* Posts by toejam++

49 publicly visible posts • joined 4 May 2021

How TCP's congestion control saved the internet


Re: Ah, ATM

The trend towards full-duplex switched Ethernet ports really helped, but so did lower costs and the introduction of QoS over Ethernet. The project to migrate our campus from IP and IPX over Ethernet to ATM came to a grinding halt once Gigabit Ethernet kit started hitting the market. Our shop ended up with some 3Com Superstack and Corebuilder switches that offered a lot more value than the ATM kit on the market. It also helped that IP-based PBX systems started getting decent and that we could set the telephony VLANs to a higher QoS priority than the standard VLANs across the backbone links.

BT confirms it's switching off 3G in UK from Jan next year


Re: Rolled My Own....Yup...Please Decrypt!

No, I do not want to drink my Ovaltine.


Not just 3G phones

Early 4G LTE phones only supported data over LTE. They fell back to 3G UMTS or 2G GSM for voice since the voice over LTE wasn't an option yet. If neither 2G or 3G voice networks are available, those phones likely won't be able to make voice calls without a SIP voice app like Google Voice.


Re: I thought they already had.

5G *can* be shorter range than 4G. It depends on the frequency and power of the cell. 5G frequency bands are mostly a superset of 4G frequency bands, which in turn are a superset of 3G bands. If you decom a 3G or 4G network and reuse the band with 5G kit, with all else being equal, range should be similar.

If you're talking about the newly introduced 5G UWB bands, which all operate up on the K, Ka, and V bands, then yes, those are all going to be really short range.

Ford, BMW, Honda to steer bidirectional EV charging standard


"because if you unplug your car, your house goes dark"

In my area, two car households are the norm. Just leave one of them plugged into the house to keep the lights and appliances on, use the other one to drive around. Most folks can find alternate transportation to work or school, assuming whatever knocked your power out didn't also knock out theirs. Small price to pay versus a whole-house generator or dedicated battery backup.

SAE says yes to making Tesla EV chargers an American standard


Re: The thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from

What you're referring to is still a IEC 62196 Type 2 connector and inlet. The European Model S and X just supported a Tesla extension to the signaling and charging specs that facilitated DC charging over a Type 2 cable. That's different than the Model S/X connector used in the North American and Asian markets that was mechanically incompatible with Type 1 and 2 connectors and that eventually became the connector and inlet for the NACS.

In some texts, using pins L3 for DC+ and L2 for DC- is referred to as "DC Low", using pins N & L3 for DC+ and L1 & L2 for DC- is referred to as "DC Mid", and using pins CCS DC+ and CCS DC- is referred to as "DC High". Tesla is the only company to use the former two levels.


Re: The thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from

If anything is going to challenge the dominance of CCS2 in Europe, it isn't going to be NACS. European Tesla Superchargers never offered support for the Model S/X connector, so it would be starting from scratch. It doesn't support three-phase AC charging. The more competitive charging network landscape in Europe would prevent Tesla from throwing its weight around. And the European regulatory environment is generally hostile to anything other than Type 2 connectors.

I'm interested to see how ChaoJi adoption progresses. Both Chinese and Japanese automakers have agreed to ditch their respective fast DC standards, GB/T-DC and CHAdeMOv2, in favor of it. If it becomes the norm across Asia, the potential arises where CCS2 and ChaoJi usage could overlap. If drivers prefer it, that might pressure charging networks and regulatory authorities into adopting it alongside CCS2.


Re: CCS may be a standard, but not a good one

I also agree that it was a mistake to maintain backwards physical compatibility given the rarity of EVs in 2011 when CCS was published. They should have just done what Tesla did with their new Model S/X plug and designed something beefier that was compatible with the existing J1772 EVSEs using only a passive adapter. That's what owners of older EVs had to do when the J1772 standard switched from using Avcon connectors to Yazaki connectors. Or maybe the automakers should have just thrown more money and pressure at Tesla for them to have kicked their new plug standard over to a neutral licensing association.

