* Posts by pavel.petrman

198 posts • joined 23 Mar 2017


Linux 5.10 to make Year 2038 problem the Year 2486 problem


Sigh... the K notation again.

Where thith the "aka Y2K38" come from? As is usual, when a nice and functional thing created by enigneers and used by engineers lands in the hands of laymen without two layers of protective insulation, cringeworthiness ensues. Just like, for example, the semantic version numbering (remember the 2.0 craze followed by current 4.0 folly?) or the Internet itself, the order-letter notation (or does it have an actual name?) used to great advantage by engineers somehow leaked to the instagram-using youth for whom the letter K seemed to work much better than the digit 0. I couldn't care less if they kept it using just for amusement, but it came the full circle somehow and now whenever I see the letter K on the significatn position, especially following the digit 2, I must ask explicitly whether it really mans K or is just a fancy zero. Otherwise I can't be sure whether the value is 2038 (cool new instagram number format) or 2380, which it had meant for sveral decades before instagram ruining it. Fuc0 it, people, Y2K was not Y2K00!

Quick thinking and an explanation for everything – key CTO qualities


Thsi story reminds me of ...

... that bloke fined (or was he actually sentenced) in Singapore or thereabouts for playing an adult video while stuck in a traffic jam on his way to the airport. The authorities had no problem with him watchting his favourite bag - they had a problem, though, with hundreds of other people watching it, as that hack was so bored he actually broke into a giant advertisement screen on the screen next to where his taxi was, erm, taking its stand, and played the PH stream there for everyone to see. The guy had, too, been staying in hotels, prior to said incident.

BOFH: Rome, I have been thy soldier 40 years... give me a staff of honour for mine age


Re: Re alike

More like open windows, in this case...


Re alike

I've heard multiple times that when you have a very specific engineering goal to achieve (like, say, supersonic airliner) and give it to multiple disparate teams, if they succeed at all they inevitably arrive at very similar solutions.

Five Eyes nations plus Japan, India call for Big Tech to bake backdoors into everything


Re: Nope.

We, the undersigned, declare we haven't got the faintest idea what encryption is...

Bill Gates lays out a three-point plan to rid the world of COVID-19 – and anti-vaxxer cranks aren't gonna like it


Re: If Bill Gates has the technology to implant chips to control people's behavior

With the obligatory 640 kB of memory!

Proposed US fix for Boeing 737 Max software woes does not address Ethiopian crash scenario, UK pilot union warns


Three miles? I'll land.

Ethernet failure on Swiss business jet prompted emergency descent, say aviation safety bods


Re: Destination Host Unreachable

This will never grow old!

Android 11 lands with plenty more privacy preferences for Pixels and special Google friends first


Re: carrying two phones

I for one see carrying two contemporary smartphones as no nuisance at all: when I first applied for a job one would have to carry a briefcase with a sleek Thinkpad, thick ADK, a huuge brick phone (private cellphones just got to that somewhat affordable price range), a Sony walkman or discman, let alone a compact camera with at least three rolls of Kodak to get through the day with enough material for ... well there was no Instagram back then so no reason to take a snap of every trivial bit one would set an eye upon throughout the day. And a reel of CAT5 for the rare opportunity of getting some Internets for free.

Two flat, slim, lightweight all-in-one tools is a lottery jackpot in comparison. Coming to think about it, how about the employer supplying one half of a folding Samsung and the employee buying the other one?


Plenty more privacy preferences...

... many of which to be found sooner or later completely ignored by the OS, like so many times before.

COVID-19 tracing without an app? There's an iOS and Android update for that


Future of this

If I were to be optimistic, I would like to think that Covid gives us the right opportunity to rethink our attitude towards anonymity, personal responsibility towards society and our general attitude towards sharing our personal data where it matters and where it does not.

My experience with general populace makes me a bitter pessimist, though. This looks good on the surface but I don't like where it leads. It gives the incentive for keeping the perceived Covid thread alive long after the real threat will have been dealt with. Remind me again, are we still at war with Eurasia?

