* Posts by ilmari

240 posts • joined 18 Oct 2012

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Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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.

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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...

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

Translation:

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

Impressive!

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?

ilmari

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

ilmari

Oh, like MXM?

Boffins bash out bonkers boost for batteries

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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.

ilmari

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..

ilmari

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

ilmari

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?

ilmari

So...

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

ilmari

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

ilmari

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.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign

ilmari

Re: Handbrake users beware

Funny, I thought video conversion would be minimally hit, as it consists mostly of:

read(very many bytes); process (very long cpu intensive code); write(very many bytes)

Where, if the read and write are implemented as sending big requests to the kernel, should be minimally affected. The processing portion of it is surely 99% of the whole processing time anyway?

I could believe things like a database would slow down, when it's hopping all over the place on disk looking for/writing data. I could believe facebook slows down alot, because browsers are doing lots of itsy bitsy tiny reads and writes to both disk and net, and lots of small updates of the screen to animate all the gifs and what not.

ilmari

Re: Lots of testing work to be done then?

It's the move to and from kernel that is penalized, time spent inside kernel and time spent outside kernel isn't penalized. Of course, hardly any system monitoring programs will tell you how many syscalls or context switches different programs cause.

That was fast... unlike old iPhones: Apple sued for slowing down mobes

ilmari

Re: "To provide a better experience to customers"

What's preferable, phone unexpectedly shutting down without warning, or phone slowing down to avoid sudden shutdown?

The big issue is of course that the user wasn't notified in either case, on any brand of phone (androids also suffer from thus when their battery gets old, sudden shutdowns despite having 30% left).

On the other hand, it's not an easy problem to solve. Unexpected shutdown means unexpected, even if there was an algorithm trying to collect data about the operating state of the cpu and all its peripherals, and recording battery voltages, when unexpected shutdown hits you lose the data. The hardware shuts down to protect both the battery (since they become unstable from operating at low voltage) and the CPU, ram and storage from corrupting data due to insufficient voltage.

AMD have a "clock stretching" feature in some of their CPUs, if the voltage inside the CPU drops the frequency slows down. It's mostly meant to allow them to operate with lower voltages and save power by not needing as big "safety margin" in voltage. Would be interesting to see something similar in mobile SOCs!

It's kinda remarkable that battery meters are still so bad at tracking the capabilities of an aging battery. On one hand, it's a kinda neglected area where manufacturers choose the cheapest component. On the other hand, it's a difficult problem! Batteries aged in standard cycle testing behave differently to batteries aged in real life. Batteries in real life age differently depending on how they're used and charged.

What do I mean by aged differently? As is well known, a battery's voltage sags when you put a load on it. The bigger the load, the more the voltage drops. The amount of drop is, for most part, a linear function of the load. When the battery is new, the sag is so small it makes no difference. The amount of sag can be described as internal resistance. More internal resistance means more sag.

On a new battery, the internal resistance stays nearly constant regardless if the battery is 100% or 20% full. Towards empty it becomes a bit higher. With an ideally cycled and aged battery, the capacity is lower, and the internal resistance is higher, but the internal resistance is still around the same order of magnitude regardless the battery is full or empty.

With batteries aged in real life conditions, where the battery might've spent a lot of time at 100%, a lot of time at 0%, a lot of time in heat, etc, the results on internal resistance will be different. The internal resistance might sharply rise as the battery discharges. From the initial situation with a fresh battery having a flat internal resistance curve vs state of charge, to having a inclined straight line describing an increased resistance at empty, to having exponentially increasing resistance towards empty.

Why does this all matter? Because currently there's no battery meter chip that can take into account anything except the "internal resistance is the same regardless of how full battery is" situation. Most chips don't account for internal resistance at all.

So from an engineer's perspective, if Apple is actually tracking actual battery performance and managing to make their system adapt to having a smaller and smaller power budget, that's kinda impressive. Makes me glad someone is finally paying attention to adding more sophistication to battery management systems!

