* Posts by Bitsminer

113 posts • joined 13 Sep 2017


NASA scientists mull sending a spacecraft on a 13-year mission to visit Neptune's 'bizarre' moon, Triton


Re: Quibble:- Trident...Triton... Neptune

Bloody Romans

Bit late to the party, aren't you? Did the Visigoths say you could come, or what?


Re: Do it, please.

Ahh, I hope the prospective PI, Ms Louise Prockter is, umm, less than (click click click of the calculator, click, click click, darn!, click, click click) ummm 45 years of age, lest she be subject to future forced retirement rules.

We'd all hate to have her have to sit on the sidelines while the project of a lifetime is pulled from her thoughtful, skilled and insightful fingers.

NASA mulls going all steam-punk with a fleet of jumping robots to explore Saturn and Jupiter's mysterious moons

This post has been deleted by a moderator

UK.gov announces review – not proper inquiry – into Fujitsu and Post Office's Horizon IT scandal


"Horizon, which is still in day-to-day use"

No chance of lessons learned, then.

An Internet of Trouble lies ahead as root certificates begin to expire en masse, warns security researcher


What time is it, please?

Yes, I know it is 2020, and it's madness to expect things to work correctly for more than a year or three.

But, can I lie to the refrigerator and say "it's 1999"?

IBM to power down Power-powered virtual private cloud, GPU-accelerated options


Re: Why moving to the cloud is one the riskiest things your organisation can do...

Reason #472. There, FTFY.

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


Re: funny security

Unpull this comment, please!

VLANs do leak: multicast data, vlan mgmt frames, etc. Especially from vlan #0. Yes, that brand.

And I know of at least one TLA that insists on separate physical switches not VLAN-encumbered "efficient" solutions.

Software bug in Bombardier airliner made planes turn the wrong way


FAA vs logic

Many people have commented on the plane (or similar situations with other planes).

I think the article is about the FAA.

As in, how totally screwed up they have been for years.

Refusing to permit a software fix for a software bug. And the vendors are presumably ready and willing to do the recertification.

Can't fly anymore due to corona virus. Now I have another reason not to.

ALGOL 60 at 60: The greatest computer language you've never used and grandaddy of the programming family tree


Re: Algol 68 is not ALGOL 60

I recall a visitor to the university lecturing about an Algol-68 compiler for the IBM 360. This was the mid 1970s.

He wrote on the chalkboard:

A = B + C

And pointed out that it would normally require 12 runtime checks to succeed.

End of interest.

Worried about the magnetic North Pole sprinting towards Russia? Don't be, boffins say, it'll be back sooner or later


And the South Pole?

Does it move too?

TSMC to build new 5nm chip factory in Arizona with US government backing


Willing is not the same as committed

Junko Yoshida over at eetimes.com has a more political analysis. She points out that TMSC is only expressing their willingness to build a factory. It's never a done deal until the first chip wafers roll off the factory floor.

In colossal surprise, Intel says new vPro processors are quite a bit better than the old ones


Is SMT still there?

The Hyperthreading / SMT feature is still there. Is the new model susceptible to the cross-threading leaks? What is Intel's official line on this?

Decisive minds (who have already picked AMD) want to know.

OK, so you've air-gapped that PC. Cut the speakers. Covered the LEDs. Disconnected the monitor. Now, about the data-leaking power supply unit...



Only 50 bits/sec? I imagine SIOP https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Integrated_Operational_Plan was only 200 pages or so.

So just a few hours.

I'm doing this to stop humans ripping off brilliant ideas by computers and aliens, says guy unsuccessfully filing patents 'invented' by his AI


Litigation would be fun

Would Thaler's AI appear for examination at a trial? And who would claim the machine met all criteria for being a witness? Age of majority (ha!), religion (willingness to swear an oath to truthfulness), speak and hear in the language of the Court, give evidence relevant to the case?

And of course Thaler's legal representative woulda/coulda/shoulda been replaced with a machine!

Popcorn time (and suitable beverages to match!)

ICE cold: Microsoft's GitHub wrings hands over US prez's Trump immigration ban plan


biz is biz

if GitHub was so sure the country needed those immigrants and worried for their welfare then, er, why exactly was it working with the controversial Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency?

