* Posts by steamnut

206 posts • joined 31 Jul 2015


Intel withholds Ohio fab ceremony over US chip subsidies inaction


Too late?

With Biden doing badly in the polls the shape of the House of Representatives post-midterm might make a lot of things different. They need to rush else this could all be toast by Christmas.

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


Re: Full charge in 10 minutes?

Replaceable batteries is not an easy task.

Apart from extracting the custom shaped battery pack from the vehicle in an easy and timely manner, just imagine the H&S issues with 400 volt (or more) high amperage connectors on flying leads in the hands of minimum wage numpties? Stand well back!

Farewell to two pivotal figures: The founder of Inmos, and the co-creator of MIME


My first computer

I met the Elliott 803 at college and it was pivotal in me choosing a career in computers. I never knew the connection to Barron. He was a genius for sure and the whole Transputer project had so many things that were revolutionary about it that, only now, have we finally "got it". Sadly missed.

India reveals plan to become major RISC-V design and production player by 2023


Curry in the sky..

It is a bold statement - "delivering world-class silicon by the end of next year." - but, it really is just loud words and is not achievable.

Similarly, the grand EU "save the IC world" plan will just suck in lots of Euros and, by the time it is producing anything saleable, the IC world (and TSMC) will have caught up to the point where there will be oversupply again.

And, I wonder, are India still receiving UK Foreign Aid? If they are then this RSC-V plan, along with their Space Program should be enough to convince the UK Government to turn the aid off. There are far more deserving countries out there.

NASA will award contract for second lunar lander to a biz that's not SpaceX


Boeing Boeing Gone!

With it's recent record on both aeronautical and aerospace designs let's hope that Boeing are not a successful bidder. We do not want to hear "Houston we have a problem".

Ukraine president namechecks software giants to end support in Russia


They need the gas!

I am not surprised that German application giant SAP is still offering support as, thanks to Merkel, 55% of their energy comes in the form of Russian gas.

UK govt signs IT contracts 'without understanding' the needs


Do they ever learn?

I was just two days into an MOD contract and opened the "XXXXXX Specification Document". There were lots of pages marked "this page intentionally left blank" and paragraph sections with TBA in them.

It was reminiscent of the Blackadder scene where they are planning to go around the world. Melchett says: "“Blackadder, here’s a map of the known world (hands over blank parchment)… fill it in as you go along”"

On my project I was given a fairly complete section to code and told not to worry about the rest for now. At every point where an API call was required I made something up and updated the specification document. It was coding by the serendipity method.

UK internet pioneer Cliff Stanford has died


Sad news

Demo was my first ISP. Initially on dial-up (US Robotics squawk squawk), then eventually ADSL. I stayed with them until Vodafone bought them. Vodafone were not going to support FTTC so I migrated to Zen where I have been ever since.

The good thing with Demon was the technical support which was located in UK and manned by technical people that knew what they were doing.

So sad to lose a genuine pioneer from those days.

Data stolen from Nvidia, blueprints leak threatened


True or False?

So, is the "Nvidia RTX LHR v2 Unlocker" really a malware bomb or has Nvidia's cryptocurrency hamper system been defeated and this is just a scare story?

I'm sure a quick spin of a VM or bare-metal PC would soon reveal the truth. In fact, I'm sure someone has already done it.

FAA now says 5G airports may interfere with Boeing 737s


Why the 737?

Doesn't is strike you as odd that Airbus planes are seemingly ok? They too use radio altimeters. Surely the FCC and others who dish out band allocations thought about the possibilities of interference or are Boeing a bit marginal on the EMC specs? Is this something else that Boeing slipped under the radar with the FCC?

Going to watch the Netflix program tonight. I'm sure it will not be very complementary.

US House passes bill to boost chip manufacturing and R&D


EU Competition?

The EU are trying a similar thing but, with less money than the US, it is hard to see how it will do anything but fail and cost a lost of Euros. The US already has experience of building and running IC plants The EU doesn't. With 27 countries involved (and 27 languages) all with their own agendas it is difficult to see fast or easy agreements on anything.

While the EU is still "discussing" the US will be up and running.

But, the US will still have to contend with other countries expanding IC production including China, Japan and Taiwan.

In 2023 we could have over-production and mothballing of unwanted capacity. We have been here before.

Trio of Rust Core Team members take their leave


Bad timing?

Just as Rust starts to look a bit unsteady, Linus is, reluctantly I think, approving Rust in the kernel.

Instant Ump: HP Inc's subscription ink services hiking prices from next month


Classic stratrgy

Surely this has been their plan all along?

It's a classic bait and switch operation.

Twelve years after Intel was fined $1.2bn for unfairly running over rivals, an EU court says: No need to pay


How much?

