* Posts by Lon24

340 publicly visible posts • joined 3 Jul 2020


French cloud operator OVHcloud gets datacenter funds from EU lending arm

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Speaking of the EU

You can probably add another couple of 9s to that. GDPR is a pain but two different GDPRs are even worse.

Elon Musk to abused Twitter users: Your tormentors are coming back

Lon24 Silver badge

I've been thinking that. I ran a forum and, boy, does controversey boost the readership. Yes it's s**t and decent folks will complain loudly - as they should. But the figures do appear to confirm what I suspect. Maybe a million have moved away to other platforms. 200 million haven't. There is a lot of nose-holding.

Choosing between using a tainted platform and losing thousands or even millions of followers, a significant part of your online brand is a hard choice. A few have done it. Most haven't.

Plus the specialist groups who use Twitter for other professional purposes. Or just to engage with the family or friend circle. Moving to another platform loses 99% of that until others follow. Inertia is, perhaps, the most powerful force in the universe.

As to ad revenue. This may depend on how smart Twitter can slice the market. I mean there is great opportunity for Smith & Weston to promote their product to folks who brazenly want to use them. Whilst Andrex ads will only be seen by cuddly people who post puppy pictures. This done advertisers will need a strong sense of ethics to not put their money where it will give the best return.

I hope I'm wrong, but I worry I am not.

Google and Microsoft add more renewable energy for datacenters

Lon24 Silver badge

Power grab?

Can someone explain why I can't buy (even as a Ecotricity customer) low cost renewable energy and have to pay the grid rate - determined by the gas price - whereas 'rich' Google can contract direct and deprive the consumer market of this 100MW of windpower. Does this require replacing it with even more scarce gas further inflating prices?

Maybe I got it wrong and someone can better explain the mystic way our leccy is priced. Plus does Google get cheap power to sling servers ads whilst our poorer people are looking to go without?

Too soon? Amazon commissions FTX mini-series

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Easier to write the scripts

Only if you ain't paid in crypto.

Massive energy storage system goes online in UK

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: spot price of electricity

Yes, it has the potential to the owners of almost guaranteed 'buy low, sell high' income. However, some media see this project as 'smoothing the grid'. Massive as this is with fields of shipping container batteries - it can only take the output of about 15 Dogger Bank turbines out of 400 going full belt at 6Mw each for two hours.

That's just one phase of four for Dogger Bank. A lot of scaling and farmland is going to be needed to make a dent in the ~ 40GWh demand at peak times methinks.

Japanese cubesat sends home pics from the far side of the Moon

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Bad Bento Box

Boeing can do you a nice lunar lander for only $200,000 (1940 prices). Just add pressurisation ;-)

NSFW: Sunday Sport frontpage

HP Inc to lay off up to 6,000 staff, cut costs by $1.4 billion

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: RE: whole system is made to benefit a few

A 10% profit margin is OK but most of that comes from printers and it don't soak up the R&D and support of computers. A bean counter might suggest - ditch computers and become a printer company.

Except the future there is not bright. The cost of toners/ink/paper is probably more than storing electronically. Plus doing that makes it more shareable and findable. At the domestic level people aren't even printing out event tickets anymore. Just flash the QR on your phone.

Hence my printer is printing less and less. To be fair HP do make good'uns, possibly too good. I''ve only had two laser ptinters in 20 odd years: the great HP4L and the current LaserJetPro 200 color - except it prints only in black'n'white because a set of colour cartridges is more than I paid for the device.

So what future? computes are cut throat and innovation is in the chips and software. Putting them together faster/cheaper is hard. It's not a place you want to end up if you are not in China. A job at HP (if you can get one) isn't the attraction it used to be.

Maybe benefit stockholders short term but HP is still a sell in the long term in my book.

World's richest man posts memes as $44b Twitter acquisition veers off course

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Catch-22


Security firms hijack New York trees to monitor private workforce

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Tree torture

These devices contain batteries - type undefined. Most have a shelf life and exposed to the elements will eventually leak. Not always to the taste of the tree methinks.

