* Posts by elregidente

84 publicly visible posts • joined 7 May 2021


Missing Titan sub likely destroyed in implosion, no survivors


Re: A fitting epitaph

That is an unbelievably crass and insensitive comment.

Barracuda Email Security Gateways bitten by data thieves


Their VPN on Linux appears to be harmful, too

This from Reddit;

> Barracuda VPN appears to permanently and silently change resolv.conf


"A few months after this, I stumbled across the fact that my resolv.conf had been altered, to that given below, and not reverted by uninstallation..."

Yes, Samsung 'fakes' its smartphone Moon photos – who cares?


I may be wrong, but I think El Reg has gone the wrong way with this one.

Samsung are using this one example, of the Moon photos, to imply their camera/phone is amazing for all photos, and this is being used to have a lot of people spend a lot of money on Samsung phones.

In fact, the amazing photos of the Moon work for and only for the Moon.

This to my eye has crossed the line between marketing and lies, in part because the actual truth is so different to reality, and in part because the actual consequences of this, helping to deceive a lot of people into making an expensive purchase, are of considerable magnitude.

Meta confirms decentralized Twitter rival in the works


I may be wrong, but I think Facebook can't, and I won't.

Facebook is a very large company.

I think very large companies are unable to innovate, or produce quality products.

Moreover, it's *Facebook*.

No matter what they produce, I'm never going to use it.

Reddit reveals security incident that looks more SNAFU than TIFU


Looks like the devs cannot be trusted, either - fake hidden posts to subs

On a Reddit-related note, I run a sub, and it looks like the devs silently added a *pinned* post (claiming to be pinned "by the moderators", i.e. ME) which *I* do *not* see when I'm logged in as me, promoting their "lounge", per-sub real-time chat.

So, yesterday, for the first time in a long time, I looked at the sub, without being logged in.

To my astonishment there was a pinned post, marked "pinned by the moderators", promoting the sub "lounge" (some new real-time chat feature the devs are pushing).

I logged in. When I look at the sub logged in as me (the mod), I do *not* see that post.

I then looked at the list of posts - a chronologically ordered list - of posts to the sub.

At the *bottom* of that list (and so, in the wrong place - evidently to hide it) is a unapproved post, put there evidently by the Reddit devs, which is the pinned post I saw when not logged in.

As you can tell, I was not informed, and it looks like the devs are actively hiding these posts from mods.

I deleted the post, and made my own post, explaining what had happened.

On the face of it, the Reddit devs cannot be trusted, and are actively deceiving mods and silently interfering with subs and in ways which knowingly deceive users.

(As an aside, the CF security check when I submitted thie post failed and destroyed my post here. I'm well used to forms failing to work, so I always copy my test before submitting, and once again, this saved me.)

China's Yangtze Memory reportedly lays off staff, evicts them from company housing


Re: adding unnecessary steps purely for the sake of legal compliance

Found this, recent (2021) article on the BBC;


"Why rent control isn’t working in Sweden."

A bit superficial, but engaging - BBC all over really ;-) :-)

Regarding renting - I may be wrong, but I understand there's first-hand renting (you rent directly from the owner), and this is State controlled; you have to go through the queue system, which is to say, renting directly is banned. There's also second-hand, which is sub-letting, when you're not renting from the owner, but from whomever is renting the place already (and then all bets are off - you can rent as you wish, but the rent is sky-high (due to the lack of supply) and you get a short-term contract with minimal or no protection, and you can end up changing apartment every few months.


I had much the same experience in Stockholm.

In Sweden, the rental market is staggeringly State-controlled. It is actually illegal to rent without permission from the State. The way it works is that as time passes, you build up points, and the more points you have, the nicer the apartments you're allowed to rent. It takes over twenty years to legally rent in central Stockholm. The State (of course) sets the rent price, and it is very, very low. You then have a secondary market, where tenants can sublet, without the knowledge or consent of the owner, and they mark up the rent to the market price. AirBnB helped enormously until it was basically banned.

It's hell for everyone, in the name of being fair, which it absolutely is not, and of course the ultimate effect is to profoundly discourage the construction of new properties, so there's *also* a crippling shortage of properties, too.

