* Posts by sean.fr

98 posts • joined 30 Aug 2012

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The state of OpenPGP key servers: Kristian, can you renew my certificate? A month later: Kristian? Ten days later: Too late, it’s expired

sean.fr

Not His fault

The error was not Kristian Fiskerstrand. It was depending one one person, who probably was not being paid. There are other thinks more important in life than work. Things like family, love and health.

Record-breaking Aussie boffins send 44.2 terabits a second screaming down 75km of fiber from single chip

sean.fr

Only part of the problem

75Km is not very far. So you have crack regenerating the signal as an electrical signal.

Would it not be easier to work in packing more fibres into the same physical cable. Better sending signalling over longer distances in one hop.

Far-right leader walks free from court after conviction for refusing to hand his phone passcode over to police

sean.fr

Re: Have a friend change the code

The section of the law is quoted in the article.

I have clicked on the link to the text of the law and I see no pre-emptive obligation to hold any kind of key to make searching easy. But it is a border. They have the power to not let you in.

sean.fr

Have a friend change the code

If you have contacts/history you do not want to share, .have a trusted friend change the code just before you fly. Have him call you in the hotel with the code. If you do not arrive you do not have the code to give.

Could it be? Really? The Year of Linux on the Desktop is almost here, and it's... Windows-shaped?

sean.fr

Linux is hard because so many versions.

Linux desktop fans need a clear Linux desktop winner. Microsoft can pick that winner.

If one distro comes pre-installed in Windows, it becomes de facto the standard, and a serious competitor to Windows.

It is the "IBM compatible" effect. IBM unified the market and did themselves out of a job.To a large extent, it does not matter which distro one wins. By winning the race, there will be less duplication, and the winner will just get better.

That does not stop you and me running a different Linux in a Pi or a server or our home machine. It's open source, we can take back what we like.

The trick to not allow "a Google". They started with an open source product - Android - forked from Linux - hence open source. Then they in effect closed it by adding bits - like the store, Maps etc. I assume Microsoft will try the same. It is a risk, but at present Linux has close to zero of the desktop market.

Surprise surprise! Hostile states are hacking coronavirus vaccine research, warn UK and USA intelligence

sean.fr

I would like to think we are doing the same

If china has know how we lack. I would hope the west is also trying to extract this by hacking .

No state or company should gain an economic advantage by owning this IP.

If that takes stealing the IP, stealing is the moral thing to do.

People first.

Ex-Netflix veep allegedly banked payola for tech deals with web TV giant

sean.fr

American legal system - a very arbitrary.

The American system threatens life + 10 years so almost everyone is forced to accept a deal, guilty or innocent. He will do a deal and we will probably never have the full facts – unless it is a Chinese compamy. If I ran Netflix I would go after the suppliers in civil court.

Broadcom sues Netflix for its success: You’re stopping us making a fortune from set-top boxes, moans chip designer

sean.fr

The idea of channels/packages is the problem

The principle of packages of content is bad. Just let me pick the content episode by episode, and let me purchase it from anywhere in the world. Like music.

Netflix do add value, because they do smart caching of popular content. If everyone is watching the new James Bond, it makes sense to avoid a point to point flow from MGM to each home.

Lets get back to the original Netflix rent a DVD model. Item by Item. No box. No recurring charges.

A clear separation of the deliver system from the product beling delivered.

Python 2 bows out after epic transition. And there was much applause because you've all moved to version 3, right? Uh, right?

sean.fr

Java - not a good example

It may compile but will it run on the client side?

I have equipment that uses Java to provide the http/https user interferace. Newer browsers do not trust the obsolete plug-ins. I have other equipment that require recent Java. So it is never the right Java/browser.

sean.fr

Not ashamed of Basic

While not my first langage, it was the first that did not involve paper tape or cards and a long wait for batch processing .Dartmouth Basic on a terminal. A whole generation of British people learnt BASIC on BBC micro in school. I have fond memories of Basic on a Z81, Tiny Basic in 4K on the processor chip, BBC Basic and Basic in Excel. I loved Visual Basic and the BASIC family in general.

sean.fr

why python ?