Twitter refugees seek asylum in an unusual place: The Matt Hancock app

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Gina Coladangelo

No, I think he would have to pay me rather more to fall into his arms. I believe £400,000 is the going rate in Australia ....

Tesla reports two more fatal Autopilot accidents to the NHTSA

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: I still don't understand how they get away with this!

You have a point but most of us only see the word 'autopilot'. Some of us remember the first (I think) Trident landing in fog on autopilot and the knowledge today that most airline aircraft fly and land on autopilot - with pilots only sometimes landing manually to keep their hand in. Because I understand that even the finest avionic autopilot with over 50 years of development can't cope with everything and will hand back control to the pilot. As professionals they are expected to be on the ball and already well aware of the situation where human control might be able to cope with the unexpected better than a box designed to cope with the expected.

Even then some have failed spectaculary. The problem is we, as drivers, do not approach driving with the same level of professionlism and dedication. Released from the chores of routine driving the handover would probably occur when the driver's spatial awareness had become too relaxed to quickly realise and take emergency action in a second or so or detect that 'autopilot' was screwing up.

Having said that - just programming 'autopilot' to drive within speed limits and other traffic laws could have a significant potential to reduce KSIs. The answer lies in the stats yet to come.

tsoHost pulls plug on Gridhost service with just 45 days' notice

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Usual thing

I feel your pain. I've been hosting with a long succession of companies for over 25 years. Each starts brilliant and then the owner sells out based on their success to a bean counter company that either reduces the service or ups the price - or both!

It's been a steady 4/5 year cycle. I graduated from buying web hosting to control panel hosting to VPS or bare metal servers - and would recommend that route if you have the technical nous. This gives you full control of your environment leading to ease of further migration at lower cost. OK, the screwups are almost entirely due to you but then you can fix them without need of a hoster's helpline wait/promise/disappoinment.

In fact on my personal threat list - my current provider being taken over by the HostEurope/GoDaddy type possibly rates right alongside being hacked.

Twitter is suffering from mad bro disease. Open thinking can build it back better

Lon24 Silver badge

Oh, yes - each organisation having its own 'site' with a 'comment section'- connected together by 'links' and some sort of 'search engine'. I must patent that!

A sad thing is my main use of Twitter is just following some organisations who publish their breaking news on Twitter and not on their website with a RSS feed I can monitor. Maybe now they will now start to re-think and make info available cross platform. It's not difficult to automate.

However, no special interest group is going to migrate to Mastodon until all its members do. Chicken & egg. That isn't going to happen much while Twitter staggers on. The cultists seem to forget that going there for a left/right bashing is still a minority sport even if the toxic debris dominates your timeline. Convenience rules. People will moan about the abuse but my feeling is most will tolerate it rather than take a leap.

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: If I were Jeff Bezos,...

The migration of a few hundred thousand from Twitter has already created shockwaves to Mastodon. Admins of the larger servers/instances have, mostly, had to close new registrations and rapidly upgrade their hardware from their own pockets. New instances will come into play (we booted our first last night) but the shortage of admin/moderator expertise will be the constraint for the foreseeable future.

If Twitter just fades so there is steady attrition then Mastodon, although never taking the place of Twitter, can grow to be an alternative platform. If Twitter did collapse then it just couldn't cope with or without Jeff Bezoz.

I don't share the article's certainty that Twitter will fail shortly. Elon realised $4bn last week so can keep it afloat for some time if he can hang onto half the advertisers (and roughly half of the US would want to support a right of centre Twiiter that has magnitudes of greater social impact than Truth Social, Parler & Gab combined.

Twitter CISO flies the coop

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Mastodon

Some things work when it comes to non-toxic conversation. ATM it isn't working on Twitter and it is working on Mastodon - at least when viewed from two of the major servers where I have my personal and business accounts. Acceptable behaviour is about shared social norms rather than rules. A real fear is that Twittermigration will bring toxicity with it.

Time will tell if that happens and if the federated server concept can channel and isolate it. A more pressing threat is servers being overwhelmed. Many of the majors have suspended new registrations which may make it harder to find a friendly server.

