* Posts by Zola

255 posts • joined 13 Nov 2012

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O2 be a fly on the wall during BT and Vodafone's video calls: Telefónica's UK biz, Virgin Media officially merge

Zola
FAIL

Been There?

It's funny how in 2013 the bean counters at Telefonica thought that selling their UK fixed line broadband business (aka Be Unlimited) to Sky for £180 million was such a good idea.

The O2/Be ADSL2+ service was great, particularly if you were an O2 subscriber as you received a discount - decent download speed, Annex M (2.5Mbps upload), great reliability, excellent customer support (Be Unlimited handled the service and support).

Then it was sold to Sky for chump change, Annex M ended immediately, the speeds dropped overnight and reliability became a repeating issue. They employed the Be Unlimited customer support people but you could tell from talking to them that they knew it was now a total shit show.

Eventually I could stand it now more and moved broadband (and O2 mobile) to BT who were better than Sky, but not as good as Be There. Funnily enough I'm now with Hyperoptic 1Gbps which is run by old Be Unlimited people, so I've come full circle (and 3 for mobile). Both have been excellent.

Anyway that was the end of the O2 triple play, for chump change. And now they're having to get into bed with Virgin Media, which has a very limited network (if you're not covered by Virgin already, you never will be) which limits their future potential. With the debt that both Telfonica and Liberty Global have it's difficult to see where the investment will come from.

Oh what could have been for O2, if Telefonica weren't such utter fsckwits. I really don't see this merger ending well, assuming it goes ahead at all.

Western Digital hands chief exec seat to boss of Cisco's networking and security biz

Zola
WTF?

"Cisco" & "Security" in the same sentence?

See icon.

Get in the C: Raspberry Pi 4 can handle a wider range of USB adapters thanks to revised design's silent arrival

Zola

Re: Power to the Pi-ple

You can power all Raspberry Pis via the GPIO pins, so rigging up an alternative DC input of your choice should be a piece of cake.

Latest battery bruiser Android from budget Moto G range appears ahead of MWC after an Amazon whoopsie

Zola

Still no wireless charging that costs pennies to include?

Shame. No sale, I'll hang on to my existing device in that case.

Caltech takes billion-dollar bite out of Apple, Broadcom for using its patented Wi-Fi tech without paying a penny

Zola

5... 4... 3... 2.. 1...

Until the inevitable Apple appeal. They can afford to keep this going and avoid paying out for a few more years yet.

Kiss my ASCII, Microsoft – we've got one million fewer daily active users than you, boasts Slack

Zola

I use Slack, but I'm not an Office 365 user

What relevance has Teams to me? None, as far as I can tell.

Bus pass or bus ass? Hackers peeved about public transport claim to have reverse engineered ticket app for free rides

Zola
WTF?

Why have the Plod become involved?

Hopefully it is to investigate the financial fraud committed by Corethree after flogging - no doubt for top dollar - their amateur hour software as if it were a professionally developed and secure product.

The only crime committed here is that by Corethree, and nobody else.

Virgin Media promises speeds of 1Gpbs to 15 million homes – all without full fibre

Zola

Re: 202?

> when Openretch start putting fibre in for people with phone lines that arrive overhead.

Don't forget ADSL users stuck on Exchange-only lines for whom Openreach have no fibre migration plans whatsoever - you'd think these users would be a shoe-in for Openreach fibre, particularly when the exchange is less than 200 metres away. But no.

Not that I care any more - the development where I live (Exchange-only ADSL lines, 20Mbps down/1Mbps up) recently had Hyperoptic installed so now I'm on 1Gbps up/down with VoIP telephony for about the same price I was paying BT for a landline and their 20Mbps/1Mbps service. It's like night & day.

Take the bus... to get some new cables: Raspberry Pi 4s are a bit picky about USB-Cs

Zola

Just to remind everyone... it's not a PSU issue, it's a cable issue (caused by the RPi design error).

The irony is that a cheap non-e-marked cable is going to work (regardless of PSU) while an expensive Apple e-marked cable won't work. This is really is not a big deal, just get a cheap non-e-marked cable and you're done.

Quick maths refresher: Intel CPU shortages + consumer stock bottleneck = no computer sales growth in EMEA for 2019

Zola
Facepalm

Good news for AMD

AMD CPUs are cheaper, better designed/more secure, and now, faster than Intel equivalents (particularly once all the mitigations are applied to fix the vulnerabilities in Intel gear).

Win, win, win.

If only HP and Dell weren't so far up Intels contra-marketing arse they might be offering some superior non-Intel alternatives to make up for the shortfall.

