* Posts by astrax

106 publicly visible posts • joined 26 Mar 2014


Contain yourself – literally. You can't avoid Docker, K8s for long


"In addition, Docker solves another problem: installing software. Before Docker, developers had to use tools such as Chef or Puppet to install software reproducibly."

I would argue that the idea of Docker replacing the requirement for some type of configuration management is just plain wrong. Whilst it is true containerisation provides a very convenient way of deploying discrete applications without the risk of updating relevant libraries or packages, in my experience you still need a method of controlling the actual configuration of those microservices (things like nginx.conf or dhcpd.master for example).

The real power of containerisation is when you integrate that technology stack into a CI/CD pipeline where your unit testing (or whatever quality control is imposed) is as close to production as it's going to get. Part of that pipeline is usually something like Chef or Puppet which controls the state of those configurations as well as dynamically updating them depending on the environment (templating).

Other than that, pretty good article :)

Checkmate: DeepMind's AlphaZero AI clobbered rival chess app on non-level playing, er, board


Re: Did it come up with anything new?

AlphaZero is causing a stir in the chess community. I'm a big fan of agadmator's Youtube chess channel and I watched an analysis of one of the games between AlphaZero and StockFish. The greatest surprise was the way AlphaZero willingly gave up a whole piece (a Knight) to keep up its own momentum and refuse to allow StockFish to develop its pieces. Note this behaviour is very human; usually a chess engine will sac(rifice) a piece for some tangible, strategic gain or to implement a tactic.

This is the key difference here. The point to take away from this is that Google have not merely developed a more powerful chess engine that runs on more powerful hardware, rather they have created something that behaves much like an *extremely* strong human Grandmaster, not simply a super-powerful logic-monster. This will probably change the way elite chess players train for tournaments.

Keep in mind that even with the hardware handicap, StockFish could analyse up to 70 million positions a second and play with an elo rating of 3300+. AlphaZero took just 4 hours to learn the game from scratch and beat a well honed engine like StockFish is pretty impressive.

Linky: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NaMs2dBouoQ&t=379s

You're such a goober, Uber: UK regulators blast hushed breach


No way!

I find it incredibly unlikely that a company like Uber, who are a paragon of morality and ethical conduct, would do anything remotely as deceptive as this.


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


I'd argue the LibreOffice suite does, on the whole, a very good job of what it's supposed to do. The reason why using it in certain contexts is undesirable is due to the difficulty in preserving formatting and/or specific functionality with documents generated with MS products (which in all fairness is a lot of companies/institutes).

Personally I think it is the lack of a decent document standard(s) that is the major issue.

Osama Bin Laden had copy of Resident Evil, smut, in compound


Re: Counter-strike

Here is an excerpt his CS AMX server options:

public plugin_init(){

register_plugin("Respawn NEVER", VERSION, "Operation Neptune Spear")

register_event("DeathMsg","on_Death","wtf is Geronimo?")

register_cvar("sv_checkpistols", "0")


Microsoft says something more hyper than Storage Spaces is coming 'very soon'


Re: Good plan

Having used S2D, I think it's pretty clear that MS realised it's not production ready yet. I know it's not stopped them in the past...

BoJo, don't misuse stats then blurt disclaimers when you get rumbled


In the words of Homer J Simpson:

"Oh people can come up with statistics to prove anything Kent. Forty percent of all people know that."

Microsoft, Red Hat in cross-platform container and .Net cuddle


Re: Redmond Hat?...

Yep, MicroHat is awesome...and don't call me Shirley.


I think it's great

Speaking as an avid Linux enthusiast and professional, I think this is great. Sometimes you have to suck it up and use the right tool for the job, be that Ubuntu, Centos or Server 2016. A lot more can be accomplished when we work together and this collaboration between Red Hat and Microsoft is no exception. This will almost certainly help some sysadmins out there rationalise their mixed environments, which can't be a bad thing.

At last, a kosher cryptocurrency: BitCoen



does that mean the exchange rate will be 2.6 BitCoens for 1oz of Goldberg?

Your top five dreadful people the Google manifesto has pulled out of the woodwork


Re: Down voting?

