* Posts by Tessier-Ashpool

247 posts • joined 6 Feb 2016


Survey of astronomers and geophysicists shines a light on 'bleak' systemic bullying


I would add that it's pointless debating the finer points of logic on CIF with social justice warriors, because you just get moderated. It doesn't matter if you present an irrefutable argument; if it doesn't fit the narrative it just gets wiped. I spent years getting zapped for pointing out the prejudice of having a women's section but no men's section, i.e. feminism not egalitarianism. My message finally got through after years of complaint.

Thankfully, El Reg generally steers clear of politics. I prefer it when articles stick to technical matters.

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Mountains on neutron stars are not even a millimetre tall due to extreme gravity


Re: "extreme gravitational fields"

They are also insanely hot, with a surface temperature of more than half a million Kelvin. And some of these city-sized objects that weigh as much as a sun spin hundreds of times a second.


Re: Misnomer

The LIGO detector absolutely works on the principle that gravitational waves distort spacetime. The waves squeeze and stretch space, making their detection possible. The bent space is the path that the gravitational waves create.


Re: "extreme gravitational fields"

I think you’re a bit off there. Plugging in values for Gm1m2/r2 suggests an acceleration of around 10^12 m/s2.

v2 = 2as over 1m would suggest an impact speed of around 2000 km per second.

Apple scrambles to quash iOS app sideloading demands with 'think of the children' defense


Re: Browser

For those with memories long enough, Jobs' first beef with Flash was that it killed the iPad's battery. Ergo, shit performance.


Re: Browser

I can think of a couple of reasons: Security and Performance.

Adobe Flash was banned from iOS many years ago for exactly these reasons.

I imagine that WebKit has privileged access to, and control of, all manner of underlying networking libraries, for very good security reasons.

It's quite unlikely that third party browser engines could significantly increase performance, but it's very likely that they would decrease performance, potentially impacting the iGadget's other apps and processes.

WebKit is used internally throughout iOS itself and its stock apps. I imagine that third party browser front ends have access to those capabilities.


"According to Apple, 500 reviewers scrutinize 100,000 new and updated apps a week."

Ooh, I don't know. Perhaps there are just way too many apps on the App Store. There's a virtually uncountable number of crap apps.

Tim Cook: Sideloading is a disaster and proposed App Store reforms would harm user privacy and security


Re: Sideloading

Don’t forget that smartphone users are idiots who need protecting from themselves. That’s been Apple’s approach for many years. It’s only in recent times, for example, that the concept of a file has been exposed to iPhone users. Prior to the Files app, things were just things, like photos or emails.

BT sues supplier for £72m over exchange gear that allegedly caused wave of ADSL outages


I had one hell of an impedance mismatch problem when a storm blew down a massive tree opposite my house, which left broken phone lines trailing across the road. On my mobile to BT support, it was a little amusing to hear her say that they would run a line check.

Global Fastly outage takes down many on the wibbly web – but El Reg remains standing


It's not a good thing. The point is, a CDN is generally not a single point of failure, exactly the opposite in fact. But something has clearly gone terribly wrong in the management of the CDN.

How many remote controls do you really need? Answer: about a bowl-ful


Re: Mother knows best

I have a metal Samsung remote that is excellent. Quite minimalist and very tactile. It also controls my Apple TV box attached to the TV, so it’s the only remote in the living room. I can’t fault it, really.


The TV, on the other hand, is not so great. QLED 4K resolution is crisper than my eyes will ever need. But it’s kind of washed out, and I never get to see the inky blackness of my previous screen, a Pioneer Kuro. Also, I *never* want to see an advert icon on my TV’s menu, but there’s no way to turn this off.

The common factor in all your failed job applications: Your CV


"Although I’m a C++ programmer, I’ve done VB for money"

Dirty crack whore!

Former IT manager from Essex pleads guilty to defrauding the NHS of £800k


"Stannard is due to appear at Chelmsford Crown Court for sentencing on 30 June 2021"

£800K can go a long way to providing a comfy lifestyle somewhere like Thailand!

NASA to return to the Moon by 2024. One problem with that, says watchdog: All of it


Wrong time of the month

Or decade, for that matter.

America to get world's 'most powerful' AI supercomputer to create the most detailed 3D map of the universe yet


Yeah. Whoever designed the simulated universe we currently live in did a great job.

Apple's macOS is sub-par for security, Apple exec Craig Federighi tells Epic trial


It *should.* be hard. I shudder to think how many evil nuget packages have inveigled their way into development projects.

We were 'blindsided' by Epic's cheek, claims Apple exec on 4th day of antitrust wrangling


Re: Safari and Internet Explorer

Your arguments are full of guff.

Adobe Flash was banned from iOS because its wonderful rendering engine killed off the battery. That's the kind of world you can look forward to with arbitrary browser engine installation.

There *are* Apple competitor apps on the App Store, for example numerous email clients, so the "nothing that competes with something we do" policy is all in your fevered mind.

WebKit is a core component shared by multiple apps on iOS.

