* Posts by ilmari

255 publicly visible posts • joined 18 Oct 2012


Fed-up Torvalds suggests disabling AMD’s 'stupid' performance-killing fTPM RNG


I seem to remember this is a problem since the dawn of time, everybody thinks their special thing needs the best random numbers and want pure entropy for choosing the starting move in their noughts and crosses game.

Automation is great. Until it breaks and nobody gets paid


Re: "execute his target script 16384 times"

I think you want to put the start label one line further down?

Uptime guarantees don't apply when you turn a machine off, then on again, to 'fix' it


Re: Automation needed

After 10 years, I'd imagine spinning rust would no longer spin up. Unless it was spun down and up a few times before shutdown...

Microsoft to give more than microsecond's thought about your Windows 11 needs


Now that you mention it, I don't think I've actually navigated the start menu since about Windows 7...

Accidental WhatsApp account takeovers? It's a thing


Re: this bizarre tale of inadvertent WhatsApp account hijacking

I would've thought it would be the regular computer illiterate adult for which whatsapp was a blessing. At least in my experience with previous services like Skype, it usually went like:

-:"I can't log on, i don't remember my password"

- "What's your Skype username?"

- "No idea"

- "What email did you use to sign for Skype?"

- "Uh..."

- "Do you have email?"

- "I have Google/Hotmail/Microsoft/Outlook "

- "Oh okay let's go look in email what your Skype password is"

- "What's my email password?"

(And when trying to log in to email they actually accidentally go to Skype web and log in successfully and get angry I didn't immediately tell them Skype was same as email)

Whereas with WhatsApp one can usually figure out the users's phone number without too much hassle, and the user can usually receive SMS to the phone.

Intel’s first discrete GPUs won't be a home run


These probably won't make a change to the chip shortage or surplus, since all GPU chips are made in the same factory regardless.

Internet Explorer 11 limps to the end of Windows 10 road


Yeah I also have some "enterprise" stuff like that which works reliably but the only way to change settings is through a Java applet in IE11.

Elon Musk puts Twitter deal on hold over bot numbers claim


Re: Did Musk ever really intend to buy Twitter?

Well what's the point of buying a profitable company that does well at everything it does? There's nothing to fix in that.


Re: Taking bets on the real number

My first thought was that he underestimated the amount of real people who are dumber than bots.

Banning dumber-than-bots people would probably be a benefit to the platform, but obviously not in line with free speech.

Off the grid, Day 10: Yandex's only datacenter outside of Russia still running on diesel


In local news, Yandex says Ilmatar started providing energy from First of January, but canceled the contract "on a technicality shortly after". Yandex says it offered to pay higher rates for the contract to continue.

The energy sellers they've contacted have given "formal excuses" for being unable to sell energy.

As a local it amazes me that there wouldn't be even a single supplier willing to take a PR hit in exchange for a large electricity sales contract. There would be concerns about payment, even in best of times russian companies have a reputation of being tardy at paying bills. The local energy distributor Nivos did comment that Yandex has always been punctual when paying their bills, and Yandex itself said they've opened up their books to potential energy sellers to give assurance of their financial stability and ability to pay electricity bills in the future too.

The detail that their previous PPA was canceled "shortly after" makes me wonder if they meant before the war, which would make the whole event more interesting. From the point of view of a seller wanting to make a quick buck, they could offer hourly market price plus a margin, putting most of the risk on Yandex. The DC power consumption should be extremely predictable, making it financially a very risk free sale.

I think there's something more going on than a spontaneous boycott of Yandex by energy firms.

Microsoft plans to drop SMB1 binaries from Windows 11


Re: That NAS under the stairs

Many current routers have USB3 ports and advertise hard drive support through smb1. I've seen a lot of people use this feature to plug in usb flash or hard drive for inexpensive backup destination.

The reason routers never upgraded and are sold with smb1 even today is because the branch of samba with smb3 support is way too bloated to fit in a router. Smb2 results in half the performance of smb1, so most often it gets disabled even though the router's software could otherwise support it.

Happy birthday Windows 3.1, aka 'the one that Visual Basic kept crashing on'


Re: File manager

At least program manager survived until at least Windows 95, probably file manager too. They were hidden in in the C:\Windows\ folder.