Anyone buying over-priced, insecure (and, apparently) hard to source Intel CPUs these days needs their fricking head seeing to.

The A in AMD stands for 'Aaaaannnyway...' Q2 is gonna be good, chip biz vows, after dismal Q1

Zola

Buy now, upgrade the CPU later?

At least AMD support their sockets for years, rather than the Intel habit of introducing a new socket with every minor CPU revision which then requires a new motherboard, RAM, maybe even heatsink in addition to the CPU.

Behold, the insides of Samsung's Galaxy Fold: The phone that tears down all on its own

Zola
FAIL

iFixit have taken down their teardown at Samsung's request

Link

Samsung are in Cupertino-esque damage limitation mode, but only making things worse for themselves... So you fscked up? Just deal with it - there's no point getting all p1ssy and trying to censor/hide it from the world & dog hoping we'd all forget.

Disco Dingo fever: Ubuntu 19.04 has an infrastructure bent, snappier GNOME and another stupid name

Zola
Joke

Hey dad...

You might want to stop your son from posting nonsense on the Register as well!

Zola

Still got the systemd-udev bug pegging CPUs at 100%

launchpad

Basically, apply this patch to /lib/udev/rules.d/97-hid2hci.rules and reboot.

Scare-bnb: Family finds creeper cams hidden in their weekend rental by scanning Wi-Fi

Zola
Big Brother

How many other renters complained and were ignored before it finally went public?

> Our original handling of this incident did not meet the high standards we set for ourselves, and we have apologized to the family and fully refunded their stay.

Funny how these firms always trot out this excuse once an issue goes public.

Ethiopia sits on 737 Max report but says pilots followed Boeing drills

Zola
Go

Boeing have finally accepted responsibilty for the two crashes

> The chairman of Boeing acknowledged Thursday for the first time that its new maneuvering system was responsible for two recent plane crashes that killed almost 350 people and apologized to the families and friends of the victims.

USA Today

That's a good start. Now for the FAA to admit to it's role in this disaster, and then the healing can begin for the industry and families, with jail time for those guilty of corporate manslaughter.

Zola

Re: Ralph Nader's niece

I watched the Stumo family conference video earlier today and, assuming the two crashes did occur due to the MCAS failing, it seems a bit harsh for the family to now be suing the airline as they are just as much a victim as those who died as they were duped by Boeing and the FAA into believing the aircraft was safe, even after the first Lion Air crash, and that pilots did not require additional training.

As for Rosemount, unless they guaranteed their sensor was safe to use with no redundancy in a safety critical system then again that's harsh, but maybe just part of the legal process, as it's a bit like Ford selling a car with only 3 wheels instead of 4 (but available as an optional safety extra) and suing Pirelli when the car crashes because it's not driveable on 3 wheels when one has a puncture.

It may be that by suing all parties, whether initially justified or not, will ensure that all the evidence - testing data, internal memos, cover-ups, FAA collusion etc. - required to determine justice for the victims and that further accidents are avoided will be revealed.

Samsung Galaxy A9: Mid-range bruiser that takes the fight to Huawei

Zola
WTF?

Wireless charging should not be high-end

The receiver coil costs under $2, much less in volume - probably sub-$. It's a joke that manufacturers use this feature to differentiate high-end products - it just goes to show they're running out of ideas. Or penny-pinching bastards. How long until Qi wireless charging is common on mid-range devices from more innovative manufacturers?

Put your tin-foil hats on! Wi-Fi can be used to guesstimate number of people hidden in a room

Zola
Mushroom

Good grief that voice...

Had to mute the video.

Have to use SMB 1.0? Windows 10 April 2018 Update says NO

Zola
Mushroom

ASUS are another one.

Currently shipping "top of the line" ASUS routers are being shipped with firmware that includes Samba 3.0.33, which is a decade old for crying out loud, riddled with security bugs, and supports only SMB1 (which is being deprecated everywhere, fast). And ASUS have no plans to update their current (let alone legacy) products to a modern, (more) secure version of Samba, such as Samba 4.

You can use third-party firmware alternatives for the ASUS routers that do include a more recent version of Samba 3, which would at least get you SMB2 support, but apparently the devices don't have enough flash storage to allow Samba 4 to be included.

So please, give ASUS routers a very wide berth as ASUS don't give a fsck about basic security, or their users. Alternatively, disable the outdated and insecure ASUS Samba server entirely, and use something else (Raspberry Pi3+?) for your Samba file sharing.

