* Posts by steamnut

180 posts • joined 31 Jul 2015


Oracle introduces frequent clouding points loyalty scheme


The smallest of print..

I would want a lawyer to read every last character of this "deal". Oracle never does anything out of the goodness of it's heart as it doesn't have one. It should come with a wealth warning for sure.

Open standard but not open access: Schematron author complains about ISO paywall


They are not alone

As someone who has to submit electronic products for CE (ok, now UKCA here) approval it annoys me that all of the EU standards, that they themselves create, are charged for. And they change them quite often. As the standards are downloaded there is no actual cost to the EU. The only way to see if a standard applies to your product you have to buy it.

Mark it in your diaries: 14 October 2025 is the end of Windows 10



Their annual turnover and profits look seriously dented by the losses from Windows.....

Oracle hits UK reseller with lawsuit for allegedly reselling grey market Sun hardware


Re: Levis and computers

In the case with Tesco the net result was Tesco got a company to design their own jeans and then found a manufacturer to make them. The jeans were low priced and fit for purpose and Levis lost a big customer in the process. It seems that a lot of people are not willing to pay extra money for that "Levi experience". They just wanted a pair of jeans s'all.

NHS-backed org reacted to GitHub leak disclosure with legal threats and police call, complains IT pro


Go to court

I think he should have gone the whole way into court. Apart from exposing the ungrateful way he was treated after informing them of the security hole, some case law could have been established as to the best way to go about telling a company that they have cocked up. After all, less scrupulous individuals could have done real harm with no conscience at all and from a foreign country where the law would not reach them.

Another week, another issue: Virgin Galactic mulls test flight restart as VSS Unity fixed – but VMS Eve might be borked



I'm surprised that a major failure was deemed to be caused by an EMI failure. After such a long time in development, the electronics should be bulletproof. At this time it is the software that should be under close scrutiny.

The fact that this fault happened at all would put me off from booking a place as I would question what other areas have been overlooked and did they cut corners?

Britain to spend £22m influencing Indo-Pacific nations' cybersecurity policies against 'authoritarian regimes'


USA too?

After a recent, and possibly ongoing, US cyberattack which has caused fuel shortages, maybe the US should attend too?

Rackspace CEO: Offshoring, real estate closures and other cost cutting measures. Did NASDAQ cheer? Well? Nope



What the blazes does ""The pod is capable of delivering a broad spectrum of outcomes without the constraints of a fixed scope of management. " actually mean? I thought that pods were a group of whales; which are large slow moving mammals. Ah, now I understand....

Japanese auto chipmaker Renesas expects to resume full production next month following fab blaze


A bit late?

The piece says that Renesas are installing a "new fire suppression equipment to prevent any future fires.". With the revenue importance of these lines you would have thought that they would be always evaluating and upgrading their fire suppression systems. Mind you, from recent events (SBG2 data centre in Strasbourg), it seems that data centres are no better....

Surely, the insurance companies ought to be asking their clients to check their fire systems too?

Oracle cuts support for South African energy biz Eskom in long-running licensing dispute


Why Oracle support?

This is a serious question.

Over the years I have created and delivered systems with databases in them. At on time it was Borland's Paradox and BDE and, latterly, MySQL/Mariadb. Those databases worked well and continue to do so without any paid support from me. Granted, there are (chargeable) issues sometimes and I have had to fix database problems but mostly they are created by humans or bad applications. The point is they work almost all of the time.

So why does Oracle have to have paid support? If it is unreliable then surely they should fix it? Cynically, have Oracle created something so complex that only Oracle engineers know how to fix it?

Crafty: Cricut caught out by user revolt, but will cloud stop play?


Lost customers forever?

The Cricut hardware is nowhere near worth £350 so they already made a bundle out of you.

I bought a used Cricut Mini for £10 last year. I only wanted it for the parts to make my own cutter using a Raspberry Pi. But, I then discovered why it was so cheap. It turns out Cricut have done the dirty on their users before.

