* Posts by grumpy-old-person

65 posts • joined 10 Nov 2012


We have Huawei to make the internet more secure: Dump TCP/IP to make folks safer says Chinese mobe slinger


Re: ipv6 is broken and something is needed to properly superseded ipv4

The US government and military of the day had probably asked for something,but I bet that NOBODY had an inkling as to what would eventually emerge as the Internet!

An amazing feat of design that needed only a few tweaks to make it not only "usable" but eminently so!

The distributed nature of the design enabled it to scale so far past the original expectations that it is almost miraculous.

As for devices like firewalls one can view them as a choice of the end user, like having a wall around your property or not - not a part of the Internet per se and will probably be required until the last crook has disappeared from the planet!


Or South Africa

The 'State of Disaster' declared here was surely never intended to allow the police and military to assault and kill - nobody seems to explain how this contains the spread of a virus!


Rise of the Stupid Network

The Internet (previously ARPANET, previously ...) works well because it is "stupid" and the "clever" bits are the endpoints.

Change the endpoints as much as you like and the network will still (mostly) deliver the packets used to carry the data.

Putting "clever" bits into the network itself will simply produce problems that are avoidable.

See this old paper https://www.hyperorg.com/misc/stupidnet.html

Any proposal by any government to enable control will end in tears!

AMD takes a bite out of Intel's PC market share across Europe amid microprocessor shortages, rising Ryzen


Re: AMD Driver support...

On Windows, of course!

There are other options . . .

South Africans shivering in the dark after file-scrambling nasty hits Johannesburg power biz


Just in SA?

Like everywhere else Windows is often deployed (even when the alternative is probably better).

I am distrustful of most "digital security" as it is usually an afterthought (bolted on after the disaster) or badly thought through in the first place - and I have experience where the resistance to good security is fueled by "convenience".

All it takes is ONE slip to let the bad boys in!

Sad to SA that SA has had good computer people for many, many decades but the "brain drain" is fast depleting the pool.

Rust in peace: Memory bugs in C and C++ code cause security issues so Microsoft is considering alternatives once again


Re: Eh?

A simple count of the number of flaws is not useful - a common, easily used vulnerability counts for as much as an obscure (but possibly more dangerous) one.

Also, the number of copies of a given piece of software containing a flaw can result in a 'less dangerous' flaw causing widespread damage while an obscure flaw may never be exploited.

WikiLeaks boss Assange acted as a foreign spy, Uncle Sam exclaims in fresh rap sheet


Takes two to tango

While Assange et al are probably guilty of some or other crimes, it seems that the US has MASSIVE security problems that allow secrets to be taken so easily!

I wonder what the security spending by the US is? Probably make one's eyes water - yet very poor value for money, it seems

Tractors, not phones, will (maybe) get America a right-to-repair law at this rate: Bernie slams 'truly insane' situation


In my experience I can quite often do a better job (and at low or no cost) then the "professionals"

My 2001 Mercedes Benz E200K stood for around six months because both "keys" (more like TV remote controls) stopped working.

Eventually figured out that both keys had developed small holes in the flexible parts after much use and all sorts of rubbish had clogged up the lens through which the infrared is transmitted / received.

Imagine what I would have paid to an authorised dealer!

SPOILER alert, literally: Intel CPUs afflicted with simple data-spewing spec-exec vulnerability


Re: I am always disappointed in modern computing

Decades ago all sorts of interesting architectural stuff was tried but found not to be feasible with the hardware of the time.

What happened to all of this?

Hardware architecture that provides decent protection (at least much better than what we have now!), can prevent buffer overflows and all sorts of things - probably at a performance cost, but look at what simply focusing has got.

In the book "Elements of Programming Style" (Kernighan and Plaugher) there is the statement relative us.fast as possible!

Imagine the uproar if a CPU appeared that had an architecture similar to IBM's SWARD!

Pothole campaigner sprays Surrey street with phallic paintings


Colliding with a donkey

There is the tale of the fellow who wrecked his car when he collided with a donkey.

Asked how he did not see the donkey he replied that it was in a pothole and all that was visible was the ears!

Pandas so useless they just look at delicious kid who fell into enclosure


Re: In other news

Never been chased by a white rhino but was scared as hell when a black rhino and calf decided that we were not to be tolerated anywhere near her and offspring (no quadbike).

