* Posts by Luiz Abdala

514 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jul 2007


Israel and Italy have cheapest mobile data out of 237 countries

Luiz Abdala

Brazil was one of the most expensive ones, until...

Free market. No monopoly. 4 competitors were set, and the race to the bottom happened.

Landlines were so expensive in my youth that they were included in the deed of the property, at a substantial price. The mobile, when became commercial, followed suit.

US, of all places, has no free market, apparently.

Why can't datacenter operators stop thinking about atomic power?

Luiz Abdala

Buy a full nuclear PWR then.

A full-blown PWR has about 1200MW. Just buy one and sell the extra power to the grid.

And that could happen anywhere around the planet where you can buy and sell energy, and because it is Microsoft, that can run their servers anywhere in the planet as well.

Or, I don't know, build a 1200 MW server farm and slap a power plant right next to it, in a Country that doesn't mind nuclear power.

No microreactor thing, think big already.

The home Wi-Fi upgrade we never asked for is coming. The one we need is not

Luiz Abdala

ISP router wifi is a mistake.

ISP router? That thing that had the wifi name and password stickered to the bottom of the unit? That any former disgruntled employee could have collected and do whatever he can?

Hard pass.

Sometimes, I may open a DMZ setting on my router to access some feature directly, but most of the time, the ISP wifi is no man's land for me.

Luiz Abdala

I come from the gaming community, and I say:

"There is no wireless in the planet that can replace a stable, low ping Cat 5 under the carpet, when it comes down to headshots".

Now, really, some games are uber-sensitive to channel hopping these wireless devices are prone to doing.

Some will drop you out of the game completely, some will lag you out, some will LITERALLY crash the game.

If you can get wired, DO IT. It doesn't matter how good the wireless is, a cable will best it, eleven out of ten times.

I don't care how deep are you into Wifi specs, as a home user, a cable will best a wireless, every time. Even the crappiest, scratched, nailed on ethernet cable will trump a wireless connection.

And even when you DO find a neat wireless, it will suck 2 amps out of the wall, and probably burn red while you do it, or all the time.

Getting to the bottom of BMW's pay-as-you-toast subscription failure

Luiz Abdala

Re: don't forget - 2CV spark-plugs and *proper* BMWs

This gentleman could not fix his 2CV in when it broke down in Saharan Morocco, but he built a motorcycle out of the parts. I guess he missed the hammer.


Luiz Abdala

If I recall, one French gentleman didn't have those tools, but he built a motorcycle out of the parts he COULD fix.


Luiz Abdala


That's why they want to put everything in the computer screen on the dash, so you can't rewire the switch around it. Bastards.

But then, jailbraking is a thing already.

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure

Luiz Abdala

Re: If reloads were charged in Battlefield...

That deserves several pints. Now those pint reloads are fair usage of currency.

Luiz Abdala

If reloads were charged in Battlefield...

...players would be engaging in bayonet charges.

Only snipers would be left using bullets for one month, tops, until they run out.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

Luiz Abdala

Re: HP is involved ...

We proceeded to apply the picture in the article to all HP inkjet printers in our possession. We made sure to smash them with extreme prejudice and toss them violently in the trash compactor, making sure every single one was torn to pieces.

We only use bulk-ink Epson ecotank printers - as far as inkjets are involved -, where a 75cc blister costs 10$ and it is legit from epson themselves. We could also buy per pint or per gallon, far cheaper than that.

As for everything else, we found that even A PLAYSTATION 3 can run our networked epson inkjet printer. Not kidding. Not joking.

As far as drivers go, Laserjet 4s have been included in every Windows since...

Joke icon to avoid concerns.

ArcaOS 5.1 gives vintage OS/2 a UEFI facelift for the 21st century

Luiz Abdala

Wait a minute...

What happened to that Linux distro/skin that looked like a Windows XP, for all intents and purposes?

Can you do that (already)?