The Cricut Mini used cloudy software from the start; it was called the Cricut Craft Room. There was a small collection of free designs, then you had to buy others from them. There was no way of loading your own designs in, and Cricut threatened legal action against anyone who tried to reverse engineer their system.

Then, in July 2018, they closed down the Craft Room and turned a lot of Cricut Minis into landfill or hackerspace objects.

This latest action, although retracted for now, will have damaged the brand permanently. Crafters are very active on social media and forums and also have long memories.....

OVH founder says UPS fixed up day before blaze is early suspect as source of data centre destruction


No excuse

The statement "SBG2 was commissioned in 2011, was built to the standards of the day," is a poor excuse. Standards change and, with so much at stake, (reputation, users data, lawsuits etc) you would have thought that every bit-barn owner would have staff whose only job is to make sure the data centres are as robust and safe as they could be. Of course, this costs money but, right now, I'm sure that OVH now wish they had adopted a better policy. Other data centres will also have had a big wake up call and will be sending out lots of internal memos...

OVH data centre destroyed by fire in Strasbourg – all services unavailable


welcome to the new world...

I have avoided the cloud like the money-raising pandemic that it is. The reason? All of your eggs in someone else's basket is risky.

This fire will send a lot of ripples into a lot of ponds. As we speak there are board-level questions being asked about this incident such as "does it affect us?", "do we have backups?", "are there alternatives?", "are we insured", "is this what 99.99% availability looks like?" and "what happened to our own data centre - and it's staff?" Sadly, some business may even fail.

Sooner or later something like this was going to happen. I like my spinning rust and noisy power supply fans where I can see and hear them!

GPS jamming around Cyprus gives our air traffic controllers a headache, says Eurocontrol



Assuming the GPS "jammers" are on the ground then it is difficult to see how this is happening.The plane's GPS antenna will have it's lobes pointing above the plane ideally, with a hemispherical coverage. If the GPS jammer is below the plane then the only way it could prevent normal GPS reception is by overloading the plane's GPS receiver. As GPS signals are almost in the noise (we need correlation detectors to capture them) then that is easily possible. The solution would be install better GPS antennae or, even better, electrically steerable antennae, which could move the focus away from jamming signals. The military already know how to do this so sharing the technology should be possible. Alternatively, as Kenny Everett would say, just "bomb the bastards"!

Axe-happy Microsoft halves support for Windows 10 Long Term Servicing Channel


How long for the OS?

I think Microsoft's long term goal is to get everyone on a recurring subscription model. The PC will be relegated to a pure browser. All of the OS would be Azure based making updates, LTS etc no longer appropriate. There would be no distribution channels to handle, no DVD's etc which lowers their costs a lot.

With the whole of the world with money to spend connected to the Internet then that works as a model. All of the major computing suppliers now have the same strategy towards cloud connections with recurring subscriptions.

Those of us that want on-site computing then Linux is a good enough, and cheaper, substitute.

Want your broadband fixed? Best write to your MP, UK's Zen Internet tells customer


Unusual incident

I live in a very rural part of Wales and broadband is always an issue here with overhead cabling etc. I switched to Zen from Demon when Vodafone took them over. Demon support was excellent and, I have to say, that Zen's customer support has always been excellent too. (No I do not work for them!).

I currently get 18Mbps on an FTTC connection and it does rise and fall with the weather for sure, but our proximity to the sea does add another corrosion dimension to the ageing BT cabling. And we are used to water issues....

The rest of my family are with other providers suck as Talk Talk, Virgin, Vodafone and Sky. Sky is the best of this bunch and Talk Talk are rubbish.

India splashes cash to lure telecoms and network kit-makers in need of manufacturing muscle


Enough money already?

With all of these high cost schemes and their current outer space activities, then, clearly, they no longer any of our foreign aid budget.

Pat Gelsinger promises Intel can go back to the future – in memo to staff shared with world+dog


Better decisions?

