* Posts by Binraider

1762 publicly visible posts • joined 7 Jul 2020

Mixin suspends deposits and withdrawals after $200m cryptocurrency heist

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Insider again?

Having worked in those environments, the audit provisions mean it's all very much simpler (though not simple) to trace in conventional bank account land.

The relative obscurity of the blockchain acts in the crim's favour, though depending on the choice of crypto format traceability is not beyond wit of man. No doubt for such a theft the perps will attempt to cycle the proceeds through a bunch of smaller transactions and obfuscations to try and hide the (eventual) points of sale.

Fiat currency, backed by government policies and the law; versus Crypto backed by vagaries. (And, this is why actual assets have an edge over the intangible).

You can find faults with both systems. You pays your money, you takes your choice!

Vodafone claims first space-based 5G phone call – no modifications needed

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Unfair

There are credible academic papers out there that state that the use of tinfoil hats can actually amplify the signal.

I believe one of them was reported on in El Reg.

VR headsets to shift 30 million units a year by 2027, vastly behind wearables

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Magical thinking and hype factory

Even then, the niche market that is something like DCS in VR is horrid due to the hundreds of in-cockpit clickable switches. A HOTAS covers the major controls obviously, but beyond that it's a major problem.

Some VR hand controllers let you operate a virtual hand in cockpit, but how do you successfully combine the hand controller with the HOTAS, or switch between them?

The feedback on visuals is amazing, and in a straight dogfight maintaining visual is essential to be any good at it. The limitations of controls mean many players prefer the now-ancient and hard to get TrackIR.

Elite Dangerous (was) nice in VR, and playable fully with a HOTAS. Though Frontier have killed the game with ill thought out attempts to make a (bad) FPS out of it. The Odyssey farce really messed with the VR support. FDEV's share price following the extensive screwup is not an accident, as are the stats for player count plummetting.

Cost of entry is a barrier to anyone but the dedicated and so VR will never be mainstream. Though I do appreciate the option existing.

US military F-35 readiness problems highlighted in aptly timed report

Binraider Silver badge

If you don't assign the budget, personnel, facilities, tooling and time to do the maintenance, low and behold, the maintenance is not done.

This is a lesson aptly demonstrated by Thames Water. Take the money and do less-than-the-bare minimum to maintain the system, with inevitable outcomes.

Does saving a couple mil here and there on the maintenance line stack up to the capex hit? There have been what, 5 F35 crashes globally, at least two of which are maintenance failings related (maybe more, but I don't have the stats to hand.)

How is this problem mine, techie asked, while cleaning underground computer

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Dirt

True, though if you are trying to get a keyboard to connect to a minicomputer of the 1970's you will be hard pressed to find something suitable short of sacrifical donors from other systems.

Now IBM sued for age discrim by its own HR veterans

Binraider Silver badge

Getting rid of the staff before you've actually deployed the new capabilities in any kind of workable manner. All too familiar.

Still, could be worse. I can think of examples of payrolls being outsourced to India, in order to shut down a much-more-expensive UK offices. It is no accident that following that decision, there were recorded incidents theft of personal data for other uses.

One supposes an AI does not have any particular motivations to it's actions, other than those it has been told by it's programmers. A minor advantage over giving the job to a sweatshop to do.

The concept of the High Programmers in the Paranoia RPG does rather come to mind here; where the directives of the "computer" are set by a minority of deranged individuals. (For those unfamiliar with the setting, think Fallout bunker, with the "computer" being the AI in charge of running society).

GNU turns 40: Stallman's baby still not ready for prime time, but hey, there's cake

Binraider Silver badge

Re: A Complicated Man

GPL has some very specific features, which are distinct from free, as in free beer. This has all been explained to death time and time again, but the crucial features are that the source is available to inspect, and that derivative work are to be shared under the same terms.

If you don't want that, pick a different set of licensing terms. There is no shortage of options available.

If you want a license that says do-whatever-you-want with your IP, that's fine. Don't come back crying if/when someone takes advantage of that.

Unity talks of price cap and fees for only largest games developers

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Have searches for the Godot engine improved by any chance?

'Small monthly payment' only thing that stands between X and bot chaos, says Musk

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Hasn't he just seen what happened to Unity?

If Ad revenue is that bad, then all social media platforms are screwed.

Textbook publishers sue shadow library LibGen for copyright infringement

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When a not atypical, required textbook is 50 quid a pop; and you need a dozen of them over the run of a course, I can’t say I blame anyone for resorting to the odd bit of piracy.

The ISO and BSi are particular bugbears. The corporate membership is fine in big biz land; but a small one man band? Gets very very expensive to acquire those docs more or less mandatory to your operation.

