* Posts by Sykowasp

106 posts • joined 2 Feb 2017

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Back to the office with you: 'Perhaps 5 days is too much family time' – Workday CEO

Sykowasp

Re: I never want to be in the office full time

There are always some things that work better face to face - but they are rarely the 'meat' of what you are meant to be working on, but meta-work (i.e., meetings to plan work or discuss work). That's because a screen-share Teams/Zoom meeting is not an adequate replacement in these situations.

So I think people need to come into the office one day a week to handle these meetings, have a team lunch, and do other 'non meat' work that can benefit from the focus that being with the other people can bring. The team should decide on the day of the week that works for them all, and stick to it. If your work has more meetings then maybe another day or two. Especially when combined with a policy of 'when you are WfH you should not have these meetings, so you have all day to concentrate'.

Another reason to come in is if you are a new joiner (or changing team within an employment) - it helps with bringing someone up to speed if they can ask easy questions without the rigmarole of a calls and screen share and hoping that the other person is able to handle the query ("busy? does that mean busy busy or what?").

150,000 lost UK police records looking more like 400,000 as Home Office continues to blame 'human error'

Sykowasp

Re: I heard...

What if this wasn't an accident? As everyone points out, this should be nearly impossible on a mature system like this, which should have backups and lots of barriers in front of operations such as this.

All you need to know is that an unnamed MP was recently released without charge for a (heinous) alleged crime. Perhaps there are other, unreported, cases as well relating to Tory MPs, or donors.

So this was potentially a planned data loss to remove the records relating to this, covered up with other deleted records, in a needle in a haystack method. They'll gloriously say they recovered 90% of the records in due course from backup or paper trail, but the rest of the paper trail for the critical records will have been disappeared. Did

Yeah, it seems far fetched and conspiracy theory like, and I'm not a fan of these in these times, and it most likely was poor backup practices and system access control. But still.

It's been a day or so and nope, we still can't wrap our head around why GitHub would fire someone for saying Nazis were storming the US Capitol

Sykowasp

Re: The problem

"There were quite probably people best described as Nazis or Klansmen involved in the storming of the Capitol. But the majority were not."

No, if you associate willingly and knowingly with Nazis, then you are a Nazi as well.

And if you associate willingly and knowingly with KKK, then you are KKK as well.

This is quite simple. If you look at people on your own side, and see Nazis or klansmen, then you are on the side of the baddies.

Pizza and beer night out the window, hours trying to sort issue, then a fresh pair of eyes says 'See, the problem is...'

Sykowasp

Never edit production config files directly.

Always manage it with peer reviewed changes in a change repository, deployed via a tool such a puppet.

Be careful where you log into GitHub: Dev visits Iran, opens laptop, gets startup's entire account shut down

Sykowasp

Taking your main work laptop with you when you visit certain countries is always a dodgy proposition. Best to leave it at home, and take a cheaper 'disposable' system or tablet - you shouldn't be on it much anyway because there should be a reason for that visit that stops you needing to go on it.

Exonerated: First subpostmasters cleared of criminal convictions in Post Office Horizon scandal

Sykowasp

A shameful event for the post office.

The redress they mention is surely not going to make up for years of lost earnings, the criminal records that affected their lives, the stress, the ill health, the loss of pensions. Nothing short of full renumeration as if these people had worked until retirement, plus compensation on top in my opinion. It can't remove the time in prison. It can't restore the broken relationships.

It certainly won't bring back the person who committed suicide.

Yet I bet not one senior member of staff in the post office has ever seen even a mild amount of discomfort as a result of this.

Reading El Reg while working from home? Here's a pleasant thought: Kaspersky says 1 in 10 of you are naked right now

Sykowasp

How can people function without a morning shower to wake them up (in the 5 minutes between bed and starting work), that's what I want to know!

Japan pours millions into AI-powered dating to get its people making babies again

Sykowasp

Re: Alternative AI

Yes, yes, I like it. We could have vast baby farms run by AI machines that also raise the child through to adulthood via a form of virtual reality teaching / life experience.

A tale of two nations: See China blast off from the Moon as drone shows America's Arecibo telescope falling apart

Sykowasp

Re: Amy Coney Barrett

Agreed, but irrelevant to the telescope, except as a tenuous link to the decline of the USA as a progressive superpower.

Sod Crysis, can the 21-year-old Power Mac G4 Cube run Minecraft? The answer is yes

Sykowasp

Re: Why does minecraft need a beefy computer?

Whilst blocky, there are a huge number of those blocks in memory.

