* Posts by sawatts

175 publicly visible posts • joined 1 Aug 2013


You can run Windows 11 on just 200MB of RAM – but should you?


<cough> No one will ever need more than 640kb and two floppies </cough>

It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system


"A US pound is 0.453592 kilograms, to six figures at least" - not "at least", that is how it is defined. US Customary Units are defined in metric.

Fun facts: The US has (or had until recently) two (2) different units for "foot" - survey and regular. The former used for mapping. Now imagine the fun calculating the length of a flight path or trajectory when the horizontal distances are from maps measured in survey feet, and the altitude is in regular feet.

Tesla promises to build robot you could beat up – or beat in a race


Re: Tesla D1

Watching the presentation I was getting 30 yrs old flashbacks. Wonder if they've tried Occam...

America world’s sole cyber superpower, ten years ahead of China, says Brit think tank


"Think Tank"

Any body calling itself a "Think Tank" is a huge red flag.

"Think Tanks" do not exist to come up with new innovative ideas, but to find ways to sell their sponsors' agenda which would otherwise be untenable. "Weasel Words Factory" may be a more accurate description.

(of course, depends on whether the term has been added by the media rather than the body in question)

Arm freezes hiring until Nvidia takeover, cancels everyone's 'wellbeing' allowance


This always ends well...

The first staff to leave are always the best ones who can find a better job elsewhere when encouraged to do so.

By the time the takeover happens all that is left is the IP and those staff you can't find other jobs.

Meanwhile a dozen start-ups and competitors have acquired the talent that made the original company such a success.

Microsoft demotes Calibri from default typeface gig, starts fling with five other fonts



Will MS keep strong hold of the copyright for these fonts after they accidentally released the old set into the public domain?

SpaceX small print on Starlink insists no Earth government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities


Re: Rama continued

Best advice re "Rendezvous with Rama" is to read the original by Arthur C Clarke and diligently ignore any sequels.

Linux kernel maintainers tear Paragon a new one after firm submits read-write NTFS driver in 27,000 lines of code


Only 27k lines?

I had to debug switch statements longer than that.

It's National Cream Tea Day and this time we end the age-old debate once and for all: How do you eat yours?


Obvious really...

Jam on one side.

Cream on the other.

Slap them together.

Only true boffins will be able to grasp Blighty's new legal definitions of the humble metre and kilogram


egg bushells per hen acre

If you are going to use practical units, may I suggest "egg bushells per hen acre" as a fine basis of a unit system.

This was the gradient of a graph in an old agriculture text book.

cmd.exe is dead, long live PowerShell: Microsoft leads aged command-line interpreter out into 'maintenance mode'


Re: Bash

Bash has been available via the likes of cygwin or mingw builds for years; but the Linux subsytem may simplify things (...wait, this is still Microsoft we're talking about?).

Does anyone remember the original POSIX subsystem that came with Windows NT?

That was a _minimal_ POSIX subsystem which satisfied US Gov requirements intended to u/g their UNIX systems. Unfortunately they didn't specify a level of POSIX requirement, so MS added the minimal qualifying support and undercut the Big Iron UNIX vendors. Queue lots of unhappy end users presented with systems which wouldn't run their existing code...

GCC 10 gets security bug trap. And look what just fell into it: OpenSSL and a prod-of-death flaw in servers and apps


Address sanitizer

The current GCC (since 5.x?) include clang sanitizers - including the address sanitizer (ASAN) - which should catch these issues at runtime, usually when unit tests are invoked.

You have comprehensive unit tests don't you? Of course you do...

World's smallest violin to be played for opportunistic sellers banned from eBay and Amazon for price gouging


£10 price + £150 postage and packaging

Grab a towel and pour yourself a Pan Galactic Gargle Blaster because The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy is 42


okay who couldn't resist adding a 43rd comment?


California man served with restraining order for allegedly 'stalking' Apple CEO Tim Cook


He was just collecting Tim Cook's personal data.

All that Samsung users found on UK website after weird Find my Mobile push notification was... other people's details


At least they are testing...

(UK, S10+ and a Tab A10.1)

Researchers trick Tesla into massively breaking the speed limit by sticking a 2-inch piece of electrical tape on a sign


Re: Sigh.

There are minimum speed signage where appropriate:


(circle, blue with white number)

Who needs the A-Team or MacGyver when there's a techie with an SCSI cable?


HOWTO Move Your Server

Back in the late 80s or early 90s now, at a MOD R&D Establishment. Back when things were fun...

A new graduate decided he needed to move a server/workstation from one side of the room to the other. However he discovered that it was running and he didn't have the password. He was at least wise enough not to just pull the plug on it.

He didn't pull the plug.

He somehow used bare ended cables to keep the plug fed with power while it was moved from wall outlet to extension, and trundled the machine across the room.

Amazingly this appeared to work and, for once, no one died horribly - but someone had to explain to him all about three-phase power.

Starliner snafu could've been worse: Software errors plague Boeing's Calamity Capsule


Re: What happened to GEC

Simpson! I had completely forgotten that I worked for GEC aka Marconi Medical Systems 2000-2002, but that name riles me. Saw it all collapsing from the inside.

He burnt the cash reserves built up by former generations on splurge on the dot com boom. Marconi supplied into the telecoms industry, which stopped buying after they gave all their money to the government for 3G licenses.

One of the reasons I have very little faith in most senior managers.

(See also HP & Meg Whitman)


Won't anyone thing of the shareholders?!

Perhaps Congress need to throw a few more $Billion at Boeing?