I have see examples python scripts in Linux to do maintenance. Eg something called in a crontab to say rotate logs etc, or to backup a network device.. But I see more examples of perl glue, and perl is auto install in the distro.

I can not see what python3 does that perl does not do. I cannot not see what python3 does that python2 does not do. I can see it is popular. But can someone explain why it is popular?. What was added over time that made a break necessary, What are its direct competitors?

Note, I am not asking if it is any good - clearly some people think it is. There are much more books about it than say Visual Basic.I am trying to understand the design choices only. It seems to have features or lack features that you could expect in a modern language.

GUI support seems light. Arrays are not a native data type. Parameters passing to functions seem be not exactly by value nor by reference. What are features that attract users?

COVID-19 is pretty nasty but maybe this is taking social distancing too far? Universe may not be expanding equally in all directions

sean.fr

Apostrophe Rules

Thats a bit strong.

To quote John Richards, the founder of The Apostrophe Protection Society:

"We, and our many supporters worldwide, have done our best but the ignorance and laziness present in modern times have won! "

If people are doing it "wrong", in large numbers, wrong becomes acceptable. Few of us are confident in the Apostrophe rules, or particularly care.

This is no Académie Française for English. In school there may be a school exam board. But this is not school, it is an informal context.

If you want a spell/grammer button added to the posting screen, I am Ok with that.

Low-orbit internet banking fraud claim alleged to be a load of space junk

sean.fr

tempting to take a peek

I would expect the courts to make available all bank records as part of the settlement process. So there is a possible "due process breach" but not a privacy breach. It is material to the breakup settlement. It may be community property. It may show funds being hidden. It may show infidelity. Who is at fault is still a factor in many countries and in many US states. Plus if no change was made, how would you know?

I have asked woman at work several times over several years. About half say in normal times, they look at partners spending, call history, emails, and in their partner wallets. They say they would be negligent if they did not. It is part of the role of a wife, is to keep her man/partner honest. There is no clear common expectation of privacy to protect a partner from a wife. Or at least the wifes do not conceding it. Paradoxically, none of my male co-workers would come out and publicly say they spy on their wife in the same way. Pretty much everyone that thought would seem much more creepy.

This asymmetry is NOT PC, it is just how it is.

It is not simple for the law to untangle the mess inside couples and families. In practice the law may not even be able to keep you physically safe.

The question of hacking or not hacking probably depends on technical details like the banks T&C, and possible the state of the common home.

No Mo'zilla for about 100 techies today: Firefox maker lays off staff as boss talks of 'difficult choices' and funding

sean.fr

Re: Thunderbird

I like thunderbird. It is the second thing I put on a new machine - after anti-virus. There was a handy tool to migrate accounts from an old machines to a new machines -Mozbackup. Mozbackup does not work now. It took a snapshot of all the emails + account details on the old machine, then a simple import. Easy. No need to find the email account details. Also a good backup in case the hardware crashes. Christsmas, we bought a faster PC and I had to do this manually - painful.

If you moved ISP years ago, but are still using the email account on the old ISP - you may have big problems if you cannot find the account password.

Without Mozbackup - next PC change, I will probably abandon Thunderbird.

We are absolutely, definitively, completely and utterly out of IPv4 addresses, warns RIPE

sean.fr

Re: Bullshit. There are enough IPv4 Address for another 100+ years.

Hardware is getting cheaper. May need to apply a suitable distributed structure like DNS.

sean.fr

multicasting old school.

Multicasting is good for "broadcasting like services" to lots of watchers, eg London traffic cams and Empire State. The multicast enabled routers duplicate on demand. Which makes a bandwidth billing issue. But there are better ways to do this now. A single PC NIC is Gigabit and can feed 1000 whatchers. Netflix, Youtube look at traffic flows and put servers where they need to in your IPS racks. They cache near to customer what they can. They duplicate flows where they need to.