Because it's just business. You don't see oil companies denying gasoline to tree-hugging Greenpeace-loving anti-carbon-lifeform semi-literate politically exasperating humans trying to refill their 30 year-old Toyota smokewagons do you? Think of the consequences if they tried.

Actually discriminating against customers is not good business. You can sell them the github service *and* you can complain about the government policies of the politicians at the same time. And do it with a straight face. People who think otherwise should sit down and think about consequences of not allowing a separation of personal politics from business.

Internet root keymasters must think they're cursed: First, a dodgy safe. Now, coronavirus upends IANA ceremony


There is a similarly-themed Twilight Zone episode (the original series not the remakes).

Alas, the poor introvert emerges from his bank vault after the nuclear holocaust, and promptly breaks his coke-bottle eyeglasses. His eyesight is too poor to navigate.

Australia to make Google and Facebook disclose ranking algorithms and pay for local content



Here in lower Canuckistan the local paper is now pleading for cash contributions from readers. Several regional papers have closed permanently.

My Android phone shows "news" with a mis-swipe. Sometimes, the local rag's pages are shown. If I click, there are ads (and the local paper's original content), but of course those are ads by the Google not the ads seen on the origin website. Those poor folks get nothing from those page "views".

In France the Google claimed they were expanding the visibility of the various media outlets. I get this and I would agree it happens. But the Google also used their content as bait for their own ads, paid nothing for the bait, and kept the resulting fish.

Time to regulate the fishermen.

Cloudflare goes retro with COBOL delivery service. Older coders: Who's laughing now? Turns out we're still vital


Ahh the joys of a 16-bit machine, with aspirations of greatness.

DId you ever look over the overlay plan for the filesystem ACP? Now that was an admirable thing. Two dozen or more overlays, if my foggy memory remembers.

I do not fondly remember RSX-11 sysgen.

Vodafone chief speaks out after 5G conspiracy nuts torch phone mast serving Nightingale Hospital in Brum


Not a "theory"

The "theory" that 5G and viruses are related is not a theory, it is factually unsupported politically motivated disinformation posing as speculation.

Dear Reg, please don't let the crazies frame the concepts in your reporting. Choose your own words. Ta.

RAND report finds that, like fusion power and Half Life 3, quantum computing is still 15 years away


Ministry of Truth

When quantum computing becomes available it will be about as much quantum as AI is AI.

Which is to say, not a lot.

Neustar wins back Colombia's controversial .co domain contract after slashing profit margin by 75 per cent


81% of the profits?

Idiots. They should have gone for 40% of the revenue.

Ethernet standards group leaves its name in the dust as it details new 800Gbps spec



Capita inks deal with NHS to 'bring back staff': Workers get an hour of training to recruit and vet retired doctors, nurses


opportunity knocks

Capita reassured its investors by letting them know it was exploring exploiting "100 situations" where it would provide "the UK Government COVID-19 response with additional services".


Virtually – no – actually borked: We'd slap ailing ATM's 'OK' button but it's probably against government guidance


Curious to see if this line was, um, "original", I yahoo'd it and google'd it.

Yahoo gave me 11,700 results, including El Reg as the top one, and several Register "fan"(*) sites quoting the article completely.

Google gave me one. Two if you count another "fan" site.

Apparantly it is an El Reg original. Good one!

(*) A "fan", short for copyright violating cryptocurrency-flogging counter-social fanatic. With html skilz.

From Amanda Holden to petrol-filled water guns: It has been a weird week for 5G


Re: Consequeneces

No wrongo. They don't have "internet" on their phone they have "facebook". And You Tube.

Don't believe me? Just ask 'em.

For the past five years, every FBI secret spy court request to snoop on Americans has sucked, says watchdog



It says that it couldn't review files for four of the 29 selected FISA applications because the FBI has not been able to locate them and, in three of these instances, did not know if the files ever existed.

Did they think to ask SVR or GRU if they had them?


Leaving Las Vegas... for good? IT industry conference circuit won't look the same on other side of COVID-19 pandemic


Re: It is the unplanned that makes the entire trip worthwhile

I was at SC conference (supercomputing, defined as the ones you can't afford) back in, oh, 2011 or so.

