* Posts by elkster88

50 posts • joined 22 Aug 2016

Microsoft will release a web browser for Linux next month. Repeat, Microsoft will release a browser for Linux – and it uses Google's technology


Re: "This means Linus Torvalds has definitely won, doesn't it?"

"Increasingly irreverent"

They may well be. Hadn't really considered their religious views, up til now.

Oh what a feeling: New Toyotas will upload data to AWS to help create custom insurance premiums based on driver behaviour

Big Brother

This is but the nose of the proverbial ...

Rest assured, the other bits, including both humps, will soon be squarely in the tent.

I won't be surprised when this is SOP for all cars, and in fact I expect it will eventually be illegal to disconnect or tamper with the government mandated spy system(s).

They'll need to replace fuel tax when all cars go electric, for one thing. No doubt the powers that be can come up with as many other excuses as needed. Joe Public won't care so long as the car's got plenty of USB outlets and multiple cup holders.

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G: So light, you might even forget about its terrible keyboard


Re: "...a capable machine for the road warrior..."

Those are all good- I just want to know what to call those cunts in airports who talk loudly on their phone set to speakerphone, held a good 2 feet from their face, thereby forcing us to hear both sides of their conversation, instead of holding it up to their ear so we only have to hear from one of the participants.

Admittedly that twat would still be bellowing his side of the conversation. Why is it that some folk can't just talk at a normal level and trust that their device's microphone actually works? And why can't they get a set of earbuds, a headset, or something else that doesn't subject all and sundry to their inane drivel? Hanging's too good, &c.

Microsoft tells AMD-powered Insiders they're unblocked in new Windows 10 Dev Channel build: 'Oh no we're not!'


A humbly crowdsourced edit

"In Windows land, sometimes it can feel like everyone is a tester."

SoftBank: Oi, we paid $32bn for you, when are you going to strong-Arm some more money out of your customers?


SoftBank bought a goose that lays golden eggs...

And the first thing the proud new owners do is decide to practically squeeze the life out of it, to extract more eggs, then they wonder why it's suddenly stopped laying.

Penguin icon for obvious reasons.

What does London's number 65 bus have to hide? OS caught on camera setting fire to '22,000 illegal file(s)!!'


Re: There's a reflection in the screen.

I regret that I have only one upvote to give (and of course an obligatory virtual pint, hence the icon).

If Fairphone can support a 5-year-old handset, the other vendors could too. Right?


Re: planned obsolescence - It's everywhere

I'd be interested in knowing which model of Sony Blu-Ray player has Windows 7 embedded in it. I've got a Sony Blu-Ray player myself but the "smart" network dependent features, I never use. So far it seems to play DVDs OK (I don't think I actually own any Blu-Ray disks).

Arm wrestle round two: Chinese outpost says it's fired the replacement CEO foisted on it by HQ


First thing I thought of

51 > 49.

If ARM wanted to retain control of their China operations, perhaps they should have made the cut on the _other_ side of 50 percent.

Western Digital shingled out in lawsuit for sneaking RAID-unfriendly tech into drives for RAID arrays


Another good reason to be an El Reg reader

As it happens, I *just* unpacked a 4TB WD Red drive that I ordered three days ago. And thanks to Chris Mellor's article, I specified the old 64MB cache version (model WD40EFRX, CMR) rather than the new 256MB cache (SMR) drive.

The model number is identical to the 4TB drive I intend to pair it with in my NAS... but there is no external indication on the label that it is the 64MB cache version, unlike the older drive that explicitly says "64 MB". I suppose hooking it up to a Linux box and running hdparm is in order.

Resistance is futile: Some Cisco security appliances are ticking time bombs of fail thanks to faulty resistors


Have a euphemism on us.

"non-deterministic endpoint behaviour"

I'm nicking that for my next status report.

Schermata blu di errore: Italy might be in lockdown, but the sh!tshow must go on

Big Brother

In the spirit of F. U.

"You might well think that- I couldn't possibly comment."

No joy for all you Rover McRoverface fans: NASA's next Mars bot is christened Perseverance


Ok then...

So Perseverance McPerseveranceface it is.

It has been 15 years, and we're still reporting homograph attacks – web domains that stealthily use non-Latin characters to appear legit


Re: A þorny problem, to be sure

Þú, feld, núna.

Honeywell, I blew up the qubits: Thermostat maker to offer cloud access to 'world's most powerful quantum computer' within months


Re: Honeywell thermostats as a brand

On an uncharacteristically serious note, Honeywell has recently split off the thermostat business. It was spun off into an independent company, Resideo.

Ah. I've been pipped to the post, I see.

It is with a heavy heart we must inform you, once again, folks are accidentally spilling thousands of sensitive pics, records onto the internet


Re: Four sig fig?

