* Posts by Kevin McMurtrie

2281 posts • joined 15 Jun 2007

OnePlus to drop slightly better version of latest flagship next month ... and that's the T

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Sign me up

Many phones are sold with promises of updates. In 6 to 8 months the manufacturer decides to focus on other products and support evaporates. Maybe at the 13 month mark they outsource one final update that causes the phone to stop working.

It's IPO week and one of Wall Street's own is raising the spectre of a stock market crash

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

If it's 1999

Uber and Snowflake can enter a joint-marketing deal that generates billions of dollars for each other in ad views and guarantees eternal exponential growth.

Video encoders using Huawei chips have backdoors and bad bugs – and Chinese giant says it's not to blame

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Supply chain?

Let me guess: Huawei stole the software from Hikvision and Hikvision can't even remember where their buggy pile of crap came from. The mystery software in Hikvision cameras is partially written in English so it must be a Western problem.

Oracle's Java 15 rides into town, waving the 'we're number one' flag, demands 25th birthday party

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Only if serving cake

Everyone skips Java's odd version numbers but I still don't know how 10, 12, and 14 passed by so quickly. Maybe we need to switch to using powers of 2.

Even with a 49% uplift in sales and a 46% drop in expenses, Slack still can't turn a profit

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

No profit?

Pros and Cons of Slack aside, what are they spending their money on? Say you start of with Java+Jetty code, PostgreSQL, and Redis as a proof-of-concept then tune it into a production app. Chat rooms are constrained in size well defined in Slack so horizontal scaling shouldn't be any big deal. Have somebody cobble together some open source C++ libraries for video (I assume that's what they're doing) and deploy that as another app. You end up with sales, chat server development, client development people, the C++ video server, UX designers, and maybe 100 mid-range servers. I don't see this totaling $256.11 million a year.

The really dangerous thing right now is long-term unemployed software developers. Some of them might decide to re-architect Slack, Teams, Zoom, Facebook, etc. with an expected annual operating cost of $40 million a year.

China blocks access to website hosting code-for-kids tool Scratch and its forums

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Someone appears to have ignited the Great Firewall with Hong-Kong-related post

I'll add it to my home page. It really helps keep the botnets away.

No Huawei, America: Samsung scores $6.6bn for 5G at US giant Verizon

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: What about UK ?

5G is just another RF protocol. Until traffic is shifted off LTE, 5G is a bit constrained on bandwidth.

I noticed that many new phones don't support mmWave 5G anymore. They're supporting 5G on bands currently in use by LTE.

Not Half bad: Microsoft back to 16 bits with new storage-saving type in .NET 5

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: 32-bit measurment accuracy

Actually double is best for intermediate calculations if performance isn't an issue. A mix of addition and subtraction operations that should be mathematically commutative are not so when they're floats or doubles because the precision varies as the accumulator fluctuates. It can lead to maddening bugs where the final precision is far lower than required until the order of operations is tuned. Float does this sooner than you'd expect but it's very unlikely to happen with a double.

Forgetting to round off when displaying floats and doubles to humans whole different problem.

Got a few spare terabytes of storage sitting around unused? Tardigrade can turn that into crypto-bucks

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Long-term followup

After a few months I dropped out of being a storage node. Storj charges their Tardigrade customers for storage size and download size only, which is an incentive to use it as a continuous backup service. I was seeing 60 to 140 GB daily of free inbound traffic that never added much to the total storage that pays. Five months of this amounted to 4TB of storage that paid a few dollars a month, but in a questionable cryptocurrency.

See https://forum.storj.io/c/sno-category/10

Worried about the Andromeda galaxy crashing into our Milky Way in four billion years? Too bad, it's quite possibly already happening

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Project AMIGA

This isn't about Dylan, Rommie, Beka, Tyr, Seamus, and Trance?

Here's some words we never expected to write: Oracle said to offer $10bn cash, $10bn shares for TikTok US – plus profit share promise

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Big Brother

$20 billion

That's putting a high price on the misuse customer information, but I bet that some foreign governments might pay Oracle a lot of money for it.

Google wants to listen in to whatever you get up to in hotel rooms

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Big Brother

Need to test the privacy

Before checking out, plug the spy appliance back in and create lots of reminders for the next week - reminders to do things that will make news reports so you can retrieve the results.

