* Posts by Ribfeast

60 posts • joined 3 Oct 2018


How this Mars rover used its MOXIE to convert CO2 into precious oxygen


Don't you need a bunch of nitrogen to make it breathable too?

Impressive achievement!

Psst … Want to buy a used IBM Selectric? No questions asked


Those audits always bothered me. I worked for an MSP, and it would cost the customer a fortune for us to come in and go through everything for them to satisfy an audit. And I doubt they could bill the vendor wanting the audit for that time.

Mars helicopter to take a breather, recharge batteries


Maybe use the helicopter to blow the dust off the lander? Risky though :)

Iceotope: No need to switch servers to swap air-cooled for liquid-cooled


I'm guessing if it simply replaces the fans, and mounts onto the CPU itself, wouldn't everything else in the case still overheat? RAID controllers, RAM, drives etc.

Plus wouldn't the system throw up faults as it is seeing 0 RPM from the fans?

Chinese boffins suggest launching nuclear Neptune orbiter in 2030


Re: Why?

Water can be converted into rocket fuel, ie split it into hydrogen and oxygen, then burn it.

CISA and friends raise alarm on critical flaws in industrial equipment, infrastructure


I remember working for a water/sewer provider, and their SCADA network was fully separated from the main corporate network. With only a few ports open between the networks for status traffic to get through from the collector probe in the SCADA network across to the central NOC in the main network. Everything was locked down tight.

Engineer sues Amazon for not covering work-from-home internet, electricity bills


If they have to work from home, then they can claim their home office expenses on tax as a deduction, at least in Australia. Here you can also claim per-hour based on some formula, or do it the hard way and work out power, % of your residence, internet, etc etc.

The savings in fuel and time for me are immense, I love working from home. Save 2 hours in the car, and a 130km round trip, car needs servicing less often, less fuel, etc.

Dunno why they are chasing Amazon, just claim it on tax.

A lightbulb moment comes too late to save a mainframe engineer's blushes


Re: The universe just likes to mess with you

I had similar, my mobile phone has a magnetic back in its case that attaches to a magnetic mount in the car. When I sit my phone near my laptop, the laptop goes to sleep, as it triggers the lid closed sensor.

New study demonstrates iodine as satellite propellant... in space


Re: Uh

This stuff is nasty too:


Apple warns sideloading iOS apps will ruin everything


With the FluBot malware running rife through the Android ecosystem (I get dozens of texts from it a week), in some ways I appreciate the walled garden of IOS somewhat. If there was a way to sideload without losing that security it would be good though...

Chinese auto-maker accused of altering data after fatal autonomous car accident


I could just imagine a directive from higher-ups in China to Nio to remotely disable all their vehicles in a certain country, as a precursor or in the middle of hostilities etc. I'm sure Tesla could do similar if they wanted.

NASA readies commands to switch on Hubble's back-up hardware


I thought it was "A hand on the bird is not as good as two in the bush" ;)

One good deed leads to a storm in an Exchange Server


Reminds me of the time a previous employer in the early 2000's sent an all staff message from one of the bosses or CEO, with a large attachment. Think it was a TIFF file or something that should have been a JPG or more optimal format. Was a multi-site company with hundreds of staff, and the WAN link at the head office where the mail server lived was only 4 megabit or similar. Took a long time for everyone to download that message.

Toyota reveals its work on an honest-to-goodness cloak of invisibility


Re: I remember a SciFi book about this.

Beat me to it, but the problem is that it is quite brittle I believe.

Ah, you know what? Keep your crappy space station, we're gonna try to make our own, Russia tells world


Strap an engine to it, and turn the ISS into a space ship instead. Or even pop it in orbit around the moon or mars or something. Could even just fill it with supplies, or fuel, for easy access to them while building a moon base etc.

I'm guessing radiation shielding and serviceability then start to become issues if it remains inhabited away from the earth's magnetic field.

