* Posts by Six_Degrees

155 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Mar 2015


Comcast 'rolls out' 'world's first' DOCSIS 3.1 modem, pumping 1Gbps over existing cable


Sadly, it sounds as though Comcast will have the market for Docsis 3.1 modems to itself for the foreseeable future. You won't be able to stop at Best Buy and pick one up for yourself, and just connect it to the incoming line, as you can with 3.0.

Which means we'll have to buy/rent Comcast modems, at some exorbitant cost, and be subjected to their ever-expanding "dual" modem plan that plants a WiFi hotspot in every customer's home, while the customer picks up the tab for the split bandwidth it demands.

I'm looking at you askance, Comcast.

Volkswagen blames emissions cheating on 'chain of errors'


Re: My garage needs painting

I'm not sure what you're on about. There has been no attempt to hide the terms of the agreement reached today, the shortfall of target from what was originally hoped for was openly noted, and because of it the attendees agreed to meet once again in 3 years for another assessment.

Meanwhile, they got most of what even the most extreme demands were calling for.

You seem to forget that politics is the art of the possible. Demanding what those who must give approval will never agree to is completely pointless. You get what you can, and if need be you try to do better next time.

Also, I'll note that berating people after they've worked very hard to reach some sort of workable compromise doesn't create much of an atmosphere for continuing to pursue such talks, since apparently nothing that is done will work to your liking. Given enough such sentiment, those in a position to effect change could be excused if they didn't even bother to try.


Chain of Errors

Well, obviously there were errors. Like getting caught.

No root for you! Google slams door on Symantec certs


Symantec is and always has been a crap company, doing a half-assed job at whatever endeavor they've belatedly taken up.

I'm surprised they aren't manufacturing unfiltered printer ink yet.

GPS, you've gone too far this time


Any estimates of the percentage error for a representative unit?

US Congress grants leftpondians the right to own asteroid booty


"This off-planet economy will forever change our lives for the better here on Earth."

...or at least until an amateur space-miner shepards an asteroid into near-Earth orbit, and drops it.


The story of .Gay: This bid is too gay! This bid is not gay enough! This bid is just right?


Maybe Sepp Blatter can take over ICANN when he leaves FIFA.

FBI, US g-men tried to snatch DNA results from blood-testing biz. What a time to be alive


"So on at least one occasion the FBI has asked for specific details on an individual. We don't know for a fact it was their DNA tests, but since that is 23andMe's sole function, it's a fair bet."

Honestly, it's not a bet I would take. The FBI approaches many businesses for a variety of information, very little of it directly related to whatever it is the business may do. While it's disturbing that the FBI may be looking for a back-door way to collect genetic information, we simply don't know that's the case here, and it's much more likely the information sought had nothing to do with customer genetics.

When the FBI requests car rental information on a particular individual, for instance, it's a lot more likely they're looking for information related to, say, a truck bombing than building a database on the public's rental car usage.

SanDisk, HP take on Micron and Intel’s faster-than-flash XPoint


Looks like a lot of hand-waving so far. Let me know when production samples actually start shipping.

How long does it take an NHS doctor to turn on a computer?


Not Surprising

I worked for our school system's audio visual department while in high school, servicing 10 schools with movie projectors, cassette recorders, videotape machines, and what not. When equipment failed to function properly, we were expected to either fix it, or swap it out for a working model.

The single most common problem we encountered was that users failed to plug the machine in, and rapidly pronounced it faulty when it failed to function without power applied.

Doctor Who's Under the Lake splits Reg scribes: This Alien homage thing – good or bad?


Clara and The Doctor just seem incapable of gelling. Neither seems at all comfortable with their roles, let alone with each other.

Doctor Who storms back in fine form with Season 9 opener The Magician's Apprentice


Re: It's my party and I'll die if I want to

It reminded me unpleasantly of the faux character gits who show up and Renaissance Festivals, not in a good way at all.

It also had the stench of so many Moffat episodes as being stuck on without much thought at all simply to satisfy some bizarre Moffat conceit, rather than to further the story.


I really wanted to like this episode, but the whole, pointlessly over-the-top medieval scene - or whatever the hell it was - ruined it. There was nothing at all about that scene that made any sense whatsoever. It was just plain annoying.

The rest of the story was actually pretty good, but got dragged down into the muck by that scene. It served no purpose at all, other than to drop the audience IQ several points and prove that, to date, Moffat has still not been able to figure out what sort of personality his current Doctor is supposed to have.

