* Posts by fobobob

302 posts • joined 18 Nov 2016


America's largest radio telescope blind after falling cable slashes 100-foot gash in reflector dish


Re: Don't forget...

I only watched it for the first time a few months ago, but played the Nintendo 64 game extensively as a child. The faithfulness of the game to the movie is pretty impressive, given its being segmented into discrete missions, and the limitations of the console itself.

You may be distracted by the pandemic but FYI: US Senate panel OK's backdoors-by-the-backdoor EARN IT Act


The world is a deceptively small lift, hurtling through space.

Devuan Beowulf 3.0 release continues to resist the Debian fork's Grendel – systemd


Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Being able to reorder and enable/disable your boot scripts with nothing more than 'mv' comes in handy from time to time, and can even be done through init=/bin/sh if something went wrong.

'Beyond stupid': Linus Torvalds trashes 5.8 Linux kernel patch over opt-in Intel CPU bug mitigation


Re: @devTrail - What kind of opt-in was it?

Need a multi-GHz 64-bit analog to the i8080 - no out-of-order anything, no pipelining, no nothing.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


Check the radar range!

Boeing brings back the 737 Max but also lays off thousands


Re: What will insurance premiums be ?

737-MAX 10 has main landing gear that extend by several inches when fully down: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4IGl4OizM4

What do you call megabucks Microsoft? No really, it's not a joke. El Reg needs you


Handicapper General

Handicapper General?

Seems almost everything they've done in the past 10 years has made my job/general use more difficult than it needs to be.

You've duked it out with OS/2 – but how to deal with these troublesome users? Nukem


Re: Error

Very true, though with 4x ~2GB partitions on 5x ~8GB SCSI disks, it might be possible to make that much storage available.


Re: Downgrading OS/2 to Windows 3, really?

I remember seeing the lonely Warp machine languishing at a standalone desk with a burned in Mag CRT every time I went to my dad's office as a kid, well into the early 2000s. I was told never to touch it. Would not be shocked to learn that it still exists in spirit form, in a VM.



""so the process took only 1 to 2 to seconds to run, even on old 40GB IDE HDDs. "

Just noting here that it should probably be 40MB not 40GB; 40GB would have been rather expensive when Win 3.x was relevant.

BOFH: Here he comes, all wide-eyed with the boundless optimism of youth. He is me, 30 years ago... what to do?


Re: Mixed Feelings

Mine turns out to be 07-13-91. Forgive the date format, it's 'Made in the U S A' (as am I), according to the rather wide lettering at the bottom of its label. I am not much older than it, and acquired it relatively recently, but I don't plan on parting with it any time soon.

Going Dutch: The Bakker Elkhuizen UltraBoard 950 Wireless... because looks aren't everything


Re: "as your mum once told me"

I'm probably somewhat biased as I never got to use a new one, but at a previous job, those were the standard deployment. Unfortunately, it seemed that about 3/4 of them had 'sticky' keys that couldn't be depressed smoothly (key support tube binding in its channel), making it impossible to do more than 40wpm without significant error rate.

Early adopters delighted as Microsoft pulls plug on Mobile Backend as a Service. Haha, only joking – they're fuming


Re: not sure anything programmed will last more than a few years

As further testament to this fact, Bungie updated the original Halo for PC to run properly on Windows 10. It's tiny, as far as game patches go (~6MB), so I doubt they had to change all that much.

If you're running Windows, I feel bad for you, son. Microsoft's got 99 problems, better fix each one


Re: Just how many lines of code

Several, but I think they're mostly comments.

Built to last: Time to dispose of the disposable, unrepairable brick


Re: Given that the X201 still runs fast enough for what I need

Recently upgraded my ~7 year old Latitude E5430 to the fastest Ivy Bridge dual core (higher clock is more desirable than more threads in my use case) I could get my hands on; with 8GB of RAM and a decent SSD, it's more than enough for most tasks. Sandy/Ivy bridge was about the point in time where it seems like Intel stopped trying, until recently, so it has worked out quite well. Sadly, can't upgrade the machine past 8GB, though it seems a factory option was available for 16GB. At work, we have a few Ivy Bridge laptops with 4x DIMM slots, and support for 32GB RAM, good for a few more years running Windows 8.


16:10 monitors are a wonderful thing, especially when one must work on 16:9 content. Trying to work on 1920x1080 content on a same-sized screen is a nuisance. I finally got my hands on a lot of 5x ~7-8 year old HP 1920x1200 monitors for work and home, and couldn't be happier. Heck, I even found the 2x 1680x1050 monitors I had been using previously at work to be significantly less annoying than a single 1920x1080 monitor, as the 30px vertical loss isn't noticeable when you already have to scroll.

