* Posts by GreenReaper

49 publicly visible posts • joined 23 Apr 2017

UK may demand tech world tell it about upcoming security features


Re: One time pad - with a twist

I downvoted for talking about downvotes. You're welcome.


Re: When did the UK Govt. ...

Labour is just as keen to restrict your digital rights in the name of children, or the proletariat. Liberal Democrats as slightly better but fold when pressured with having it used against them in an election campaign.

GNOME developer proposes removing the X11 session


Re: Coming to a fork in the road

As the article and some comments above explain, most of them were/are done by the app's client toolkit rendering into bitmaps rather than the server - on both platforms.

AMD graphics card users report gremlins with Windows 11


Re: I have an issue - Not sure it's MS though

I have this issue too, just with the 7600's iGPU. Not sure if I pushed its overclock too far or if there is some other issue. It's not specifically this driver edition, though, although it might have come in within the last few months.

Google Cloud makes its first profit, 15 years after launching


True, but they represent a real thing - hardware no longer becoming useful and presumably being withdrawn from service. With the E2 series they can basically give people whatever they have to hand, and the only question is whether it's power-efficient and compatible with whatever service they want to add on.

Db2 goes 'cloud-first' as IBM struggles to lift database dinosaur


Software support is lacking

I wanted to try to use IBM in Cloud's free 200MB Db2 instance for something, but nothing I care for seems to use it. I guess I'm not really their target customer anyway, but I think they have missed the boat with respect to application developer mindshare.

The same for Oracle and their two 20GB free cloud databases. MediaWiki used to support it and MS SQL, but hasn't since MW 1.34 - and not well before that: https://mediawiki.org/wiki/Core_Platform_Team/Decisions_Architecture_Research_Documentation/Dropping_Abstract_Schema_Support_For_Oracle_and_MSSQL

Intel might want to reconsider the G part of SGX – because it's been plunderstruck


Re: Sponsored by Intel®

I know, right? Not even a fortnight after. Did they think we'd forget so soon - or at all?

Bad news, developers: Apple Mac App Store tells cross-platform Electron apps to get lost


If on desktop you can use Ripcord. It's a Qt-based Discord and Slack client all in one.

Mobile might be trickier. Personally I'd ultimately lay the blame at Apple's feet for not providing public APIs that meet developer needs. (This is at times a problem for Windows as well, of course. But perhaps less so due to anti-trust remedies.)

UK govt snubs Intel, seeks second-gen AMD Epyc processors for 28PFLOPS Archer2 supercomputer


Re: EPYC 2 Rome

It's a little sad, but I knew it was Linus even before I looked (and yes, it was).

The video's nothing special, but he did point out the useful tip that you have to be careful which header to plug the CPU fan into, after putting it into a case output - apparently Supermicro server boards don't have them labelled them that well?

£250m fund for NHS artificial intelligence laboratory slammed as tech for tech's sake


Should be! It's a decade old, and if you consider the eight years they spent creating it and Vista since XP was launched, it's basically an adult now.


Re: it's worth a go.

Couldn't you just get a loan for that? I know it's not chump change, but it's also relatively low amount of money in the long term, considering the wages of a doctor.

Microsoft Windows 10 'Burger King' build 1903: Have it your way... and it may still leave a nasty taste in your mouth


Re: How does it run?

Probably not great, but usable if you don't expect a miracle. I have an E-350 in a netbook which is much the same CPU, two Bobcat cores, just clocked a bit faster. You'd want an SSD and *ideally* another 4GB stick of RAM, though.

Brit broadband download speeds are still below the global average, hoots Ofcom


Re: Title is, let's be honest, a lie

We night have more of them if there weren't a) crappy upload speeds, and b) blocks designed to make emailing from non-hosting IPs infeasible (in part due to spam - one big reason we can't have nice things).


Re: On The Up Side

It will be the hardest Brexit!

Lightning speed – how fast is that again? Virgin plugs in another 102k to superfast broadband


I was one of those 37,000. No wonder revenue is flat when they were offering 100Mbps @ £18.75/month for 12 months after discounts, including install. I think they're trying to lock in customers to fend off G.Fast/FTTP. Turns out a little competition helps!

RIP: Microsoft finally pulls plug on last XP survivor... POSReady 2009


Re: I know places still installing them ...

POSReady got the updates to provide later versions of TLS up to 1.2 and support of SHA-256, etc. Just about the same time parts of the U.S. government started mandating TLS 1.2, as I recall.

One thing they did not get is architecturally-disruptive fixes for Meltdown and Spectre.


Re: She was a good ship

Sure. But they also shipped it as a service pack for Vista. Likewise, Vista SP2 was effectively Win7 SP1. There was a feature pack bringing many Win7 low-level features over too.

Once patched and on hardware that properly supported either OS, they were largely the same. That's what made it so frustrating when people started dropping support for Vista with XP, rather than with Win7.