Every time I encounter such unwarranted precision, I am reminded of this exchange:

KIRK: Mister Spock, can we get those two guards? What would you say the odds on our getting out of here?

SPOCK: Difficult to be precise, Captain. I should say approximately 7,824.7 to 1.

KIRK: Difficult to be precise? 7,824 to 1?

SPOCK: 7,824.7 to 1.

KIRK: That's a pretty close approximation.

SPOCK: I endeavour to be accurate.

KIRK: You do quite well.

A dirty dozen of Bluetooth bugs threaten to reboot, freeze, or hack your trendy gizmos from close range


I'm looking forward to the SIGRIDTOOTH...

... BLE exploit, named after Harald "Bluetooth" Gormsson's neighbor's best friend's nephew's bin man's sister-in-law.

Parks and recreation escalate efforts to take back control of field terrorised by thug geese


Re: Geese police

A former cow-orker accidentally[1] skittled a tame Canada goose in the company car park with his pickup truck. Roast roadkill goose was an integral part of the next office pot luck lunch. Tasted a bit different than the wild harvested one he also cooked (typically mostly corn-fed), not bad, but different.


Ex-Autonomy CFO Sushovan Hussain was accused of sexual misconduct against Darktrace staff – report


Randy Cheek

Nominative determinism at its finest!

"The unfortunately named American, [...] allegedly asking an interviewee whether she had a boyfriend and telling another member of staff he was "looking forward to seeing you bend over in that dress". "

You can't make it up.

That's what makes you hackable: Please, baby. Stop using 'onedirection' as a password


Never going to hack me!

Yeah, what's up with all those lame passwords.

I got smart and switched all mine to "Correct Horse Battery Staple" some time ago.

Star wreck: There's a 1 in 20 chance a NASA telescope and US military satellite will smash into each other today


Re: No lineage?

Typing this: "boy stows away on a manned rocket to the Moon" into Google throws up this: Wikipedia article on "Stowaway to the Moon".

Beer necessities: US chap registers bevvy as emotional support animal so he can booze on public transport


Re: You gotta shoot...

My instructor at an HP training school in the early 90s out in Fort Collins, CO was a Scotsman named Angus who had lived in the Netherlands for some time.

The only thing I can now remember him teaching me was the saying "Dutch cows drink Grolsch and piss Heineken".

Odd fellow, but he took the entire class out for beers at Coopersmith's.

Archive storage comes to Google Cloud: Will it give AWS and Azure the cold shoulder?

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Words to live by...

"All storage is vulnerable to physical decay, fire or other calamity, or mis-configured systems that mean the data stored is not what you hoped it was. ®"

By law, that wording should be engraved in the largest font size that will fit, on every single data storage device sold.

And hopefully burned into the forehead of anyone who places critical data in a single place, such as a laptop drive, and who then whinges about the consequences when it inevitably gets destroyed due to any one of a number of foreseeable causes.

Buzz kill: Crook, 73, conned investors into shoveling millions into geek-friendly caffeine-loaded chocs that didn't exist. Now he's in jail


Re: Spiders on drugs!

Now I really want to see this:

2014 documentary Dolphins - Spy in the Pod shows dolphins getting intoxicated on pufferfish.

Dolphin #1: "Can I tempt you with a bit of pufferfish?"

Dolphin #2: "Thanks, I don't."

Register Lecture: Can portable atomic clocks end UK dependence on GNSS?


Re: Interesting

"1ms gives you your location to the nearest 250 meters if my math is correct (probably not...)"

300 000 000 m/s * 1/1000 s = 300 km.

Heads up from Internet of S*!# land: Best Buy's Insignia 'smart' home gear will become very dumb this Wednesday


Re: Somewhat curious...

"I really struggle to see the business sense in this..."

They got your money, and having decided to exit the Internet of Tat business, obviously figure letting folk down gently is just a waste of money, simple as that.

It's exactly like the revolving door model of executive leadership in today's short term profit driven companies. Get while the getting is good and get out, leaving the mess behind for someone else to deal with.

Outlook turned eBay into DD-Bay: Topless busty babe mysteriously fronts souk's emails


If the avatar is still in your email client...

"If the avatar is still in your email client, an Outlook account reset (Inbox >> Gear icon >> Email Account >> Reset) will remove it, we're told. "

Umm, just out of curiosity, is there any way to not remove this avatar from my email client?

Asking for a friend, naturally.

A carbon-nanotube RISC-V CPU blinks into life. Boffins hold their breath awaiting first sign of life... 'Hello world!'


So it is possible...

For a bunch of CNTs to do something useful after all.

Can Amazon's AI really detect fear? Plus: Fresh deepfake video freaks everyone out again


Re: .. the armies of humans training today's AI systems


Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear


Re: IC marking

> the bigger concern is unintended consequences of "minor" deviations from the original design, even if the new part has "better" specs.