The funny thing is, you can charge a 1999 Ford Ranger EV with a modern Tesla Destination Charger (EVSE) using only a passive adapter. If you do the majority of your charging at home or at your motorpool, it isn't much of a bother.

Power grids tremble as electric vehicle growth set to accelerate 19% next year


Re: For many of us, hybrids make more sense than BEVs

One reason some people prefer hybrids over BEVs is that the former tend to have more traditional looks and controls. Not everyone likes the modern minimalist interior, the dominating touchscreens, or the quirky styling that many BEVs seem to have. I know a few people who went with a Chevy Bolt or Hyundai Kona EV because they said they wanted a more "normal" looking car.

Another reason is cost. Many PHEVs and BEVs are only available in high end trims and (until very recently) with significant dealer markups. And that's on top of manufacturer price hikes because of high demand. Now that demand is dropping and a glut of BEVs are starting to pile up on dealer lots, maybe that will change. But it will take time.

And at least here in North America, a new wrinkle is the industry switch from CCS1 to NACS ports. I know a few people who don't want to be stuck with CCS1 vehicles, fearful that CCS1 will join CHAdeMO as an afterthought or that NACS-to-CCS1 dongles will be unreliable and bothersome. At least NACS-to-Type1 dongles have a better reputation.

First US nuclear power plant built this century goes online


Re: ROI?

Not only finished, but locked. Supposedly one issue with Vogtle was that the NRC forced them to make an expensive security-related change during the middle of construction.

TSMC says Arizona fab behind schedule, blames chip geek shortage


It isn't as bad as you think. The Phoenix municipal water system obtains around two-thirds of its water from in-state sources, primarily the Salt River, Verde River, and local groundwater, which are all doing better than the Colorado River. The local aquifer is within a state management area, so groundwater withdraws are tightly regulated.

Once the plant is running, around 80% of the water utilized by the fab will be collected, purified, and reused. The fab will reuse about 60% of it, while the rest will be sent to the city's gray water system, which provides water to parks, aquifer recharge facilities, and various industrial customers.

US EV latest: GM, Hyundai compete – in battery plant announcements


Bolt EV

The average time that a Bolt EV sits on a dealer's lot is currently around three days. It is an incredibly in-demand vehicle. With the federal tax credit, it is one of the most affordable BEVs available in the US market. They're incredibly popular as a commuter vehicle.

So of course GM is killing it off. GM suggests that the Equinox EV will fill the role that the Bolt EV does today. But the Equinox EV base trim will around $4000 more expensive. Assuming you'll even be able to find a base trim Equinox EV for the first couple years. It is also larger and has a more touch-screen dominated UI, which is a turn-off for a lot of folks.

I understand GM wanting to kill off something of an odd platform for them. But I've already seen people suggest that this is the EV1 all over again. Not exactly a good image.

Unix is dead. Long live Unix!


Re: FreeBSD is UNIX

While the various BSD flavors are very much UNIX-like, most of them fail to meet all of the requirements needed to obtain Single UNIX Specification certification. If you want to use the UNIX name for your OS, you have to pass SUS certification. The article you posted says the same thing.

FWIW, MacOS 10.5 is UNIX 03 compliant.

Wyoming's would-be ban on sale of electric vehicles veers off road


I also agree that Wyoming's population is too small to pressure automakers to keep producing ICEVs. If it was just them, they'd likely become a dumping ground for used ICEVs from other states as automakers make the switch to EV platforms.

Problem is, these sorts of Republican protest laws rarely stay isolated to one state once they pass. I'd expect other red states to join in. If Florida or Texas did so, I'd imagine that automakers would cave in and keep some ICEV production going.

That said, what do they consider an "electric vehicle"? Do hybrid or plug-in hybrid EVs also count or is it limited to battery EVs, too? If PHEVs were allowed, I could see automakers still moving to EV platforms while offering range extender series hybrids like the BMW i3.

If PHEVs were prohibited, then I could see things get ugly. Automakers are not going to throw much money into updating dead-end ICEV platforms. And when those legacy ICEVs start bumping into federal fuel efficiency rules, they'll have effectively painted themselves into a corner.

