* Posts by S4qFBxkFFg

638 posts • joined 6 Feb 2012


Unhappy about excluding nation-state attacks from cyberinsurance? Get ready to pay


Re: Burden of proof

There are cases where the (insurer's) government specifically stated "This is / is not a war." and the insurers were obliged to go along with that. AFAIR, this is why the Malayan Emergency was not called (by Britain) the Malayan War.

Janet Jackson music video declared a cybersecurity exploit


Re: Lay off Janet

Oh, well cast sir! That's a lot of bites.

US must adopt USB-C charging standard like EU, senators urge


Re: USB-C connectors suck

Informative, thank you.

Is there ever an issue with the "wrong" device charging? I.e. someone plugs a phone into a laptop (cable male USB C both ends) and the laptop starts pulling power from the phone.

Malaysia-linked DragonForce hacktivists attack Indian targets


I think my favourite track was "Soldiers of the Wasteland", but I've only listened to the "Inhuman Rampage" and "Sonic Firestorm" albums. Is their newer stuff just as good?

Five Eyes nations fear wave of Russian attacks against critical infrastructure


"These groups include the CoomingProject, Killnet, Mummy Spider, Salty Spider, Scully Spider, Smokey Spider, Wizard Spider and the Xaknet Team."

It warms my heart to imagine a senior manager in a very serious organisation drily reading that text as part of a powerpoint presentation, while any 4channers present engage in the worst struggle of their careers risking internal rupture due to laughter suppression.

Elon Musk won't join Twitter's board after all


Also, I think the board seat deal included a prohibition on him owning more than a certain proportion of shares: he may have decided it's simpler to eventually buy 51%.

Intel suspends all operations in Russia weeks after halting chip shipments


At some point, there are going to be questions asked such as:

"Why, in addition to sanctions, isn't the Intel Management Engine being weaponised to harm the Russian economy?"

From my (possibly incorrect) understanding of its capabilities, it can use the network independently of the main system, so if new firmware is loaded (obfuscated windows update?), it should probably be able to geolocate, and if in Russia, subsequently brick as many pieces of connected hardware as possible, ultimately including itself.

Would Biden consider that to be going too far, or worry about people shunning western CPUs?

Hooking up to Starlink might be pricier than you thought


Redundancy is one reason: consider ViaSat's latest satellites, each of the three is launching on a different rocket (Ariane, Atlas, and Falcon).

Russia is the advanced persistent threat that just triggered. Ready?


"their airforce doesn't seem to be up to the job of continuous, sustained attacks"

The theories I read say they can't rely on the mobile SAM launchers in the field being able to reliably distinguish between hostile/friendly aircraft, and shortages of precision munitions (quite a lot already having been spent on keeping Assad in his current position). If Putin decides he can tolerate the unintended damage associated with unguided weapons, expect that to change.

They're probably also not too happy at how many NATO surveillance aircraft are flying racetracks in Romanian airspace, the data probably going, without much detour, to Ukrainian air defence.

GPU makers promise relief is at hand over chip shortages, prices expected to fall in second half of the year


Re: Not a solution

It is a puzzling situation, but I think one simple thing holds true: unless manufacturing capacity increases significantly, there is no solution, even if you ignore mining, there is too much "normal" demand for supply to match.

I can only assume AMD/Nvidia are contractually prevented from raising their prices to a level that forces out the scalpers (imagine how it looks to shareholders when their company is selling product at a fraction of what buyers will pay); when those contracts expire, things might change, and the profits can go into capacity expansion (and yes, dividends too) rather than to someone with an ebay account and spare room full of cards.

Even if miners were to buy all the new stock, there will be a proportion of their old cards that are too inefficient to be profitable: assuming they can be bothered trying to recover some of the purchase cost, these will end up with the second hand retailers as well.

Russia's orbital insanity is almost beyond redemption – but there's space for improvement


You can look at the simulations and see what's happening: https://www.eusst.eu/newsroom/eu-sst-confirms-fragmentation-cosmos-1408/

For some fragments, what you say is true, but for some it's the equivalent of being boosted higher. Overall, it's much worse than keeping it in one big lump which is slowly deorbiting anyway.


Re: Yeah but yes, but no, but...

I can't remember what altitude the Kuiper (Amazon) ones use, but Starlink (SpaceX) uses an altitude which is deep enough in the upper atmosphere that even a dud satellite will naturally deorbit within months/years. I suppose it could be a problem if a satellite had its engine "stuck" while thrusting prograde but that's probably considered considered sufficiently unlikely the authorities are OK with it. Oneweb satellites are another matter, I think one of them has failed already, at 1200km up, so it will be interesting to see how they get it down.

