* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

3366 publicly visible posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

Microsoft Bing Chat pushes malware via bad ads

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Build to fail

Online advertising has always been identify, track, and redirect. Simple as that. Nobody cares where that redirection goes or even how deep it goes. It's unsafe and everyone should run ad blockers.

The funny part was the 2000 dot-com collapse. Many ad slingers had such long delegation paths that they never ended at a paying business. Multi-million dollar deals spontaneously evaporated and only the exec staff and advertising staff didn't see it coming. Sometimes there were even delegation loops.

iPhone 15 is too hot to handle – and not in any good way

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Syncing must be using Apple installer technology where a minor security update keeps the CPU full-throttle for an hour.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

JerryRigEverything performs a teardown and you can see that there doesn't appear to be much for motherboard cooling, if anything. The motherboard is going to run hot, and running hot makes high density chips run hotter.

Chip firm accused of IP theft bites back, claims Apple's contracts are rotten

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Knowledge transfer

I'm a good employee who will sync up my git repos and push all my unfinished work and documentation into branches before leaving. It can mean moving gigabytes of data sometimes.

No joke: Cloudflare takes aim at Google Fonts with ROFL

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

And Cloudflare won't be evil?

Cloudflare hinting that they might be less evil is laughable. They've been continuously expanding their access to what they can observe about Internet users. They are also willingly bulletproofing what seems like every fake store and SMS scammer on Earth.

Dear Reg mods fearing Cloudflare's retaliation because of slander: I e-mailed you many examples. I can send you more. There are always more. I'd be really happy if there weren't always more. Just check your SMS spam bucket - Those links start at Namecheap, head through click-trackers at Amazon, then land on a fake store behind Cloudflare. Also https://www.spamhaus.org/sbl/listings/cloudflare.com

AWS spins up more cloudy Mac Minis, now with M2 Pro silicon

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: EBS Mac?

Understanding EBS performance and cost for your workloads is 2+ hour read just to get started. Then you figure out that snapshots have an immutable EBS type that's not suitable for some uses. OK, so now you have an EBS AMI that's just for booting and it's too small for gp2 so you make it gp3 then buy more IOPS when it's mounted. Now you can add on gp2, gp3, or io2 storage on demand...if the instance supports it. Small gp2 is too slow, big gp3 is slow or expensive, and mind the block size and instance type for io2... Just put that all in a internal documentation on how to fire up a new instance. So it theoretically should be fast now but new instances are all iowait for half the day. Haha, your AMI's snapshot is arriving by dialup modem after the little burst allocation ran out because you didn't buy "Fast Snapshot Restore" for each sub region.

And as always, don't leave anything accidentally running. Turn off "Fast Snapshot Restore" from previous AMIs. Write down the snapshot ID before deleting old AMIs so you can delete the leaked snapshot manually. Oh, delete the CloudWatch logs too because log lines expire, not log streams. Actually, better have somebody manually garbage collect all the stuff that leaks. Just a few more internal documentation pages. Surely everyone reads it.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

EBS Mac?

EBS is like the ink cartridge money maker. You can rent an EC2 instance for pretty cheap but upgrading EBS until it performs well enough will cost you. It might even cost more than an SSD instance.

The home Wi-Fi upgrade we never asked for is coming. The one we need is not

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Can I haz a 46GbE switch?

Buying just one ordinary 10GbE switch with 4+1 ports is painful. All that does is link a desktop and server. Faster LAN hasn't reached the 2.5GbE WiFi access points because those are each behind more 1GbE switches that would need upgrading. Putting that speed to use would mean adding a 10GbE NIC to the backup NAS too.

Fly, money, fly away!

IBM's Weather Company leaked my personal info to analytics, thunders netizen

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Change the TLD

weather.gov - Ugly but not trying to profit off visitors.

The iPhone 15 has a Goldilocks issue: Too big or too small. Maybe a case will make it just right

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

And one more thing...

Nope, sorry. Nothing is unexpected or exciting on the phones unless you think USB-C counts. Upgrade when old phone is falling behind on telco compatibility or physically wears out.

It's sad because it seems like there's a lot of potential still in what a phone could do. Makers divide up their products by cost rather than trying to target different options. I was seriously tempted to buy one of those crazy outdoor phones with armor, massive battery, thermal camera, headphone jack, expandable storage, a real flashlight, big speakers, and replaceable battery. It doesn't guarantee that SA 5G works so that means maybe no long-range NR71 while roaming the mountains.