This is the end, Windows 7 and 8 friends: Microsoft drops support this week


Re: Windows 10 is not a problem

The only systems I've ever seen that met the requirements for Vista but not for Windows 10 were some older Intel Prescott desktops and Dothan laptops that lacked NX bit support. Those CPUs were mostly old stock by the time Vista came around, but still met the system requirements.

Asus' latest single-board computer packs a 12-core, 4.5Ghz Intel i7


To have a SO-DIMM socket you'd have to give up LPDDR5. Supposedly the signaling voltage for LPDDR5 is too low to work with socketed memory while staying within spec.

That said, this isn't a tablet or laptop with a small battery, so it seems a bit overkill to go with LPDDR5 instead of DDR5 in the first place.

Go ahead, be rude. You don't know it now, but it will cost you $350,000


On the receiving end

I once worked in the support center for a large IT firm. One of our largest accounts often liked to throw its weight around for freebies. Those of us in support would just roll our eyes and kick it up to management for approval, which was generally given.

One evening, I received a call from that account asking for support for a box that wasn't under an active support contract. I knew it was likely a mistake and that they'd bring the support back up to snuff afterward, but I still had to clear the work with my supervisor. The person calling wasn't happy with that response, so he threatened to yank a few million dollars in kit and throw it from the roof of the datacenter.

Without missing a beat, I wryly responded: "sir, that damage would not be covered by your support contract."


"Fine, go ahead, call them".

And that account was still with the company when I left years later.

Windows 11 runs on fewer than 1 in 6 PCs


Re: OS X?

One of the largest complaints I have regarding Windows is the inability to choose themes and layouts that mimic older versions. Classic Shell resolves some of the layout complaints, but it is not an option on my work PC.

As others have noted, shortcut key combos and shell commands are more consistent, which is good. But the tab/hint system isn't so great, which is why I find myself going back to the UI for rarely used tasks.

This maglev turntable costs more than an average luxury electric car


Re: Meh

Actually, the problem with laser turntables is that you have to wash them prior to use since a laser will pick up every bit of debris in a groove. Where they excel is regarding rumble, tracking errors, inner-grove distortion, or cartridge distortion.


California to phase out internal combustion vehicles by 2035


Re: Not going to happen

> You don't need new generation or transmission capacity when most charging will be at night. A decent chunk of it will probably be locally generated during the day via rooftop solar panels.

According to tonight's forecast at Cal-ISO, California will have around 20GW of extra available capacity versus actual demand around midnight. US building code is pushing for 7.65 kW as the target at home charging speed per parking space. So that comes out to around 2.63 million vehicles.

Based on average EV efficiency and average number of miles driven in California, each vehicle will only need 11.87 kWh per day. So with a typical charger, you'll be done in under 2 hours. If vehicle charging times were staggered between midnight and 6AM, you could support at least 7 million vehicles during that time.

California has around 14 million cars and light trucks. So yes, extra capacity will be needed. And with Oregon and Washington thinking about cutting gasoline vehicles in 2035, too, imports from them may be limited.

Of course, the energy market will likely look much different in 2035. Given the huge push for solar, we may see incentives for charging between 10AM and 2PM when there is a huge glut of solar power.


Re: America without V8's just isn't America

Edelbrock sells multi-point electronic fuel injection conversion kits for AMC, Chevy, Chrysler, Ford, and Pontiac V8 engines under their Pro-Flo series.

I did a V6 to V8 engine swap with an old pickup truck many years back. The rules were that the new engine had to meet the emission standards of the old engine in order to pass. With a MP EFI kit and a mild camshaft, the new engine had about the same emissions as the throttle-body EFI V6.

Nuclear power is the climate superhero too nervous to wear its cape


Re: I have been on about this since I was a teenager

There are ways to make a nuclear power station more resistant to high temperatures. After all, the Palo Verde station in Arizona operates in temperatures up to 50C. It just takes planning and the proper budget.