Given all this, when companies want to hire people from outside Sweden, they have to provide housing for them, because it's impossible to legally rent in Stockholm, and a nightmare to illegally rent (and no one coming in from the outside can cope with that market).

What that means is the company turns to private companies which hold their own stock of property and you pick one and pay the rent - and so when you leave or lose your job, you also lose your apartment.

The best place to rent, IME, has always been London. I'm sure plenty of people think it's bad there, but it can be and is, in so many European cities, *profoundly* worse.

KmsdBot botnet is down after operator sends typo in command


Phobos 1

"Phobos 1 was an uncrewed Soviet space probe of the Phobos Program launched from the Baikonour launch facility on 7 July 1988. Its intended mission was to explore Mars and its moons Phobos and Deimos. The mission failed on 2 September 1988 when a computer malfunction caused the end-of-mission order to be transmitted to the spacecraft. At the time of launch it was the heaviest interplanetary spacecraft ever launched, weighing 6200 kg."


You get the internet you deserve


I'm optimistic about this.

I concur there is a definite possibility neural-net based content generation will utterly flood the WWW.

If this happens, I think in general users will migrate to sites where humans are, and human-curated indexes will be used, like YAHOO in its original form.

Search engines as we know them now would become largely useless (they kind of are now - I rarely use search these days).

This will reshape the on-line advertising market, and I suspect the existing players will be heavily disrupted, but they also have the revenue and resources to adapt - their main problem will be whether they have the internal flexibility to adapt. I think larger companies are largely incapable of adaptation.

AWS CEO Adam Selipsky promises 'Zero ETL' future in re:Invent keynote


Re: I am an Amazon Redshift specialist, and I have Views about all this.

Thankyou so much!

It's a pleasure to share the knowledge :-)


Re: I am an Amazon Redshift specialist, and I have Views about all this.

My pleasure.

Regarding your observation about ETL : I remember from a long time ago the comment that almost all computing is an exercise in caching :-)


Re: I am an Amazon Redshift specialist, and I have Views about all this.

Thankyou! you're very kind to say so :-)

Regarding your observations about SQL Server, the problem is indexes do not scale to Big Data. Too much disk I/O. You can't load Big Data in a timely manner while updating indexes. Sorry =-) no simple way out.

There are five basic types of database, and they are orthogonal. When you come to design a database, you're faced with a series of choices, where you must chose one option or the other - you necessarily cannot have both (can't be short and tall at the same time, as it were).

So there's an almost infinite number of possible types of database - but in practice, there are five, because those five are orthogonal and each is the option set which is better than every other option set, except for the other four; so you have key-value, you have map-reduce, you have relational (which has four sub-types, sorted/unsorted, row-store/column-store, but one of them makes no sense (sorted row-store), so no one has ever made it), giving a total of five.

The options are in the end ultimately defined by the properties of computer hardware. Processors are fast, memory is slow, disk seeks are mind-numbingly slow.

So coming back to indexes, if you want to handle Big Data with SQL, you can't have indexes, because indexes do too much disk seeking; you're restricted to sequential disk I/O, which means sorting, and all the constraints and restrictions it brings.


Re: I am an Amazon Redshift specialist, and I have Views about all this.

In a sense, yes, but I would say there is more flexibility than *that*, and also you're getting SQL, which has a lot of functionality, and provides strong typing.

The more skilled the data designer, and the more fortunate they are with the data they must design for, the wider the range of queries the data design can handle.

I usually find I can come up with something nice - and it's worth it because of the staggering efficiency of sorting.

Writing this now I've realized I missed out one important matter, in the original post; so, with unsorted relational, basically speaking, the time taken to retrieve a row from a table depends on the number of rows in the table.

So as you increase the number of rows, even though you're still only taking *a* row, the time taken to get that row becomes longer and longer.

This is why unsorted doesn't scale for Big Data.

Sorting, when and only when operated correctly, provides the property that the time taken to retrieve a row is *independent* of the number of rows in the table.

This is why sorted databases (when correctly operated) *do* scale for Big Data.

To put it more broadly, and in terms of queries, with an unsorted database, the time taken by the query depends on the size of the tables; with a sorted database, the time taken depends on the number of rows the query needs to read to do the work it has to do.