Down-voting for having a different opinion is somewhat different from down-voting due to:

1). incorrect information presented as fact

2). going off-topic

3). being a complete bell end

Note that point 3 is not mutually exclusive with anything else :)


Re: asshe but

I genuinely think long gone are the times when an idea was shot down with a well constructed counter argument as opposed to just being silenced by any means necessary. I get the impression that (for some people at least) censorship is more agreeable if the consequences for ideological deviation are of a non-violent nature. Whilst I disagree (mostly) with what he said, sacking him simply enforces a lot of his points about the bigotry that exists within Google.

The ultimate full English breakfast – have your SAY



Where's Bubble in the list? For me, it's always difficult a difficult choice between bubble & squeak and hash browns. That's why I generally go for both :)

Expedia IT bod gets all-expenses-paid trip to prison after hacking execs' emails for profit


Re: "as the son of poor immigrants"

I think it's referring to the origin of the guy's predisposition to having (lots of) money, rather than blaming the crime on the fact that his parents were a). poor and/or b). immigrants. Sigh.

Brit behind Titanium Stresser DDoS malware sent to chokey


Re: 20 years old (now) Asbergers AND autism

Just a quick fact - Aspergers is on the Autistic spectrum, they are not separate conditions per se. Probably going to get a lot of down votes here, but while I think his actions are inexcusable and worthy of punishment, I'm not sure throwing the book at him is proportional to the crime. There are several extenuating factors in this case, most notably his Aspergers that ultimately changes the outlook of the case. If you knew what that condition entails, you probably would shift your opinion (albeit slightly).

I've seen con men who swindled OAPs out of their life savings who got less time than this young man. I've seen a person who took their eyes off the road for an entire 16 seconds whilst driving an articulated lorry (who ended up killing someone) get LESS time than this guy. Someone mentioned Bankers earlier...another prime example. I'm not saying he should get less because those cases were punished too leniently, I'm saying that due proportion is key in sentencing. I really do not understand why this guy should be made an example of (in consideration of all factors).

Linux-using mates gone AWOL? Netflix just added Linux support


Re: re: I have no interest in streaming or renting TV shows and movies

"Agreed. Linux users are probably more anti-streaming/anti-cloud than OSX/WinX."

I don't understand that statement; why would your choice of OS have any bearing on whether you decide to use streaming services or "duh cloud"? The only possible correlation I see between Linux users and these technologies is that they are more likely to implement such services themselves.

Installing disks is basically LEGO, right? This admin failed LEGO


I bet...

...it wasn't the first time the tenant had trouble slotting a 2.5" in somewhere.

Cardiff researchers get £250k to monitor Brexit hate crime on Twitter


Oh I get it!

"The centre, which has been dubbed the Centre for Cyberhate Research and Policy".

So you're saying it's CRaP?

Northumbria Uni fined £400K after boffin's bad math gives students a near-killer caffeine high



"“Both students have made good recoveries and both excelled in completing their degrees. There was a system in place but it was inadequate."

I get that systems fail from time to time but this case strikes me as a matter of gross negligence rather than a flawed testing methodology implied by the defence. £400k is a slap on the wrist for something of this gravity.

CBI: Brexit Britain needs a 'sensible and flexible' immigration programme


Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme


The truth be told it's an easier argument for you to simply stereotype leave voters as stupid/racist/xenophobic. Truth be told, even if the reason behind someone voting leave was immigration, that does not necessarily mean they are racist. It's an appalling situation where people cannot openly discuss topics such as immigration without being labelled a neo-nazi. You're quite happy to advocate positive discrimination concerning EU nationals, so what about every other nationality in the world?


Re: Employers have called for a "sensible" immigration programme

Maybe, just maybe, some people voted to leave the EU because of reasons other than immigration? Oh no, that can't possibly be true as it is very clear we are a nation of 17 million+ of xenophobes (oh, and chuck racist in there too because why the f*** not?).

You don't see the irony in demonising every single person who voted Leave? It's incredibly bigoted, almost fascist perspective that only serves to divide our society (yes, take special note of the critical "our" in that sentence) even further. Shame on you.


Re: Sensible? That's new.

"It's increased the pressure on us in the amount of work we need to do and increasingly the challenge we have in attracting the talent."

Apparently, there are talented, highly-skilled engineers, technologists and scientists springing up in south Asia and the south Americas in droves. Not too difficult to attract at least a few of them with a fair immigration policy that doesn't make non-EU nationals feel like second class citizens.

