* Posts by renke

41 publicly visible posts • joined 22 May 2020

'IwlIj jachjaj! Incoming LibreOffice 7.3 to support Klingon and Interslavic


Re: Fourth gender

Isn't the masculine gender divided in animate and inanimate?

Full disclosure: I could be totally wrong. I struggle enough with my first language :)

T-Systems and Google Cloud building 'sovereign cloud services' for Germany


already dead

Google will cancel the product before T-Systems starts to implement it, looking at the modus operandi of the two companies :)

Amazon warehouse workers are seriously injured more frequently than those at similar companies – unions


Re: Figures......

I got curious and invested some minutes of my employer's time*. For Germany I found a report for the trade sector: Branchenreport Handel. Pages 149 and 150 list workplace accidents for the sub sector and different job profiles in 2014.

Warehouse workers (Lagerarbeiter) have the highest number: 5.1 reportable accidents per 1000 full-time positions. They quote the BGHW, one of the providers of the German statutory accident insurance. And accidents are more or less everything. If I fall asleep while working and have a QWERTZ imprint on my forehead my employer should notify the insurance (and likely will. it's a handy one-stop shop for both companies and injured employees and prevents civil action).

One order of magnitude difference. And not only serious injuries. Quite shocking.

*) please don't rat me out

Space is hard: Rocket Lab's 20th Electron launch fails


Re: FAA?

I didn't know this. Thanks!



"Working closely with the Federal Aviation Administration" is unexpected, a company from New Zealand crashing a rocket launched in New Zealand investigates the case with an US agency?

Maybe there's more to it and the CAA (or whoever is responsible for rockets in NZ) asked the US counterpart to throw in it's experience, but without context Rocket Lab's statement sounds strange.

China sprayed space with 3,000 pieces of junk. US military officials want rules to stop that sort of thing


Re: Er, no

> But just about none of that is in any orbit around Earth.

All the upper stages of the Ariane 5 are out there, with orbit times measured in decades - similar problem to the Chinese rocket: The thing wasn't designed with deorbit capabilities in mind.

This paper describes the current state of the issue and ways to mitigate it.

NASA ups price of a private stay aboard the ISS to reflect true expense of keeping tourists alive in space


Only $22,500 per day*

*) oxygen not included

Ryanair IN SPACE! (*shudder*).

The base price for supporting an astronaut up there is astonishing, but worth every cent, for the Cupola videos/images alone.

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


> why they need to set an advertising machine to 11?

surely a Facebook campaign ("move fast and break things").

My personal BIOS/POST error favourite is still "keyboard not found, press any key to continue". Good old times...

NHS awards £23m two-year deal to controversial Peter Thiel AI firm Palantir


Re: More evidence that UK will pull out of GDPR

I'd guess Safe Harbour and Privacy Shield, both killed by the ECJ. Currently the EU and US try to define a new agreement to streamline the data exchange (actually mostly the processing of EU data in the USA, the other way round is probably not the typical use case).


Re: More evidence that UK will pull out of GDPR

I strongly suspect that the EU doesn't care - Palantir is a day 1 member of Gaia-X.

US Department of Homeland Security warns American business not to use Chinese tech or let data behind the Great Firewall


But one has to admit that "CLOUD Act" is a better name than "2017 National Intelligence Law" :)

Cybersecurity giant FireEye says it was hacked by govt-backed spies who stole its crown-jewels hacking tools


Re: Seems like a mture and well-planned response to me.

> The open disclosure and public release of countermeasures speaks to a mature, planned response.

not wrong - but I think it's funny and a little bit dishonest that the blog post follows the shit sandwich structure


FireEye is on the front lines defending companies and critical infrastructure globally from cyber threats.

[higly embarrassing stuff]

We’re confident in the efficacy of our products and the processes we use to refine them.


Life after proprietary wares: German support biz flees IBM Db2 databases for something more Postgres-shaped


Re: 1,500 operational databases supporting 8,500 IT users?

full disclosure: that's a guess. but I do IT in the German healthcare sector for some time and have a grasp of the methods (I hope...)

Phoenics runs the software for some of the players under the umbrella of the Accident Insurance - those are organised by branches (one so called 'Berufsgenossenschaft' per industrial sector) and regions (often one org per sector per state). One database per insurer is likely the minimum (easiest way to safe guard the privacy rules around patients' data) and I assume they open a new database per year or even quarter -> The number of DBs will explode rather fast.

There ain't no problem that can't be solved with the help of American horsepower – even yanking on a coax cable


Re: Closest I've had to that ....

> the cable run was clearly marked on the plans

unmarked cables can be fun, too. a colleague of mine was in his former life (late 80s, early 90s) a civil engineer and his crew cut a totally unexpected cable in the building pit.

some minutes later the whole area was flooded by patrol cars (both German police and US MP ones) - they "found" a secret NATO communication line.