So yeah, the basic texture data could probably fit in an N64's memory, but the geometry would never have a chance. It really needs the memory expansion that this guy stuck into the Mac Cube.

This achievement was mostly achieved by the GPU upgrade - weak as it is still.

UK's Space Command to be 'capable of launching our first rocket in 2022'

Sykowasp

I quite like the fact this rocket is strapped to a couple of containers.

Very British.

Billionaire's Pagani Pa-gone-i after teen son takes hypercar out for a drive, trashes it

Sykowasp

When you think about the cost of this car ...

3 million to a billionaire is about the same hit as 3 grand is to a millionaire of the same scale, and even less for those of us whose net worth is in the hundreds of thousands.

I.e., this pagani cost as much to the dude as a 15 year old VW golf does to you or me. And to your average renting person in their 20s, it's probably as much as a decent RC car.

As nearly everyone stays home for the pandemic, plunge in overseas charges dents Vodafone's revenues

Sykowasp

Diddums.

Here's US Homeland Security collaring a suspected arsonist after asking Google for the IP addresses of folks who made a specific search

Sykowasp

Re: Stupid Gets Caught

News stories don't usually include precise addresses. Maybe a road.

This was a precise address search. Reason for asking for the search is valid - the address is of a witness to a crime, and an action that could be witness intimidation had occurred.

It would have sucked if you were a delivery driver looking for the address at that time, but you would have been ruled out pretty quickly.

Hint to future address searchers - search for an address similar, not exact, to the address. Instead of 1034 The Street, look for 1028 The Street - 1034 isn't going to be that far away.

Atari threatens to hit fourth VCS shipping deadline, provides pictures of boxes as proof of product delivery

Sykowasp

Pointless, underpowered device.

It could have been so much more, but the company has misfired at every step. There was a lack of vision and the delays never made sense. The cost is astronomical for what you get - a very low-end embedded system.

They should have made a nice Atari-styled case for an off-the-shelf small form factor motherboard, and provided a matching styled controller.

They'd probably get more positive vibes selling the case and controller as a Raspberry Pi 4 enclosure, and including RetroPi in the box.

NHS COVID-19 launch: Risk-scoring algorithm criticised, the downloads, plus public told to 'upgrade their phones'

Sykowasp

Having taken a look at the app, I can't see how it took this long to develop, considering the core functionality is provided by Google/Apple.

It's a few pages with a menu, and a symptom quiz.

Top 5 billionaires find that global pandemics are good for business – and their wallets

Sykowasp

Corporate Billionaires - the New Aristocracy - made wealthy from a siphon of money from everybody else without paying it back.

I feel we need some expert advice. Let's see ... hmm, I think the French has an idea what to do with indolent hoarding aristocrats.

0ops. 1,OOO-plus parking fine refunds ordered after drivers typed 'O' instead of '0'

Sykowasp

Re: And this ladies and gentlemen...

The UK has simple number plate formats. Any parking app should be able to correct 0/O errors because the number plate format dictates where the numbers and letters go, except some esoteric ancient and custom formats. But in the main, yes, certain letters are excluded from numberplates because of the risk of confusion.

(TBH RingGo does a DVLA lookup of your car when you enter the numberplate, to get a confirmation from you that all is correct, which would negate the possibility of this issue entirely)

Family wrongly accused of uploading pedo material to Facebook – after US-EU date confusion in IP address log

Sykowasp

Re: Not just dates get confused

I hope that was discovered during the court case, not after! Was it the central piece of evidence?

Date formats, timezones and other date miscellany are the bane of programmers the world over.

Who cares what Apple's about to announce? It owes us a macOS x86 virtual appliance for non-Mac computers

Sykowasp

The lifespan of a Mac is a good 5 years even for professionals. There will be Intel Macs running this legacy x86 software in 2026.

By that time I would truly hope that most of that software was available in ARM form, even the most laggard software team should have achieved that.

If not, then the Apple ARM chips of 2025 will likely run the software in emulation at even better performance than today's emulation, and it will likely exceed today's native performance.

So we now are down to a very small set of performance critical, unmaintained x86 Apple MacOS software. I guess these users will have to get a few spare machines whilst they can.

Microsoft to charge $200 for 32 GPU cores, sliver of CPU clockspeed, 6GB RAM, 512GB SSD... and a Blu-Ray player

Sykowasp

I grew up with 12fps 8-bit Amstrad and Spectrum games, and that lasted for so long that 60Hz looks smoother than molten butter, even today.