Waterfox: A Firefox fork that could teach Mozilla a lesson


Re: Palemoon, check. Seamonkey, check.

At the risk of starting arguments, emacs is a perfectly good HTML editor.

US nuclear submarine bumps into unidentified underwater object in South China Sea


Re: Hitting a container?

I talked to a submariner who said if it's diesel-electric, it's not really a problem to actually "land" on the seabed (assuming a "soft" bottom: i.e. sand not rock) but nuclear ones have coolant intakes and you want to try to avoid stuff getting sucked in (like silt or sand disturbed by the sub itself).

Or maybe that's just the information for the public, and they do it all the time, who knows?

Lithuania tells its citizens to throw Xiaomi mobile devices in the bin


Re: Free Tibet!

I hope you aren't doing this for free.


Re: easy solution: Replace that crap by a clean custom-ROM

The article indicates the problem is with Xiaomi's firmware, which would not necessarily be affected by the installation of a custom ROM. It's difficult to be sure, as the distinction between the OS and firmware is extremely blurry on modern phones.

Having said that, I have a Chinese phone running LineageOS, and it works very well for the most part (although when it finally dies, I'll probably get a PinePhone).

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact


"Australia previously planned to build diesel-electric subs in conjunction with a French manufacturer – a contract that is about to be terminated without putting a boat in the water. Nuclear-powered boats can run submerged for longer and more quietly, and do not have to vent exhaust gases."

AFAIK, a diesel-electric submarine when it's running on battery power, is significantly quieter than a nuclear-powered one (because there are certain non-silent processes, such as cooling the reactor, that have to run constantly): am I out of date here?

Good news: Jeff Bezos went to space. Bad news: He's back


"Had they paid workers correctly and paid fair share of tax, they wouldn't have money to spend on such vanity projects..."

That's quite possibly correct.

"...and at the same time governments would have funds to continue meaningful space exploration."

I would be very sceptical that the state of the USA space program would be much improved by Bezos being taxed at 100% of his wealth; the small percentage of that that made it to NASA would probably be allocated by Congress to their local interests (e.g. Boeing and the SLS).

Not a baaa-d idea: Embracing the eunuch lifestyle slows ageing – for sheep anyway


Re: How about...?

"mail hormones"

I remember, in those terrible times before adblockers, seeing adverts for those all over the www.

UK urged to choo-choo-choose hydrogen-powered trains in pursuit of carbon-neutral economic growth


Re: No all electric

"Or if third rail is unacceptable (why?)"

There are probably other reasons, but if the local "kids just being kids" decide to discard a shopping trolley onto the track, the consequences stand to be more expensive; in both cases, the line has to be closed and a man in an orange waistcoat sent to remove the item, but if the offending trolley has become part of a high voltage electricity circuit shorted to ground (I assume 1st and 2nd rails are kept at 0V?), some other stuff probably has to happen beforehand.

John McAfee dead: Antivirus tycoon killed himself in prison after court OK'd extradition, says lawyer


Re: It's A Very Complicated Story...

"Christ, he was 75 and faced 30 years in a US jail."

I could imagine him carrying out his own defence and requesting a reduction to life.

Seriously though, it all feels depressingly unnecessary. These problems could maybe be avoided if taxation was simplified and applied at a far earlier part of the transaction chain. (Yes, I'm aware of some of the reasons why that wouldn't survive the legislative process required; we can still wish.) There'd be less need for harsh enforcement if collection was easier.

SpaceX spat with Viasat: Rival accused of abusing legislation to halt Elon's Starlink expansion


I found this amusing: https://spacenews.com/viasat-books-falcon-heavy-for-viasat-3-launch/ (still planned for this year, as far as I can tell).

Even when the companies are at each others' throats, it apparently makes commercial sense for SpaceX to launch a competitor's satellite.

(It looks like they wanted different providers for each launch: the other two are Ariane and Atlas.)

Artemis I core stage finally pointing in the right direction at Kennedy Space Center


Re: Vertical

Once the solid fuel boosters are stacked, they need to be used within a certain time (several months, AFAIR), so there is a limit to how long it can stand there doing nothing.

I'm sure the contractors involved are hoping for the limit to be busted, so they can present a menu listing all the expensive options for remediation.

"Would sir care for the erection of a full-height non-destructive testing scanning rig, or perhaps for peace of mind, we can do the full lowering, disassembly to booster segments, manual inspection, and restacking?"

Antivirus that mines Ethereum sounds a bit wrong, right? Norton has started selling it


I remember back when I was renting, "bills included" was not uncommonly seen in listings, and for about two years, I lived in a place like that (there was no gas or electricity meter in my home, the pipes and wires were physically connected to my landlord's house next door). I probably paid more rent than my neighbours in equivalent homes, but it worked well enough for me.