Multicast is still good for CCTV but off the internet.

sean.fr

Re: The good news is that this crimps IoT deployment

The internet of trash. Has internet connectivity, and security is not a selling point, Unlikely your heating or front door camera is going to stay patched and secure for long. It may be used against you or against other eg in DDos. Best to keep that off your private IPv4 subnet 192.168 or 172.16 or 10 networks.

sean.fr

Re: Vicious Circle

Pretty much all home users do not need a unique IPv4 routable address. Inside your on 192 or 172 or 10 NATed addresses.

It is business that need IP4v addreses. So if ISP do some NAT magic, based on DNS, they can still sell into the home market. As they renew ISP home boxes to existing homes, they can recover addresses v4 addresses to their business users.

sean.fr

Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics that don't lie.

While you can block ping and there could be good reasons to do so. Typically on BGP4 routers belonging to Internet providers. Mostly it is the last thing you want do. You want ping, traceroute and DNS working just to be sure your public facing services are up. Theregister.co.uk is pingable. But most addresses are not servers. They are ISP home routers with NAT.

How do you expect your ISP to provide support if you block ping?

So if 70% of addresses are not pingable, it is fair to guess 69% are not directly routable and could be reallocated.

sean.fr

Re: Lies, damned lies, and statistics that don't lie.

I remember CIDR (subnet masks beening introduced). The change did not require much relearning.

With proxy arp, the change was pretty painless.

If you ping scan the internet, much of the addresses are actually not responding,

There is massive scope to recover addresses. But this is hard work for the people holding addresses.

If IP addresses were taxed or widely traded, there would be a reason to do this hard thing.

The trading of IP addresses is possible, but there is no clear approved way to do this.

Oracle and Google will fight in court over Java AGAIN and this time it's going to the Supremes

sean.fr

Re: US court - Global impact

This is copywrite law, covered by the BERN convention and WTO TRIPS section 10 on computer stuff.

Copywrite is worlwide.

If you want to trade in the US or with US companies or use US IP. You have to accept US rules.

sean.fr

US court - Global impact

Why is this a question for a US court when the impact will be global?

IP law is broken. US courts back US interests, and the rest of the world follows due to treaty obligations.

This should be a WTO or UN issue.

Profits dip at BT while troubled biz steams ahead with restructuring

sean.fr

BT pensions

BT has a very large pension fund hole. More than profits can fill.

More than it possibly cover without tax payers money.

No UK government will want to do anything that will cause the bubble to pop and put the tax payer on the hook.

So you will get your fibre when you get your fibre.

You're on a Huawei to Hell, China tells US: We'll fight import tariffs, trade war to bitter end

sean.fr

Re: The devils in the detail

I am not sure you got the point I was making. President Roosevelt blocked trade and froze assets in July 1941. Perl Harbor was the Japanese miltary response in December. That did not end well for Japan.

So China has made plans to survive any blockage without starting a shooting war with the USA. They have built islands to defend trade routes. They bought into European ports. They have invested in overland routes. They even run regular trains to the UK.

sean.fr

The devils in the detail

If I buy a PC, here in Europe it is probably "manufactured" in Ireland.The expensive parts are mostly manufactured in Chine by Foxcom. But the bits are assembled in Ireland for Dell /HP and so it gets a CE mark. Ireland is not putting a Trump tax on the Intel chip manufactured in China.

If my Cisco switch assembled in India has silicone from a Chineses fab plant, it still can have that backdoor. It only makes security sense if the silicone is fabed in the USA. It only makes economic sense if the Trump tax is exported to any country selling into the USA.

China saw the impact of the USA blockage of the Japanese colonial empire - and the resulting shooting war starting with Perl Harbor. The US Military is bigger now. Bigger than USSR, China, UK , France and German militaries combined. They can not do a Perl Harbor to break a blockade.

The whole Belt and Road project is China setting up to deal with this kind of treat from the USA.

It is not a Western democracy China does not need to keep the electors sweet.

This is maybe their chance to push the USA out of the way. Much as the USA pushed the British empire out of the way.

Autopilot engineer drove off to Chinese rival with our top-secret blueprints in the glovebox, Tesla claims in sueball

sean.fr

Stealing Ip an American tradition

The whole history of Silcon Valley is people leaving one employer and starting a rival venture with the IP.

