* Posts by Bitsminer

487 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Sep 2017


It's been 230 years since British pirates robbed the US of the metric system

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Re: duodecimal my arse

Just where am I supposed to find another 6 fingers?

Massive outage grounded US flights because someone accidentally deleted a file

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Re: "Why did it take three hours to twig the cause"

I wonder why you have contractors...

Perhaps you've never worked for government or a large corporation.

It contractors because when they screw up it's their fault, not yours. And not the fault of your organization. The fingers definitely get to point out, away from management.

Intel casts doubt on Italy for chip factory location

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The game

Italy is still in the game, but so are other candidate countries.

This is how the game is played.

JEDEC reportedly set to formalize Dell laptop memory standard

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Re: "CAMM will allow 128GB of memory at DDR5/4800"

You'd need that to compile a big Scala app.

Or a big C++ app.

I've given up on C++ as a result.

Nice smart device – how long does it get software updates?

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Re: TVs and cars

A friend of mine use to have a medium size Chevrolet car.

Her driver-side seatbelt broke after a few years of use.

No replacements were available. They are left/right handed so moving passenger side would not work.

She had to junk the car else it would fail annual inspection.

She bought a Toyota to replace the Chev.

Moral of the story: it's not just electronics that count. It's the manufacturer.

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Smart fridge

I'm still waiting for the smart refrigerator that will open the door, close the door, or hold the door open "smartly".

Meaning on voice command.

Without need for using a foot or elbow.

Years late and 36 cores short of AMD, who are Intel’s 4th-gen Xeons even for?

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Re: late, expensive, slow

Pick any two.

Oh, no: The electric cars at CES are getting all emotional

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Re: Enter: The Marching Morons

The automobiles have a top speed of one hundred kilometers per hour—a kilometer is, if I recall my paleolinguistics, three-fifths of a mile—and the speedometers are all rigged accordingly so the drivers will think they’re going two hundred and fifty.

Cyril Kornbluth, April 1951 "Galaxy" magazine.

Here's how to remotely take over a Ferrari...account, that is

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I betcha

I would bet these companies did indeed hire someone to vet, or audit, their corporate IT and possibly even some of their vehicle telematics.

And it was done by one of the usual assortment of two-letter and three-letter accounting firms who assigned the tasks to dutiful but dumb accounting graduates.

And it was expensive, and therefore All Was Good. (Never mind if they actually found anything.)

Until a competent security researcher with real experience rather than a three-year-old checklist found some defects. Or rather, lots of defects.

There is liability to be found here, for the right lawyer who can read audit statements accompanying a shareholder's annual report. Lots of liability.

LockBit: Sorry about the SickKids ransomware, not sorry about the rest

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more about self-preservation?

Canada has, after some years of anguish, authorized "disruption" of cyber-threat actors by the relevant agency.

See their mandate.

Although after attacks in France I expect DGSE has few compunctions about similar kinds of responses, whether authorized in law or not.

Whether the Lockbit gang pays attention to this is another question.

Literally, look who's back: A comet that last swung by Earth 50,000 years ago

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Re: A map of where to look would have been handy

It's raining here too.

Intel settles to escape $4b patent suit with VLSI

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they basically get a monopoly...

There is of course a trade involved.

The "public good" is the disclosure of the patent -- the method, techniques, etc etc. for public use after the patent expires, 20 or 22 years later, or whatever.

However, any system invented by humans will always be gamed by other humans. It's the natural way of things.

So the patent attorneys invent "ring-around" patents that provide (possibly) useful features and methods surrounding some-one else's patent.

And other variant games like minor modifications of formula.

The most egregious example I can think of is a pharmaceutical patent describing a pill where the dose was merely doubled over an existing patent and another (inert) substance added, and that patent was successfully defended in court. (don't have reference, unfortunately),

At least software patents are largely off the table.

As you can tell, I am generally in favour of patents but not in favour of the games.

University students recruit AI to write essays for them. Now what?

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Re: Fake test

isn't that the defn of literary criticism?cyncism?


Too big to live, too loved to die: Big Tech's billion dollar curse of the free

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Re: Serves Google right

some of us still do have a hotmail account.

Crypto craziness craps out – and about time too

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Choir -- Preaching to

Are there any regular Reg readers who would disagree with this article?

UK's Guardian newspaper breaks news of ransomware attack on itself

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...the center-left newspaper...

Ummm, does that mean it is a little off-center? Off camber? Off?

Inquiring minds want to know.

Email hijackers scam food out of businesses, not just money

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small potatoes and "critical infrastructure"?

