* Posts by Dwarf

1503 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Dec 2014

Meta yanks VR headset's strap-on booster battery after charging bricks it


Re: Elite Strap

@Mayday. You clearly don’t understand marketing.

Their is some expression about fools and their money.

Luckily it seems that we don’t fall into that category.

I was pondering the difference of a battery on a wire to power it vs just having a wire to power it this, thus getting rid of the battery, making the whole thing lighter and cheaper. Then I realised that I don’t understand [cool|sick|todays word for cool] either.

Datacenter architect creates bonkers designs to illustrate the craft, and quirks, of building bit barns


Has Jony Ive got a new gig ?

OpenCart owner turns air blue after researcher discloses serious vuln


Perhaps he would learn more quickly if a bunch of day zero vulnerabilities are dumped on his lap as they are actively being used to attack his customers.

There is nothing like having angry customers on the phone or the product reputation going down the pan.

This should help in their anger management training and their learning of why vulnerability disclosure practices are like they are in the industry.

He should also learn about the payment schemes that others do for successfully identified bugs as obviously his own test teams are not doing their job.

Tool bag lost in space now tracked by garbage watchers


Well, that’s going to put a spanner in the works

Police ignored the laws of datacenter climate control


Glass cutting

Waaay back in my past, we had a customer with a PC that controlled a glass sheet cutting machine. The glass panes were huge and thrown around on a bed of air.

The jobs were sent to the machine via a 3 1/2 floppy drive. The glass dust ate floppies and drives on a regular basis.

Twitter name and blue bird logo to be 'blowtorched' off company branding


Ex as in has been ?

Seems quite appropriate given its apparent trajectory of a nose dive into the ground

I suppose when it all implodes, then X marks the spot

US Air Force AI drone 'killed operator, attacked comms towers in simulation'


Court marshal

Will they court marshal the AI for following instructions to the letter.

Do what I meant, not what I said..

Bringing cakes into the office is killing your colleagues, says UK food watchdog boss


Re: What a load of cobblers

A good example of why the brackets should not be on their own line

That was unreadable.

Riding in Sidecar: How to get a Psion online in 2023


Re: Very interesting

GreaseWeazle is a solution for reading data off old floppies in a variety of formats

Microsoft said to be thinking of sinking $10m into self-driving truck startup


Microsoft and cars - no thanks

With their approach to quality control on their software - as evidenced by the constant breaking of Windows updates, I can only imaging the fun that owners would have not knowing if their car will start today, or if I'll suddenly have to pull over mid journey for 20 minutes whilst critical updates (candy crush or similar) is installed.

Then there will be the problem with the user interface, things will keep moving for no apparent reason, today we have decided to move the main user interface screen from centre in the dashboard to behind the light cluster in the boot. Next week it will be under the front wheel.

And of course, we've all seen the Microsoft vs General motors "If cars were like computers" joke from years ago which seems very appropriate right now. Perhaps this is about to become a reality, just with a different person running Microsoft today. Here's a copy I located on-line, not sure who the original author was.

At a recent computer exposition, Bill Gates reportedly compared the computer industry with the auto industry and stated: “If General Motors had kept up with the technology like the computer industry has, we would all be driving $25.00 cars that got 1,000 miles to the gallon.”

In response to Bill’s comments, GM issued a press release stating: “If General Motors had developed technology like Microsoft, we would all be driving cars with the following characteristics:

1. For no reason whatsoever, your car would crash twice a day.

2. Every time they repainted the lines in the road, you would have to buy a new car.

3. Occasionally your car would die on the freeway for no reason. You would have to pull over to the side of the road, close all of the windows, shut off the car, restart it, and reopen the windows before you could continue. For some reason, you would simply accept this.

4. Occasionally, executing a maneuver such as a left turn would cause your car to shut down and refuse to restart, in which case you would have to reinstall the engine.

5 Macintosh would make a car that was powered by the sun, was reliable, five times as fast and twice as easy to drive – but would run on only five percent of the roads.

6. The oil, water temperature, and alternator warning lights would all be replaced by a single “General Protection Fault” warning light.

7. The airbag system would ask “Are you sure?” before deploying.

8. Occasionally, for no reason whatsoever, your car would lock you out and refuse to let you in until you simultaneously lifted the door handle, turned the key and grabbed hold of the radio antenna.

