* Posts by Dazed and Confused

2254 posts • joined 12 Sep 2007

80-characters-per-line limits should be terminal, says Linux kernel chief Linus Torvalds

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Re: not the terminal, the punch card

> It was actually a 72 column limit

And anything after the 72nd column is a comment.

I had to explain this to people trying to learn Fortran

"It's like it's ignoring the end of the line"

Errr, yes it's supposed to

ICANN finally halts $1.1bn sale of .org registry, says it's 'the right thing to do' after months of controversy

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Re: Now charities are doomed to never turn a profit.

> What, for example, is the value of the site St Pauls is on?

Do you really think you'd get permission to use it for anything else?

Oh Hell. Remember the glory days of Demon Internet? Well, now would be a good time to pick a new email address

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Re: Happy Days

I meant to type ISDN, Demon wasn't the same by the time ADSL came out and they messed up my order so I switched to A&A when ADSL became available on the exchange.

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Re: Happy Days

Some binaries, there were some they didn't carry, but plenty they did.

Oh the joy of running your own Usenet server at home and having to be careful about which groups to take so as not to saturate the modem link. Things got a bit better when ADSL became available.

Ofcom waves DAB radio licences under local broadcasters' noses as FM switchoff debate smoulders again

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Re: But........

Here are three more.

Wales, Scotland and (semi) Rural England.

You don't even really need to go to semi-rural England.

I live in the middle of the Thames Valley, I can now get R4 on DAB, but only with a F***ing great aerial in the loft and a amp, while the little analogue radio in the bathroom manages fine on a dangling piece of wire a few inches long. The analogue radio has only needed its batteries changed once in the years I've owned it.

Samsung's Galaxy S7 line has had a good run with four years of security updates – but you'll want to trade yours in now

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Re: I'd love to see a law...

I know I'm not the typical punter

Well you're not alone.

My S7E got an update a few days ago, or was it last week. Anyway the kernel's date is 10th March 2020 and the Android security patch level is the 1st of March 2020. So perhaps that's the last.

Kaspersky cleans up poisoned watering hole, Google presses pause on cookie crackdown

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A flaw in SystemD could potentially be exploited by a local attacker or malware to elevate their privileges to fully hijack a machine.

Which is why something as critical to the functioning of the system shouldn't have an attack surface visible to unprivileged users.

Cricket's average-busting mathematician Tony Lewis pulls up stumps

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Limited over

"...The game’s shorter forms were devised to produce a crowd advertisers-pleasing result in just one day..."

Except there was a lot of limited over cricket back when it was shown on the Beeb and there wasn't any advertising to worry about.

Grsecurity maker finally coughs up $300k to foot open-source pioneer Bruce Perens' legal bill in row over GPL

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Re: Travesty of Justice

I thought the case was about recovering legal costs.

Perens then sought to recoup legal expenses under California's Anti-Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation (SLAPP) statute, a law designed to penalize litigation brought mainly to discourage free speech and public participation. And a month later he was awarded more than $526,000 in damages.

although the last sentence is confusing.

Gods of cloud smiled on Chinese server makers in Q4, as mainframe punters chucked a big bone at IBM

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Are these numbers right?

Some 3,403 million servers were sold in the quarter, up a whopping 14 per cent year-on-year and the value of these climbed 7.5 per cent to $25.351bn, figures from researchers at IDC indicate.

3.4 billion servers sold in the quarter?

For the sum of $25b ?

So about $8 per server?

French watchdog to take €1.1bn bite out of Apple over 'anticompetitive' practices

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Re: Shed a tear?

They'll probably be more concerned with not having other countries thinking "I'll 'ave a bit of that" and following suite.

If it's Goodenough for me, it's Goodenough for you: Canuck utility biz goes all in on solid-state glass battery boffinry

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Re: "Critics have been understandably sceptical"

True, but his prize for chemistry wasn't to do with his later theories about making expensive urine. Great thinkers in one area aren't always great thinkers in others.