Hippo, however are definitely to be avoided - actually saw one chase off a lioness attempting to make a meal of an unsuspecting waterbuck.

Ignorance is definitely a problem, though, as in my youth (about 40 years ago) my wife and I went walkabout at St Lucia (Natal, South Africa) and despite walking past MANY hippos survived unmolested, which my wife ascribed to them being vegetarians!

One click and you're out: UK makes it an offence to view terrorist propaganda even once


Re: Goodbye Youtube?

A little off-topic, it seems that it was fashionable to be anti-apartheid yet it is now the fashion to say nothing against what South Africa got in apartheid's place - a good example is the rolling blackouts this last week courtesy of the bankrupt state power corporation and the ANC "liberators" that has further damaged the ailing economy.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins


Re: I see oppotunity


It's somewhere in africa

It’s baaack – Microsoft starts pushing out the Windows 10 October 2018 Update


Six month madness?

Ubuntu and MANY Linux distributions do this without causing chaos - so why is M$ special?

The real issue is that M$ could not find its corporate arse with a map and a torch!

Home users due for a battering with Microsoft 365 subscription stick



Try FreeOffice if you think LibreOffice is not for you - you might be pleasantly surprised!

Groundhog Day comes early as Intel Display Drivers give Windows 10 the silent treatment


Re: Office 2010

If you are not using the more esoteric features of Office then give FreeOffice a try - you will be pleasantly surprised , and it's fast.

If you are impressed and want more functionality then go for the paid version which gives 5 licences for a very reasonable price.

Xiaomi waggles Mi MIX 3, the first smartphone packing 10GB RAM


Re: And you thought...

Ah, yes.

The visionary Bill Gates - also pooh-poohed the Internet iirc!

2-bit punks' weak 40-bit crypto didn't help Tesla keyless fobs one bit


Re: Problem-solution dichotomy

I did not use my 2001 Mercedes Benz E200K for around 6 months because BOTH keys stopped functioning, and I refused to be ripped off by an official dealer.

The short story is that the "key" seems to use infrared communication with the car once inserted into the socket on the dashboard - years of use eventually left a hole in the plastic shell (both keys) through which dust and other rubbish entered and obstructed the lens at the tip of the key.

Problem resolved by cleaning the inside of the lens with a small brush, at no cost.

Used my bicycle while the car could not be started - lots of exercise and quite a saving on fuel costs!

Microsoft tells volume customers they can stay on Windows 7... for a bit longer... for a fee


Re: Divorcing Microsoft

FreeOffice is fine for most purposes if LibreOffice does not work for you.

Try https://softlay.net/operating-system/windows-xp-sp3-iso-full-version-free-download.html for a version of XP SP3 - it runs on VirtualBox.

Mystery crapper comes a cropper


Runners in deserate need need to go . . .

Some years ago out on a run training for the Comrades Marathon (in South Africa many of us are quite unusually fond of running long distances!) I had completed a fairly steep uphill section when my bowels decide to move as well.

The only thing to do was to head for a service station a kilometre or so along the road that I knew had public toilets.

The bowels became more and more insistent the faster I ran and by the time I reached the service station I was on the brink of being (literally) in the brown and smelly stuff.

Without any regard for signage,or anything else for that matter, I vaguely was aware that I caused a stir as I entered the toilet.

Once relieved - of the bowel problem and that I had managed to avoid disaster - I realised that in my rush I had run into the ladies.

Came out trying not to look too flustered and set off again after thanking the staff for the use of the facilities!

Time to ditch the Facebook login: If customers' data should be protected, why hand it over to Zuckerberg?


Re: Corporations promote their Facebook-URL way above links to their own websites

Your comments are all valid - the only thing I don't see is why you use Facebook at all!

TSB's middleware nightmare: Execs grilled on Total Sh*tshow at Bank


Re: 'The issues we’re seeing in the system are - middleware'

The bank I worked for was moved to TCP/IP while all the others in the country at the time were captive IBM accounts using SNA.

When Burroughs became a problem and a move to IBM s/390 and onwards was done I refused to succumb and used Cisco channel-attached routers - tunneling the SNA between sites and avoiding the FEP and associated software costs.

