* Posts by JClouseau

38 posts • joined 20 Sep 2019

Hackers hack Hackney: Local government cries 'cyberattack' while UK infosec officials rush to figure out what happened


Where's Fatima

....when you need her ?


From the Department of WCGW: An app-controlled polycarbonate lock with no manual override/physical key


Inspirational quotes

Like everybody else, very pleased to read you again. Have one (on expenses).

those who post inspirational quotes or virtue-signalling tales of how fantastic their working lives are.

That's it, we must be connected you and I. Now I don't troll them (at least not using my official account) as you never know who might hire you in the future, but these make me cringe, they're almost on par with the smurfs who keep informing you on Faecebook how wonderful the BA VIP lounge at Heathrow is (insert your favorite airline and trendy airport). With pictures of the complimentary cocktail and awesome snacks.

Where is the "love" icon ?

Third time's still the charm: AMD touts Zen-3-based Ryzen 5000 line, says it will 'deliver absolute leadership in x86'


Mum's rig

Ditto here, the "big" PC is (drum roll) a Phenom II X6 1065T (a 2011 design I believe) coupled with a GTX1060. And a SATA SSD for the system.

It's more than OK for browsing and office work, and the kid isn't complaining about Fortnite, Rocket League or Battlefront performance.

The real bottleneck at some point was the HD5770, but now I don't feel compelled to "refresh" (i.e. replace) it. I can also proudly contribute to the Vulture's COVID F@H effort.

Hell, I'm still running Win7

So unless OP's mum is a serious gamer, or an AI researcher, I see no reason to replace everything.

Now I really love AMD, but am I the only one confused by the complete lack of synchronization between the "Zen" architecture numbers and the Ryzen CPU references ?

This "Ryzen 5000" thing based on "Zen 3" lost me for good.

He was a skater boy. We said, 'see you later, boy' – and the VAX machine mysteriously began to work as intended


Re: Changes

And they're selling 1TB microSD cards these days, I for one :

1. will never trust such a tiny little thingy to hold reliably any "serious" data;

2. would probably lose it in less than 48 hours;

I've never worked on mainframes/minis but I'm quite sure at least those disks were rather hard to lose.


CSI: Miami

"The branch tech," said Ethan, "made the profound statement: 'I think we may have found the source of our problem.'"

Great. Now I'll have David Caruso and his impersonation by Jim Carrey in my head for the rest of the day.


AI in the enterprise: Prepare to be disappointed – oversold but under appreciated, it can help... just not too much


Re: Whose intelligence?

Not directly related to the topic, but amen to that :

It might be more effective in the long run to improve our education systems so we can unlock the vast pool of increasingly wasted human potential.

Emphasis on "increasingly wasted".


RIP Sir Ken.

As Amazon pulls union-buster job ads, workers describe a 'Mad Max' atmosphere – unsafe, bullying, abusive


Re: There's a simple solution

Other similar companies are usually not philantropists either, but the way Amazon brings "productivity" and "efficiency" to extreme levels in such a brutally industrial fashion makes them clearly stand out, at least to me. Other retailers, as big as they can be, look like corner shops in comparison.

I don't know how life is in Alibaba/express' warehouses though, never bought much from/through them anyway.

I haven't been buying from Amazon in months, except for little gadgets you can't find anywhere else (cause nobody can compete with Amazon on some items anymore) when I'm desperate, it's not too hard to find alternatives, sometimes for the same price. But again I'm not an avid consumer and perhaps some people just can't live without "them".

In France you can usually find alternatives with the "big" players for books, electronics, PC parts, etc... as they try to align with Amazon's prices, I just hope it's sustainable for them in the long run...

To be fair, Amazon is fair game for critics because of their incredible success, but all the reports seem to confirm that they've crossed a line at some point with regard to employee "wellness". I don't believe Bezos would need to sleep in a cardboard box if the "rates" in warehouses went down a bit, to more humane levels.

China slams President Trump's TikTok banned-or-be-bought plan in the US


Re: Incorrect premise?

to stop China from doing asymmetrical business

To be fair China's never forced us (US/Europe) to off best-shore our entire production of goods (or services) there (or India, Vietnam, ...), it's not as if there was ever a deal like "OK guys, we're giving you large chunks of our manufacturing, but behave, let's play fair, right ?".

I've heard a not-too-PC joke the other day from an Asian stand-upper, it was like : "Rumor has it that we Chinese have a very small d|ck. That's true : we've been fcking you in the arse for some time and you didn't feel a thing".