So a big fat query which has to read every row is going to run at the same speed on unsorted as sorted; but a nice slim query, which reads say 100 rows, will run slowly on unsorted, but very, very quickly on sorted, because on sorted that query really will read only the 100 rows.

(I'm speaking broadly here - there are technical details to consider - but this is the essence of the difference, and is correct and truthful for reasoning about these systems and comparing them.)


I am an Amazon Redshift specialist, and I have Views about all this.

Bona fides (and a bit of self-publicity) : I maintain a web-site, where I publish white papers of investigations into Redshift, and maintain ongoing monitoring of Redshift across regions; https://www.amazonredshiftresearchproject.org

I may be wrong, but I think I know more about Redshift than anyone outside the RS dev teams. I've spent the last five years investigating Redshift, full-time.

Redshift is basically a vehicle for sorting, which is to say, for having sorted tables, rather than unsorted tables.

It is this method, sorting, which when and only when correctly used, allows timely SQL on Big Data.

You also get the cluster (as opposed to a single node), but that's a secondary method for improving performance - it doesn't do anywhere near as much as correctly operated sorting, there are sharp limits to the cluster size, a few behaviours actually slow down as cluster size grows (commits, for example), and it costs a lot of money.

There are two key problems with sorting.

First, it makes data design challenging. When you define your tables, you also define their sorting order, and only queries which are appropriate to the sorting orders you have will execute in a timely manner; so when you make your data design, and so pick your sorting orders, you are defining the set of queries will can execute in a timely manner and also the set which *cannot*.

Your job is to make it so all the existing queries, and the know near-future queries, and the general medium term future queries, and going to be in the set of queries which *can* execute in a timely manner. (In the end, after enough time, there will be enough change that your data design must be re-worked.)

This issue, getting the data design right, is a *complete* kicker. It's usually challenging, and it's an art, not a science, and - critically - it's not enough for the *devs* to know how to get this right. Once the design has been made, it must also be *queried correctly*, which means the *USERS* also have to know all about sorting and how to operate it correctly; if they issue queries which are inappropriate to the sorting orders in the data design, pow, it's game over - you are *not* going to get timely SQL, and the cluster will grind to a halt.

So Redshift is a knowledge-intensive database, for both the devs and the users; it's not enough to know SQL. You need to know SQL, and Redshift, and that's problematic, because AWS to my eye publish no meaningful information about Redshift.

Where operating sorting correctly imposed a range of constraints and restrictions upon the use of Redshift, is a quite narrow use-case database; it is NOT, absolutely not, a general purpose database, in any way, shape or form.

The second problem is VACUUM; which is to say, data in Redshift is either sorted, or unsorted. New data almost always is unsorted, and it has to be sorted, by the VACUUM command. However, you can only have *one* VACUUM command running at a time, *PER CLUSTER*. Not per table, not per database, but *per cluster*. So you have a budget of 24 hours of VACUUM time per day; that's it.

Redshift - like all sorted databases - faces a producer-consumer scenario. New incoming data is producing unsorted blocks (all data in RS is stored in 1mb blocks - it's the atomic unit of disk I/O); VACUUM consumes them. When the rate at which new unsorted blocks are produced exceeds the rate at which those blocks are consumed, it's game over. Your cluster will then degenerate into an unsorted state, which is to say, sorting will be being operated incorrectly, and Redshift operated incorrectly is *always* the wrong choice - there are better choices in that scenario.

I am quite sure this new real-time data-feed will produce unsorted blocks, and I am certain it will be gratuitously used by uninformed end-users (which is all of them, as AWS to my eye publish on meaningful information about Redshift at all), and it will I suspect consume a significant part of the cluster's capacity to consume unsorted blocks.

There's no free lunch here.

Redshift for the last however many years to my eye has had almost entirely *non*-Big-Data capable functionality added to it. I suspect this is more of the same.