I doubt companies that small would qualify as critical infra. Really, who would let such a small business become so important?

No doubt many small and tiny businesses would _like_ to be so valued, but they're not likely to effectively compete with bigger ones.

Seems like more of a marketing move by CloudFlare to me.

Server broke because it was invisibly designed to break

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Re: A service provider that doesn't bill because their attempted fixes failed?


How old are you?

China reportedly bars export of homebrew Loongson chips to Russia – and everywhere else

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Re: client or customer ....

I think it was Kissinger who said "countries don't have friends, they have interests."

Maybe the USAians are moving back to that point of view.

What did Unix fans learn from the end of Unix workstations?

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I had saved an "Open" VMS7.2 Alpha distribution kit (the bookshelf box type). Looked it up on E-bay and wasn't worth the postage to send it anywhere. So I tossed it out.

This was in June this year.

But I did used to have an Alphastation, I think it was 133MHz and 64MB. We had used it as an NFS server for several cabinets of 2GB disks -- it was way faster than the competition (it had 100 Mbit FDDI) looped to a few SGI and Sun servers.

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Re: I'd quite like an X-term

$FORMERJOB used to have about 100 or more NCD X-terms as the engineering staff were using them for Framemaker documents and software work. They even had colour models.

(It was cheaper to have NCD X-terms and a few big servers than pizza-box workstations for everyone.)

If the electricity was interrupted though, network booting 100 X-terms took a loooong time.

I gave a presentation at the local DECUS conference about how we used them, how to setup network booting etc etc. One question I got: "Isn't a PC faster than an NCD? Why not run Windows plus an X11 software package?"

I have to say I was surprised. It hadn't occurred to me to compare the two. My answer? "Not this year, but maybe when PCs hit 450MHz they will be competitive."

NCDs only lasted about 3 or 4 years in the marketplace, as I recall. PCs + Hummingbird X-Windows software replaced them.

US Air Force tests its first fully functional hypersonic missile

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Oh boy

...ultimate goal with a hypersonic weapon is to be able to let General Ripper deliver a payload anywhere in the world in less than an hour.


One big issue with these things is they have such a low-measurable infrared signature, which makes them considerably more "stealthy" than your garden-variety ICBM. Can you say "first strike"?

ChatGPT has mastered the confidence trick, and that's a terrible look for AI

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Stack Overflow is in trouble?

Think about Wikipedia.

US chip group: $52b is not enough, we need an extra $30b in federal funding

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Job subsidies

$30 billion for 23,000 jobs is well over $1M per job.

Is that the best way to spend the money?

ICE data dump reveals names, locations of 6,000+ asylum seekers

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Separation of responsibilities

WTF is a person with change and add access to the organization's website doing with authority and access to case file data or summaries?

Really. Why?

Equinix would offer more liquid cooling but struggles without standards

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carry the weight of rooms full of the dielectric fluids...

Back at $WORK we had a tour through the secure (classified) computing room.

It was a large copper box with RF-seals on the (airtight) door, seating for 4 close friends at a table, and a small grill for airflow.

The fire-suppression was a water sprinkler. The airflow grill was located at the top of one wall.

Seeing this, I thought to myself, "self, what do you think is the weight of the water that would accumulate in this box before flowing out the grill? How full would it be before crashing down to the floor below?"

We asked the vendor rep. He got very quiet for a while, then promised to move the grill nearer the floor. "No one had ever asked that question before."

RIP Fred 'Mythical Man-Month' Brooks: IBM guru of software project management

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A possible correction?

I just spent a billion dollars educating you; I'm not letting you go now!...

I seem to recall this was a line in the autobiography of Thomas Watson Jr.("Father, Son & Co, My Life at IBM and Beyond"). He was running the IBM 901 vacuum tube machine product in the 1950s -- design and manufacture. The product was a dud, nobody bought it, so the product was cancelled.

Sr. refused Thomas Watson Jrs resignation with the line ("I just spent $100 million training you, you can't quit now!")

Perhaps I don't remember it correctly....

Intel reveals pay-to-play Xeon features with software-defined silicon

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A charitable reading...

How about a non-charitable reading instead:

- give them a way to spread out equipment costs Well now, that is the job of bankers and lease companies, no? Intel is trying to get in front of the finance services and collect cash directly.

- scale capacity Nope. The new features are incremental at best, and their performance impact will be microscopic compared to all the other work being done by these CPUs. Microbenchmarks are not the way to evaluate them, by the way. You get one guess how they will be marketed.