9. Every time GM introduced a new car, car buyers would have to learn to drive all over again because none of the controls would operate in the same manner as the old car.

10 You’d have to press the “Start” button to turn the engine off.

Non-binary DDR5 is finally coming to save your wallet


Re: @Dwarf


Feel free to add clarity if you believe that they are being confused. Forums are not just read-only :-)


Re: Smoke and mirrors?

This is a non-issue.

All silicon devices have yield problems due to defects that occur during manufacturing. Various processes are used to minimise the impacts of such losses on production, since lower yields drives up device costs.

On RAM devices, at the design phase, additional columns are added to memory devices and then during the post manufacturing test phase the devices health is assessed and there is a one-time process that blows fusible links within the chip to permanently disable failed columns, hence disabling them. After that, some of the spare columns are configured, again with fusable links to make them assume the address of the failed column, thus resulting in a fully functional device again.

As density increases, the number of failures on a device will increase fairly linearly. I guess it now makes more sense to map out larger regions and this results in the approach detailed in the article.

There is nothing wrong with this. The same technique is used in widely in the industry. Some examples are

CPU's are shipped with complete cores disabled when they failed during manufacturing and nobody cares since they get a cheaper CPU.

The same approach is used on EEPROM (NAND and NOR types), although the process differs. NOR flash (the more expensive ones) are shipped defect free and has the same approach of mapping out bad pages with some spares that are already present in the device.

NAND flash (i.e. the cheaper one) are shipped with defects present and visible and a process to allow the host processor to determine where the bad pages are and manually map around them. On Linux and embedded systems, there is the Unsorted Block Image File System (UBIFS) that handles this process. To ensure that the bad block map its self is reliable - since failures can statistically occur anywhere, the same approach of replacement pages is used on a small number of the first pages in a NAND flash, again to ensure increase yield.

Similarly, hard discs (of the spinning type) use the same approach with some spare sectors, these are placed in a number of regions across the disk surface so that fairly similar seek / access times can be achieved. Again, these are silently mapped in as bad sectors occur or grow on the underlying media. You can see this in the SMART metrics for the discs.

SSD's use the same approach as EEPROM's listed above.

I'm sure there are other examples, but this is just the list of what springs to mind. So, nothing to see here other than higher yields and lower costs for everyone, which is a good thing.

Intel settles to escape $4b patent suit with VLSI


Re: "investigate the validity of the company's patents"


The limiting factor in the anti gravity cat/toast solution is the lack of the presence of the infinitely strong string or glue to bind them together.

NASA retires Mars InSight mission after it enters ‘dead bus’ condition


It was the arm wot did it

If it used its arm to push the probe into the ground and its harder there than they expected, I wonder if its simply lying on its side now having toppled over ?

Is that the real reason for no power - since its pointing the wrong way. - i.e. sideways ?

Someone has to say it: Voice assistants are not doing it for big tech


Fully agree

Seems that simple Boolean searches have been disabled on most websites and it’s an OR of each term rather than an the more useful AND

Generally I’m never searching for more than one thing at a time, so why do they waste everyone’s time with pages of useless crap

To make this computer work, users had to press a button. Why didn't it work? Guess


Re: Manual is optional,

I’m surprised you managed to get a permit for DHMO, is looks like scary stuff :-)

Reminds me of a sign on some electrical equipment where I used to work.

Danger 12,000mV

IT management giant DXC confirms takeover interest


The floggings will continue until morale improves

So, now the wheels have come off because of the way things have been run, then perhaps to "maximize shareholder value", you need to change something different, like, oh, I don't know the management approach / management team or something like that.

We'll all stand around with popcorn and see what happens next as everyone likes a bonfire.

I bet Mr Hewlett and Mr Packard are spinning in their graves with what's happened to date. Such a shame from what used to be a good company but got sucked into so much greed. Well, I hope you are happy with what you got.

UK hospitals lose millions after AI startup valuation collapses


Everyone knows the stock line that investment companies always use

The value of stocks and shares may go up or down. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

I wish they had stuck to doing their primary job and use actual intelligence, rather than the fabled artificial intelligence, which generally is fairly dumb.

