* Posts by jamesb2147

215 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Apr 2012


Cisco spends $28B on data cruncher Splunk in cybersecurity push


Does anybody get this?

Because I sure don't see the strategy here.

Rocky Linux claims to have found 'path forward' from CentOS source purge


Re: A bit of advance warning wouldn't have gone amiss

Can confirm - My shop's dev infra is Rocky (previously Cent, natch) and prod infra is RHEL.

The two are complementary, and with the rate we automate and spin up dev infra, the "free" tier isn't enough.

Probably more importantly for the long run: I would know literally nothing about RHEL were it not for CentOS being a free distro 10 years ago. I now have a great appreciation for its 10 years of support and stability, but I would not have ever learned it but for the free version being available on my strict $0 budget.

Tesla rival Rivian posts losses of $1.7b, with worse to come


Sell car ??? Profit!!!

They seem to actually be really good at making cars, and selling cars.

What they're terrible at is doing so profitably. They started at the upper end of the market, with relatively small purchases of raw material for their batteries and a high profile executive exit because of disagreements about their ability to turn a profit... then the pandemic hit. Commodity mineral prices are still WAY above normal, and I suspect they're slow-walking ramp-up of production (and further price hikes) in order to try and wait out price drops in the mineral market.

Icon's for the leadership that appears to be drinking on the job (or should be, if they aren't!).

Brave Search leaves beta, offers Goggles for filtering, personalizing results


Re: redefine the relevance of search results

Pretty much any site that invests heavily in SEO would be a great candidate to filter out, and I can see that adding value.

It's actually interesting that Google appears to have half given up that battle, since it used to be one of their engineering activities in search (filtering out low-quality content trying to game the system).

Totaled Tesla goes up in flames three weeks after crash


Re: Another one.

I wonder if junkyards will stop accepting Tesla vehicles at some point, until a method to safely dispose of them is developed.


Re: "$10K over MSRP. Ran when parked. No low-ballers. I know what I got."

It's a "fire-proven" model.


Good news: Google no longer requires publishers to use the AMP format. Bad news: What replaces it might be worse


Re: Use Bing!

Yes, please give your search business to another Tech Titan! They need more users to abuse!


DuckDuckGo is reasonable without the compromises of being tied to an abusive monopoly.

Backblaze, long a champion of home-grown hardware, succumbs to the lure of commodity servers


Misleading title

More like another victim of COVID. Backblaze is having trouble sourcing components so found a pre-built that meets the needs.

It's the same reason my new videocard came with an Alienware chassis, CPU, PSU, etc. I couldn't get a card on its own at anything remotely resembling a reasonable price... so I bought a pre-built that included one.

Exacerbating all of this is that Chia farming has recently driven disk prices to levels resembling GPU pricing; integer multiples of MSRP.

Cloudflare comes clean on crashing a chunk of the web: How small errors and one tiny bit of code led to a huge mess


Where's Kieren?

A Kieren story that doesn't utterly dump on all the parties involved?

I believe this to be the first evidence that the robots have begun quietly replacing us.

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


Better for democracy

Should have used a distributed NoSQL DB, then they'd never have any problems!

Power meltdown 'fries' SourceForge, knocks site's servers titsup


Impacted projects

I was actually feeling this yesterday as I was trying to download GParted Live and had to find another source.

Anyone else run into the downtime?

Limp Weiner to get 21 months in the hole


Barred from elected office now, right?

This is a felony conviction? I believe he's also lost the right to vote, if it is a felony.

It's definitely an interesting viewpoint to pin Clinton's loss on Weiner. Poor Hillary, always getting fucked by the inability of various men to keep their dicks in their pants.

Massive iPhone X leak trashes Apple's 10th anniversary circus


Better for democracy

Author, have you never used WebOS' wireless charging cradles? Not since about 2011 have such things been manufactured, but they were introduced back in 2009 by a team largely consisting of the original iPhone folks from Apple (with commensurate legal threats from Steve Jobs to sue Palm into oblivion at the time).

They were the earliest, and so far only, team to get wireless charging right. I sometimes wonder if their patent is what's fucking everyone else's standards.

