* Posts by Dvon of Edzore

126 publicly visible posts • joined 5 Sep 2018


Raspberry Pi sets IPO jam for June

Dvon of Edzore

Carving up the Pi

What we see here is the Upton's retirement plan. It's no longer fun to operate a small, agile, and focused organization designed to bring new people into STEM education. Building the parts that go invisibly deep inside other products brings in both the money and the ulcers. Better to unload the whole thing on other suckers while they still have some positive press to squander.

No one can serve two masters. RasPi will now be under new international governance at the whim of whatever cause gets the publicity. Goodbye, Raspberry Pi!

Open Source world's Bruce Perens emits draft Post-Open Zero Cost License

Dvon of Edzore

It's who counts that counts

The two biggest examples, financially, of intellectual property are the music and film industries. In both, the accounting department is the main profit center. By "properly" identifying expenses, any given product can be shown to have occurred at a loss and thus generate no profits to be shared with lesser entities like actors, musicians, and programmers. Superstars who can negotiate contracts to be paid "above the line" are rare for a reason. And as the unions are quick to point out, there is always someone willing to work for nothing unless prevented.

Seriously, good luck with this.

Want to keep Windows 10 secure? This is how much Microsoft will charge you

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Go to market strategy

That is precisely the case, and the title of this article reflects how well their strategy has worked. Want to "keep" Windows 10 secure? That presumes Windows 10 is currently secure. It is not now, nor has it ever been. Microsoft's greatest trick has been redefining "secure" to mean "continually modified." Ironically this exists simultaneously with the meme that the monthly patches will break something, and that Patch Tuesday is just the start of Remediation Week, Workaround Month, or the Year of We Can't Do That.

The current churn cycle of Announce Upgrade, Ship, Test, Fix, Repeat produces exactly what it was designed to: a demand for full replacement (at a hefty profit) of the now enshittified product as rapidly as the consumers can be forced to do so. We can only comply as the Standard of the Industry falls lower and lower with each iteration.

Truly secure software is produced by quality-minded people who are allowed to do quality work in an environment that maximizes enduring quality. Software that leaves the vendor in a secure state cannot, by definition, be rendered insecure by external developments. Packets do not magically get higher voltage over time to batter through aging firewalls, nor does payroll software gradually forget that Hours * Wage - Deductions = Paycheck. Only improperly modifying the internals, such as with poorly-tested patches, can render working software insecure. Pity THAT isn't common knowledge.

US reckons it's about time the Moon had its own time zone

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Surprised it's only just come to the fore.

Lunar science, and space science in general, has an excuse that previous missions were so short, horologically speaking, that any relativistic differences in time were completely swamped by propagation delays and, in the case of deep space probes like the Voyager series, Doppler effect on radio frequency. Now that longer duration missions are being planned such that specific locations on the surface will matter, the precision timing requirement of satellite-based location measurement comes into play. A moon-based Coordinated Lunar Time network has become necessary and practicable only recently.

Backblaze's geriatric hard drives kicked the bucket more in 2023

Dvon of Edzore

From previous blogs I understand Backblaze waits to replace drives in a storage pod until a certain number of drives in it have failed. The coding scheme used for their multiple drive redundancy permits normal operation with several drives failed in each 20 drive RAID set. That way the power cycling and other costs of pulling a pod from operation can be spread across multiple drive replacements at a time. Each drive in a set is in a separate pod, so if a whole pod goes down, whether from maintenance or system failure, it only takes out one drive from each set, and operation can continue using the remaining pods.

If a set has more than a couple of drives in failure state, the data is migrated to a different set before enough fail to risk data integrity. This allows waiting to replace drives in their 45 or 60 drive pods until it is cost effective to do so. Their massive numbers of active drives, and the design to manage them, gives Backblaze additional flexibility most small organizations don't have.

Techie climbed a mountain only be told not to touch the kit on top

Dvon of Edzore

Re: A wasted trip

"Dangerous heat levels in the PSU" would seem to indicate TURNING THE BLOODY THING OFF would be exactly what was needed. But what do I know, with my 40+ years of experience designing, installing and repairing computer hardware, Mr. Random Vogon on the Hypernet.