Data breach reveals distressing info: People who order pineapple on pizza

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


It's the sweet+sour+meat combo. Some love it, some gag on it. Don't order on a big shared pizza.

I don't like anchovies, olives, mushrooms, or jalapenos either - not in any way or topped on anything. I wonder what they taste like to people who like them. I'll skip the combo pizza.

World's most powerful free-electron laser upgraded to fire a million X-rays per second

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The Fahrenheit scale is great for weather, with 0 to 100 being a nice match of what's safe to be in. Even in 'Murica, I'd like my science in C or K.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

I do hope it's shielded

My cars have always been prone to glitching when driving Hwy 280 over the Stanford Linear Accelerator.

Uncle Sam names three Amazon execs as Prime suspects in subscription ripoff case

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Dark patterns on-hold

I've filed credit card disputes because because a merchant wouldn't answer the phone or allow a message to be left in 1 hour after multiple tries. The credit card rep calls the merchant and also doesn't want to wait over an hour. The charge gets reversed.

'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Weed brain

This is brilliant. Humans will see an X paywall and leave. Only the bots will pay, and they'll use stolen credit cards.

I don't recall what fraud rates get you locked out of payment processors, but I bet Musky hits it instantly.

GitHub Copilot, Amazon Code Whisperer sometimes emit other people's API keys

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: We're too smart for the (ML/AI) internet

6) Demand that everybody redact the private key you accidentally exposed because your architecture doesn't support changing keys. I mean, who does that?

Intel thinks glass substrates are a clear winner in multi-die packaging

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


I thought chiplets were on fiberglass. The rigidity should be adjustable.

A glass substrate sounds difficult when it comes to routing a thousand little wires. I'd need a manufacturing-for-dummies video to visualize this.

Chap blew up critical equipment on his first day – but it wasn't his volt

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: It doesn't always smoke though

You can also quickly pick them up by their cable. They don't like being a gyroscope.

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: snooty

I honestly don't know how anyone buys a new BMW. I tried twice but the sales people were too offensive.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Software prices without software value

BMW's move was blatantly stupid and provided zero value. I'm surprised that car makers haven't figured out upgrade purchases yet.

Most cars have a high degree of modularity. Just a tiny bit more would make them upgradeable with newer model parts. Engine updates, EV battery updates, infotainment upgrades, better headlights, better seats, new body panels, etc. No need for radical changes to convince a few people to buy a whole new car. R&D investments would pay immediately with progressive upgrade sales.

Serial number tracking would be a little more complicated but hardly difficult. It would be certainly less effort than some places waste on personal data harvesting.

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: "because if you unplug your car, your house goes dark"

The surprising answer is that home batteries are more expensive than an EV. The car also has the advantage that you can drive it somewhere to charge then take the power home home.

I have a home battery to avoid "peak" afternoon rates and getting through nuisance power outages. As much as I dislike the power company, scaling it and solar up to go off grid isn't at all viable today. There would be no ROI, ever, in my urban setting. That could change if old car battery packs get recycled for home use.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Don't get it

The price is dynamic in some places. Charge to 85% when it's cheap, discharge to 65% when it's expensive. For a 100kWh pack, that's $1.80 a day in California. Texas has extremely dynamic pricing so you could probably make a fortune every time there's extreme weather.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Voila!

Or it's a start in freeing ourselves from energy delivery monopolies. The more home-to-home sharing, the less need for the big power company to balance varying local production and consumption.

Batteries age by use and calendar time. For occasional drivers, this could be a little revenue from a car battery pack that would otherwise be depreciating unused.

Meet Honda's latest electric vehicle: A rideable suitcase

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Dysfunctionally conservative

It's much too heavy and has too little storage to be a suitcase, so why is it a suitcase? Colorless renderings of it being a perfect fit for an Accord trunk makes it look even more boring and pointless. You're going to drive almost somewhere, rip the trunk gaskets off your tall-assed Accord dragging this beast out, and finish the trip on this?

Not sold in Japan because they've figured out transportation already.

Google outlines Outline SDK: Censorship, geo-block-beating tool to drop into apps

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

More garbage for Play Store

App developers easily use this to put hostile advertising and personal data collection in their junk apps in a way that's difficult to detect or block. Google sells ads, Google steals privacy, Google sells evil developers cloud proxies, and Google makes more $$$$$$$$$$$.

iPhone 12 deemed too hot to handle for France's radiation standards

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Ghost of Steve Jobs: You're not eating enough.