The point is, for various legitimate or not reasons, there are plenty of people who are not responsible for the electricity supply they use, and therefore have a theoretical incentive to mine until their cards produce the magic smoke, even if it does cost £2 of electricity to mine £1 of ₿ (or, more likely, ETH).

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP


Sucks to be you, any aliens living anywhere near Proxima Centauri's record-smashing solar flare


Re: Proxima Centauri is a glimpse of our own future

"So, during the next billion years mankind (or whatever comes after us) needs to figure out how to move the Earth to a higher orbit"

There was a Stephen Baxter novel that addressed this: the idea was to redirect asteroids and comets onto a trajectory towards Earth in such a way as to give it a gravity assist to raise its orbit.

UK.gov wants mobile makers to declare death dates for their new devices from launch


Re: Force open source instead

Then, there needs to be a way of transferring the legal liability up the supply chain and impose the same obligations on the chip maker.

Ah, you know what? Keep your crappy space station, we're gonna try to make our own, Russia tells world


"Angara has flown. Once. In 2014."

It's flown more than that: twice in 2014 (if you count the single core suborbital flight earlier in the year) and once in December last year.

Payloads appear comparable to Proton, even launching from Plesetsk.

You're right to question its viability, I have no idea how they're going to price it, but it will get some government work; there are probably military payloads that can't fit on Soyuz that will launch whether paid for or not.

Debian devs decide best response to Richard Stallman controversy is … nothing


Re: Not very accurate

"That attention resulted in a number of women coming forward to make accusations against Stallman of inappropriate behaviour over most of his career."

This is the important bit.

These accusations (the details of which I don't know) should be addressed by the relevant organisation: police, prosecutors, or Stallman's employer(s) at the time the alleged behaviour happened. Anything else risks turning into a witch hunt, or the appearance of one.

If the above organisations don't consider there is a basis for an investigation, or one is carried out and doesn't find anything significant, or the process exonerates Stallman, that should be an end to the matter.

UK's National Rail backs down from greyscale website tribute to Prince Phil after visually impaired users complain


Re: Shame...

"He also missed out on getting a telegram from his wife."

I'd be interested in what the telegram plans are if she is still going strong on 21/04/2026.

Openreach out and hike prices on legacy fixed-line products: Broadband plumber pulls trigger after Ofcom gives the nod


Re: We've switched to LTE

"There is literally no other connectivity available from any provider on any infrastructure - and no roadmap or plans for that to change."

Starlink? Pricey, but it should be fine for your latitude.

Fire takes out Japanese chip plant, owner Renesas warns of more silicon shortages


Re: Their chips are down

Hmm, the spring might be a bit worrying to deal with, maybe compressed air would work.

edit: Or just a smaller engine to start the main one, e.g. lawnmower/chainsaw size.


Re: Their chips are down

Going further, I often wonder if it's still possible to build a (road legal) car that contains no electrics, let alone electronics. I cannot think of anything in particular that would be impossible: compression ignition systems exist, pumps can be geared to the shaft, lights of various colours can be generated with combustion, etc. etc.

Something to investigate if I ever acquire undeserved billions, I think the "Ampa" would be a good name for it.

(A/m/Pa = Amps per metre per Pascal = inverse Tesla)

What could possibly go wrong? Sublet your home broadband to strangers who totally won't commit crimes


Sounds like Hola, but with the difference being cash rewards rather than use of the VPN: https://www.theregister.com/2015/06/10/hola_gets_holes_poked_in_client_lulzsec/

It was a bad idea in 2015, and it's a bad idea now.

Boldly going where Elon Musk will probably go before: NASA successfully tests SLS Moon rocket core stage


Re: Musk

I'm sure that if ULA (owned by Boeing and Lockheed) were allowed to compete with SLS, they could. They have tentatively studied making a triple core version of Vulcan, and that could probably be taken further (there were serious plans for a Delta IV with 7 cores at one point).

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia


Re: The Coming of the Bots

Anyone who has played Universal Paperclips knows how that ends.


Re: We Just Can't Have Nice Things

Eventually, things will probably change, there are a few different ways it could happen:

Manufacturing catches up, more chips get fabbed, and more cards get to the retailers (yes, miners will snap them up, but will eventually let them go to the second hand market).

Cryptocurrency prices crash, the miners unplug their kit, least efficient first, and, again, sell cards.

