* Posts by John Geek

178 posts • joined 12 Mar 2015


Google said to be taking steps to keep political campaign emails out of Gmail spam bin

John Geek

ugh, please don't do this. literally 50% of the messages in my spam folder daily are from the Trump Orgs seeking money.

How to find NPM dependencies vulnerable to account hijacking

John Geek

I've come to the conclusion that the average NodeJS developer knows as much about software engineering as a kid playing with Lego knows about architecture and structural engineering.

Supercomputer lab swaps lead-acid UPS batteries for alkaline gear

John Geek

for this application, LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) would be a good solution, reasonable energy density, 10 year+ lifetime, can handle 1000s of deep discharge/recharge cycles, can be recharged quite fast (50 amps into a 200 AH is typical)

Mars helicopter mission (which Apache says is powered byLog4j) overcomes separate network glitch to confirm new flight record

John Geek

Re: Syslog or log4j which is better for iot

log4j is how you do that from a java app unless you want to deal with JNI native code wrappers.

John Geek

Re: Safe as long as the trolls don't have space internet access

that pretty much describes *all* of twitter. tweets are for twits.

Microsoft's UWP = Unwanted Windows Platform?

John Geek

An ever changing sea of APIs and frameworks, all eventually swirling down the drain.

BOFH: So you want to have your computer switched out for something faster? It's time to learn from the master

John Geek

Re: Old grannies

old VW had the best $@#$@ adverts. IMHO, they started to lose their way by the 90s and instead of light fun to drive cars started trying to go upscale

'It takes a hell of a mental toll' – techies who lost work due to COVID share their stories

John Geek

December 2019 was my last day at my last tech job of 20 years (department was being shut down, and our jobs were being oved to Asia), and when I figured out what all I had in my various retirement accounts, combined with my wife's, and we're both mid 60s, I decided it was a good time to retire. She was made redundant not long after. who wants to hire a 63 year old burned out software engineer, anyways....

then covid hit. about the only major change in our lifestyle was getting curbside takeout instead of going out once or twice a week. My biggest regret has been not being able to go to music festivals and local shows.

Pub landlords on notice as 'Internet of Beer' firm not only pulls pints, but can also clean the lines

John Geek

Re: No surprise there...

/But what is the actual definition of AI?/

Artificial Ignorance.

USA's efforts to stop relying on Russian-built rocket engines derailed by issues with Blue Origin's BE-4

John Geek

its a lot more than just the final assembly line (which would have to be rebuilt from scratch), there's a huge number of parts made by suppliers who are no longer prepared to make those components, the whole supply chain would have to be rebuilt from scratch.

Freenode IRC staff resign en masse, unhappy about new management

John Geek

Re: User Ratio

FWIW (about $0.02), the freenode chans I lurk on have 1000 users, 500, 280, and 100. the first three are the semi-official peer support channels of various open source projects, and the latter is a social channel for an obscure hobby. all are pretty active

Self-supported Red Hat Enterprise Linux Server virty users see stealth inflation

John Geek



We All B M

for I B M


I haven't bought new pants for years, why do I have to keep buying new PCs?

John Geek

I'm *OH* so glad my ivy league liberal arts parents, may they RIP, never EVER touched a computer in their life, so I was never called to do any family support such as this. My dad used a vintage Underwood full sized mechanical office typewriter, probably 1950s vintage, right up until he couldn't write anymore in his 90s.

IBM teases new AIX release – the first since 2015

John Geek

AIX is like the exact opposite of 'cloudy'

Top engineer who stole trade secrets from Google's self-driving division pardoned on Trump's last day as president

John Geek

Grifters gotta grift.

New year, new rant: Linus Torvalds rails at Intel for 'killing' the ECC industry

John Geek

Re: Sometimes....it was required...

yes, but of that 25% of total system price spent on RAM, how much cheaper were similar spec 4x512MB non-ECC rams ? if the non-ECC stuff was 12% cheaper than the ECC stuff, and the ram was 25% of the total, then the total system price of the ECC was more like 3%.

oh and the Opteron was AMD's server CPUs, marketed against the Intel Xeon's.

John Geek

Re: I don't see it that way

in fact, Intels' Celeron, Pentium, and Core I3 cpu's have ECC enabled, but only when used on a 'server' chipset, like a C2xx, not on a desktop/laptop chipset. and the only reason Core i5 and i7 have it disabled is so they can sell more expensive Xeon chips which are functionally identical.