Portable Large Language Models – not the iPhone 15 – are the future of the smartphone

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Skeptical me

It's not Star Trek time yet. Training and maintaining AI datasets is incredibly expensive. Even when technology improves to make that easier, the same funding levels will be maintained to improve the quality. In other words, there are lots of bills to pay. AI products will be tainted to serve the large corporations that built them.

It could be another 15 years before we have AI that serves only the user and can be trusted with personal data. Even so, we're doomed if AI data ingestion is tricked as easily as real humans.

Lightning struck: Apple switches to USB-C for iPhone 15 lineup

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

USB 3.x can, if Apple deems its customers worthy, produce a video signal without brutal compression and downsampling. Upper-range Android phones have been capable of this for years. Some can even operate as an independent laptop on an external monitor - mouse, keyboard, native 4K monitor resolution, and a desktop UX.

Power grids tremble as electric vehicle growth set to accelerate 19% next year

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Thanksgiving test

My vote for the electric grid test in the US is Thanksgiving. It's a single day of nearly mandatory family gathering, electric cooking ranges will be running, everyone needs to recharge so they're ready for Black Friday sales, and it's not a good time for personal solar power.

I've experienced a couple of blackouts on Thanksgiving recently. Oddly, they were caused by neglected maintenance rather than high loads.

Windows File Explorer gets nostalgic speed boost thanks to one weird bug

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Android trick too

A lot of phone makers restrict the maximum CPU speed when there's no user interaction. It's essentially a workaround for the bundled Chrome browser sucking so much. Rubbing your finger around in the screen makes everything run faster on these phones.

Google rebrands 'android' as 'Android' to remove any doubt about its affiliations

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

There are numerous APIs designed to be anti-competitive and hostile to consumer privacy in the name of "security." Obesity arms and a steel cage exoskeleton is just the first step. The next logo wields a spiked club.

Google Chrome pushes ahead with targeted ads based on your browser history

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


My new ROG Phone 7 has these Googley privacy menus in the system settings. That means it may be far, far worse than Chrome. It implies Android System WebView and built-in advertising APIs.

Android has really needed a non-Google maintained fork since version 10.

Mozilla calls cars from 25 automakers 'data privacy nightmares on wheels'

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


Luckily, my 2018 VW uses 3G for telemetry. Good luck finding a signal. I haven't seen the connection LED on in a long time.

From browser brat to backend boss: Will WASM win the web wars?

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Compared To Rust, C++, Ada, Java?

Rust and C++ are based on native pointers so they'd be difficult to sandbox efficiently and securely. A JRE or even a Java bytecode JIT would be a big chunk to bundle inside a browser. The POSIX API is designed for C-like languages on UNIX-like operating systems running with full user privileges so it's not relevant.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Welcome back Java promise!!!

Sun's 'expertise' in GUI/UX architecture doomed Java Applets and made desktop applications painful. WASM is trying a different approach: No UX. Maybe that's cheating (let somebody else solve it) or maybe that's a good idea. Time will tell.

Java's AWT needed by applications and Applets is a mess. Some graphics operations are a tangle of callbacks and delegation that prevent some atomic operations from being atomic. That means endless debugging for each permutation of runtime. On top of that, Java's AWT graphics are so excessively abstracted that simple raster operations frequently leave the JVM's 'fast path' and degrade into billions of method calls. Or maybe it looks awful because the JVM's fast path implementation is bad. This is, again, endless debugging for each permutation of runtime. (The Java 7 API is the oldest I can find. Imagine trying to get 1.0 working.)

The Netscape plugin API used by Applets (and everything) wasn't performant either because display access wasn't thread safe. You were supposed to inform Netscape that you wanted a display update and it would then call you to do that...sometime later. Or you could illegally draw directly from your own thread and hope that all the structures stay in a valid state until you finish. That's why video playback was prone to crashing until it was a native feature.

The world seems so loopy. But at least someone's written a memory-safe sudo in Rust

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Mandate

You clearly haven't seen much code. SQL injection, command injection, constants used for salt and initialization vectors for encryption, hardcoded passwords, trivially predictable auth tokens, disabled host key verification, FTP, backdoors for integration tests, ... There must be a social media challenge to put all the OWASP Top Ten vulns into one project.

I also agree that modern C++ style prevents non-obvious memory bounds bugs.

This profiler chatbot promises to help speed up your Python – we can believe it

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

That's what the Java VM does. It performs broad runtime tuning so it can apply, remove, and adjust optimizations that would never be safe at compile time. A really bloated app might have one or two CPU cores dedicated to that continuously so the other 30+ cores run faster. It's not a good fit to how Python works.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

That's a bit extreme, but I do avoid Python for anything large and interactive. Getting Python to run faster eventually gets into complicated tricks that ruin the ease of coding that it was originally selected for, and it still won't be very fast.

