* Posts by Bitsminer

628 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2017


FAA gives SpaceX a bunch of homework to do before Starship flies again

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...and a large number of engines that would probably not be very happy eating moon dust

These are rocket engines, not jet engines.

But dust is indeed a problem. On landing the rocket engines will be blowing a significant amount of dust into lunar orbit.

You can count on the fingers of no hands how many people will like that.

I expect the next major private mission will be a dust-proof parking lot. Parking: $1300 per hour. Half price on weekends.

VMware's end-user compute unit reportedly headed to private equity firm KKR

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$3.8 billion purchase price on $1 billion revenue?

One, or both, of those numbers is very wrong.

The purchase to revenue ratio is normally in the 10 to 15 range, and 20 or higher only sometimes.

For example, IBM paid $34 billion for RedHat whose 2019 revenue was $3.4 billion.

Work for you? Again? After you lied about the job and stole my stuff? No thanks

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The best boss I ever had lived and worked 3000km away and we only talked during the annual performance review.

Can't beat that.

Rice isn't nice for drying your iPhone, according to Apple

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Re: Refrigeration

as soon as you take your chilled toy out, condensation will form inside it and you are back to square one.

True this. But you can put the phone in an airtight Ziplock bag when you take it out of the fridge, and no condensation will happen while it warms up.

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The driest place in your home is your fridge. So give your damp gadget an overnight chill. Seriously.

Just don't let it get near anyplace that it might freeze.

The successor to Research Unix was Plan 9 from Bell Labs

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Sounds more like Thomas Kuhn to me. One summary has it as:

Any replacement paradigm had better solve the majority of those [problems], or it will not be worth adopting in place of the existing paradigm.


For example the issues with central mainframes were sufficient to motivate minicomputers and then, later, personal computers (PCs).

And so on.

Oxide reimagines private cloud as... a 2,500-pound blade server?

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Shades of SUN

In the early days, like the 1980s, Sun built servers that required 208VAC. Only the SF area supported that, the rest of the world was 220 or 240VAC. I think that's called parochial but correct me if I'm wrong.

When $WORK finally realized that, and put in a step-up transformer, the loud fan noise and irregular reboots stopped happening.

For Oxide to build a (customized) rack that is more than 2m high is....parochial. There are elevators that won't take such items even tilted and empty. The tallest Dell rack (48U) is 2273mm high. These guys have not done their homework. They haven't had to actually install such equipment in any variety of customer locations worldwide.

2.74m is just....dumb.

And putting just 15kW of CPU power into an oversized rack is....under whelming. There are higher power (and therefore faster) CPU and storage options that aren't physically unmanageable.

Air Canada must pay damages after chatbot lies to grieving passenger about discount

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The Air Canada Slogan...

"We're not happy until you're not happy."

Drowning in code: The ever-growing problem of ever-growing codebases

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Re: 10ms

s/10ms/100ms/ as I wasn't really thinking that hard about an actual number.

Dan Luu's data doesn't totally refute me but it is interesting. The machines above 100ms or so are generally pretty rare. Most are less than 100ms with a range of ages which supports my (revised) point.

It would be interesting to weight his table by numbers of units sold. Do slow-response machines have poor sales? And that Powerspec g machine....

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because computers aren't getting much quicker, as it gets bigger, software is getting slower.

The sum of hardware and software on a PC is sufficiently fast (or slow) to support typing at speed. Human typing that is.

All they sold us was 10 millisecond response time, no matter how many gigahertz or gigabytes or megaSLOC were in the box.

It's been the same since 1981.

Mon Dieu! Nearly half the French population have data nabbed in massive breach

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Faraday "cage" is (almost) all you need

The car thieves use retransmission gadgets to widen the range of a key fob inside a house. Wrapping it in a metallic container like a biscuit tin helps a lot.

But there are also the CAN-bus hackers that take off a headlight to access the car electronics and unlock the car and start the engine.

The statistics are grim. About half of 45,000 cars stolen in 2023 in Ontario and Quebec were never recovered. Only about 1700 were intercepted at the ports of Montreal and Halifax.

There is a CBC TV report where they tour the used-car lots of Accra, find a stolen car complete with Canadian registration, phone up the owner back in Canada and tell him what he left behind in the glove box. Funny and sad at the same time.


Cloudflare joins the 'we found ways to run our kit for longer' club

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Re: Do fund managers actually believe that this involves magic?

I wonder what alternative universe we are in when wage costs are capex.

A few years ago US Congress changed the wording for 26 U.S. Code § 174 to require capitalization of software development -- that is, software costs, any software costs, must amortized over 5 years. It takes effect this year.

Any software development, whether for sale or in-house use.