Nearline disk drive demand dip dropkicks Seagate: How deep is the trough, how deep is the trough?

IT Angle

SSDs are the default now

Servers are increasingly being offered and bought with all-SSD storage nowadays, even at the lower ends of the market. Not saying spinning hard drives are dead, but it's gotten to the point where they're becoming the thing you add, rather than SSDs. The performance edge is undeniable, and the labour costs are the same (maybe less since they're arguably more reliable). Less heat and power, too, which can be big factors.

Apple iPhone X screen falls short of promises, lawsuit says


Re: Excuse me a moment...

Some LG 4K screens *really aren't* even "4K", for a similar reason (they add in white LEDs, i.e. RGBW; this boosts brightness/contrast, or reduces power for the same brightness; but horizontal colour resolution is cut by 1/4).

Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way

IT Angle

Re: And the band played on!

True, but if it can "race to idle" the average power draw may be close to the idle power rather than active. Even the time to resume from full device sleep is lower than the average access time of a spinning disk.

The question becomes how fast it can recognize that it will be idle, and what the proportion is. Hard disks may remain a good choice for steady but not huge workloads over large contiguous data. Which includes many file serving operations.

Use Debian? Want Intel's latest CPU patch? Small print sparks big problem


Re: What to do?

How can you be so certain when nobody's allowed to benchmark it?

Guess who else Spectre is haunting? Yes, it's AMD. Four class-action CPU flaw lawsuits filed


Re: It's odd...

For a lot of it the fix is "find some way to stop the CPU predicting past this point", though. It didn't resolve the underlying issues - just work around them by selectively disabling that feature, at an often-severe cost to performance.

Meltdown and Spectre reveal information due to a side-effect of how fast it is to fail to access data which may have been brought into cache through a speculative fetch. It is not branching that is the issue, so much as the RAM-to-cache fetches, which are a large part of the point of predicative execution.

The variable speed of memory operations due to whether or not data us in the cache was not considered to be a security issue, just a performance issue. It is that core assumption which is the biggest problem.

Hyperoptic's overkill 10Gbps fibre trial 'more than a clever PR stunt'


The Register needs to do some fact checking before blandly reproducing corporate assertions - or just making up figures themselves by rough figures scrawled on the back of a packet of crisps.

Current Xbox One models ship with Gigabit Ethernet and 801.11ac 2x2 MIMO, immediately cutting maximum speed by a factor of ten. So it's literally impossible for a 25GB download to take 20 seconds - three and a half minutes is more feasible.

Looking around at people who actually have Gigabit suggests that the servers (or possibly, the hard drive) currently limits it to of around 230Mbps, so it's more like fourteen and a half minutes.

Meltdown/Spectre week three: World still knee-deep in something nasty


Might be part of the solution, nevertheless. If it's going into the kernel all the time to render font glyphs, that's gonna cost more you now.


It probably is Oracle SPARC, though, because not every SPARC processor has this kind of architecture based on speculation.

It may also be other SPARC, yet still not SPARC in general. It's only X86 in general because speculative execution has been a feature of the platform for such a long time that almost everyone adopted it.


Re: Intel "shouldn't be selling CPUs?"

It's really not a bad time, as the market is pushing its all-time highs. Intel's probably not the only stock that'll be melting down in 2018.

Linux 4.15 becomes slowest release since 2011


Re: Now what would be interesting...

Debian has backports, which for the kernel is usually only one or two releases behind the tip. Ubuntu goes one further by building point-release kernels off of the mainline which you can use at your own risk.

Fedora, too. If you want to mix and match, you can make it happen.


Re: Now what would be interesting...

Their job is to provide a working distribution of software. If you want to install the latest and greatest kernel on it, you probably can, but you lose their guarantee that it'll work (or that they'll try to fix it if it doesn't).

Sometimes they do rebase on a later LTS kernel, but only because it is the most time-efficient way of achieving the original goal.

Meltdown, Spectre bug patch slowdown gets real – and what you can do about it


Re: Red Hat Patches Does Not Contain Latest Microcode Update

Maybe they removed it because they found it was crashing those systems.


Re: PCID support

But do you have INVPCID? That's required for reasonable performance, not just PCID.


Re: There is Vulnerable and then there is Vulnerable

Doubt it helps if you compromise the kernel via cache manipulation. Ultimately if it uses the data, it'll have to decrypt it at some point.


Re: PCID implementation in Linux?

It's really 4.9.x. They'll incorporate security any security changes as necessary. In addition, you can use kernels from backports - I just upgraded all our Debain Stable/Stretch machines to 4.14.13.

Oracle says SPARCv9 has Spectre CPU bug, patches coming soon


Re: Another speculative attack ?

It's a faaaake.


Re: Solaris

As long as laptops and desktops provide a service, they'll continue to sold - and in enough volume to maintain reasonable prices, even if the premium buyers stick with phones and tablets/convertibles.