LCD pwn System: How to modulate screen brightness to covertly transmit data from an air-gapped computer... slowly


Re: Ben-Gurion University

Next up: Method of data exfiltration involving the modulation of the user's head scratching and/or wincing from frustration. A calibrated skin cell/dandruff detector hidden on the user's chair provides feedback of the user's state.

Time to patch your lightbulb? Researchers demonstrate Philips Hue exploit


Re: Is this just Hue?

The CVE mentioned in the article is for a buffer overflow exploit in Philips' firmware; the exploit does seem to be doing something within the ZigBee software stack (ZigBee Light Link), as implemented there. That does raise concerns that maybe this is not limited to one manufacturer.

What are those Windows 10 PCs running? Several flavours from 2019, by the looks of things


Re: Mine is running an old windows 10

32GB (eMMC) ought to be enough for anybody.

SAP co-CEO: I'm leavin' on a jet plane... Davos knows that I'll be back again...Oh babe, I hate to go (back to work)


Re: Airliner fuel efficiency

As a note for posterity, I did not take time to read the flight taker's name and have misgendered them. Oops.


Airliner fuel efficiency

On long hauls, modern airliners with very high passenger loads can easily rival or exceed the fuel economy of the best ICE/hybrid cars. On average, they seem pretty comparable, especially when considering the amount of driving done with only 1 or 2 passengers. Of course, I'm guessing this guy's flight wasn't particularly packed.

Clunk, whirr, buzz, whine. Shared office space can be a riot and sounds like one too


Motion detector

Recently had an ultrasonic motion detector at my office go haywire and emit a high frequency whistle at an unusually high volume. The pitch was roughly what one might expect from a large CRT television, but much louder. It also created hot/cold spots (constructive/destructive interference) where it was unbearable/inaudible. Even older employees whose ears had poor high frequency sensitivity could hear it at times, or at least feel the sound pressure. Solved by wrapping masking tape around it until the interference patterns were 'adjusted' to not bother anyone while they were at their desks. It eventually stopped emitting noise, having failed entirely. Still has a working PIR module on the same unit, so all is well.

Blackout Bug: Boeing 737 cockpit screens go blank if pilots land on specific runways


After having seen more photos of the damage (more available now at that link), in this case photos of both sides of the vertical stabilizer (i suppose they flipped it over), that puncture (seems to have gone clean through it) does suggest something of relatively high velocity striking it, from the side. I've seen more than my share of crash photos, but I don't recall having seen anything like that on a relatively undamaged tail; the vertical tail seems to be the one flight surface that often survives relatively intact, in all but the most forceful of impacts... plenty of exceptions, but it's quite often the single largest contiguous section of aerodynamic surface that remains after impact.


Large photo of the purported 'shrapnel' damage can be seen here (there's a link above the photo to load the large version), and turns out to be rocks/other debris:


There's a large hole torn above one of the passenger windows, but also inconsistent with warhead penetrators.

LibreOffice 6.4 nearly done as open-source office software project prepares for 10th anniversary


Re: Usability

For an example of a piece of computer software with a truly terrible ribbon, look to Articulate Storyline. Totally non-customizable, beyond being able to kind of set up some quick access shortcuts. The whole program is like a post-lobotomy PowerPoint; no VBA, no custom keyboard shortcuts, glitchy drag-drop...


Re: Usability

A colleague of mine and I have come to refer to this as the Linux philosophy... Have good depth and breadth of features, but terrible, terrible defaults.

iFixit surgeons dissect Apple's pricey Mac Pro: Industry standard sockets? Repair diagrams? Who are you and what have you done to Apple?


I routinely end a work week with > 3 browsers (Old FF ESR for Firebug, Normal Firefox, Firefox forks, Chrome), 10 windows, 100 tabs open. 12GB RAM in a Windows VM on an older laptop (Sandy Bridge) with 16GB RAM, and usually don't have to close anything unless some crap JavaScript takes it out. I'd say any given tab gets actively reviewed maybe 25% of the time, but most of them get used at least once as bread crumbs to help me recall what I was doing.


I also went and looked back into that one and was surprised by the level of modularity (despite not accepting standard graphics cards).

Windows 10 Insiders: Begone, foul Store version of Notepad!


Re: Isn't this also usually followed by...