CenturyLink L3 outage knocks out web giants and 3.5% of all internet traffic



I haven't been looking into that topic for some time now, but I remember a few years ago (when I was adding a second IPv4 Internet uplink connection to my home router) that the area of multiple-uplink endpoints remained a gray, contested area in the IPv6 world, and the solution at that time was that everyone with more than one Internet connection should start BGPing (I remember the blog post I read about this being strongly against the idea but stating that there are not many other viable options in this particular scenario). Has anyone here any understanding of current situation? I know that there are not many consumer level endpoints with this problem, but even a small number of private homes and/or small businesses trying to increase the reliability of their Internet connection may wreac havoc by advertising themselves wrongly and occasionally not getting filtered out upstream.

Sun welcomes vampire dating website company: Arrgh! No! It burns! It buuurrrrnsss!


Re: Monkey on my back

Yesterday I managed to step on a stripe of new Molex MIni-Fits. The hollow ones proved quite harmless, whereas the spiky ones, well, not nice at all.

You *bang* will never *smash* humiliate me *whack* in front of *clang* the teen computer whizz *crunch* EVER AGAIN



The family clearly had their own blinkenlights before they had a computer! Cheers to forward thinking...

What legacy is IBM really shooting for? Cheating its own salespeople out of millions? Here we go again, allegedly



It looks to me that when one works for IBM one should save up for a lawyer instead of pension. Does the USA tax system contain a provision to deduce this from your tax?

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic


Re: There is no problem

I Wasn't expecting an informative comment in this thread. Well done sir"

Intel NDA blueprints – 20GB of source code, schematics, specs, docs – spill onto web from partners-only vault


Re: Off topic

@Hubert Cumberdale: I think there are some new words being proposed (e.g. ze/zis) but they seem to cary different sorts of problems with them, too. For example the ze/zis pair tends to cause much confusion whenever non-native speakers come to the scene (with the exception of Germans who seem to be relieved of much stress when talking to Americans).


Off topic

Sorry about this not being to the topic of data leaked from Intel but more about the editorial style of this article.

I have to say I was a bit put off by how the author adheres to the modern use of gender pronouns quite matter-of-factly. I went to take a look the linked Twitter account and yes, the owner specifically requested those gender pronouns the author used in the article. To my surprise the civility of it without the online warriors throwing the H-word at each other with much ado somehow flipped one tine switch in me and the only thing that crossed my mind was "wow, maybe this could actually work once the nasty war is over".

It's Friday, so cheers to all you Alan Turings walking among us, I'm reluctantly getting to hope this makes the life a bit easier for you.

NSA warns that mobile device location services constantly compromise snoops and soldiers


"even spooks and soldiers can't protect themselves" - spooks have always had hard time protecting themselves on radio. Britain's famous Peter Wright wrote in his memoir about detection and location pinpointing many decades ago. Only today we beep all around the place like R2D2 on stimulants and it costs virtually nothing to gather these signals and get large amount of useful information from them.


Re "using a VPN"

It is very difficult to use a VPN properly and to your advantage, most people just end up inadvertently owning up to using one and in case of poorly designed VPN solutions even blowing the VPN for other users.

Most people altogether, including most people NSA wrote their guidance for, need to interact personally with other people to be able to do their job. You can't realistically rely on everyone you are meeting with or inviting to your office/safe house to follow this guidance reliably. Hence you are happily VPN'd to, say, Norway, until your first informant comes to give you the parcel in a cafe in Beirut with their Android phone in their pocket. Your smart slabs get near each other, registering similar pattern in available wifi APs, and voila, you and possibly others on same VPN profile are no longer in Norway, you are in Beirut and on Santa's naughty list.


phones in secured areas

In such a case you'd have a congestion of "going offline" events at the main entrance of your security area.

Yet another beefy BSOD spotted lurking within the walls of US patty pusher


Press for assistance?

Shouldn't there be three buttons? Wink wink.

To avoid that Titanic feeling, boffins create an unsinkable hydrophobic metal with laser power


Re: Hmmm...


