* Posts by Robert Heffernan

392 publicly visible posts • joined 2 Jul 2007


Microsoft starts a grand unification attempt with .NET 5

Robert Heffernan

Re: How long will it be supported

"rather than getting into ridiculous situations where you have to support .NET 1.1/2.0/3.5 because devs are too lazy to keep their skills up to date"

The problem isn't the Devs so much, more management who doesn't want the devs to touch it because it already works so leave it alone. Then there is the cost side, updating something costs money, managers don't want to spend money until something blows up and bites them on the ass. Reactive not Proactive.

Microsoft throws a bone to those unable to leave the past behind: .NET 5 support on the way for Visual Basic

Robert Heffernan

"yeah yeah i hear you , end of line is not end of statement. How many times do you spread a statement across multiple lines ? use a continuation character instead."

Nah, give me the semicolon or death! I code C# professionally and recreationally, and once you start down the route of method chaining with "fluent" API's not being able to split across lines becomes an issue. If you want to add in continuation characters to tell the compiler you're continuing on the next line you're gunna have a LOT of ugly unreadable code to deal with.

Whoa, whoa... Tesla slams brakes on allegations of 'unintended acceleration' bug: 'Completely false and was brought by a short-seller'

Robert Heffernan

Re: Sure, deny it and point to the evidence that supports your position...

Well, honestly for any company, including Tesla short sellers are incredibly unethical in that they can target high-value companies, run a simple social-media or advertising based smear campaign full of lies, misinformation, or misrepresentation to tank the stock price, and walk away with a huge profit without consequence. It's a practice that should be banned by the relevant authorities.

The logging capability of a Tesla vehicle is second-to-none, the next best thing out there is a Black-Box flight data recorder. If Tesla says these reports are wrong based on vehicle data then I believe that, and reports to the contrary can be attributed to a short seller smear campaign because Tesla has faced a LOT of them.

Honestly, it should be a requirement that ALL vehicles from ALL manufacturers these days log all this information for the purpose of accident investigation. A ruggedised module capable of withstanding water, fire, or structural damage that sits on the vehicle's CAN bus and just logs data.

If at first you don't succeed, pry, pry again: Feds once again demand Apple unlock encrypted iPhones in yet another terrorism case

Robert Heffernan

Re: Compliance statement

12 days later:


[Process Complete: Encryption Key '4D436679648159262E93C2C184DC4' ]

SpaceX didn't move sat out of impending smash doom because it 'didn't see ESA's messages'

Robert Heffernan

That's not 100% accurate. Some of the debris will have their Apoapsis raised, but they will still have a low enough Periapsis to bring them down soon enough.

A collision won't suddenly cause a piece of debris to perform a 2-Burn Hohmann Transfer manuver into a higher orbit.

Robert Heffernan

Pick up the fucking PHONE!

Ok, so if the ESA was sending messages and getting no response, didn't ANYONE there think "Hey, how about we just PHONE them".

Email is such a terrible form of communication these days, filters, spam, phishing, interception, there are a million different ways email can fail, so if you're relying on it for CRITICAL communications you're doing it wrong!

It might be time for the formation of a global ATC for space. They get provided the orbits of **ALL** spacecraft in operation.. and I mean **ALL** none of this top secret spy satellite bullshit. If it's up there, it's in scope for the Space ATC. They are responsible for issuing instructions to maneuver a satellite or satellites to avoid collisions, taking into account the types of spacecraft involved.

FBI, NSA to hackers: Let us be blunt. Weed need your help. We'll hire you even if you've smoked a little pot in the past

Robert Heffernan

Re: Since when have obeying rules

And if you're out in the field doing some black-ops undercover infiltration work how's it going to look if you turn down a hit from the pipe if it's being passed around.

"Sorry chaps, i'm afraid I am going to have to decline your kind offer for a hit from the pipe. Security clearance might become a bit of a problem you see."

"Parece que tenemos un maldito policía aquí chicos. Alguien agarra un poco de cinta adhesiva y una alfombra."

"Spendid! I knew you would understand!"

UK MPs find 'no technical grounds' to exclude Huawei from 5G networks

Robert Heffernan

Does anyone actually know what the feck a FIREWALL is?

Has anyone with Huawei kit ever actually SEEN dodgy spy packets going back to the Chinese motherland?

Any competent sysadmin who knows how to secure their network would be able to see this "Unexpected" traffic on their network. The whole ban because of supposed Chinese Government Spying just stinks of bullshit.

Oz watchdog claims Samsung's leak-proof phones ad campaign doesn't hold water

Robert Heffernan

I did exactly this with my Note 8. Underwater videos of the kids diving and jumping into the pool. It worked great for me. Didn't bother the phone one iota. Works perfectly to this day.