Imagine my astonishment when the person in charge of IT enquired about our SNA network!

It took 2 days to craft a suitably snotty reply that pointed out that while he was being a big-shot and contemplating his navel we had saved a bundle of money and had only a single IP network,

Execs usually cannot discriminate between execute as in kill and execute as in carry out operations!

Microsoft's latest Windows 10 update downs Chrome, Cortana


Re: Once I tried Linux I never looked back

Sounds like my wife's laptop running Windows 10!

Just installed Ubuntu MATE 18.04 on 4 machines - 2 laptops, an old HP microserver and Raspberry Pi and all are working flawlessly - and fast, and updates actually work, and, and, and . . .

Have fun with Windows :)

Windows 10 to force you to use Edge, even if it isn't default browser


Re: So ?

Try some of the elderly HP laser printers in Windows 10 and grind your teeth when you discover that suddenly they are not supported.

They all work on Linux!


Re: Fucking idiots

I have done the same and hardly ever hear from users again - except for one fellow who I migrated from Windows 7 on an antique laptop (Windows 10 would not install, no matter how much I tried) who manages to have "issues". Still trying to figure out how he manages this :)

Woe Canada: Rather than rise from the ashes, IBM-built C$1bn Phoenix payroll system is going down in flames


Re: The History Goes Back Further Than That

The disease that managers only need to know how to manage and have no idea of the area they are managing pops up everywhere!

In my 70 years I have only come across 3 genuine managers (and hundreds of fakers) themost impressive of whom told the MD of the company publicly "not to f*ck him around, as he had been f*cked around by professionals".

Surprisingly, he was not fired or "punished" in any way.

Was it because he was actually an asset to the company who got things done?

From tomorrow, Google Chrome will block crud ads. Here's how it'll work


Re: Not half-way good enough.

Quote from Edwin Land (inventor of the Polaroid camera and many other things): "Marketing is what you do when your product is no good"

F-35 flight tests are being delayed by onboard software snafus


Re: Still, one day...

John Boyd must be rotating extremely rapidly in his grave!

No Windows 10, no Office 2019, says Microsoft


Re: As soon as Windows 7 support finishes

Strange that I have found so many people who have trouble using Windows - especially Windows 8 & 10 when the UI changed so much.

Yet some of those people who opted to change to Ubuntu MATE from XP have no trouble at all?

The fallacy that Linux has no GUI tools and is all command line is just male bovine excrement spread around by (mainly) Windows bigots (who have probably never put in a fraction of the effort learning the Windows way than they did when trying Linux - if they ever did).


Re: As soon as Windows 7 support finishes

Registry changes are WAY more dangerous than running a somewhat cryptic command line in an unusual case using LINUX.

Even if a Windows user finds someone who can explain what registry entries to change the procedure can quite easily end in tears.

Most LINUX admin tasks can be done using a GUI that most users can understand - I can't say that for Windows, especially Windows 10 that usually has problems after an "upgrade"


Re: As soon as Windows 7 support finishes

I recently found a laptop so old that it has only 384MB RAM - after some scratching around I discovered ANTIX which turned this geriatric device into a usable device again!

The biggest issue I have found with reviving PCs and laptops by installing LINUX is that those users that give credence to the forecasts of doom by Windows bigots find fault (even though the evidence that they are better of is ignored)

'WHAT THE F*CK IS GOING ON?' Linus Torvalds explodes at Intel spinning Spectre fix as a security feature


Re: Why we need faster MEMORY!



Re: Why are the patches so late?

Not quite 50 years ago I worked on a range of mainframes where the bottom machine in the range had loops in the microcode to make it slower, and therefore cheaper, than the next model in the series!

So "switches" may actually exist in the Intel microcode for some purpose/s of which we are unaware.

Get out the tin foil hats - thay may actually be required!

Death notice: Moore's Law. 19 April 1965 – 2 January 2018


Re: end of x86 & x64?

In the 1970s I worked on ICL System4 mainframes which were IBM360 instruction set compatible - the big difference between the two was the System4 had 4 sets of registers (one for each processor "state") which avoided the save / restore overhead when switching context. Quite clever.

I think the real problem is that while many architectures and implementations were explored around 50 years ago most were too slow / expensive given the hardware technologies of the time - they seem to have been forgotten.