"Amortization" over 5 years means that only a notional cost calculated as 20% (20% = 1/5 for you millennials) of actual can be deducted from income as a cost of doing business. Next year, another 20% from this year plus the 20% from next year. And so on.

It means that if you broke even on your small-scale side-hustle (revenue minus costs = 0 on a cash basis) is considered as profitable (revenue minus 20% of costs = 80% of revenue is profit.) Now you owe lotsa taxes. (Non-software costs presumed to be zero in this simple example.)

That's not the web you're browsing, Microsoft. That's our data

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A new word every day.

FBI confirms it issued remote kill command to blow out Volt Typhoon's botnet

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Re: Explain again to me

$WORK was buying/reselling a $15M steerable antenna with a custom-hardware custom-software controller based on an industrial version of Windows NT.

Of course no anti-virus or host-based firewalling was allowed. The operating system was 15 years out of date on a very new item.

So we planted a cisco soho router/firewall in front of it. We programmed it for router rules to suitably restrict the IP addresses and ports, and turned off the cisco "firewalling". And did network testing to prove compliance to the rules.

Because of course we didn't dare trust cisco software firewalls. The routers were EOLd about 2 years afterwards. So what, they're cheap.

Microsoft sheds some light on Russian email heist – and how to learn from Redmond's mistakes

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weak password

Despite all the flim-flam about "password spraying" it was basically a successful guess of the test account and password spelling.

So, what was the password?

JAXA releases photo of SLIM lander in lunar faceplant

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Independence Day

Sending a mission with a robot that can independently communicate with Earth is a masterstroke.

The history of failed landings on the moon and Mars suggests this was a backup plan for a backup plan.

Good choice!

Simon Willison interview: AI software still needs the human touch

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From stochastic parrot...

...to gullible intern on mushrooms.

The analogies just keep getting better.

Amid Broadcom's subscription push, VMware killed a SaaS product

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...will allow customers to extract more value...


Zuckerberg wants to build artificial general intelligence with 350K Nvidia H100 GPUs

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Re: AI

350,000 H100s is about $1 billion and the power consumption is about 400MW or more. Which is about $2 billion for your own personal hydroelectric dam. (Or maybe $6 billion.)

JPMorgan exec claims bank repels '45 billion' cyberattack attempts per day

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Banks and Money

Bank robber Willie Sutton, who, when asked by a reporter about why he stole from banks, answered: “Because that's where the money is.”

Patch now: Critical VMware, Atlassian flaws found

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another CVE metric?

Your comment brings to mind a very common metric in the chemicals and manufacturing industries.

"Days since a lost-time accident." Where "lost-time" means an employee required medical attention taking them away from work.

I guess Windows would be around 3 or 4 days. Atlassian a week.

While we fire the boss, can you lock him out of the network?

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Re: ...pith helmet...

Why, by posting pith porn. Obv.

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...pith helmet...

$WORK accidently hired a guy from California. Complete with beard, pith helmet, khaki shorts, leather jesus boots, and Valley Accent.

He was straight out of a Hollywood stereotype factory.

We soon discovered he spent too much time actually hacking websites and trolling very illegal porn sites instead of coding for R&D group.

It took entirely too much time to fire him.

Adios, dead zones: Starlink relays SMS in space for unmodified phones on Earth

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...our link budget closes...

I've worked with satellite link budgets before. Some of the numbers are crazy. Extremely low power received even with hundreds of watts transmitted.

But receiving cell phone signal from orbit? Must be getting microwatts per square kiloparsec.

A pint for the developers!

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Is it just SMS or is Mobile Data included?

I'd hate to see a bill with roaming data added (at dollars per kilobyte!!) just because I was away from the coverage area and neglected to turn off Mobile Data.

New year, new updates for security holes in Windows, Adobe, Android and more

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W11 video playback is screwed up

On my machine at least. The left third of the screen runs at a different "contrast" setting when full screen. But if I move the mouse it goes back to normal. For a second. But if I turn on subtitles the screen flickers with every new subtitle and stays normal for a second. If I don't run fullscreen it works-ish sort of.

ffplay is (still) flawless.

Motorola loses appeal to kill price cap on UK Airwave emergency services contract

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Re: Let me get this straight...

...hire a company (not Motorola) to design and build it, but government owns the design...

That should be normal practice, if the government is paying for a new design. If the government legal team is doing their.....

Oh. Never mind.

HPE said to be moving in on $13B deal for Juniper Networks

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...surpassing a $1 billion run rate on an annualized basis...

No actual annual revenue was reported here, just an extrapolation. By the company, of course, not El Reg.

Doesn't anybody have any facts anymore?

Jesus Christ on a motorbike!

