* Posts by Chris the bean counter

193 posts • joined 6 Nov 2018


Starlink's success in Ukraine amplifies interest in anti-satellite weapons

Chris the bean counter

Would ground/plane based laser be effective ?

So many starlinks that kinetic attacks very difficult.

Ad-tech firms grab email addresses from forms before they're even submitted

Chris the bean counter

Can websites read the firefox email address suggestions too ?

I assume not.

Too explain more easily, if I click on a form then firefox provides a dropdown list of emails I have entered into forms before and allows me to click one to prefill that input box. I am guessing the website does not get to see all the email options but only the one if I choose to click on it.

Hawaiian Airlines to offer free Wi-Fi via SpaceX's Starlink

Chris the bean counter

My bet is the first aircraft using starlink will be a Bayraktar drone taking an extended trip from Ukraine to Moscow on May Day to help with the celebrations.

Apple and Intel likely the first to use TSMC’s 2nm node in 2025

Chris the bean counter

So Intel has designed a chip that relies on both TSMC and Intel fabs hitting volume production on time.

What could possibly go wrong.

Fujitsu to provide HPC, AI for startup to produce clean ammonia

Chris the bean counter

Initial use case is shipping. The main shipping lines providing most of the funding globally.

If it can be seen to work in shipping then maybe planes + trains and at a big push lorries.

Australia with its abundant solar power and Japan are working together on it too. Their main use case is its ease of storage compared to Hydrogen for use in longer term energy storage to replace LNG for power stations.

Its very toxic but is one of the best understood and widely used chemicals so mitigations in professional environments are possible.

OneWeb turns to SpaceX for satellite launches

Chris the bean counter

They may get a good deal as it suits companies to have a "Useless" competitor. Keeps the competition authorities off their back.

Examples include Microsoft v Apple and Intel v AMD....how times have changed.

Agree it would be good if oneweb could have complimentary base stations.

Oneweb gives UK strategic flexibility as for example allows military drone to communicate which is useful for UK and competitors. Also spare bandwidth can be donated to free to developing countries.

It is a cognitive error to automatically hate an idea just because the person who suggested it is loathsome.

Risk-based algorithm could improve cancer screenings

Chris the bean counter

Not a solution

Usually fortunately the cancer is benign, most people diagnosed will die of something else, so diagnosis can cause unnecessary worry and unnecessary interventions can have devastating side effects.

The need is for a test to identify whether the cancer is benign or malignant. Preferably without an autopsy which can cause damage.

Some tests are being developed. A small test reported last month where people who had been diagnosed with the cancer were injected with a sugary solution that contained a marker that can be detected by an MRI scan (cancer loves sugar). This was effective at distinguishing malignant cancers that need intervention and benign cancers that simply need monitoring.

Amazon cuts credit for charities to access web services

Chris the bean counter


My guess is most Charities have similar needs.

Most or many often have lousy security and backups unfortunately as rely on volunteers and outdated tech.

If AWS bolted together some open source browser based package with some easy customisations for modules for fundraising, charity commission reporting, clients etc and easy migrations from spreadsheets they would do charities a favour and be the go to solutions for all charities.

RAF shoots down 'terrorist drone' over US-owned special ops base in Syria

Chris the bean counter

Ironically the £200K missile had sensors and chips worse than on a £100 budget drone

MoD procurement takes so long there is hardly a deployed weapon that has better tech than you will find in a £50 burner phone.

Log4j doesn't just blow a hole in your servers, it's reopening that can of worms: Is Big Biz exploiting open source?

Chris the bean counter

Re: Maybe Tech companies undertake to donate 1% of revenue a year to OS ?

I expect companies will have their favourites, run a poll among their employees or ask a distinguished OS guy or two to make some recommendations. Hardly difficult.

Chris the bean counter

Maybe Tech companies undertake to donate 1% of revenue a year to OS ?

Better than most of the virtue signalling they do.

GPU makers increasingly disengage from crypto miners

Chris the bean counter

Re: miners

You can pay taxes in Fiat currency.

Debt is the origination of its value...as in the king ordering a lord to "send 10 men to join my army for a month or pay me 50 groats....if you dont have any groats and can spare no men then I will pay you 20 groats for every wagon load of Hay or decent horse"

Crypto does not have that advantage.