The non-intuitive sign-up process is perhaps helping to stem the exodus until Mastodon is in better shape to cope. It certainly could not cope with the total and sudden collapse of Twitter if it went bust. Some people need to be careful of what they wish for.

Lon24 Silver badge

Boeing, Boeing ... gone

The departure of the three compliance chiefs means now engineers will have to self-certify their work to the FTC.

Explaining that you are an engineer and not a lawyer/compliance officer so you not sure what the ramifications are of an untested adhoc change to Elon might not be career enhancing. We all remember how self-certification worked under pressured management with the 737 Max. The fact that only egos will be killed if it crashes is of little comfort to those holding the debt.

Elon skating on [very thin] ice is the meme in my head.

China's first domestic single-aisle jet, the C919, scores 300 orders

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Historically

Yep, I remember the killer feature of cheap Japanese cars and motorcycles is they didn't need an oil drip tray in the garage. You know, bringing precision manufacturing to the masses.

The problem is countries that are behind have an imperative to learn fast. And when they have caught up - they have the momentum to go-ahead leaving complacent competitors in the dust.

Boeing, Douglas and Lockheed owned the american airline industry's order book while europe had a fragmented and mostly unsuccessful aircraft manufacturing industry. Then europe decided to get together with some government assistance and catch-up. Now Boeing alone has to share the US and worldwide markets with Airbus and having to play catch-up themselves.

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Historically

This AFAIK likely to be China's first mass production commercial aircraft. It is an extremely conservative design because expertise and experience is limited. The Chinese are probably using the C919 to build that expertise and experience for the next generation of aircraft. Plus building up the associated manufacturing infrastructure so they can become more Chinese.

Microsoft taught Excel users that versions 1 & 2 can be a bit iffy but version 3 cracked it.

So it's the C939 that may start to worry Airbus & Boeing.

I'm happy paying Twitter eight bucks a month because price isn't the same as value

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Thanks & kudos

I guess you missed what Trump did while he was there had consequential effects not only with Twitter users, but deepen divisions, disinformation and hate in the USA and worldwide?

The reason why many of the left want him kept out and the right want him back.

Musk sells $3.95 billion in Tesla shares, paid eleven times more for Twitter

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: "It no longer publishes monthly data on the number of active users it has"

Well I can believe an upsurge in activity last week. Bad news is always good news for social media and Elon is delivering in turds.

I and, I suspect, many others will have re-visited after a long absence to request an archive and add our Mastodon handles. An opportunity to taste how corrupted our timelines have become squeezed, as they are, between ads.

Indeed driving ads away might be Elon's real achievement in improving the UX. Let's hope he doesn't utterly destroy Twitter too quickly. A couple of hundred thousand refugees overwhelmed some of the major Mastodon servers - now slowly recovering. The sudden influx of a couple of million refugees would destroy them. Fast scaling is a real issue. Gradual attrition over time may be the best outcome for all but one.

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs

Lon24 Silver badge

"I have to think the arbitrary hardware requirements are a not-insignificant factor."

My only Win11 (a dual boot) is running on unsupported hardware (a 9 year old Thinkpad). Just because it can. I am not alone so it must be less than !:6 for supported hardware!

Way to go MS ...

Big brands urged to pause Twitter ads until Elon's learned how this all works

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: The Emperor has no clothes

This just might make it more usable!

Russia says Starlink satellites could become military targets

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: History tells us yes, those are legitimate targets.

I hope the current detection systems can tell the difference from a single and multiple missile attack. Those analysts who think Putin might do it also assume it will be an edge weapon, just a bit nuclear, delivered in a non-ICBM vehicle and possibly false-flagged ('cos the point is the Ruskies want to win or, at least, not lose. You can't do that by triggering a MAD response and hence not survive).

The objective is to both have a strategic hit and more importantly cause confusion and division by Ukraine and its allies. It's obvious that the US is clearly signalling a non-nuclear but escalatory response. Which is difficult when you can't say what it is and the Ruskies may believe its a bluff anyway.