Which is why any engineering based company worth two shits have for-real component engineers on staff. I can't count the number of times I've seen stuff break because folks think pretty much any IC with the same generic part number will perform the same, because "I checked, and all the specs are the same or better!".

Not all characteristics of the parts you buy are captured by the spec sheet. Sometimes there's a lot of qualification work that doesn't show up on the purchased part drawing, and the approved vendor list isn't just there as a helpful pointer of where to buy the part...

Another rewrite for 737 Max software as cosmic bit-flipping tests glitch out systems – report


Re: You've got to be kidding!


"error rates increase rapidly with rising altitude; for example, compared to sea level, the rate of neutron flux is 3.5 times higher at 1.5 km and 300 times higher at 10–12 km (the cruising altitude of commercial airplanes).[4] As a result, systems operating at high altitudes require special provision for reliability."

Which is why avionics invariably use EDAC memory.

Can't dance? That's no excuse. Let a robot do it for you at this 'forced exoskeleton rave'


Re: Despicable lies!

John, I'm only dancing.

Airbus A350 software bug forces airlines to turn planes off and on every 149 hours


Re: Why is there a choice?

Believe it or not, one of the ARINC 429 dataloader boxes in my lab loads flight software for some of the avionics that my company supplies to Airbus and Boeing using... wait for it...

3-1/2" 1.44 MB floppies.

At least it uses "modern" floppies, not the 5-1/4" or 8" floppies used by some of the older (but still operational) equipment that's sitting on the next shelf.

Galileo, Galileo, Galileo, where to go? Navigation satellite signals flip from degraded to full TITSUP* over span of four days

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Re: Huzzah!

I commend the book "Longitude" to this forum.


Mods I have known, Mods I have loved, Mods I have hated: Motorola's failed experiment is now a savvy techie's dream


Re: 500 Wh Battery?

Beat me to it.

Obviously the Insta-Share also doubles as a plasma cutter if you know how to trigger the Easter egg.

Surprising absolutely no one at all, Samsung's folding-screen phones knackered within days


Re: Pretty well Inevitable for an Alpha Version

"there's no functional reason to have red cars and green ones."

Pfffft. As any fule kno, the red ones are faster.

Motion detectors: say hello, wave goodbye and… flushhhhhh


Re: Why it's important to specify units.

Actually I think Abe said he gets 40 rods / hogshead which is a fairly spectacular rate of consumption... (not that 80 rods/hogshead could be considered economical) considering that 40 rods is an eighth of a mile and a hogshead is either 52.5 or 64 gallons depending on whether you want to use the wine or beer measure.


Six Flags fingerprinted my son without consent, says mom. Y'know, this biometric case has teeth, say state supremes...


Re: cancelling your face.

"You can cancel your credit card but you cannot cancel your face."

Well, you sort of CAN cancel your face... but bringing home a chimpanzee for a bit of face eating does seem a bit of an extreme measure to scrub your identity from a biometric database.

The Large Hadron Collider is small beer. Give us billions more for bigger kit, say boffins


Re: Dark matter/energy question

Just a thought, but am interested if anybody has any thoughts and if I'm wrong, help me understand.

If ever the situation called for it...

Paging Amanfrommars1 to the green telephone.

SpaceX's Crew Dragon shows up at pad 39A, nearly 8 years after the last Shuttle left


Re: lets try something new.

"Here's your star charts" [boss hands prospective space explorer a sheaf of papers]

"But they're all blank!"

"Yes, if you wouldn't mind terribly, be a good chap and fill them in as you go ..."

(Shameless rip-off of "Potato", couldn't help myself)

What can I say about this 5G elixir? Try it on steaks! Cleans nylons! It's made for the home! The office! On fruits!


Trick question?

what do we get from “faster download speeds” if there isn’t a corresponding, and most significant, increase in data.

Oh, you'll get a bump in the size of your data plan. Along with a significant increase in price, naturally.

Forgotten that Chinese spy chip story? We haven't – it's still wrong, Super Micro tells SEC


Re: Too complex to be true

'Not even examination of the silicon would make it immediately apparent, because the bogus silicon could be marked with the correct chip ID and a bogus "new revision" number.'

Many moons ago I worked for the Semiconductor Control Facility of Sperry Univac. Our incoming inspection/failure analysis lab routinely de-lidded integrated circuits and looked at them under an electron microscope, and also subjected them to scanning by a secondary ion mass spectrometer (SIMS). Any such undisclosed modification would have been flagged and a full and frank discussion with the supplier would shortly ensue. It did happen on occasion that there was a die shrink or a design change that was not communicated to us beforehand, and such behavior was explicitly against the purchase agreements we made with our suppliers. Violations could and did result in suppliers being struck off the approved vendor list of the part control drawing.