Samsung says it makes the world’s best holes. Yes, holes. Holes so good they even get a brand

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Not satisfied with just the Bixby button

Samsung is diversifying their line of premium features that customers didn't ask for.

Docker blocker: Container crew takes on The 1%... of anonymous download whales

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Anonymous rate limiting?

How do you rate-limit anonymous manifest requests?

Other than that, forcing moderately heavy users onto a $5/month plan doesn't seem like much of a burden. Clever auto-scaling cloud users could even avoid that by starting from an image that has already done the pulls.

If you think Mozilla pushed a broken Firefox Android build, good news: It didn't. Bad news: It's working as intended

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Unfortunate ...

It has no UX and it shows it's own ads.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Firefox is dead

I tried the Android Firefox beta for a while to see if it fixed cache deadlocks and stale data bugs that have plagued all forms of Firefox for years. The cache worked better but the app UX intolerable. After a month of trying to use it, I found that it was actually more of a hassle to use than the older broken browser.

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

The FAA might have some feedback

Are those bunches of naked LiPo pouch cells taped together under the motors?

Uncle Sam to blow millions on getting fusion power finally working – with the help of AI

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: But how long will it take to get there?

20 years for AI then 20 years for Fusion, so it's always 40 years away.

That's ride on time: Lyft, Uber to continue taxi app service in Cali after appeals court hits pause on AB5 brouhaha

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: I see they are getting out the big gun

Taxis still exists and they have phone apps too.

Space station update: Mystery tiny but growing air leak sparks search for hole

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Redefine it

Engineers and plumbers know that gasses and fluids can only pass through a confined space continuously if it's a leak. If it's supposed to flow through, it will clog up immediately.

Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Why not in 0.5 file?

Better yet, use C++ if you think you need a lot of C++ features in C. There's nothing like trying to work on C code that spends 40% of it's time pretending to be C++.

Samsung slows smartphone upgrade treadmill with promise to support three Android generations on Galaxies

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Don't hold your breath

My unlocked S9+ has received maybe 8 monthly updates since 2018, including 2 bad updates that halted future updates until the SIM card was swapped. People familiar with the number of months in a year might notice a problem there.

The flow of new shovelware, on the other hand, never misses a beat.

The Surface Duo isn't such an outlandish idea, but Microsoft has to convince punters the form factor is worth having

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

$1400 is OK if the phone can often replace a laptop while traveling. Like many recent one-trick phones, the Surface Duo won't. It has only one USB C port, dated storage capacity with no onboard expansion, a small battery, and a mono speaker. Those low-end specifications are burdened by shovelware from Google, multiple departments of Microsoft, HBO, Amazon, and AT&T. I imagine it's hot and dead before all the apps finish asking for signups and access to your personal data.

Shocking no one, not enough foreigners applied for H-1B visas this year so US govt ran a second lottery

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

'Murica first!

What would one do when the visa is terminated? Be kicked out of the US and not allowed back in to the homeland after working with a cesspit of science deniers and freedom breathers?

Many parts of the tech industry are fully remote employment now. I imagine there's going to be an exodus from overcrowded Silicon Valley once remote working settles in as the norm. It's a nice place to live, but maybe not worth the $3000 per month living expenses. And that $3000/month assumes you're sharing costs with others.

This NSA, FBI security advisory has four words you never want to see together: Fancy Bear Linux rootkit

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Which do you trust?

Maybe Strings.exe is infected too.

US govt proposes elephant showers for every American after Prez Trump says trickles dampen his haircare routine

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Newer ones suck much less

The first generation of low flow shower heads had poor aim, spattering jets, and they clogged immediately with mineral deposits. Today, pretty much any shower head at the hardware store over $25 will rinse away soap quickly.

This is the same argument as Trump's war on energy efficient light bulbs. Stop buying 15 year old bargain-bin bulbs and there's nothing to complaint about. 90 CRI LED bulbs exist now.

Wi-Fi 6 isn't signed off yet, but boffins are already teasing us with specs for venerable wireless tech's next gen

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: How about just fixing all the little bug?

Thumbs up. I want to upgrade to a "certified correct and reliable" WiFi device. Apple devices are consistently bad. Android phones are reliable or not based on nobody-knows-what.