IBM's sacking spree reaches Australia – and as staff wait to exit, they're offered AU$4k to find new workers


Re: What Would You Say You Do Here ?

If we're talking about the same Michael "You can just call me Mike" Bolton, then you beat me to it.

The "they can escape redundancy by explaining why their role should be preserved" thing immediately brought to mind the interviews with the Two Bobs.

"What would you say you do here ?"

Priceless, if this wasn't about actual people losing actual jobs...

I used to laugh while watching that movie years ago, and "sorry, your job has been sent to Bangalore" was more of a US thing.

Used to...

Cloudflare outage caused by techie pulling out the wrong cables


Re: Cables with labels on

Tell me about it....


What a nasty, nasty little test.

That's when I found out I would never be a fighter pilot. Turned to IT out of despair (and probably lack of any kind of other competence).

NASA's classic worm logo returns for first all-American trip to ISS in years: Are you a meatball or a squiggly fan?


Re: When


(I'm totally allowed to post this, I've bought the "Complete" books !)

I'm more of a "wormer" myself, but I'm almost a boomer and 70's stuff kind of hit a chord. That being said the meatball with the orbiting spermatozoon is also cool, "Jetsons' style".

PC owners borg into the most powerful computer the world has ever known – all in the search for coronavirus cure


Re: Public Service Donation

Missed that one, and the link is actually on this very site's frontpage (NextPlatform. I never click, it's usually serious stuff) :


Thumb Up

Re: Public Service Donation

A tad smaller than Google, but definitely doing something about that :


Mind you, with their "legacy" HPC and now the Cray people and resources, I believe they can do interesting things. Not to mention Aruba wireless deployments in makeshift "hospitals", etc...

Antonio Neri seems to be a rather decent fellow, especially compared to others CEOs. I guess the fact he's Italian only added to the incentive.

Publicity, genuine good will, whatever, anything goes to fight against this little biatch.


Re: My PC is *THIS* big!

Cassini was asking about Rosetta@Home (BOINC)


Re: My PC is *THIS* big!


A "Linux 32" ? Bah, I only run Linux 64-bits :)

I found team "Vulture Central XV", not sure how active it is but the name definitely rings a bell.


Re: When you say spare cycles...

OK, perhaps I was a bit lazy at first, now I understand how this goes a bit better. Most of you probably know what's below already but just in case...

Here (Win7, ancient Phenom II X6 + GTX1060) when set to "Medium" I have the CPU running at ~85% and the GPU at 100%. "On idle" unchecked.

Both running at ~60°C.

I understand there are options to throttle CPU usage so I'll be tinkering with that, but this is not possible for the GPU, it's all or nothing. GPUs don't have any of the fancy throttling mechanisms modern CPUs have.

My solution is to use the very nice utility from Gigabyte to underclock the GPU.

Still, with this I can compute a WU (GPU) in 3 or 4 hours so I will be generating one per day.

As a comparison while the GPU was on 1 WU + 30% of the next one, the CPU was still chugging at ~25% of its first WU.

Compared to BOINC I don't understand the notion of WU : BOINC uses one core per "task" for any given project, it's simple. Is a F@H WU a "task", meaning that it is balanced across all cores ? Or is it more complex than that ?

Other than that Rosetta@Home works fine, it allows for "fine throttling" of the CPU, but it cannot use the GPU.

Perhaps a good combination if you want to run this 24/7 without too much strain on the system would be Rosetta at, say, 70/80% of the CPU, and F@H with no CPU slot and an underclocked GPU ?


Corporate Crunching ?

Agree. What could be done is to ask officially your employer (major IT vendor here) to install whatever useful grid computing software on some big iron in demo rooms, test/PoC labs, currently idle or much less used because of the confinement.

It would be more symbolic than anything, but a nice symbol.


Re: When you say spare cycles...

Indeed. I've been running World Community Grid (BOINC-based) for years and its very lean GUI allows you for choosing the % of CPU you allow it to use.

The other day I've installed F@H (Win7) and I do think the GUI is not too clear and most of all the settings are a bit rough around the edges.

At first ("Light" setting) it wouldn't use my GPU (GTX1060) at all and very little CPU so I thought something was wrong with my (old) PC, but then I found this page(*) that explains it and switched to "Medium". The CPU went to almost 90% and the GPU to 100% with all fans blowing at full speed.

No, I didn't try "Full".

It's not that I don't want to contribute, but if my main rig gets fried I have a 10-years old Fortnite pro at home who's going to be very pissed.

May give a try with Rosetta@Home which uses BOINC. Still, the guys seem to have plenty of firepower already. Science is cool.