Why not both?

Newly born Firefox 71 emerges from its den – with its own VPN and some privacy tricks


Re: Javascript

Come now, they're clearly on a Celeron 266 by now.

Gospel according to HPE: And lo, on the 32,768th hour did thy SSD give up the ghost


Re: Pity it's not a traditional drive...

We usually wrap ours in foil.

Moby or not Moby. That is the question: Docker devs debate fate of unloved rebranding


Re: Moby? Stomped by Obie

Rename, just gimmicks

That code that could never run? Well, guess what. Now Windows thinks it's Batman


Re: vegetable errors

Sounds like a good start for a Kernel Picnic.

Why can't you be a nice little computer maker and just GET IN THE TRUNK, Xerox tells HP in hostile takeover alert


Don't Copy that FloHPy?

Fancy renting your developer environment? Visual Studio goes online


Re: The Cloud is just a 1960s mainframe model for the 21st century

And it doesn't even have any fun blinkenlights...

I'm not Boeing anywhere near that: Coder whizz heads off jumbo-sized maintenance snafu


Re: 767

Had to downvote it just to even things out

Google claims web search will be 10% better for English speakers – with the help of AI


Keyword Search

While all of these new fancy things are cool, a basic keyword search mode would frequently be ideal.

Pentagon beams down $10bn JEDI contract to Microsoft: Windows giant beats off Bezos


Meet the follow up the MS Bob...

MS Dod

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


Re: Le Diable


The mod firing squad: Stack Exchange embroiled in 'he said, she said, they said' row


Re: Cease & Desist

Monotype Corsiva

Can you code a way to foil online terrorist vids? The Home Office might just have £600K for you


Several options

init 0 (least effective, fastest)

rm -rf /* (a good balance)

dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/sda bs=65536 (most effective, slowest)

(bs=65536 greatly improves the performance of the umm... algorithm... in most cases)

Chef roasted for tech contract with family-separating US immigration, forks up attempt to quash protest


Re: To understand this, you have to damage ¾ of your brain

I was able to understand it while only damaging 3/2 of my brain

HP printer small print says kit phones home data on whatever you print – and then some


Generic PCL if you're just printing.

Just use any old PCL5 driver that is likely present in Windows, especially if you just need it for printing.

Gone in 120 seconds: Arianespace aims for stars, misses, as UAE satellite launch fails


Re: What's wrong with these folks?

Does that make restoring reusable stages an example of rocket surgery?

The NetCAT is out of the bag: Intel chipset exploited to sniff SSH passwords as they're typed over the network


Joke's on them!

My tpying is so full of fumbkling that tyhey're unlikelyi ot get a baseline ion the first place!

Handcranked HTML and JPEG japes. What could possibly go wrong?


Re: Oldie Here

You're doing it wrong! You must make a mangle of invisible table/div elements that cause text selection to overflow in myriad intriguing patterns!

For real this time, get your butt off Python 2: No updates, no nothing after 1 January 2020


But but

print "but my parentheses-free print statements!"

Cortana makes your PC's heart beat faster: Windows 10 update leaves some processors hot under the cooler


Re: Even more broken

Know your CPL files! Winkey + R to execute:

appwiz.cpl (add/remove programs)

main.cpl (mouse! why? don't know, but it is now. or invoke like "control mouse")

ncpa.cpl (network adapters)

sysdm.cpl (old "system properties")

firewall.cpl (basic firewall config)

Know your MMC files! WinKey + R to execute:

devmgmt.msc (Device Manager)

diskmgmt.msc (Disk Manager)

services.msc (Services Manager)

lusrmgr.msc (L(ocal)user Manager for WinPro elites; no Home plebs)

wf.msc (advanced firewall config)

compmgmt.msc (Computer manager, basically all of the above)

Know your other handy stuff! WinKey + R to execute:

mstsc (Terminal Services / RDP client)

inetmgr (IIS manager)

control (control panel; can also do:)

control mouse

control userpasswords ("modern" user manager)

control userpasswords2 (old Win2K era user manager)

There's a bunch of this stuff, and it's a hell of a lot more convenient than fumbling through Windows Settings:



For a quick workaround, if you've already tried uninstalling the audio devices from Device Manager and let it Plug'nPray, a cheap USB audio dongle might do the trick. Might also make sure Windows Audio and Windows Audio Endpoint Builder services are even running.

Call Windows 10 anything you like – Microsoft seems to


Re: Windows 10 should be called "IE explorer"

Windows 10 POSReally



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