Unity closes offices, cancels town hall after threat in wake of runtime fee restructure

Binraider Silver badge

Unity's IPO, followed by a stock dump and this announcement are too much of a coincidence to not be related.

So, where's the court case for insider trading (at the very least)?

A good friend of mine suggested that smaller devs reliant on Unity would do well to dump their software onto torrent while asking for donations if you install it. I have heard much, much worse ideas.

These days you can teach old tech a bunch of new tricks

Binraider Silver badge

Re: A first?

At the time, as both gamer and programmer, I kept no less than three os around. 98SE for loads of stuff that didn't work elsewhere, 2K and Mandrake.

No question NT and 2K were superior systems but games compatibility was not a highlight.

Airbus takes its long, thin, plane on a ten-day test campaign

Binraider Silver badge

Re: in a 3-3 economy class configuration.

3-5-3 on many old 747's was equally terrible, and had the added bonus of being very loud. Non-reclining seats is an advantage; because you don't have the moron in front jamming their headrest into you, and you don't also get to annoy the person behind by doing the same.

I don't really regard the difference in cabin configuration as a big deal; but an inch or so of elbow and leg room would go a long way if it could be found.

Best airliner I've been on in decades was the ex-Bombardier C-series (now A220). Genuine difference in noise levels and acceptable economy config.

iPhone 12 deemed too hot to handle for France's radiation standards

Binraider Silver badge

So what about the whole raft of laptops that, if actually used on a laptop, run a hell of a lot hotter than any iPhone in normal operation?

US amends hypersonic weapons strategy: If you can't zoom with 'em, boom 'em

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Destructive Uber Bomb Mentality

Given 1950's guidance technology, throwing a nuke blast up in the way of an incoming nuke seems a pretty effective solution to the otherwise difficult-to-solve intercept problem.

The intercept stage is especially complex versus a potentially manoeuvring target. A 1 degree course shift at hypersonic speeds and ranges being an enormous difference in distance to have to compensate for on your interceptor.

Killing the shooter is undoubtedly the more effective solution, but who gets to pull the trigger first...

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows

Binraider Silver badge

How will HP Instant Ink survive this?

And when is the court case, because I'm sure there will be one.

China's top EV battery maker announced a breakthrough, but top boffin isn't convinced

Binraider Silver badge

My experience of them in colleagues company EV's is that it is a crapshoot whether the charging station's billing app works or not.

This is rather problematic when you have what is otherwise a 2-tonne paperweight on station.

What's so bloody difficult about insert credit card (contactless if you have to), type in pin number and go? But nooo, please register with our app so we can sell your personal data, yada...

UK rejoins the EU's €100B Horizon sci-tech funding program

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Norway or Nothing...

The adverts aimed squarely at NHS Nurses to relocate to Australia are somewhat frequent.

I wouldn't blame them for taking it up either, after well over a decade of being shat on by ill-thought out Austerity measures that haven't even remotely made a dent in the debt and trade deficit problem we have.

The real rot kicked in in 2008 when the UK became a net energy importer, with no serious attempt made to re-establish trade balance by any political outfit.

The trouble with selling off every UK asset to address the shortfall, is that eventually there are no assets left to sell.

Binraider Silver badge

There’s more upside than cash. Or was. But the arguments fell on deaf ears, just as they continue to do so.

If you can’t see the pain Brexit has been for citizens, small businesses and mega corporations alike then you are living under a rock of your own choosing.

Binraider Silver badge

To be fair, given the standard of our tourist attractions, making it harder for foreigners to visit may be a blessing. We are less likely to embarrass ourselves with how bad they are.

For examples, compare the standards of Alton Towers (which is falling apart, covered in chewing gum, overpriced and has major attractions out for multiple years at a time...) to Europa Park in Rust.

Yeah, if I were an EU citizen still there are plenty other places that I'd visit first. As a Brit, to be fair, I'd visit those external places first too.

Binraider Silver badge

You are aware of the EU-funded redevelopment of the whole of Gateshead? The Baltic Flour Mill? The Music Centre? The monorail at Birmingham airport?

Take your BS that the EU never did anything for us and shove it where the sun doesn't shine.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: @JMiles

No, it wasn't. The incumbents in Westminster could have acted.

That they didn't and persuaded their media sources to point the blame at outsiders is simply projection tactics.

But once again never let facts get in the way of a political soundbite.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: @JMiles

It already is irrelevant, but the UK's memory of being a world power rings strong in certain electorates minds.

The only thing we have left to offer is brain power, and we're doing a grand job of denying access to the training needed to be good at that.

Binraider Silver badge

Disgusted has proven very good at Ostrich mode.

But such is the core cult of Daily Heil readership that can't possibly believe that their beloved Tories aren't right wing enough for their liking.