Python is popular to orchestrate GPU operations because the time spent in Python is small. There's also no multi-threading of GPU operations - you can only dream of having enough GPU memory for that.

Google wants to takes a byte out of Oracle workloads with PostgreSQL migration service

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Migrate from a hostile company that won't leave you alone to a hostile company that could turn off the product at any moment? I hadn't considered that Oracle might not be the worst option.

USENET, the OG social network, rises again like a text-only phoenix

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


Google intentionally killed it.

Google purchased Deja News and then hooked it up to a web UX called Google Groups. Security was non-existent and Google showed no interest in fixing outbound spam or vulnerable features. Chinese gangs flooded Usenet with more scam posts than many Usenet nodes could afford to process or filter. It was common to see each topic get 90 to 50000 spams per day, per tens of thousands of topics. Even if a node could handle it, many clients could not filter and thread topics at that scale.

Japan complains Fukushima water release created terrifying Chinese Spam monster

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

I actually bought mine from The Register.

Silicon Valley billionaires secretly buy up land for new California city

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


There's a reason not many people live in that area - it's a hellish commute to any major city. You'd essentially have to move if you lost your local job. That narrows down potential inhabitants to renters rather than buyers. H1B visas, recent graduates, seasonal workers, and others not in a position to demand a salary raise.

So, this really is an evil genius plan. You get cheap labor and they all pay a subscription to live there. If someone isn't working enough weekend hours you can remind how high the bridge tolls are to work elsewhere. Maybe you even change local entertainment business hours to make sure nobody is out having fun when they should be working.

Uncle Sam accuses SpaceX of not considering asylees and refugees for employment

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Many government jobs require US security clearance. It's something you need to build up over time.

Musk was using ITAR as an excuse, which is definitely not in the same league. Things covered by ITAR are on Wikipedia. It's the assembly and application of the tech that's very difficult and restricted to share.

China's top EV battery maker announced a breakthrough, but top boffin isn't convinced

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

You'd have a "musical chairs" problem. Batteries circle around from car to car. At some point the battery swap station says your battery is worth significantly less than a replacement. Pay $8000 for a swap.

Now consider the how honest these stations are going to be about $20000+ batteries. Also, you need new brake rotors or your car isn't safe to leave the shop. $1500.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Automotive Watts

You chain together those cheap TDA based "1000W audio amplifiers" off of teh Interwebs that run from 12V @ 15 Amps. Each stage gives you more than 5x as much power as went in. The only hard part is trying to figure out peak-to-peak momentary driving range into a 0.1 Ohm road.

Profits just keep rolling in at T-Mobile US. So only thing to do is axe 5,000 workers

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


Everybody, including me, was worried that the deep rotting sickness possessing Sprint would infect T-Mobile after a merger. Despite that, T-Mobile seemed like a strong winner for a while. Prices were low, support was good, 5G coverage was excellent, and home internet works great for those without fiber service. My only problems were entirely phone related (I'm glaring at you, Sony).

Now prices are rocketing up on new plans, grandfathered plans are getting new footnotes about network priority, Tier 1 tech support has a 20 to 40 minute wait, and physical stores have 30 minute waits. And now layoffs. It's starting to smell like Sprint.

Want tech cred? Learn how to email like a pro

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Wrapping at column 78

Please, no. Let it flow. I honestly wouldn't trust somebody telling me, in the year 2023, that they can't read an e-mail because text went to the end of the screen and mashed up at the end. I don't want to read things manually formatted to a tall, skinny rectangle either.

HTML is OK if it's to preserve the format an excerpt of a technical document or diagram. Again, it's 2023. Use the right tools; nothing more, nothing less.

Budget satellite drag sail shows space junk how to gracefully exit orbit

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Who's doing the evil research?

Spiders do an amazing job flying on threads. Volume is relative to diameter squared while area is linear. This means that fine threads have an extremely high surface area relative to their mass. On top of that, threads create powerful electrostatic charges and move to optimally gather force from them.

SpaceX, T-Mobile US phone service will interfere with ours, claims rival

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

What units?

PCS Block G? 1910-1914/1990-1995 MHz? The Sprint cellular acquisition? Existing Band 25? These press releases are impossible to correlate. The last time T-Mobile got a new band, people were talking about it in NTSC television channel numbers too.

We need a standardized Register unit for radio bands.