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


Re: Not as green as 25kv overhead

> Quietness is NOT a virtue when discussing thousands of tons of steel and plastic moving at significant speeds.

The thing is still a train... The fuel cell variant is comparable to an electrical unit of similar size, not as quiet as, say, a cat hunting mice.


Re: Not as green as 25kv overhead

I am not sure if storage and transport is really unsolved, the European pipeline network for natural gas is already in place. While hydrogen molecules are smaller than methane the loss shouldn't be too bad.

Don't quote me on the exact figures but something like 5 % hydrogen is already completely fine in natural gas and the current actual amount is more like 2 %. Why not topping it up with otherwise wasted energy from wind mills? Many mills have to be stopped quite often because the electricity is not consumed, why not use the excess energy for electrolysis?


Re: Not as green as 25kv overhead

It would be certainly better to install more overhead lines but they are not cost effective on sparsely used branch lines: Those are typically only feasible with diesel trains. While the hydrogen cycle is far from perfect (still mostly sourced from natural gas iirc) fuel-cell powered trains can be theoretically operated more green.

A few hydrogen-powered LINTs are used in northern Germany* and the most noticeable and positive experience using them was the silence. The same type of train with diesel engines is so fucking loud compared to the fuel-cell version.

*) not my part of the country, no idea if they have now more than the couple of test trains

Square Kilometre Array signs off on construction plans – UK last holdout before building phase begins


Or the RATAN-600, as largest individual telescope (though not a filled dish, unlike FAST and Arecibo).


Re: Units?

What about a Lenna (768 kB)? If I'm not totally off this should be 169 TeraLenna for SKA's yearly output.

Help! My printer won't print no matter how much I shout at it!


Re: rather than slap the user around the head with an empty paper packet

> Printers are evil.

Thanks for that - I am not alone with this feeling. Printers hate me and I hate printers, no love lost between us (with maaaaybe one exception, already mentioned in the thread: The old Laserjets, like III and 4, were built to last).

Won't duke, duke, duke the URLs: AWS backtracks on plans to block old-style S3 paths


Cool URIs don't change

> Ending path-style support for existing buckets is more serious, because it breaks URLs for existing files

Amazon should take a look at this 1998 article. Written by some guy called Tim Berners-Lee. Is he still known in the web biz?

[snarking aside, Amazon's decision has also implications on privacy and censorship. It is quite easy to block access to e.g. unwantedpoliticalopinion.s3.amazonaws.com. But dropping all traffic to s3.amazonaws.com? The back lash will be rather huge.]

Contractor convicted of pinching supercomputer cycles to mine cryptocurrency


The metaphor breaks horribly, but what the guy did was more like "filing the corners off your 50 pence piece to make him a 10 pence coin".

You won't need .NET Standard... except when you do need it: Microsoft sets out latest in ever-changing story


web browsers are almost OSes

The "feels like an OS" is an unending rabbit hole, MS needs to be careful or target platforms like OperatingSystem.IsEmacs and OperatingSystem.IsSystemd need to be supported.

What a time for a TITSUP*: Santander down and out on pre-Bank Holiday payday


make up your mind

"some customers are currently experiencing difficulties"


"we are experiencing extremely high volumes of calls"

It is totally possible that a smallish percentage of customers can flood the help desk - but the way they worded it is stupid.

I very much dislike those weasel words. Is it so hard to be a little bit more honest and direct in public statements?

Apple hits back at Epic, says Fortnite crew wants a 'free ride' on fees: Let the app store death match commence


> Apple denying they have a monopoly is a bit disingenious.

case in point: this story. Verge's subtitle "This sounds ridiculous" is spot on...

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


Re: Actually...

The testing page is not *completely* honest about the 100 % coverage, though.


The maximum size of a database file is [..] 281 terabytes. This particular upper bound is untested since the developers do not have access to hardware capable of reaching this limit.


Every few years I stumble over the sqlite homepage and find nerdy nuggets like this one every visit.

NCC Group admits its training data was leaked online after folders full of CREST pentest certification exam notes posted to GitHub


Re: On trusting trust

Bonus points for pwning the host?

Depending on the scope of the course and exam this may be a valid solution (but harder to grade, counting multiple choice answers is probably a more fair assessment).

Publishers signed up to Apple's premium News may be less than 'appy to discover the iGiant snatching readers


Re: Walls

> If you want the garden you have to accept the walls.

Nah. I think Apple (and all the other big inet companies for that matter) are more into Hahas (or even Hohos). It only gives the impression of openness.

British Army does not Excel at spreadsheets: Soldiers' newly announced promotions are revoked after sorting snafu


Re: Training

> Totally not the program's fault, right?