NASA: We need commercial rockets! SLS: Oh no you don't!

sean.fr

Re: Why add new modules

Money to get launch costs down makes some sense. But launching stuff you do not need is not the way to go. If at some point you get 22 tons of raw material into a low space orbit for just the 200k dollars fuel cost, you now need the tech to carry your product back to earth. It may be down hill but if it is at all bulky, heavy or delicate like 200Km of premium fibre at 1 dollar the metre, problem. We can not do it yet.

It could be one or two human hearts - at 250k dollars each. A better investment would be to spend the money on a new and cheaper source of insulin for under insured Americans tax payer, rather than spending on health care for the super rich.

The health downsides of putting people into a zero G factory to work on the heart production line is far greater than health benefits of the products. Would anyone approve a factory were workers have serious health issue after 12 months. Like not being able to walk for a day or two. Your bones and muscles weaken, and you may get permanent eyesight changes. Plus a significant risk of your transport to work exploding.

If this stuff make any commercial sense, you do'nt need the tax dollars. You need venture capitalists.

sean.fr

Re: all a waste of money

The limit to the length between fibre joins is the mechanicals. How big a roll of cable can you get on a truck and pull in. Typically around 4km. Bandwidth is improving by putting better active equipment on the existing fibre types. It is not normal for tax payers money to pay to improve the fibre and not fund the equipment on the fibre or fund more installation into the ground.

The major drugs issue are affordablity, and resistance. Space is just not important.

Assuming the processes can be perfected, it is unlikely that manufactering commercial quantities of anything in space of anything will be be thing in the next 100 years. Transport costs are out of this world.

sean.fr

Why add new modules

If you just want micro gravity there are more than enough modules in place.

We know micro gravity is bad for your health, and we have known for some time. If you want long space flights, you need to fix that issue.

So next space station tech to try is spinning to get something like gravity. It is hard, as you need a large radius from the centre of rotation. Maybe 100 to 200 metres assuming a couple or revolutions per minute. But it does not have to be symmetrical. A long arm with countereweight may work.The connection from the gravity zone to centre of rotation would be under tension so that makes it a lot easier to find a light solution. Plus, we may find 0.5G is good enough. Maybe a few hours a day is enough - so does not need to be so big a space. But what we are actually - doing is same old same old. So we just do not know. For scale, the ISS is about 100m long now.

sean.fr

all a waste of money

This space station is said to have cost 150billion dollars so far. Not a lot of bang for the tax payers buck. Skylab and Mir were much better value for money. So dumped it in the sea now please. Liberate some money for real science like probes – remember voyager.

Just a reminder: We're still bad at securing industrial controllers

sean.fr

no telnet or snmp 2v please

Telnet sends passwords in clear text over the wire.

Unless you change it, snmp have the default passwords public and private.

Assuming using the popular version v2c, rather than version3. passwords in clear.

HTTPS and SSH2 are better. Use HTTPS for the first box as it is easy. Then use SSH2 to copy the text config to the next box.

But to be fair, you are more likely to have downtime due to a hardware failure and human error than a hacker sniffing the wire.

The easiest hack is to just walk off with the equipment. So step one, is sort out physical access.

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ support to arrive in Linux 5.1

sean.fr

Re: Kernal / Kernel Who will not notice the difference?

Standardized spelling is not critical to understanding or precision in communicating ideas. People were writing laws and contracts before dictionaries became popular around 1800, and then they only established a locally normalized spelling.

If you ask a friend under 40 to show you their phone messages, it will become clear than in an informal context, spell is not particularly important.

In my case, my PC localization is not english so it is just not spell checking.

sean.fr

Re: Kernal change - Who will not notice the difference?

You are picking me up on a spelling mistake?

So very 20th century.

Do you not have a smart phone?

If the sense is clear, the communication has worked.

sean.fr

Kernal change - Who will not notice the difference?

GNU GUI and applications like libreoffice are the car.

The linux kernal is like petrol/gas.

You need fuel but you do not excited about fuel.

I can not find a application that would only run with a different kernal.

The Raspbian respository is pretty much identical to the complete Debian.

Freeradius, Wireshark, LibreOffice, the usual Web servers, and web browers, vlc, vnc, ssh, ftp, tftp, SQL databases; it is all there.