Zoom to mandate client updates every ninety days, starting Nov 1

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Insanity prevails?

At least they could provide an optional Linux repository which would sort the regular updating issue independently of actual use.

I do have Zoom installed on 'backup' devices just in case my preferred device is unavailable or having a hiccup when something urgent comes up. Hence the backups will now, likely, be unavailable when they are most needed 'cos they haven't been used in months. So, thanks Zoom, for screwing the feature that brought you from nowhere to market leader during the pandemic - namely just worked anywhere on almost anything with no fiddling!

UK awards Fujitsu $60m contract amid calls to suspend it from government work

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: The exec of Fujitsu and the PO should be in jail

Sadly success today means the better salesperson rather than coder secures the business. But wasn't the true horror of this shambles due to the PO directing its fire on its own innocent people rather than the errant supplier?

Elon Musk jettisons Twitter leadership, says takeover was 'to try to help humanity'

Lon24 Silver badge


Welcome to the new Xchan. The Q is ...

Why I love my Chromebook: Reason 1, it's a Linux desktop

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Here's why I hate Chromebooks

Nope, it's a reason not to buy that particular Chromebook. First it was presumably thirsty to need to be plugged in whilst working. Connected by a psu that's not up to the job. I can forgive a psu being blown by a Texan surge - but passing it on up to the Chromebook?

Something not right there especially as it was supposed to be a premium model. Or had just the psu failed and buying a new laptop just to get a new psu?

If only everything ran off a standard USB-C supply and your local phoney shop let you check and recharge and/or flog you a replacement psu. Will we get there some day?

Lon24 Silver badge

The problem IME is most Chromebooks don't have an open BIOS so you can install the desired distro of your choice - either because ChromeOS support ended or you need more than a browser - 'cos depending on the cloud may be less reliable than the Texas leccy supply.

Yes I've Choorooted linux distros on top which is a workaround but not a proper and reliable one.

Frankly taking those discarded 4 year old business Windows boxes/laptops and putting Linux on gives me a faster, more ram & ssd space for less money with an EOL of probably more than a decade if the keyboard can take it. And Thinkpad keyboards and hinges are a pretty good bet. Plus you can replace bits from ebay if they don't.

We really need, for so many reasons including the reirement of Moore's Law, need to get beyond the 5/6 year old chuck it in the bin mentality.

Google reveals Pixel 7 phones with 1.7 Stadias of security fixes promised

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Support lifecycle still not up to Apple's standards

"Still, a bit more than 5 years of support would have been nice."

Oh, if only Google insisted its Android licensees gave 5 years of support I wouldn't have to suffer so much iPhone users' smugness boasting about upgrading to yet another new IOS version. It's worse than having to concede Amazon CS is why so many of us pass money to a company we shouldn't.

Lloyd's of London cuts off network after dodgy activity detected

Lon24 Silver badge

Which implies it's not just the perpetrators who are making money out of non-state ransomware attacks. Just a fresh new stream of properly managed premium profits for Lloyds and thereby incentivising more attacks as the targets who are assured to pay up.

I can understand that it's not good optics for Lloyds being seen to be profiting directly from Russian & North Korean state actors. Making all ransomware insurance illegal may have been a better way.

People are coming out of retirement due to cost-of-living crisis

Lon24 Silver badge

Wow, the call has come for a couple of old-timers!

Hey it's not only Charlie who gets a new job at 73. I have been selected for a new post by 'Michael Page UK & Ireland'. It must be a pretty exciting international job 'cos the email was posted from a hotspot in Libya and all I have to do is click on this site in Chile. What could possibly go wro....

He's only gone and done it. Ex-Register vulture elected to board of .uk registry

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Congratulations

That sort of Krystalises opinion around here. Have one or two yourself ;-)

Brexit dividend? 'Newly independent' UK will be world's 'data hub', claims digital minister

Lon24 Silver badge

You take as fact speculation on who may/may not leave. But you didn't add Norway and Switzerland which are effectively part of the same trading block. In IT terms europe is 'local' if measured in latency speeds, time zones, trading law, standards or the ability to visit and support clients.