Management must be wondering why, with all their MBAs, they are having so many problems with engineering and software quality.

When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games



Arizona "Board" of Technical Registration?

How can they call themselves a "board" when, as far as I can tell, they are not a flat piece of wood-based product?

They may well be planks.

1Password hopes to cross some items off its todo list with help from $200m in venture capital


1Password !?!?

Damn how did they know my password. I will have to change it now.


Come on, you can't be serious: Now Australia mulls face-recog tech for p0rno site age checks


Jonny's such a good boy - he even has a picture of the Queen by his computer.

The eagle has handed.... scientists a serious text message bill after flying through Iran, Pakistan


Re: No EU roaming charges

Sure, these companies work for the benefit of their customers, not their shareholders.

The EU legislation must have only been a formality as they didn't take advantage of the roamers before did they?

Tesla has made a profit. Repeat, Tesla has made a profit – $143m in fact


Re: Smart Summon used "more than one million times"

Also a reason why they are one of the least stolen brands of car?


Re: Now, would you please stop proposing to hurl 60,000 Starlinks into low orbit ..

Makes terrestrial based astronomy a nightmare.

Hubble grabs first snap of interstellar comet... or at least that's what we hope this smudge is


Re: Have a beer..

Rendezvous with Rama was brilliant.

Rama II is the only novel I've skipped over whole chapters when reading.

Didn't go further with the "series".


Re: Move along, nothing to see


HP polishes the redundancy cannon, prepares to fire 16% of workforce


Somebody is connecting dynamos to the graves of Bill and Dave and will make a fortune from the power generated.

So we're going back to the Moon: NASA triggers countdown by firing up spacecraft production


cost plus contract

Every bug you can get past acceptance is future revenue.

Au my bog: Bloke, 66, on bail after 'solid-gold' crapper called 'America' stolen from stately home


Au Crap!

Perfect title courtesy of someone on twitter.

HP Inc waves bye to EMEA president with 'immediate effect'


Higher echelons of management's understanding of their business does not seem to go further than short term balance sheets.

I've never understood how a strategy of setting ever increasing profit goals can result in anything other than failure in the long term.

Zapped from the Play store: Another developer gets no sense from Google, appeals to the public

Big Brother


Trust the Computer

The Computer is your Friend

Not trusting The Computer is treason.

Treason is punishable by death.

Happiness is mandatory.

Unhappiness is treason.

Treason is punishable by death.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson moves to shut Parliament


Roundhead or Cavalier?

I'm confused. Which side should I be on in the Second English Civil War?

Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen's personal MiG-29 fighter jet goes under the hammer


Blue screen of aaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrggggggggggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

NASA trumpets Orion completion as India heads to the Moon


Isn't the SLS a great way for the US Gov to keep pumping money into Boeing.

Tesla’s Autopilot losing track of devs crashing out of 'leccy car maker


110 Software Engineers on the wall...

Not sure how people have become confused.

The article says that there is a 10% loss of workforce (i.e. decimated), with 11 people leaving of which 6 (of the 11) were named in another article.

So eleven have left representing 10% workforce, or an initial workforce of 110 people.

That's still quite a sizable team - especially as managing software engineers is akin to herding cats.

Buckminsterfullerene sounds like the next UK Prime Minister but trust us, it's in fact the largest molecule yet found in interstellar space


"indicates there's perhaps carbon in other systems and on other planets"

Discovery of the century.

The Eldritch Horror of Date Formatting is visited upon Tesco


Re: Dates? Don't talk to me about dates...


Driving Xtreme Cuts: DXC Technology waves bye bye to 45% of Americas Security divison


Symptomatic of a company run by "professional managers" who have *no* idea about how the industry domain they are in, and continue to work to a generic playbook written in the 1950s.

Atari finally launches its VCS console. Again.


Love to play Manic Miner again, in 4K at 60fps. Hope they can get the music right...

We asked readers what DXC should be known for... and of course you came up with the goods


Nothing, Nothing at all.

...would be about right.

Dissed Bash boshed: Apple makes fancy zsh default in forthcoming macOS 'Catalina' 10.15


Re: "mostly compatible with bash"

One of the hardest error cases to detect is where a dependency is switched out from under you for something which is "mostly compatible" - the remaining "not compatible" behaviour can bite in unexpected ways and (worse) result in non-fatal changes in behaviour.


"mostly compatible with bash"

Literally the worse sort of compatibility.

Apple kills iTunes, preps pricey Mac Pro, gives iPad its own OS – plus: That $999 monitor stand


Any justification for $999 price tag?

Was there any justification offered for the $999 price tag for a monitor stand?

Or was it just accompanied by sniggers of "isuckers!" from behind the curtains?

UK Space Agency cracks open its wallet, fishes out a paltry £2m for Brit plans to return to orbit


£2m will probably end up in the pockets of a marketing company.

Remember when the UK launched its own satellite on its own rocket?

Oracle suspects Pentagon fell for a JEDI Prime trick: Amazon now accused of luring two officials with jobs


Re: Blakes 7

Still don't see the Blakes 7 connection in the article - other than generic space opera talk.

Microsoft promises to boil down its lengthy and confusing privacy controls… in 1,500-word announcement


Re: Don't look at what I'm doing;

"The Future is Privatised"

Ok Google, please ignore this free tax filing code so we can keep on screwing America


Re: I'm assuming that the USA

The US system seems like another way to levy hidden taxes on the population.

DXC Security exec: Yes, I'd have thought we'd spend more on certs and laptop kit for staff, too


The ship is sinking fast, and to save weight they've burned the lifeboats.