd/3rd line and managerial positions etc.) and from memory we've had ~50 male candidates apply. We have 1 female in the whole of our support department of ~30 odd people. The company would literally do anything to employ more females, to the point where their skillset doesn't even matter (which is an awful thing to admit).

We just don't have enough interest in the industry.

Braking news: Cops slammed for spamming Waze to slow drivers down


Re: I have no problem with this.

Speeding can be a crime. If instead of getting a PCN/FPN it goes to court, and you're convicted, then you have a criminal conviction and it goes on your criminal record.


Re: I have no problem with this.

I have a similar journey time to work. 70mph and more frequent overtaking I get about 48mpg, but if I sit relaxing doing 57mph in the slipstream of a lorry I get 68mpg, and it takes just 2mins longer.

Burger King just sent spam receipts to customers


Re: Why did Burger King send me this blank receipt whilst i was sleeping at 5am?

If only those "stupid" people did the simple task of setting up a unique random email address for every single bloody website/company they ever contacted, and spent their lives monitoring all addresses incase there's an order update or similar. They would then miss all those emails that you have to click "unsubscribe" on, and the one ever BK blank order receipt, the fools!

Critical flaws found in four Cisco SMB router ranges – for the second time this year


Do you think our core infrastructure uses cheap Cisco devices with (publically accessible) web guis?

Web Guis are always a vulnerability in this sort of kit, but there's many non/semi-technical customers that require it, hence why they put it in cheap SOHO kit.

China's 7nm chip surprise reveals more than Beijing might like


Re: Ours

I'm not sure how the EU stopped the UK from having fabs, I can't find any information to suggest that. But I do know that the EU (UK) is at the forefront of Medical Research, Fusion projects, CERN to name just a few. So to suggest the EU is behind on "high tech" because it doesn't have sophisticated FABS is laughable.

Homes in London under threat as datacenters pull in all the power


Re: Not near wind farms

The issue with that is a lot of people want easy access to their DC (even though visits tend to be pretty rare), so that would cross off using it for co-lo etc. The other issue might be a lack of skilled staff in those areas. But yeah apart from that it would make a lot more sense.


Re: And they said...

If everyone had on-site equipment rather than off-site, then a LOT more power would be used overall in the UK (more seperate air-con units, single servers rather than large virtual servers/vhosting, and all power consumption would be in the UK rather than some in foreign DCs).

Considering we're going to go through a massive energy crisis before 2025 (when the last remaining coal stations and the last of 8 reactors go offline), then it's probably a good idea we used UK datacentres (and a vast amount shipped off to DCs in other countries).

I paid for it, that makes it mine. Doesn’t it? No – and it never did


Not just BMW. Our VW Golf came as "Android auto compatible", which naively I assumed meant it would work with it. Well it will, but you have to splash out £250 for them to connect their computer and tick a box somewhere.

Apple-1 prototype hand-soldered by Woz up for auction, bids expected to reach $500k


Re: Open source?

Yes, Woz is a technical legend. Jobs was technically useless and manipulative.

And yet all of the fanboys love Jobs.

There's many examples, such as Atari and Woz/Jobs with Breakout.

This credit card-sized PC board can use an Intel Core i7


Re: Hmmm.

You're not going to get anything serious done with an 8bit GPIO though.

I'm assuming you'd offload the GPIO tasks to a seperate gpio usb/i2c/spi extender, as you wouldn't want to risk harming the (probably very expensive) main board.

CityFibre loses appeal against Openreach discounts for ISPs


Do other big corporations (of which cityfibre isn't) have their pensions backed by the "crown" (taxpayer)?

The return of GPUs on sale may be tech world's monkey's paw of 2022


I'm bemused that people are buying these high-power expensive GPUs that require 1000w supplies, whilst at the same time I'm on a mission to change everything in my house that uses more power than is necessary considering electricity prices are going to hit 40p/kwh.

I'm obviously very boring and middle-aged.

Marriott Hotels admits to third data breach in 4 years


Surely we've reached the point where companies should require a license to capture ANY customer personal data, whereby if they're hacked they lose that license?

It seems companies often get away with this sort of thing, only for the victims to potentially be defrauded 0.5/1/10/100 years later based on some of that data.

The Raspberry Pi Pico goes wireless with the $6 W


Re: I/O

The devices are in parallel, but it's not a parallel bus (which I think he's getting at). But the parallel bus is a thing of the past anyway.


Re: I/O

Well, firstly they're hobbyists chips, so they're aimed at different markets such as (supposedly) education. So it's hard to moan about a MUCH smaller amount of chips destined for that market.

Secondly, I used a lot of STM chips, but show me one that's $6, has Wifi and has education/newbie resources.

I'm assuming by your confidence that you know the average power consumption of this new chip, and how it compares to the STM line? Or are you evaluating purely on the number of I/Os/pin specs?

Why on god's earth would these chips have the PIO abilities that you talk about?