I am not arguing against crypto just clarifying your statement.

Chip makers aren't all-in on metaverse hardware yet – we should know, we asked them

Chris the bean counter

On Thursday Nvidia Market Value increased by equivalent of half Intels market value

Intel has big problems but it does have most of its (second rate) fabs more than a stones throw away from Chinese Military unlike its competitors.

Nvidia is Brand + CUDA plus not much else. AMD presentation on Monday of rival non gaming products could be interesting.

LinkedIn shutting down in China after mounting government pressure to censor social media content

Chris the bean counter

Among Chinese 10 years olds there are now 120 boys to 100 girls

Imbalance almost certainly worse if you exclude Muslim Chinese.

The 20 boys who cant get a girl will be easy recruits for ultranationalists. Unfortunately India has similar though not as bad imbalances. Its a twist on the issue in polygamous countries which have far higher levels of violence and war compared to monogamous countries.

Between population and associated property bust it rhymes with Japan a generation back but far worse.

Razer ponders how to fix installer that grants admin powers if you plug in a mouse

Chris the bean counter

DDoS Cloudflare

Does Cloudflare notify the ISPs hosting the hacked IoTs so the bots can be blocked/rectified ?

I assume not so easy and might be collateral damage, although no doubt able to mitigate.

A cycnic would say not in Cloudflares interests to actually do that, but I expect long term it is as an extra service that can be charged for.

Intel scoops out five flavours of Ice Lake Xeons for workstations

Chris the bean counter

Intel chips burn so hot to compete

That Dell recently had to stop selling some of their top of the range gaming PCs in some US States as they broke the law for power consumption.

Maybe their workstations have similar issues which stops OEMs using them.

What is your greatest weakness? The definitive list of the many kinds of interviewer you will meet in Hell

Chris the bean counter

"lets hope you dont find out"

Got me the job....Wish it hadnt

Amnesty International and French media protection org claim massive misuse of NSO spyware

Chris the bean counter

Frustrating the client who made each request not revealed

And a bit surprising. Hopefully will be part of a later leak.

Otherwise its like reading a whodunnit with the last page torn out..

Home office setup with built-in boiling water tap for tea and coffee without getting up is a monument to deskcess

Chris the bean counter

WW2 quarter of British Tank crew casualties were when popping out to make a brew

Since then all tanks and armoured cars have an internal water boiler.

DARPA adds RISC-V to its Toolbox: Defense researchers can get special access to SiFive chip designs

Chris the bean counter


Procurement takes so long that all the chips in even the latest weapons are pathetic compared to the chips and sensors in the £100 android mobile phone in the soldier's pocket.

Maybe best to accept the reality and mandate all equipment uses bog standard ARM chips...they can swap out for the latest ARM just before production. A raspberry PI probably powerful enough for 99% of use cases.

Far cheaper and more powerful than the DARPA approach.

Following Supreme Court ruling, Uber UK recognizes drivers as workers, offers min wage, holiday pay, pension

Chris the bean counter

Re: Devil in the detail

Minimum wage should also cover expenses based on 40 hour week which are very high.

Most drivers own cars unsuitable for Uber so have to lease a prius.

To reduce risk for the driver they are weekly leases and many drivers dont have the best credit history so have to pay top whack. £250 per week (pre covid may be less now).

As such the minimum pay needs to be close to £15 an hour...maybe half that during wiating time to achieve minimum wage.

Brit college forced to shift all teaching online for a week while it picks up the pieces from ransomware attack

Chris the bean counter

So it closed the campus but kept online intact

Would have thought the other way around

Starlink's latent China crisis could spark a whole new world of warcraft

Chris the bean counter

This is why Oneweb gives UK leverage

Where Elon cant go because of Tesla issues UK can threaten to go.

Hopefully Oneweb is a bit of a mini clone of Elon's to allow interopability and keep costs down.

Elon would be relaxed as makes him a bit of money on launches while not too big a competitor...and for a monopoly always useful to have a weak competitor to keep regulators happy.