DARPA's air-steered X-65 jet heads into production with goal of flying by 2025

Dvon of Edzore

Re: And the valves?

For non-moving-parts valves, look to fluidics. Not exactly new or unknown.


Dvon of Edzore

Re: And the valves?

Although digital proportional valves have long existed, continuously-variable flow can be simulated with on-off PWM to any degree needed. Designing for PWM also allows much faster response to changing conditions than existing mechanical systems which are high-inertia, slow-moving beasts.in comparison.

Raspberry Pi 5 revealed, and it should satisfy your need for speed

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Lost the plot

"Embrace, Extend, Extinguish" -- Just give Microsoft the raspberry and keep the Pi pure and open.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

Dvon of Edzore

Re: by 2027 – except for security-related fixes – no printer driver updates will be allowed

"We find your terms acceptable."

Dvon of Edzore

Subscription plans will survive quite nicely, as the supplies will be automatically ordered from the Microsoft Store using the payment details you've already given them. Failure to keep the payment info updated will be a violation of the terms of service, a criminal offense under the latest Computer Misuse Act. Your trial will be held by ChatGOV, and your punishment for kidnapping applied promptly.

Dvon of Edzore

As others have already noted, the fine article says manufacturers will be free to provide their own crapware, sourced from their own servers. However we both know the next thing will be under-the-table encouragement for makers to stop doing that in favor of the "universal" solution, which locks users into whatever the cartel decides is most profitable. After that comes bankruptcy or merger of the weaker cartel members into the stronger. Eventually a sole source for printing emerges which appears immune to anti-monopoly laws, but speculation there is a government back door involved somehow never gets printed.

Dvon of Edzore

Re: HP is involved ...

SystemDeb is not the benchmark it once was.

Judge lets art trio take another crack at suing AI devs over copyright

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Extension of the Existing Situation

Harvard Lampoon "Bored of the Rings" - and yes the USA has a specific fair use exception for parody, including commercial parody, as exemplified in "Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc."

False negative stretched routine software installation into four days of frustration

Dvon of Edzore

Don't be so surprised

Circa 1980 I was involved with an early computer retailer. An accounting package was offered by a vendor, which supposedly ran on systems we sold. It had been written in BASIC, and used the factory-standard interpreter. (It was a different time, OK?)

Within the first CRT page of code was a line that caused the product to crash. Unconditionally. The as-distributed copy had no way of ever running.

Fixing that, and upon examination by someone with bookkeeping clue, the columns of numbers didn't add up. Somehow they were printing the detail of credits and debits in the wrong columns, but the totals were in the standard locations. Checking the example reports in their printed marketing materials showed the exact same little oopsie.

Phone call to the software supplier went as expected. "Our product is perfect, you must have a bad computer, you did something wrong, this software is in use daily by hundreds of satisfied customers..." You know, the usual blaming of the victim.

The software was not offered to our customers, nor did we offer a contract to repair it. Oddly enough it avoided becoming a well-known accounting product today.

Cunningly camouflaged cable routed around WAN-sized hole in project budget

Dvon of Edzore

Datapoint (maker of ARCnet) had an accessory optical link to get around needing to pay telco to run a wire across a street or paperwork for government-licensed radio links. It was plain optical with big lenses to avoid cost of compliance with laser safety regs at the time. Ended up looking like cartoonish huge binoculars but it worked well enough outside monsoon season.

Techie called out to customer ASAP, then: Do nothing

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Green Rabbit

You are not alone.

RIP Gordon Moore: Intel co-founder dies, aged 94

Dvon of Edzore

Mr. Moore may have been a genius at manufacturing, but Intel's success has Texas roots

Computerworld: Forgotten PC history: The true origins of the personal computer


See also:


Expanded summary:

* 8008/8080 came from the Datapoint 2200 design, not the calculator-based 4004.

* As reported in other accounts, the 2200 design was offered to both Intel and Texas Instruments in order to pay an overdue bill for memory chips. Intel accepted, TI refused.

