* Posts by David Pearce

271 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007


Your job was probably outsourced for exactly the reason you suspected

David Pearce

Realistic rates

In Malaysia you can get a fresh graduate for $6000pa

A competent software developer who can write a spec and follow it and test will cost you far more, from $25000pa, but still much less than in the West

Starlink's success in Ukraine amplifies interest in anti-satellite weapons

David Pearce

A bag of sand launched into reverse orbit would be a very simple and effective method, a fairly long time before all the debris de-orbits though

Big Tech's maps led ride-sharing giant Grab astray

David Pearce

I find Google shows roads as uncongested when they are actually gridlocked because so many motorcycle delivery riders are weaving through.

The fundamental error is not differentiating the App users into cars and bikes

Starlink's Portability mode lets you take your sat broadband dish anywhere*

David Pearce

Aircraft are in the open air

Aircraft are hopefully above trees and buildings, so terrain fading will not be an issue.

They turn quite slowly, so satellite handovers will be reduced. In the air, ATC tries to keep the planes well apart, so planes per satellite will never get too high

David Pearce

Re: "If Starlink detects a dish isn't at its home address, there's no guarantee of service"

The rural areas are where you would want this. Fibre based Internet in anywhere urban should be much cheaper

Semiconductor average lead time breaks half-year barrier

David Pearce

This is average lead time, so lead times in years is all too common

Hello Slackware, our old friend: Veteran Linux distribution releases version 15.0 at last

David Pearce

Re: my first distro

The stock Slackware kernel was not bloated anyway

'Boombox' function sparks Tesla recall

David Pearce

Over powerful motors and the matching power and cooling system will have a serious weight penalty, affecting range badly in normal driving

Intel chases after Bitcoin miners with dedicated chip

David Pearce

Maybe I might be able to buy a Radeon graphics card again

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

David Pearce

Re: EU Competition?

There have been plenty of chip fabs in the EU. Philips, ST, Siemens and several others

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

David Pearce

Re: Workers?

Chip fabs have very few workers. The diffused wafers get flown to Penang for package and test, which is the labour intensive step

T-Mobile US figuring out international roaming on 5G

David Pearce

Re: So the challenge is?

3G is turning off nationwide in Malaysia through this month, other countries are doing similar

Sweden asks EU to ban Bitcoin mining because while hydroelectric power is cheap, they need it for other stuff

David Pearce

It will get worse

Netflix etc are trying to reduce energy use to increase profits.

Bitcoin will use more and more as it is the nature of the proof of work algorithm

US bans Chinese firms – including one linked to HPE’s China JV – for feeding tech to Beijing's military

David Pearce

Re: One party one company

Of course Boeing is independent of the US taxpayer

UK data spillers fined, but enforcement slows: £5m in ICO penalties not yet paid

David Pearce

administrative penalty

It might not send you to prison, but why can't owing these fines disqualify you as a suitable person to be a director?

Nobody cares about DAB radio – so let's force it onto smart speakers, suggests UK govt review

David Pearce

A UK and maybe Europe problem?

DAB just has not happened in Asia, which is solidly FM only, so already car makers have to fit different stereo units. More regional incompatibilities.

Forget everything you learned playing Lunar Lander: Chinese boffins reveal secrets of Chang'e 5 probe's touchdown

David Pearce

Extra Sensors

A lesson for Boeing here, redundant sensors even though the probe was unmanned.

Windows what? PC makers have bigger things on their minds

David Pearce

A lot of people are not on Western salaries

£1000 is a lot when a graduate earns £5000 a year.

Add to that cost that Autocad etc are bound to have found a reason to sell you a new version for Windows 11.

Japanese boffins say they've created plastic optical fibres to reach places that might break glass

David Pearce


I hope that this polymer does not go brittle after 5 years of temperature cycling. Modern cars are potentially very short lived.