'Evolution of the PC ecosystem'? Microsoft's 'modern' OS reminds us of the Windows RT days

Robert Heffernan

The cloud can bite my ass

"cloud-connected experiences that use the compute power of the cloud to enhance users' experiences on their devices."

Can we fucking NOT. My god, I don't want my PC reaching out the god dam motherfucking cloud every 2 seconds for EVERYTHING!. I am sick of this bullshit because you either need to PAY for the service, or, your data is the payment.

Band banned, Tarka arrives on Windows 10 and Visual Studio hits RC status

Robert Heffernan

Re: Band or desktop windows is getting unusable

Either you have old hardware that is having intermittent electrical faults, or you're running some REALLY dodgy software.

I have Windows 10 that I keep patched, I keep my software updated, My drivers are up-to-date, and I know my hardware doesn't have any faults. As such, I have literally not seen a BSOD in about 2 years.

My streak lasted until about 3 weeks ago when my older mechanical hard disk blew its spindle bearing and died, which Windows was not a fan of so much. Replaced the disk, has run 24/7 since without an issue.

Commodore 64 owners rejoice: The 1541 is BACK

Robert Heffernan

There was a bug in the serial hardware on the C64 that required them to seriously drop the transfer speed. The slowness was a result of having to deal with that bug.

SATA on the other hand uses 2 differential pairs (One Send, One Receive, simultaneously) which you can drive a lot faster with more noise immunity than a single-directional bundle of parallel wires with only a high or low signal that is extremely susceptible to electrical noise.

To put it in an ELI5 fashion..

With a PATA drive you have 16 pairs of people having a single slow back-and-forward conversation in a crowded room of other people talking.

With a SATA drive you have 2 pairs of people having entirely separate conversations where one person is listening while the other talks extremely quickly in an empty room that is almost completely silent.

A new Raspberry Pi takes a bow with all of the speed but less of the RAM

Robert Heffernan

Re: This is good.

Here's my $30. An additional $5 for twice the RAM is a no-brainer.

What I really want though is proper Gigabit Ethernet and a SATA port. Given the purchasing power the RPi Foundation would have, Broadcom would easily be able to spin up some Silicon for them that has an integrated GbE, and SATA controllers.

Solid state of fear: Euro boffins bust open SSD, Bitlocker encryption (it's really, really dumb)

Robert Heffernan

Government Back Door

Drats! The back door for FBI/CIA/NSA/MI5/ETC has been found! Oh noes!

Intel chip flaw: Math unit may spill crypto secrets from apps to malware

Robert Heffernan

Re: Floating point crypto operations?

It's not that the crypto is performed using the FPU, it's the fact that Intel when implementing the AES-NI instructions they (in their infinite wisdom) realised that due to the fact crypto does not typically use the FPU to perform it's calculations, could recycle the registers from the FPU instead of adding new ones specifically for AES-NI.

So, the FPU registers, when executing AES-NI instructions, can contain key-related data which due to the OS's lazy FPU state save/restore could leak to 3rd party processes.

DIY device tinkerer iFixit weighs in on 15-month jail term for PC recycler

Robert Heffernan

Re: Just stop buying their shit

He downloaded legitimate ISO images of installation media and had them manufactured into discs to give away with recycled machines to use with the machines legitimate OEM keys for those less fortunate people who can't afford an internet connection.

Microsoft are bloody scumbags on this one

FTTP NBN gone from draft Australian Labor Party policy platform

Robert Heffernan

Who wants boring at 1 Gigiabyte per second.

I do. I want ANYTHING at 1 gigabit.

Tesla crash investigation causes dip in 'leccycar firm's share price

Robert Heffernan

Re: Still dealing with model S "autopilot" fatality lawsuits

The solution is easy.. Use it "At Your Own Risk"

There was a time when your actions were your own and the consequences were yours also. If you want to use autopilot and shit goes south then it's on you. There are plenty of warnings when you are using the system, you also are supposed to be watching the road and take over if the situation requires it. If you can't follow basic and prudent instructions then you need to not use the system.

Lawsuits around Autopilot should be thrown out for the fact that to enable it you have to acknowledge the warnings, you get warned during use, and you are required to monitor the conditions during use. If you fail to follow these instructions then you should not have a leg to stand on in court.

Uber breaks self-driving car record: First robo-ride to kill a pedestrian

Robert Heffernan

Cyclists Fault

Having seen the video from the car of what happened, it's very cut-and-dry that the Cyclist was the one at fault. Crossing the road in the pitch-black-dark. No High-Vis at all, no retro-reflectors on the bicycle.