RIP: Software design pioneer and Pascal creator Niklaus Wirth

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Re: Algol-68

IIRC, and definitely it was a long time ago, but possibly the variables could be dynamically allocated. Possibly even dynamically typed, who knows?

In those days, efficiency and speed were considered the prime goal, and so a dynamically typed language like, oh, Python, would have been ridiculed.

Things have come a long way since then.

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I was at a seminar at the Uni sometime in the mid-70s or so. A visiting prof, don't remember who, wrote on the blackboard:

A := B * C;

And stated: "This statement requires nine run-time checks."

That was the end of any interest in Algol 68.

As lawmakers mull outlawing poor security, what can they really do to tackle online gangs?

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Re: "Another approach is to outlaw poor security practices"


It just needs doing.

Broadcom to end VMware’s channel program, move partners to its own invite-only offering

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when is a channel not a channel?

When it is geographically bound.

I've been through that at $FORMERWORK when ESRI (geo-information software vendor) insisted very much on supporting their geography-based channel scheme. We system integrators had to buy their software in the destination country, often at inflated prices, and of course without support because, you know, the channel partners don't support outside their own country.

Or HP(E), which did the same on a large procurement (estimated $2M pa for several years). They lost that one.

I could name some others but IBM is too hard to spell.

If Broadcom fails to support their multi-/inter-/cross-national markets (VARs and system integrators and multinational corps) then they will lose marketshare bigtime and with Musk-like RUD.

War of the workstations: How the lowest bidders shaped today's tech landscape

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Yes but no

(There are some interesting comments on HN and rebuttals by Liam. But here is my take.)

usually completely ignoring all the lessons learned in the previous generation

Umm, not really. RSX-11 on the PDP-11 was a decidedly calculated subset of OS/360 on the competition's machine. It had file IO added (and the whole almost-flat filesystem) but the rest is fairly simple process management etc. IBM's designs were good enough to copy. And added to the 16-bit cheap-ish CPU that was a follow-on to numerous other designs by a very experienced software and hardware design crew at DEC.

The notion that lessons were not learned I think is incorrect. The lessons were very much learned: Choose the best two-thirds of your competition's product, add your own third. Sell and sell hard. (And, as always, beating IBM on price is child's play.)

The Symbolics stuff was legendary (at the time) for complexity and cost. And uselessness -- were there any actual software products sold requiring a Symbolics machine? Nobody buys $100k machines to heat up a room with the wasted power. You have an expensive user because they have skills (orbital calculations, microprocessor design, chemical plant optimization) so you buy them an expensive tool. Who bought a Symbolics workstation for an end-user? Anybody? Bueller?

Another example: the IBM 360 series had the optional model 2250 display. It was early days and used a light-pen to detect the flash on the CRT but it sold well because there was design software to go with it. That was the beginning of the workstation era -- build or design things quicker with interactive computing. Only affordable by mega-corps but the market was then "proven". And competition quickly appeared.

I don't claim the notion that a skilled thinker could manage to produce useful products with LISP-like languages is wrong. Arguably the equivalent modern example is the construction of WhatsApp by a handful of people using Erlang. Now that is an exotic language.

These are cases where the product filled needs of the market. Sometimes the market didn't even know it needed them.

Arguing over New Jersey/Stanford or MIT "approaches" is irrelevant. Designers do what designers do and adding post-facto explanations by technology historians is not adding anything useful.

There were only these two schools of thought you say? Oh.

Artificial intelligence is a liability

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10: GOTO 10

But perhaps generating more articles than humanly possible ... will lead to more page views by bots and more programmatic ad revenue from ad buyers ...

There is (or are) many science-fiction stories about societies consisting of robots consuming the consumer goods of a human society. Goods manufactured by robots, of course.

No humans present.

Northern Ireland cops count human cost of August data breach

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"With the significant threats facing policing by external cyber threat actors, we can't allow ourselves to be vulnerable from within and must do everything in our power to protect our data, information, and infrastructure, and give our staff and members of the public, the absolute confidence and trust that we will protect their information," said O'Doherty.

The reality is the above paragraph applies to every organization on the planet, not simply PSNI.

I wonder how many achieve these goals.

Microsoft floats bringing a text editor back to the CLI

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Enough said.

Amazon hitches a ride with SpaceX for Project Kuiper launches

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Four different launch providers....

I predict they will lose some spacecraft in a launch.

Integration of a satellite launch bus and the rocket that launches it is not a trivial task. I'm sure all their providers will be very professional and helpful but Project Kuiper now needs four separate integration teams to deal with them.

One of the big lessons of big systems development is courtesy of IBM: "Adding people to a late project makes it later." One corollary of this is "not adding people will result in overwork for the people you have."