Binraider Silver badge

The issues with RAAC lifespan were known right back into the 1970's. Let's do a simple maths exam.

Anticipated asset life of AAC? 30 years. School built in 1990. When would be a reasonable point in time to start planning for the asset replacement?

a) 2010

b) 2020

c) 2023, a day before the term starts.

Yeah, that's how fucking incompetent the last 40 years have been from both sides. Getting to option C is a special kind of incompetence. And presiding over blatant decisions denying funding to do stuff about it too...

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Indeed

Opinions change. Maybe not yours, but the weight of evidence that says Brexit was and still is a fucking stupid idea is very much against the decision.

Captain Hindsight it may be, but equally, vocal remainers get to say "we told you so". And so I'll say that again too because it will never get old.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Indeed

I think you will find from recent polls that both the party and country are largely anti-Brexit now. But good luck doing with that.

Bombshell biography: Fearing nuclear war, Musk blocked Starlink to stymie Ukraine attack on Russia

Binraider Silver badge

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

There are stories from the Franco-Prussian war of Prussian artillery units bombarding advancing French reinforcements... Only for said reinforcements to actually be small woodlands.

Even in the ACW there were documented cases of logs being dressed up as artillery to draw fire.

Maskirovka is a useful tactic, especially versus expensive (arguably irreplaceable for the Ruzzkis) guided weapons.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: So Musk has blood on his hands

Similarly, the most effective AT weapon is not another tank. The door-knocker round for the PaK 36 ATG (the first ever hollow-charge shell) set the way forward for the next 80 years of lightweight AT development.

The tanks role on the battlefield is now in a strange place where faced with infinite recon capability. It's major role is now in defeating small arms, and maybe, in supporting engineering activities in clearance of fixed defences.

Both sides losses on offensive operations are a function of the lack of air superiority over hostile territory. The same situation can be found in the Arab/Israeli wars of the 1960's and 70's. The coverage of the SA3 SAM (which only got to Vietnam very, very late in that war) more or less denied the IAF the ability operate with impunity over hostile territory that it had enjoyed in earlier conflicts; just as the Phantom/Sparrow combination denied the Arab coalition's ability to operate over Israeli territory - resulting in an attritional stalemate on the ground.

It's far too early to call the outcome in Ukraine; but if that supply line via Melitopol can be severed along with the Kerch Bridge; it seems somewhat unlikely that Crimea can be held without a functioning supply line over the coming Winter.

BMW deems drivers worthy of warmth, ends heated car seat subscription

Binraider Silver badge

We had a rental Ford with one of them in the US a few months ago.

Bloody awful it was. I had to figure out how to hard reset the entire computer system just to get it to boot. I mean, OK, yeah I’m also carrying a dumbphone around with Google maps on it, but not good to leave your main means of navigation and controlling half the cars functionality behind unreliable software.

Binraider Silver badge

Still wouldn't buy one. At least, not one from the last 20 years.

But it is a step back in the right direction.

Microsoft tells partners unbundling Teams is a 'compromise' with the EU

Binraider Silver badge

If teams didn't interfere completely with the operation of other applications that would be nice.

Have you noticed how borked Excel becomes if you are in a teams call? Mouse pointer offsets by an inch, indeterminate scroll lock behaviour amongst other bugs.

Unpicking the links between the two is probably a good thing given the borkage.

IT needs more brains, so why is it being such a zombie about getting them?

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Across all sectors

I can safely say the FTSE100 outfit that I sit in is fully aware of it's shortfall on STEM resources. The exec routinely make big public statements about it, but what do they tangibly do and change? Local management are on board. But authorities in control of the chequebook? Not so much.

Where are the job adverts for the 500+ vacancies we have right now in the org chart? Or the 2000+ that we say we need over the next few years?

As ever, follow the money.

Binraider Silver badge

Employers : moan about skill shortages but do nothing.

Defence outfits : actually get on with it and sponsor kids through university.

Haven't you heard this debate before? Government is not going to fix the shortfall of STEM graduates for you. Good pay, conditions, fees etc. WILL.

Considering the first job I did alone saved the company in question about £2bn of capital expenditure, the cost/benefit of paying to develop the next raft of staff should be utter no brainer.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Plenty of specialists, massive shortist of generalists

No one person can be that specialised in everything to deal with everything. The whole point in management is to take advantage of diversity and co-ordinate action.

The old trope that Accountants and Lawyers need only one specific skill rings true. Whereas engineers need maths, physics, law, accountancy, politics etc. to get anything done.

So why are there armies of the former but never enough of the latter? (And why does the pay-balance usually not favour the more challenging role...)