The US grid is ready for 100% renewables, says DoE


The Bath County Pumped Storage Station in Virginia can store up to 24 GWh of power, with maximum output around 3 GW. China has numerous pumped storage facilities with output in excess of 1 GW. So a minimum of 10 MW of output seems a bit low, unless they're really pushing for storage that is directly adjacent to renewables to cut down on transmission line costs.

Homes in London under threat as datacenters pull in all the power


Re: And we also want EV's?

EVs usually aren't as hard on the grid as one might suspect. First, the majority of EVs are charged overnight when grid usage is low, as rates tend to be lower as well. Second, the majority of non-fleet BEVs are driven well under their total range on a typical day, with modest charging amounts as a result (some reports put it around 10 kWh/day). Third, PHEV batteries are tiny and slow to charge in comparison to those of a BEV.

In the rare case where overnight winter weather may put building heating and vehicle charging on a collision course, V1G (unidirectional power flow, grid aware, controllable load) and V2G (bidirectional power flow, grid aware, controllable load and return) will eventually smooth things out (even if a fair number of drivers opt-out).

There is a pilot program in California testing V2G with six electric school buses that will generate $2 per kWh sent back to the grid during times of grid stress. They also receive credits for pausing a charge during such times.

Homeland Security warns: Expect Log4j risks for 'a decade or longer'


Report is right about scanning and defenses

The log4j vulnerabilities were just another line item in a never-ending list of security issues my team had to deal with. I'd like to believe that here in 2022, most orgs have processes in place for discovering and remediating such issues. That it was found in so many places raised a few eyebrows, but we're all getting used to libraries that few of us have ever heard of before being used everywhere.

Likewise, I'd like to believe that here in 2022, most companies have deployed a WAF that can help block this sort of crap.

Original killer PC spreadsheet Lotus 1-2-3 now runs on Linux natively



It was my understanding that 'brandelf' does nothing more than fiddle with the target ABI value in an ELF header. Meanwhile, iBCS was intended to complement POSIX, acting as an abstraction layer for various system calls not covered by existing standard libraries.

Windows 10 still growing, but Win 11 had another bad month, says AdDuplex


Most PCs from 2018 and beyond can theoretically run it, but many can't because they have various UEFI options disabled.

My Ryzen 2 PC was showing as incompatible until I switched from CSM/BIOS mode to UEFI, converted my boot drive from MBR to GPT, and enabled SecureBoot. It took a fair bit to do, and I doubt most people would bother. I expect most people to go to W11 when their next PC comes shipped with it.


Re: Why bother?

Wouldn't it be nice if Microsoft included the option to use W10, W7, XP, or 2K/9x themes for their desktop? I really dislike all of the forced UI changes that require third party apps to undo with varying degrees of success.

Meanwhile, theme selection seems to be the norm for various X window managers and desktop environments. Even Xfce, fairly lightweight among the bunch, lets you choose a theme.

Intel counters AMD’s big-cache PC chip with 5.5GHz 16-core rival


Re: Hold up a sec

There are still cases where an upgrade makes sense. Pre-built PCs where the system builder adds a significant premium on higher performance parts is one case. Same for APU/iCPU processors where an upgrade offers gains in two ways.


Re: Still reeling …

My first hard drive was a Quantum 52MB unit I had installed in my Amiga 3000. When I built my first PC with 64MB of RAM, it really hit me how far things had come.

Co-inventor of Ethernet David Boggs dies aged 71


Re: Ethernet turned out to become the network winner

I worked on a corporate campus that deployed ATM so that it could eventually migrate to a VoATM phone system. It was used between buildings and within the executive building, but made it no further than the main telco room in our building.

We used FDDI between our building's telco rooms, switching to CDDI, 100BaseTX, 100BaseT4, and 10BaseT for connections to end devices. The larger 4K frame size of FDDI/CDDI gave a mild performance boost for some applications. The secondary fiber rings came in useful when ate one of the fiber runs.