If 4GB systems have an average of 3 single bit faults a year, then a 16GB system would have 12/year. My desktop and laptop both have 16GB and both are 5+ years old.

I built a shed once. How hard can a data centre be?

John Geek

my wife's first job out of college with her BS in Technical Journalism was at DEC in the old mills, working on internal and public documentation for VAX VMS 1.x, 2.0..

It's always DNS, especially when a sysadmin makes a hash of their semicolons

John Geek

when I first started running DNS back in the mid 90s, I used a perl(?) script that converted 'hosts' format files to bind zone files... this worked OK for awhile til things got more complicated. the handy thing was it automatically updated the in-addr.arpa RDNS zones too.

AI in the enterprise: AI may as well stand for automatic idiot – but that doesn't mean all machine learning is bad

John Geek

I've always considered AI an abbreviation for Artificial Ignorance.

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

John Geek

Re: Time to check how many on the list support DD/Open-WRT?

um, my WNDR3700v3 is Broadcom based, and has OpenWrt support. I know this because I just got it working in OpenWrt...

John Geek

and a week ago I'd just dug up my old WNDR3700v3 to use as an extra WAP to provide coverage for the north end of my rather long and linear house...

.... so as of a couple hours ago, its running OpenWrt 19.07.3

Speaking of annoying Netgear features, the same 'model' WNDR3700 could have any of 3 or 4 different chipsets depending on the version. v1, v2 were Atheros, V3 is Broadcom, V4 is a different Atheros, and V5 is a MediaTek. *yuck*.

Better get Grandpa off Windows 7 because zero-day bug in Zoom allows remote code execution on vintage OS

John Geek

I have moved several folks onto win10 who initially had to be dragged kicking and screaming from win7...

1) I delete *ALL* the Microsoft 'apps' crud thats pinned to the start menu, and pin their favorite stuff there instead

2) I disable Cortana via a regedit hack

3) I setup Chrome (or Firefox, whihcever is their preferred browser) as the default, I also install MPC-HD as the default media player

3) I set them up with a local account (which yes, MS is hiding deeper each time)

and blam, in about 5 minutes they are perfectly happy, in a day they are amazed at how much faster it is. in a week they comment that it hasn't crashed once.

After huffing and puffing for years, US senators unveil law to blow the encryption house down with police backdoors

John Geek

When strong crypto is outlawed, only outlaws will use strong crypto ?

where have I heard this refrain before ??

DevOps to DevOops: Docker Hub proves so secure that 430 Docker images out of 2,500 have no vulnerabilities

John Geek

Re: Age old problem.

I hang out on a database server forum. VAST majority of the Docker users who show up with problems related to the database server are COMPLETELY clueless about systems administration, networking, software in general, and have built their world by stuffing other peoples black boxes (eg, docker containers) together, without ANY idea how any of it works. its all magic to them. devops cargocult style.

now, sure, there's some who use docker as a deployment tool, and these guys generally build their OWN containers from scratch, and know what they are doing, but they are way outnumbered by the clueless.

Microsoft disbands three-ring Windows Insider circus and replaces it with 'channels'

John Geek

I've been trying to unsubscribe to Insider emails for a couple years now, but their unsubscribe links want me to authjenticate with a Microsoft Account, which I refuse to register for. I used to beta test their stuff eons ago, like Windows XP vintage, and quit after taht, but have stayed on their $#@$@@ email lists since.

hopefully, they'll start over with registrations for this new 'channels' program. ya right.

Microsoft drops a little surprise thank-you gift for sitting through Build: The source for GW-BASIC

John Geek

CP/M ?!?

I opened a random ASM file from the github and OMG, the comments were referring to CP/M command line parsing. I was working for Digital Research on CP/M internals when the IBM PC came out, and I vaguely remember hearing that Microsoft took their 8 bit 8080/8085/Z80 BASICA for CP/M and ran it through an automatic 8080->8086 code translater to bootstrap GWBasic. Obviously they did lots of work to it after the auto translater, splitting code and data segments, and so forth (the 8080 didn't have segments at all).

FCC boss pleads with Congress: Please stop me from auctioning off this spectrum for billions of dollars

John Geek

Re: So it's actually more of the same

I suspect those broadcast channels would be grandfathered in, such that any services in a region are on unused UHF channels.

Former US Homeland Security Inspector General accused of stealing govt code and trying to resell it to... the US govt

John Geek

Re: When force is gone, there's always Mom. Hi Mom!

+1 for Laurie Andersen.