RIP Sir Clive Sinclair: British home computer trailblazer dies aged 81

David Pearce

Re: Proof that all it takes

He lost his own money on the C5

There are a few other prominent "Sirs" from the same era who were far dodgier businessmen - they only risked other peoples money.

Academics tell UK lords that folk aren't keen on predictive policing, facial recognition, heightened surveillance

David Pearce

Re: Magical thinking

You missed a bit ....effortlessly bag all (potential) criminals or political opponents

David Pearce

Fahrenheit 451

Remember that when the police robot dogs could not catch Montag, they just hunted down a credible substitute and killed him to be seen winning. They had a database of usable victims

NASA tests flying taxis made by biz dreaming of being the Uber of the sky

David Pearce

Engine Redundancy

I would have thought about 6 rotors would be a minimum to allow the aircraft to safely maintain altitude and stability with a single engine failure.

I also don't see who does the pre-flight inspection that all pilots have to do before every flight

Dissected: A dropper-as-a-service miscreants pay to push their malware onto potentially 1,000s of victims

David Pearce

Re: Linux

Android TV boxes running Kodi on a Linux distribution are a popular target for "watch sports channels for free" malware

UK VoIP telco receives 'colossal ransom demand', reveals REvil cybercrooks suspected of 'organised' DDoS attacks on UK VoIP companies

David Pearce

Trying to disable telephone networks easily could come under terrorism laws

Arms not long enough to reach the plug socket? Room-wide wireless charging is on the way

David Pearce


Apple already have problems with pacemakers


Et tu, Samsung? Electronics giant accused of quietly switching SSD components

David Pearce

What does the datasheet say?

Only depend on guaranteed specs, typical parameters are only hints, not certain.

Any design that depends on them is gambling

This way up: James Webb Space Telescope gets ready for shipment after final tests

David Pearce

Getting nervous

The JWT has been being built for a generation now. I really hope it launches and functions OK. No servicing possible where its going

Google: Linux kernel and its toolchains are underinvested by at least 100 engineers

David Pearce

Are commercial OS better?

All the evidence of the stream of security fixes is that the commercial OS have the same problems, the developers are focused on rushing new glamour GUI stuff, not making the core OS secure. Old OS versions get abandoned very quickly, while still in use in many critical systems

David Pearce

Re: Please stop calling computer programmers "engineers".

I believe engineer started as a term for people who worked with siege engines, centuries before trains

China stops networked vehicle data going offshore under new infosec rules

David Pearce

We all should follow their lead

A sensible move. Allowing international car data transfer and remote updates is allowing meta-data leaks and risks a software update that installs drive on the right settings in a UK car by accident or just turning it off or crashing you into the nearest pillar for political reasons. For safety critical software, it should be simple, only trust people who risk being personally sent to jail.

Jury tells Apple to cough up two days of annual profit in 4G/LTE patent damages retrial

David Pearce

The Sonos patents don't seem to be anything special

Alan Turing Institute to spend UK.gov grants on AI for air traffic control and banking

David Pearce

Safety integrity level software?

I thought that AI was very hard to show what it was actually doing. As you cannot get much more safety critical than ATC, this will be "interesting"

AI will discover patterns, which might be real or might be side effects of something else that has not been factored into the training data sets.

Windows 10 to hang on for five more years with 21H2 update

David Pearce

Industrial use

Real world users are often still on Windows 7.

I have no end of problems on big projects that have installed radio systems with Windows machines lurking in the management and configuration. These cannot be upgraded because the equipment was type approved with a set of software that is now frozen for the lifetime, maybe 15 years.

NASA signs $1bn deal with Northrop Grumman to build studio apartment in lunar orbit with room for 3 vehicles

David Pearce

Orbital decay is not from the negligible atmosphere, you only have to worry about the effects of the Earth and Sun tugging

DARPA nails cash to project 'FENCE' — a smart camera that only sends pics when pixels change

David Pearce


The reason that MPEG works with describing block motion is that in the real world of shaky cameras and turbulence the entire image shifts a few pixels in some random direction.