What would be helpful is a more powerful processor.. at the same price, power consumption, and same board form factor.

The free technical assistance from Broadcom early on has proved a great commercial investment.

A generation of engineers are learning their trade on Pi. Which is very good for chip sales long term. These people go on to design set top boxes, and washing machines. Broadcom could cut a deal on a more recent ARM, or the Pi people should talk to the ARM competition.

Typical! You wait ages for a fast radio burst from outer space, and suddenly 13 show up

sean.fr

screen saver

This would be a cool computation to put in a screen saver, like SETI did.

Boeing 737 pilots battled confused safety system that plunged aircraft to their deaths – black box

sean.fr

more acceptable to be killed by a human

Pilot error is a major cause in crashes. Automation basically kills less people. Therefore it is a reasonable design decision to to automate as much as possible. In the same way air bags can hurt you, but we require them to be fitted in new cars because overall the benefits outway the risks by a large margin.

The route cause is flying with bad instrumentation. Even if you fly manually, bad sensors can kill you. In daylight you can judge you angle of attack, height and speed. At night, or weather probably not. You have to trust the instruments. You can tweek the software, and pilot training, but that is larglying ignoring the real issue. The aircraft was not in a fit state. If you crash a car because your breaks fail, no-one asks why driving without breaks is not taught. ABS can help, but if you loose break oil or the pads are worn, or the tyres are worn, its a maintenance issue.

Microsoft liberates ancient MS-DOS source from the museum and sticks it in GitHub

sean.fr

who owned CPM

As I remember it Digital Research did not actually own most of the CPM source code as it was re-written as class exercises by Kildall's students and was in the public domain. Only about 2K bytes were owned Kildall. Hence the large number of CPM clones and ports.

With sorry Soyuz stuffed, who's going to run NASA's space station taxi service now?

sean.fr

space station boring

Giving the spending there is very little coming out of running a space station. Not going to notice a little pause. Time to put the money back into Voyager like projects.

If for some reason you're still using TKIP crypto on your Wi-Fi, ditch it – Linux, Android world bug collides with it

sean.fr

WiFi security is a mess

For a Wifi admin there are no good choices systems. It is common in public spaces to have hot spots with open SSIDs and a captive portal. Neigbours do not need to any dycrpt to see your traffic. You can have much more secure systems but only if the phone/tablette/ PC has the right supplicant and cert. Unless you can impose one OS, in a mixed environment they do not have a simple common mode that just works and is secure. In a Bring Your Own Device world, it is either or.

With the Internet of Trash, it is only going to get worse.

sean.fr

WiFi security is a mess

For a Wifi admin there are no good choices systems. It is common in public spaces to have hot spots with open SSIDs and a captive portal. Neigbours do not need to do any dycrpt to see your traffic. You can have much more secure systems but only if the phone/tablette/ PC has the right supplicant and cert. Unless you can impose one OS, in a mixed environment they do not have a simple common mode that just works and is secure. In a Bring Your Own Device world, it is either simple or secure.

With the Internet of Trash, it is only going to get worse.

First low-frequency fast radio burst to grace our skies detected at last

sean.fr

does fast mean brief or short?

It said fast. Fast given the speed limit would have been interesting. But just a short snippet of unidentified noise, less so You can image something transiting the signal/noise and bending or reflecting it. If you could identify everything in the sky it would be surprising. I can not identify everything I find on the floor in my house...

Here we go again: Monopoly case another round in Arista vs Cisco

sean.fr

Cisco cli is messy

The cisco command line is a mess and inconsistant between versions. The part cloned is usually just the basic setup. The Cisco clones tend to actually be a bit better than the original. "Save" is more obvious than "write mem" or "copy running startup". "config t" does not block "show config". None of that awful "aaa new model".

On an unfamiliar product, it is usually best to read the "quick start guide". Get the switch talking via http interface. Generate any certificates you need. Then SSH to copy the basic config for the next unit.

So even if Cisco force "show" to become "display" . in the age of web interfaces - the details of the cli are not important to purchasing decisions.