Young ones today, they grew up with 60Hz gaming, and they can tell it's 60Hz, and they claim to discern 120Hz, even 144Hz, and they need the 240Hz displays for their twitch gaming. It's all in their heads, of course to a certain extent, but as long as they pay, companies will attend to their desires.

Sykowasp

The additional $200 gets you +512GB fast SSD (around $50 cost price to MS), +6GB GDDR6 (informed DRAM spot price info indicates this would be $66), +~170mm^2 additional 7nm silicon ($35) and the drive ($20) and any licensing fees (AMD, BluRay, etc, say $10) and improved cooling system ($5) - so it's not a bad deal to pay that extra $200 retail.

And as time goes on, the second hand game market will mean cheaper games.

Or there's that $35/m 'contract' including game pass.

TBH even on a 4K living room TV, at the typical viewing distance, the XSS's 1080p/1440p with Microsoft's AI upscaling to 4K will probably be nearly as good to the viewer's eyes. XSX will pull ahead if you sit close to the TV or you have a 75" or above TV. The $25/m deal for this however seems less interesting, as a tenner a month (cancel one of your other streaming subs that you never got around to cancelling) will get you the XSX.

Nintendo revives Game & Watch portable proto-console, adds color to 2.36-inch screen

Sykowasp

It would be nice if they also came with a recreation of the original games.

And it's a bit much for a couple of games, they clearly want to rinse buyers with dozens of different game variants, rather than one device that plays them all. Let's hope the device is hackable, but it's probably an all-in-one MCU with limited integrated flash.

TBH the gameboy micro was already quite close to the format, they should have taken that design and updated it with current tech and had a download store for GB/GBA games they could have sold for a tenner apiece (wifi is cheap to add these days). Makes me wonder if they are also working on a Gameboy Mini console.

TCL's latest e-ink tech looks good on paper, but Chinese giant will have to back up extraordinary claims

Sykowasp

This sounds like a modern version of the old reflective LCD screens. A matte display will give a paper-like look, and probably act as a diffuser for incoming light.

IT blunder permanently erases 145,000 users' personal chats in KPMG's Microsoft Teams deployment – memo

Sykowasp

Well that's one way to ensure there's no incriminating chat data from one of your employees that you've become aware of and needed to resolve, err, internally.

Most likely this shows the danger of colocating Bulk Operations next to Single Item Operations in user interfaces.

A bridge too far: Passengers on Sydney's new ferries would get 'their heads knocked off' on upper deck, say politicos

Sykowasp

I expect the final solution will be the upper deck being completely blocked off on routes that go via these bridges. It will be too much hassle to get everyone off the decks in time on each journey, and having the boat creep under the bridge each time just in case someone was missed.

If every route goes via these bridges, then the upper decks will be permanently closed. Great value for money there!

Trucking hell: Kid leaves dad in monster debt after buying oversized vehicle on eBay

Sykowasp

Re: It happens

It is simple - don't buy iPads for children to use. Buy Fire Tablets (or other cheap Android tablets) - proper user accounts and proper child management. Sure, they are less powerful, but they are also dirt cheap when they get broken (and there's a 2 year replacement policy on the kids editions).

Sykowasp

Re: Christ, what assholes - A second-hand car or truck dealer show compassion‽

Lesson learned I guess. Next time you'll buy a car with 10+ months MOT remaining - although there are still dodgy dealers with mates in MOT test centres that get dodgy cars passed.

Seems to me that if you buy a second hand car that's more than 8 years old, you should factor in a few hundred quid for the next MOT to get it back up to scratch.

ZX Spectrum reboot promising – steady now – 28MHz of sizzling Speccy speed now boasts improved Wi-Fi

Sykowasp

Re: I must be missing something

A lot of people are getting them to tinker on as a hobby, rather than to play games on solely. It gains from having the nostalgia, and also in having hardware feature upgrades to make the system not actually rather poor graphically - now it's far more like a SNES or Amiga graphically - even better in some ways.

These less capable systems have a lower barrier to entry if you want to knock up a game. I imagine it's mostly 40+ men buying this, not known for having 20 hours a week spare.

Sure, you could go the Pico8 route instead.

This investor blew nearly $300,000 on Intel shares the day before 7nm disaster reveal. Yup, she's suing

Sykowasp

Her only possible argument is that in January Intel said everything was on schedule with 7nm and it would come out in 2021. They possibly also said this in April, but I haven't checked. Then in July they said they are 12 months behind with expected yield, and (somehow) 6 months behind for release, but that release was late 2022 or even 2023 (which is certainly later than six months after 2021). That means in January they were six months behind expected yield, yet they claimed everything was on schedule and the process was fine.