Let's give these quadruped robot dogs next-gen XM7 rifles, says US Army

Luiz Abdala

Re: Geneva Conventions

It is never a war crime the first time. No ban on autonomous weapons YET.

And you can get that in a t-shirt.


Luiz Abdala

Re: 10-round magazine...

The Geneva Suggestion would like to know your location regarding those air dropped mines.

Luiz Abdala

10-round magazine...

Yeah, a DARPA BigDog can carry 340 lbs. It could be probably carrying a M134 Minigun at 85lb. with a lot of 7.62x 51 NATO ammo and extra batteries, but they say it will carry just a rifle with 10 rounds.

This is the California-Compliant robot dog version, but you can bet someone is strapping a Minigun to a BigDog while we talk, but totally off the record.

(Discontinued because gasoline engine, pffft, not a problem for a minigun armed mule, don't believe that excuse!)

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

Luiz Abdala

Airspace quilt.

Is the EU airspace still that hodgepodge of a dozen or more restricted zones that you must avoid on a single flight, or did they streamline things a little bit?

Not saying both being related to be the cause, this time...

You know, if you have a extremely complex flight plan just because NATO, Russia, etc, you could prevent an automation meltdown in the first place if they were greatly simplified, perhaps?

Polishing off a printer with a flourish revealed not to be best practice

Luiz Abdala

A sturdier machine...

...would have shredded the cloth, like some printers I heard were capable of chewing through a tie, and the neck attached with it, with aplomb. Clip-on ties were invented for a reason.

Perhaps the cleaning rag was more up to spec than the printer.

Virginia industrial park wants to power DCs with mini nuclear reactors, clean hydrogen

Luiz Abdala

Nuclear option

I wholeheartedly support BIG PWR nuclear power plants, producing 1000+ MW each. Except these guys don't like to slowdown or speedup and love working at 100% all the time, just changing fuel rods every 18 months. Sell the rest of the energy to the grid or make hydrogen.

Don´t forget the Lawrence Livermore research to break down the HLW (high level waste) into something less risky for the environment, and that research should be included in the package.

This hydrogen part needs a lot of research however.

So much for CAPTCHA then – bots can complete them quicker than humans

Luiz Abdala

Task failed successfully.

So if humans fail the task 50% of the time, you should present 2 or more tests, expect humans to fail, and bots to complete all of them successfully.

After 10 tests, there is only 1 in 1024 chance of humans doing all of them correctly, while bots will get them every time.

See icon.

Boffins say they can turn typing sounds into text with 95% accuracy

Luiz Abdala


This has been the subject of TEMPEST for over 20 years.

Straight from that wiki: "TEMPEST is a U.S. National Security Agency specification and a NATO certification referring to spying on information systems through leaking emanations, including unintentional radio or electrical signals, sounds, and vibrations".

Yeah, a leaky VGA cable or the sound of a keyboard, all the same. Altough reading the electromagnetic emanations of a VGA signal is a much more esoteric way of snooping around, IMHO.

Keyboard icon for reasons.

Japanese boffins slice semiconductors from diamonds – with lasers!

Luiz Abdala

Diamond chips, with golden coolers. New shiny, indeed.

Oh boy, the RGB crowd is gonna go nuts with this. Bling-bling through and through.

Imagine that, 30-billion-transistor-9000-carat-chips, with gold-plated coolers, the Kim Kardashian of PCs is gonna be born within 10 years!

"Oh I spent 30000 quid on this new shiny Intel 20th generation diamond Core i11!"

FCC boss says 25Mbps isn't cutting it, Americans deserve 100Mbps now, gigabit later

Luiz Abdala

In Brazil, of all places, I got 100 mpbs up and down already.

To top that, my plan is outdated, no longer sold, all the ISPs sell only 300 mpbs minimum, and with no "cable" TV attached on the plan, just raw broadband, for cheaper than what I am currently paying.

