* Posts by DWRandolph

50 publicly visible posts • joined 30 Jun 2015

VMware customers have watched Broadcom's acquisitions and don't like what they see


Re: Broadcom does do software

but is he wrong ?

Apps made with Google's Flutter may fritter away CPU cycles. Here's what the web giant intends to do about it


"working as intended" Code for this is shite, but upper managlement has already told the shareholders what a bright new shiny they have to play with.

WTF is 'Computing First Networking'? Think load balancers for the age of edge


As long as none of those "edge" machines belong to me. If you want any of my "idle" cycles/storage/bandwidth be prepared to pay.

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing


Re: Bit worrying.....

But, People Are Stupid. Same as the kerfuffles about global warming or climate change or pandemic response or economic inequality or paving over farmland or .... Doing something would hit their bonus this quarter, so denying it exists makes it easier to do nothing. I have given up on this species, we are not going to get off this ball of rock. And there will not be enough left for whatever next tries to rise up in few thousand years to bootstrap themselves into a new civilization.

Beijing fingers foreign spies for data mischief, with help from consulting firm


Re: Metrological data

Keeping local weather data classified will make it harder for outsiders to determine how badly they are managing their pollution. Also making it more difficult for world wide efforts to be effective. Carbon levels? What is that?

How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem


Re: Vents

For a time, I used the heat off my monitor to thaw leftovers for lunch. There was a paper towel folded under the tupperware to catch any condensation.

Hitting underground pipes and cables costs the UK £2.4bn a year. We need a data platform for that, says government


Re: Unintended benefit...

Thieves, crackers, terrorists, ... If built imagine the less savory will find some off-brand uses for the data.

OVH says burned data centre’s UPS, batteries, fuses in the hands of insurers and police


backup infrastructure?

Backup "everything"? That will take a nice chunk of infrastructure - network, servers, storage, ... Though de-duplication can cut storage down quite a bit on copies of the same OS.

But will you have to install agents in my machines? How will you still get me the CPU power I paid for if your agent starts sucking at peak loads? You better not lock any of my files. Will my system ever stall during a snapshot? For virtual machines you could play games with the block storage they live in. But what about where I bought dedicated bare metal?

What about my databases? A file system level agent (or a block storage snapshot) cannot be assumed to get consistent images, of that application specific file structure, that can be restored to a usable database. Will you have agents for every database engine? How will that agent "pause" the database between transactions to get a consistent image? For engines that do not have an appropriate API, how will you do a dump-to-disk for a file system level copy? Would that take away from the storage space I have paid for to hold my applications?

How will you test restores? A backup is not a valid backup until it has been tested.

AAAARRRGGGG t h e h o r r o r

I have not been in a Backup Team for awhile, but still get damn flashbacks.

Trail of Bits security peeps emit tool to weaponize Python's insecure pickle files to hopefully now get everyone's attention


Re: Uh Oh

Obligatory XKCD - How Standards Proliferate


Talk about a Blue Monday: OVH outlines recovery plan as French data centres smoulder


3 weeks to source 10,000 servers?

The various corps I've been at take longer to get the purchase order approved. And the equipment to support the severs: racks, switches, breaker panels, cabling, ... Shipping all that from wherever. Okay, they have some ready to be deployed for normal growth, but that would at most be a few hundred in the staging areas?

Then 10K units in 30K minutes (3 weeks * 7 days * 24 hours * 60 minutes = 30,240 minutes) means either my math is bad, or they are going to receive/rack/cable/provision a server every 3 minutes? Starting yesterday?

What am I missing for a place to put them? Assuming 1U servers at 40 per rack, 250 standard racks. Okay that is not bad, at 600mm x 1070mm only 160 square meters of floor space? Should be no problem finding a gallery with free space, though still need aisles for access and air flow. Did not a building at this site just burn down? Two other buildings severely damaged. Only one building available to take new load? Maybe other sites, then. Increased power / cooling / network capacities at those sites? How long to get those provisioned from the local utility companies?

Too bad for customers with legal reasons to stay within a certain region?

Where therapists have talked about cynicism and negative attitude, I see realistic expectations from experience. Or do I just not understand data center processes at this scale?

Don't be a fool, cover your tool: How IBM's mighty XT keyboard was felled by toxic atmosphere of the '80s


Re: Smoking

While approving of the Load Masters actions, did he have a little chat from the pilot later about unexpected changes to the aircrafts performance characteristics?