AdGuard names 6,000+ web trackers that use CNAME chicanery: Feel free to feed them into your browser's filter


Re: PiHole is great but

Yeah I have a VPN link on my phone to home, so I can block ads using my home PiHole server while out and about.

China, Thailand, UAE team up to test cross-border crypto-payments


Isn't this what XRP (Ripple) was for?

The wastepaper basket is on the other side of the office – that must be why they put all these slots in the computer


Re: Fire

I remember replacing the Nichicon capacitors in my old 1989 Toyota Cressida ECU for this issue also.

Intel sues former staffer for allegedly stealing Xeon cloud secrets in USB drives and exploiting info at Microsoft


Pop the files as attachments in a draft e-mail, but don't send it.

Go home/somewhere else and log into webmail.

Download the attachments from the draft e-mail to your disk/USB/NAS/whatever

Delete the draft

Doubt it would show up on logs as the e-mail was never sent.

Cisco intros desktop switches, one with USB-C to power your laptop


If only...my workplace has OM1 cabling everywhere. Really needs to be replaced with something that is capable of faster speeds.

Tesla axes software engineer for allegedly pilfering secret Python scripts after just three days on the job


Where I work, anything cloudy is blocked, even if I take my work laptop home. USB sticks are also read only. OneDrive, Dropbox, iCloud etc all blocked. Surprisingly Office 365 webmail still works, but not the admin portal.

No admin rights to install dropbox etc on workstations either. Would be pretty trivial to set up the same at Tesla surely?

Apologies for the wait, we're overwhelmed. Yes, this is the hospital. You need to what?! Do a software licence audit?


Surely you can just tell them to piss off? Do they actually have any right to enter your premises and perform an audit? Or take away valuable staff time to handhold vendors through the audit? Surely you can just say "too busy, go away", or some other excuse?

I used to work for an MSP, and customers would get audited occasionally and ask us to help, and it could take hours/days/weeks of stuffing around to track down licenses, work out staff counts etc, which the customer paid us for, and I doubt the vendor compensated them for.

BOFH: You might want to sit down for this. Oh, right, you can't. Listen carefully: THIS IS NOT AN IT PROBLEM!


Re: Older gear is always an option

Just rotate the monitor 90 degrees and change the settings in the OS to fix the orientation.

China compromised F-35 subcontractor and forced expensive software system rewrite, academic tells MPs


Surely the network that is used to develop these things is air gapped? I guess not...

Flash haters, rejoice! Microsoft releases tool to let you nuke Adobe's security horror before support ends


All good unless you have a network switch, SAN, or other device that has ceased vendor firmware support, and requires flash in order to manage the damn thing...

If you suddenly can't print to your HP Printer from your Mac, you're not alone: Code security cert snafu blamed


Had to fix this for someone last night. Moved hpdm.framework to the trash, and the OS reinstalled the driver. I then deleted and re-added the printer and all fixed.

Good news: Boffins have finally built room-temperature superconductors. Bad news: You'll need a laser, a diamond anvil, and a lot of pressure


Makes me wonder if black holes and neutron stars are also superconductors, and if that would induce any interesting properties or fields etc...

Finally, a wafer-thin server... Only a tiny little thin one. Oh all right. Just the one...


Re: UPS drained *real* quick.

This was the one:


A 16MW IC turbine synced incorrectly with a synchroscope. The generator section broke all the bolts holding it to the skid as well as the shaft and all wiring and conduit. The generator continued on its path out of the metal building it was housed in and slammed into another IC turbine in an adjacent building. I and the stupid operator were about 40 feet away at the control panel. Much noise flame shrapnel,smoke and arcing ensued.

No one was injured and it’s fortunate I didn’t have to run away like the operator did, cause my whole body was locked up watching this debacle. Wished I had a smartphone in 1982.

This event is rated by me as the third out of six dangerous events I have witnessed working at coal-fired and nuclear power plants. And second most damaging event related to grid syncing. I saw a step up transformer turn to plasma.

From a distance, the top level of the unit. I didn’t hear the explosion because I was somewhat near the safety relief valves.