The only way any car was going to avoid that incident is if the car has an infra-red night-vision system to see in the dark, which obviously Uber didn't spring for in the car's vision system. Given that there are ways for cars to be able to see in the dark, they need to be made mandatory for autonomous cars.

Roses are red, Ajit Pai is tickled. Broadband from SpaceX gets him out of a pickle

Robert Heffernan

Re: "currently orbiting the earth is about 4,000"

"I think when there are 'ground' alternatives, they are better - your fiber cable won't be disturbed by bad weather."

While fiber is the best option, good luck getting it rolled out. The Australian NBN developed a case of "too expensive" thanks to the government.

AT&T, Comcast, etc wouldn't roll out new fibre even if they were paid to (and they we're, they pocketed the cash and ran)

Elon Musk's Tesla burns $675.3m in largest ever quarterly loss

Robert Heffernan

"I mean he said he was aiming for Mars but then ended up in the Astroid belt"

In all honestly, he was aiming for AT LEAST Mars. They burned the upper stage to depletion regardless of target. It showed them how far the upper stage could get almost to Ceres, which is no mean feat. Honestly it would not have taken all that much fuel to get to Jupiter's orbit. In fact, the orbit it is in now will actually be affected by Jupiter making the orbit somewhat unstable, and the possibility exists that the roadster will be now ejected from the Solar System entirely by Jupiter at some stage in the distant future.

Robert Heffernan

Don't bet against Elon Musk

I would never bet against Elon. He is the one guy with the vision, the drive, and the ability to actually achieve what he sets out for. Yes, there are issues with time estimation, but no one can accurately predict the unknown challenges involved. (Hell, I couldn't estimate how long a task will take to save my life)

Its easy to talk about missing production deadlines as a bad thing in the context of a well established automotive industry, but Tesla is still a young automotive company who doesn't have a couple of generations of experience with production lines, and who is actually more focused on internal production and problem solving rather than farming that out to 3rd party suppliers.

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

Robert Heffernan

Re: Tax write-off

Honestly I wouldn't write the car off as a tax deduction. I would be claiming the per-kilometer payment for using a private vehicle for business purposes.

Julian Assange to UK court: Put an end to my unwarranted Ecuadorean couch-surf

Robert Heffernan

The guy is a wanker...

... But this is a bit different in that as soon as the UK police grab him, he is off to some dark hole in some 3rd world country where the law is just a suggestion where the CIA will work on him then vanish him.

OK, Google: Why does Chromecast clobber Wi-Fi connections?

Robert Heffernan

Re: Router code is just as crap

"Router coding doesn't seem significantly better when a flood of packets will fill up the router's memory and require a physical report."

It's not hard...

If(packetBuffer.IsFull() == true)





Qualcomm joins Intel, Apple, Arm, AMD in confirming its CPUs suffer hack bugs, too

Robert Heffernan

3-Letter Organisations

I bet there are 3-Letter organisations around the world currently spitting chips that their backdoor has been found and is being patched.

NASA says New Horizons' next stop might have a moon

Robert Heffernan

"Artists" Impression

That artists impression is pretty shit. The moon is exactly the same model as the big rock, just moved and shrunk, not even re-orientated. #AmatureHour

How fast is a piece of string? Boffin shoots ADSL signal down twine

Robert Heffernan

Tin Cans?

Passing an electrical current along a west string is one thing. Inquisitive minds want to know what kind of speed could you get with a dry string and two tin cans on the ends?

SpaceX 'raises' an extra 100 million bucks to get His Muskiness to Mars

Robert Heffernan

Re: I guess, yeah, His Muskiness is kinda --

"And the Model X made it into consumer reports' list of '10 least reliable cars'."

Looking at that list, honestly I would prefer the Model X to any of the other cars trouble in that list.

Paint and trim can be easily fixed and does not cause a physical safety issue that could possibly kill you.

The climate system is an annoyance, but you could just roll down the window if you need some air. Admittedly it's a PITA if you live in the arctic tundra and the heater doesn't work but again, it's not going to explode sending shards of drive shaft or transmission into the cabin.

Body Hardware is very broad. Things like Side Mirrors, hinges, etc, again all annoyances but still not enough to cause a life threatening situation.

Disclaimer: I used to work for an Automotive transmission manufacturer and personally machined many types of components designated as Critical Safety Items, meaning components that if they failed could possibly result in loss-of-life.

Robert Heffernan

Re: Andrew Silver, this is article is low effort trolling.

"I think it's a bit over 95% now - 2 losses in 49 flights - which is about average for the industry."