Galileo got it wrong – official: Jupiter actually wet, not super-dry: 'No one would have guessed that water might be so variable across the planet'

John Geek

Re: Dodgy analogy

Or California. serious desert to high sierra within a hundred miles....

Talk about high tech: Tens of thousands of Cali marijuana convictions to go up in smoke, thanks to algorithms

John Geek

Re: The hippies have token over

hippies never grow up!

I know this cuz I are one.

So you locked your backups away for years, huh? Allow me to introduce my colleagues, Brute, Force and Ignorance

John Geek

Re: Seen in the wild

high school, circa 1970, 'earth sciences'' teacher drove this ratty mid 60s Jeep Wagoneer in which we did many field trips. It frequently wouldn't start when hot, he'd pull the rubber mat up near the gas pedal, there was a strategic 1" hole in the floor, through which he'd bang the starter a couple times with the crowbar kept under the seat, vrooom, chugchugchug...

Why so glum, VMware? It's Friday. Oh, is it this $235m patent infringement invoice from Densify? Too bad, so sad

John Geek

Re: US Patent 8,209,687 & 9,654,367

I glazed over trying to read the patent, but it seems to be describing a rather basic P2V, something vmware had 15+ years ago, which surely predates this patent ?

Sorry to be blunt about this... Open AWS S3 storage bucket just made 30,000 potheads' privacy go up in smoke

John Geek

Re: At this stage of the game, one has to ask ...

.... Yes....

Bruce Perens quits Open Source Initiative amid row over new data-sharing crypto license: 'We've gone the wrong way with licensing'

John Geek

LGPL, AGPL, Apache, and BSD/MIT

I like the PostgreSQL version of the BSD style license. and if there is no PARTY1 (The University of California in the PG license), its even simpler.

Portions Copyright © 1996-2020, $PARTY2

Portions Copyright © 1994, $PARTY1

Permission to use, copy, modify, and distribute this software and its documentation for any purpose, without fee, and without a written agreement is hereby granted, provided that the above copyright notice and this paragraph and the following two paragraphs appear in all copies.



What do you mean your eardrums need a break? Samsung-owned JBL touts solar-powered wireless headphones you don't need to charge

John Geek
Paris Hilton

Re: Eternal

wired phones get their power from the headphone jack in the form of analog audio. but I'm sure you know this.

my good full sized headphones require significantly more power than most any small audio source can output, so I have to use a headphone amplifier with them, which yes, has a rechargeable battery.

wireless phones need power for both the Bluetooth radio receiver, the Bluetooth compression decoder, and the audio amplification needed to drive the phones.

We strained our eyes with Lenovo's monster monitor: 43.4 inches for price of five 24" screens

John Geek

Costco (US big box membership retailer) had Samsung 32" 3840x2160 monitor on sale for $319 this weekend. Bought one for my wife, its gorgeous.

has HDMI 2.0 and DP 1.4(?) inputs. on her Latitude w/ the usb c expander box, I had to use the DP port to get 60Hz, the HDMI port would only do 30Hz, awwwww. I had the DP cable already, so all is good.

a bigger screen would have to be farther away to minimize neck strain looking back and forth, so zilch for gain.

Oracle finally responds to wage discrimination claims… by suing US Department of Labor

John Geek

Re: The Oracle

Chris G wrote, From Wikipedia: "An oracle is a person or agency considered to provide wise and insightful counsel or prophetic predictions or precognition of the future, inspired by the gods"

It makes more sense when you consider that Larry thinks he IS God.

Absolutely smashing: Musk shows off Tesla's 'bulletproof' low-poly pickup, hilarity ensues

John Geek

Re: looks horrible

3 ton? my truck, a 2002 Ford F250, weighs nearly 4.5 tons(US) loaded, and its a 7.3L turbodiesel. yes, its 4 WD because sometimes I need to go off road, or drive over the mountains in the winter.

its primary function in my life is to haul our caravan on long road trips, while carrying my astronomy and music festival stuff (awnings, tables, chairs, in addition to telescopes, ice chests, water, propane). its secondary function is carrying my rather large telescope to local star parties along with the tall ladder and everything else I need, and generally haul anything else too big to fit into my wife's estate.