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Re: Still a problem though

Darwin awards await the impatient.

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Re: Still a problem though

One of our local petrol stations is just about next door to the switching station where the 11KV lines come it. As you say, qualified people might be allowed to hook your car up to an 11KV feed.

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Re: "Critics have been understandably sceptical"

> Those critics are Nobel Prize winners ?

Sure you can disagree with a Nobel Prize winner. If you can prove that you're right they'll probably give you a Nobel prize for your efforts too. That's how science works, I imagine that the good Dr Goodenough will happily pin the prize on your chest. Then take what you've achieved and run with it and maybe give the world an even better battery.

On the other hand, it's more likely that the sceptics have some vested interest in the current tech.

Boeing didn't run end-to-end test on Calamity Capsule, DSCOVR up and running, and NASA buys a Falcon Heavy

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Do you think someone should lend them a copy of

Failure is not an option

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Re: "A few more minutes of testing"

MS have lots of testing done their SW. That's why they keep forcing updates out on to their "customers". I mean what other use is there for customers if it isn't do the testing for us.

Ah, night shift in the 1970s. Ciggies, hipflasks, ADVENT... and fault-prone disk drives the size of washing machines

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Re: DEC field service engineers

And before Kermit you had to roll your own. I remember writing one in Basic on an HP85 and being appalled when we got the much faster 68000 based 9816s that the serial port wasn't as good which made things more difficult. Progress hey.

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Re: PDP Disk drive numbering

VAXes too.

It was a great scheme. It meant when you came in on a Monday morning find your terminal was dead you could wonder into the computer room, notice the red light on the first drive and the pile of paper at the back of the console teletype. Power off the Vax.

And then for the good bit, you pulled the little plastic drive number light off the first drive, slotted it into the second drive and boot up to single user mode. Back the he root FS was small enough to keep a copy on all the drives so it was easy to get the machine up far enough to start reading the backup tapes.

Is everything OK over there, Britain? Have you tried turning the UK off and on again? ISPs, financial orgs fall over in Freaky Friday of outages

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My local 4G mast is attached to the same street cabinet as my fttc and landline phone line.

My 4G backup goes from greased lightning to utter shite within minutes of the BT cabinet failing as everyone on the estate switches from their FTTC broadband to watching you tube on their phones.

Brits may still be struck by Lightning, but EU lawmakers vote for bloc-wide common charging rules

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Re: What about Britain?

So's electricity, but Faraday hasn't so maybe they won't ban that after all.

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Re: What about Britain?

I wasn't aware that the IEC was an EU body. Barmy Boris might not ban it if he knows it never came from Brussels.

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Re: Apple's fault

They made $24b on cables

Is this because their £20 cables are perhaps the only thing on the planet with a lower SLA than a Galileo positioning satellite system?

My youngest used to have an iPod with one of those plugs and used to go through several cables a year. All the parents I knew who's kids had iAnythings said the same. If you went to the iStore and looked at the customer feedback on the cables there were thousand and thousands of 1 star ratings and bugger all else. Maybe they've made them last longer now, he stopped using the iPod so it stopped being my problem. But I did find that the cheap knock off cables on Amazon or eBay were massively more reliable. Perhaps people take more notice of the star ratings on those sites than on Apples own site.

Thunderbird is go: Mozilla's email client lands in a new nest

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Re: inbox zero sucks

A tidy desk is a sign of a sick mind

A tidy inbox doubly so.

I gave up filing away email many years ago. TB lets me quickly find what I want. Filing things into different folders is just a poor way to index things. TB does good searches over the whole set of folders, but I find the quick search in the current folder suffices over 95% of the time.

Remember when Europe’s entire Galileo satellite system fell over last summer? No you don’t. The official stats reveal it never happened

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Re: WTF?

Perhaps that explains the downtime.

The whole systems tripped over the low level SLA someone left lying around on the floor.

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Re: WTF?

It stops then?

What do you do, take the phone of the hook?

In my experience the phone still rings for ages after the problems fixed.