It may well be time, or past time, for this series to end. Or for Moffat to move on and turn the reins over to someone who can write.

Wikipedia’s biggest scandal: Industrial-scale blackmail


There's no question that Wikipedia has problems.

But there's a simple solution that doesn't involve having them change. Set up your own encyclopedic project and run it according to the rules you think would be better.

Wiki software is now widely available (even Wikipedia's own software is readily available for download) and initial hosting services cost pennies. By the time you outgrow basline hosting, you'll presumably have managed to establish enough of a clientele to keep you afloat and finance more substantial support.

Wikipedia is not going to change. Do better.

All pixels go: World's biggest sky-gazing camera gets final sign-off


Re: "nearly 10 square degrees of"


Does Linux need a new file system? Ex-Google engineer thinks so


Re: @ Martijn Otto - You mean btrfs, surely

"Purity of Essence. EOP. OPE. It's one of those!"


Just what Linux needs - another half-finished, half-baked filesystem.

After the embarassingly premature square-wheeled rollout of btrfs, the stench of poorly built, poorly managed filesystems has permeated the Linux landscape

Boffins dump the fluids to build solid state lithium battery


Obviously, they need to jump straight to dilithium crystals, and skip the lithium approach.

Just ONE THOUSAND times BETTER than FLASH! Intel, Micron's amazing claim


Shut up and take my money.

YOU! DEGRASSE! It's time to make Pluto a proper planet again, says NASA boffin


Re: They were correct

All pairs of bodies orbit "around" each other, tracing ellipses about their common center of mass. The moon orbits the earth in the same fasion; both gyrate around a point located just slightly below the earth's surface and far from the earth's center.

Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars


Re: Hooray for publishing security flaws

Please lay out the design of your attack, being sure to point out which portions of it were made possible by this article.


Re: Why is the onboard computer able to control the brakes and steering?

It has been several decades since you directly controlled any system in your car. The move toward "drive by wire" systems has been steady and inexorable.

Critical systems like brakes, engine control, and steering have, however, ALWAYS been air-gapped from other vehicle networks. The problem here isn't indirect control - it's the ACCESS to that control that Fiat's inexplicable decision to eliminate this air gap provides.


True. Also, simply knowing such control is, in fact, possible is a serious advantage over where the original researchers started.


It's not a bad idea on its face, and it's an idea driven by consumer demands.

The idiocy entered the picture when critical car systems like steering, brakes, and engine control were merged onto the network with that connection. These systems have typically, in the past, been completely air-gapped from other car networks and systems, for the very reason that...they're critical.

Apparently, some moron in Italy decided that saving three cents worth of CAN cable was far more important that system integrity.


"With the car's control networks bafflingly left open by default, El Reg wonders why Chrysler even bothered putting them in in the first place."

My guess: during development, dealing with the firewall - which will normally be fully enabled by default - was just too much of a pain in the ass for developers to deal with, so they completely disabled it rather than go through the somewhat more painstaking process of opening only those ports needed by their applications and those of other development teams. By the time deployment time rolled around, the system had grown in complexity to the point where the idea of shutting down ports was deemed too difficult and time-consuming, so everything was just left wide open.

Somewhere in Italy, there's a list of "nice-to-have enhancements" that contains "analyze firewall settings" on it.

NEW, LOVELY, UNTOUCHED - a second EARTH waiting across the stars


"It's an unknown group that doesn't exist any more."

Political moderates?

John McAfee: Ashley Madison hack may ‘destabilise society’


McAfee makes Donald Trump look nearly sane and reasonable.

Want longer battery life? Avoid the New York Times and The Grauniad


Re: and the same tests done with

Pretty much all OSs have power monitoring abilities. But they're all dependent on the hardware having sensors to gather the information reported. This hardware is quite common on laptops, but pretty much nonexistent on desktop machines.

Much more Moore's Law, as boffins assemble atom-level transistor


So, how big is it?

Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees


"The two sceptics highlighted the ongoing hiatus in global warming, which has seen temperatures around the world remain basically the same for more than 15 years"

Last I heard, this particular claim has now been debunked, and it is now accepted that warming has, indeed, taken place over this interval.

Google robo-car in rear-end smash – but cack-handed human blamed


Re: Maintainance?

Autonomous cars don't have to be perfect. They just have to be better than cars driven by meatsacks.

And that is a bar that's set incredibly low to begin with.


Re: To avoid rear-enders

You last suggestion, especially, has a name. It's called "reckless driving," and you can and will be ticketed for it.