* The improved instruction set of the upgraded 2200 became the Zilog Z-80 when Intel decided the original was good enough. Some Intel engineers thought otherwise, left and formed Zilog. The two instruction sets were essentially identical, even at the bit level.

* The 2200 was an early all-in-one computer, having keyboard, screen, processor and storage (a pair of digital tape drives) in one desktop box.

* The display on the 2200 was a pioneer of human factors engineering. The screen refresh was synchronized to the power line so office fluorescent lights reflecting off the screen no longer caused flicker-induced headaches for the operators.

* Datapoint also pioneered heterogenous networking in Arcnet, where multiple computers could share a single hard drive. (Was this the first SAN?) The interface also supported hardware encryption via a plug-in scrambler PROM chip, which allowed different users to have private repositories on a shared drive. I saw all this in operation with a software development team. Each programmer had their own chip to encode their work.

* Arcnet also had a wireless link over non-laser, non-radio infrared optics, so it didn't require FCC or AT&T permission to cross a public street within a campus, as wired or radio network links would at the time.

* The Datapoint OS also allowed rudimentary multi-tasking. For example, one could play a game on the screen while copying one removable hard disk to another.

Not bad for the early 1970's!

Programming error created billion-dollar mistake that made the coder ... a hero?

Dvon of Edzore
Thumb Up

Re: Worst code I ever saw...

Jake is quite correct. At the time, good enough was good enough. You should also rejoice that you have grown as a programmer and could do a better job now. That's what the Senior part of one's job title used to mean.

Mozilla, Microsoft drop TrustCor as root certificate authority

Dvon of Edzore

Not so fast there


Not Amazon but the frequently annoying Go Daddy.

Senior engineer reported to management for failing to fix a stapler

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Floors?

At my university, the building mainly housing the Computer Science department had a lobby with a parquet floor which the IT students installed. (The floor may have been their gift to the school - those neurons were recycled decades ago.) After inserting the final piece of the puzzle, the tired crew went back to their dorms, only to return the next morning to a veritable explosion of small wood squares. It seemed the kiln-dried lumber had made merry with the rise in humidity overnight and expanded a bit in size, but the walls were not so forgiving. Reportedly, the student crew had to hand-sand each of the thousands of squares to make them fit once again. (I suppose the grain of the wood made them no longer square so the pattern wouldn't work if used as-is.)

Microsoft changes the way it certifies network cards for Windows Server

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Huh?

No. According to the New Microsoft they are supposed to run the Hypervisor on the bare metal and the OS & Applications on Virtual Machines in Clusters so you pay for the infrastructure three times.

Exotic use cases like actually getting shit done will be left to supercomputers running Linux (or devices running Apple iOS) with no Redmondware in sight.

Indian authorities issue conflicting advice about biometric ID card security

Dvon of Edzore

Twins and triplets come to mind. As does the term click-bait. But perhaps the queue was excessive and $worker was only trying to help speed things along.

If referring to fingerprints and the like, please note where tasks are heavily mechanized, the double amputee is not without precedent. Seemingly identical information is not always the result of malice.

Travel tech sheds legacy baggage, heads to the cloud with Google

Dvon of Edzore

Monoculture is always the best culture, right?

The fine article reported, "The Google Cloud solution is built on top of Sabre's existing data warehouses, but in the long term, the plan is to consolidate data onto one system".

I'm sure the current Atlassian and OneDrive stories reinforce the benefits of single-supplier relationships, and having all this sensitive traveler data in the hands of the biggest ad network on the planet has zero chance of being misused. It says so right above the door where "Don't be Evil" was chiseled away years ago.

Beware the big bang in the network room

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Maintenence window, gosh how quaint

Ambassador Kosh says "Yes."

In a first, FTC extracts millions of dollars from online store accused of blocking bad reviews on its website

Dvon of Edzore
Thumb Up


Hey FTC! Use that string of one success to investigate a certain company named after a river. The commingled comments for different products and vendors are a rich source of intentional customer confusion, let alone the fake reviews and tolerance of counterfeit goods. Be sure the settlement is at least 10% of annual sales corporate-wide, so you can staff a field office at each of their warehouses for continuous supervision.