Intel is where it is today because they had made a lot of poor decisions. They assumed that "wintel" would keep the gravy coming in and arrogantly assumed that the smaller companies like AMD and ARM would not dent their profits. Their foundry errors has put them back years and has allowed AMD to make larger inroads than they would like into their server markets. Even laptops with AMD are appearing. On mips per buck and power consumption AMD is winning a lot of new business while Intel rehashes chipsets into confusing products to try and keep sales going. Add to that the number of companies they have bought and sold in an almost desperate attempt to win sales in the next "big thing".

LastPass to limit fans of free password manager to one device type only – computer or mobile – from next month


Classic ploy

I think that this is a classic bait and switch ploy. They already know that most users will be using more than one device. The most likely result will be customers moving to another product. How long before they change their mind to allow two devices at least? Did they really think that all of their users would simply cough up?

DBA heroes don't always wear capes. Sometimes they just have a bunch of forgotten permissions


They think they are gods..

I worked as a contractor on a large national project where a lot of sites were linked to a centrally sited Oracle database. Like most projects, even though the Systems Architect had produced his overall, and signed off, design, the project suffered from the usual creep due to permitted customer changes and observations by the grunts (aka coders) of flaws in the design. As usual, coders observations were initially ignored and, only after manager interventions accompanied by the time-wasting meetings were they reluctantly implemented.

This process was all well and good for logic changes but, if they involved database changes, you were really up a gum tree. The DBA's considered themselves as Gods and, any changes had to be challenged, approved and (possibly) implemented by them. They really were a bottleneck.

The whole thing became tribal after the proggies discovered an early open-source database tool and started to do their own thing. I remember a DBA spotting a screen showing the data in a table with it's attributes and a structure graph and he screamed "you cannot do that!"

Yes, I know that DBA's have a very important position (and salary) but, during development that should be more approachable.

Synology to enforce use of validated disks in enterprise NAS boxes. And guess what? Only its own disks exceed 4TB


Not a new idea.

I worked on Research Machines computers back in the day. You could only use their "customised", and very expensive, hard disk drives in their machines. They said it was to ensure reliability (joke here somewhere) but, in reality, it ensured a massive bottom line boost. Fearing loss of support the schools fell into line.

When the schools were allowed to spend their - now shrinking - IT budgets without supplier constraints they woke up and smelled the coffee.

Research Machines' (now RM Education) revenues bombed from 2011 so they canned a lot of employees (sour grapes moi?) and their hardware supplies in 2013.

SAP: Come to the cloud with us, we promise there's total accountability and lower TCO with lift-and-shift ERP package


Which is it?

So, they say: " the cloud model would increase customer lifetime revenue. We are effectively expanding our share of the wallet" and then "the total cost of ownership being lower in the cloud than comparable current payments.". Which is it as is cannot be both?

They also say "We want to give [customers] a helping hand now to move them to the cloud.." Sure they do.

This all sounds like they have been reading from the Oracle book on how to make more money from your users. They are trying to get it's users to use standard products in their cloud and with no customisation. Some users have years of investment in making SAP work the way they want (or best possible) and will be very reluctant to use SAP's standard template offerings. If they believe that "the total cost of ownership being lower in the cloud than comparable current payments." then it sounds like a bait and switch operation.

There may be not one but two new air leaks in International Space Station: Russian boss tells us not to panic


A trip to Halfords required.

They could try Radweld or, a classic radiator sealer, egg white.

Scottish enviro bods shrug off ransomware gang's extortion attempt as 4,000 files dumped online, saying it's nothing big



That's 4,000 files less to try and restore.

Must 'completely free' mean 'hard to install'? Newbie gripe sparks some soul-searching among Debian community


If Debian does not work then there are lots of others....

With many other Linux's available if Debian doesn't work out for whatever reason then try another. Although I have used SUSE for many years, I use Debian on the RPi's and recently installed Mint for a newbie (on a laptop too!). I would recommend trying Mint, then Ubuntu and then Zorin.

If all these fail to please then feel free to go back to Windoze. But, if you do mange to get Linux working on the laptop you will never go back so do persevere.