Of course, they could just have put in a battery twice as big and they wouldn't have had issues with shrinking power budget for the phone's "lifetime", and they wouldn't need to consider aging battery.

We have standards, says 3GPP as group starts to lay groundwork for 5G

ilmari

Soon marketing will have made more radio Gs than the storage Gs on the device itself.

Yes, your old iPhone is slowing down: iOS hits brakes on CPUs as batteries wear out

ilmari

Re: Battery shape?

It's more like, the more you focus on a battery's ability to deliver high peak power, then more you take away from its ability to to store energy. It's a tradeoff. Mobile phones very much favour capacity over power, Apple perhaps more so than the rest. Also keeping in mind that Apple has very powerful CPU while at the same time having "unremarkable" battery capacity, in remarkably small space, it pushes everything to the limit.

In this case they pushed it perhaps too far, when some batteries have aged a bit too fast.

Games-mart Steam halts Bitcoin payments

ilmari

Re: $20 per transaction fee

I remember back in the day when some nerds were trying to explain the usefulness of bitcoin, they argued speed of transaction and cost of transactions as superior to regular banking. At the time I thought the argument was dubious at best, as bank transactions were on the order of minutes, and transactions usually included with other services anyway, costing nothing extra.

"But bitcoin isn't vulnerable to the whims of governments and central bankers!" - well sure, but is the whims of the collective speculative investor hivebrain any better?

Don't shame idiots about their idiotically weak passwords

ilmari

I think the biggest issue is the sheer number of passwords required. The average person probably struggles to remember more than 2 "difficult" passwords. Add to that, that every little thing wants you to make a user account and password, so you end up with hundreds.

Tesla launches electric truck it guarantees won't break for a million miles

ilmari

Re: Tesla semi?

The batteries should accept charge at the same rate as the stated acceleration, so 100 to 0 in 20 seconds. That seems like very aggressive braking under normal circumstances.

Likewise, if it can maintain a specific speed going up a hill, it can maintain the same speed going down the hill without the use of friction braking.

Two drones, two crashes in two months: MoD still won't say why

ilmari

Laser altimeter is the kind of thing a hobbyist would use, since hobbyist radars make ofcom/FCC/etc annoyed. GPS and barometric sensors aren't that good for approaching the ground at a ensured survivable rate.

IETF mulls adding geoblock info to 'Bradbury's code'

ilmari

So is this serious, or will it be as widely used as the evil bit on IP level?

MH370 final report: Aussies still don’t know where it crashed or why

ilmari

Re: planet is surrounded by spy satellites

I once found a submarine on Google Earth. It was just outside Tokyo bay. Always takes me awhile to find it again though.

ilmari

The spy satellites are more concerned with photographing military targets. Even so, had they been tasked with photographing the ocean, you would've needed quite some luck to have taken a picture of the right area before the debris got scattered out blending in with all the other debris floating around.. Not to mention the manpower needed to sift through all those photos. There was a crowd sources effort to look through satellite photos, which turned up empty.

Essentially invisible: Android big-daddy Andy Rubin's hypetastic mobe 'flops in first month'

ilmari

Was out shopping for a new phone for my elderly father. At some point he had wandered off into the shop of the third largest operator.

When I informed the shopkeeper that yes, that's exactly the phone for him (a Doro), we can't really buy it since we do need to use the competing operator for coverage concerbs.

The shopkeeper cheerfully said he's happy to sell the phone even if we put competitor's SIM in it.

Ah, good ol' Windows update cycles... Wait, before anything else, check your hardware

ilmari

Re: Bah!

Now I understand why some 3D printers have SD card slot for storing the print while it's printing!

ilmari

Re: I'm confused

64-bit mode removes some old backwards compatibility, and many new features are only available in 64-bit mode.

It's slowly moving towards being two entirely different CPUs, with 32-bit mode being left as it was, and 64-bit getting all the new features.

Anyone remember typing "go64" on a Commodore 128? :-)

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