Modem-wiping malware caused Viasat satellite broadband outage in Europe


Re: Wind Farm Remote access

I suppose back in the days there was never really any reason to have windfarms idle in high winds? I wonder if that's the biggest use case for remote connectivity these days, to modulate production when electricity prices turn negative?

(Instead of random powerplants tripping due to high frequency)

Microsoft datacenter to heat homes in Finland


They have both cold and hot storage tanks, but they're more aimed for evening the difference between night and day cooling and heating demands.


Presumably Microsoft's datacentre will also be connected to Fortum's district cooling grid. Trigeneration CCHP plants are remarkably efficient.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Re: Brilliant programming

Probably the testers never thought to test flying a simulated missed approach at a runway where the charts tell you to make a 270 degree turn to the left in order to fly right.

At least, that's how I understood it, that fiddling with certain parameters will result in the plane turning 90 degrees to the right instead of the long turn 270 degrees left, but in both cases will end up flying in the correct direction.

Apple-Google COVID-19 virus contact-tracing API to bar location-tracking access


Re: one app per country?

Do they actually need to judge distances though? Isn't it enough to be in range?

Europe publishes draft rules for coronavirus contact-tracing app development, on a relaxed schedule


The benefits accumulated from years of living densely has come back to reclaim.

Those who have endured living sparsely now find they're less restricted than the fat cats of the cities.

People in "full" quarantine conditions in the cities, will still be served better by home deliveries or groceries, pizza, and other exotic take away foods than the unquarantined man outside the city. The city people have in some cases paid ludicrous amounts of money for their dwellings, and if they're quarantined it will be a relatively short period of their life confined to enjoy what is definitely the largest investment in their life.

Take a moment to stop and think about what really matters in life.

Don't Flip out or anything, but the 'flexible glass display' on Samsung's latest pholdable doesn't behave like glass


Surely anyone who has ever owned a car and driven towards the sun or another bright light could tell you that glass isn't all that scratch resistant?

UK.gov's smart meter cost-benefit analysis for 2019 goes big on cost, easy on the benefits


Re: If "smart meters" are so good

I would’ve benefitted from a smart water meter. If it would’ve let me look at usage history hour by hour.

Eventually I figured it out, that the inherited washing machine, the finest mid 80s engineering from Germany, skillfully crafted from what was no doubt spare armour plates originally destined for the Bismarck (judging by its weight), was consuming around 5 bucks/quid/euro in water each wash!

Although sometimes I wonder if the modern machine is worse, saving water by cheerfully claiming the wash is done when half the soap I put in is still obscuring my laundry from view.


Re: Heat pumps don't like to have their power cut

I’m in Europe,recently installed a heat pump. It has inputs for signaling “power is practically free now “, “power is cheap”, “power is expensive”, IIRC.

Of course, the electricity supplier’s meter doesn’t have a single I/O despite being a “smart” meter. I’ve considered making a raspberry Pi screen scrape their website and signal my heat pump.

Raspberry Pi head honcho Eben Upton talks thermals, stores and who's buying the kit


Re: Odd horsepower

Linux or not, the overall pattern with hardware seems to be that the faster the CPU, the higher the latencies on I/O, making any "realtime" or bitbanging code slower or impossible.

Years late to the SMB1-killing party, Samba finally dumps the unsafe file-sharing protocol version by default


Re: Now we wait...

I've been told that yes, they're aware they're still running smbv1, but they can't update it because the branch of Samba with >SMBv1 support is *massive* and simply won't fit in the available flash memory.

The mythical unattributed source also claimed there have been backporting efforts to get >SMBv1 support in the lean and "unbloated" branch of Samba, but it's too unstable to be deployable.

So yeah, this is my usecase for SMBv1 too, harddrive hooked up to WiFi router, and PCs backup to that network drive. And I'm too cheap to pay for a router with enough flash to fit recent samba. :-)

Go fourth and multi-Pi: Raspberry Pi 4 lands today with quad 1.5GHz Arm Cortex-A72 CPU cores, up to 4GB RAM...


Re: victims of own success

Usable software is probably the biggest reason raspberry pi has been so successful.