The same can't be said of the Americas or Australasia. Not a problem, maybe, for London based mulinationals but isn't the growth supposed to come from SMEs - particulary from outside London?

Businesses are programmed to surmount political and trade barriers which we have done for decades. It's a real disappointment to give up and move into managed decline.

I really hope you are right and we are replaced by successful trading companies who can benefit from Brexit. The real question is it real evidenced hope or just blind hope? I'm waiting until 2030 to look back to see who is right.

Lon24 Silver badge

As a UK business we are screwed both ways. EU businesses can't deal with us if we are outside GDPR. And UK businesses are reluctant to deal with us because, for greater reliability, their data may be backed up on EU based servers which aren't governed by whatever replacement regulations are put in place.

Some of the fears may not be fully justified but businesses like to play safe - and our sales have taken the hit. But bully for those businesses benefiting from Brexit but there is no upside for us..

We've looked very hard.

Wind, solar fulfill 10% of global electricity demand for first time

Lon24 Silver badge

"And they are *increasing* it by ~100 new power stations per month."

Are you sure? In 2021 they were building 90 gigawatts of coal powered plant. In typical UK terms (2GW per station) that's 45. If it took only a year to build that's ~ 4 per month and probably less. Not good but a long way from your impressive claim. Can give an authoritative source?

My source: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2317274-china-is-building-more-than-half-of-the-worlds-new-coal-power-plants/

Scientists, why not simply invent a working fusion plant using $50m from Uncle Sam

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: My brilliant idea

Yep, have the explosion in some sort of monster balloon. After balloooning out you could have a controlled release of hot gases through the nozzle. A bonus would be to design it make rude noises. Pointing it at Putin perhaps?

GNOME hits 43: Welcome To Guadalajara

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: KDE is less annoying.

Yep, the very opportunity to change almost anything on KDE can be daunting at times and I have yearned for somrthing simpler. Until last night. I fdid my first Install of Windows 11 and tried to change the taskbar height.

That should be put taskbar in edit mode and drag everything to where you want. Oh, no.

It takes a deep Regedit which gives you only three choices - except if you want it smaller the systray falls off the bottom. Even Gnome on Win11 would be an improvement ;-)

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: KDE vs Gnome

I do overclock my SSD RPis and found KDE to be the desktop of choice useable for most tasks - indeed I use it more than firebreathing power monster that drives my other screen - if only to save on the leccy and [no-fan] silence is golden.

Plus I rather like Konsole & Dolphin's ability to 'fish' my network. At that level there is hardly any difference between the two.

Horses for courses. A lot of work tasks are not power or screen intensive. It would be silly to expect an RPi to handle the others whatever the installed desktop.

[Edit] It was a bit of a rigmarole getting KDE setup properly on the RPi's 64bit Bullesye 'lite'. Maybe our configuations differ?

Emissions-slashing hybrid trains to hit tracks in Europe

Lon24 Silver badge

The Southern East Croydon to Milton Keynes service uses both too I think. And London Overground has a mixed three rail/catenery network with trains that can use both (though none do a rolling switchover to my knowledge).

Lon24 Silver badge

Electrified lines are the way to go. But, as we know, overhead electrification can cost both arms and three legs on a legacy system with low tunnels and bridges. That takes nearly all the budget and causes chaos so it doesn't get done.

Hybrid diesel or batteries is a solution, but is it the best solution for filling in the awkward bits? Southern who had the most dense and complex network did the whole lot with a third rail. Doesn't need bridges or tunnels being modified/replaced. It has its disadvantages. Speed and power is more limited so you don't want to major on it these days.

However is hybrid overhead/third rail is a better all electric lower cost solution? No carting heavy diesel motors around. It isn't as though it's never been tried. HS1 (Eurostar) operated that way for many years until they built the final section into St Pancras. Changeover was imperceptible to passengers who might only note the train slowing from 160 to 60 mph ahead of when the catenery ran out and they switched to Southern's old tracks into Waterloo.