We had a quote for a big piece of SGI iron, about $900k USD, intended for a customer, and we had authority to proceed but lots of time before issuing the order. So I went to the show.

Wandering around the show floor, lo and behold, the same unit on sale on the convention floor for $300k USD. (That's 66% off for you millennials). That saving was going to pay for my next 100 conventions! Except the software buggers seriously underestimated their estimates and ran into bugs and...and...and spent the savings on their salaries.

Can't do that on video (save $600k I mean, not underestimate your estimates).

Announcing the official Reg-approved measure of social distancing: The Osman



The two were seated on opposite ends of the programme's famous sofa,

Ah, so sales of wide-screen TVs should now be rising.

Crack police squad seeks help to flush out Australian toilet paper thieves


The last rolls left

It was the last of the last. "Chuck Norris" style toilet paper. "It's rough, it's tough, it don't take shit from anybody."

Your Agile-built IT platform was 'terrible', Co-Op Insurance chief complained to High Court


Re: Another Agile project screwed because of fools who don't understand what it is meant to be about

IBM ... were hit with "large" change requests

Lol. CRs are normally requested by the customer, then quoted by the vendor (IBM) with costs, scope, schedule changes listed as part of an optional quotation for the CR. The customer must then accept the quote, or decline it. IBM weren't hit, they were gifted with CRs.

And now they complain. Or, their litigators complain. Ahh, the blindness of justice.

IBM fires up the big iron, Facebook hands out masks, Cisco splashes cash, and CDC gets an Azure-powered bot


Never let a good disaster go to waste

And it doesn't matter who said it. The big corps know it by heart.

Google reveals the wheels almost literally fell off one of its cloudy server racks


Re: A couple of degrees...

Ditto for a Sun rack with a few 420 sparc servers and some disks in it.

The sides of the rack were a bit bent, and the paint somewhat peeled. The peeling was from me, screaming at the stupid c* that spun that c* F* S* F* R* and d* the * 100k ** ... etc etc. you can guess the rest.


Re: Earthquakes

and --key point-- no earthquakes

But it's only about 1km from the Orbital-ATK rocket factory, also in Chandler. It probably won't go boom.

AI startup accuses Facebook of stealing code designed to speed up machine learning models on ordinary CPUs


A secret is a secret until...

You tell someone. I suspect these folks think they've kept a "Trade Secret" which is one of several forms of protection for intellectual property.

Anyone remember the old Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet license terms? The features, software and methods of Lotus 1-2-3 were a "Trade Secret", known and licensed by millions of people. And, hopelessly, kept secret.

Uncle Sam's nuke-stockpile-simulating souped-super El Capitan set to hit TWO exa-FLOPS, take crown as world's fastest machine in 2023



Look, it's HPE (ex-Cray), and we know they used to be able to make products, but, really? Three years from now?

After Cray gets homogenized into being yet another HPE subsidiary, what will happen? Will the staff that make things happen still be there?

Look at the former SGI product line (SGI was also assimilated, remember) and see if you can find any of it on their website. Or any news releases bragging.

Is that a typo? Oh, it's not a typo. Ampere really is touting an 80-core 64-bit 7nm Arm server processor dubbed Altra



Ampere claimed an 80-core-per-socket dual-socket Altra overclocked to 3.3GHz is on a par with a 2.25GHz 64-core-per-socket (128 threads per socket) dual-socket AMD Epyc 7742, in terms of estimated SPECrate2017_int benchmarks.

Like this?


Note: not safe for ears!

Ding dong Dell, servers in the well. Who pulled them out? Little PC stout


Line shrinkage

the exec revealed Dell had consolidated its storage portoflio over the past two years from 80 to 20 products

Which means anyone currently in possession of the 60 "legacy" products is now shopping elsewhere. Way to go Ohio^h^h^h^hDell.

Hey, £18bn-revenue defence megacorps screw up ERP overhauls too: BAE took a £36m hit for delayed rollout


A case of the shoemaker's children

And doubtless said children were deprived of the best available staff for such a job, because, you know, revenue tasks are higher priority than "overhead".

The Wristwatch of the Long Now: When your MTBF is two centuries


Re: Beware survival bias

I'd find a used VAX-11/780, it would have 8-inch floppy drive in the console PDP-11 *and* an Ethernet port, though you might have a bit of trouble finding a 10base2 style network interface for the Ethernet.