Indian government warns locals not to use Starlink's internet services

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Like red bull to a rag....

Ironic, considering Sri Lanka was the longtime home of the father of commsats, Sir Arthur Charles Clarke.

Euro space boffins hatch comms satellite hijack plan to save Earth from extinction

Dvon of Edzore

The Stainless Steel Elephant

Of course this ignores the biggest player in the launch game, with a Real Soon Now ability to launch multiple 100+ ton payloads to anywhere per day, but then Belgium wouldn't get their piece of the action. Maybe the EU could donate some old monuments for impact mass, like the Atomium or that rusty tower in Paris?

Microsoft defends intrusive dialog in Visual Studio Code that asks if you really trust the code you've been working on

Dvon of Edzore

Running lint causes the code to be executed?

Of course it does! This is the same company that happily extended email to be executable code instead of a simple messaging platform so spammers could pwn your computer, added "features" to the web browser so anonymous adverts on "trusted" websites could pwn your computer, and made it much easier to run everything as administrator (root) rather than encouraging least-privilege software to limit the damage their new standards caused.

The real question is, "Do you trust the authors of Visual Studio?"

Monitoring is simple enough – green means everything's fine. But getting to that point can be a whole other ball game

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Its a partial description of your IT farm.

"I usually joke that if I'm doing my job well enough then I've just done myself out of a job because everything important is now covered and there is nothing really for me to add."

What you add is your current experience. You better understand the relationship of the components to the business, and can modify the monitoring and reporting to be more useful for your specific business case.

You can also work on cross-department relationships so changes can be anticipated and the infrastructure ready to meet future company goals as they arrive. For example, adding a first-ever third-party sales representative in a different country can bring a nightmare of compliance issues that did not exist before. You'll really appreciate time to get understanding and documentation of requirements and costs when you're blindsided in a meeting and have to either commit to doing something you have no idea how to accomplish or be seen as obstructionist to company progress.

Dvon of Edzore

Alert communications also need to help the recipient understand the impact on the business of what's being alerted. Simplifying the alert to say "Firewall A3 is down" tells a typical C-level person nothing useful. Including "The following key systems are affected: Payment card processing halted, electronic funds transfer halted, electronic deposit processing halted" will encourage approval of better equipment or secondary services to avoid a repeat incident.

We don't know why it's there, we don't know what it does – all we know is that the button makes everything OK again

Dvon of Edzore

Re: X25 service story

Whereupon you zip-tied the two connectors to prevent their becoming unmated because the screws which normally accomplish that purpose had mysteriously gone missing, right?

Restoring the connection to a known-defective state would merely reset the time bomb for the next sod charged with "make it go, now" - a crime for which the afterlife offers ample opportunity for pain and regret.

'I put the interests of the country first': Colonial Pipeline CEO on why oil biz paid off ransomware crooks

Dvon of Edzore

Re: It isn't only the billing system

Worse, the systems were almost secure, leading to a bit of complacency. If you read the neighboring story about Identity and Access Management, you'd know how difficult it is maintaining a list of every VPN and other hole in Hadrian's Wall that let those annoying Pictsies in. Oopsie!

It's a pretty standard response to go on lockdown when a breach is suspected, so I don't blame Colonial for their first actions. I do blame them for having a network design that was easy to move about once inside. The days one can trust local systems to be clean ended with the "I Love You" email virus, and Management will just have to pay to do things a bit differently.

To other admins: I'm in the midst of a similar security upgrade, so I share your headache.

GitLab tries to address crypto-mining abuse by requiring card details for free stuff

Dvon of Edzore
Big Brother

Re: Might not even be lawful

Then the $1 "verification fee" will actually be charged, and to everyone, with the disclaimer "The EU made us do this."

Microsoft revokes MVP status of developer who tweeted complaint about request to promote SQL-on-Azure

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Influencers

Sorry, Alex, you may have been good enough to conquer what you could reach, but the Serpent was the first influencer according to Genesis chapter 3, and it influenced the entire human population right out of its home.