Google tells Apple to 'fix text messaging' in bid to promote RCS protocol


Re: The whinings of a sad loser

If only there was a way of getting open standards that are not controlled by a single vendor - Internet RFC's anyone ?

At least SMS was vendor neutral too.

Google do this by just saying we're doing this because we are big. QUIC and DNS over HTTP as examples

The sins of OneDrive as Microsoft's cloud storage service turns 15


15 years of not using it and counting

No need, don't want the access issues, clients working / not working / being removed.

Nor the challenge about storage capacity limits going up and down.

Nor the issue of not being in control of my own data.

Nvidia releases first Jetson AGX Orin module for production deployment


Re: "enable AI acceleration for [..] edge computing"

It’s just marketing w@nk, of course it makes no sense.

Boffins release tool to decrypt Intel microcode. Have at it, x86 giant says


Re: Because security -by-obscurity has worked soooooooooooo well in the past.

@John Smith 19

+1 for this, have an upvote

Sage accused of strong-arming customers into subscriptions


Strong arming doesn't work

When will vendors realise that attempting to strong-arm a customer into their vision (usually aligned to larger profits) will not work.

Customers choose what works for them and if your product no longer meets the need, then they will move on.

Doing this with only two months notice is extra nasty. Even if customers are forced to move to their cloud offering because of the aggressive time limitation, then you can bet that they will look in their own time at what the longer term replacement product without a Sage badge will be.

Back-to-office mandates won't work, says Salesforce's Benioff


Re: Happy to return to work if....

Pre-Pandemic, most office spaces were so cramped due to the cost per m2 of space in each city and that resulted in the quality of working life being low. This was before they went all funky and did the open ceiling and uncarpeted floor thing, which just vastly increased the amount of background noise.

Then they converted many meeting rooms into collaboration spaces, so you just had lots of conference calls going on and people turning up at desks and perching on desks whilst they talked. This increased the background noise again as everyone tried to compete to be heard. In short, we created a really poor working environment for everyone.

Working in an office with your headphones in to drown out the background noise makes you far less productive than working at home in a nice comfy office or at the kitchen table where you don't have to start each day by removing the junk left on the desk by yesterdays inhabitant that hopes to grab the desk again tomorrow. Nor do you need to do all the hoteling to book a car parking space, meeting room and a desk.

Companies should be paying employees to have their own kit at home, for the better quality broadband service and because their heating will be on for longer during the winter months.

Personally, I find that I'm much more productive at home, since I can focus on the deliverable and not have so many interruptions, I can also meet with people in seconds anywhere in the world via a simple video conf. call on whatever tech stack the company is using.

There's also the environmental aspect of not needing to get transported to some other desk and back each day so for those that actually need to go somewhere for their job, then the roads, trains and underground networks are less busy so everyone gets a better quality of life and the amount of infrastructure projects can be reduced.

Then there is the increase in personal time, no commute means a better quality of life as I can spend some time with the family and have far greater options for when I walk the dog or go to the gym, before, during or after the work day, since I can work more flexibly on time as I'm no longer racing for a train at a specific time each day.

Roll the clock forwards a couple of years and I expect that those that are forcing for the return to the office have either got real problems recruiting or they will have gone bust due to the far higher operating costs compared to their competitors.

512 disk drives later, Floppotron computer hardware orchestra hits v3.0


Any output would likely be very rough, the sound we are hearing is vibration after all and that's the last thing you would want happening at the hot end of the 3D printer

EV battery can reach full charge in 'less than 10 minutes'


Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

Petrol stations have been saying for ages that there can be no mobile phone use on the forecourt due to the perceived issues around RF and the possibility of sparks, yet at the same time, they allow the installation of hidden mobile phone masks within the forecourts that send the exact same signals, just at a higher power level, but those are apparently OK.

I'd be 900% confident that the risk of dirty great batteries being charged at high current and in close proximity to petrol vapour is a far higher risk. One spark due to a bad connection or something electronic releasing the magic smoke and suddenly there will be a lot more smoke.

Yes, I know that the electronics will be handling charge currents and ramping it down to 0 before a disconnect etc, but what about in fault conditions.


Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

In the UK, houses will have 60A fuses in older houses / flats and 100A in newer houses.