I am honestly not sure. Personally, I hate all the rather intransparent auto-conversion stuff (and stumble over it all the time) but can see the advantages of it.

Maybe some option like "highlight all automagically converted thingies" would be helpful. _I_ would love and use such a button, especially as I rarely need word/writer/calc/excel/whatever.


Re: Training

Not enough, though this is a global issue. Like the renaming of genes like SEPT1 and MARCH1 because not enough scientists noticed the automagic conversion to dates.

I don't want to link the paywalled Nature article, but this 2016 paper is funny enough.


The problem of Excel software (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA) inadvertently converting gene symbols to dates and floating-point numbers was originally described in 2004 [1]. For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to ‘2-Sep’ and ‘1-Mar’, respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession ‘2310009E13’ to ‘2.31E+13’).


Is that croaky voicemail of your CEO just a Fakey McFake Fake – or does he normally ask you to wire him $1m?


Re: a "software-generated voicemail message"

> Mazeltov cocktails

Sounds like a more fun and/or anarchistic variant of the wedding tradition of breaking a glass.

NASA trusted 'traditional' Boeing to program its Starliner without close supervision... It failed to dock due to bugs


> Boeing suffered from overconfidence

I'm curious if the Starliner project was (one of) the first projects without close supervision by NASA boffins. I wouldn't surprise me a lot if the NASA staff was always a kind of outsourced QA dept for Boeing's space stuff.

Cereal Killer Cafe enters hipster heaven, heads online: Coronavirus blamed for shutters being pulled down


Re: released a cookbook, …

> rum for breakfast makes you a pirate, not an alcoholic

I will so steal this line. Thanks for the smile!

Born slippy: NASA Mars rover Perseverance to persevere on Earth a little longer as launch date pushed back again



Total Inability To Secure Uplift Propulsion

(doing el regs work here. who is this f*ck-up fairy gal anyway?)

Fintech biz Wirecard folds into insolvency like two pair against a flush. Good luck accessing your chip stack


Re: Map view

The address is fitting. In the Einsteinring (everything is relative, even €1.9bn) next to the Adam-Riese-Weg (16th century author of [creative] mathematics books)

US starts sniffing around UK spaceports – though none capable of vertical launches actually exist right now


Re: Why here?

> In those cases having many days of good weather is more important than distance from the equator.

we're still talking about a UK location here?

it's back to 'look at us, we are so cool we even have a spaceport' : )

CERN puts two new atom-smashers on its shopping list. One to make Higgs Bosons, then a next-gen model six times more energetic than the LHC


name suggestion

When the LHC was introduced an astonishing amount of news reports talked about the Large Hardon Collider. Someone collected examples on the now - unfortunately - defunct site largehardoncollider.com. Not the worst name for a friggin huge apparatus with plasma wakefields and everything.

Faxing hell: The cops say they would very much like us to stop calling them all the time


Re: Fax will never die!

Four fax servers in three different locations, with a PRI each. Low 5-digit count of daily faxes. Use case: Transmitting diagnostic findings to customers (mostly smallish doctor's practices).

I will not comment on the state of our healthcare system...

Rackspace changes name to – drum-roll please – ‘Rackspace Technology’


Re: Friends With Benefits

> paid a small fortune to add one word to their Co

or a new logo. decades ago my dad worked for a company running a new&better campaign, including a reworked "more modern" logo. iirc it took a year and costed a gazillion in designer fees.

the result was very similar to this not-very-far-from-the-truth ascii representation. the boring and old-fashioned logo |BYK| was changed to *drumroll* ▉BYK|||| (hope I got the numbers of bars right. they had a meaning, you know!)

Germany to fund development of edge CPUs as part of 'tech you can trust' plan to home-brew more kit


Re: Cisco is just as untrustworthy as Huawei

it's an interesting risk assessment. do I want to be monitored by my own government (the homegrown option, maybe Siemens[0] will use the funding to become a telco player again) or another state actor (be it Huawei/China or Cisco/USA)?

[0] cf. Crypto AG, Operation Rubikon

Hooray! It's IT Day! Let's hear it for the lukewarm mugs of dirty water that everyone seems to like so much


Re: I'm with you

> If I doesn't leave the cup the same colour as bitumen then it's not trying hard enough.

In one of the Lucky Luke volumes (Barbed Wire?) the coffee recipe is something like


Put a pound of moistened coffee in a pot and boil for an hour. Throw in a horse shoe. If it doesn't float add more coffee.


Many years ago a fellow student asked me to make a 'strong coffee'. His one and only topic thereafter was "did not sleep for weeks", "my heart felt ready to burst" and similar exaggerations. Good riddance. We WERE in a CS degree programme...