After all of these years a complete non-result. Intel kept its $1.2bn and the lawyers all got paid handsomely. What a huge waste of time.

But wait, do I hear sound of breaking ground somewhere in the EU? It is! Oh, a new EU funded IC plant is being built for Intel. Who knew?

Another US president, time for another big Intel factory promise by another CEO



Which such a large US investment that leaves very little for any EU sites. The planned EU IC domination will have to wait I guess.

EC president promises European Chips Act to quadruple homegrown production by 2030


It will fail

The shortages of ICs which,for example, are hampering the car industries' ability to delivery new vehicles will not be solved with the EU's "grand design". It just will not work.

Apart from the problems, and costs, of creating all documentation in the 24 official languages, there are too many vested interests at play. The French and Germans will want the lion's share of the action but the cheaper-labour members will want the GDP value too. And while they figth amongst themselves the world will move on.

And that is assuming that the EU will ever come up with a single chip design that is good enough to rival the off the shelf options from Intel, AMD and ARM licensees. Right now the big players are already planning their next evolutions and expanded foundries while the EU does not have anything to offer now or even an empty foundry waiting for its first contract.

Today's designers are not going to design-in an EU concept IC, they are going to select something already available. Waiting for the "new" EU chip would be suicide.

This will be a repeat of the UK's Inmos saga but with even more money being wasted. After the beef and butter mountains, expect a chip mountain......

Boat biz breaches itself: Brittany Ferries 'fesses up to leaks caused by routine website update



The Company's statement that the "account's protection settings were unintentionally changed" doesn't inspire confidence at all. What happened to harness testing? Nothing should happen "unintentionally" on customer facing websites.

The return of the turbo button: New Intel hotness causes an old friend to reappear


Useless idea

In the days when PC's has "turbo" buttons they were always left pressed. When offered more power who wouldn't want to use it?

I supplied PC's back then and, after a while, I jumpered the feature permanently on after one customer complained of the PC "going slow. The user had pressed the "turbo" button thinking that it would go faster and forgot to press it again. I drove 15 miles to find that out!

Facebook posts job ad for 10,000 'high-skilled' roles to 'build the metaverse' – and they'll all be based in the EU


Which language?

So, 10,000 Euro-coders from up to 27 countries with 24 official EU languages (amazingly still including English) - what could possibly go wrong?

I am starting to think that this is all a political stunt that will never come to pass.

Miscreants fling booby-trapped Office files at victims, no patch yet, says Microsoft



You would have thought that, by now, the number of "holes" in Microsoft Office would be nil. Do they ever review and test their code? You get the impression that the, already bloated, code is just patch and tweaked to add features (that nobody asked for) and there is lots redundant code and API calls just left in place.

Gartner predicts surge in government IT spending in post-pandemic catch-up



Do companies really need to pay for this latest report when the prediction is bl**ding obvious? This they can have for free: Due to a chip shortage there will be hike in prices as well.

Gartner Gartner on the wall, which is the hypest cycle of them all?


Wonderment in words...

Now I know what the expression "word salad" really means.

They probably have a simple program with a random number generator and a list of the latest buzzwords and just press "run". The joke is that people pay them massive sums of money to read it!

India's return to space fails after first locally built cryogenic engine experiences 'anomaly'


Waste of whose money?

Maybe they will be asking for an increase in their Foreign Aid that we send them each year.

After staring over the precipice once before, Kent County Council considers £500m in outsourcing again


Deja Vu

The statement "the outsourcing [of] day-to-day management responsibilities and functions as a strategic method for transforming and improving business processes, through efficiencies, effectiveness and cutting operating costs," is a lovely string of buzzwords but we have seen it too many times before.

In a few years we will not be at all surprised to read about cost-overruns, late delivery, incomplete deliverables and missed start dates. And, I'm sure there will be lots of cloud data being generated too.

Financial Ombudsman Service to ditch tech heads as it open arms to Workday and outside service provider


What is it for?

What does the "The Financial Ombudsman Service" actually need so much IT for?

The definition of an ombudsman: "an official appointed to investigate individuals' complaints against a company or organization, especially a public authority." Surely that doesn't need much IT as it is a talking shop?

G20 finance ministers agree plan to make multinationals pay their 'fair share' of tax


Surely they knew?

With pressure mounting on Ireland to agree to this new tax "regime" they will cave-in sooner or later as, I suspect, some of their grants and subsidies could be withheld or stopped altogether.

Now, if/when they do, what will all those US companies with offices of convenience do next? My guess is just move to somewhere that did not sign up to countries such as the Caymans and others. Ireland knows how much the real loss would be which is why they are trying to hold out.

Maybe Ireland should consider leaving the EU (IEXIT) which would also solve the current customs problem with EU, UK and NI.....

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.



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