However I'm sure that Intel have more than covered their asses in all of these statements. And any tech investor would not be buying Intel for short term gains, but long term dividend and general price stability. She should have stuck that money into AMD and rode that 25% gain in a week.

Chinese mobile giant OPPO claims new 125W fast-charging spec will fully fuel your phone in 20 minutes

Sykowasp

Yeah, I'll stick with the slow overnight charge whilst I'm asleep rather than burning the house down.

Soft press keys for locked-down devs: Three new models of old school 60-key Happy Hacking 'board out next month

Sykowasp

Re: Alternatives?

You may want the "Lenovo ThinkPad Compact USB Keyboard with TrackPoint"

There's a bluetooth version as well I believe.

A volt from the blue: Samsung reportedly ditches wall-wart from future phones

Sykowasp

I mean, you can buy decent multi-port high-wattage USB charger warts for fairly cheap, so on the one hand, just include it you cheapskate mobile phone manufacturer, on the other, you probably already have 10 of the blighters and this will save $3 on the $1200 retail price, and this will let us pack more phones into a shipping container, which is good for the environment!

Rogue ADT tech spied on hundreds of customers in their homes via CCTV – including me, says teen girl

Sykowasp

Creepy peeper.

Although as a parent (or more generally, a person who tries to think things through) I think I would push back on cameras in bedrooms/bathrooms regardless.

And yes, the key thing about systems is that the owner should be notified when new accounts are added, maybe get a monthly report of users on the system, and more. Full audit trails of every configuration option too. I don't know if ADT have centralised access to accounts or if they're managed within the home only - but duplicate email addresses on multiple home installs could be flagged and investigated as well. I.e., basic business reports could have found this issue far earlier, but nobody thought that an employee would actually be tempted by the thought of some sneaky voyeurism?

Lords: New IR35 off-payroll tax rules 'riddled with problems, unfairnesses, unintended consequences'

Sykowasp

https://twitter.com/JolyonMaugham/status/1254648730877341696

Counter-points to those made in this report.

And replies have counter-points to the counter-points.

Intel's 10th-gen Core family cracks 5GHz barrier with H-series laptop processors

Sykowasp

"games need a decent amount of CPU power as well as GPU, and artists need to render at 4K resolution without needing to pop out for a cup of tea while things process"

Gamers want to play games for more than 1 minute at the PL2 clock (at 107-135W TDP - what happened to Intel's 1.25x TDP boost for turbo?) which allows for the >5GHz operation. Switching between turbo and non-turbo in a game would be more jarring than just having a lower max clock. And once the CPU is hot, there's no max 5.3GHz turbo any longer (if the laptop design supported that in the first place). It'll look good in benchmarks, but reality could be different.

And I suspect renderers want to render at max clocks more than one minute every 10 minutes.

Fact is the 16C 65W ecoMode Ryzen 3950X laptops (e.g,. Clevo) are using less power than this chip, and have higher base clocks.

Trading standards needs to take a long hard look at Intel's TDP and clock speed claims.

BT providing free meals to coax its healthy customer support staff back into office as calls rocket amid pandemic

Sykowasp

I wonder why telephone support cannot be done from home with a suitable headset and VPN into the work office.

Or would that require BT to provide their staff with laptops, rather than coming in to use a decade old PC?

Microsoft staff giggle beneath the weight of a 52,000-person Reply-All email storm

Sykowasp

I, for one, am glad that they are doing real world load testing on their enterprise software platforms.

Hello, sub £-100 Moto: Lenovo punts 6.1-inch display e6S at low-cost crowd

Sykowasp

"no NFC radio, making Google Pay transactions a frustrating impossibility"

For the people behind the person with the phone, this is "a glorious impossibility."

NFC phone payments are just so much slower than tapping a contactless card - which the owner of the phone will have on their person anyway.

Maersk prepares to lay off the Maidenhead staffers who rescued it from NotPetya super-pwnage

Sykowasp

I hope they kept a few binaries of the ransomware on archive media in case of this situation arising. Set it to activate one month after redundancy and wait.

When senior management decide that skilled IT people are 'replaceable units' it's probably best for these people to have to find a new employer. Let the management tell their shareholders two years later why their productivity has nosedived.

BAE Systems tosses its contractors a blanket... ban on off-payroll working under upcoming IR35 tax reforms

Sykowasp

Re: "[HMRC] has predicted the reforms will recoup £1.2bn a year by 2023"

The problem is that BAE don't want to hire them as full time employees at a higher rate of pay to compensate for the change in employment arrangement - and that's even if the contractor is willing to have the change - maybe they like not having employment benefits, or only want to work 8 months a year (which would normally not fall under IR35, but if BAE are doing this they will not have a choice).