Blood spilled from another US high school shooting has yet to dry – and video games are already being blamed

Zola

Re: spectacular coverage

> what exactly do you expect the mass media to do?

Watch this Charlie Brooker video featuring a forensic psychiatrist and decide if global wall-to-wall coverage of every mass shooting in America is really the best and only option available to the media outlets.

Mental health issues, inadequate gun control, and the instant "fame" from mass news coverage is a powerful and dangerous combination but at least one of those factors could be addressed fairly quickly, although we know it won't be either of the first two.

Sysadmin’s worst client was … his mother! Until his sister called for help

Zola

Fingerprint scanners... and brothers.

My brother just bought a Yoga 520 i5 laptop which has a touchscreen, and also a fingerprint scanner just below the keyboard. It's actually a very nice laptop.

Anyway, after he'd had it for a day he brought it round to me so I could finish setting it all up and I enquired if he'd set up the fingerprint scanner.

Brother: "No, I couldn't get it to work".

Me: "Why not, did you put your finger on the scanner?"

At this point I pointed at the anonymous looking fingerprint scanner below the keyboard.

Brother: "That's the fingerprint scanner? I spent an hour yesterday touching my bl**dy finger on the screen...!"

Oh how I laughed. Hahahaha. Families. I swear he's not related to me, there must have been a mix-up at the hospital. Yep, that's got to be it.

Nokia tribute band HMD revives another hit

Zola

Might get one in yellow for my step father

as he keeps losing his phone, currently looking to get him his 3rd phone in 12 months... figuring the yellow might make it easier to find, and the low cost less of an issue if/when he loses it (first two were iDevices).

Nokia also announced a new Nokia 6 with wireless charging for €279. Sold!

RIP, Swype: Thanks for all the sor--speec--speedy texting

Zola

Re: Familar pattern

Don't forget Logitech killing Slim Devices. [email protected]

Qualcomm moved its Snapdragon designers to its ARM server chip. We peek at the results

Zola
FAIL

So why bother with Kyro?

It doesn't seem like Kyro is that critical to their mobile roadmap if they can swap out their fully custom design for off-the-shelf IP without any obvious impact on the bottom line, yet it's undoubtedly a damn sight cheaper/faster to use the off the shelf ARM cores.

I always thought Kyro was a case of NIH, and never really justified the additional design cost given the marginal performance gain over stock ARM IP.

At best Kyro is just a dick swinging marketing exercise - no real gain or benefit for the end user, but look how clever we are to design our own stuff.

Nokia's comeback is on: The flagship 8 emerges

Zola

Re: No wireless charging? No sale.

Too many times I've received a call on a phone charging while tethered to a USB, picked it up and had the phone shoot out of my hands once the cable reaches its full extent. User error? Most certainly. Annoying as hell? Absolutely. USB-C might make charging ever so slightly easier but it's still no match for put down, pick up convenience.

Does wireless charging take longer than a tethered fast charge? Sure, probably. To be honest it's hard to tell as my phone is now almost always fully charged most of the time thanks to having multiple charge plates at home/office, and putting a near empty phone on my bedside cabinet at night I awake to a fully charged phone in the morning as if by magic! Fast charging becomes irrelevant when charging is something you no longer have to even think about (and if I ever did need it, I can always find a cable somewhere).

Zola
FAIL

No wireless charging? No sale.

20 years ago I bought a TiVo Series 1 (still have it, in daily use) and tried to explain to people the convenience of HDD recording, the typical response was "Why would I want that when I can just put a tape in my machine?" It only took them another 5-10 years until Sky (I'm in the UK, after stabbing TiVo in the back) "invented" HDD recording and for the penny to finally drop among the masses.

Similarly, a lot of people just don't "get" wireless charging, but it really is so much more convenient and puts an end to "battery angst". Once you've tried it, why would you want to go back to fumbling around with USB connectors?

And for that reason, any device that can't be bothered to include the £2 coil for a wireless charging receiver loses my entire business/interest. Which is a shame, as the Nokia device is quite attractive in all other respects.

A replaceable battery would also have been nice, but I can understand from a design point of view that that is a trickier proposition.

Intel bolts bonus gubbins onto Skylake cores, bungs dozens into Purley Xeon chips

Zola
Go

Early Purley Xeon vs. AMD EPYC benchmarks at Anandtech

Anandtech

Summary:

Purley is best for very large databases and vectorisable HPC code (due to the Xeons superior L3 cache latency), while AMD EPYC is simply great for everything else and whips Intels arse on price/performance.