So in the best case and at 240VAC, that's 240 x 100A = 24kW peak for the whole house. There is no way that anyone will upgrade the whole grid to provide such large currents so there is no way anything like this will end up on domestic households, so its not a solution for the vast majority of potential customers. Notwithstanding the need for a whole bunch of new power stations (nuclear) to cope with the vastly increased loads for cars and domestic heating that is also supposed to be going on the same bits of copper wire in your house.

So, if its not in your house, then where ?

Would I want to go to a fuel station and have the same sort of crazy high power flowing into a couple of cars a lane away from the petrol / diesel pumps - no thanks. What about the heat generated during charging ? Will the car be driveable immediately after charging, or will the batteries need time to cool ?

I'd be interested to see what the lifespan of these batteries will be since we all know that phone batteries, tablets and laptops that use lithium batteries only have a 3-5 year span. So, what will the used car of the future look like with dead batteries that only go 20 miles or suddenly go from 100% to 10% in seconds.

Atos, UK government reach settlement on $1 billion Met Office supercomputer dispute


Re: Wait, Microsoft does supercomputers?

Hey, Windows clustering was always easy to configure and run wasn't it ?.

and that was only on two nodes or so.

I've never seen any HPC type systems running Windows though.

TSMC and China: Mutually assured destruction now measured in nanometers, not megatons


Real TCO / impact on GDP

I wonder what the true cost saving has been for cheap outsourcing to China and India for key services that the world relies on, when the timeframe of measurement is from the point it went there, to past the point where the facility is no longer on-line and available to anyone and dependant industries go off-line.

It looks like a more grown up diverse supply chain needs to be in place so that we still have manufacturing facilities, even if some dictator of the day decides to do something silly half way around the planet, since the ripples are always felt across the planet.

We've already seen the following and the list will only get longer over time :

The impact of COVID on silicon manufacturing and loads of related technologies from consumer goods to cars and beyond.

CO2 dry up due to COVID and the impact on being able to process pigs into foodstuffs and then pack those foodstuffs. That also impacted beer.

Food supply / fuel supply because of what's going in in Ukraine.

Baby milk issues in America due to one plant closing down due to contamination.

I hope that governments are already starting to think about resilience, blast radiuses and dependency trees like we would in IT related programmes, but focused around key manufacturing, food, fuel and related supply lines at a global level.

Symbiote Linux malware spotted – and infections are 'very hard to detect'


I wonder what happens if you change the LD_PRELOAD env variable back to empty or something sane on an infected machine ?

Microsoft forgot to renew the certificate for its Windows Insider subdomain


Another foot removed ...

Yet they offer cloud services for certificate lifecycle management.


It even says that it does automatic certificate renewal - perhaps someone should let them know.


Microsoft brings tabs to File Explorer


Another productivity disabler

I wonder how cut and paste type operations would work in this ?

Extra wasted time trying to move between tabs rather than just dragging between windows.

Its almost like they have forgotten what windows are for

Not windows the OS, but the boxes on the screen that we interact with.

We aren't in the old 640x480 screens any more, HD screens or far higher resolutions are the norm, so why not make it easy for people

Oh, I remember, its because they have wasted so much whitespace on all windows making it all chunky tile style windows, rather than the old ones that used to give us useful content in a nice logical layout across each pixel on the screen

So, more evidence that they have lost the plot on why we have these machines in the first place. We are not some giant monkey experiment to see how things respond.

HP pilots paper delivery service for Instant Ink subscribers


Re: Manager Logic ...

The manager won't be worried about the weight of the paper as they will never touch it.

Someone else will take delivery,

someone else will move it to the printer,

someone else will load it into the printer.

Probably followed by someone else collecting the managers printouts on the printer after several days and putting them in the shredder or recycling box.

Makers of ad blockers and browser privacy extensions fear the end is near


Can't be an ad slinger and an ad blocker

They can't have both sides of the cake and it looks like they have chosen ad revenue.

I wonder when advertisers will realise that its all a great con and that most people detest adverts. We have to be force fed them all the time, wasting our time and bandwidth, yet have to pay for the privilege if we actually buy the product because of the cost of advertising. Good products will self advertise as people will tell their friends.