I plan to change soon and ditch the TV plan that only shows low quality programs, that I don't watch anyway, any longer. All the good stuff have their streaming equivalent straight from the web, so the "cable" is no longer justified.

And I just bought a FireTV from Amazon that hosts an impressive amount of streaming channels, that even takes voice commands from Alexa, which is neat.

By the way, I am paying the equivalent of 64 USD / month here in the... remote South America. The next plan is going for 21 USD. (64 still feels like I am being ripped off.)

How come the US of A is so far behind ? This is beyond my understanding.

Douglas Adams was right: Telephone sanitizers are terrible human beings

Luiz Abdala

Crosstalk? Not anymore.

I had an acquaitance that complained his POTS had a crosstalk with another line, and he was being charged through the roof for calls he didn't make. He called the phone sparkies, which found nothing.

That process was repeated for a month.

He then got hold of a coil - the kind used to ignite spark plugs -capable of 5 or 6 digit (volts or amps, whatever, this is irrelevant). As soon as he heard the line being used, he turned it on, immediately frying his line, the junction box down the street, and the line of the perp that was stealing his phone, just outside the box, on a carefully dug hole on the sidewalk by a tree root.

He then called the phone company for "Line not functioning" and everything was magically solved.

Slackware wasn't the first Linux distro, but it's the oldest still alive and kicking

Luiz Abdala


I used KDE once, 20 years ago, trying dual boot in a Pentium II machine, breathe some life back into it. Maybe a Gnome Ubuntu boot disk in recent epoch to unbork some system when Windows hit the fan (not that often lately, it turns out).

But I never used Slackware... maybe if I had came fresh out of DOS in those days, I would have tried another OS without a GUI.

Microsoft 'fesses to code blunder in Azure Container Apps

Luiz Abdala

Re: Well, Well

More like throwing the ball upwards every 10 seconds and grabbing it again.

Asus blames 'thermal stress' for fried SD card readers in Ally handhelds

Luiz Abdala

GTA also has a 90-ish GB footprint these days, last time I checked some years ago... The original game had 60-ish GB, the difference has to be all the business, vehicles, and Cayo Perico, the single landmass added to the game.

Anyway, google could answer this one reasonably, on the other hand:

Steam Games With The Biggest File Size And How Many GB They Take

1 Ark: Survival Evolved - 400 GB.

2 Call Of Duty: Modern Warfare - 235 GB. ...

3 Borderlands 3: Director's Cut - 135 GB. ...

4 Call Of Duty: Black Ops Cold War - 175 GB. ...

5 Red Dead Redemption 2 - 120 GB. ...

6 Final Fantasy 15 Windows Edition - 110 GB. ...

I don't know about you, but I don't think I even have room to install Ark if I had it. And that list mention just Steam. Yes, Call of Duty has a bunch of modules that can be installed separately, this must be the whole thing.

Lamborghini's last remaining pure gas guzzlers are all spoken for

Luiz Abdala

Re: Oh no!

You made me google that Cheetah. Rambo Lambo's prototype.

Well before overpowered SUVs or Humvees were considered cool.

Lamborghini may not have the best engineering or execution, but they were definitely visionnaires.

Luiz Abdala

Oh no!

I only find it a crime that Lamborghini sold their tractor division. (Lamborghini Trattori)

The last chance you had to drive a Lambo with 4-wheel drive, 40 inch tires, and 300 HP at a blistering 20mph through a crop field is gone, whlle making fun of John Deere owners locked away from their Right to Repair.

Nobody does DR tests to survive lightning striking twice

Luiz Abdala

Lightning always finds a way... of least resistance.

At least the guy that made the server rooms didn't weld the wrist straps ground to the lightning rod's ground... like someone I know...

The friend of mine that noticed this averted a Benjamin Franklin experience en masse, and got in charge of the grounding of the building for his troubles.

HSBC banks on quantum to lock down comms network

Luiz Abdala

Quantum computing is...