Currently stands at 95.92%. The next successful launch will bring it to a nice neat 96.00%

Tesla reveals a less-long-legged truck, but a bigger reservation price

Robert Heffernan

Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

"Downhill yes, but the energy consumed in braking usually exceeds the rate at which it can be fed back to the battery."

True, but feeding a bank of Super Capacitors to capture the energy rapidly then trickle back into the batteries / provide peak energy for acceleration would help greatly.

Robert Heffernan

Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

Tesla owns Solar City, so they have Solar Panels on-tap. Buy some land in a nice open location perfectly suited for Solar and build a massive farm. It doesn't matter where the MegaChargers are located, so long as they connect to the same grid as the farm, then your trucks are solar powered.

The argument about Diesel vs Electric is moot, it doesn't matter what one is more expensive, the fact of the matter is, Diesel needs to die and it needs to do it now. The climate is already screwed, Where I live in Australia is already in the peak summer temperature range but it's still only spring. The time for having a hissy-fit about moving away from Fossil Fuels to Renewables is over.

Electric vehicles are just going to get better and better, efficiency and range will get better all the time and people will one day only see ICE vehicles in museums or owned by collectors.

Robert Heffernan

Re: Electricity vs Petrol/Diesel prices

Then there was the statement from Elon that the power provided at the MegaCharger network being deployed for trucks would be generated from a Solar Farm attached and the power would be provided at 7c per kwh wholesale (5p at current USD/GBP conversion)

Online outrage makes Logitech drop a brick: Now it will replace slain Harmony Link gizmos

Robert Heffernan

You spin me right round baby right round!

Sounds like a bunch of spin to me. They fully intended on shit-canning the service to push people into buying the "next new thing". If they can update the firmware, they can update the SSL Certificates on the thing.

The thing is, why does it's certificate need to expire anyway? Just build the server's certificate fingerprint into the device and ignore the expiration date. The connection is still encrypted, there is protection against MITM and no body need to expire anything.

Regardless, the SSL was just a scapegoat for why it was being shuttered. Perhaps some legislation requiring a company to open up their device and protocols if they decide to shutter a service wouldn't go astray

Tesla buys robot maker. Hang on, isn't that your sci-fi bogeyman, Elon?

Robert Heffernan

That'll fix it

Having worked in Automotive Manufacturing, it sounds to me like Perbix were contracted to design and implement sections of the production line and it's equipment, and as is typical, it didn't come up to snuff and was experiencing many unanticipated issues.

Then coupled with the fact that suppliers can get pretty finicky when their stuff doesn't work as expected (who wants to troubleshoot when you can sell and install new stuff), and Elon feeling the pressure to get production humming along while the supplier is dragging ass in regards to fixing it, it makes perfect sense to me that Elon would just buy them out to force them to focus on fixing the problems in a timely fashion.

It also has the side-benefit of growing the vertical integration, in that they now have the knowledge and expertise in-house to be able to design and build these types of production equipment.

Car insurers recoil in horror from paying auto autos' speeding fines

Robert Heffernan

Re: Terrorism

In a fully self-driving world speed signs wouldn't be needed even for roadworks.. Instead of placing a speed sign up the road, a mat gets rolled out with an RFID coil system that when the car drives over it, the RFID mat tells the car the speed limit is decreasing for roadworks, then past the roadworks another mat tells the car to go back to the normal speed.

It's a completely digital system that doesn't rely on computationally expensive and sometimes inaccurate image analysis

Robert Heffernan

Why does the car need to be fined at all?

Why does a self-driving car need to be fined at all? Fines are a human construct designed to punitively punish a human for breaking the law. A vehicle cannot learn the lesson from paying a fine, and having the insurer pay it is also dumb because they aren't breaking the law.

The vehicles will have enough on-board smarts to deal with the different speed zone appropriately and safely, and even when enough cars become self-driving speed zones can be seriously increased or even eliminated.

In the case of what-to-do about the car missing the sign, the manufacturer can be made aware so the situation can be investigated and patches applied.

Then there is intra-vehicle and vehicle-roadway communications systems so that the cars don't even need to see a sign to be notified of a speed zone change, for example, an RF system embedded in the road and the car passing over it is notified the speed limit is changing in X meters and can deal appropriately, or as cars pass into a new speed zone they broadcast the zone limit change to all vehicles within range along with GPS coordinates of where the zone is.

Robert Heffernan

Re: Terrorism

It's not hard to include certain isolated hardware and software that disables the vehicle in the event it stops responding as expected.

For example, a secondary computer with supervisory software (written by a 3rd party) isolated from the primary driving computer who's sole function is to determine if the response of the primary is in keeping with the input provided.