Re: I/O

Why would you expect a board/chipset designed for hobbyists to fit your unique requirements?

What you need to do is find a chip that fits your requirements, preferably then use their dev board, and then fabricate your own pcb based on your design.


Re: "the 50 per cent premium"

"Nice but more limited in terms of IO, memory and processing power" - Correct, but you've ignored the most important point which is power consumption, you can get what you mention out of a million ICs currently available.

Assuming you're using these types of things for home automation/wearables/any other battery project it needs a different evaluation. The Zero 2 W is great, but has to be used as the gateway due to lack of deep sleep and power consumption. It's perfect as a gw.

As far as I can tell, the normal pico uses about 1mA in sleep, whilst the ESP manages about 0.3mA, which is a world of difference when it comes to battery sensors.

I'll need to wait for the release to see the actual measurements of course.

Cisco compresses Catalyst switches to compact size


Re: What is the life expectancy of these switches?

Well traditionally, Catalyst switches tended to outlive humans. You still find 2950s working away in comms rooms.

"for equipment sold just three years ago." - You mean the cheap line of hardware that was released 10 years ago?


Re: None of those are "home office"

I've got a cisco 12port gig switch here, with a cisco 927 router and combined they average 32w (that also includes my monitor on standby), so this Cisco kit isn't too far off of yours.

Firstly, none of us have any idea what the actual average power consumption is (only the maximum), and personally I'm not aware if there's any extra power consumption from ICs that can do 10G, so everyone's just making assumptions at this point.

Linus Torvalds says Rust is coming to the Linux kernel 'real soon now'


Re: This is Linus trying to be a nice guy, he is not! :)

Rust isn't a cool language. It has a cool pre/compiler, and a lot of great ideas, but some of the semantics/syntax ideas are unnecessarily complicated and bewildering.

My opinion is they decided to tackle all of the most complicated parts of C by making them even more abstruse in Rust.

Cisco warns of security holes in its security appliances


Re: Is this in addition to the vulnerabilities in a previous article?

We hear about a lot of Cisco bugs/security flaws, but there is good reason for this.

Cisco have always been very open about bugs, with a good system to report them and track progress, and if you actually bother to look at the dates they're usually rectified within a week.

Compare that to other companies that keep security flaws quiet, and some never bother to fix them, it doesn't make them more secure just because you don't hear about their vulns.

You're always going to have flaws in software, the key is to deal with them transparently and fix them quickly.

To compare, Fortinet have slightly less than half of the CVEs than Cisco for 2022, but Cisco have 20x more product lines.

Know the difference between a bin and /bin unless you want a new doorstop


Re: This brings back memories...

Commodore did the same thing with their Amiga CDTV. I was 13, plugged the printer into the scsi port and that was the instant death of my 1 month old Xmas present.

By this time Commodore had gone bankrupt as well, so no replacement under warranty either.

Ubuntu releases Core 22: Its IoT and edge distro


I'll be giving this a go. I've been using piCore for read-only IoT type things, and it's great, but it is quite time consuming.

If you're using older, vulnerable Cisco small biz routers, throw them out


Re: Throw away 3 year old, core, infrastructure?

"3 year old core infrastructure".

You're over-egging it a bit there. It's hardware that's 10 years old now, was linksys like quality and cheap even then, and it's no more core infrastructure than my home router is.

For an office you need a SOHO router like the old 800 or newer 900series as a minimum.

Japan makes online insults a crime that can earn a year in jail


I'm insulted, go to Jail!


Re: I approve

Exactly. How do you define an "insult" exactly? Is it anything that results in someone feeling insulted or offended?

If I claim a person's comment is ill-informed, or their knowledge lacking, is that an insult? Would inferring someone's an idiot put me in jail, or would I have to directly call them an idiot, which is all just semantics.

There's a whole world of difference between continued insults with the direct aim to cause harm to someone, and stating that someone is crap at dancing in a TikTok video.

Next major update of Windows 11 prepares for launch


Re: Nothing of appeal

I'm using it now on my dev laptop. Apart from MS deciding to move the icons (because after 30 years of aligning them to the left, I guess they thought people wanted a change), and making the start menu even more annoying, I don't immediately notice any difference.

Oh, actually, every time I look in a directory in windows explorer, it takes 12 seconds to actually list the contents, with a "working on it" message to entertain me. State of the art SSD and OS (?) and 12 seconds to see the files in my downloads folder. Great stuff MS.

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near


Re: scripts versus ads

" I believe in not trying to avoid doing my bit for how the whole web ecosystem works"

But by blocking scripts, which prevents a lot of the tracking from taking place, then those adverts are less likely to be for things you'd be interested in. This means you're less likely to click and you're not doing your bit for the ecosystem....

Taiwan bans exports of chips faster than 25MHz to Russia, Belarus


Our support department had a number of Python scripts that did Network wide scanning/scraping and automation of 1000s of CPEs. The logs showed the server was often hitting 6GB RAM usage.