... the ability to make a variable assume two values at the same time, which happens to help when you want to bruteforce password guessing, making it infinitely faster (in a rough definition).

But a quantum password that assumes two values at the same time should accept an attempt to guess it by inputting either one of the values, thus making it less secure.

(See icon.)

Security? Working servers? Who needs those when you can have a shiny floor?

Luiz Abdala

Re: Clean keyboards

Extra sugary tea had no chance against the handyman working with me at a Language Course center back in the day. He washed all of it: removed all the keycaps, gave them a scrub, and applied a hair dryer, at a safe, tolerable to the touch temperature.

As for the parts where he didn't dare to use the dryer, he literally hang them to dry, then kept all the caps in a plastic shopping bag tied to the cord, giving me the honor to put it back together 24 hours later.

Flawless operation ensued.

Obvious icon.

Gen Z and Millennials don't know what their colleagues are talking about half the time

Luiz Abdala

BOFH jargon bingo

Oh, the needle of the buzzword-o-meter on the wall just turned into a fan while reading this article. Good lord, I never heard anybody my age (late 70's early 80's) talking like that.

A toast to being in the right place at the right time

Luiz Abdala

Re: Loudspeaker fridge.

You sir, nailed it on the head.

It is a small frigobar, so it has small capacitors on any snubber, if any at all. I will ask around here any sparky if they can do something about it.

Luiz Abdala

Loudspeaker fridge.

Over here, the relay in an old fridge sends a massive spike back through the mains and the unfiltered 2.1 subwoofer sends it straight to the 4" speaker. It sounds like a 9mm bullet that was hit by lightning, the best approximation.

The kicker is, it goes through USB earphones as well. A loud, sharp CRACK ringing through, every time. The affected machine has an UPS, but since the 2.1 spike comes through the sound port, it does not block the signal.

It took a while to figure it was a fridge, now I miss a way to filter it away.

BOFH: Ah. Company-branded merch. So much better than a bonus

Luiz Abdala

Re: Acronym-Ignorant

There is an anectode around the web about a student that gets late to his Class. The teacher has a set of problems on the board. Because he is late, he thinks he is supposed to solve them. He took a while to solve, but he managed. It turned out to be a famous set of problems, like the Fermat Theorem or thereabouts, and this student solved it.

Found the source: the student was George Dantzig and the Class was about statistical theory, and he solved it, thinking it was an assignment.

So those tests with impossible questions, well... some day somebody might solve them out of the blue.


BOFH takes a visit to retro computing land

Luiz Abdala

Don't mention Soundblaster.

I spent more time fine tuning dos boot sequences to free the 600 kilobytes of base memory to make those DOS games run properly, than actually playing them.

Then their original media got destroyed before I could setup a dosbox for them, eons later. Never bothered with them again, chasing a bootleg copy, whatever.

Now they are so cumbersome to play, they belong in the past, behind several layers of rosy, laser-etched colored glasses.

A drink to those memories.

Chinese company claims it's built batteries so dense they can power electric airplanes

Luiz Abdala

Re: Those are rookie numbers

There was a cruise missile design based on that principle. It used nuclear fuel rods to power its flight and would cause nuclear fallout as it moved around. It was as horrible as you could ever imagine.

But the plane itself never ejected chunks of the core. In fact, it never powered itself with the reactor, they never connected the whole thing to the conventional jets on the plane, just tested powering it up.

Search Project Pluto, wikipedia. and the plane as NB-36H, nuclear powered aircraft.

Luiz Abdala

Re: Those are rookie numbers

If that B-29 with a nuclear power plant had worked... But you know... steam turbines are kinda heavy and hate being shaken around. They fit on Submarines and Carriers, though... and cooling isn's exactly a problem in vessels surrounded by water.

OVH punts hybrid water and immersion cooling for high performance systems

Luiz Abdala

EK Water Blocks

I bet the gaming community absorbed that knowledge from whoever worked with these guys. 20 years in the business means the information will inevitably get around.