The charging base is angled, uses bog-standard coils like everyone does, but each base and device has a pair of small rare earth magnets in each which ensure that the device lines up properly. Further, a special display mode was activated on the phones when they were docked, to show a customizable display with perhaps the time and notifications, so your phone essentially became an interactive desk clock.

If you've not seen it before, take 10s of your life and be amazed by this review video from 2009: https://youtu.be/fpfQSLBezn4?t=2m44s

Can North Korean nukes hit US mainland? Maybe. But EMP blast threat is 'highly credible'



Thanks for a well researched and informative article, Iain!


Re: Telecommunications cables

Lots of old ones used powered electronics to regenerate the signal, even on fiber optical cables. Modern ones apparently use some kind of photonics regenerative laser pump signal thing, which I 100% don't understand. The old ones would certainly be taken out.

Now, what's interesting is that very few of these cables are within their designed lifetime anyway (generally 10-15 yrs), so if they're *at all* vulnerable and something happened, they'd probably be more likely to have issues than those few newer cables.

President Trump to his council of industry CEO buddies: You're fired!


Re: Political Correctness and my previous post.

@Palpy - I understand where you're coming from. Unfortunately, the Nazis really *want* you to go to war with them. It'll start the Great Race War and even if they individually die, they'll know there's some closet racist out there who will be inspired to take their place and kill a few good black people.

Ultimately, if you're not with them when it comes to creating a nation of "clean" folks, they'll kill you to make it happen. Whatever it takes.

You might be interested in researching Life After Hate, a support group founded by an ex-neo-Nazi, Christian Picciolini. He has an informed opinion on the topic, more than I can say for 99% of people, myself included.

Chap behind Godwin's law suspends his own rule for Charlottesville fascists: 'By all means, compare them to Nazis'


Re: That clip about them furreners stealing jobs..

It's an emotional appeal anyway - "someone is STEALING something from me?!" - but the actual impact of reasonable immigration levels, even high ones by today's standards, is small to non-existent and impacts primarily *other* immigrants, as they're more likely to be unskilled. The numbers of skilled workers are so small as to be negligible. So, amongst the locally born populace, the only impacted group is unskilled labor, and even there, the effect is small-ish.

Any immigration policy that doesn't recognize these facts is likely to be politically charged and can be fairly accused of being ignorant, stupid, or malicious. That's not to say anything about what that immigration process should look like, but pretending it has a big impact on the workforce is lying to the populace. Ergo, an emotional appeal, which is really a way of trying to steal some votes by selling lies.

Now who wants to vote for me so I can call politicians out on this bullshit??

Firefox doesn't need to be No 1 – and that's OK, 'cos it's falling off a cliff


Chrome memory usage

Anyone else use Chrome specifically for its separation of processes, so that if one crashes, it doesn't bring the whole browser down? I still have this experience with modern Firefox. I tend to run 30+ tabs in Chrome smoothly, but a single bad tab in Firefox and it all comes crashing down.

Of course, both have deprecated NPAPI now in the mainline releases, which fucks my ability to access Java remote management consoles for servers. I don't mind them making it default off and hiding it in advanced settings, but removing it completely? Seriously, guys?

When 'Saving The Internet' means 'Saving Crony Capitalism'


Title II is OK

At least, as long as Congress isn't doing its job.

The key factors being that services *should* be unbundled, rates *should* be regulated such that copper owners don't disadvantage copper renters, and physical maintenance *should* be regulated to ensure (again) copper owners don't disadvantage copper renters. This is all to say that net neutrality *should* be a moot discussion because users should be free to choose between a competitive marketplace of providers over what limited physical infrastructure is available.

Until such time as that happens, we're treating internet as if it is *not* a utility. Hint: It is a utility, just not in the same way as water.

Russia, China vow to kill off VPNs, Tor browser


Re: https?

Been there, tried that as well.

You have to be smarter than the machine learning algorithm. Read a detailed account of a guy who ran everything through an SSH session on non-default port with all packets receiving padding to be at least 1400 bytes. Each port worked for a day before the GFW caught on. Fortunately, 65534 ports is a lot of days before you're perma-blocked.

Of course, my solution was to simply tether off my international SIM card for the little data I needed. That worked pretty well as long as I didn't use 100GB of data.