If Apple allowed arbitrary browsers to have full control of the networking stack and rendering capabilities, you'd end up with browsers like full-fat Chrome on iOS that use decidedly privacy-hostile web standards. Apple can't permit that at the same time as advertising that they protect your privacy.


Re: Safari and Internet Explorer

My gaff, my rules.

Apple do not license iOS to any other party, and also have direct control over the hardware on which it runs.

They also have to be very sure that any installed software doesn't compromise the security or performance of the platform. Can you imagine what would happen if Porky's Bloaty Browser were to be installed from the Mogadishu App Store? People would be turning up at Apple Stores demanding to know why their email stopped working.

Not so fast, SpaceX: $3bn NASA Moon landing contract blocked by rivals' gripes



I've not been paying too much attention to these efforts lately, but which one is it that keeps blowing up on the launchpad or landing? Are they one of the plaintiffs?

Apple's macOS Gatekeeper asleep on the job: Exploited flaw put users 'at grave risk' of malware infection


Re: Mavericks

The flaw was introduced with Catalina, apparently.

NASA writes software update for Ingenuity helicopter to enable first Mars flight


Here’s hoping it doesn’t get bricked

An iPhone over-the-air bricking event is one thing; an autonomous extraterrestrial robotic helicopter bricking event is quite another!

Apple iPad torched this guy's home, lawsuit claims


Energy density and dodgy design. I imagine if all the squealers demanding user-replaceable batteries in phones had their way, it would only be a matter of time before cheap unsafe knock-off batteries became a big issue. Want to see your phone doing a fiery impression of Thunderbird 3 at launch? Put a high energy density crappily designed battery in it.

Remember Apple's disastrous butterfly keyboards? These lawsuits against the iGiant just formed a super class action


Re: People still bought them

Because the problem took quite a while for the design flaw to become widely known. And it's not something that affected all machines.

As for myself, my keyboard started playing up a few months after I bought it.

Apple accused of unfairly banishing Watch keyboard app for the visually impaired from its software souk


Re: They've really put their finger on why big tech needs to be de-verticalised

On the other hand, controlling the App Store does mean that naughty boy players like FaceBook do have to behave themselves by letting users opt out of pernicious device tracking.

Millimetre-sized masses: Physics boffins measure smallest known gravitational field (so far)


Your electromagnet is vastly smaller than planet Earth. It takes a whole planet’s worth of mass/gravity to defeat your tiny electromagnet. Similarly, the forces in a human arm (that arise through electromagnetism) are enough to raise a pint of beer against the gravitational force of an entire planet.

One more thing: gravity isn’t a force at all. It is the manifestation of spacetime distortion due to the presence of matter. Einstein’s field equations: matter changes the shape of spacetime; spacetime tells matter how to move.

This Netgear SOHO switch has 15 – count 'em! – vulns, which means you need to upgrade the firmware... now


Re: Updates

"ISPs normally update CPEs (i.e., home routers like yours) only if there's a bug affecting the ISPs network or creating an undue number of support calls. Security updates are generally at the bottom of the priorities list, if it's even on it."

Evidence, please. You are massively generalising by saying "ISPs normally".

Perhaps someone from BT would care to respond, if they happen to be watching this thread.



Say what you like about BT, but my rock-solid BT Home Hub router gets updated by BT regularly and automatically.

Apple emits patches for iOS, macOS, Safari, etc to stop dodgy websites hijacking people's gadgets


Re: But... but...

Macs don't get viruses. A computer virus replicates from machine to machine via infected file transmission. Macs don't have those.

Malware, on the other hand, is just as easy to install on a Mac as on any other platform. Less so if you opt to install apps from the Apple App Store.

Apple, forced to rate product repair potential in France, gives itself modest marks


Mr Thumbs Down, you know Jack Shit about security.


Apple TouchID sensor: because security.

Sure you can buy fingerprint sensors on the market. But an iPhone’s sensor is hooked up to its Secure Enclave. Sensor data is *never* accessible to the OS, and authorisation is delegated to the Secure Enclave / sensor combination.

This is far more secure than hooking up (potentially hackable) OS code to a sensor. But the only way that delegation in turn can be trusted is if the physical sensor is trusted by the Secure Enclave. Otherwise you could attach any old fake sensor to the phone that will authenticate every time.

Sometimes, things *should* be tamper-proof.

NASA sends nuclear tank 293 million miles to Mars, misses landing spot by just five metres. Now watch its video



Everything I could have wished for. Best space probe footage ever.

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


Re: I actively want to pay!

No subscriptions for me, thanks. All these little subs add up. I will, however, happily pay for new versions of apps if they provide something useful. That doesn’t include paying for bug fixes: I bought something, if it’s buggy it needs fixing free of charge.

I have....

Paid-for version of 1Password (no subscription - they don’t make the download easy to find, though).

Mostly iCloud Keychain (free) is good enough for web passwords.

Affinity equivalents of Photoshop and Illustrator, very reasonably priced, no subscription.


Re: I look after my own damn passwords

Not exactly a cross-device solution, though, is it? I expect most people have multiple devices these days, and a need for convenient syncing.