Nestled between donuts and gingerbread creations lurks the Windows 7 EOS fairy

Dvon of Edzore

Spread it on the rose bushes

Microsoft is spinning a fairy tale. Windows of any version is exactly as vulnerable to viruses the day or year after support ends as it was the day or year before. Software does not "wear out" with use like a pair of cheap shoes. Internet packets do not get more powerful to break through closed connections like K.I.T.T. crashing through a wall. Defects in design or production that allow malware exploits were inherent in this "professional" software from the moment it left the factory, and should be treated by regulators the same as safety defects in appliances and automobiles - by mandatory repair or refund regardless of warranty terms.

An End-Of-Support date is just an attempt to turn liability for defects into sales of new products with new defects adding to the legacy defects carried forward for compatibility. Microsoft's shifting "end-of" dates testifies to how arbitrary these paper lifetimes really are.

The cycle of "sell crap, pretend to care for a bit but disclaim all remedies in the license, sell new crap" will continue until lawmakers assign strict liability to software vendors that claim to offer support as a justification for the price. If the license limit on number or type of installation applies in perpetuity, then so must the full support period. Flaws present from Day One should be treated as if they were discovered on Day One and not allow the get-out-of-hell-free card of calling a product "too old to fix."

NASA sets the date for first helicopter flight on another planet – and the craft will carry a piece of history

Dvon of Edzore

Just asking

Is "bit of Wright Flyer" now like fragments of the True Cross that all pilgrims are expected to carry?

Global tat supply line clogged as Suez Canal authorities come to aid of wedged 18-brontosaurus container ship

Dvon of Edzore

Repaint the name

Should be the Never4given.

This Netgear SOHO switch has 15 – count 'em! – vulns, which means you need to upgrade the firmware... now

Dvon of Edzore

Who else is affected?

Firmware for such devices is often shared among multiple related products, including those from other vendors, because chipset makers generally provide reference designs and code libraries for the purchasers to brand with their product logos and other user interface customizations. This was seen last year when a broad swath of Netgear home routers were found vulnerable to a common set of vulnerabilities, as cited in the story.

Searching the CVE database for the similar JGS524PE, one finds four 2020 vulnerabilities shared by the JGS516PE, JGS524PE, JGS524Ev2, and GS116Ev2. Someone having any of these four sibling devices should press Netgear for answers.

Pop quiz: You've got a roomful of electrical equipment. How do you put out a fire?

Dvon of Edzore

Sprinkler myth is all wet

All the sprinkler heads going off at the same time only happens in bad movies. Each sprinkler head has a heat activated trigger that keeps the water valve in each head closed unless the air temperature at that specific head rises above the trigger value. This system was designed a long time ago when elec-trickery was understood to be unreliable in a crisis, so no common signals for false alarm disasters.

Still a dumb idea to use water, when CO2 is cheap and plentiful. Too bad the horns that announce its release are so loud the vibration can damage the equipment (hard drives mostly) it is there to protect.

New year, new rant: Linus Torvalds rails at Intel for 'killing' the ECC industry

Dvon of Edzore

The Party Line

The official talking point was that the added circuitry for ECC memory (including the extra bits of storage) would actually reduce the reliability of most systems because there would be more parts to fail. This while simultaneously claiming ECC was needed for servers with their massive memory capacities of up to 4 GB! (Windows NT for servers) Considering a typical consumer build of the last decade had as much memory as a server of the Y2K era, that argument sounds a little weak, doesn't it?

Sun, sea and sad signage: And lo, they saw a shining light in the sky... oh, it's a BIOS error

Dvon of Edzore

Hidden Borkage

Those who click on everything might already have noticed the tag page for 12BoC (as linked at the top of this story) only shows six of the current eight episodes, including this one. How apropos.