Seagate SNAFU sees Cisco servers primed for data loss

Zola
Facepalm

Why are Seagate being fingered for this? It's not their SNAFU!

This is 100% Cisco's fsck up because it was Cisco that assumed rather than erred on the side of caution/professionalism by configuring the drives on receipt from their supplier - or on boot up, fancy that! - with the correct parameters/characteristics required to reliably perform the job they will be doing.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with what Seagate did, or did not do!

(Not a Seagate shill, I just think Cisco are entirely at fault here)

In the Epyc center: More Zen server CPU specs, prices sneak out of AMD

Zola

Re: Epyc 7351P @ $700

@analyzer: What I'm getting at - assuming these Epyc prices are accurate - is that this gives a ballpark figure for for the cost of a 16c/32t Threadripper. I can't see AMD pricing a Threadripper (at the same Epyc 7351P base frequency) higher than an Epyc 7351P, particularly as the Epyc 7351P includes a range of technologies that won't be included/enabled in Threadripper. Perhaps if the Threadripper is clocked significantly higher than the Epyc 7351P (while still maintaining sensible thermals) then it might allow AMD to charge a slightly higher premium, but not much more.

@John Pombrio: I wouldn't have thought 2.4GHz x 32 threads (Epyc 7351P or Threadripper) would be too slow for a HEDT, maybe slow for a gaming rig, but for a headless build system that spends all day compiling it could be pretty sweet!

Zola
Go

Epyc 7351P @ $700

At 16c/32t isn't this basically a Threadripper?

Presumably the Threadripper will not have the enterprise features such as memory encryption, in which case it should be cheaper than than the Epyc 7351p, which would make it a fricking steal...

What is this bullsh*t, Google? Nexus phones starved of security fixes after just three years

Zola
Linux

Jolla provide Sailfish updates for their Nov 2013 device

Latest update received April 2017. And that's not just security updates - that's almost 3.5 years of regular OS updates.

Sure, the hardware is a bit long in the tooth but it's working fine and I've no reason to upgrade just yet - not until there's better Jolla hardware on the market.

The Psion returns! Meet Gemini, the 21st century pocket computer

Zola

Re: Sailfish OS

Comment from the "backer" Davide Guidi to someone asking for Sailfish OS support:

Thanks for the comment, very interesting! We are at 4YFN, stand P4, at Mobile World Congress and we will go and visit the Jolla stand tomorrow. We have not considered it so far, but you never know!

Flashy Intel sees the XPoint of solid state

Zola
Meh

“And we've demonstrated on stage"

Sounds pretty desperate if he has to use a stage demo as evidence of their performance! Let's see some independent benchmarks... until then, colour me not convinced.

Ridiculously small Linux build lands with ridiculously few swears

Zola

Re: Which graphics?

The latest 375.26/340.101 nvidia drivers don't yet build with the 4.10 kernel, and need patching (as usual). Funny how the video drivers from the other vendors (AMD/Intel) avoid the pitfalls that befall nvidia with every major new kernel. It's usually the same memory management API changes every time, too. Although this time the changed HOTPLUG_CPU support clobbers them as well.

Samsung share plummets – but it’s not because of the Burning Note

Zola
Flame

What's Elop up to these days?

Pretty sure he can save them - he's got experience of burning platforms, after all...

Czech, mate: Cops cuff Russian bloke accused of LinkedIn mega-hack

Zola
Joke

Can't be long until he tries the Aspergers defence...

The post is required, and must contain letters.

Linus Torvalds says ARM just doesn't look like beating Intel

Zola

Re: Almost bought a QL

> Don't think so. There's lots of differences between 68K and VAX at a fundamental level, eg. on VAX most registers can be used for most purposes, not so easy on the 68K.

Although I'm talking about orthogonality at the assembler level - the 68K had many different opcodes for implementing the various instructions (unlike the VAX) so yes at a fundamental level the hardware implemented very different approaches but as far as the assembler programmer was concerned the 68K assembly language (ie. which is what I mean by the instruction set in this context) is very similar to that of the VAX.

Zola

Re: Almost bought a QL

Yes, the very basic windowed GUI was certainly lacking, but the underpinnings (IO channels, job control, pre-emptive multitasking) were all certainly far more impressive, particularly when it was done in 48K.

Zola

Re: Almost bought a QL

> Don't think so. There's lots of differences between 68K and VAX at a fundamental level, eg. on VAX most registers can be used for most purposes, not so easy on the 68K.

That's exactly what orthogonal means. You could use the 68K and VAX data or address registers as source or destinations (in any combination) with pretty much any relevant instruction. Try doing that with 6502 or x86.

