* Posts by Dvon of Edzore

87 posts • joined 5 Sep 2018


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.

SQLite maximum database size increased to 281TB – but will anyone need one that big?

Dvon of Edzore

Tests are not run in isolation, but compare the new output to the expected output, which comes from many years of tests from previous versions. Test code is reliable because it produces the same result over many versions and many implementations. And yes, different ways of doing the same thing are also required to match. This isn't Microsoft or Adobe where the customer is the unpaid test pilot.

Clarke's Third Law: Any sufficiently advanced techie is indistinguishable from magic

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Reminds me a bit of the "More magic" switch story

It comes from movies where rapidly jiggling the switch hook and shouting is supposed to fix the broken connection. Sometimes worked as an attention signal to a human operator, but did nothing useful once state machines took over the job.

Might help with cranky fluorescent lights where breaking & making the circuit at the correct point in the AC power cycle would give an extra voltage kick to the transformer, exactly the opposite of what is needed in a computer.

America's largest radio telescope blind after falling cable slashes 100-foot gash in reflector dish

Dvon of Edzore

Why such limited photo coverage?

Interesting that there are no photos of the warped beam-steering mechanism or receiver dome where the more important damage occurred, nor good identification of exactly what the failed cable was used for. Perhaps they fear if the extent of the damage were made public there would be more calls to abandon this relic and direct the funds into more up-to-date instruments since the 2017 hurricane damage has not been fully repaired either.

Ancestry.com: Let arbitrator decide on auto-enrolling membership lawsuit

Dvon of Edzore

Found the astroturfer.

USA decides to cleanse local networks of anything Chinese under new five-point national data security plan

Dvon of Edzore
Paris Hilton

Re: Clean Path...

Or something too technical for the soundbite-obsessed media - BGP hijacking. Why tap a physical cable when you can route data intended for Brussels through China Telecom?


Venerable text editor GNU Nano reaches version 5.0 and adds the modern frippery that is scrollbars

Dvon of Edzore

Brighter what?

"Brighter versions of black, ... and white"

Does it come with the disclaimer "Unavailable where contrary to the laws of physics"?

If you own one of these 45 Netgear devices, replace it: Kit maker won't patch vulnerable gear despite live proof-of-concept code

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Netgear used to have a good reputation

Yes, and it's still one of the few reasonably-priced vendors I can install in USA businesses, because Netgear is one of the very few who perform Dept. of Labor mandated safety tests, getting the UL, ETL, TuV, or other government-approved 'Listed' marking. I'd love to use any number of other vendors but they just aren't compliant with the law. If D-Link can certify a $15 dumb switch, why can't $Highly-Reviewed-Vendor do the same for a $500 smart switch?

Ubiquiti, go write on the board 100 times, 'I must validate input data before using it'... Update silently breaks IDS/IPS

Dvon of Edzore
Thumb Down

Business as Usual

Ubiquiti leaves promised and advertised features as "beta" for years. Apparently "beta" on their planet means both "broken" and "working as designed". If it filled a checkbox in a pseudo-review and got you to buy the product, it's working as designed, and by calling it "beta" they don't have to actually deliver a working component.

They also string customers along with "next update" promises until they declare the item End-of-Life and drop even pretend support. They're permanently on my Never Again list after spending resources to redo the website instead of actual feature development.

Black hole destroys corona

Dvon of Edzore

Boggle of the Day

I'm still trying to sort out "a particularly bright type of supermassive black hole."

Companies toiling away the most on LibreOffice code complain ecosystem is 'beyond utterly broken'

Dvon of Edzore

FUD or just aggressive marketing

Behrens: "If you use this as an enterprise, you will not get any updates after half a year, so there is no way any large enterprise should use the free version."

No updates after six months? That differs from the plain language on the LibreOffice site and the rules of most distros that include LibreOffice. In any case I don't recall LibreOffice for Windows ever automatically installing an update, just opening the download web page for a manual install, so whatever is Behrens talking about?