Just around the time we finished our CAT5 wiring upgrade, corporate dropped the idea of ATM and pronounced Gigabit Ethernet to be the one true network standard. We received a couple of 3Com Corebuilder 9300s and some 3900s soon after. I remember setting up an 8 Gbps aggregated link for fun and thinking, "one could push a lot of porn across that". All the lab and officer machines were upgraded to Fast Ethernet, we nailed every hub we found to the bulletin boards in the break rooms, and we locked the ports to full duplex for good measure. And that was the end of tokens and LAN emulation in our building.

AWS claims 'monumental step forward' with optional IPv6-only networks


Made the switch

My employer made the transition to IPv6 after a merger due to massive collisions in RFC 1918 address space. The only IPv4 addresses we have remaining are on the external side of our public facing load-balancers and a few firewalls we use for IPSec tunnels. All of our external DNS, mail, proxy, public VPN, and web servers are IPv6-only. We use a mix of IPv6, IPv4-to-6, and IPv6-to-4 virtual servers to make it all work. I wouldn't be surprised if we're still using address translation a decade from now, but I would be surprised if IPv4 traffic isn't the minority by then.

As for AWS now offering IPv6-only networks, I wonder if this will pave the way for them to start charging extra for public IPv4 addressing. Blocks of IPv4 addresses aren't cheap.

China's hypersonic glider didn't just orbit Earth, it 'fired a missile' while at Mach 5


Re: Fired a missile that fell into the ocean

Or perhaps China has finally joined North Korea's war against Poseidon.

Microsoft: Many workers are stuck on old computers and should probably upgrade


You might see a reduction in electricity usage if you upgrade to a newer machine with comparable speed. I finally upgraded after eight years and my new rig runs quieter, cooler, and with 25% less power. After selling off my old rig, the power savings should make this a free upgrade after about 2 years.


The big question is "how much" that pay cut would be. I'd shave $10 off my annual salary for a nicer laptop, which puts me in the 9-in-10 group. But more than that, sorry, I'll just switch my KVM back to my personal desktop and do other stuff while that underpowered lump of plastic grinds to a halt because of all the security crap that is installed.

Facebook far too consumed by greed to make itself less harmful to society, whistleblower tells Congress


Re: "Facebook’s algorithms [..] put immense profit before safety and society"

At least the senators now have some basic understanding of how Facebook operates. Last time Congress had hearings on the company, half the reps didn't understand the company's revenue stream.

Don't touch that dial – the new guy just closed the application that no one is meant to close


Re: Timely tale in the UK

Our data centers are setup to kill the power in the event of a halon release. No graceful shutdown, just a hard stop when the circuits trip and the UPSes stay offline. Seems as if it is by design to avoid the impact of a pressure wave or any other issues that accompany a halon release.

Windows 11 will roll out from October 5 as Microsoft hypes new hardware


Re: Genuine Question

The trusted computing malarky actually exists in Windows 10, but it has all been optional so far. If you have new enough hardware with HVCI compatible drivers, you can use it today. All Windows 11 does it make it all mandatory.

As to if those new security features are actually useful and worth the cost, that's debatable. There are plenty of articles regarding HVCI that discuss the pros and cons.


Microsoft came out a few days ago and said that you're free to install Windows 11 on older, unsupported hardware at your own risk. That undermines the reason behind your theory somewhat.


Re: "all on PCs which lack a TPM"

For those of us with retail copies of Windows 7, 8.1 or 10, the license can be transferred to a new PC. My W7 license (which also unlocks W10 and supposedly W11) is now on its third PC. So no new revenue from me.

Start or Please Stop? Power users mourn features lost in Windows 11 'simplification'


Windows ME could be utter crap under specific circumstances. Otherwise, it was essentially Windows 98 Third Edition, with a few new bits ported in from Windows 2K but nothing revolutionary.

One issue was driver stability. ME made a big push for newer WDM drivers, while still supporting older VxD drivers. Good for newer hardware, especially USB devices. However, older third party VxD drivers sometimes conflicted with their newer WDM counterparts, leading to instability. So if you had older hardware, it was sometimes better to stay on 98SE.