I don't watch TV any more because of the adverts and only use tools on the Internet that mean that I don't see adverts, since we've all got better things to do with our time. I assume that like many others, as soon as Chrome is unable to meet the requirement, then people will go elsewhere and either an existing or new browsers will become popular.

Here's an interesting graphic of browser popularity over time 2022 is not the end, its just the present point in history.

Personal view - Google should be split up so that conflicts of interest like this are no longer present.

American Airlines decides to cruise into Azure's cloud


Re: Storm clouds

That's why all the cloud vendors in their well architected framework papers always have the a reliability engineering section with statements like "embrace failure"

Nothing is ever 100% resilient on its own, so either scale out to other systems outside the worst case blast radius and accept that there will be times when eventual consistency will happen.

The only thing we rely on is the cloud vendors to eat their own dog food and make sure that their own systems meet the well architected frameworks that the publish too.

You can keep your old ERP system, but you'll still need ServiceNow, CEO tells The Reg



Why is it called ServiceNow, when you generally have to wait a very long time for things to percolate through the system and you also have to chase up people to do their bit so that things can progress on slowly to their next step.

They should rename it to ServiceSometime as that reflects the actual experience for most of its users.

Nvidia open-sources Linux kernel GPU modules. Repeat, open-source GPU modules


Hooray !!!

Thank you NVidia - about time too though :-)

Hopefully now I'll waste a lot less time rebuilding Nvidia drivers each time my kernel changes and the damn thing doesn't go into graphical mode any more.

Shame that they didn't open source the older hardware versions, but I expect that a lot of the newer stuff is based on ideas from the older cards. After all the same Windows binaries seems to cover a lot of card versions.

I also hope that there will be some form of consolidation of the different linux drivers, or perhaps they will release the older code in the coming weeks and save everyone a lot of work.

BOFH: Something's consuming 40% of UPS capacity – and it's coming from the beancounters' office


Re: During a recent DR test


I've seen an alternative approach, where the CRAC's are just fed off of grid power / generator power. The logic being that the thermal mass of the room is sufficient to cover the point where the mains fails and all hell breaks loose and the generators kick in.

The approach works fine, until the generators don't kick in and its nice and toasty and hard discs start dropping like flies.

SpaceX launches first totally private mission to the International Space Station


Oh dear

Start down this route and soon it will be all the things listed above, but the science will be removed since its taking up space. .. did you see what I did there :-)

Raspberry Pi OS update beefs up security


Re: Is root the same as Administrator?


Yes, you are right. They are both labels to an underlying ID. As you stated on Windows, Administrator has the relative ID (RID) of 500 (0x1F4 as you stated) and this can't be changed. There's also the administrators group (544). Here's the full list of Windows SID's and RID's

There are reserved ranges in Windows, so typically user ID's start at 1000. As you stated security tools take advantage of this information, i.e. to find the real name of the admin account, others just use the well known SID's and RID's.

For extra fun, rename administrator, then create a new account called administrator, with no permissions and set it to be disabled. This will prevent account lockout on the real administrator account and it makes it easy via the logs to see any attempted login by unexpected parties. The new administrator account will have a RID of >1000.

Finally, there are tools that can display the mapping of users to SID's, there are even powershell cmdlets that give this info, so its always possible to see the mapping.

Its the same on Linux, root is user ID (UID) 0 and Group ID (GID)=0. The mappings can be found in /etc/passwd and /etc/group

Linux/Unix also has the same layout of special ID ranges and users start at 1000.

Apologies for the Wikipedia article but I couldn't easily find a list of the linux reserved ranges, other than a systemd article . Both init and systemd have the same sort of approach.

There are similarities on reserved ranges for special purposes (0-99).

The same sort of attacks are possible on Linux for the same reasons.

Given Unix came first and all OS's need to map friendly names to underlying data structures that are generally based around INT's, its easy to see why all OS's (Linux, Windows, etc) share a lot of common approaches in this regard.

Like Windows, you *can* rename root, but the level of OS understanding needs to be higher, since some 3rd party tools and scripts check the text, not the ID. This means that generally only larger organisations or those with increase risk profiles and who understand the impacts actually do it.

Happy birthday Windows 3.1, aka 'the one that Visual Basic kept crashing on'



Don't forget his other commanding officers. Major Problem and Kernel Panic.