We re-wrote them in C and max usage came down to 112MB.

To be fair, it wasn't just Python's fault. The people that coded the original scripts were the type that think they can code in Python because they've skimmed through a few chapters of "Learning Python".

Behind Big Tech's big privacy heist: Deliberate obfuscation


Re: For the Apple haters…

To be fair, Google gave Apple $15billion last year so that it was the default search method on Apple devices. So that payment helps Google collect data from Apple's users.

Besides, you're comparing companies that derive most of their turnover from private data with one that doesn't, which seems rather pointless. Samsung isn't in the top 7 either.

Dear Europe, here again are the reasons why scanning devices for unlawful files is not going to fly


Re: 1984

It will likely never happen though.

Remember, the Tories are still hell-bent on banning end-to-end encryption, ensuring government agencies can spy on us without court orders. Our police force can demand our passwords with barely any evidence of a crime, so it's not like we'll suffer any less from this Orwellian crap being out of the EU.


Re: It will happen . . .

"At least in the UK we've got the opportunity to boot out any politicians that decide to impose laws which violate our privacy."

If by "boot out" you mean to not vote for again (up to) 5 years later.. And realistically, there's little chance of that happening because most voters don't seem to comprehend assaults on privacy. Generally I would have a lot more faith in the EU protecting our privacy than the Tories.

Small nuclear reactors produce '35x more waste' than big plants


Re: I'll take the bait

Saying Nuclear Fission isn't safe because of Chernobyl is a bit like saying driving is dangerous because someone crashed whilst driving blind on 30 year old tyres and having no brakes.

Fortunately modern day reactors aren't built on flawed cold-war designs.

I'm not a big fan of Fission (or pro-nuclear as you like to call it), but weighing the odds, I think it's a better way to meet our energy needs than 8.7million people dying worldwide each year from fossil fuels.

Meta to squeeze money from WhatsApp with Cloud API for businesses


Re: In all seriousness, people still use WhatsAPP?

Almost, only 2billion users.. When it takes about 5 years for your Nan to get used to it, it's not going anywhere fast.

Despite ban, China surges back to second place on bitcoin mining charts


There was a chap on Radio 5 today, the writer of some Bitcoin-is-great book touting that Bitcoin mining largely uses renewable energy, and energy sources which would otherwise be unrealised. And yet here we see that the vast majority of mining takes place in countries that come top of the leaderboard for coal power stations....

There was also another stat that I found interesting, which was that the energy it takes just to do a single transaction in Bitcoin could power an average sized home for 2 weeks (no idea how accurate that actually is). Scary stuff.

Python is getting faster: Major performance tweaks on horizon


Re: The McDonald's of programming languages

In a nutshell, Python is (largely) quick and easy to learn/code, which is the main reason why it has gained so much traction, but that comes with a cost.. It's just so damn slow and inefficient (comparatively), hopefully these upcoming changes will help with that.

I consider it more of a scripting language like PHP. A language where anyone can cobble something together.

Cars in driver-assist mode hit a third of cyclists, all oncoming cars in tests


My car automatically slows down when a slower vehicle is in front (and matches), or if it knows a junction/roundabout is approaching, or if it detects the speed limit has reduced. But I believe this is more to do with making the most of regenerative breaking and convenience rather than a safety/assist feature, and hence it never brakes enough to stop the car entirely (like the Subura/Hyundai)

Europe's GDPR coincides with dramatic drop in Android apps


Re: What Point Costly Applications?

"but if one's app is something nobody would ever pay for, probably the app is useless."

That's a bizarre statement, that apps "probably" have no worth unless they're monetised.

Most of the apps on my phone are free and useful, whether it's BBC Sound podcasts, MET office, parking apps, controlling features on my car, banking, booking/managing hotels/holidays/flights..... the list is endless.

I'd only ever considering buying an app if the cost is the initial purchase, and never for in-app purchases or loaded with ads. My daughter gets by on the google play-pass for a fixed monthly fee.

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


Re: Cry me a river

"Feeling hurt"? You're the only one here getting all emotional.

None of my Linux systems even use networkd-dispatcher....

ZX Spectrum, the 8-bit home computer that turned Europe on to PCs, is 40


Re: Where it all began...for some

I think you're missing the context here.

People mostly bought the ZX Spectrum for things like gaming. The 3 you listed would have been doorstops for that.

The 6502 may have worked in the arcade for VERY early games, but couldn't compete with the Z80.

The 6502 was on it's last legs by the time the ZX came out.

"I will give it a break on that one though, it was a good starting point for many people."

You've missed the point entirely.

Insteon's vanishing act explained: Smart home biz insolvent, sells off assets


Re: Insteon wasn't always cloudy

"without running gobs of wiring everywhere"

Why would common Wifi/Zigbee/RF devices require gobs of wiring everywhere?

Besides, it's not their technology that's under fire, it's the cowardliness of their upper management and shameful communication with their customers.