Voyager suffers a power wobble as boffins start the final countdown for Spitzer

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Re: I told them to take some spare batteries.

For 42 years they might need quite a lot of spare batteries.

For modern tech, it would need over 15,000 spare batteries at an average rate of needing a full re-charge everyday.

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Re: Incredible

> 42 year-old hardware, absolutely no way to perform a service, and Voyager 2 is *still* running!

That's coz it's not running W10

Brit brainiacs say they've cracked non-volatile RAM that uses 100 times less power

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Welcome to the Machine

Queue the Pink Floyd:

ULTRARAM could change how computers work from head to toe, according to Hayne.

Sounds like memristor all over again. See https://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/05/01/hp_labs_unveils_memsistor/ which a dozen years later we're all still waiting for. Which HP said would lead to a totally new approach to building systems. This led to "The Machine" (see https://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/24/hpes_machinations_to_rewrite_server_design_laws/) and the inevitable Pink Floyd reference. Given their promotional video and it's discussed usage case they seemed not to have listened to the rest of song, which seemed to have guessed what the new technology would be used for 30years earlier.

Autonomous Logistics Information System gets shoved off the F-35 gravy train in favour of ODIN

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Re: Military Spec

I don't think they were used in tanks, they were used in large numbers by the navy. Same argument, if it's a good height for a step someone will jump on it.

I don' think the TEMPEST rules would have resulted in the thickness of the plating, thicker metal isn't usually needed to make a Faraday cage. The pico amp measurement rig I built back in the 80s had much thinner walls. The front and back of the case had plenty of holes in them. The TEMPTEST spec kit I remember working on wasn't allowed any externals wiring, everything was fibre in and out, even the 9600 baud serial connections.

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Re: Military Spec

I believe that a lot of the difference you've seen is down to the shift from doing the support inhouse

It wasn't just things like support. Back at the start of the 90s I was doing a lot with Unix workstations. HP's new 700 series was popular with the military. I tried taking one to bits once only to find that under the top plastic case was a sheet of metal thick enough to be held down with a huge number of countersunk screws. I asked someone why? Mil-Spec, if it looks like it's the right height for someone to stand on, they need to be able to cope with someone standing on them - In boots.

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Re: Is there a way to bet that:

Followed by Jupiter

Just Un Plug It Till Everything Resets

EU declares it'll Make USB-C Great Again™. You hear that, Apple?

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you may be right, I've never taken one to bits to find out if it forms a more active role.

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Re: I know I'm weird

I know I'm weird ... But I just took a quick mental inventory and I'm sure that I don't own a single device that has a USB-C port

Is not being the sort of person who must have the very latest model of phone the moment they're released now classified as weird? If so I'm also guilty as charged :-)

Not seen a new feature on a mobile that would make me want to change for years. It's get changed when it breaks. I guess the new one will have the new connector.

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> unless you use toothbrush type charging its far too inefficient.

Is the charging on toothbrushes efficient?

When it comes to electric toothbrushes the usage model should be pretty simple to understand, we're all told to brush our teeth twice a day, after breakfast and then before bed. So the charging model should be pretty damn simple to understand. It should charge between the morning and evening tooth brushing session.

From the number you see in shops the Oral-B/Braun ones are the most popular.

Well they don't fully charge between sensible morning and evenings. Yeah, maybe when I start work at 00:30 and don't get to bed till 23:00 or so, but not for a normal day.

Oh and don't get me started on who in their right mind makes charging units that don't work in both the US and the rest of the world.

My old Panasonic electric razor recharges wirelessly with induction coils in under and hour.OK it has two coils but works without the peg in the middle which Oral-B uses.

You're not Boeing to believe this: Yet another show-stopping software bug found in ill-fated 737 Max airplanes

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Re: Boiler Watch

The instructions for driving a steam engine are pretty much the same. You keep a constant watch on the level in the boiler and there's usually two sighting glasses.