Zola
Go

Re: Almost bought a QL

I learned to programme MC68K assembler on a Sinclair QL (and BCPL, then C). Then went into my first job where I programmed VAXes in Macro-32, and it turned out the VAX had a very similar instruction set to MC68K - both are/were wonderful (for the time, circa 1988) modern 32-bit orthogonal instruction sets. Presumably Motorola based their 68K instruction set on the VAX as they were that similar. Things would have been a lot harder for me if I'd learned the horrors of 6502 or, god forbid x86, so in that sense I don't regret buying the QL at all!

On the other hand that keyboard, those microdrives... eugh! The fully pre-emptive mutitasking QDOS operating system with SuperBASIC (all in 48K ROM, in 1984) was quite an impressive achievement though. I'd love to see a proper write up on QDOS with input from the original author Tony Tebby.

WD: Resistance is not futile

Zola
WTF?

"the technology is not that close to productisation."

So it's basically vapourware, just like those batteries in a lab that re-charge in 30 seconds or whatever. Wake me up when they're shipping a product.

Linux security backfires: Flaw lets hackers inject malware into downloads, disrupt Tor users, etc

Zola
Facepalm

Re: Patch incoming in... 3,2,1

Nexus 7 (2013) with all of the latest Marshmallow updates:

~$ uname -a

Linux localhost 3.4.0-g1fc765b #1 SMP PREEMPT Wed Jun 8 18:49:02 UTC 2016 armv7l

So no worries there - for once being on an ancient kernel is a blessing!

Get yer gnashers round 64-layer 3D NAND, beam WDC and Toshiba

Zola

Re: Layer limit?

Stacking more than 64 layers is proving troublesome due to alignment issues with the through silicon vias (TSV) - each layer in the stack has to be perfectly aligned with the layer above and below. The more layers, the greater the difficulty of achieving the required TSV alignment. One solution is to combine two 64 layer stacks, creating a psuedo 128 layer stack - this should be relatively easy to achieve and increase yields.

Brit chip biz ARM legs it to Softbank for $32bn

Zola
Unhappy

Indeed.

Unless ARM need investment I don't see what Softbank is bringing to the table. The risk is that when one of the many other Softbank business units is haemorrhaging cash and dragging down the bottom line, ARM could be sacrificed.

ARM losing its independence sounds like a very bad trade. I wouldn't be surprised if Apple end up as owners of ARM (again) longer term, and that will be very bad news for everyone. Seriously, seriously bad.

Citrix bakes up Raspberry Pi client boxes

Zola

Re: Internal PS? - what about an "internal Pi3"?

One can't help but wonder when we'll see a monitor with a built-in Pi3 board.

It would be a piece of cake if they added the SODIMM socket for the Compute Module (currently using the RPi1 SoC but pin-compatible and so upgradeable when the CM3 is launched). Monitors have pretty much all the IO ports (USB, audio) required for the Compute Module to become a full computer, so the cost would be pennies (RJ45 port for wired Ethernet and the SODIMM for CM). The CM could even be optional, as it's as easy as a stick of RAM to install.

Connect a keyboard, mouse, network (a $2 USB dongle would enable WiFi) to the monitor, select the Compute Module as an AV Input and crack on...

Zola

If this little puppy can drive a couple of decent sized displays,

I wonder if it would be possible to add additional Citrix/RPi devices for each additional HDMI display, then it would just be a software/configuration issue and you could have as many displays as you need. Keyboard and mouse would be connected to the "master" device with all the additional screens connected to the "slave" (display only) devices.

GitHub to devs: 'We ignored you but we never stopped caring'

Zola

SourceForge is still a thing?

Who knew.

Sorry, too little way, waaaayyy too late. SourceForge became a joke years ago, killing DevShare won't make a bind bit of difference. Any projects still on SourceForge tells you all you need to know about those projects - ether no longer maintained, or maintained by developers prone to making really bad development choices.

BT broadband is down: Former state monopoly goes TITSUP UK-wide

Zola

BT ADSL, South London has been fine all day

See title.

Qualcomm tries to figure out if Apple, Samsung made it anti-trusted

Zola
WTF?

Surely it doesn't matter who dobbed them in

if Qualcomm are guilty, which apparently they are, and have been found to be, on numerous occasions.

If Qualcomm don't want their competitors dobbing them in to the competition authorities because of anti-competitive licensing, then don't make your partners sign anti-competitive licences for Qualcomm products.

It's not fcking rocket science.

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