Perhaps the old stuff should be dusted off and considered again.

User had no webcam or mic, complained vid conference didn’t work


Re: Your Network is broken!

About 15 years ago when the company was moving into it's new head office building I received a call from a colleague asking for assistance because the clever little Microsoft boys sent from the UK (we are in Johannesburg) to fix the Exchange problems had informed him that the network was the cause of the email system's ills.

I rushed over and asked one of the M$ people how they were accessing the servers - via the network, of course!

After some harsh words and advising him to extract his digit and look for the actual problem and not blame the network that treated all traffic (more or less) equally the problem was fixed.

Intel, Microsoft confess: Meltdown, Spectre may slow your servers


Re: There you have it: security or performance or switch to AMD @ ThatOne

Computers don't run Linux?

I'd like a list of those with a description of the issues.

Intel puts security on the todo list, Tavis topples torrent tool, and more


Re: Th REAL question...

It is surely way past time that processor architecture be revisited?

All the research decades ago that would have avoided buffer overflows, null and dangling pointers, unauthorised access, . . . but which could not be implemented at the time as the hardware was too slow and expensive seems to be ignored today.

Building faster and faster hardware with minimal safety and "living" with the consequences thereof seems like putting a V10 engine in a Morris Minor and being surprised that handling was appalling but continuing to drive it anyway!

Skynet it ain't: Deep learning will not evolve into true AI, says boffin


Re: "deep learning teaches computers how to map inputs to the correct outputs. "

Apparently neurons make up only 10% of the brain with glial cells of many kinds making up the remainder.

90% of brain tissue is padding?

How about glial networks?

And we return to Munich's migration back to Windows – it's going to cost what now?! €100m!


Re: Money is a universal solvent

I suspect this happens everywhere, but is worse in some places.

Read The President's Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in Power and out of Prison (its freely available as a PDF) for a South African sad tale of far worse than "brown envelopes" and "holidays in Seattle"!

Big shock: $700 Internet-of-Things door lock not a success


Re: I'm disappointed

I'm not a luddite - I just abhor useless application of useful technology


Re: $700 versus $25

Here in South Africa it is common practice to tear of burglar bars with what we call a "bobbejaan spanner" - I believe these are known as a "monkey wrench" in the US.

Simply lock onto the round bar and twist it off.

Burglar bars are simply to keep the insurance companies happy.

(In Afrikaans bobbejaan is the word for baboon)


Re: Bah!

Gordian lock?

Voyager 1 fires thrusters last used in 1980 – and they worked!


Re: how is assembler outdated and by what?

I once came across a frustrated RS232 user who proposed another control line - DTS, which allowed one to send at will and was called Determined To Send!


Re: how is assembler outdated and by what?


The 8086 popped up in the late 1970s and, albeit with endless "improvements", the assembler is still with us.

That seems to be quite old, but not outdated given that the architecture is still with us.


Re: how is assembler outdated and by what?

Or old farts (like me) who were weened on assembler - OS, compilers, utilities, large multi-tasking systems, EVERYTHING in assembler!

Microsoft emergency update: Malware Engine needs, erm, malware protection


Re: maybe ... just maybe we need better hardware ?

When I was still young there were many projects that proposed solutions that provided protection in hardware - IBM's SWARD had hardware protection against 19 of 21 programming issues (if my failing memory is correct :) ).

As I recall, the hardware technology at the time was just not powerful enough to make any of these proposals yield acceptable performance - although I am reminded of the comment in "The Elements of Programming Style" that turning off (software) array-bounds checking allowed the generation of faulty results as fast as possible.

Perhaps we should be digging out research material from way back and reexamining it for implementation now.

How can airlines stop hackers pwning planes over the air? And don't say 'regular patches'


Re: When you land in serious weather and can't see a thing ...

Why not just have 2 totally separate networks (surely they are not THAT heavy?)

It's 2017 – and your Windows PC can be forced to run malware-stuffed Excel macros


Re: IE and Edge CVEs ????

This has been going on for a very long time - "new" version of M$ software and then a bug that affects every version since 1.0!

Munich council: To hell with Linux, we're going full Windows in 2020


Millions of developer years?

We are in a sad place if millions of developer years has produced Windows


Re: Not sure about Office?

Free vs wildly expensive - how is that the same?



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