Safety has been raised before but it's less of a hazard than level crossings as most humans have worked out they are best not stepped on - though we do have three legged foxes around here. Trains can easily coast through the unelectrified 100 yard or so sections for crossings and other hazards.

US accident investigators want alcohol breathalyzers in all new vehicles

Lon24 Silver badge

Yep, false positives when the technology can never really be 100% but enough to keep drunks off the road and save lives. Maybe they should allow driver override. Perhaps a bit complicated process to confuse the genuinely drunk.

But doing so triggers a call to the local constabulary and the necessity of presenting oneself to be conventionally tested within a very short time. The touch bit helpful in ruling out impersonators.

Personally I'd spend the money in re-introducing traffic police instead.

'Last man standing in the floppy disk business' reckons his company has 4 years left

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Sony Mavica

So true. My photographic skills have toiletted since digital. Why spend time carefully choosing, framing and lighting the subject when you can just click away. Then select, crop and photoshop the best?

Except somehow they never match stuff I carefully took 40 years ago with my OM-2 when a couple of rolls of 36 had to last a holiday.

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Speaking Of Ancient Storage Methods .....

Maybe you used better toner cartridges than us. 20 years I give 'em before they fade - maybe an argument for retaining the old line & dot matrix printers.

Our solution is recopying the old backups to new media every 10 years or so. It's a painful job - if only because you get diverted by some of the stuff you find - so tends to get forgotten behind more urgent and profitable business.

I 'm running 7 years late on this ... this article is a wake-up call.

Former Reg vulture takes on Nominet – by running for board seat

Lon24 Silver badge

Yep, he has my vote(s) and if Kieran does get elected - he may even be allowed to attend and report on the next AGM ;-)

Twilio more than decimates staff, CEO says it grew too fast

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Who?

Today I installed another copy of Twilio Authy. This generates the codes used to login to 2FA sites. It's a non-Google version of Google Authenticator and so helpful to those who wish to keep some of their computing outside the ChoctFact orbit.

It's free so I'm not helping to pay their workforce.

China's single aisle passenger jet – the C919 – likely to be certified next week

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: Should we be making lots of airplanes ?

The issue is -if you want to go to Spain then flying is way, way cheaper and more convenient then any other method. I looked at going by train or boat last night. I have the time but not the dertimantion, perrseverance and organisation necessary to sort it - even with the help of seat61.

Make airlines pay the same fuel duty as cars and we would see a demand shift that would make greener alternatives more practical and desirable. Maybe we will get back the sleeper trains that wafted me from the channel ports to Switzeerland in the 1950s. Much nicer than EasyJet ... oh, how cheap flying has cheapened us!

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: That's how Airbus started

Yea, but wasn't it Douglas engineers that built the ubiquitous DC-3/Dakota - once described as a collection of nuts & bolts flying in close formation.

Mind you it was Chinese engineers who took a partially destroyed DC-3 at the beginning of WW2 and stuck a DC-2 wing to replace the missing bit. It flew - though apparently with a bit of yaw. If only they had MCAS to compensate.

To preserve Earth's treasures, digital silence is golden

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: a black sand beach

Only a fast EasyJet excursion to Santa Cruz de la Palma in the Canary Islands. Best avoid the volcano season though - hence the icon!

Here's a piccy: https://www.inspain.org/en/tenerife/santa-cruz-de-la-palma/beaches/

CERN draws up shutdown plans to save energy

Lon24 Silver badge

Re: "Gas by wire"

As the other correspondents noticed the typical flows we saw in 2020/21 have dramatically changed this summer. Flows have reversed, we have keeping the UK gas turbine fleet hard at work at night even when there is plenty of wind around the north sea. Historically as our demand dipped they would be the first to be rolled back.The surplus often maxes out the interconnectors to the continent. Hence, it is highly probable that Germany in particular is conserving its gas supply and effectively using our gas turbines to fill the gap via France et al.

The link I gave shows a snapshot of what is happening at anytime. You need to watch these frequently and over time to appreciate the change.

Somebody is quietly making a lot of money out of this.