Boeing big cheese repeats pledge of 737 Max software updates following fatal crashes


Re: Simply Ghastly...

That is a very good observation!

Stick shaker and stall warning comes on. Pilots think plane is nearing stall.

Nose dips down - yep, definitely stalling for real!

But how can the airplane stall at 300 knots? The airspeed indicator must be wrong.

They manage to recover, try to guess their airspeed, make sure they're going fast enough.

Still the plane repeatedly stalls.

Icing? In Africa? But it would also explain airspeed indicator fault.

Are spoilers and flaps stuck? Troubleshoot the hydraulics, get them to ret*crash"

... And they failed to notice the trim was moving on its own, and didn't run the right checklist to deal with that.

Airlines in Asia, Africa ground Boeing 737 Max 8s after second death crash in four-ish months


Re: Missing redundancy

The redundancy was in the recovery procedure, same thing as if electric trim gets stuck: pull the circuit breaker and turn the trim wheel manually.

'Say hello to my little vacuum cleaner!' US drug squad puts spycams in cleaner's kit


For some reason my reading comprehension failed when I read the headline, and I was expecting to find that they have e stuck a chemical analyzer to a vacuum cleaner, looking for for traces of drugs.

New era for Japan, familiar problems: Microsoft withdraws crash-tastic patches


Re: People should stop using calendars...

How long would float as time_t work before milliseconds, centiseconds, deciseconds, and finally seconds stopped ticking over?

I think python already has Unix time as a floating point number...

Dawn of the dead: NASA space probe runs out of gas in asteroid belt after 6.4 billion-mile trip


Re: This seems like a good argument for ion drives

Dawn had ion engine for trajectory changes.

What I'm curious about is whether it also has reaction wheels or similar for attitude control, whether those had also failed.

It would also be interesting to know what kind of spool-up spool-down delays, if any, ion drives have, and how much efficiency is lost during that time.. and if they could be made small enough to be used for attitude control. You'd need 8-16 of them.

Goodnight Kepler! NASA scientists lay the exoplanet expert to rest as it runs out of fuel


Re: But why were the transmitters shut down?

If dead probes weren't shut down, you'd eventually have no frequencies left for new probes to transmit on. So they shut it off, while it's antennas were still pointing close enough towards earth to be able to receive commands.

A US navy navigation satellite launched in 1964 still wakes up occasionally when it gets sunlight on its panels, and transmits telemetry. At its job of navigation satellite it failed 2 months after launch.

Sensor failure led to Soyuz launch failure, says Roscosmos


Iirc, Apollo era fault detection, and probably Soyuz too, consists of a long piece of wire that runs up and down the length of the rocket. If the rocket goes boom, the wire is broken, which triggers abort.

Then it's a question of how fast explosive bolts and the abort motor light up after being lit up. Hopefully fast enough that the fireball shockwave still hasn't reached the crew.

BlackBerry KEY2 LE: The first budget Android QWERTY for years


Maybe y7 can type daater ok no. Capacitive touch keyboard, but 2-@5# the poibt wjeb y97 spend nor3 time fixing ty09#?


Maybe you can type faster on capacitive keyboard, but what's the point when you spend more time fixing typos?

Or at least, despite efforts I still can't type better than the above on touchscreen. Mind, I held out with qwerty until 2014 or so, so I've only had 4 years practice time..

Probably for the best: Apple makes sure eSIMs won't nuke the operators


Re: eSIMs make so much sense

My operator used to have a service like this, for 3.90 Euro a month I got 5 extra SIM cards, all with the same phone number. All phones rang at the same time, but SMS only arrived on the main phone.

Apparently this was too good of a serviy, because they only sold it for a few months. I used it for about 8 years before my level of geekiness dropped to having only one phone.

Nokia reinstates 'hide the Notch' a day after 'Google required' feature kill


Um, clueless user of a notch less Xiaomi phone here, but

Surely the OS knows not to put things in the not visible area taken up by speaker/sensor/camera ? Surely?

It may be poor man's Photoshop, but GIMP casts a Long Shadow with latest update


Re: Forget the geeky stuff, sort out the user experience.

From my observations of random people trying gimp, they can't find anything because the buttons are all in windows floating around, sometimes with scrollbars, sometimes not.