Artificially Intelligent storage will liberate your IT Pros



Srsly? Because Nimble's #1 differentiating feature has definitely not been its "big data" and "machine learning" cloud analytics running on all its customers' telemetry data. I guess they should have called it "AI" so they could claim to be first(!!!!!!!).

This is an ad, not an article.

Elon to dump Trump over climate bump


Re: Technological welfare queen

@AC - Yes, he's much more closely aligned to the entrenched interests of the major telecom companies and airlines, those bastions of capitalism!

You're an idiot.

BA's 'global IT system failure' was due to 'power surge'


Re: Operational Failover is incredibly complex

Having assisted in a terrifically minor way in helping develop and test such a system for a client, I can vouch for this. It took a team of 15 6+ months of work to get that system up and tested for failover, and they were relatively small (think AS400 + 200-ish VM's) and already had the DR environment built out when we became involved.

Also, we have no evidence with which to judge BA beyond their own words that this is related to a power outage.


Re: Outsourced with Delta?

Ironically, amongst the most apt comments here.

All those proclaiming from their high horses about the importance of backups and redundancy and failover and IT outsourcing... you've all jumped the gun. Delta blamed a power outage, and do you know who here believed them? Basically no one. James Hamilton from AWS believed them, though. He helps design resilient systems and has twice encountered failover power systems (basically, the big switches) that the manufacturer refuses to properly configure (they disagree on what a proper configuration is). AWS had to source new hardware and ended up writing their own firmware for the controller, as the manufacturer refused to reconfigure it, IIRC.

You can read about that here: http://perspectives.mvdirona.com/2017/04/at-scale-rare-events-arent-rare/

Now, BA has some real IT issues, but the outrage vented here really has nothing to do with BA, when we don't even know the source of the problem beyond that there is a power issue.

EDITED: Added the bit about writing their own custom firmware for an electric supplier's hardware.

Cisco slurps Viptela to bolster SD-WAN management


Funding rounds

Sounds like a series fell through and Viptela needed cash ASAP to accept an offer at that kind of valuation.

Alert: If you're running SquirrelMail, Sendmail... why? And oh yeah, remote code vuln found



Because not everyone wants to have cloud email from a provider beholden to foreign governments.

Your servers, your data.

vCenter's phone-home 'customer improvement' feature opened remote code execution hole



Simon, I don't know why you think it's a good idea to keep your ESXi patches up to date. Doing exactly that will cause you nothing but heartache, as your beloved VMware lets you down almost every time.

Frankly, that's some bad advice, bro. I know why you say it. I would agree with regards to most other vendors, but VMware has a special knack for somehow messing up their updates.

'Nobody's got to use the internet,' argues idiot congressman in row over ISP privacy rules


What makes this bad

...is not mentioned in the article explicitly.

You do not have to prove anything, Kieren, with evidence. The man made his point: He voted for personal choice.

...Except he didn't. The FCC rules never took effect, so if the FCC had been left without this law, nothing would have changed. Today, as 6 months ago, an ISP can sell your data without telling you. What the rules did were to impose standards on that data collection. ISP's had to have opt-in to their marketing programs and had to tell you clearly and upfront that they were selling your data.

Mr. Sensenbrenner voted against you making an informed decision. He did NOT vote for personal choice. He voted against informed consumers, and by making it a law, he made it much more difficult for future FCC's to impose similar rules.

FUCK THAT. What he did was much, much worse than standard partisanship or "voting against privacy [by default]". He actually REMOVED CHOICE for consumers. FUCK THAT MAN.


Re: Isn't he the same guy...

Glad somebody else noted this, even if it took 120+ comments.

He was, to be fair, also the guy who got up and said he never envisioned it being interpreted by the government the way that it has. (Note: I am not defending the PATRIOT Act, which should die in a fire.)

DTMF replay phreaked out the Dallas tornado alarm, say researchers


I kind of hope they aren't caught, and it seems unlikely they will be. This hack didn't take loads of sophistication, which means the systems weren't configured in so much as a basic defensive posture, which means they probably weren't configured in a way to retain any useful logging.

