* Posts by Richard Boyce

429 posts • joined 8 Aug 2007


Taiwan bans exports of chips faster than 25MHz to Russia, Belarus

Richard Boyce


What's to stop Russia from buying indirectly through intermediaries, though it would cost more?

What's to stop Russia importing products such as laptops from Chinese manufacturers that include such chips? Would Taiwan or the US sanction such companies?

Quantum internet within grasp as scientists show off entanglement demo

Richard Boyce

Re: Within our grasp

"The human mind, let's call it Real Intelligence (RI), is a marvelous thing for generating ideas. But implementing those ideas always seems to be a bit beyond our grasp."

If that were true, you wouldn't be using a computer.

US exempts South Korean smartphones from Russia export bans

Richard Boyce


I think everyone's aware that China sells phones, cars and white goods, and would benefit at South Korea's expense. Samsung also is one of the major chip manufacturers of the world and those are in very tight supply right now. Realpolitik.

Targeted ransomware takes aim at QNAP NAS drives, warns vendor: Get your updates done pronto

Richard Boyce

Re: "I have 50tb of data there, none of it essential"

I am surprised that he wrote tb instead of TB.

Google: We disagree with Sonos patent ruling so much, we've changed our code to avoid infringement

Richard Boyce

Legal costs

Does the loser pay the victor's legal costs in this case?

Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation

Richard Boyce

Source of radiation

I can't read Dutch, so can someone tell me if the authorities have said what the source material is that's producing the radiation, or any other technical details?

Humanity has officially touched the Sun (or, at least, one of its probes has)

Richard Boyce

Re: Jorge Cham's graphical illustration

If it were in a thermos flask, it would cook itself with the heat from its own energy use. It radiates that heat into space while mostly in the shadow of the shield.

Chinese Communist Party official expelled for mining cryptocurrency

Richard Boyce

Re: world is getting weirder again

Senior party members use those services too, and they have rivals.

Trick or treat? Massive solar storm could light up American skies this Halloween

Richard Boyce

High southern latitudes too.

31-year-old piece of hardware not working very well: Hubble telescope back in safe mode over 'synchronization issues'

Richard Boyce

Re: It’s going to L2?

It's going to the Earth-Sun L2 point, not the Earth-Moon L2 point.

Alpha adds to tally of exploding rockets, takes out space sail prototype with it

Richard Boyce

Re: Close

They may have destroyed evidence by interfering with debris. They also risked chemical burns.

After quietly switching to slower NAND in an NVMe SSD, Western Digital promises to be a bit louder next time

Richard Boyce

A serial offender

As the article states, this is not the first time that they've done this, so it should be assumed that they'll keep doing it. Their Red drives used to be my favourite for NAS, now I avoid WD. This behaviour is another gift to the competition.

OK, so you stole $600m-plus from us, how about you be our Chief Security Advisor, Poly Network asks thief

Richard Boyce

Everything time he sends a message or uses his wallet, he increases the odds that he will be identified. Then it's game over.

Das tut mir leid! Germany's ruling party sorry for calling cops on researcher after she outed canvassing app flaws

Richard Boyce

The mice have commissioned a reserve planet, just in case the Vogons get a bit careless.

BOFH: You say goodbye and I say halon

Richard Boyce

Royal Institution lecture

There's a very interesting clip from an RI lecture on the use of 15% oxygen. Largely fire-proof but safe to breath.


Ransomware-hit law firm gets court order asking crooks not to publish the data they stole

Richard Boyce

Streisand effect?

I had never heard of 4 New Square before, but a lot more people have now.

Samsung commits to 5 years of Android updates... for its enterprise smartphone users at least

Richard Boyce

Re: Quarterly schedules won't work for Android

Huawei hasn't been given a choice in the matter, and that's probably making a lot of other companies in China and elsewhere think twice about their dependence on Google.

Spyware, trade-secret theft, and $30m in damages: How two online support partners spectacularly fell out

Richard Boyce

7 years

Why did it take so long? Is it now over? What proportion of the damages goes to the lawyers?

Ex-Brave staffer launches GDPR sueball in Germany over tech giants' real-time bidding for ad inventory

Richard Boyce

Re: Previous approach

I am thinking that the advert itself is a product to be sold. Is the offer of personalised ads a good means of marketing online advertising to clients? How clued-up is the average client?

Facebook and Singapore teams looking for ways to get data centres relaxing in moist tropical climes

Richard Boyce

There would seem to be an increasing need for chips and other components to be designed to operate at much higher temperatures. If they could operate 50C hotter, the cost of cooling would be much less, though you might have to provide humans with special suits to keep them cool while working near the servers.