Atheists warn followers of unholy data leak, hint dark deeds may have tried to make it go away

Chris the bean counter

Was it

An act of God ?

Microsoft says it found 1,000-plus developers' fingerprints on the SolarWinds attack

Chris the bean counter

1,000 developers in the know ?

Seems unlikely. I expect only a dozen or so, using the work of other developers.

Definitely not a Russian hack if it was 1,000. That many would leak...I would hope.

My betting and prejudice would be China.

Love China hate Xi.

Amazon deploys AI cameras inside delivery vans, misspells 'surveillance' as 'safety' in reason why

Chris the bean counter

Capturing the data to train self driving cars


Two years later, SK Hynix's £2.2bn EUV DRAM factory is ready to go

Chris the bean counter

Can it be used for CPUs

Or totally different layers etc?

AMD, Nvidia, HPE tapped to triple the speed of US weather super with $35m upgrade

Chris the bean counter

Obsolete before delivery?

Sounds like they got lazy and bought it to be able to run their current CPU orientated software.

May have been better spending some of the money on software updates and buying a computer with more GPU and a lot less CPU.

(Although as an AMD shareholder I am delighted at their choice).

If you want to leg it through China's Great Firewall, don't forget to pull on your newly darned Shadowsocks

Chris the bean counter

Can internet be accessed through Whatsapp/Telegram/Signal ?

They are (currently) permitted in China*

Maybe some app that can be sent as a message and then establish a connection to a net of connections outside of China. The net would just see it as a video call.

Earth observation chief Dr Josef Aschbacher takes reins at European Space Agency

Chris the bean counter

Beautifully said.

AMD scores 200,000 cores worth of secret silicon at new Australian supercomputer

Chris the bean counter

2 Boomerang facts

1) The biggest boomerang factory in the world is in WImbledon

2) The name for a boomerang that does not come back is not a stick...its a kylie (honest)

As China trials its Digital Yuan with a giveaway, seven big central banks outline response

Chris the bean counter

Re: new maths!

All the numbers are correct, some are more correct than others

Huawei's UK code reviewers say Chinese mega-corp is still totally crap at basic software security. Bad crypto, buffer overflows, logic errors...

Chris the bean counter

Lets hope

We exploited a few of the vulnerabilities in the Chinese network

Hydrogen-powered train tested on Britain's railway tracks as diesel alternative

Chris the bean counter

True but electrifying lines has proven so expensive that most have been delayed decades with project costs multiplying and massive disruption to service during the implementation.

Plus overhead lines are notorious for getting damaged

At the least these are a fine interim method

Uber allowed to continue operating in English capital after winning appeal against Transport for London

Chris the bean counter

Black cabs have a disadvantage that they were designed for hailing so are custom specified with low volume and little competition among manufacturers

This makes them very expensive to buy and maintain and a generation behind in reliability, economy, pollution and ride quality.

Even before uber they were struggling against mini cabs. (A luxury Merc is cheaper and easier to get financing on).

Throw in that housing prices mean more have been driven to live further from town increasing costs of driving a low economy into town to start work.

Chris the bean counter

Uber drivers earn below minimum wage

They tend to have not established a long term credit record so have difficulty getting loans which means lease car companies stiff them.

£250 a week to lease for a Prius.

All gig services, initially above a certain turnover, should be able to prove that 80% of their workers earn over minimum wage (after costs), are insured and that the brand has legal responsibility for any issues. Otherwise the level of exploitation is terrible.

Sick of hypocritical virtue signalling Londoners who are happy to use Uber "because they are cheap"...at least tip a fiver.

And while I am on a rant how come motor cycle couriers who are busiest on wet dark nights and paid for speed are allowed to do their job on LPlates ? Insurers must be mad.

Key API management platform for UK public sector scrapped: DWP ends £5m MuleSoft project

Chris the bean counter

Name the spokesperson

I hate paying taxes to hire a civil servant whose job is to lie to us.

IT guy whose job was to stop ex-staff running amok on the network is jailed for running amok on the network

Chris the bean counter

Constituency Management Group

a Political PR firm employed a tech guy called Shannon Stafford until 2015.