Submarine cables at risk from sea water, boffins warn. Wait, what?

sean.fr

Question of time scale

There is little problem planning a downtime to alter the shore installation given several years notice. Unplanned cuts get fixed all the time. The operator network have enough capacity to just works with what is left. On the multi decade time scale, you have maintain power plant. The only potential risk is that sea defense fails or coastal erosion catches you by surprise.

sean.fr

Exterior cables in ground

Cables in the ground are designed to stand in water. Pits fill with water.

Long haul telecoms cables will be armored - steel or gevlar . Several layers of plastic, Plus Steel Tape. Plus Gel or tape to swell and block any water that does get in. Search youtube with "Outer Sheath and Armor Removal Procedure for Interlocking Armored Cables" or similar terms to see the cables being worked on..

Ariane 5 primed for second launch of year after trajectory cockup

sean.fr

unless you in the rocket

Losing 5% may be acceptable if the launcher is not called Challenger/Apollo.

I hope SpaceX do better.

Microsoft: Yes, we agree that Irish email dispute is moot... now what's this new warrant about?

sean.fr

Re: Moot

The legal sense it is a question suitable for a moot court. Normally an issue not already get determined definitively by a court or a issue without consequence and suitable for debate. A moot court being in effect is a mock court or public debate. Commonly a training lawyer and others. This is sense used in "Friends" making it more popular in the non lawyer world. Sadly the dispute over the word moot occurs as some listener hear mute - silent rather than moot mean public/crowd or some think others confound moot and mute.

Any online legal dictionary will clarify this easily enough. The original point is moot as it notably for not being settle in court. It is without consequence, because the new law will apply to future cases.

France gives les citoyens the right to cock up official paperwork

sean.fr

Re: tax returns - auto filled

Around 2000, I was on series of short term contracts for a UK company in France, paying PAYE in UK.

In a gap between contracts I returned to the UK. UK cut up rough about unemployement benefit as "I had insufficient cultural links to the UK - paying taxs did not count... So when the next contract came through I opted for a French contract.

Try telling the Uk tax man that you can not prove you are paying French tax as it is not yet due.They tried to stick me with a fine of £100 for non production of documents. I opted to go to trial, and finally a competant human actually checked how the french system worked and it was resolved..

They are not really set up for cross border working. Crossing daily or at weekends. It is only 35 minutes and house prices a lot lower.

Try renewing a UK passport in France now. You end up "sans papiers" for 6 weeks. There is no urgent or same day service.

sean.fr

Re: tax returns - auto filled

The basic French income tax returns are fine, as they are automatically filled. They have access to your employers payments and your bank accounts. I tried not declaring £100 in oversees account, but they gently suggested that I had not declared everything. I have closed my Uk account to avoid the paperwork...

Tax habitation (council Tax/city taxes ) is messy. The tax on garages depend on the distance from house. My wife pays tax on a office that does physically exist. You can get a discount depending on the type of water heater you install. Plenty of scope to get it wrong.

Income Tax is collected after the tax year closes. So when you retire, or become unemployed in 2018 you have a big tax bill from when you were working in 2017.

The UK PAYE system is better, as it is calculated by your employers payement system as you go, and the government has been paid before you get it. The government issues a tax code so your employer can do the calcuation withot seeing the details of your life. France is planning to move to the UK system. The transition will be interesting as we can not pay two years IncomeTax in

one year.

Nervy nuke-armed nation fires missile with 5,000km range

sean.fr

Re: If your not on the list, you're not getting in

If Iraq or any other country REALLY had weapons of mass distruction, the USA could not attack.

To much risk they would zap us or our friends.

Which is why Cuba took nukes from the USSR, and why North Korea wants them.

Official: Perl the most hated programming language, say devs

sean.fr

lots of existing code

There is a lot of existing code you can pull in from CPAN. Pretty much anything you want has been done,

The hard bit is regular expressions used to fiddle with text.

It is ugly, But if you need it, it is powerful. The alternative of rolling your own code to pattern match in strings is much worse - particulary if you may need to work with ascii and unicode and other text coding schemes. That is why Linux is strung together with perl scripts. You know you will find it on any Linux machine.

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