Two wrongs don't make a right: They make a successful project sign-off


Either some other departments budget, or playing EBITR games with CAP vs OP expenses? So many stupid accounting games for this divisions this quarters numbers, instead of the Total Cost. ~sigh~

Things can't go on like this. You need to get fit for the sake of your health. I'm going to write you a prescription for... an e-bike


does sound daft at first

but if actually used, an e-bike could help someone get over the hump of being in too bad a condition to start exercising

Geneticists throw hands in the air, change gene naming rules to finally stop Microsoft Excel eating their data


when app has line break in comment field

Another example of CSV-to-XLS(x) problems. Was asked to help migrate old data by exporting from their database into a format the new application could read. But the data included a Comment field, and that fields data entry allowed Carriage Returns. Meaning a single record could span multiple lines in the CSV file! They sent a nice letter to my boss about the extra effort developing a "bespoke migration tool" (really just a little PowerShell to stitch the lines back together by changing the extra CR to a flag character).

Back to the main thread, yeah - default should assume incoming CSV columns are text. Then I will assign formatting as needed for display or calculations.

VMware to stop describing hardware as ‘male’ and ‘female’ in new terminology guide


Re: @Khaptain - @aberglas - You had better take these seriously

One of the many takes on this a few years ago was episode "Majority Rule" from The Orville. So easy for anonymous social media to spiral down into hate for anything "not my tribe".


What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING


Re: Power Blocks

A quick search for "power cord extension and splitter" will help with bricks blocking the ports. Very short cords just to let the brick lay on the floor next to the strip. I am in the USA so mine are 120V NEMA 5-15, even have a couple C14 converters for getting notebook juice from the 240V rack PDU in the computer room.

Though this does mean more stuff to carry, unless you forgo the circuit breaker and replace, instead of augment, the regular power strip.

A couple of random product photos;

#C14 - NEMA


# multi-tail NEMA


Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


overheard from a Klingon programmer

I lost the original URL for these, but enjoy!

10. Specifications are for the weak and timid!

9. You question the worthiness of my code? I should kill you where you stand!

8. Indentation?! - I will show you how to indent when I indent your skull!

7. What is this talk of 'release'? Klingons do not make software 'releases'. Our

software 'escapes' leaving a bloody trail of designers and quality assurance

people in its wake.

6. Klingon function calls do not have 'parameters' - they have 'arguments' - and


5. Debugging? Klingons do not debug. Our software does not coddle the weak.

4. A TRUE Klingon Warrior does not comment on his code!

3. Klingon software does NOT have BUGS. It has FEATURES, and those features are

too sophisticated for a Romulan pig like you to understand.

2. You cannot truly appreciate Dilbert unless you've read it in the original


1. Our users will know fear and cower before our software! Ship it! Ship it and

let them flee like the dogs they are!

Uncle Sam tells F-35B allies they'll have to fly the things a lot more if they want to help out around South China Sea


Coding "minimum viable product" for "critical flight and weapons software" is asking for catastrophic failures! And to "release capabilities via smaller, more frequent service pack updates", in other words not giving you everything needed to do the job, is digging the hole even deeper.

This level of adherence to Agile religions can work for non-critical accounting applications, or games. But for stuff that can kill you? For stuff that is actually DESIGNED to kill you?

Yes, Waterfall has its own problems. But swinging the pendulum all the way over just exposes other issues.

'Trust no one' is good enough for the X Files but not for software devs: How do you use third-party libs and stay secure, experts mull on stage


A good fire starter, loosely related to the main topic:

CI/CD = Perpetual Beta

Not all, or even most, CD'ish is bad. But enough has been broken by someone else updating in the chain to make me rather wary!

The time PC Tools spared an aerospace techie the blushes


Re: Oh yes

While EDI is a "standard" (the shop using it had even bought the dictionaries) it was also open enough that you could do whatever you wanted, and still be "within standard'. The half dozen partners we had were all doing the same business, but none of those streams were formatted the same.

In Rust We Trust: Stob gets behind the latest language craze


Casey & Andy discuss do/while


What is this, 1989? Laplink is still a thing and wants to help with Windows 7 migrations


Re: external USB hard drives

NO media / platform is a permanent backup / archive - everything will fail eventually. You have to keep copying (with checksums) to newer platforms every few years.