Crumbs. Exceedingly good cakes, meat dressing price hike in wake of the Brexit


Re: stir and stoke

This is probably one of the most balanced perspectives I've seen regarding the referendum. A lot of people are basing their projections on the current state of the global economy; in reality, five years from now the new power-house economies will be the likes of Brazil and India. It is clear that we are leaving the EU, and like AC said previously, the UK should focus on getting the EU trading agreements completed as quickly as possible. When these global economic shifts occur, we want to be riding the crest of the wave, not drowning under it.

Snapchat chooses London for international headquarters


Re: DespiteBrexitNotHavingStartedYetNorAnybodyKnowingWhatItWillBe.com

Equally, the reverse of that statement is also true.

Vegans furious as Bank of England admits ‘trace’ of animal fat in £5 notes


I shall do the decent thing...

and start a collection for all unwanted £5 notes.

In other news, it has recently come to light that £50 notes are actually incredibly thin slices of topside stamped with her Majesty's face. You can also deposit these notes at my £5 collection point.

Married man arrives at A&E with wedding ring stuck on todger



...it wasn't a Chinese finger trap.

Japanese cops arrest serial 'foot licker'


Re: Sounds like serious crime was afoot

Toe-tally unacceptable. He is soley responsible for his actions and as such should stand on his own two feet and take it like a man. She was clearly in a tight situation and tried to leg it, but the toerag got a foothold on her before she could run (she could've socked him one in the face I suppose). Give that callous git an ankle bracelet and, if the shoe fits, send him to a sweaty prison.

Topless in-car selfie attempt climaxes with rear-end bonking


Re: New Star Wars antagonist...

Or video game title? i.e. Boob Rader: The Last Revelation?


New Star Wars antagonist...

Daft Rader.

Skin tattoo will tell your phone when you've had a skinful


Looking forward...

...to when they release an API so we can control little Micro Bots that automatically hides your car keys if you have had too much to drink.

Or simply don't be a completely selfish **** and drink and drive.

DDoS attacks: For the hell of it or targeted – how do you see them off?


Mitigation misnomer

Ironically, non-direct effects of DDoS attacks are pretty common. For example, one may experience intermittent packet loss due to an attack on another one of your ISP's customers who happen to share the same DC Router as you. In those instances, it is very unlikely that either an in-line or out of band solution would kick in. That's why I genuinely believe that unless your company has some *serious* bandwidth using multiple ISPs, the only realistic form of mitigation is upstream at the ISP level.

Dropping attack packets is all well and good, dealing with pipe saturation with limited network resources is a different ball game entirely. The priority of any DDoS mitigation technique should be the preservation of legitimate traffic rather than the elimination of attack packets. Yes, you can't achieve the former without the addressing latter, but there are other factors to consider too (diverse routing, geographically diverse hosting etc).

Chubby Chinese students refused top bunk


Just remember:

There's a legitimate, methodical way of determining bottom bunk residency:

Pinch an inch, eating's a cinch.

Pinch a metre, you're a big eater.

Pinch a yard, you're full of lard.

BT boils over, blows off Steam, accuses Valve of patent infringement


A message for BT:

Don't worry about going after Valve over obscene patents that will (hopefully) never be held up in court; divert some of those resources to sorting out your freakin' subsideries and customer service.

English Uber alles in London taxis? No way, TfL – taxi app titan


You know what would be great? The UK Sentencing Council defining guidelines that actually reflect the gravity of dangerous driving crimes.

For every single frickin' motorist, commercial or otherwise.


Re: Black cab dinosaurs

@handle Some of us see technology as a *huge* help, not a crutch. What you're saying is the equivalent of "why do I need to learn the LAMP stack when there's a Puppet module(s) to do it for me?".

I agree with what AC said above to a degree, although I would go as far as to say that combining appropriate tech and on the job knowledge is far more preferable than utilising just one or the other.


Re: Shut the door on the way out

I think it's somewhat disingenuous to say Black Cabs are on the gravy train. It takes at least three years of dedicated study to become a London Black Taxi driver, which entails getting up at ridiculous times to make the runs, going for regular examinations (called "appearances") in which the examiner can ask for practically any road, cul-de-sac or point of interest in a 20 mile radius, as well as passing the additional driving tests.