Seagate finds sets of two heads are cheaper than one in its new and very fast MACH.2 dual-actuator hard disks

Richard Boyce

Re: dual actuator drives have been long in coming

At worst, you could always buy their NAS drives. Seagate has promised they won't do what WD did.

FYI: Today's computer chips are so advanced, they are more 'mercurial' than precise – and here's the proof

Richard Boyce

Error detection

We've long had ECC RAM available, but only really critical tasks have had CPU redundancy for detecting and removing errors. Maybe it's time for that to change. As chips have more and more cores added, perhaps we could usefully use an option to tie cores together in threes to do the same tasks with majority voting to determine the output.

Xiaomi touts Hypercharge 200W charging tech, claims 4,000mAh battery goes from 0 to full in 480 seconds

Richard Boyce

Re: Stupid lab tricks

1C is the charging/discharging rate that will fill/empty the battery in one hour. So for a 4Ah battery, it's a current of 4A.

Nvidia nerfs RTX 3080, 3070, 3060 Ti GPUs to shoo away Ethereum miners

Richard Boyce

Mining probably only makes economic sense if you pay very little for the electricity, or someone else is unwittingly paying.

Broadband plumber Openreach yanks legacy copper phone lines in Suffolk town of Mildenhall en route to getting the UK on VoIP

Richard Boyce

Competition problems

Will the major telcos take the opportunity to block other specialist suppliers of VoIP service for "security", and try to inhibit switching to a different provider?

At the moment, if you have an Internet service, you can get digital phone lines with no line rental, low call rates, even free calls to some other VoIP numbers. The telcos are not currently worried by the few geeks that use VoIP for domestic service, but this could change.

At the moment, for calls not covered by a package, the telcos will charge a connection fee for each call, and have minimum call duration of a few minutes. If you want to dial across the pond, they will purse their lips and say, "Ooh, long distance gov, takes a week to get there by steamboat, so gotta charge you accordingly." They will want to ensure that roadblocks to competition remain, so the existing business models for call charging and line rentals are not undermined.

Elon Musk's SpaceX bags $3bn NASA contract to, fingers crossed, land first woman on the Moon

Richard Boyce

Re: To do list

Cameras could provide a stereoscopic image of the approaching surface, but I doubt the pilots will be flying manually, as the Apollo crews did.

Intel offers to produce car chips for automakers stalled by ongoing semiconductor supply drought

Richard Boyce

Re: Meanwhile at the trough

"And what about whatever said fab used to make? Is that stuff then going to be in short supply?"

Exactly the point I was going to make. And it's not just the lost capacity while they're making the chips, it's the lost capacity in the 6 to 9 months while they're preparing to make them. These chips won't be cheap.

What's this about a muon experiment potentially upending Standard Model of physics? We speak to one of the scientists involved

Richard Boyce

Electrons or positrons?

There is confusion about whether the experiment is using normal matter muons which decay into electrons, or antimatter muons which decay into positrons.

Here's one government source:


Here are two mutually-contradictory pages from Fermilab's site for the experiment:



Can anyone help?

Scientists are keen to find differences in the way antimatter behaves from normal matter. I wonder what the result would be if they used the opposite type of muon....

Will Apple blink? ByteDance, Tencent, others ready new ad-tracking tech in defiance of iOS privacy protections

Richard Boyce

What's the Chinese government's attitude to this likely to be? Would this be regarded as useful for surveillance? Is the average chinese person as blase about privacy as most people in the west?

Someone defeated the anti-crypto-coin-mining protection for Nvidia's 'gamers only' RTX 3060 ... It was Nvidia

Richard Boyce

Re: Mining works best

...and using other people's electricity.

That's part of the problem.

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

Richard Boyce

One of the great unknowns is how gravity behaves at such tiny scales where quantum mechanics is so evident, hence the desire for experiments like this to observe gravity at smaller scales than before.

Quantum Mechanics and General Relativity (Eintein's description of gravity) are mutually contradictory, but humanity has yet to observe conditions sufficiently extreme to pit them against each other to see which breaks first.

Intel CPU interconnects can be exploited by malware to leak encryption keys and other info, academic study finds

Richard Boyce

Re: Another nail in the coffin of x86?

I didn't make my point well.

These cores from Intel, (and I assume AMD) are coming with a lot of extra stuff that's both poorly documented and proving to be a security headache. It seems to this layman that the ARM ecosystem is inherently more open because of the way things are licensed, thus allowing a lot of early scrutiny by independent people.

Richard Boyce

Another nail in the coffin of x86?

These researchers shouldn't have had to reverse engineer this stuff; it only obscured the security problem. As with software, the more open the design, the better for security. This isn't rocket science.

The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre

Richard Boyce

Isn't this expected to be a major paying application of LEO satellites with optical links between them, such as Starlink? Upload from a ground station in London to LEO, beam across the pond in a vacuum, down to a ground station in New York, beating light pulses travelling through undersea cables.