Since that time, the state of the art in quality assurance has shifted, with more trust placed in suppliers, and incoming inspection has been mostly replaced by supplier audits, sending component engineers out to the fabs or simply reviewing data provided by the manufacturer. So I would not be surprised if a counterfeit IC could be inserted into the supply chain by a nation-state spy agency.

Another comment about this paragraph from the story:

'It claims that its system is "designed so that no single Supermicro employee, single team, or contractor has unrestricted access to the complete motherboard design."'

As someone who does this for a living: I'm almost certain that the engineers who develop the functional and in-circuit tests for these motherboards do in fact have unfettered access to the complete motherboard design at the IC interconnect level, since they need the netlist, the bill of materials, FPGA programming images, firmware images, boundary scan vectors, physical board layout (Gerber files), schematics, etc.

Convenient switch hides an inconvenient truth


Re: Bah!

> I used to know a carpet fitter called Walter - dont remember his surname.

Had to be Wall, didn't it?

Why are sat-nav walking directions always so hopeless?


Re: Actually most satnavs are still remarkably unreliable

"Garmin is humorously wrong in northern Spain".

Not just Spain. I've run into some places in the US that have been unchanged for at least 2 or 3 years, yet Garmin still have not updated their maps, despite the fact that they release new maps at least once a year.

Open Streetmaps are a viable alternative to Garmin, which I've been happy to use on trips to Iceland, Norway, Italy, etc. on my North America maps only equipped mapped Garmin units. I've been loathe to spend $100 for a set of maps that I will be using only for a short time, and have low confidence in their accuracy. And because the data are crowdsourced, I'm fairly confident in its accuracy, at least the POIs aren't going to be years out of date (and if they are, I can do an instant edit).


Fixing a printer ended with a dozen fire engines in the car park


Re: Had the fire brigade called to a five star hotel, in Malta....

Also worked at Burger King. Can advise that laying down a ring of mustard approximately 100cm diameter on the side of a burger wrapper and popping it in the microwave, produced an entertaining display of sparks. Apparently mustard, or what passed for it at BK, is sufficiently conductive to function as a loop antenna.

Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?


"MGB batteries - two of them, 6v each, were under the rear seat, either side of the transmission tunnel."

So right. And they were hung from a sort of open metal basket arrangement, which was particularly prone to rust. I discovered both of them hanging from their cables, dragging on the road, after driving over a surprisingly large speed hump at a rate of knots. After that, they were replaced by a single 12V battery living in the boot, where I reckoned it was less likely to make a bid for freedom.

That microchipped e-passport you've got? US border cops still can't verify the data in it


Re: Does not compute

"...the government says the only thing on the chip is the passport number. "

That's news to me, but I'm not saying you're wrong.

"So are they lying, or is this fake news?"

Install the "READID NFC Passport Reader" app from Google Play and find out for yourself. I did this just yesterday after reading about it in a comment here on El Reg.

Among other things, there's your date of birth, the issuing location, date of issuance, date of expiration, and so on.

Along with the crypto certs that the USA CBP agents can't verify.

Beware the looming Google Chrome HTTPS certificate apocalypse!


Re: Well done Google....

"If a web-site is only publishing information..."

So there's no harm done if wrong and potentially harmful information gets re-transmitted by a MITM attack, instead of what was intended?

OK, then.

SCARY SPICE: Pumpkin air freshener sparks school evacuation


Re: Pumpkins?

"When I were a kid, we had to make-do with turnip. "


We had to make do with Turnip Helper™, without the turnip.

Motivational speaker in the slammer after HPE applies for court order


Re: @VulcanV5 re "motivational speaker"

>On the other hand, once upon a time a couple of decades ago I unexpectedly had the great pleasure of listening to an Apollo astronaut (Aldrin? Armstrong? sorry guys, it was a long time ago) address a sales conference for a techy company.

>*That* was inspirational.

Years ago I had the good fortune to meet Buzz Aldrin on board the USS Sequoia, as a guest of Textronix, who had engaged him as a speaker. It was a works jolly for test engineers attending ITC in Washington DC. Everyone was given a signed copy of his book "Men from Earth".

It's not something I am liable to forget. But I probably stopped after only a couple of glasses of champers...

Mr Sage, on the other hand, sounds eminently forgettable, with or without the aid of alcohol.


Walmart sues Visa for being too lax with protecting chip cards


Re: Only debit cards!

"The US does not issue chip'n'PIN *credit* cards, only *debit* cards."

Umm, yes they do.

My Andrews Federal Credit Union VISA credit card (most emphatically not a debit card) was specifically applied for before my last trip to Italy because it is a Chip & PIN, not Chip and signature.


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