No. Never. Noooope. Nein!


Re: Hmmm...

Jesus Christ, that would have been something!

Google throws new version of Dart at the desktop, will be hoping it sticks with app devs


Re: Always bet on Javascript

May I recommend uMatrix? I started with NoScript long ago and graduated to uMatrix not long after that - it allows you to set site specific rules, so that you don't have to allow some Google shenanigans globally in case one critical webpage refuses to work without it. You can even save your preset rules permanently and export your preferences to a backup file. All in all it makes for much more pleasant browsing while being much more potent at disabling unwanted content (cookies, frames, tracking images etc. as well).


Re: Hobbyists and workers

Any chance that your JavaScript2 based program used JPEG2000 as default image format? Oh my hopes, sweet hopes...


Hobbyists and workers

There has never been a shortage of languages whose authors meant well and said languages were nice towards programmers and computers alike. A common property of these languages has always been a very certain not catching on. An interesting academic exercise and a thing for language theorists and assorted computer hobbyists. Whereas all the doers have always seemed to stick with the likes of c's, c++es and javascripts (fortran and cobol being actually nice in their times remain somewhat off this list). With javascript, the same, sadly, goes for all those vues and angulars. There is yet to come a first like of Qt into the web landscape (and when it does, I'm sure many a champagne will be popped).

So thank you google for your efforts, they haven't gone unnoticed. They sure brightened the morning for one or three us labourers, before we dive into our undefined behaviours and tripple equality operators once again today and tomorrow and the day after that, only to retire every evening to our dvds and vhses, toasting with a driest gin to beta, laserdisc and dart.

Linux kernel is getting more reliable, says Linus Torvalds. Plus: What do you need to do to be him?


I'm grateful we have Linus and his doings. The man seems unwilling to sell his soul to the devil, a rare occurrence.

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


Re: Modern

Maintenance of an airliner supported by a mainframe computer just got much more colorful in my eyes!


Re: Modern

I was being sarcastic, which is hard to read in a short text without an appropriate icon.


Re: Modern

My apologies. In my thin and loudly coloured book everything which is not a tablet or a cloud must most certainly be a relic of the past and therefore a mainframe.



Thank the general almighty entity that commercial flying has been thoroughly modernised since! Instead of the maintenance manual on a mainframe we now have pilots calculating take off weight distribution and other vital figures on their airline-issued ipads.

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


Re: Bad week for Bezos

One has to wonder how much cash do actually the likes of Bill and Jeff need.

I once read a memoir of a pre-war European president who said that the best thing about the presidency for his civil existence was that he no longer needed to carry cash around as every human need was provided for. Which brings the question of how much of their times are these men on their own, outside their corporate existences which would seemingly require much more than 24 hours a day every day from us, only somewhat capable humans.

FBI extends voting security push, LA court hacker goes down, and more D-Link failures


I'm torn

On one hand, the typical impact security tools and parental controls, as well as make it harder for law enforcement to catch criminals sets of all the usual important bells in the heads of all sane netizens, but Google being behind the lamented technology offsets any lingo-based gains.

The bottom line is that every corporation will be MITMing all employee generated traffic in no time unless they are already doing so. At home the situation is different - virtually everyone is neck deep in Google already, so there is nothing to fear there. The remaining half percent will carry on being called tinfoil hats and everyone will be happy again.

Remember the 1980s? Oversized shoulder pads, Metal Mickey and... sticky keyboards?



I take delight in the fact that no one ever asks what PFY means. Sheds very positive light on Reg readership!

Hands off our phones, says Google: Radar-gesture-sensing Pixel 4 just $999 with a 3-year lifespan – great value!


Re: google is in a race with facebook

About the "google is in a race with facebook" - Google is winning by multiple lengths and is great at not making too much fuss about it as well. Look at it this way: it¨s very feasible to block Facebook completely at your firewall and it will get very little data about you (it still will courtesy of people around you, but very little of it actually). If you do the same with Google, two thirds of websites you visit from your well guarded Linux desktop computer will look hideously and the other third will get out of order completely. And that is just the web, you can't effectively avoid all the androids out there. Facebook is not winning.