(*) https://foldingathome.org/faqs/fah-v7/v7-introduction/web-control/folding-power-slider/

Asterix co-creator Albert Uderzo dies aged 92


Re: O tempora, o mores!

As a native French I didn't get all the puns when I was a kid, not to mention when latin is involved. Asterix is very funny when you're young and only gets better as you grow old.

Recently one of my kids was reading Asterix in Britain (in English) for her... English classes. I haven't yet, but from what I could read elsewhere the English translations are indeed brilliant ("Dogmatix" or "Cacofonix" for instance, excellent).

If I have to re-read the whole collection in English, so be it, that is a sacrifice I'm willing to make.

I hope I'll get the puns.


Re: I have the whole collection

My kids are all grown-up, but I am not.

Citação do mês. Have a milk-shake.

Fed-up air safety bods ban A350 pilots from enjoying cockpit coffees


Re: Gobsmacked!

Is Tesla making airliners now ?

What a terrible result from this year's Super Bowl. Can you believe it? Awful. Yes, we're talking about the tech ads


Re: did not watch

Even worse, I avoided the sports page on my usual news sites, only to "catch" -or better said get caught by- the title about The Donald congratulating Kansas for the Chiefs' victory. "Trump, "congratulate","wrong state", and bam!

Still watched the replay (oh the joy of being able to fast forward through the dreadful half-time show) (although I must say Shakira...) (but I digress) and to be honest until 10" before the end I thought I'd read it wrong. Very entertaining game. Not as much as Le Crunch, but entertaining ;-)

And to be fair with the Agent Orange, I keep forgetting K.C. is NOT in Kansas...

No wonder Bezos wants to move industry into orbit: In space, no one can hear you* scream


Re: Accidents

Yes, I thought about that too, but it would be just accidents of a different nature.

I wouldn't like to be hit on the head by a 65" TV (curved or not) traveling at high velocity because an overly zealous colleague in the same warehouse alley wants to win the "fastest employee of the month" award.


Yay ! Let's use more resources !

“You want a dynamic civilization that continues to use more and more energy and more and more resources and build amazing things"

Sorry, no. Please call Greta for further details.

While I kind of admire this guy for his achievements as an entrepreneur and did my share of shopping on Amazon in the past, I really don't like what he's become. Looks more and more like Brain from "Pinky and the Brain".

No, no, it's my kids who watch that. Not me. I swear.

Close the windows, it's coming through the walls: Copper Cthulu invades Dabbsy's living room


Cut the yellow and green wire. Or the red and black. Ah, just pick one up...


I'd choose another electrician if I were you. The "NF C 15-100" French standard is a real pain in the back with all the restrictions and requirements it includes. Fortunately it only applies when you're building a new house, otherwise doing any renovation work would cost more than the house.

The standard does say that earth should be green&yellow, neutral sky blue, and live "any other colour".

Which, I admit, could still be a bit confusing for colour-blind people (such as, say, myself) if you choose a bright colour for live.

And this is since 1970. The fun starts when you buy a pre-1970 house where you may find :

earth : red OR black, neutral : grey OR white, live : yellow OR green

...provided whoever did the job at the time followed the rules.

I would know, I have an excellent electrician who is borderline autistic(*) when it comes to standards. Including how to wire live and neutral on a 3-prongs socket.

He's Portuguese.

(*) disclaimer : I'm NOT making fun of autism, and he's NOT autistic. He's a great guy. It's a figure of speech.

Bon sang! French hospital contracts 6,000 PC-locking ransomware infection



People believe all sorts of things ...

For tel est mon bon plaisir, my lord. No need to be patronizing, but to each his own.

Digitus in latin means finger, I think we agree at least on that.

The fact that you guys started using "digit" to designate a single numerical entity (sorry, couldn't find a satisfactory synonym other than... "digit") at some point for some obscure reason, apparently related to the fact one naturally counts on their fingers, doesn't make it more right in the Big Scheme of Etymology. To me.

I know I'm right. It's the rest of the humanity that's wrong. Self-confidence is everything. I'm sure you agree.



Definitely not, and be happy you're not French.

Here, whether you work in IT for a French or foreign company, you get bombed with corporate BS in frenglish (sure enough "tchallêndge" is much easier to say than "défi")

My pet peeve is precisely "Digital Transformation", and people here managed to make it more ridiculous, with the ominous "Transformation Digitale". French being a latin language, "digital" is more related to fingers rather than numbers, binary or computers.

But no, it's fancy and sooo much cooler than "Transformation Numérique". Which is ugly as well. We're doomed.