Linux in 2020: 27.8 million lines of code in the kernel, 1.3 million in systemd

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Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

@R3sistance, no worries, but it isn't only the DHCP server, that was just the just app that I hit the issue on. It's anything that gets restarted when the NM finds a new device.

I know that for the certification exams these days that you need to know NM, for the Red Hat ones its hardly surprising that RH want to examine you on Red Hat's software, but even LPIC now lists NM and is threatening to stop requiring ifup/ifdown.

I've not had time to explore things at 8, if you want to use the script approach at 8 you have to install it, it isn't there by default. I've not seen what the OpenStack world is saying for 8 either.

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Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

Sorry, you're wrong.

The problems at RHEL6 are totally different. The problem I described above is what happens at RHEL7. Go try it.

If you look at the comments I made above you'll notice that I was talking about how NM & systemd interact, does that sound like I was in "6" mode?

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Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

One reason for hating NetworkManager is that it breaks things. When you run NM it tries to react to changes in your networking environment, this is its job. So when you create a new networked device NM wants to react. Some of these reactions can be good. So in the case I mentioned above you reload the NIC driver and NM restarts the networking on the NIC, which is nice.

But it can also do things like restart other bits of SW, for example the DHCP server. So you create a VM, it gets a vnet device for each vNIC and NM restarts the DHCP server for each of these new vnet devices. If your VM has several vNICs or you manipulate a bunch of VMs together you get a storm of network device changes and therefore a storm of restarts. At this point systemd and NM get into a punch up which results in systemd disabling the services that NM is causing to restart. As a user what you see is that when you start some VMs other random bits of SW stop running. I'm guessing this is why step one of the OpenStack installation guide say disable NM (OK I've not checked this for a a year or so, but it did the last time I checked).

NM can be great on laptops.

But I use CentOS/RHEL as a server OS and that tends to mean you use it in different ways. On a server I'm not sure of where I might want to separate a connection and a device, whereas on a laptop it is useful to be able to switch between wired and WiFi networks.

To my mind there are too many things in 7 which seem to be aimed at the destop/laptop world which are detrimental to the server world. YMMV.

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But udev has been subsumed into the systemd project. It ain't part of PID 1, but they've done things to udev so that some things which worked fine in previous version no longer work in systemd-udevd.

One of the things that I don't like about systemd is that lots of things which have nothing to do with PID1 or even the general idea of an all purpose service manager have ended up inside the systemd world, udev being one such thing.

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Re: Why do we need unit files? Parallel startup tasks.

OK, so one possible example.

In traditional Unix/Linux you list all the filesystems you want mounted at boot time in the /etc/fstab file. At some point in amongst the startup scripts someone runs a mount -a or a mountall and all your filesystems get mounted. What happens if one isn't there yet?

In the systemd view of the world early on something reads the fstab file and generates a set of mount units with a dependency on device units. When the devices are found udev processes them, in the systemd world a flag tells systemd-udevd to make a device unit associated with the device. When both the mount unit and the device unit are there the dependency is met and the filesystem gets mounted. This allows for a certain degree of asynchronous mounting if the storage devices are starting at the same time that the servers are starting.

Now, there's some dumb stuff with this, like needing to kick systemd to get it realise that the fstab file has changed.

There are lots of things I don't like about systemd. Like you I don't see the need start a lot of the services at boot time in parallel. I don't like its spreading its tentacles in every direction. But I've come to quite like the idea of having one central manager for all sorts of different services. But please for the love of all we hold precious can we not have PID 1 having such a large attack surface.

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Re: Device naming

I don't think the device naming weirdness is down to systemd, that's down to the kernel initializing stuff in parallel. So if you've got multiple disk interfaces they're being enumerated at the same time, so it's anyone's guess which device will be sdWhatEver. You could see issues in pre-systemd boxes too, Linux doesn't natively have persistent device naming, hence the pre-systemd udev rules to make /dev/disk/* and the similar arrangement for tapes etc.