So if the primary decides to suddenly point at pedestrians and accelerate rapidly, the supervisor sees this as an unexpected action, disables the primary computer's CPU and dumps it's RAM to a dump file, applies the brakes until stopped, then locks the vehicle out so it's unable to be driven until the manufacturer performs a reset sequence.

Your future data-centre: servers immersed in box full of oil, in a field

Robert Heffernan


I wonder how these would go on the surface of Mars. Go plonking them down outside, connect a cable that supplies data and power, instant processing power without wasted power draw from cooling systems, low/no maintenance, and you could even reprocess them once they get to a certain failure rate eg: You have two units with 50% failure, take them inside, drain the oil, swap the good bits from one into the other, then you have one unit back at 100%, and an empty chassis with oil ready for a shipment of upgraded computers to arrive from Earth

Woeful NBN services attract ACCC's attention

Robert Heffernan

Re: You may be suprised

Unlimited plans aren't the source of congestion. Data limits are a construct designed to take the focus off the fact they the ISPs, Wholesalers, NBN, etc do not have enough bandwidth to supply their clients needs and to provide a way to charge clients more for using their connections.

The easy way for this to be mitigated is to monitor the backbone, see which links routinely see traffic above a specific threshold and then add more capacity to that link via upgrading the gear on either end of the link to higher speeds, or by aggregating more parallel links.

Elon Musk says Harry Potter and Bob the Builder will get SpaceX flying to Mars

Robert Heffernan

This one is easy

The delay will be just too damn long for anything. The only solution will be a Mars-Local instance of the internet where sync to/from the Earth is done over the currently proposed store-and-forward interplanetary data link.

I think i'll be off so start developing a Cloud company developing extremely high capability but extremely low weight data center modules based on an aluminium shipping container.

Tarmac for America's self-driving car future is being laid right now

Robert Heffernan

Relieving congestion will be awesome to watch at intersections once enough cars are fully autonomous. Seeing cars leave enough space and sync the approach so that cars can just drive on through full speed with no slowing down just crossing in front or behind will be amazing

Robert Heffernan

Re: Disabilities

How I read it was currently people with disabilities can be denied licenses, but the new law will allow these previously unlicensable people to have a licence for an autonomous vehicle

Australian telcos promise to be better NBN helpers

Robert Heffernan

Re: It is not the copper wiring

Try being stuck on Fixed Wireless. I am in Albury where the entire region is serviced by a single tower. And is so oversubscribed and under provisioned by NBNCo that you're lucky to get 3Mbps during peak times. It's not always the ISP with the bandwidth problem.

NBNCo in my case know about the issue but have lumped it into the "too-hard" basket and refuse to fix

nbn™ cracks the $1bn revenue barrier, cracks whip on tardy retailers

Robert Heffernan

Re: Morrow, what a clown.

You're doing better than I (http://beta.speedtest.net/result/6544417274).

All of Albury shares a single FW tower for everyone who can't get FTTN. So over subscribed and underprovisioned for NBN backhaul that no matter the ISP your connection sucks.

This is nothing like the next-gen broadband service we were promised by a long shot. Heads need to roll.

Core-blimey! Intel's Core i9 18-core monster – the numbers

Robert Heffernan

Re: Gamers?

Well given the fact that most games don't need more than 4 cores aside, they tend to bolt on the following background tasks...

* Stream encoding to upload to Twitch, etc.

* Watching streams, youtube

* Downloading torrents, etc

Just because the game only uses a subset of cores doesn't mean the rest of the system isn't churning away on other processes.

SQL Server 2017's first rc lands and – yes! – it runs on Linux

Robert Heffernan

Re: Good first step.

@Bombastic Bob

If thats the case you got some really shitty security and permissions going on. Having good backups and minimum required access mitigates this problem majorly. Restoring a few encrypted files from backup is inconvenient but not as bas as being totally hosed cos you couldn't use security properly

Intel's Skylake and Kaby Lake CPUs have nasty hyper-threading bug

Robert Heffernan

Re: ugh

Having read the documentation on the issue, it's certainly triggerable given the right circumstances.

1. You need to be in a loop with less than 64 instructions in the loop

2. You need to write to specific registers within that loop

Texas says 'howdy' to completely driverless robo-cars on its roads

Robert Heffernan

Feeding the trolls?

Its a great move on the part of the state but given how quickly the judiciary in that state is to bend tech companies over a barrel while the patent trolls are busy getting the lube ready, i will be surprised if any tech companies do set up shop at all.

Robert Heffernan

Re: Great

Thats ok, im sure the dark ages where you're from has its charm