"Be not deceived, Bork is not mocked; for whatsoever a man maketh, that shall he also fucketh up." --Murphy 6⅞

SpaceX’s Starlink finally reveals its satellite broadband pricing for rural America: At $99 a month, it’s a good deal

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Outside America

Each nation regulates radio communication (including satellite up/down-links) as they see fit. That an American company would start with the same American regulator (FCC or Federal Communications Commission) they must regularly beg for temporary permission to communicate with their rockets during launch should not be surprising. Australia and other mostly-English-speaking countries with a heritage of British Common Law have a leg up on getting in next, followed by nations who ask nicely and offer reliable local partners (as opposed to The Leader's worthless nephew.)

Local government or foundations offering beta-test incentives to equip underserved communities would appear to be welcome, so encourage your Civil Masters appropriately.

Intel celebrates security of Ice Lake Xeon processors, so far impervious to any threat due to their unavailability

Dvon of Edzore

Funniest headline in weeks!

To paraphrase The Elon, "The most secure processor is no processor." Though it still won't protect against ransomware and "This is the Finance Director. Have our bank wire 21.7 million to this account for our new branch."

Thanks, it's the one with "Mechanical Interlockings for Dummies" in the pocket.

Casting a teleport spell is out of the question? Next Falcon-powered 'naut trip to space station set for Halloween

Dvon of Edzore

But will they replace "Comm check"

with "Trick or Treat"?

Imagine working for GitHub and writing a command-line interface for the platform, then GitHub makes an 'official' one

Dvon of Edzore

Re: "start fresh without the constraints of 10 years of design decisions"

When the new team consists mainly of the old team with fresh managers:

"I have learned from my mistakes, and I'm sure that I could repeat them exactly."

(from the "Frog and Peach" sketch, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, as recorded on "Good Evening".)

Did this airliner land in the North Sea? No. So what happened? El Reg probes flight tracker site oddity

Dvon of Edzore

Authenticity v. Accuracy

The Fine Article mentions: <<Open-source bod Watkins sighed: "All of these systems were developed with the idea everyone wanted everyone else to have accurate data, for safety, and there are few checks and balances in place to validate the authenticity of the data.">>

Watkins may have been addressing GPS Spoofing, but the story here seems the opposite. The flight data was authentic, i.e. coming from the aircraft in question, but not accurate, as some of the aircraft systems did not know where they were to a shockingly large degree. (And the first Redmond-trained minion who says "They were in an aeroplane" gets to repeat the feather-versus-anvil speed of gravity test from 20 kilometres AGL. Their choice of which to hold on the way down in lieu of parachute.)

No, it's not the trailer for the new Dune, it's the potential view from the 'Super Hi-Vision Camera' on Japan's 2024 mission to Mars

Dvon of Edzore

Re: It's NHK, not JBC

According to TFA:

>> the plan is to snap images at regular intervals, which are then "partially transmitted to Earth to create a smooth image."

The original image data is to be stored aboard the probe and brought back to Earth in its sample return capsule. <<

DPL: Debian project has plenty of money but not enough developers

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Oh dear

Buried in your comment is the key takeaway: Debian enables a toxic community. As Leader Carter said "Currently too many people take on too much responsibility because they feel there is no one else who can do so.” That's it exactly. Individuals who do not play nicely with others are allowed to seize control of maintenance by denigrating the contributions of others. Those who prefer to work in a cooperative environment quickly leave, and only the clique remains. The clique then self-destructs because someone has to be the weakest link each round. Eventually the survivor rage-quits for lack of adoring followers, and the WNPP list gains another orphaned package.

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

Dvon of Edzore

BGP takes two to untangle

Gandi.net reported on the issue that they had dropped their BGP routes through CenturyLink/Level3 but CenturyLink was still advertising the dead Level3 routes. This meant that the mitigation built into the Internet for such dead routes wasn't working, so otherwise functional sites couldn't recover using alternate transport. The BGP storm CL unleashed may have caused enough congestion that the good updates simply couldn't get through.

In my case much of the Web traffic was still working, but email from my three main providers had stopped. Yahoo was feeling poorly, a fact that might bring some glee but it was affecting viewing several rocket launch attempts, dammit! At least the morning (USA time) launches were scrubbed, so no lasting damage beyond stress taking a few more sanity and health points.