The point about at least two instances of the data set, on different platforms, is also very much a good idea. When Platform-A gets bricked [hack, firmware, license, key server, bad batch of disks across multiple machines (yes, this was a personal nightmare - remember Bigfoot?), ...], you can still copy from Platform-B to a new Platform-C. Not so easy if all your copies are just multiple instances of Platform-A.

Boffins don bad 1980s fashion to avoid being detected by object-recognizing AI cameras


Re: Great


Today's joke is by Ben Mackay

Officer: Hello, Mr. Kornada. I'm calling to follow up on your recent ethics test.

Officer: You were asked the classic trolley car problem. You said that you would redirect the trolley to hit one person rather than hitting five. It was your reason for doing so that disturbed us.

Officer: "It would do less damage to the trolley car."

Officer: Yes, you are correct, but I really think you're missing the point here.

BOFH: We must... have... beer! Only... cure... for... electromagnetic fields


Re: @I ain't Spartacus -- I'm having headaches

They chucked such a fine set of vinyl!!! How do they find the floor when getting out of bed?

COBOL: Five little letters that if put on a CV would ensure stable income for many a greybeard coder


I was systems/assembly programmer on an IBM 360-40 in the late 1970's. We had an expansion box that brought the total RAM to 512KB (yes - Kilo). Similarly limited disk space, but DOS/VSE was running several partitions (print spooler, online terminals, multiple batch). I was so appalled when we brought in COBOL, and one of those daft folk used the literals "YES" and "NO " (note the trailing space) for a flag. I could fit 8 binary tests in a byte, and they were using 24 bits for a single condition!!! Not to mention a TestMask against my bit was sooo much faster then their string compare. And TestMask could check for multiple bits in that byte during the same clock cycle, instead of a page of chained If Then Else string compares (which had to invoke micro-code routines on top of the the "real" CPU instructions). <huff><huff></rant>

Not-so-paltry towers: Vodafone gears up to flog off massive masts business


creative accounting

I still twitch at "earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation"aka EBITDA. even worse than non-GAAP. What are they doing that Generally Accepted Accounting Principles would get them in trouble?

A Register reader turns the computer room into a socialist paradise


Two Cows

Sorry, but the Socialism threadlets free-associated into an old joke, parts of which:


You have 2 cows.

The State takes one and gives it to your neighbour who doesn’t have a field to put it in.


You have two giraffes.

The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

one version of the list from;


The Eldritch Horror of Date Formatting is visited upon Tesco


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

Been using CCYY-MM-DD ever since 1970's. A mortgage company dealing with 30 year loans had to worry about that CC rollover!

And a proper HH:MM 24 hours clock, none of that futzing with AM or PM fizz (time zones are bad enough).

Telly production biz films maternity clinic, doesn't tell patients, gets fined £120,000


Something about "footage would not be used"? As if anything once recorded can be completely deleted anymore!

Hey, DevOps fans. We've got another TLA for you to write down: CDF


CI-CD = Perpetual Beta

The "move fast & break stuff" mantra is fine at the beginning of the R&D cycle. But has no place once you reach QA and GA. This cr*p of weekly (or even more frequent!!!) releases might be acceptable for a casual game, but not for anything considered Production.

Use an 8-char Windows NTLM password? Don't. Every single one can be cracked in under 2.5hrs


Re: Easy to remember

Ummagumma is still one of my favorite albums

Happy Satellite Collision Day! It is 10 years since Russia and Iridium got too close for comfort


A bit of .. irony? One section bemoaning collisions and the danger of orbital debris. Then no comment on sustainability of clean orbits as swarms of micro-satellites are released.

How to stealthily poison neural network chips in the supply chain


Back doors can be very long term stuff. Think it was A Deepness In The Sky were one of the protagonists subverts a network using tricks over a hundred years old?

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'



I would rather not have my business running on software in a state of Perpetual Beta

Pro tip: You can log into macOS High Sierra as root with no password


Re: This is a deliberate feature and it's because Apple cares.

When things are bad enough you have to use root, it is time to slow down and really think about what you are doing. Flailing about in a panic with full privileges often makes things worse.

I love disruptive computer jargon. It's so very William Burroughs


Re: Gif.