A really useful (free) package for trying various flavours of Linux is Ventoy. (https://www.ventoy.net/en/index.html). You can put loads of Linux ISO's on it by just copying therm.

And just like that, Amazon Web Services forked Elasticsearch, Kibana. Was that part of the plan, Elastic?



Banon ought to check his history; this sort of manoeuvre rarely works out well. Open Source is too big a movement now to be worried by a sudden (why are they all sudden or unexpected changes?) licence change like this.

Redhat just changed is licence conditions after canning CentOS but it could have announced both changes at the same time. They didn't which makes the latest announcement look like a knee jerk reaction.

Similarly, QT has just thrown a spanner in the works. The Qt Company is moving Qt 5.15 to "Commercial-Only" LTS Phase starting on Jan 5th 2021.I think that this will mark the of the end of a very beneficial cooperative community relationship which could become more confrontational.

OVH rises to Europe data sovereignty challenge (and AWS) with tape-as-a-service


A suggestion.

I think our PNC systems would benefit from using this.

Scottish Environment Protection Agency refuses to pay ransomware crooks over 1.2GB of stolen data


Re: Danegeld

but they do bake exceedingly good cakes...

Flash still works in China, but you need to ask Adobe nicely before running it


Why so late?

Everyone knew when flash was going to be killed off. Very small software companies with lots of one-off bespoke applications may have been caught out for sure. Some obsolete applications will just have to suck it up; but the larger companies have no excuses here. Or did they think that Adobe was bluffing?

SpaceX wins UK regulator Ofcom's approval for its Starlink mobile broadband base stations


42,000 satellites up there.

When these satellites fail there is going to be a lot of space junk out there.

Unauthorised RAC staffer harvested customer details then sold them to accident claims management company


Just unlucky?

Her "crime" may have gone unnoticed if she had had the sense to use an alternative email service than Outlook.

Back in the day she might have gotten away with this after responding to the IT departments' request: "Your Outlook mailboxes are full and should be purged ASAP"...

Open-source contributors say they'll pull out of Qt as LTS release goes commercial-only


How long?

I wonder how long it will be before there is a rethink about this? I reckon hours not days as this sort of scenario seldom works in favour the the company adding the restrictions. It does not pay to play not-nice with the Open Source community.

When Oracle stirred the pot with MySQL it spawned Mariadb pretty quickly.

KDE are too heavily invested in QT to go down without a fight.

Watch this space - tomorrow!

Leaked draft EU law reveals tech giants could face huge 6% turnover fines if they don't play by Europe's rules


Re: "legal but harmful"

But Ofcom has been shown to have no real teeth. Yes, they heavily fine miscreant companies but their collection rate is poor.

Spending Review: We spy a stray £60m – is that all you can spare to help 5G market recover from UK kicking out Huawei?


But what about 2025?

In 2015, BT announced that they will be switching off the PSTN and ISDN in 2025. After that time we will all be using some form of VOIP. The roll-out of fibre has to be completed by that date else how will end users make phone calls? I live in a very rural area and have FTTC. But, even that is temporary as it used the analogue lines for the last mile.

ESA's Vega rocket crashes and burns after fourth-stage nozzle failure sinks two satellites


How many more can they afford?

The recent failure rate on a rocket that has been in service since 2012 is unforgivable and, at $37m per launch is getting expensive! Who picks up the tab for these? The cabling problem caused the engine to move its nozzle in the wrong direction in response to the commands from the rocket’s guidance system. This reminds me of the 64 bit maths issue that crashed an Ariane flight in 1996. Surely a basic check ought to be done like a pilot in an aircraft moving the joystick and looking out of the window? This one seems like one of the easier checks to do. I hope the new Vega C is a better product....

Data protection scofflaws failed to pay £2m in fines from UK watchdog – and 68% of penalties are still outstanding


Freeze 'em

Why not give the ICO the power to freeze the company bank accounts and put a lien on all property at the time the judgement is handed down? Even better, when the court case is started, add a lien on all property and bank accounts to prevent disposal of assets afterwards.