Thirty-nine weeks: That's how long you'll be waiting for an AI server from Dell

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Re: 39 weeks? Meh

Alas, my moniker predates NVIDIA and CUDA. It used to mean extracting info (data mining) from bits, but, you know....

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39 weeks? Meh

Back when I was just a little bit older than a kid, we had to wait 14 months for a PDP-11/44.

You youngsters don't know when you have it so good.

HP printer software turns up uninvited on Windows systems

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"HP Smart is innocuous enough...."


They insist on your logging in with an email and password, before you can use "your" printer. And thus they've harvested your organs again.

Instead, delete HP Smart and search for and apply the "Webpack" "IT Driver" which has silly warnings for silly consumers about it's intended audience being corporations not people.

But it works.

America's ambitious Artemis III likely to miss 2025 Moon landing date, auditors sigh

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points of comparison?

SpaceX used more than 50 percent of its total schedule to reach PDR

And what percent of schedule did SLS need to reach PDR?

China's Loongson debuts processor that 'matches Intel silicon circa 2020'

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Can you compile Crysis for it?

With such mixed heritage (mips+risc iv) the compiler will be key.

Broadcom re-orgs VMware into four divisions – none of which mention end-user compute products

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They're still offering "VMware Workstation Player" --the free, the paid "Player" and the paid "Pro".

This week.

Will anybody save Linux on Itanium? Absolutely not

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The influence of Itanium

Aside from nearly killing Intel ("look at that IBM mainframe revenue... let's make one and leave Pentium for the plebians...")

SGI put a lot of effort into making NUMA work in the Linux kernel for their Itanium based Altix systems. They had 1024 CPUs in a single system to support and already had form with Mips and hundreds of CPUs.

Everyone with a 128 core Epyc running Linux needs to bow to Mountain View for that.

The compiler writers spent a lot of time thinking about VLIW. In the end the speculators took over and invested in silicon not software and we know how that turned out.

AMD looked at Intel and said '64-bit Pentium, we can do that" and put Intel on their back heels for a decade.

Back in the day me and $WORK delivered a few SGI Itanium systems in the 64 to 128 CPU range, running SUSE. The satellites came down before the computers were decommissioned...

The King is dead, long live the King.

NASA's Psyche spacecraft beams back a 'Hello' from 10 million miles away

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1, 2, 3, ...

The detector on earth is a 5.1m telescope with a "photon counting detector". When the transmitter is out Jupiter's way, not too many photons will be arriving.

One little piggy, two little piggies, three little piggies, four.

Clorox CISO flushes self after multimillion-dollar cyberattack

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Re: When not if

it is impossible to defend a complex and distributed IT infrastructure

Yes but no.

Google managed to implement a security strategy called "borderless" or "zero trust". I'm sure it wasn't cheap but they were very motivated, They don't publish disclosures about breaches, though.

Clorox factories and the usual corporate sales/marketing/C-level networks don't easily match this model. And for good reason: Clorox are selling chemicals not networks. They have the problem of relying on a complicated technology for survival but which is not central to their business. Just like every other enterprise on the planet.

Whether it was unpatched web-facing routers, a successful phishing campaign, or an insider opening up their network, they had very little chance of a successful defence. Corporate network complexity exceeds the human capacity of a CIO/CISO to manage.

It is possible with today's technology, but it is far from easy. And the industry likes it that way....

As the Top500 celebrates its 30th year, with a $5 VM you too can get into the top 10 ... of 1993

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we opted to run Linpack in Vultr


YMTC accuses Micron of 'freeriding' on its 3D NAND patents

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I tried to wade through 10950623.

The net net of this patent seems to me to be: each of the blocks is separated into a plurality of sub-blocks....[and this] can effectively reduce parasitic capacitance and ... and....and...

They divided one big gate into many smaller gates.

This is a novelty?


SolarWinds says SEC sucks: Watchdog 'lacks competence' to regulate cybersecurity

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Re: Hardly!

They had a set of controls that could not defend against all possible attacks.

It's the old story: the defender has to be right all the time but the attacker only has to be right once.

If (a big *if*) Solarwinds had a risk-based approach to controls, and had mitigations in place for most of the serious risks, then they were doing all right. In spite of being hacked.

Perfection is impossible in cyber security. Unless you put your PDP-11 in a closet and turn it off, that is.

Digital democracy or IT anarchy? Gartner flags the low-code revolution

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...tech will be called upon if things go wrong...

I had a junior staffer who once let a "software" type loose with the root password.

All I had to say was this: "You are responsible for everything that this dude breaks."

The root password was changed 2 minutes later.

If "low-code" solution fails, then the author, not IT, must be held accountable. If things go wrong....