The funny thing is that I believe the usage of "digital" instead of "numerical" in English is wrong as well. So what am I doing here, exactly ??


Re: Where's..

Ha haaaa !!! At last I am recognized and one acknowledges zat my expirriânce and unlimited cleverness are needed.

Fear not, I'm on it.

But first tell me somessing : do they at least have a swimming-pühl at the CHU ?

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


Re: Famous truths...

We're veering off-topic, but Amazon definitely found the right triggers (besides having EVERYTHING available).

There was this documentary the other day about how Amazon is evil (to be fair it was a bit one-sided) (and I really dislike Amazon) showing a family unwrapping their latest purchase, and the missus doing some maths and saying "wow ! we've spent more than 1300€ in the last 3 months on Amazon ! Who knew !!".

And the husband (assembling his brand-new, "high-quality" workout bench), to the reporter, with a sorry/idiotic smile "Well, yeah, you know, it's the 24/48h delivery, you just feel compelled to buy, it's so easy, it's hard to resist...".

Say no more.

Back on topic, I've never owned anything Apple so I'm a bit flabbergasted at the fact that Apple makes you pay for anything during the warranty period. Isn't the purpose of the warranty having your device repaired at no cost (provided you didn't step on it, threw it out of a window, etc...) ??

I also don't get that "AppleCare covers you for one year". At least in the EU the legal warranty for consumer stuff is 2 years....

I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship


Re: A brilliant start of the week-end !

Indeed, and for once not too sarcastic/sardonic (except perhaps the nice "Brexit/torched infants" touch in the bootnotes).

Don't get me wrong, I always read this column eagerly looking for the odd ferocious and hilarious jab at some poor administration or urban habit, and this time I sense a whiff of melancholy and nostalgia. Perhaps it's Autumn coming ? A little mellow are we ?

Thanks for mentioning VLB cards, reminds me of my Orchid Fahrenheit graphics card from a looong time ago. My first PC I believe (386DX ?)

That guy from ArtJL seems a decent bloke. A bio-geek, he left his company as it grew from 3 to 150 people ("the more the company grows, the less the scientific passion") and found his way putting the motto "to know what you want to do you must know what you don't want to do" into practice.

I wish I was that brave. Sigh.

Oops, is this "Autumn" striking again ?

Telstra chairman: If those darn kids can earn $5m playing Fortnite, why can't execs?


Re: "that it's somehow morally wrong they get rewarded for it"

your actions per second are inevitably going to go down

"actions per second" ? Surely you meant "seconds per action" and "go up" ?

Right ?

Oh my oh my oh my (/goes back to playing Pac-Man. Slowly).....

Hey, I wrote this neat little program for you guys called the IMAC User Notification Tool


Deep Storage ?

I usually don't work in storage so I was truly shocked to learn that technical support will ask you to provide Perf Anal files if you are having issues with your 3PAR array.

It's even better in French where "perf" is (also) short for "perfusion".

I reckon the term was coined by a non-native-english-speaker dev.

Or a very bold one. Or both.

Linky revisited: How the evil French smart meter escaped Hell to taunt me


Re: EDF Technician?!?

Was most likely neither : EDF is now just one supplier among others (for gas and water as well, go figure, they could at least have changed names), and ENEDIS is not sending their own certified guys, they use third-party companies.

My meter for instance was installed by a nice and apparently savvy guy from "OK Service", which seems to be an outfit you can call for "small" electricity or plumbing stuff, assembling an IKEA shelf, etc...

To be fair the installation went well, but when I read the first letter scheduling the installation and saw the name of the partner I thought "could as well be someone from Domino's with a couple hours training".

Oh how I sometimes miss the days from our Glorious Socialist Public Service, when most of our commodity suppliers (one for each commodity) had "France" in the name...

What ? What exactly was wrong with the Minitel ?? Cutting edge, mate !

/goes downstairs to sing a muffled and tearful Marseillaise in front of his certified-not-to-blow-up Linky


Re: Guest column

I'll be happy to oblige, for a reasonable (integer) number of Bitcoins, but quick please before BTC is worth the same as the Venezuelan Bolivar.

I need that, as the Bitcoin-mining farm I'm running on my rooted Linky is not as effective as planned. Might have something to do with it running a Cortex M3 SoC at 72MHz.