Then, eventually, they try close gimp, except most of the time they close all the toolboxes before closing whichever window that makes gimp actually close. On next start, all the toolbox windows are gone, and user wonders where everything went, or concludes that maybe he/she misremembered and that gimp actually has no features.

Boffins: Mixed-signal silicon can SCREAM your secrets to all



I struggle to make Bluetooth work for deliberate communication at point blank range, and these guys sniff unintended leaks at 10 metres? That's like black magic squared!

No, seriously, why are you holding your phone like that?


Re: Phone reviews

Get her a OnePlus one or a Xiaomi A1. Even at lowest volume setting my eardrums bleed.

Could anyone give hints on a phone with decent vibrate? The before mentioned vibrate so meekly I can't tell the difference between phone vibrating and my bones creaking.

Intel confirms it’ll release GPUs in 2020


Oh, like MXM?

Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries


Re: Good news, everyone!

Hand a laptop or phone manufacturer a battery twice as good as their current batteries, and their next device will have a battery half the size of their previous device. Marketing will be hyping the thin sleek design, and everyone will still be whining about how battery technology isn't keeping up.

Elon Musk's latest Tesla Model 3 delivery promise: 6,000... a week


Re: Replacing the batteries.

The different range options on a Tesla actually uses the same physical battery, the software limitations are just different. Now then, why does it cost more to be allowed to use more of the battery's capacity? Because using less makes it last longer and lowers Tesla's warranty repair costs.

When it comes to phones, the phone manufacturers crank the settings all the way to the "maximum capacity, some explosions, short life" end of the scale. And sometimes a bit too far.

OK, this time it's for real: The last available IPv4 address block has gone


Re: @boxplayer - "Nobody uses it..."

How did we ever manage to migrate from IPX to TCP?

Don’t fight automation software for control, just turn it off. FAST


The autopilot isnt (on this aircraft) hooked up to the same controls as the pilots mechanical yoke.

As if a car had both front and rear wheel steering, and the autopilot could steer the rear wheels and the steering wheel is connected to the front wheels.

Fog off! No more misty eyes for self-driving cars, declare MIT boffins


From a northerly Scandinavian perspective, the bicyclist was out in the dark without wearing reflectors on her person, her bike was lacking basic side reflectors, and the legally mandated front light was not present or working at the required level. Crossing that road seems dubious at best, and I wonder how the bicyclist didn't notice the uber's headlights when, presumably, looking to both sides and listening for cars before crossing the road. The road could use fencing in the middle to prevent crossing by moose and pedestrians, except for designated moose and/or pedestrian crossings.

The driver was distracted by presumably a phone, and speeding.

Fine them both, improve the road, case closed?

Rant launches Eric Raymond's next project: Open-source the UPS


Re: UPSs lack the kind of sensor information that protected car batteries, Raymond wrote

The only cars I've seen have 14.5V regulated alternator, that if you're lucky is temperature compensated. Low voltage protection doesn't exist, but sometimes happens accidentally because the starter solenoid just drops out when voltage collapses. Some fancier fuel burning heaters with timers do have low voltage cutoffs, though.


Re: Where are you?

Except really cheap LED bulbs which just have a bunch of LEDs in series straight on AC with perhaps a resistor or current limiting capacitor.

The retrofits that have a tiny lag in between flicking the switch and turning on, you can be sure has some sort of actual driver circuit..


Re: Lack of clue

It's somewhat alright if the battery is maintained at 80% full, alows down the wear and tear.

What did we say about Tesla's self-driving tech? SpaceX Roadster skips Mars, steers to asteroids


Re: It was never going anywhere NEAR Mars

How does the inclination of elon's roadster line up with the inclination of mars?

Cool disk drive actuator pillar, Seagate – how about two of them?



So.. Am I missing something, or does Seagates's split actuator thing perform the same as two half-sized drives in striped raid-0?


I thought harddrives were more like optical drives these days, that they actually track the position of a track, so that it allows for the disc/platter to even spin slightly off-centre.

We translated Intel's crap attempt to spin its way out of CPU security bug PR nightmare


Re: Mixed signals on CPU's

So basically every CPU since the Pentium Pro / Pentium II?

Get a CPU older than 20 years and you'll be fine.