It's a bit draconian but we could also look at giving the directors criminal records and putting personal CCJ's against the Directors or owners.

Unless more real power is given to the ICO then it is just a waste of time and (our) money.

One of the world's most prominent distributed ledger projects has been pushed back by a year


Re: Scalability not in the specification?

I agree. This sort of application needs to have scalability built-in from the start. To discover that "the application needs to be re-scoped to work at larger scale." so far down the line is just incompetent.

I think they have been too focussed on the "blockchain" technology and lost sight of the real world use of the application.

NHS looks to the market for advice on one system to replace two separate, giant Oracle ERP and HR systems


Food for the Register

Whatever the final decision, history tell us that the budget will be blown, deadlines will never be met and performance will be less than hoped for.

All in all it will keep The Register fed with stories for many more years.

Intel celebrates security of Ice Lake Xeon processors, so far impervious to any threat due to their unavailability


Special Instructions?

If Intel have created/invented these "security-oriented instructions and features, baked into Intel silicon," into this series of CPU's then how does this help anyone right now? Presumably Microsoft and Linux O/S coders need to add these instructions to the kernels to get the benefit?

A lot of hacks do not need "liquid nitrogen" but just loads of bored Russian manic depressives with time on their hands. I wonder how long after the first silicon appears in the wild will the first "crack" appear? If Intel are really confident then they should offer a large seven figure bounty to test it.

Ever since Intel 8008 the architecture has been extended and expanded (aka bodged) all around the same design. Clearly ARM, and recently RISC-V, have used a clean sheet approach which has allowed them to create faster and more efficient silicon. Let's face it, Intel is still a long way from 7nm and, when they do get there, the competition will be at 5nm.

It remains to be seen I just how many server farms will see this announcement as a reason to chose Intel over AMD/ARM. And, until these new CPU's have been tested in the labs, we have no proof that are really the answer to totally secure server farms.

As China trials its Digital Yuan with a giveaway, seven big central banks outline response


Uk soon too?

When the COVID pandemic became serious the touch payment limit was increased overnight. That new limit will stay even after the crisis is over. The Gobernment and the Banks all want us to progress towards a cashless society. We will be sold on "convenience" but the more sinister side of this is, like China, we will me subjected to continuous data tracking. Add AI to deep data and Orwell's 1984 is the nightmare coming our way....

Certainly businesses that use cash as a tax avoidance system and criminal activities like drug dealing and theft will be unhappy about this as "cash is king" in those activities. But they will find a way around it for sure.

Whatever the liberals in our society say about this, the genie is out of the bottle, and it will now happen much sooner than previous predictions for sure.

Email-spamming COVID profiteers deleted database with 'key evidence' when UK watchdog came knocking


No teeth...

Fining companies is a weak weapon as they seldom have any assets that can be accessed. Phoenix operations should have been prevented by banning directors but they just rotate the directors at each "rising". The only penalty that will work is prison sentences for these nuisances. Until then expect to see the same players taking the pi$$ out of us and the ICO.

UK govt urged to bolt tough legal protections onto Arm and protect jobs – or simply veto Nvidia's £31bn acquisition


No way to stop it

After the Cadbury debacle it is obvious that our Governments (left or right) have no power to stop wealthy foreign companies doing exactly what they want. Our railways, airports, airlines, utilities and car companies, to name a few, are all owned by foreign companies so ARM is not a special case, more another example of why the UK is no longer a great nation.

Over the centuries we have invented many great things but we have seldom capitalised on them. In WWII the Germans shot at our planes with a plane (ME262) powered by a jet engine which our military rejected as it "didn't have a propeller".

Ancient telly borked broadband for entire Welsh village


How far?

Assuming that this TV is emitting some spurious radiation then I assume it predates EMC testing. If that is the case then it would not be a digital TV, although it could have an external converter. Even if the TV is the real cause then just how close was this TV to the BT cables? As the inverse square law drops the signal level by the square of the distance then the cable must has been very, very close to have this affect.