Russia returns to space tourism and offers a first citizen spacewalk

Dvon of Edzore

Re: "becoming the first private citizen in history to experience open space"

Not exactly. US Air Force Colonel and NASA Astronaut, according to the official bio.


CSI: Amazon.com coming soon to a screen near you

Dvon of Edzore

Re: whitewash

Amazon is too busy dealing with real reviews that complain of blatant counterfeiting (by cancelling them) to look at fake reviews. Maybe that's what the 8,000 fraud and abuse staff are doing -- covering up fraud and abuse.

Internet Society, remember your embarrassing .org flub? The actual internet society would like to talk about it

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Hmm

I'm pretty sure the many violations of policy we just witnessed will stamp Null and Void all over that so called agreement.

Couple wrongly arrested over Gatwick Airport drone debacle score £200k payout from cops

Dvon of Edzore

Alright, lock the lawyers up too. Everyone happy now?

Micros~1? ClippyZilla? BSOD Bob? There can be only one winner. Or maybe two

Dvon of Edzore

You don't need to call them

because the Redmonster is already there, eating your brains, your cash, your screen, your soul...

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

Dvon of Edzore

Does that statistic come with an asterisk?

Are those benchmarks with or without the Spectre/Meltdown et al mitigations? ISTR a wee performance hit was involved. 'Tis why my next build shall include the sound of many threads being rent asunder by bus number 4.0.

Nine in ten biz applications harbor out-of-date, unsupported, insecure open-source code, study shows

Dvon of Edzore

And this so-called study was sponsored by who, exactly? No maintenance activity for a year could also mean the code is stable and properly implements a standard function. I doubt there are a lot of new features that need to be added to the quicksort algorithm, for example.

I'd instead argue that too much churn in the product is a sign of instability such that it should not be relied upon by third parties. Consider the multiple versions of Microsoft .Net libraries found on any system in productive use for more than a week. Are all those being maintained or merely deprecated.

The point of containers is they aren't VMs, yet Microsoft licenses SQL Server in containers as if they were VMs

Dvon of Edzore
Thumb Up

Re: Yeah, smells like "embrace, extend, ..." of Oracle's bullshit VM policies...

The new Redmonster creed includes "Extort" in the triplet. Much better for performance reports, both individual and corporate, and no pesky kids government investigations because they like taxes too.

Ex-Microsoft Office chief reflects on early malware and the 'global attack on the new Windows PC infrastructure'

Dvon of Edzore

Corporate blind spot

The real solution, totally preventing executable content in documents, was apparently never considered. There's a reason we never heard of WordPerfect or Lotus 1-2-3 viruses - and market share isn't it. Each was king until MS dirty tricks deposed them in favor of the Office cabal.

US small biz loan system bans software robots. The lesson? Make sure IT knows about any automation projects

Dvon of Edzore

Did something similar, with same answer. Needed to query a supplier's massive order system to see if preferred product was now available to replace less-preferred items in parts order. In theory there was a built-in function to do this but it was run during off hours so items might sell out before the batch ran. Had to write a terminal emulator and screen scraper to handle odd formats built for human use, matching up available inventory with list of preferred and unacceptable choices. Fullscreen pages were often drawn somewhat randomly, not line by line, so had to maintain a virtual screen in order to read the result. (Before you ask, the only API was for their suppliers, not customers, and expected to talk mainframe to mainframe. Everyone else pretended to be, or actually was, a teletype.) Successfully simulated the fingers on the keyboard and received no complaints from big supplier. The program ground away happily until merger with biggest rival ended a lot of things.

SpaceX's Elon Musk high on success after counting '420' Starlinks in orbit and Frosty the Starship survives cryo test

Dvon of Edzore

Re: When will Starlink become operational?

Outside the US, talk to your government. Inside the US it will start testing with SpaceX and Tesla employees later this year.