I lost a bunch of dbs of hearing about then. Lots of J/cm. That unit no longer exists not but I bet the marks from my hand holding on to the guard railing were still there when they demoed the plant.


Re: UPS drained *real* quick.

I remember reading a story about something similar, maybe even on here.

Generator was in the megawatt league, and was flipped on without being in sync with the grid.

The generator was literally thrown from the building.

Apple launches incredible features everyone else had more than a year ago – this time for the 'smart home'


We have a couple of Efergy EGO smart wifi switches. Can turn them on and off remotely, and they also meter power, can see live power stats in the app, can set timers etc.

We use one for the stable lights, so they come off and on at a certain time. More reliable than the mechanical timer switches, as they don't have the time go out of whack when there is a power outage.

The other is hooked up to our electric fence energizer, so when I'm out in a paddock I can turn the fence off remotely and fix sections.

So how do the coronavirus smartphone tracking apps actually work and should you download one to help?


Re: Good for data-less phone plans

I work in a dark site too, no phones or smart watches etc allowed in. All staff phones get put in lockers at the entrance of the building. So the bluetooth option would see a hundred phones in near proximity, causing a ton of false alerts if one person got infected. But I like the bluetooth option as it is the least orwellian.

Real-time tragedy: Dumb deletion leaves librarian red-faced and fails to nix teenage kicks on the school network


Back at MIT (not the good one, the other one in NZ) in late 90's I remember the PCs in the various labs has LS120 "superdrives" which took a standard floppy as well as 120MB disks. A bit like a zip drive.

Games were banned, but they obviously overlooked the fact that an install of Quake fit rather nicely on the LS120 disks.

Had many hours of fun playing against other students.

Whenever a lecturer or admin peeped into the room, many PCs would mysteriously reboot. They suspected it, but never caught us.

One time we heard them bounding down the hall towards the room in advance, in a vain attempt to try and catch us :)

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a flying solar panel: BAE Systems' satellite alternative makes maiden flight in Oz


Re: Up to 1 year?

Surely battery temperature would be an issue at 70,000ft as well (why are we using feet btw!)

I'd assume they are using LiPO batteries, but could be supercaps or something else.

The time that Sales braved the white hot heat of the data centre to save the day


Worked for a large enterprise customer in Newcastle (Australia). A lot of customers would co-lo their gear to a datacenter in the area, who also acted as an ISP with their own dark fibre network. We received a bunch of temperature warnings in the wee hours of the morning from our DR rack that was located at the datacenter, turns out the AC unit(s) had failed. AC tech couldn't get the replacement circuit board quickly, so he ended up propping every door open between the datacenter racks and the main entrance, and had a fan running. Bye bye security.

Was interesting seeing the various lies being spouted by the co-lo provider as they tried to cover it up lol

Fortunately our racks were closest to the entrance and survived, other customers such as banks and health insurance providers probably fared much more poorly though!

There's something fishy going down in the computer lab


Re: Loved mine

I still have two Amiga 500s in the shed, I pull them out for nostalgia from time to time. Have a few boxes of game disks etc. All still working, surprisingly.

They have the 1 meg upgrade, external floppy drive and the composite video output adaptors too, so I have them hooked up to an old LCD TV.

Deadly 737 Max jets no longer a Boeing concern – for now: Production suspended after biz runs out of parking space


Why not just have 4 smaller engines instead of 2 big ones? You get the increased power etc, without having the plane too far off the ground for loading/unloading passengers, which I believe is what they were trying to avoid?

The 3rd sensor as mentioned above would also be a good option.

We lose money on repairs, sobs penniless Apple, even though we charge y'all a fortune


I used to work for an Apple reseller back in the early/mid 2000's. Just before the Apple-branded stores started appearing. Repairs were a nightmare even back then, a lot more fiddly than regular PCs. Lots of tiny screws of varying lengths, bizarre procedures and tools to take the things apart, I can sort of agree with them to a certain degree about restricting repairs to trained people.