- throughout the lifecycle of the Xeon processor. No way Jose. The lifecycle of the Xeon processor in the original customer's hands. If you sell it or transfer it, for sure the licenses for features will not transfer with the CPU and subsequent users will have to pay pay pay. See Microsoft, IBM, Dell, HP, and other vendors for precedent.

- deliver what they [customers] truly want See all comments from other customers, above. Nope.

Other items not mentioned in the article:

- Software costs. It's bad enough that not all current CPU offerings include features that lots of customers like (for video transcoding for example). But these new "enterprisy" features will soon be mandatory for "enterprisy" software like Oracle, SAP, and other because Intel will convince these vendors that what is good for Intel is good for them.

- Hardware lifecycle costs. The news that AWS is keeping their 2017-era CPUs in service is an example of a successful monoculture with 99% feature compatibility for several product generations that is useful for many AWS customers. Add a completely orthogonal set of optional features and the monoculture is then fractured into numerous sub-cults that won't interoperate because software.

- Hyperscaler problems. You and I don't face this but Google and Facebook do. What optional features should they buy? Should they buy in bulk? It multiplies their choices and they may well opt to vote with their feet towards ARM and AMD.

Worried about your datacenter carbon footprint? Why not put it in orbit?

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Re: Data sovereignty?

The lawyers?

Wintermute LLC

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move

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Re: Q) How did Musk become a Millionaire?

Old Hollywood joke:

How do you make a small fortune in the movie business?

Answer: Start with a large fortune!

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better

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Re: You want the State to manage social media platforms ? Are you insane ?

Black voters continue to face enormous hurdles in the U.S. electoral process. Voter disenfranchisement and suppression are at an all-time high. This includes online disinformation, poll taxes, polling station closures in Black neighborhoods, voters abruptly removed from the rolls, gerrymandering, strict voter-id and registration laws, and much more. It is imperative that Black communities and our votes are protected and that we are informed of the various sophisticated techniques used to suppress, deter, and or stop Black communities from voting.


Intel takes on AMD and Nvidia with mad 'Max' chips for HPC

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1 Gbyte/core

give the CPU ... more than 1GB per core

Boring. With very fast accelerators like AVX the memory for one core is wayyyy too small.

And the critical tech here is HBM which is not manufactured by Intel.

Tired: Data scientists. Wired: Data artists

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Re: Wondering out loud

It takes imagination as well as a deep understanding of the data business.


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Re: Uptitling

cynic --> commentard

China reminds world shock and ore can hurt tech supply chains

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"No one should use economy as a political tool or weapon"

Anyone who thinks China has not done this in the past has a poor memory.

China's rare earth supply crimp plan ruled to be illegal (2014)

China to resume imports of Canadian beef and pork (2019)

and so on.

Source: google.

Former Apple worker pleads guilty to $17m mail and wire fraud charges

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Re: So ig I read this correctly,

Why would they [play stupid]?

Because federal law. If the bad boys were only in California, they won't be federally prosecuted for "interstate" crimes like wire fraud.

As soon as the Nevada connection is discovered, then the feds can be brought in.

(There's an old story about a small biz, Illinois I think, that discovered their bookkeeper was stealing from them. Knowing this, they waited until she transferred some ill-gotten gains to a relative in another state. Bingo, federal charges! Federal time! IRS tax audit!

Revenge is best served via a US federal prison.)

Ritz cracker giant settles bust-up with insurer over $100m+ NotPetya cleanup

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Re: Ritz cracker giant settles bust-up?

No immediate payout?

Was their insurance on the Fritz?

Porsche wants to sell you a rusty tailpipe soundbar for $12k

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it doesn't come with factory-installed rattling?

You mean it doesn't come with the fumes of 2.7L engine-oil-burning-on-the-exhaust pipe being blown into the cabin by the heater?

Damn, that was the best part of my old '75 911.

That was a damn fine (and F-ing fast) car.

Open source's totally non-secret weapon big tech dares not use: Staying relevant

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Re: The difference between Linux and the Next Big Thing...

Linux doesn't need to innovate. It's a kernel built copying an already legacy OS with a lot of outdated ideas...

I have to disagree. It may have been a copy once upon a time, but there have been a tonne of innovations added to it because (a) it is free to distribute and therefore many people benefit and (b) a lot of people work on it and use it and adding new stuff benefits from their testing, review and/or complaining and bugfinding.

Some examples:

- XFS file system contributed by SGI added competition for ext3/4

- IO scheduler for large systems with high concurrent IO queues

- CPU scheduler for very-high core-count CPUs (hundreds, again from SGI and IBM)

- CPU scheduler to improve utilization up to 100% (Google)

- io_uring is the current Big Thing; nobody else has this

That's the short list; more knowledgeable people would extend it tremendously.