His linkedin biog a bit blank after 2015

Nintendo revives Game & Watch portable proto-console, adds color to 2.36-inch screen

Chris the bean counter

School kids of the 80s

May struggle these days seeing the screen

US Air Force shows off latest all-electric flying car, says it 'might seem straight out of a Hollywood movie'

Chris the bean counter

Is there a more elegant solution than 18 propellors?

Can you get the same lift having them in "parallel" in a tube, bit like a turboprop ?

Cloud now bigger than Dell, HPE, Lenovo, Cisco combined

Chris the bean counter

I expect Amazon will go after SaaS next

Based on their internal systems or open source ERP etc systems.

Yes that is in competition with their customers but they have form.

Please stop hard-wiring AWS credentials in your code. Looking at you, uni COVID-19 track-and-test app makers

Chris the bean counter

So Google and Apple do not search for these when approving an app?

Should be quite simple to set up an automated way to find hardcoded login IDs for the principal cloud servers and password keys in general ?

If not must be easy for hackers to download apps to search for these security bugs? or is the app code unreadable when downloaded from app store ?

India to run optic fibre to 450,000 villages in 1,000 days and give 1.3bn a digital Health ID

Chris the bean counter

Health staff biggest victims of health ID

As all there colleagues will know of their abortions, depression etc.

Happens all round the world especially when there is lots of agency staff as passwords get shared.

Government has so much info on citizens the health info its not that big a deal. They can probably get same info more succinctly by monitoring messages.

Modi a nasty fellow but the rollout of fibre and health records to villages is a good thing.

Intel talks up its 10nm Tiger Lake laptop system-on-chips as though everything is going according to plan

Chris the bean counter

With Intel its what they didnt say

No mention of yield and iirc performance of Icelake.

Althouugh it was an architecture day if 10nm yield had improved significantly they would have shouted from the rooftops with a % yield quoted.

They didn't so consider this vapourware.

Must be very frustrating for the brilliant engineers to produce great designs that may not be manufactured in quantity

Microsoft runs a data centre on hydrogen for 48 whole hours, reckons it could kick hydrocarbon habit by 2030

Chris the bean counter

Ammonia is the answer

Easier to store and transport plus a marketable product in its own right.

Yes even less efficient than hydrogen but the scenario is based on super cheap electricity from solar.

Chris the bean counter

Re: Hydrogen is not the answer

Hydrogen only works if solar is cheap enough. Thanks to wrights law and zero interest rates it is, epecially in politically stable places like Australia and Texas (Regulation lite compared to California so swifter take up of renewables)

At that point you can extract water from the atmosphere which would only add a small overhead to the electrolysis process.

Chris the bean counter

Alternative fuel for emergency backup hardly a priority

For transition to renewable in UK there is a need for some emergency power for windless, cold dark evenings if a power station goes down. Some of this is supplied by second hand diesel engines sited in unpopulated areas from buses that are being retrofitted for day to day cleaner operations. So cheap it means more money available for the transition.

Data centres would be sited where company confident of a reliable grid to minimise emergency fuel use.

I expect Australia will move to electrolysis though doubt a pipe to Asia. Ammonia can be used in fuel cells and is a valuable chemical for fertiliser, easier to store and also transport.

Good on Microsoft for doing the research however.

Intel's 7nm is busted, chips delayed, may have to use rival foundries to get GPUs out for US govt exascale super

Chris the bean counter

The attractive quarterly comparisons were with this time last year

Compared to previous quarter revenue in data centre and consumer down 5%ish and income 25%ish...even more for consumer so they may be having to give big discounts

Intel has used the same Auditor E&Y (of Wirecard infamy) since inception 50+ years ago. I expect another auditor would make them write down the investments in their 10nm fabs by a few billion.

Maybe TSMC might find room for Intel if Intel agreed to transfer some of their ASML ordered machines to TSMC at cost :-)

The analyst Charlie Demerjian who was one of the first to call out Intels failings several years back was tweeting a lot yesterday during the earnings call.

SpaceX pulls off an incredible catch, netting both halves of its Falcon fairing as they fell Earthwards after latest launch

Chris the bean counter

Seaman hanging off the chopper

A teacher told us at school assembly how he witnessed an air sea rescue.



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