It woz The Reg wot won it! Big Blue iron relics make it back to Blighty

John Geek

sigh, the /20 was the bastard stepchild of the system/360 lineup. it only has 8 16 bit registers, instead of the 16 32 bit of the rest of the 360 line, and its instruction set is very subset and incompatible. The /20 had 4-32KB of core memory, and you needed at least 12KB to run the DPS OS which wasn't very compatible with anything else in the 360 lineup. its a shame its not a 360/40, those could at least run the mainstream DOS/360

restoring that thing to full operational state is likely going to be a major project. they used DTL logic, and ceramic hybrids rather than integrated circuits, which IBM called SLT. The DTL logic can be either 0-3V or 0-9V. I know a retired guy who restored an IBM 1130 of the same generation a couple years ago, it was about a 2 year full time project to get it fully functional. Part way through it, the front panel lights started dying of old age, and they were an unobtanium 'grain of wheat' lightbulb, so he ended up having to engineer and fabricate a LED based front panel replacement

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump

John Geek

Early Monday morning of my last week at work before retiring, I get a panic call from someone in corporate IT who'd heard I knew PostgreSQL. Apparently there was this PC in a wiring closet, running some sort of ancient linux and a bodge of proprietary crapware that used a Postgres database, it had been powered down to move it and change its UPS, and it wouldn't come back up.... It ran the card reader and turnstile for the garage security gate. They had the logins for it, so from home over the VPN I was able to log into the box, poke around, wow, this is some old stuff, Red Hat Linux 6, an app written in perl by a Japanese firm, and a PostgreSQL 7.3 database... Anyways, it took me about a half day to figure out that someone had changed a postgres configuration file over a year ago but never restarted the database or the box, and the change they made was invalid so postgres wouldn't start. logging had been disabled, so there was no error logs to debug, thats why it took me 4 hours instead of 30 mins. wave magic wand, turnstile works again.

Just what we all needed, lactose-free 'beer' from northern hipsters – it's the Vegan Sorbet Sour

John Geek

real beer has no lactose and is vegan inherently, as its just made from water, barley, hops and a bit of yeast. I prefer my brews with minimal to no adjuncts. ok, a bit of oatmeal in an oatmeal stout is OK whomever started putting chocolate and/or coffee in stouts and porters should be taken out at a dawn and summarily shot

New lows at Bose as firmware update woes infuriate soundbar bros

John Geek

Re: A grand?

Bose long ago mastered the process of taking a handful of $1.99 car speakers and using signal processing to make them sound 'ok' to a casual listener, then packaging them with $1999 worth of advertising.

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020

John Geek

heck, I remember seeing how painful it was updating large complex code bodies from 2.3 to 2.5, never mind 2.x->3 I'm really really thankful I never jumped on the python bandwagon

Divert the power to the shields. 'I'm givin' her all she's got, Captain!'

John Geek

Re: chillers

first, there's LiFePo4 batteries which are far less likely to go up in a fire. These come in brick sizes up to 200AH per 3.2V (nominal) cell, or even higher. requiring far fewer cells means you need far less equalization circuitry,too.

2nd, these LiFePo4 batteries can be discharged 80% 2000 times and still have most of their capacity. lead acid batteries lifetime gets greatly shortened if they are discharged below 50%

3rd, they can be charged at insane rates, like 100 amps into that 200AH cell, linear til its full, so 2 hours to fully recharge. lead acid batteries require an absorption phase to achieve a 100% charge that often takes 6-8 hours.

There's no getting Huawei from 5G – Chinese giant joins Qualcomm, Samsung in bunging high-speed comms in mobe brains

John Geek

What in heck is a "Neural Processing Unit" ??

Clutching at its Perl 6, developer community ponders language name with less baggage

John Geek

reminds me of the lyrics of an iconic 1960s rock song...

"You call it rain, but the human name doesn't mean s*** to a tree..."

DevOpsery-dispenser Atlassian's customers settle into the cloudy subscription world

John Geek
Thumb Down

every atlassian program I've had the displeasure of having to use has been worst-in-class. their Confluence 'wiki' is awful, and so is Jira, the worst bug tracker.I've had the displeasure to use. they must have a heck of a sales force to push this stuff into corporate suites.

Too hot to handle? Raspberry Pi 4 fans left wondering if kit should come with a heatsink

John Geek

hmm, one of my pi3's is in a nice alloy case that has a heat spreader pressed against the CPU chip.

now, my workload for it is very light weight, it runs a python script that sleeps for 2 minutes, then reads some weather data and updates a couple servers. so it runs very cool

ah, they have a pi4 version now...


Two Arkansas dipsticks nicked after allegedly taking turns to shoot each other while wearing bulletproof vests

John Geek

Re: Definite Darwin Award winner in the making

you can only be a candidate for the Darwin Award if you actually die.



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