There has been some consolidation in the market, but part of it has been that there's no super-huge reason to get new devices. After all, they all run Windows 7, and if they do that, they can likely run 10, too. Well, now there may be a good reason for businesses to upgrade.

Another day, another Spectre fix slowdown: What to expect if you heart ZFS


Re: EH?

Just shows how many people habitually ssh into root.


Re: Ubuntu patches?

Recompilation introduces changes designed to frustrate speculative loads and execution, which otherwise might improve performance. There is, therefore, an impact. How big, depends on the precise mechanism of the protection and the software being run.

But without new microcode, the defence is inadequate, and so will not have the full performance impact. I've seen several graphs of performance diving after the microcode was also applied.

Meltdown/Spectre fixes made AWS CPUs cry, says SolarWinds


Re: the thing is they had all these chips running at 25%

I'd be a little surprised if cores were the limit. It's more often RAM or I/O performance. That's why servers tend to have so many RAM slots. Even tasks you think of as "compute" can be bottlenecked elsewhere.

Kernel-memory-leaking Intel processor design flaw forces Linux, Windows redesign


Re: Why just now and will MS/Linux be intelligent?

They have been doing that, yes - the Meltdown stuff isn't applied to AMD at all. There's more that they could be doing w.r.t. PCID when INVPCID is not available (most 3xxx/4xxx/G32xx/G1xxx Intel chips), and maybe they will in due course, but it that's an optimization that can be done a little later.


Re: Why not just use memory fences?

I believe it's speculative execution within the kernel, resulting in information disclosure to user mode due to a timing attack on the shared processor cache which can undermine KASLR.

So they split the user/kernel page table set, which had always been shared before for performance (and only split to provide 4GB/4GB space for both on x86-32, which suffered the same kind of impact).

One interesting way to approach this might be to limit the cache allocated to certain processes, but that's an advanced feature found only on recent Xeons, and I don't think anyone's actually planning to do that - it might have an even worse impact.


Pretty much everything which runs X86 built in the last two decades. There is debate over which of the Pentiums are impacted, and whether Atom counts, but the very first of the P6 chips (Pentium Pro) listed speculative execution as a feature.

With WPA3, Wi-Fi will be secure this time, really, wireless bods promise


Re: Certificate

Reminds me of the Bugzilla entry requesting the inclusion of the U.S. Federal Government's root certificate, coming up to its tenth year.

It looks like they're still working towards a solution, but it's a slow grind. Of course, they're still doing better than Brazil.

Huawei dunks server triplets in Skylake for a v5 refresh

Paris Hilton

Hmm. Is DEMT actually Huawei patented technology? Or is it just enabling Intel's Hardware Power Management, introduced in Broadwell?

"This function automatically adjusts the processor speed and power consumption based on the processor usage." - sounds like HPM...

Intel's super-secret Management Engine firmware now glimpsed, fingered via USB


Re: How long has MINIX been on our systems?

Skylake. There was ME before, but it was on a different architecture.

The recent vulnerability announcement refers to Skylake and above.

Intel ME controller chip has secret kill switch


Re: Irony ?

Huawei's iBMC comes included, with love from Shenzhen!

No nickle-and-diming you over VNC - there's even a shared mode...

Look out: That data protection watchdog can bite


Too often, these new 'rights' are abused. We must fight the ICO to preserve freedom of information. Remember, it's not "your data", just "data about you".

Deeming Facebook a 'publisher' of users' posts won't tackle paedo or terrorist content


Re: Web sites are publishers anyway...

I'm not quite sure what problem it is you're hoping to handle. Most sites make it clear in their terms that entering content into to the site acts a license to redisplay that content to others.

The EU's e-Commerce Directive (as implemented in many laws, including those you're thinking about) gives providers of "information society services" such as Facebook an out from such laws. They have to do something about illegal content once informed of it, but are not considered responsible for it unless they exert meaningful editorial control over the substance of the content.

Graphite core? There are other ways to monitor your operation's heart


Re: Interesting there's no mention of some obvious names

Nobody's being paid to push them as "solutions" at trade shows, despite their demonstrated ability to solve many problems. They just keep doing what they do. Munin's graphs alone have helped me diagnose countless problems. Email notification of out-of-range values is a bonus.

Why Firefox? Because not everybody is a web designer, silly


Maintaining hardware video accelleration support is a big issue

Firefox developers are very keen to avoid crashes, but in doing so they have a tendency to disable things like hardware acceleration which are crucial for performance on many systems.

It has been broken for a while on my Radeon 6970 under Vista and while there were suggestions about what changes might have caused it, it was never fixed. Perhaps more importantly, I regularly have the same problem on my AMD Brazos-based x120e netbook. That's a critical fail, because the CPU is so anaemic that I have to open Chrome to watch any video.

As always, it's a case of "you get what you measure". Crashes are bad, so reducing crashes is good. But if you do so by disabling an important feature (rather than fix or work around the problem), that's not so good.