I must admit I've not tried changing the names of disks with systemd-udevd just used symlinks. If multiple udev rules generate the same symlink then the one which remains at the end is the last rule to fire, so you'll see this for multipathed disks is if you compare /dev/disk/by-id and /dev/disk/by-path, and RHEL7's (with systemd) and RHEL6 (without) behave the same here.

BTW, I'm not trying to defend systemd here, I've got enough gripes against it.

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Re: "It solves a problem that people have."

> One thing I can think of that systemd does that sysv didn't is "status management"

Well, when it works it does, but :-)

So if you hate NetworkManager and want to continue to use the network service and ifup/ifdown you can disable the dreaded NM and enable network. Great. Then if a NIC goes down on you or someone does something like reloaded the NIC driver to tweak a load time param the network goes down and systemd won't bring it back up again. You can't do a systemctl start, it won't do a proper stop or a restart. You have to go in and manually cleanup before you can restart it.

Oh and of course the systemd team have subsumed udev, but they've imposed their "my way or the highway" approach so you can't just have udev do the ifdown & ifup for you as they take longer that the systemd-udev allows anything run from an action to take and even if drop them into their own process group and session it tracks them down and does a kill -9 without bothering to log anything.

I think there are some great ideas in systemd, I really do. But there is a less than stellar implementation at times.

From Soviet to science fiction icon, the weird life of Isaac Asimov 100 years on

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Re: Asimov was a letcher

As for reputation, maybe he had that reputation among men in his social circle, and the women he targeted, but it's really unlikely that women in general would have been in on the loop unless they were very close to it.

Funnily we were talking about this sort of thing with my mother the other day. She'd been a nurse back at the end of the war and through in to the early 50s. She commented that there were certain doctors that everyone knew not to stand close to.

The situation with a famous author is likely different in that at a con are people around them are likely to be in a more open group, so there will be less chance for the warnings to spread.

On the other hand there might have been a groupie effect. I've no idea whether he had that effect but I've known normally sane women throw their knickers at some celeb they fancy. Yeah I thought this was a myth too, but no. The fact that some (or even many) women throw themselves at a celeb doesn't give them license to assume all women will welcome their advances.

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I remember listening to the BBC series when I was young, the transistor radio hidden under the pillow I must have been 10 or 11. It had be totally hooked. A few years later I found my sister's boyfriend had the series on open real tape and I copied it. Later on they published it on cassette tape, I've still got the set somewhere. But you can now get it from various places, I've got it from Audible along with an unabridged rendition. The first two books are very close to the original, the radio adaptation of Second Foundation is much further from the original but I think I actually prefer it but that might just be because I heard that first and I'm more familiar with it.

How do you ascertain user acceptability if you keep killing off the users?

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Re: Life is someone's beta test

> It would be so much better if we were to settle it with a sprout-lobbing competition...

What a waste of sprouts :)

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Re: First aerial food delivery?

Before the Berlin Airlift there was Manna


and I've sure there must have been earlier deliveries too.

HPE goes on the warpath, attacks AWS over vendor lock-in

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Re: Hotel California is very apt

It is what the Cloud Salesdroid does not tell you that is important.

It's always what the salesdoid doesn't tell you which is important. Let's face it, in most walks of life if they told you the truth you'd walk out of the shop

I'll give you my Windows 7 installation when you pry it from my cold, dead hands (and other tales)

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Re: Refined OS or chocolate teapot?

> or is it just a chocolate teapot that will never be fit for purpose?

Good, bad or just indifferent. W7 is better than what came before or after it.

Absolutely smashing: Musk shows off Tesla's 'bulletproof' low-poly pickup, hilarity ensues

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I'd have thought it would fail the crash test aspect too, not just the inevitable what does it do to the non-customer aspect. Cars are soft these days so they crumple and that absorbs the energy. If it's totally rigid it's going to have a hard time when they drive it into something even more solid.

But as you say, the pedestrian crash test is going to be a real challenge, let's face it Jaguar had to fit under bonnet airbag tech to be allowed to have the bonnet that close to the hard bits at the top of the engine. This isn't going to have any give at all.


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