In terms of the wireless signal, the police would have needed to triangulate it, or at least use a device with a directional antenna to track the user down while they were broadcasting. I've found such technical devices to be well beyond the capability of local enforcement officers who have limited training in the use of electronics. Anyone responsible for the system would have been busy fighting the fire that was the activation and subsequent inability to shut it down.

If there's a way to track the attacker, it's likely to only be through the hacked computer system.

As to my hope, they brought governmental security to the news forefront for a brief period with a nearly harmless, but highly visible hack. That deserves an award, in my book.

The fact that it pissed people off... well, they should really be directing that ire at those who configured the system without any security to begin with. If you leave your house unlocked every day, you can't be surprised if one day you find someone helped themselves to your belongings. In this case, the intruder merely left you a note "suggesting" you start locking your door. You're a damn lucky fool and should be glad the intruder was not more nefarious.

As you stare at the dead British Airways website, remember the hundreds of tech staff it laid off


Correlation is not causation

People being axed does not mean this would be avoided. That's speculation, at best. Good effort at making a news story without any information to go on, though.

Sorry situation for BA, though I've no tears to shed for them. They have a terrible business model where they're trying to emulate low cost carriers (LCC's) such as Ryanair while having the much higher cost structure of a legacy. They've made some efforts at bringing that down, but it's a shit strategy that eventually leads to bargain basement prices instead of quality product. One day, I predict they'll die a miserable death in the form of a takeover by Ryanair or other LCC after failing to pivot the business.

Cheers for cheaper flights!

Intel's buggy Puma 6 chipset earns Arris a gigabit-modem lawsuit


Re: Any more details on the Puma 6 problem?

Google the DSLReports thread(s) on Puma 6. They're by far the most detailed accounting I've seen of the issue, detailing steps to replicate and measure the bugs' effects and tools to use every step of the way. They also have the latest status on firmware which, IIRC, does significantly better than early releases.

Foxconn outbids WD with ¥3 TRILLION offer for Tosh memory biz


China is not Taiwan

And as far as I'm aware, Foxconn (correctly also referred to as HON HAI PRECISION) is Taiwanese.

That is all.

Ubuntu UNITY is GNOME-MORE: 'One Linux' dream of phone, slab, desktop UI axed


Re: Makes sense

I would disagree; the implementation has failed so far. I would posit that's mostly because the UI has to be contextually aware, and the applications have to be coded to accommodate that as well.

Neither of these has occurred as of yet, though Microsoft did take a fair stab at forcing developers into new API's. They also made a half-hearted attempt at the former, but it got mangled somewhere along the way, either by a committee or Sinofsky...

Federal Police toss nbn™ under a bus over leaks to Senator


Better for democracy

It would have been healthier if they'd at least launched a further investigation to get to the bottom of this. Clearly, they believe someone misbehaved. Why have they not followed through and identified the appropriate personnel for dismissal?

Letting such shenanigans slide breeds corruption (with time).

GCHQ dismisses Trump wiretap rumours as tosh



Primary Data's metadata engine 'speeds up' NAS, saves 'millions'. Leaps burning buildings, too?


From the company that brought you years of losses...

...comes the Brooklyn Bridge! Only $10k, people! Once in a lifetime opportunity!

In short: I'll believe it when I see it. Before I bother taking the time, though, I'd love to see a review from you, Senor Mellor...

Volkswagen pleads guilty to three Dieselgate criminal charges


Re: Natural Law v Governmental Law

Suck a lemon.

They could have solved this with engineering, and many other manufacturers did, as pointed out by others. In fact, they did develop a "blu-tec" urea system, but it was discarded as being "too expensive" because it added several hundred dollars in cost to the vehicle itself as well as requiring additional maintenance to refill the urea container.

Instead of selling a compliant car, or none at all, they lied to the world; consumers, regulators, dealers, literally everyone outside of a very small number of VW engineers and managers was deceived. And their deceit literally cost lives by injecting noxious fumes into the atmosphere in spite of society's collective decision to ban them. (I believe someone calculated the number to be somewhere around 50 in the US.)

No, sir. These guys can rot in jail and go to hell, for all I care. They were not forced to lie, not forced to kill people, not forced to ruin our air. They chose that path and will be damned for it.