They got a bit restrictive towards the end, wanting serial numbers, board IDs and all sorts of stuff to be exactly correct on the part we were sending back. Other times we'd have something with an intermittent fault that kept being rejected when we sent it back. Tesla coil fixed that lol

Profit margins on sales and repairs was pretty poor towards the end too, expecting repairs to be done in unrealistic times. Glad I got out when I did.

Astroboffins spot the most energetic photons yet from gamma ray burst – and here's hoping Earth is right in the way of the next one


Re: Here's hoping..

Maybe watch a few episodes of The Boys, or Brightburn lol

Royal Bank of Scotland IT contractor ban sparks murmurs of legal action


There's that too, which is what happened to me.


I always thought the contractor thing was odd. I did it once, it paid a shitload of money but you had no sick leave or holiday leave, and could be dismissed at any moment. I was contracted via a recruitment company, they had some sort of payroll company set up, so I technically worked for that.

I think the contract thing is so they can allocate the bill to various departments, all my work had to be marked as Capital, not business as usual etc.

The silence of the racks is deafening, production gear has gone dark – so which wire do we cut?


I have accumulated a stack of half a dozen potato clocks over my years working for various MSPs and enterprises. All were replaced due to calendar life or failed batteries, so I take them home and put in fresh batteries and power my rack with them. I had a 5kVA one pop and let out the magic smoke. Similar story a few years later with a 3kVA one. I've now put another 3kVA one in place, but I've cobbled together a homemade giant battery pack for this one, 48V, using every SLA battery I could find. What could possibly go wrong...

I must say the runtime is now excellent, but I fear for the lifespan of the charger inside the unit.

I think the best learnings from it all would be to have two potato clocks installed, one per power supply/PDU, at no more than 30% load per unit. Allowing for 60% load if one pops, and preferably have each UPS on a different switchboard circuit.

One person's harmless japery can be another's night of LaserJet Lego



I've seen firsthand the results of a user plugging a USB Type B cable into an RJ45 ethernet socket...snapped one of the pins off in the socket and ruined the networking ability of that printer.

Rise of the Machines hair-raiser: The day IBM's Dot Matrix turned


Reminds me of this German forklift safety video, cracks me up every time!


I don't have to save my work, it's in The Cloud. But Microsoft really must fix this files issue


Our teacher used to have "throwing chalk" which was around an inch thick. You didn't want to be on the receiving end.

We'd also get the handle of the feather duster across our palms or bums too.

Bear insistent on playing tonsil tennis with you? Just bite its tongue off


Re: license, hell

That's what the gun is for, to shoot your companion in the leg so you can escape!

The FCC has finally, finally approved a half-decent plan to destroy the robocall scourge... but there's a catch


Always though it was odd how 'merkins pay to receive phone calls. In Aus we pay to initiate a call instead of paying to receive it, makes more sense, and we get very few robo calls.

Malware spotted doing unspeakable, filthy things to infected Macs – injecting Bing results into Google searches


Quite a few steps to go through to install it. I doubt it is signed by any developer certificate, it's not on the app store, so you need to go to System Preferences, and manually allow that instance. You'd have to be pretty keen!

If servers go down but no one hears them, did they really fail? Think about it over lunch


I had some friends return to Australia (240V) from the USA (110V) and they gave me a large CRT monitor for the computer.

Silly me went and immediately plugged it in (in the garage fortunately), and was rewarded with a very large plume of white acrid smoke, with a scent of melted plastic. It didn't trip anything, but I immediately unplugged it. The garage stank for weeks afterwards. I later found the helpful 110V sticker on the back, and there was no 240V switch.

Exclusive: Windows for Workgroups terror the Tartan Bandit confesses all to The Register


Re: Stock Control System

We use AnywhereUSB for this purpose, works well. Has 5 USB ports, and you can send some of them to one server, others to a second server etc.

Your FREE end-of-the-world guide: What happens when a sun like ours runs out of fuel


Surely the drag caused on the orbiting planet from all the gases and plasma it is orbiting through would cause it to de-orbit into the dying star?



Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022