Yes, I know WiFi is hard. The frequencies overlap with Bluetooth, microwave ovens, radar, half the chips inside a computer, 10 neighbors' WiFi, and your own signals arriving late because they took the scenic route. Once 500Mbps is hit I'd upgrade for robustness before speed.

Nokia licensor HMD Global scores $230m from Google, Qualcomm, and, er... Nokia

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: KaiOS - what I'd really like in a phone OS ...

I don't know about where you live, but 3G has rapidly shrinking coverage in the US. 3G never had the bandwidth to work well here so it's better off as 4G or 5G spectrum..

A possible alternative is a LineageOS compatible phone. You can build the OS from your own code branch easily enough. You can install app bundles made for low-end phones, if desired.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

8.3's trick

It promises to be the perfect travel phone with a headphone jack, microSd slot, and pretty much all the LTE/NR bands.

Count me in if that's true and it doesn't become carrier-locked like the LG V60 did. My Galaxy S9+ is wearing out.

Can I get some service here? The new 27-inch iMac forgoes replaceable storage for soldered innards

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge


SSD drives will eventually fill.

My Linux boxes came with 1TB and it wasn't long before I moved the home directories to an internal ZFS RAID to get more breathing room. Part of the 1TB nvram became cache.

My experience with MacOS is that a filling boot drive is serious hassle to deal with. You can't just mount new storage into whatever directory needs it. It doesn't like files being moved either because it breaks versioning in auto-save apps.

Capital One fined $80m for shoddy public cloud security. Yeah, same bank in that 106m customer-record hack

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Important correction


I'm Lathrop Stocktons from the OCC. Due to pandemic security measures put in place, we nead to send you a new US Treasury bank account number for the levied $80 million civil penalty. Please use #00091000019 for this transaction, it will be valid for the next 7 days. Delays beyond this date may result in further penaltys.

Thank you,

Lathrop Stocktons

Senior OCC accountent

Oppo Find X2 Neo: We're not getting any slimmer through lockdown, but phones are

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Hmm.

OsmAnd+ maps, Kiwix, video streaming with offline support, and good old fashioned music purchases is something I'd struggle to part with. I need the maps for hiking, bicycling, and traveling. The others aren't critical but easy to get used to. Despite all this talk about 5G and coverage maps, cell signals are still annoyingly fussy. I bought a 1TB microSD card so I can make backups from my real camera and rsync to back home. If you're going to have a 1TB card, you might as well put FLAC encoded music on it and use wired headphones too.

If my current phone broke I'd put LineageOS on one in the closet until big memory support, headphone jacks, and international radio bands are back in style. It just takes a lot longer for the maps to load.

Search for 'things of value' in a bank: Iowa cops allege this bloke broke into one and decided on ... hand sanitiser

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

As required -


Intel NDA blueprints – 20GB of source code, schematics, specs, docs – spill onto web from partners-only vault

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Sharing other peoples data

It was already leaked and already being shared privately several months ago. He just made it public.

It's not nice to Intel but it warns people to be on the lookout for active exploits using this information.

Greatest crossover of all time: Microsoft, Samsung preview Android on Windows via Your Phone app

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Disabled it months ago

Like all Samsung software, it generated constant pop-up ads. Connect to Linux desktop - advert to link to Windows. Connect to car - same advert. Connect to camera - MY CAMERA CAN NOT RUN WINDOWS but the advert popped up anyways.

Package Disabler Pro is pretty much required to make a Samsung phone work.

All the way to Reno: Oppo's latest mid-ranger going global but lacks 5G compared to similarly specced models

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: RAM and ROM (8GB and 128GB respectively)

It's like an Apple Mac I or II. The entire OS is on the ROM and the floppy disk is just updates.

Hold on, I gotta switch disks to take a call.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

600 MHz

T-Mobile is converting their middle-of-nowhere Band 71 in the US from LTE to 5G so, ironically, you're likely to have 5G when there's no other signal. Oppo doesn't support Band 71, though.

IDE like an update, please: JetBrains freshens IntelliJ, adds improved GitHub integration, Java support

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: This is so excruciatingly slow...

Easy refactoring is actually a great feature. Rather than guess what you will need, you implement only what you need now and make it modular. You aggressively refactor as new features are added and the correct abstractions become clear. Looking back, how accurate were your big master plans for the future? Probably not great. Products are fickle things.