Someone further up the supply chain raises prices to silly levels. At the moment, it's the scalpers and reseller platforms (i.e. ebay) that are taking the profits, there's only so long that sort of money gets left on the table, so we're waiting until either the consumer retailers, card manufacturers, or chip manufacturers decide they want in. If AMD/Nvidia do, expect them to justify it by saying they need to invest in the first option above.

Game developers reassess what their target platform looks like. If your game needs a recent GPU to be enjoyable, you're going to have a bad time.

Telecoms shack in the middle of Scotland put up for auction at £7,500


Copper broadband phaseout will leave UK customers with higher bills and less choice, says comparison site


Re: Emergeny calls

Power over fibre (POF) is a possibility, and it seems like it's enough to run a phone, but may be beyond the competency of Openreach, or whoever they subcontract to yank and chop fibre.

SpaceX small print on Starlink insists no Earth government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities


Starlink on the Moon will be difficult; there are very few stable low lunar orbits (only specific inclinations will work due to the Moon having quite an uneven mass distribution compared to Earth). Maybe they can get it to work somehow, but they can't just stick the same types of satellite into the same altitude and expect a drag-free ride until the electronics fail.

Bitcoin surges, exchanges flooded after Tesla says it bought $1.5bn in BTC, hopes to accept it as payment soon


Re: The value of your shares may go up...or down...

"Paying for a Tesla in bitcoin is a risky kind of strategy for Tesla - if they accept it as payment one day and by the time they come to trade their bitcoins on the market, the price crashes through the floor, someone has just made a mug out of them!"

This is addressed in the article:

"...we expect to begin accepting bitcoin as a form of payment for our products in the near future, subject to applicable laws and initially on a limited basis, which we may or may not liquidate upon receipt."

If they're worried about a ₿ crash, they'll convert it to $ as soon as they receive it. I guess they'll convert a proportion of every ₿ sale into $ anyway, depending on how optimistic Musk really feels.

Death Becomes It: Who put the Blue in the Blue Screen of Death?


"It is also possible to alarm onlookers with a custom tint."

That's been possible for a long time; when I was on win95 or 98 (can't remember which) I was seeing it enough to want to customise it, and ended up with a rather tasteful lilac (at least on that particular monitor) instead.

I think this was how it worked, too long ago to remember: http://smallvoid.com/article/bsod-change-color.html

Google QUIC-ly left privacy behind in its quest for a speedier internet, boffins find


Instructions to disable QUIC on Chrome

Type chrome://flags in the address bar.

Where it says "Experimental QUIC protocol" choose "Disabled".

Fedora's Chromium maintainer suggests switching to Firefox as Google yanks features in favour of Chrome


Re: Chromium is doomed.

The Firefox Nightly app, with an annoying workaround, will allow you to install add-ons. You have to create a collection of your preferred add-ons on https://addons.mozilla.org/en-GB/firefox/collections/ and then select it in the app. Then, Mozilla will graciously allow you to do what should be possible without all this bother.

Five years after US promised crackdown on ticket-snaffling bots, the first prosecutions are in... and are a slap on the wrist


"How does one fight scalping?"

It's very simple; price one's products at a point where scalpers cannot make worthwhile profits.

If necessary, start selling at a higher price than the market will bear, gradually reducing until a sale is made.

Be careful where you log into GitHub: Dev visits Iran, opens laptop, gets startup's entire account shut down


Re: relying on third-party services

"the EU has been unable to provide an effective shield for companies to trade with Iran in the face of US sanctions"

I'd say more "unwilling" than "unable". If the EU was prepared to bear the consequences, it could prohibit complying with the relevant US rules.

They're obviously unwilling because there would be severe disruption (assuming the US didn't give in to avoid losing the business) until/unless EU equivalents replaced the US institutions - imagine Mastercard, Visa, and every bank that can't do without the USA simultaneously withdrawing from the EU.

SpaceX Starship blows up on landing, Elon Musk says it's the data that matters and that landed just fine


Doesn't work on the Moon, probably won't work on Mars.

Chuck Yeager, sound barrier pioneer pilot, dies at 97


I thought this was interesting: Chuck Yeager's 100,000 Foot Zoom Rocket Plane Crash

Apparently, the rocket augmented F104 crash scene in "The Right Stuff" departed some distance from the truth, the linked video tries to give a better idea of what happened.

India seeks chipset manufacturers to make its local GPS alternative fly further into the market


"New Delhi wants to spur adoption of NavIC by having a local manufacturer make chipsets that can receive the satellites’ signals"

That seems unnecessarily complicated. It would be simpler to make NavIC support mandatory for anything with satellite navigation technology sold in India. Their market is big enough to matter.

(ISTR Russia doing something similar with GLONASS support.)



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