Because what happens then is the rest of the workforce notices and says "this person is doing the same role as me, but being paid 50% more" and then that leads to major issues.

But ultimately, we all know that contractors have been getting a sweet deal - higher pay and lower taxes - so few in the real world are crying for them.

Get in the C: Raspberry Pi 4 can handle a wider range of USB adapters thanks to revised design's silent arrival

Sykowasp

Re: Recall a $40 device to re work it?!

Also the problem was only with higher charge rate (USB power delivery) adapters - the dozens of old USB adapters everyone has lying around their house from past USB devices all worked fine. No need to recall, just add some small print / clarifications.

C'mon SPARCky, it's just an admin utility update. What could possibly go wrong?

Sykowasp

Re: It wasn't me!

That calls for an addDomain.sh script that requires no manual editing of the actual domain file (obviously these days the domain file would be generated from a database of domains and blah blah blah).

It's amazing how poor most practices were in the past (and still now, unfortunately). Critical files simply should not be hand-edited, and indeed should have machine validation prior to deployment.

Sykowasp

Amazing that the default for rm wasn't to query when in interactive mode, and you are doing recursive/force or are root in a 'sensitive directory'.

"Are you sure you wish to recursively remove all files in / as root? Y/N"

But then people would run 'rm -rf --do-not-ask *' or something instead.

UK contractors planning 'mass exodus' ahead of IR35 tax clampdown – survey

Sykowasp

Re: if the current situation was so awful ... switching to permanent roles would be more popular

"older, wiser folk"

versus

"I haven't been able to work for near six months,"

I don't know about you, but the market for full time jobs in IT in London is still pretty good, so rather than sell your house, maybe just get a permanent role (remember, it's only as permanent as your notice period).

No, we all know it's because the contractors want there £800/day rates when their full-time peers are getting £300.

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

Sykowasp

Certainly I bet a lot of 2015 MacBook Pro owners are hanging on for dear life because the device has USB-A ports and HDMI ports, without needing a dock. The lack of USB-C is an issue going forward however.

Still, for those who have to upgrade, USB-C docks are getting down to the £25 price range (when on offer at least) so maybe this is becoming less of an issue for some (and at least they have an advantage of only needing one plug in/out action). And some monitors are getting USB-C DisplayPort input now, although monitors have an even longer replacement cycle in the home.

Soon we might return to where we used to be in the 80s, where a piece of equipment would last 10 years in the living room (TV, stereo) and then another 10 years in a secondary room.

Regarding computers however, surely a huge factor in the lack of upgrades is because Intel have made negligible improvements in 5 years because of their 10nm debacle? Additionally DRAM stalled in capacity over the past few years as well. The only thing that improved was SSD capacity, which

AMD have caught up (and with Renoir this month they will exceed Intel in performance, power consumption and cost in laptops for the first time) and look to have a path to 3nm over the next 3 or 4 years, hence performance will increase greatly over the next few years. And DDR5/LPDDR5 is coming online this year.

Microsoft Teams starts February with a good, old-fashioned TITSUP*

Sykowasp

Amateur Hour 365

Certificate renewal reminders shouldn't be a problem in 2020. Amateur hour from Microsoft here.

Stick your certificates into your asset management system (or whatever you use), mark them critical, and ensure that the asset expiry alerts (use a system that does this) are acted upon.

You can't rely on some certificate authority renewal email going to the fired-ex-manager's email address and being lost. Even worse is that I'm sure that the certificate was probably issued by Microsoft themselves in this case.

Socket to the energy bill: 5-bed home with stupid number of power outlets leaves us asking... why?

Sykowasp

The main issue is they went for the chrome/metal plates and ceiling downlighters and not white, so it stands out even more.

A spot of after-hours business email does you good, apparently

Sykowasp

Yeah, maybe for those people who would ideally work 1pm to 9pm in a sane world where you aren't forced to get up at 7am to be in work for 9, so they spend 3 hours waking up and web surfing in the mornings, and then wish to catch up on email trash in the evening after dinner.

But yeah, no. Not that. Anything received after home-time can wait until the morning.

GIMP open source image editor forked to fix 'problematic' name

Sykowasp

Re: Eh?

Unwanted insults/verbal assault based upon a person's physical characteristics.

I.e., if you use them against someone, you've clearly already lost the argument.

gimp is a stupid name for a premier piece of linux software.

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