Thanks to them my PC cpu never overheats with a simple off the shelf AIO watercooler.

And I'll drink to that.

Bank rewrote ads for infosec jobs to stop scaring away women

Luiz Abdala

Re: So they removed the impossible?

One of the creators of Python was turned down for a position on the language he created.

I am having a hard time to find a reputable source for it, though. Or which one of them, either. The anecdote is rather old.

Europol warns ChatGPT already helping folks commit crimes

Luiz Abdala

Re: Laws of Robotics?

That's the AT FIRST part of the sentence. Too subtle, I guess.

"You shall not be a dick and prevent humans from evolving" is known to everybody that read his work or watched "I Robot". I was expecting true connoisseurs to respond.

Thank you.

Luiz Abdala

Laws of Robotics?

Isn't it time we explicitly include Isaac Asimov's rules into these things?

It seems like a good idea at first.

Journalist hurt by exploding USB bomb drive

Luiz Abdala

CBRN* checks on the USB payload

Yeah, a vacuum-sealed container filled with boron sand lined with lead and kevlar and with an USB extension cord is a good idea.

Altough a usb stick can carry its own battery and detect the leads being connected to trigger a detonation, even without a USB 5v power, or detection current.

I would suggest some form of rail guide and a relay to push the drive into said USB extension cord port, then powering it up.

*Chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) weapons

Adidas grapples with $1.3B in unsold Yeezy sneakers after breaking up with Kanye West

Luiz Abdala

Re: Maybe, just maybe

If HP pulled that trick of selling at cost on their ink cartridges... "the world gets to see how much a $[#] inkjet cartridge really cost and the obscene profits made simply by the name on the ink tank".

(just to roll it back into IT)

John Deere urged to surrender source code under GPL

Luiz Abdala
IT Angle

John Deere and Apple.

Finally that icon is relevant again, because both annoying companies intercepted when Louis Rossmann picked up the Right to Repair crowd about Apple (the fact that he repairs iphones despite Apple blocking him at every chance), and a handful (more than that) of disgruntled John Deere customers showed up on the same RTR meeting.

Just a reminder.

UNIX co-creator Ken Thompson is a… what user now?

Luiz Abdala

I was expecting he'd compiled his own OS.

Well, if the man created C, I was kinda hoping he'd have his own WIP pet project OS.

Techie fired for inventing an acronym – and accidentally applying it to the boss

Luiz Abdala

Don't forget the ID10T error!

Nobody mentioned the ID10T error, but I didn't reach the end of the comments yet, so there it is.

NASA fixes solar observation spacecraft by turning it off and turning it on again

Luiz Abdala

I think Mr. Bradley said: "I may have invented [the three-finger salute], but Bill made it popular".

Call an ambulance for that burn.

Luiz Abdala

Re: shutdown -r now

"shutdown -r -f -t 0" is my favorite. It also murders anything hanging on windows and preventing a reboot. Not including -t 0, the system will add 10 seconds or such on its own.

Luiz Abdala

IBM satellites.

I wouldn't mind having 3 distinct bolted-on panels with buttons labeled CTRL, ALT and DEL behind them on the external surface of any spacecraft. Preferably one within reach of opposable thumbs and 2 gloved fingers.

Can we interest you in a $10 pocket calculator powered by Android 9?

Luiz Abdala


I miss my HP 48GX with the game Columns played sideways, fully customizable universal Remote Control that used the IR transceiver, and an Italian version of Poker, plus a full blown text editor.

Taking a break from thermodynamics lessons and reading "Doppia Coppia": priceless.

All of it from 3x AAA batteries that lasted months, the best keyboard ever devised for a portable device, and a monochrome LCD.

My college didn't demand the Texas Instruments equivalent, it was agnostic, but people chose the HP48GX due familiarity from the brand and easy to find on the grey market.