File Explorer fiasco: Window to Microsoft's mixed-up motivations


Re: It gets worse...

If only they could put as much effort into fixing the broken bits of Windows and adding genuinely useful features

MongoDB to terminate Russian SaaS accounts


The ultimate <db>.dropDatabase()

Whilst I fully agree with the principle of sanctions with Russia to bring things back under control, there is however a very interesting dimension coming out around risk, I bet nobody has got this on their risk register at the moment.

It will be interesting to see what unintended consequences might come out as people consider the wider implications of cloud.

If you want to connect GPUs direct to SSDs for a speed boost, this could be it


Whats old is new

So they have reinvented a form of DMA (Direct Memory Access), just with a different endpoint attached to it ?

Wasn't this problem solved in the 1970's ?

Uncle Sam has a datacenter waste problem


Can prove anything with statistics.

and the Dept of Energy said each facility can use 100 to 200 times as much energy as a commercial building.

So, they are comparing a data centre to an ordinary commercial building such as any office, tyre fitters or machine shop and are surprised that it takes a lot more energy to run a data centre since its rammed full of servers - funny that.

Perhaps if they compared data centres to other data centres then that would be a more meaningful metric, but i assume that their desire was to show lots of zero to justify their analysis and then lead to some other half baked "solution" that saves tons of money, all whilst not understanding the problem.

If I recall correctly, an idle server takes 40% less energy than a server running at flat out, so it doesn't follow either that consolidation results in energy savings.

Turning off redundant workloads or moving old monolithic systems to more modern technologies would however since they could then auto scale depending on demand. That of course will take a lot more money up front to re-engineer things to take advantage of newer technologies before they can think about turning off all the older stuff.

BOFH: Gaming rig for your home office? Yeah right


Re: Every company!

When faced with this issue at a previous customer when physical machines were the standard desktop, Perfmon was enabled on the offending machine to log interesting topics, then when the customer complained, we asked "when did this happen".

Open the perfmon logs, look at that time and see what the apps were that they were running. This very quickly resolved the problem by showing that there was no problem.

I've also been on the receiving end of this with outsourced VDI's, where the support team didn't understand the difference between monitoring the virtual machine using its internal to the OS monitoring vs the monitoring tools provided by the virtualisation platform. The VM was fine, but the hypervisors were completely flatlined. Took a while to get the call escalated to the right team before we could wade in get the 3rd party to fix their platform.

Millions of APC Smart-UPS devices vulnerable to TLStorm


Re: Yet another pointless insistence on "cloud"

Consume as in use.


consume your data allowance === use your data allowance

consume cloud services === use cloud services

consume a UPS capability === use a UPS capability


Re: Yet another pointless insistence on "cloud"


Do you think that APC used an architect to design their solution, or did someone in marketing just make a fuss about having the word cloud in their product description and some developer lashed something up to meet the minimum cost and minimum time that would have been defined in the same meeting ?

I agree that end customers should be able to consume a system in a secure and reliable manner.

But it doesn't need cloud in the first place, a simple buzzer and an LED on the front that says "Fault" would do the same, having it send an email or alert to someone is also easy to do, as is providing a local app on the PC / server to see the UPS state and report it to the OS. There are many reference patterns on how to do this without requiring a cloud connection.

On the flip side though, any PoS provider or other such company should have appropriately skilled people to do an install right and once installed, have the appropriate ongoing management of a system through its lift. After all, if the PoS system is down, then so is the company, hence they should want to protect their systems.


Re: Yet another pointless insistence on "cloud"

I came here to say the same, so have an upvote instead.

There is absolutely no need for core infrastructure to have a connection to the cloud. Anything used for management of any IT component should be on a management network - one in-band (to the OS) and one out of band to the OS. There need to be enough of these management networks so that there is no way to move horizontally across systems and bypass other controls.

Its dead simple to configure with a bunch of VLAN's and a management firewall, then with the support teams connecting via management (jump host) workstations.

Any platforms that just stick everything on the same network is just asking for trouble, be that local LAN segment, or the public Internet.

Microsoft 365, Office 365 price hikes delayed


Because bean counters always want year on year growth, it doesn't matter to them if they caused the world to end or the universe to explode - so long as the number is bigger this year than it was last year -- pure greed.