Another issue was the DOS subsystem. ME eliminated the DOS startup phase prior to loading the Windows kernel, as it was always a source of instability. Good for eliminating weird system freezes. However, that prevented loading DOS drivers or TSRs, including HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.EXE. Worse, ME didn't emulate Upper or EMS memory in DOS shells by default (1). That all made for huge incompatibility issues. So if you had older DOS software, it was sometimes better to stay on 98SE.

A third issue was with the new system health features, such as system restore and system file protection. They didn't always work properly, leading to instability. The issues were mostly fixed over time, but the bad impression remained.

If you were running Win16 or Win32 programs on a newish machine, ME was great once you applied all of the hotfixes. But if that wasn't the case, then 98SE or 2K were the better choices.

/1 - you could enable EMS support via some keys in system.ini, but it didn't always work

Et tu, Samsung? Electronics giant accused of quietly switching SSD components


Re: Hits the advertised specs so it’s all good

My main worry would be more regarding the driver. I remember back in the day when Netgear used to change the controller chip in their network kit without changing the product name. Some versions worked under BSD, some did not, so it was a pain to ensure you were purchasing the correct one.

European Commission airs out new IoT device security draft law – interested parties have a week to weigh in


Agreed. If anything, companies that release internet-connected devices should be on the hook for resolving major security vulns for the generally useful lifetime of the device. It should also be setup in such a way that they cannot just shut down or orphan their subsidiary in an attempt to wash their hands of the situation.

Firefox 91 introduces cookie clearing, clutter-free printing, Microsoft single sign-on... so where are all the users?


There is some suspicion that it goes beyond marketing or UI changes. From time to time, Google sites start glitching with Firefox but not Chrome or Safari. It has happened to me five or six times over the years with Google Maps. Try the same page in Chrome and it works flawlessly. After such events, Firefox market share tends to take a dip and never really recovers.

Folks at Mozilla are wondering if it is due to sloppy testing of site changes or if something more nefarious is going on. But since Google is a major donor to the Firefox foundation, I suspect that they're rather unwilling to voice their complaints too loudly.

Happy with your existing Windows 10 setup? Good, because Windows 11 could turn its nose up at your CPU


Re: Irrelevant

I'd wait to see how insistent they really are about it. Windows 10 required TPM 2.0, but only for devices built after 2016. I wouldn't be surprised if they backtrack and only require TPM 1.2 and UEFI 2.3.1.c (which introduced SecureBoot) for older systems. My Haswell processor and Z97 motherboard supports that.

Big Tech has a big problem with Florida passing a law that protects politicians from web moderation


Re: Not quite.

The problem with allowing businesses of any size to refuse service based on discrimination is that in areas with little or no competition, it can create an undo burden on the customer to find an alternative. What if you are trans, live in rural Kansas, and the nearest baker who will sell to LGBT customers is 150 km away?

Then there are more serious issues like needing to purchase fuel, food, or medication. Is it not okay for essential services to discriminate but okay for everyone else? Where do you draw the line as to what is essential?

Tesla owners win legal fight after software update crippled older Model S batteries


Re: Carbon neutral

The 370 km range of the standard F-150 Lightning and 480 km range of the extended version should be sufficient for many contractors driving around town. And the ER trim can make the drive from Dallas to Houston in one charge. If you do want to stop, there is a 350 kW CCS charger in Huntsville just off I-45 where you can add 100 km in about the time it takes for you to take a piss.

If that doesn't work for you, then this truck isn't meant for you. Take a look at the hybrid version which manages 10.2 km/L (24 mpg) combined, an improvement of 20% over the regular 3.5L EcoBoost V6.

Samsung stops providing security updates to the Galaxy S8 at grand old age of four years


Re: Imagine my S5 feeling lonely

My concern with using Lineage is that it breaks IMS services such as VoLTE, VoWiFi, and visual voicemail. There are patches for some manufacturers' handsets, but apparently Samsung and LG use some nonstandard methods that prevent such patches from working. So you'll be stuck using 3G calling unless you can get a third party VoIP app working.