As for pricing, you clearly have not been subject to a). Ubers' surge pricing or b). the Uber drivers' SatNav fluffing mid journey. Of course there are cheaper alternatives, but if I need to be somewhere urgently I'm happy to pay a little over the odds to get there asap.

Cycling paramedics in epic rush to save patient who ate stale sandwich


Go to the bloody walk-in centre, it's their bread & butter.


Working title "The Sandwiching"

Starring Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange Pedal, Bill Murray as The Man Who Ate Too Little, Hayden Christensen as Hayden Christensen and of course Kristen Stewart as the Stale Sandwich.

Still a better love story than Twilight.

Behold the ROBOT RECTUM... medics' relief


A Beavis & Butthead design

The Great Cornholio: "I need IP...IP for my bunghole."

Chilcot's IT spend: Tighter wallet than most public sector bods


179 lives, 7 years, £30 million, culminates in...wait for it...

"I'm sorry." - Blair.

What a frickin' disgrace.

Dell confirms price rise post Brexit vote as UK pound stumbles


Re: Is this what they mean....

It's not very often a company has a "legitimate" reason to instigate a massive price hike, so I get the impression it goes like this:

"Whoo no Brexit! Loadsa money in the Sky Rocket, here's a price increase!"


"Boo, Brexit! Everyone's Boracic lint, loadsa Barney Rubble, here's a price increase!"

Also, you might want to aim some of that vitriol at the last five successive governments who have managed to alienate half of population in quite an impressive manner.

Q: Is it wrong to dress as a crusader for an England match?


Could be worse...

Fan's could wear the actual England kit instead.

All jokes aside, it's such a shame that we've come to the point where it is incredibly hard to distinguish between genuine patriotism and hard/extreme right propaganda.

Interestingly, if you replace the costume's name (i.e. "Crusader") with "Knight of Agincourt" for example, then the whole premise becomes perfectly acceptable. You couldn't do that with an SS uniform. Or a Khmer Rouge garb. Or an ISIS militia outfit. By this logic, we're assuming Italy will consider banning all Roman costumes as well?

The point being that an overly PC idiot has decided to make a point that somehow links a religious-based antiquity with very real problems we are facing today. In fact, I'd go as far as to say that it is shameful that this even made the news. Hate crimes are the bane of society and statements like these only serve to drive the wedge further between OUR communities.

Brexit campaign group fined £50k for sending half a million spam texts


Re: To be fair...

I think you are being very generous with the word "partly" there. The formation of both the UN and NATO have been far more influential in keeping peace then the instantiation of the original trade treaty that has grown into what we now call the EU.

Also, I have a stone that keeps Bears away; yours for a mere £50,000.


To be fair...

Cameron has done more for the Brexit campaign then the pro-leave guys have. After being essentially bullied by the USA/Japan without any reasonable support from our "leader" AND having the ridiculous notion of war in Europe being thrown down our throats, a big part of me wants to clarify that the people of the UK are not all total idiots, Mr "Call me Dave" Camermoron.

Google asks Unicode to look over 13 new emoji showing professional women


irony1 ˈʌɪrəni/

- The desire to communicate a true representation of professional women via emojis.

Kent Police handed domestic abuse victim's data to alleged abuser – a Kent cop


Re: Disgraceful penalty

Hands up, I genuinely thought prison sentences were finally introduced after, you know, ten years of constant badgering to get it in place. My apologies. *sigh* What a freakin' mess.


Disgraceful penalty

A monetry fine is completely inappropriate when you consider the gravity of the crime. The poor lass must've been scared out of her mind. The scumbag(s) who divulged that info need to be sorted out in a public manner, which would at least try to claw back a shred of respectablity of the Kent force instead of the ICO blatantly trying to save Police face.

AWS to crack $10bn annual sales this year says Jeff Bezos


Fair play to the Amazonians

Despite the obligatory cringe when ever I hear the term "Cloud" mentioned, I can't help but feel Amazon have done a terrific job over the past decade. Sure, "Cloud" solutions (aka SER, aka someone-elses-resource) aren't applicable to everyone, but it's certainly changed/changing the landscape of IT infrastructure across the board. Generally I think this disruption is a good thing.

AWS must be doing something right.

Microsoft GitHubs BotBuilder framework behind Tay chatbot


"I shall call him...

...Mini-Me!" - Trump