Why worry about cost of banning certain Chinese comms providers? Fire Huawei, says analyst


Re: I'm getting tired of this bullshit

"Basically a one-person business"

That's harsh, from the link you provide we can see that it's actually a "2-4 employees" company ;-)

5G apart (and I'm still not sure about the usefulness of this) I do hope Trumpy gets off Huawei's back some day. Or gets impeached. Just bought a (very nice) Huawei tablet to one of the kids and if at some point she doesn't have access to the Play Store anymore I'll get into serious trouble.

I know, alternate stores, sideloading APKs and all, but that was not the general idea when buying an Android tablet.

You've got (Ginni's) mail! Judge orders IBM to cough up CEO, execs' internal memos in age-discrim legal battle


Re: The irony is if they were firing based on age discrimination.

"I try to be THE most productive employee on site"

What makes you think that wasn't the case with Mr Langley ? Or that he had no PRIDE ?

(but perhaps this was a tongue-in-cheek, "devil's advocate" post and I fell for it ?)

The Central Telegraph Office was serving spam 67 years before vikings sang about it on telly


Re: A great read


I am just reading Erik Larson's "Thunderstruck", a crime novel with bits of historic facts, and one important part is about Marconi's "invention".

I'm using quotes because I didn't know how little he knew about physics (and next to nothing about maths), his success was mostly due to very good instincts, hard work, perseverance, and luck.

And connections : I also didn't know his mum was a Jameson (whiskey), which explains why he came to London instead of a civilized place like, say, Paris, and was quickly introduced to the right people, like W. Preece

The CTO has obviously an important part in the story.

I'm finishing the part where he and Preece fall out, because of, you know, Big Money. Quite sad, as Preece appears to have been the prototype of the Honest Engineer, more interested in finding Useful Stuff and bringing progress to humanity- or at least to the UK telecoms.

There is also an interesting bit about the clash between the "experimenters" like Marconi and Preece and the "theorists" or "Maxwellians" such as Lodge.

All in all a funny read even if Larson digresses quite a lot, by his own admission.

Hertz, Faraday, Marconi, Branly,... Great times.

Imagine if Facebook could read your mind: Er, I have some bad news for you...


Ze Linky

After years of just lurking I've decided to register (ah!) so I can add some more Gallic perspective. Hi everybody. I'm French and think Brexit is the worst idea since Napoléon tried to invade Russia. So there.

Awesome site and very entertaining forums. Beers all around, a Friday special to Monsieur Dabbs.

The "someone needs to come and check the numbers" thing is not the normal situation, the main reason why Linky is being installed being precisely to allow for remote checks, as it can be polled by your supplier over BPL (which I guess it's the case for most/all smartmeters in other countries).

The fact Linky uses BPL is also the main reason why you have people complaining and thinking it can cause health issues. Not so much the "local" EM radiation, as measures showed that it doesn't emit more than your average Internet box, but more the fact that being a cheap box the communications are sent over BPL both ways : to the outside but also onto your local circuitry.

I've had the Linky installed almost a year ago and nobody is complaining at home. And I now have bi-monthly "actual" bills, instead of the rough estimates from before with one yearly reading. So I'm sure remote polling works.

But I do have a friend whom I consider as a rather serious and educated guy who had to install a low-pass filter between the Linky and his circuits because his wife couldn't sleep anymore. He did make some blind-testing and it seemed conclusive. The possible suspect is the "antenna" effect by the house circuits, increased perhaps by the additional "dirt" emitted by Linky.

Now ENEDIS (the electricity "suppliers' supplier" in France, owns the Linky) says that it only emits (or rather, is polled by the supplier) in short bursts over a day, so no continuous emission...

I don't have a strong opinion on this, again my family is not impacted, and I didn't understand most of my physics classes at school anyway.

Which is probably one of the reasons I ended up in IT.

There are other "fun facts" about the Linky here, like for instance the belief that the small LED on the front panel is actually a camera. Or that it can detect which appliance(s) you are using just by analyzing the signal, etc...

Some people are selling "cages" so you can prevent the installer from opening the cabinet (if not inside your house obviously) and replace the meter without telling you (which happens sometimes, and doesn't add any love towards Linky).

There is however a serious concern regarding Linky, even if not specific to the device : it happened a couple of times that the installer (often a young guy barely trained freshly hired by the ENEDIS "partner", eager to install as many meters as possible) didn't tighten the "mains" cable clamps properly (either too much or not enough), causing arcs and in some cases fire.

I was watching VERY carefully when the guy installed mine, but he did use the ENEDIS-approved torque screwdriver.

There is this nice ANFR site for technical questions, alas only the titles were translated :


Disclaimer : I have NO vested interest in Linky installations.

Now, folks, where can I find how to add bold/italic/etc... and hyperlinks in comments ?


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