That said, I'd rather use Eclipse. IntelliJ always feels clumsy. Regardless of tab preferences, the behavior of "close" seems nondeterministic. Navigate through 12 classes then use keyboard close shortcut to back out of the last 5 navigation. Three tabs close, some side panel minimizes, another tab closes, and now you're looking at an empty workspace with nothing open. What exactly is the UX workflow for wanting that?

NoSQL Cassandra developer community sets sights on JDK 11 as sped-up 4.0 beta finally hits the streets

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: They want performance but they wrote it in Java?

At crazy levels of concurrency, Java can actually have an advantage. C++ has to pay a penalty for maintaining wrappers or shared reference counters when temporary objects are given to multiple threads. At some point the GC pauses in Java add up to less time. In the case of data servers, high concurrency caches are absolutely trivial to write in Java because because expunged elements live exactly as long as needed to satisfy all threads using it.

Of course, Java has the flexibility to suck too. Write Java that looks like C++ and it runs like C++. Add frameworks to give it scripted language features and it runs as slow as a scripted language. The latter style is quite trendy.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Will people come back?

Lots of people have horror stories where Cassandra goes from "shiny new thing" to "tech debt" faster than a project can be finished. The data model was a perfect fit for Cassandra's features when the project started, then another table needs to be mutable and deterministic updates are gone.

USA seeks Moon and Mars nuke power plant designs ready to fly in 2027

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
Paris Hilton

Nukes on a moon?

Earth's moon? Ordinary solar panels from the hardware store should do better than 10 years of 10 kw from 2000 kg. Fancier solar panels should work on Mars too if you periodically wipe the dust off.

If I was on the moon or Mars, I'd prefer the solution that can take emergency repairs using simple tools.

Butterfingers who don't bother with phone cases, rejoice: New Gorilla Glass 'Victus' tipped to survive 6ft drops

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Marketing versus warranty

I've had three Gorilla Glass screens break because the phone slipped out of a jacket pocket while I was kneeling or sitting. That's not even a 1 foot drop. Zero of them were covered under warranty despite much marketing bullshit about the toughness.

It's a Meow-nixed system, I know this: Purr-fect storm of 3,000+ insecure databases – and a data-wiping bot

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Have any sites gone catatonic?

Doesn't data breaching software usually dump everything into a public storage area so that access logs are harder to trace? Whatever the situation, I don't feel feel sympathy for anyone losing the data.

Networking boffins detect wide abuse of IPv4 addresses bought on secondary market

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: I thought we were trying...

The file is "shutterstock_woman_cliche_hacker.jpg"

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Unfortunate but not unexpected

Criminals aren't big on buying things. They can exploit mismanagement to steal IP addresses.


Several registrars claim to be powerless to stop stolen networks, and that's pretty much why there's a problem. ARIN and RIPE will only flag records as invalid as a minor help to assist blacklists. TWNIC, APNIC, KRNIC, and AFRINIC seem to not care if their data is of any use or not.

Fujitsu re-orgs Fujitsu Japan by making more parts of Fujitsu Fujitsu

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Marketing Bollocks

In relative terms they're doing well. They're not burning down any 5G towers, crying in supermarkets about coronavirus masks, or integrating QAnon into the federal government.

Motorola Moto G 5G Plus: It won't blow your mind, but at £300 we're struggling to find much to grumble about

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Re: Likely to be supported

My experience with Moto was that they did one major OS update and security patches but never fixed critical bugs. Critical as in: the cellular radio worked only intermittently, VoLTE went from "yes" to "coming soon" to "won't fix", and a proximity sensor bug caused it to butt-dial emergency services. Thankfully the broken cell radio and broken proximity sensor cancelled each other out on some butt-dialing.

Hot, synchronous DRAM: Next-gen memory tech spec DDR5 lands

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

Keeping spinning rust alive!

Every time I need to buy a new pile of drives I think, "It's time for SSD!" Then I add up the costs and conclude that bigger RAM sticks (bigger cache) and clattering hard drives will perform well enough for a lot less money.

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

You need an ad-blocker!

Seven 'no log' VPN providers accused of leaking – yup, you guessed it – 1.2TB of user logs onto the internet

Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

We can't have good things

True "no-log" VPN providers don't have routing for long. They're used for computer intrusion and, since there's no logging, the VPN provider can't determine which customers are doing it. BOFH doesn't want to hear excuses.


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