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Open-book exams and Open source and diversity

A-level maths was nightmarish for me. Yet in my current job people look to me for my maths abilities. Why is that? Something to do with exams only being a tiny subset of actual ability. In the real world you do get to look at the textbook, or search engine. Cocking around with factorising equations by (Mostly) trial and error? Not so much.

Knowing one’s limits and capacity to adapt is more important. Says a lot about the individual if they have a hard time and stick at it.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: HR views

Snap. I sit on interview panels for our grad scheme. The scoring guidance is blatantly rigged towards jacks of all trades, rather than those excellent at any one thing.

I have a place for both types in my team. Inclusion and diversity, 101. Ten copies of myself would be a pain in the arse to manage.

Largest local government body in Europe goes under amid Oracle disaster

Binraider Silver badge

One big, well resourced tender as opposed to 317 local authorities in England all trying to come up with separate solutions to the same problem?

Write the tender well with punitive penalties for failure on part of the supplier and you'll get what you want.

Binraider Silver badge

And again, why does every council need a separate ERP system?

Just like the NHS trusts, the opportunities for rationalisation are bloody obvious and numerous. So, why don't we?

Decades-old Home Office asylum system misses EOL deadline, no new timetable in place

Binraider Silver badge

If the old one works well and meets the spec...


Microsoft calls time on ancient TLS in Windows, breaking own stuff in the process

Binraider Silver badge

Can you hear the conversations between business CEO types and MS regarding deprecation.

One doesn't even need to be in the room.

Setting out clear timetables for killing things that need killing, and then following through (despite the whinging) is welcome, and for a change is something I can commend MS on.

What happens when What3Words gets lost in translation?

Binraider Silver badge

Am I the only one that finds such an application utterly pointless? If you already HAVE the lat, long GPS co-ordinates on your phone, make those available as part of the 999 call and/or other tools as needed.

I'll grant not everyone can read out numbers larger than their number of fingers; but if you get the application right (e.g. your phone dialler) there should be no user input needed.

The world seems so loopy. But at least someone's written a memory-safe sudo in Rust

Binraider Silver badge

Re: C++ Template Worshipping

Bjarne Stroustroup writes at length in his books on C++ considerable diatribe against the use of macros! Though I also agree that the use of templates has a similar suite of issues.

Library-based programming in general has gotten a lot worse because of dependency hell. It wasn't so bad when you called on half a dozen libraries at most.

Grant Shapps named UK defense supremo in latest 'tech-savvy' Tory tale

Binraider Silver badge

Re: @SundogUK

Those that have their hands on the wheel and screw up have less excuse than those in opposition, but there isn't a die hard Tory in the land that won't roll out complaints about Diane Abbott.

One should never let the facts get in the way of a useful political soundbite. Page one of every political parties handbook.

Allow me to present exhibit A in the form of Liz Truss. As far as I can tell, she was (and possibly still is) hell bent on sending the pound the way of the Drachma so long as she and her rich benefactors were OK. It is fortunate the markets reacted the way they did and disposed of that piece of filth occupying a post they had no business being anywhere near.

House of Commons, indeed. Cromwell would be appalled.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: Question

Oh my, can you imagine Moggie as defence sec? We'd be putting the Brown Bess back into production and replacing the camo with redcoats.

Perhaps I should not give them ideas.

Binraider Silver badge

Re: "We will enable the release of government datasets"

And the electoral registers.

Arm wrestles assembly language guru's domains away citing trademark issues

Binraider Silver badge

So, they want to monetised talking about the [redacted] architecture?

That's going to make the documentation awfully difficult to read. Perhaps El Reg should report it's news articles as [redacted] reveals just how vulnerable it is to trade war with China in future.

The printout may be dead but that beast of a print queue lives on

Binraider Silver badge

Re: "There is no cloud"....

Cloud and Mainframe architecture aren't so far removed from each other.

Companies like sticks to bat suppliers with; rather than take responsibility for their own actions. Though the public will care little for a failure of AWS taking down something important.

Binraider Silver badge

How many helpdesk calls involve getting the toner hoover out to clean up after an ill-advised yank of the wrong part of the innards of a laser printer?

In a former job that I left in 2003, the little office I used to run helpdesk for with maybe 200 users and 20-odd chonky HP LaserJets I would deliberately make a sweep of the office in the morning to clear out any printers in need of a change.

In current experience, lucky to have a field engineer on site let alone someone sweep the floors pre-emptively.

UK air traffic woes caused by 'invalid flight plan data'

Binraider Silver badge

Input validation. You know, that thing that you (hopefully) are writing a significant chunk of your code to do?

To be fair to NATS, it's ran for an awfully long time without incident. The results of the investigation will be fascinating to see, assuming they aren't swept under the carpet.

Like the error on Ariane 5, it's better if the causes are published but I'm not sure responsible parties will see it that way.