The kernel gets a lot of attention (even if it has a lot of cruft no-one pays attention to) and this is good.

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Re: a way to make the good of the end user more relevant than maximising revenue


I just upvoted VoiceOfTruth.

someone help me.

AWS warns of demand slowdown as customers seek to cut spend

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Quotation soup

I always like to read the excerpts from the press releases (or actual verbal quotes) from the various high-level managers or marketing droids.

And Simon never fails to amuse: from a "stinker" to a "sinker". Poetic.

AWS VP: They can manage workloads better.

Because nothing AWS does will, and the product(s) don't save money by themselves. Wait a second.....

AWS VP: They can switch to .... higher cost/performance ratios.

Of course, this saves no money at all, if you take him literally.

Gelsinger takes ax to Intel after chip sales slump, profit nosedives

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I am curious of whether or not a tech corporation this size has ever turned itself around and returned to growth.

GM, aka Government Motors. Both Canada and USA bailed out GM, Chrysler (as it was then known) and even threw a few dollars at Ford Motors.

This was back in the late oughts (2009-ish).

IIRC GM Canada went through a receivership process, what the US calls Chapter 11 Bankruptcy Protection (not, as often assumed, actual bankruptcy.)

Both governments made money on the deals, but not by much.

Starlink terminals reportedly smuggled into Iran amid internet shutdowns

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They won't work, not for long.

1. I'm guessing the US govt, as licensor to Starlink/SpaceX, has a law requiring them to operate only in countries where they have permission, aka license, to operate.

2. Each terminal has to know where it is located, in order to function correctly with the satellites passing overhead. They should have geo-fencing enabled as a matter of course. See point 1.

3. And there is such a thing as ARM -- anti-radiation missile. And RDF -- radio direction finder. The Iranians will be able to locate and destroy dishes with radio triangulation and simply blow up whatever is within a few dozen meters of each dish. The dishes point skyward but still leak RF in all directions, with a much weaker but still detectable signal.

It's not impossible to use satcom tech in interdicted territory but Starlink is not the right choice.

To build a better quantum computer, look into a black hole, says professor Brian Cox

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Re: More answers than questions?

I understood the lifetime of Conservative Information was 45 days.

Or am I confusing black holes with a head of lettuce?

OpenBSD 7.2: The other other FOSS xNix released, runs on Apple M2 Macs

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The keys for me are:

- understandable. You can look as the "ps ax" output and understand what all those processes are and what they do (or find a manpage). Compare the hundreds of "services" on Windows.

- small but powerful. Everything you need to run X is there: cwm window manager (OK a bit odd but it works) and all the usual simple utilities. Add a few packages and it's a complete workstation.

- AMD graphics accelerators work and work quickly

- very quick updates published whenever needed (not every monthly Tuesday)

- very quick automatic upgrades from the last release

And installation is quick. Hint: try a VM to play, but use a realistic virtual disk size like 50GB or more -- see the review for why.

How I made a Chrome extension for converting Reg articles to UK spelling

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Fahrenheit -- banish

Could you adopt your new skill to a simpler task -- autoconvert (or remove) the Fahrenheits, miles, yards, pounds, ounces, inches, and (short) tons the "americans" use?

It would be a subversive way to de-americanize the site.

(Although pounds might be hard, the £ glyph should be in your style guide).

Biden wants SpaceX to beam internet to Iran amid uprising

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Pirate radio?

Biden's policy people should be aware that radio transmission and even radio reception are sovereign rights of each nation to govern.

Within the international cooperative scheme of the ITU of course.

Dropping a fee hundred pirate satellite transceivers into Iran will be a very provocative precedent.

"If you can do it so can I."

Just don't.

American techies in China may be breaking the law by showing up to work

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or they're going to have to give up their US citizenship

Notoriously, China does not recognize dual citizenship.

What might they then become?

Public cloud prices to surge in US and Europe next year

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variable site pricing?

Some places have substantially cheaper electricity than others. Like Quebec vs London.

Will AWS or IBM or Vultr or lesser vendors offer a discount on places with cheaper electrons?

Or perhaps it will be labelled a "fuel/electricity" surcharge if you rent a VM located in Amsterdam over one located in Ohio.

Collapsed Arecibo telescope to be replaced by school

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School district

The budget in 2019 was around $6M per year, according to NSF budget docs.[PDF]

That's less than a small school district. So why close it?