In a touching show of solidarity with the NBA and Blizzard, Apple completely caves to China on HK protest app


Re: Slippery slope

We're already half way down indeed, and going fast and gaining speed.

FWIW Google do a good job remaining invisible on divisive topics (like for example Facebook getting all the flak for privacy intrusion) but they are still there and still doing business - there is no reason to believe they are any good when it comes to China.

Tearoff of Nottingham: University to lose chunk of IT dept to outsourcing


Re: The CEO resigned

People, cheifly those in managerial roles, and the CxO's more still than others, tend to forget that all we have now are computer businesses. Yes, theysometimes have some other machinery attached to the computers (like, baking ovens in the computer businesses formerly called bakeries, or big lorries in the computer businesses formerly called transportation companies). But forgetting this fact when you are a manager or worse the CEO herself, I see no other way out than it costing you your job.

Oh dear... AI models used to flag hate speech online are, er, racist against black people


Obligatory SMBC

This is what I would use to test whether the models are well trained or not!

Surprise! Copying crummy code from Stack Overflow leads to vulnerable GitHub jobs


Re: people will just copy and paste the first answer

DuckDuckGo will even show you the most upvoted or accepted answer (not sure which) on a prominent place in their own results page if your search phrase looks similar to a question on SO.

What? No way. Apple? Censoring iOS 13 to appease China? Gosh. How shocking. Who'd have thought it?


Re: SUBS! typo

Still not as bad as if they were human systemd abusers!

Nix to the mix: Chrome to block passive HTTP content swirled into HTTPS pages


Re: *GOOGLE* is worried about an attacker injecting tracking cookies?

Google are slowly but relentlessly walling up their garden and by the looks of it their garden is the whole web. Remember the great wall in one eastern country - it, too, was primarily not to let subject escape and only secondarily to protect the realm from invaders.

US games company Blizzard kowtows to Beijing by banning gamer who dared to bring up Hong Kong


Some saying they would stop playing the company’s games...

... and some, a tiny fraction of them, will actually do. For the rest, life goes on, the same as with Facebook zucking around with everything they can get on their users, Twitter selling phone numbers and Google privatizing the whole internet for themselves. And when the inevitable redacted hits the fan those who said they would stop would inevitably come after those who did with the historically proven "but come on help us out". Popcorn, anyone?

This won't end well. Microsoft's AI boffins unleash a bot that can generate fake comments for news articles


In sweet memory of Tay

the AI tweet robot from Microsoft.

Edge, Internet Explorer users Czech their settings after MSN 'forgot' their language


Cyber warfare

I say, the whole situation has recently been getting really out of hand in Middle East.

Pupil mental health monitor promises app rewrite after hardcoded login creds discovered


Re "the security needs to be as robust as the science"

I wouldn't bet on the latter either. Just because even fewer people understand it than who understand basic sanity in software development doesn't mean that there is some inherent robustness to it.

"Date require (...) algorithm to interpret it" - not this again. Something like my XLS files need a separately stored Excel to interpret them?

Google takes sole stand on privacy, rejects new rules for fear of 'authoritarian' review


"significant unnecessary chaos in the development of the web platform"

I hear China et al. are great at suppressing, erm, unnecessary chaos and are very good at creating stable and supportive environment for development. I hear some call it "stabilised society". There is apparently plenty to learn from them.

Quick!! The! top! five! things! you! want! to! see! from! Yahoo! – what! are! they!?


A technology studio on the intersection of consumer media and artificial intelligence

So Marissa is running a hipster barbershop these days?

BOFH: What's the Gnasher? Why, it's our heavy-duty macerator sewage pump


Re: Overhead sewers

Is it just me or does this previous place of employment of yours feature repeatedly in your comments under the BOFH, On Call and Who, me? articles? Keep them coming, please. One day I will visit the science adventure centre thinking about all the adventures you related here.



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