Microsoft says it found 1,000-plus developers' fingerprints on the SolarWinds attack


4,032 lines of code took 1,000+ developers

That's even worse productivity than mine!

Apple iOS 14.5 will hide Safari users' IP addresses from Google's Safe Browsing


Re: Proxying

That's not the way it works. Apple don't MITM the browser connection to a website for the purpose of checking a website's safety.

Rather, iDevice will ask Apple to check the safety of the requested website on the user's behalf before a connection to the website is made. Apple will, in turn, make use of Google's API to do that check, without divulging the iDevice IP address to Google.

The result will be yay or nay, and that happens before a connection is subsequently opened to the requested website.

Nothing to MITM. They can't listen in on your session data with this mechanism.

Apple servers would, of course, have the *potential* to correlate an iDevice with websites that the iDevice visits, and log that information for years on end. You know, the kind of thing that Google does.

Apple has no interest in doing that. It's not their business model. You can bet your bottom dollar that the validation data is hashed, scrambled and disposed of so that it doesn't leak beyond the validation service itself.

And if your tinfoil hat is flapping in the wind, you can just turn the feature off in settings.

Personally, I would much rather that Apple perform safety checks on my behalf than have my iDevice ask Google to do it directly.

In wake of Apple privacy controls, Facebook mulls just begging its iOS app users to let it track them over the web


Re: Just remember....

Just turn off Personalised Ads in Privacy settings. Nothing to reset, as no identifier is sent.

I was targeted by North Korean 0-day hackers using a Visual Studio project, vuln hunter tells El Reg



Christ only knows how many nuget packages are sprinkled with malware. Most of the Visual Studio projects I see tend to have dozens and dozens of nuget packages installed.

Plans for Entity Framework Core 6.0 revealed as Microsoft admits it is unlikely to match Dapper for performance


Re: ORMs - cake and eat it

Sounds like your company has some pretty bad management, development and testing issues!


Re: SQL's JOIN syntax is no harder to learn and more precise to use

Indeed. Use of EF is a time saver that avoids a lot of the humdrum of talking to a back end. Left to its own devices, EF can create some pretty cranky queries, but fairly simple logging/analysis of the generated SQL gives a good indication of where things need to be looked at in more detail. There are also plenty of simple optimisation tweaks you can/should make in high level code before it gets parsed by EF. Another benefit is that you can run the same high level data access code against different versions of SQL Server, and it will take advantage of that server version's capabilities.

Sure, you can make things more efficient if you hand-code stored procedures and invoke them directly. If you've got the time to do that. Or you have a dedicated db team. You could even dispense with a high level language and write your next utility app in assembly language. But we don't do that because life is short, delivery times are short.

Brexit freezes 81,000 UK-registered .eu domains – and you've all got three months to get them back


farageisacunt.eu not working


As Uncle Sam continues to clamp down on Big Tech, Apple pelted with more and more complaints from third-party App Store devs


Re: "we effectively handed them the Internet, a huge public resource"

Also, don’t forget that Al Gore invented the whole shebang and gave it to the world for free.

Dodgy procedures doomed Arianespace's Vega before it even left the launchpad


Note to self

...Must remember to design in polarised connectors on billion-dollar missions.

Apple appears to be charging Brits £309 to replace AirPods Max batteries, while Americans need only stump up $79


Re: Fix it yourself

Don’t buy fake chargers. They kill people. If you buy one on the internet for a friend you are part of the problem.

Apple fires warning shot at Facebook and Google on privacy, pledges fight against 'data-industrial complex'


Offer does not apply in China

Love it! That made me laugh.

Arm at 30: From Cambridge to the world, one plucky British startup changed everything


Re: Sophie Wilson

In large part I owe my career in IT to the brilliance of Sophie or, as she was then known, Roger.

In the early 80s, there were a ton of IT books available encouraging people to learn how to program. Among those was a superbly crafted manual on how to write assembler for the 6502, and another that contained a detailed disassembly of the BBC BASIC ROM. It was awe-inspiring stuff, seeing how so much functionality had been squeezed into 16KB. The last 5 bytes of the ROM were devoted to the character codes for 'R', 'O', 'G', 'E', 'R' (I forget the exact casing - it's been 40 years!).

I'd have never been able to defeat the copy protection on Elite without this grounding!

Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe


It is. And, when the day comes, what are you going to repair if you lift the lid on an iPhone to mostly find just a system-on-a-chip?


Re: @Dwarf

If I replaced a fan in my oven, there's a very good chance I would burn my house down. If my wife did it, the whole village would be in danger. Plus, the oven repair man would be put on the dole and I wouldn't be able to live with myself.


Re: Just because...

If, on the other hand, you drive a modern Toyota, you can take it to an official dealership where they will replace a broken lamp with a new one for free. A similar story for puncture repairs. Life isn't all bad.

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft's creepy Productivity Score


Re: evaluating "productivity" data can shift power from employees to organisations

I look forward to

- Power Pup telling me how useless I am

- Blowing him away with a digital shotgun



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