Behavior like that is also a big reason so many drivers think so many motorcyclists are assholes.


Re: Room for improvement

Like what? Pretty much all the driver can do to lessen whiplash is realize that a collision is imminent and take the brake off. That, though, has the downside of tossing the car forward, quite possibly into cross or oncoming traffic.

There's a reason cars have those "headrests" - they're meant explicitly to reduce whiplash injuries.


Re: What do the statistics tell us?

Last time this issue came up (a few weeks ago) Google cars were having accidents per million miles at about half the average rate.

Wicked WikiLeaks leaks considered harmful: Alert over malware lurking in dumped docs


"Wieder says he's been trying to contact the whistleblowing website to get the data cleaned up. He argues that you wouldn't expect a reputable news source to host malicious files, so WikiLeaks – which seeks to hold power to account – shouldn't either."

Well, there's your problem - assuming that WikiLeaks is anything other than an exercise in Assange's ongoing self-aggrandizement.

Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg


Re: Superpowers

Not so much. I remember first hearing this story at least 20 years ago, and I got the impression it had been in circulation for quite a long time even then. I don't think there's any current smarting taking place, although that might have been the case during the Cold War, when it seems this story first appeared.




Just no.

Been hacked? Now to decide if you chase the WHO or the HOW



"Imagine a security researcher has plucked your customer invoice database from a command and control server. You're nervous and angry. Your boss will soon be something worse and will probably want you to explain who pulled off the heist, and how.

But only one of these questions, the how, is worth your precious resources; security experts say the who is an emotional distraction."


Imagine a kidnapper has plucked your child from your home You're nervous and angry. Your spouse will soon be something worse and will probably want you to explain who pulled off the kidnapping, and how.

But only one of these questions, the how, is worth your precious resources; security experts say the who is an emotional distraction.


The perpetrators should be named, dragged through the streets, and openly flogged in the public square. In both cases.

Police investigate strange case of doughnut-licking pop singer Ariana Grande


So, another "I'm really sorry I got caught" response.

Hacking Team: We're the good guys, but SO misunderstood. Like Batman


You're not the good guys. You sell your goods and services to some of the most odious, repressive regimes on the planet, for the purpose of monitoring their citizenry and persecuting their opposition.

And you certainly weren't hacked by some government agency - which would have simply remained quiet about the theft, rather than publishing it for all the world to see. Intelligence doesn't do the holder any good if they share it with the whole planet.

You got hacked by a private organization, motivated by your loathsome business practices and clientele. Own it.

WHAT ARE the 'WEIRD' SPOTS seen on far-flung PLUTO?


I'm curious about the "pebbled" appearance of this image. Is it natural, or is it a result of image processing? It has the look of an over-aggresive sharpening filter.


Re: Ion-engine


Cool-headed boffins overcome sticky issue: Graphene-based film could turn heat down


Re: If the LEDs were highly efficient...

No. That would be true if they were claimed to be completely efficient. They can still be extremely efficient while emitting some heat.


Re: WTF?

Damn. And that refrigerator-size block of pure copper I put in the living room wasn't cheap.


"Researchers at Chalmers University, led by professor Johan Liu, have developed the 20 micrometre-thick film, which apparently has a thermal conductivity capacity of 1,600 W/mK"

"Apparently"? Didn't they measure it?

I'm hearing bold predictions about uses of graphene on a monthly basis, and have been for years now. But I'm not seeing any of them come to market. Please let me know when someone says graphene WILL do something, rather than COULD do something.

Canadian dirtbag jailed for SWAT'ing, doxing women gamers


Re: I would also suggest the police force

I don't disagree. But I'll note that, so far, doxing hasn't resulted in any deaths that I'm aware of. So police seem to have at least a modicum of reasoned judgement.

It is, however, only a matter of time before one of these snot-nosed sociopaths kills someone by police proxy.


Re: What a difference...

What will that accomplish? There is no effective treatment for psychopaths like this other than doping them into near-narcolepsy. Psychiatry simply won't work here.

KERR-PAO! Reddit interim CEO Ellen quits amid Redditor revolt


She would have been a good CEO, if she didn't suck.

Thinking of adding an SSD for SUPREME speed? Read this


I look forward to the day when permanent storage speeds converges on the speed of volatile RAM storage, and merge into a single 'storage' subsystem.

Security gurus deliver coup de grace to US govt's encryption backdoor demands


So, can Comey cite even a single example of a case where encryption stopped him from doing his job?