NASA makes May 27 its US independence day from Russian rockets: America's back in the astronaut business after nearly nine years

Dvon of Edzore

Retro Progress

25-May-1961 US President John F Kennedy challenges America to put a man on the Moon and return him safely to Earth before 1970.

24-July-1969 Collins, Aldrin, and Armstrong return safely to Earth after two of them land on the Moon.

Time to accomplish this feat: about 8 years and 2 months.

8-Jul-2011 NASA retires its sole means of human access to low earth orbit.

27-May-2020 NASA plans to return to low earth orbit.

Time to accomplish this feat: about 8 years and 11 months.

Truly the opposite of progress is Congress.

OK brainiacs, we've got an IT cold case for you: Fatal disk errors on an Amiga 4000 with 600MB external SCSI unless the clock app is... just so

Dvon of Edzore

Re: The real mystery is how Paula discovered the clock work around ...

A HAZMAT incident.

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

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Actual performance?

I doubt the group expects even next-gen bleeding-edge processors to suck on a full pipe. This seems more like a way to get data from a particle physics experiment through a forest of successive aggregating routers to the humongous array of godawful expensive storage located a "safe" distance away. Those gigabytes per nanosecond can add up, ya know.

Hmmm... How much impact on climate change will this link have when it gets applied to transcontinental ocean cables?

First crew launch in US since 2011 could happen by May, 34 more OneWeb sats, and astros share their top isolation tips

Dvon of Edzore

"shoehorned into the Crew Dragon"? Hardly. More like rattle around in a space can meant for seven but de-rated to four plus extra luggage. Messrs. B & H can even keep social distance in this 4 metre deluxe railway compartment with en suite WC.

What's inside a tech freelancer's backpack? That's right, EVERYTHING

Dvon of Edzore

Interesting how most of the comments here...

are about not carrying enough with the balance being suggestions about different. The portable office is indeed universal to the tech trade, and I suspect we're all hoping for a Bag of Holding before our joints give way.

Western Digital hands chief exec seat to boss of Cisco's networking and security biz

Dvon of Edzore

Re: "Cisco" & "Security" in the same sentence?

So that's a Strong Buy recommendation on Seagate, Samsung, and Crucial/Micron stock?

How many times do we have to tell you? A Tesla isn't a self-driving car, say investigators after Apple man's fatal crash

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Take a lesson from railways

Example from Japan. I recall Shinkansen cab videos where the driver must regularly check the status of the two braking systems, as there aren't many signals to point at on the high-speed lines. Looks something like doing The Macarena, but I suppose it keeps one alert.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down

Dvon of Edzore

"Less well supported"?

This is Microsoft we're talking about - the Comcast of software pushers. Just yesterday I was looking for the real meaning of one of their typically unhelpful error messages. Several MS employees and graybeard-equivalent experts on the Microsoft forums would lead the seeker-of-truth down many twisty passages which didn't help. A third-party expert-ish site identified the true cause, but claimed the setting that corrected it was tricky to get to. A brief comment to that article, by someone with no letters after their name, showed the three-click method of finding and fixing that troublesome setting.

By removing the useless Microsoft shills from the pool, I'd claim that Windows 7 is now better supported than a month ago.

Cache flow problems continue for Intel: Yet more data-leaking processor design blunders discovered, patches due soon

Dvon of Edzore

Won't someone think of the Reviewers!

Every recent Intel review was just invalidated because the new microcode will certainly hurt performance, yet again. One can no longer trust comparisons made between new chips and those tested previously unless the reviewer re-tests each example with the current microcode and OS patch sets. Of course the same applies to the weekly release of new game-optimized video drivers. Welcome to "interesting times."

Google scolded for depriving the poor of privacy as Chinese malware bundled on phones for hard-up Americans

Dvon of Edzore

Lawyers going for the Big Money as usual

Yeah, don't go after the ones who actually manufactured the devices and chose to put the suspect software on them - go after the Big Company and claim Big Damages to enlarge your Big Law Office because Alphabet was dumb enough to release Android as Free/Open software that anyone can use for any purpose without paying the Apple tax. How very Prenda of you!