Sure, we could replace FTNN, says nbn™, if you let the unwired wait even longer for broadband


Re: Why do think they think the copper will be need to be replaced in 10-15 years?

It does decrease the length of copper to be maintained significantly, and being closer in, can support higher speeds at lower power.

I would imagine the concern would be degradation of an analog nature; it doesn't suddenly stop working, but at distance X, speeds slowly drop below the provisioned Y. Bringing the fiber closer to the premises significantly decreases that problem... for a period of time, at least.

As to why IA could not just say that, I do not know.

Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command


Re: Availability Zones

Also they're still physically the same datacenter, so susceptible to combinations of backhoes, bad weather, and poorly performing power cutover systems, etc.

Using only one AWS region is a bad idea. Period. In fact, I'd argue (thanks, BGP hijacking!) that using only Amazon services is a bad idea. If that is too difficult to manage for you, then set the appropriate expectations with your business managers and users. Your product is too cheap to support that high of an uptime requirement.

Amazon fails sometimes, Google fails sometimes, Microsoft fails sometimes (and in at least one instance took weeks to restore!)... don't put all your eggs in one basket, people. Don't be that guy.

This whole fiasco is probably a good example of why developers should not be put in charge of the IT systems, no matter how "easy" they are... Operations teams tend to focus like a laser on uptime and stability, while developers are more interested in maximizing new features.

nbn™ is installing new hybrid-fibre coax cables



An interesting backstory and statistic. Especially considering the MUCH higher uptake in the US (I believe we peaked around 65% about 2000); I assumed our numbers were similar globally, with some moderate adjustments for poorer households.

Is there a cultural difference? Do you Aussies read more or something? With fewer televisions, you must have substantially more free time.

Up close with the 'New Psion' Gemini: Specs, pics, and genesis of this QWERTY pocketbook


Hardware keyboard is new... again?

The Blackberry is only mentioned in passing here, but isn't that almost what this device is? It's a large phone running Android with cellular connectivity and a physical QWERTY keyboard... sounds a LOT like a BB to me.

I know a lot of people who miss their hardware keyboards and would probably consider this, especially at its modest current price, for a phone. I suspect I would benefit for those times I need to RDP/SSH from the road.

Motorola's modular Moto Z: A fine phone for a weekend away


Battery life

Since the manufacturers insist on sealing the batteries in the case, this would be a nice way of working around that to get larger batteries. Here's to hoping for a smaller, thicker version with crazy long battery life (with attachment, natch)!

Ah, the Raspberry Pi 3. So much love. So much power ... So turn it into a Windows thin client


Re: During my time as a trainee...

I've seen a pharma co use them as dumb terminals for local work. Helps keep all the valuable data away from the forgetful meatsacks that tend to leave laptops in various unfortunate places.

The downside was that AV and backup software tended to trash performance, but otherwise each server served ~100 clients shockingly well. And that was on 5 year old servers.


Re: And the rest of the bill...

You assume the people doing this know how to use that DC. This is kind of a poor, ignorant man's form of a domain.



At least you can source your own parts.

Amazon goes to court to stop US murder cops turning Echoes into Big Brother house spies


Three links deep

And then I hit a publication's paywall. Did El Reg read the original order, or merely copypasta somebody else's research?

If Iain did read the original, please provide a link to it on Scribd or elsewhere.

Arris slaps down US$800m to buy Brocade's wireless bits


Re: Seems cheap

IDK how things are done in Australia, but I think he's referring to the $800 price originally listed in the title, which is now updated to $800m, which in the US is generally posted with a capital M as $800M.

Grumpy Trump trumped, now he's got the hump: Muslim ban beaten back by appeals court



@Trevor - Tongue in cheek much?

You disagreed with @Sampler, then reiterated his point. My head is spinning.

Elon Musk joins anti-Trump legal brief


Re: Chilling

@BillG - You've been drinking some Kool-Aid.

"As I understand it, the seven countries on Trump's EO have no effective form of government. So getting on an airplane is as easy as riding on a bus."

Nope. Just nope. You could make that argument, maybe, about some countries, but Iran is *definitely* not one of them.