Alternatively, the BT equipment is not EMC compliant in regard to susceptibility. If that is the case then almost any equipment in that village will knock the system out. Which leads me to my final comment; why didn't the equipment recover after each 7am spike?

This is how demon.co.uk ends, not with a bang but a blunder: Randomer swipes decommissioning domain


A sad day

I was a Demon customer from the early days (32kbps dial-up USR modems) and I stayed with them until FTTC was available in my area. Demon did not offer the service - presumably as Vodafone knew it was going to can them - so I migrated to Zen (excellent BTW). Demon had excellent support staff which treated you like a valued customer with no scripts or foreign accents in sight....

R.I.P. Demon.

You won't need .NET Standard... except when you do need it: Microsoft sets out latest in ever-changing story



I'm glad that I gave .NET, with it's many versions, the heave-ho many years ago. The .NET runtime has just become more bloated at each release. The idea that someone purchasing a product I wrote in C# requiring a 500Mb download of the correct .NET version just to try it is bizarre.

The Battle of Britain couldn't have been won without UK's homegrown tech innovations


Post-War mistakes...

After the war we ended giving away much of our precious IP as payment to the US for helping us. The jet engine, radar and computing were our inventions and we should have profited from them but we didn't.

The computing knowledge we had was wrapped in the Official Secrets act for many years past their usefulness. Sadly this also prevented us recognising those heroes.

Before the war we didn't even want Whittle's engine and allowed the Germans to exploit it. Later we traded jet engine IP to allow the flawed Comet to continue to fly but it was too late to save our aeroplane businesses.

As we could not manufacture the magnetrons required for UHF radar, we lets the Americans make them which meant they has the IP yo exploit for themselves after the war.

Then, the French, as ever, did not thank us for saving their asses again. They even spent years preventing us from joining the EU; unfortunately we persisted.

We should have made the Germans pay; after all, as John Cleese said, "they started it!". Instead we helped them rebuild VW - go figure!

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'



What an amazing amount of typing has been generated by a simple topic as car number plates. And it is not even a Friday....

Nvidia says regulators will be 'very supportive' of $40bn Arm buy despite concerns about chip designer's independence


Shareholder power?

I held a few shares in Arm since the beginning and, when they were bought by Softbank, I made a nice profit. My holding was too small to have stopped the takeover but the larger institutions could have refused to sell - but they didn't. The larger institutions have responsibilities to other shareholders and pension plans so their profit was the main reason for selling. We cannot easily stop this sort of action. If you are a BT pensioner you will not have problem with the art purchases made over the year or the investment in Milton Keynes.

And, like the "assurances" given by Kraft to the UK Government when they bought Cadbury, we have no way of forcing Nvidia to be a "good guy" forever....

If this upsets the market enough then I am sure the Chinese will design and manufacture their own ARM "lookalike" to serve their own markets, and beyond. If that happens then ARM's IP proposition will be very devalued.

Not Half bad: Microsoft back to 16 bits with new storage-saving type in .NET 5



Is it April 1st perchance?

First effort to unify sprawling .NET estate nearly done with 5.0 set for November release


Unified - really?

Quote: "This is a big release that promises to be a unified platform for all .NET applications". The first scary word is BIG; .NET updates are already many times bigger than the original Windows CD's which kills smaller systems with the exceedingly long, and non-negotiable, downloads. Then we have "unified". USoft's record in writing large suites of software is not good so we will expecting many months of bug-fix downloads. It's a good job that most of us have reasonable broadband speeds these days. For those that don't, or have caps, then it's time to bail out of Windows as this .NET monster is only going to get larger each year.

And, for a final kick in the nuts we have this: "A change to the way .NET interops with WinRT (the runtime used for modern Windows 10 APIs) means that existing apps using these APIs will not run on .NET 5.0 without rebuilding. ". Rebuilding? Rebuilding? Like that''s a trivial low-cost exercise to rebuild, re-test, re-qualify and re-deploy .NET applications. What a nightmare for small businesses that have no clout with Microsoft when raising problems and bugs.

It must be Haloween as this is a nightmare in the making....



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