Cheque out my mad metal frisbee skillz... oops. Lights out!

Dvon of Edzore
IT Angle

Re: Nice to read this

[Old person alert]

People, yes indeed. At one point in my early career I was admitted to the exchange processing room, located behind a nondescript door on an upper floor of a bank building, which is now a lovely hotel. Within that room all checks received in the region were sorted and balanced between the respective institutions so at the end of the day the net funds could be transferred between the banks involved. This was done by trusted persons seated at custom wooden tables a bit more than a yard wide with low back and side walls to keep things from falling off the edge, and a motorized mechanical adding machine with printed paper tape for storing the numbers. The stacks of sorted paper instruments were then bundled into sacks to forward to their respective institutions. All told the business of the twentieth-largest city in the US was handled every day by fewer than a dozen individuals.

This was around 1980, and I was there to install their first electronic computer - a machine with less power than the original Raspberry Pi and costing as much as a luxury automobile. (Frankly I trusted the adding machines more but that wasn't my call.)

High-resolution display output or Wi-Fi: It seems you can only choose one on Raspberry Pi 4

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Why is this news?


Raspberry Pi 4 specifications

Please scroll down to the line that reads: "2.4 GHz and 5.0 GHz IEEE 802.11ac wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, BLE"

Sure, we made your Wi-Fi routers phone home with telemetry, says Ubiquiti. What of it?

Dvon of Edzore

I've been happy with the Zyxel USG-40 and USG-60W in some offices I shepherd. Good wireless range in the 60W (skip the 2.4-only 40W) and multiple port-based LANs on all USG models allow segregating traffic by sensitivity of content, keeping guest WiFi, payment card services, and protected identity info on separate subnets. (Yes I know what a VLAN is. The Zyxel way isn't as flexible but also isn't as prone to erorr after a long night installing and configuring.)

Can save money if you avoid the annual license for the security services and reporting. Haven't tried their cloud products and likely won't because cloud.

Dvon of Edzore

Jerks caught being jerks.

I had already stopped looking at new Ubiquiti equipment due to their consistent failure to get tested for commercial use (OSHA law in the US) and overheating, dropped out of their forums after they spent their resources to make the forum "pretty" instead of something radical like getting the long-promised IPv6 support out of beta, and now this. The two pieces I had (gateway and one access point) were promptly disconnected and software uninstalled; replaced with a Netgear WiFi router I had in reserve. It will be replaced with a more industrial choice soonish, but it gets me to El Reg until then.

Expect a flood of Brand U on flea-bay in time for Xmas.

What is this, 1989? Laplink is still a thing and wants to help with Windows 7 migrations

Dvon of Edzore

Re: Roaming profiles?!?

Line of business software for my biggest client specifically prohibits roaming profiles or Terminal Server. As the vendor also sells support, giving up a revenue stream like that corroborates your story.

Dvon of Edzore

Find out you skipped an important item and the old machine and all the backup tapes are at the e-waste recyclers. Hope they're hiring.

My preference is to keep old copies until the end-of-year paperwork is final -- around next Halloween. If it hasn't been missed by then, it will likely never be wanted.

Dvon of Edzore

Still around, actually works, mostly.

Yes I used it in the days of the blue and yellow cables. Recently had to move a small office (5 workstations) to new Win10 boxen and took Microsoft's "recommendation" to use the new LL instead of the suddenly-missing Migration Assistant. Handled the transport of licensed applications, HP printer drivers, and change from local to domain account quite nicely. Balked at one single-machine license for an old Office, but client had the cash for a fresh copy so no huhu.

'Tis a tad pricey in singles, but multi-set licenses from the big river are tolerable. Enterprises can get the red shirt discounts.

Consider the icon as meaning: "I am moderately happy and wish to express my amazement."



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