Encoding by pixel change only works if everything is VERY steady

Richard Branson plans to trump Jeff Bezos by 9 days in billionaires' space race

David Pearce

The VG craft is probably similar risk to a helicopter flight, but Bezos is taking a far greater risk sitting on top of a controlled explosion. Spaceflight is not for people who need to buy life insurance

Microsoft approved a Windows driver booby-trapped with rootkit malware

David Pearce

There is serious real money to be made in "eSports" these days, so expect more criminal activity

Hubble’s cosmic science is mind-blowing, but its soul celebrates something surprising about us

David Pearce

Was the issue that the KH-11 mirror actually focused on the earth and not infinity?

Now that China has all but banned cryptocurrencies, GPU prices are falling like Bitcoin

David Pearce

Diamonds are manipulated

If you ever sell diamonds, you will be lucky to get 10% of what you paid.

Gold is very different, you can sell it at a tiny loss in Asia.

South Korea bans 1700 tech products for using forged test reports

David Pearce

The tests should include RF immunity too. This is the part that gets cheated on as it costs a lot more to do and many people think that the CE tests are just emissions

Hubble Space Telescope to switch to backup memory module after instrument computer halts

David Pearce

I just hope the JWST actually launches safely and works correctly., remember the Hubble out of focus error. It seems to have been being built and tested forever.

Where the JWST is going, there is no chance of a repair mission, also a lot more radiation as it is outside the Earths Van Allen belts

Japan assembles superteam of aircraft component manufacturers to build supersonic passenger plane

David Pearce


It may be touting green fuel, but I don't see how it avoids spewing out nitrogen oxides into the stratosphere. The engines have to run hot with reheat to do their job.

Concorde was also just a little bit noisy at take off, even by the standards of 707s. Modern aircraft are much quieter than in the 70s. There is no getting around that you cannot make a supersonic wing work efficiently at 200 kts.

Amazon exec's husband jailed for two years for insider trading. Yes, with Amazon stock

David Pearce

Only doing it once

One thing I notice is that these people caught all repeated the trading many times.

I wonder how many control their greed and only trade once. Far harder to prove the connection in that case

Boffins improve on tech that extracts DC power from ambient Wi-Fi

David Pearce

Old wives tales

There is no way that an array of antennas more than a few wavelengths from a transmitter can extract much power. At long wave you might stand a chance of a usable power coupling, enough to be noticed. At UHF or above you will always be in the Far Field.

The old Crystal Palace TV transmitter used to radiate at 1 MW ERP, which at 100 m works out as 8 W/m2

This is 55 V/m, well above safety limits.

You would need several antennas to run a single light bulb

US Treasury wants to treat cryptocurrencies like cash – as in you need to report $10k+ transactions

David Pearce

But it is "money"

Any time I want to move for than USD 10000 between countries, it has been reported to the national bank for many years under anti money-laundering laws..

Why should moving BTC around be a free pass to avoiding this?

China says its first Mars rover Zhurong has landed on the Red Planet

David Pearce


This proves that China is capable of producing top quality equipment when they want to. Landing on Mars has been proved again and again to be really hard

10.8 million UK homes now have access to gigabit-capable broadband, with much of the legwork done by Virgin Media

David Pearce


You do realize that Starlink is a shared bandwidth, A single satellite passing overhead is serving how many potential customers?

This is a reasonable summary - better than ADSL


UK's National Cyber Security Centre recommends password generation idea suggested by El Reg commenter

David Pearce

Rainbow Tables

Pre computed rainbow tables are readily available up to 9 or 10 characters depending on the options.

You can guess that serious TLAs can go up to about 12.

Absolutely fab: As TSMC invests $100bn to address chip shortage, where does that leave the rest of the industry?

David Pearce

Natural Disasters

Taiwan is prone to earthquakes and typhoons, bioth not good for a chip fab.

I would prefer new fabs to be a bit more dispersed



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022