Elon Musk says he tried to sell Tesla to Apple, which didn’t bite and wouldn't even meet

Richard Boyce

You repeatedly mention there are inefficient alternatives, as if you think that efficiency isn't critically important.

In the absence of a room-temperature superconductor, high current is always going to mean high resistance and low efficiency.

Apple on the hook for another $503m in decade-long VirnetX patent rip-off legal marathon

Richard Boyce

Might is right?

How does a small inventor stand a chance defending a patent if the system allows infringers to litigate you into bankruptcy when that is cheaper than buying a licence? Are you better off keeping the innovation secret and not revealing it in a patent?

What will you do with your Raspberry Pi 4 this week? RISC it for a biscuit perhaps?

Richard Boyce

Better that he self-interferes, and leaves the other 2.4GHz channels for his neighbours.

We won't leave you hanging any longer: Tool strips freeze-inducing bugs from Java bytecode while in production

Richard Boyce

Re: What has happened to deterministic behavior?

Agreed. The people operating the system may only be concerned with outward appearances, content with the automated papering over of the cracks. The quantity of data corruption that could accumulate over years could do serious damage to a business. Backups won't help.

If the Samsung Galaxy S20 Fan Edition doesn't make you a fan, we don't know what will

Richard Boyce


Since this is a Samsung phone, privacy is a concern. Are you required to accept monitoring/access to contacts before using, for example, wallpaper on the home screen? Are you given the option to refuse or do you just get the option to be nagged again later until you either surrender or swear never to buy Samsung again?

Who watches the watchers? Samsung does so it can fling ads at owners of its smart TVs

Richard Boyce

Re: "...most of the population are stupid and/or ignorant..."

What proportion of the population confuses average with median?

Brexit travel permits designed to avoid 7,000-lorry jams come January depend on software that won't be finished till April

Richard Boyce

More queues?

We have semi-organised facilities for queuing traffic inside Kent. Do we now need similar facilities just outside Kent for lorries to use until they have permission to join the queues inside Kent?

Now Nvidia's monster GeForce RTX 3090 cards snaffled up by bots, scalpers – if only there had been a warning

Richard Boyce

Re: If it helps...

Maybe because the bot users could simply place fake bids to block any auctions. In addition, the retailers would have to be denied stock, at least at first. They would not be happy.

Before you buy that managed Netgear switch, be aware you may need to create a cloud account to use its full UI

Richard Boyce

Cisco Linksys scandal

I just put those three words into Google and the first link was https://tech.slashdot.org/story/12/07/02/1743253/ciscos-cloud-vision-mandatory-and-killed-at-their-discretion

So this is not the first time managers have thought this was a good business decision. Although the victims were mainly retail consumers, there was a big enough backlash to persuade Cisco that this wasn't the best decision they ever made. The Linksys brand was subsequently sold. That Netgear has chosen to do something similar to business customers is astonishing.

Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

Richard Boyce

They need to catch him brown-handied.

With a million unwanted .uk domains expiring this week, Nominet again sends punters pushy emails to pay up

Richard Boyce

When you have to avoid a profit...

... it's perhaps time for a bit of Hollywood accounting. Any enterprise can divert money away from the bottom line to other places, if required.

Chinese prof sent down for 18 months for stealing semiconductor secrets, trying to patent them to cover tracks

Richard Boyce

5 years before even being tried?

Is this 18 months in addition to the 5 years he's served prior to trial? If not, the 18 months would seem to be very lenient, by US standards. If the 18 months genuinely fits the crime, then it suggests that he's been dealt an injustice by being overpunished. I would like to know more about why everything took so long. Is it common for people in the US to spend such a long time in jail before being tried?

You Musk be joking: A mind-reading Neuralink chip in a pig's brain? Downloadable memories? Telepathy? Watch and judge for yourself

Richard Boyce

Not just Bill Gates

Conspiracy theorists are going to love this.

Utes gotta be kidding me... University of Utah handed $457K to ransomware creeps

Richard Boyce


Can an insurer require that a ransom be paid, with an excess, by specifying that it will only cover the cheapest recovery method?

Money talks as Chinese chip foundries lure TSMC staff with massive salaries to fix the Middle Kingdom's tech gap

Richard Boyce


China has a huge population so no shortage of talent. What it lacks is perhaps experience and a training pipeline. China will want people who can build or enhance that pipeline. After that, the people being hired will be less valuable, especially as Taiwan may not be keen to employ them again. Maybe the deals will appeal to older people who are thinking about a comfortable retirement in a few years.

Wi-Fi 6 isn't signed off yet, but boffins are already teasing us with specs for venerable wireless tech's next gen

Richard Boyce


How many ISPs are going to supply routers with 8 aerials?



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