Guess we have to do this the Huawei then: Verizon sued by Chinese giant for allegedly ripping off patented tech


Re: Verizon does something of value?

If the patents are referred to in an international standard, like 5G certainly is, then they should be licensed under FRAND policies of the standard -- not free, not unreasonable (terms), not discriminating, not refusable (*).

Possibly this is a proxy war against Nokia or Samsung or even Ericsson. Whoever built Verizon's kit.

(*)I am paraphrasing.

Artful prankster creates Google Maps traffic jams by walking a cartful of old phones around Berlin



Now, send him to Los Angeles and walk his 50 phones *faster* than the traffic on the 405. That will confuse the Google AI to no end!

No big deal, Rogers, your internal source code and keys are only on the open web. Don't hurry to take it down


We take...

...your security seriously.


World-record-breaking boffins reveal the fastest spinning thing on Earth – and it's not George Orwell in his grave


But can they beat Ferrari?

Hash snag: Security shamans shame SHA-1 standard, confirm crucial collisions citing circa $45k chip cost


Other Problems

Git doesn't use SHA-1 for a defence against attackers, it uses it as a database key for each file.

If an attacker can rewrite files in your git repo, even if going to the trouble of duplicating a hash, you definitely have Other Problems.

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd


Re: Lazy upgrades

The OpenBSD installer is a small (optionally large) iso image. It takes about 2 minutes to answer the installer questions and 10 to download and install all of the o.s.

It works with Dell desktops. It has an auto or manual update feature for patches. It has a single-command auto upgrade to the next release (well, you have to "pkg_add -u" to update packages. ) Altogether about 18x better than windows.

And by "large" I mean 450MB. Linux Mint is 2GB. And yes you should install all of it.

European Space Agency launches planet-hunting Cheops while Rocket Lab starts on a third launchpad



I remember KSAT putting in the satellite dishes and me helping them out with the geosat link, way back in the day, for a company later acquired by Digital Globe. Their staff were at Troll, which is about 3000 km from anywhere and anyone. About as remote as you can be on this planet.

We were warm and comfy in the US chatting on the satphone for hours a day at istr $5/minute, troubleshooting the data compressor.

They did get to play a little hockey, courtesy of the sticks and jerseys we packed for them. Road hockey, as there was no ice, (and no roads!)

OK. We're off. Water ice found just below the surface of Mars. Good enough for us. Let's go. Impulse power, Mr Sulu


"Spacecrafts" ?

Please don't pluralize that which don't need it. "spacecraft" is one of those special words that never needs pluralizationizing. Like "aircraft".


When is an electrical engineer not an engineer? When Arizona's state regulators decide to play word games


Definitions II

But, on the other hand, we have

without limitation, includes reporting on, designing or directing the construction of public utilities, industrial works, railways, bridges, highways, canals, harbour works, river improvements, lighthouses, wet docks, dry docks, floating docks, launch ways, marine ways, steam engines, turbines, pumps, internal combustion engines, airships and airplanes, electrical machinery and apparatus, chemical operations, machinery, and works for the development, transmission or application of power, light and heat, grain elevators, municipal works, irrigation works, sewage disposal works, drainage works, incinerators, hydraulic works, and all other engineering works, and all buildings necessary to the proper housing, installation and operation of the engineering works embraced in this definition

Which would seem to leave the software engineers out of it (*). Shame, really. Software is at least as important as, oh, say, aircraft engineering.

(*) Not really; they're included along with others with a clause that allows additional types to be defined later.


Umm being so bad at requirements elicitation that the customer sandbags you with an obvious need?

(Umbrellas in AZ, like parts of Asia, are to keep the sun off, not the rain. And misting arrangements are a common way of cooling you off in 38C weather.)


definitions I

Here in my part of the world, we have the definition of "engineer":

includes reporting on, designing, or directing the construction of

Which seems to include management. Eh?

And also implies all the good stuff managers do: planning (objectives, budget, controls, taking credit/giving blame, etc etc).

Which the respondent in the article was in fact doing. Hence, he is acting as an engineer (though I not his company name doesn't imply so).



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