I was in a group that pronounced SQL as "squeal", because it was such a pig on resources :{

Software update turned my display and mouse upside-down, says user


Re: Every day's a school day

obligatory xkcd reference


About not laughing when someone genuinely has not learned something yet. Instead treat them as one of today's lucky 10,000

Get orf the air over moi land Irish farmer roars at drones


the Police cannot "protect"

Even with best intentions, training, equipment, conscientious staff, ..., your "local" police cannot "protect" you unless they are actually "local" - say within 20 feet. If they are not able to stop the miscreant _at_the_time_ of the attack, they are only a nebulous background presence threatening some possible future punishment. Any call for help with a response time greater then single digit seconds means I am responsible for the defense of me and mine.

Big blues: IBM's remote-worker crackdown is company-wide, including its engineers


Hi, I . . . uh . . . I work from home

This showed up in my Flipboard feed last week


911 OPERATOR: 911—what’s your emergency?

ROBERT: Hi, I . . . uh . . . I work from home.

OPERATOR: O.K., is anyone else there with you, sir?

ROBERT: No, I’m alone.

OPERATOR: And when’s the last time you saw someone else? Was that today?

ROBERT: Uh, my wife . . . this morning, I guess.


Retiring IETF veteran warns: Stop adding so many damn protocols


and the very obligatory https://xkcd.com/927/

But there is always someone who thinks the little shiny they just built is sooooo muuuch betttteeer then anything else that sheer common sense dictates everyone re-architect to use it right away!

These diabetes pumps obey unencrypted radio commands – which is, frankly, f*%king stupid


selected evolution

Here is one link to a recent demonstration of evolution in action. Several places picked up the story from Harvard Medical School of how fast bacteria adapts - very scary!


Speaking in Tech: Nope, sorry waiter. I won't pay with that card reader



`yep, I am a grumpy old bastard, but yet another vote for being able to read the actual content. If there is not enough content for a article, why should I waste my time with audio/visual fluff?

Text does not interrupt those around me. When interrupted I can just let the window fall to the background until ready for it again.

No, I am not a headphone-kind-of-guy. I want some awareness of my surroundings, and need to respond to walk-up questions.

BOFH: Follow the paper trail


Re: Ah, the myth of the rational person

Here is a slant on why the "system" night not want rational people;


innumeracy as the major driver of economic growth

One (storage) protocol to rule them all?



sorry, but as a cynical old bastard, I am compelled to re-post this whenever I hear the word "standard", especially when they are talking about new / consolidate / simplify :}


When customers try to be programmers: 'I want this CHANGED TO A ZERO ASAP'


Who The Hell Did That?

My first impulse at some chunks of work is "What Were They Thinking?". Sometimes realize I was the one who wrote that, and ask "What Was I Thinking?". Often the answer is it was a workable solution, given the constraints at the time it was done. Sometimes things that worked then, do not work now after changes in scope or use; then I owe folk a beer. Even if it still works, I will shake my head and vow to never do crap like that again!

Cops hate encryption but the NSA loves it when you use PGP


Re: constant traffic component of OpSec

Guess how much bandwidth you have available / choose to buy is based on how much importance you assign to this aspect of your security. It is just one of the onion layers to manage.

If you have X bandwidth, assess your criteria to assign Y% of it to "secured" traffic, then keep that Y% portion filled.


constant traffic component of OpSec

Along the lines of "everyone should encrypt everything", another old component of Operational Security is amount of traffic. Each site within a group should always be sending the same about of traffic to each other site. Random cruft when nothing is happening, then real data if something is going on. But those watching will not see a spike of traffic to realize what triggers when. You should never panic and send of burst of out-of-band / unusual traffic to flag your intentions.

Oracle laying off its Java evangelists? Er, no comment, says Oracle


Re: Story Of Mel

Mel is one of my heroes

Samsung to launch a Snapdragon 808-based clamshell smartphone


Re: The FlipPhone - talk to someone?

Oh yeah,that is right, it can make phone calls! Maybe once a month.

My NoteII is note book, historical activity logs, documentation, password vault, email, calendar, books, imdb, map, wiki, even the odd card game. even sms messages happen more often than a telephone.

Hello Tosh, got a downrated 6TB spinner? Yes, for slower workloads


disk reliabilty reports from BackBlaze

There is at least one place that has published some of their disk statistics;