I would add, as a warning, I consider AWS, as far as Redshift is concerned, to have a culture of secrecy, and to relentlessly hype Redshift, and to deliberately obfuscate *all* weaknesses. I consider the docs worthless - you read them and come out the other end with no clue what Redshift is for - and that the TAMs say "yes" to everything you ask them. Finally, I think RS Support are terrible; I think they have a lot of facts, but no *understanding*. My experiences with them, and the experiences I hear from other admin, are of just the most superficial responses and obvious lack of technical comprehension - but clients who are not aware of this are misled by the belief that they are talking to people who know what they're doing (and given how much they cost for enterprise support, they ought to be).

The upshot of all this is that I see a lot of companies moving to Snowflake. AWS have only themselves to blame. In my view, AWS need to publish meaningful documentation, so clients *can* learn how to use Redshift correctly, and then have Redshift only used by people who actually have use cases which are valid for Redshift, and move all other users to more appropriate database types (Postgres or clustered Postgres, or clustered unsorted row-store, such as Exasol, which is a product AWS do not offer).

UK bans Chinese CCTV cameras on 'sensitive' government sites


State surveillance via private video cameras

Does this not then mean, as seems obviously to be the case, that any video camera installed in a country, privately or publicly, can be used by the Government of that country, with or without the knowledge of its owner?

In fact, I would say every Government these days and many for a long time has tapped into the main network exchanges in its own country; the video streams from most cameras are unencrypted, and can be monitored on the fly just by watching the packets go by, and it has been so for at least a decade, probably two.

Unlucky for some: Meta chops 13% of global workforce


Credit where it's due

I left Facebook I can't remember how long ago, and am most profoundly repelled by the surveillance it conducts; but credit when credit is due, the severance package is generous, and I've been reading comments over on HackerNews where people have said the company conduct towards staff during covid was very good.

Europe wants Airbnb and pals to cough up rental property logs


Re: Imagine if it was China asking for this information

Our freedom, and privacy, are lost to the State pursuit of tax income.


Re: It had to happen

AirBnB have over time increased their fees.

They're basically a monopoly provider - they dominate that market - and with a monopoly, prices naturally settle at the highest level the market will bear. (With competition, prices naturally settle at the lowest level a trader can maintain a reasonable long term profit, give the costs, risks, skill and so on, involved in the trade).


Re: It had to happen

Berlin has a catastrophic rental market because of rent controls, imposed by the State.

The same State which would now want AirBnB data so it can control AirBnB renting in Berlin.

People were renting on AirBnB because renting legally was a God-awful nightmare. The complete Chernobyl. Two years ago, the City decided to freeze rents. My friend is a landlord, for one apartment. The frozen rent would be *less* than she pays for the mortgage. The city imposed this rule and she had to abide by it *even though there was a court case in progress against it*. That court case ruled the rent freeze illegal (but not the rent increase caps and so on, which all continue to exist). She had to cover the shortfall in rent in the period between the City bringing the law into force and the court invalidating it. I don't know if she ever got that money back from the tenant.

The basic problem is;

1. building new apartment is a nightmare

2. the State controls rents and keeps them very, very low

Result? tiny supply, huge demand, 25 people turning up to each apartment viewing.

AirBnB was a God-send. You could finally rent in Berlin - or Amsterdam, or Stockholm - all cities which totally bollocksed up rental market due to rent controls; I speak from experience, having lived and rented in all of them. In all these places the City or State has stepped in and basically banned AirBnB, and now we're back to how we were.

The solution is;

1. no controls on prices

2. make it easy to build apartments

SpaceX reportedly fed up with providing free Starlink to Ukraine


Musk helped Ukraine enormously

I may be completely wrong, but as I understand it, when the war began Musk activated Starlink in the Ukraine and provided them with a lot of terminals, all for free, and has not charged a penny since then, and it's been eight months?

Starlink was a God-send, and has been absolutely critical and central to the military.

To my eye, Ukraine owes Musk an enormous debt of gratitude, regardless of whether they like his recent comments or not.

I also think it's quite reasonable for him to ask the West to start contributing to the upkeep of the service. He has a business to run, and it need to make money; he's not funded by the tax-payer.

Japan space agency blows up eight satellites aboard Epsilon rocket


Do NOT rinse after brushing - re-mineralization proceeds for at least 30 minutes

PSA : toothpaste (usually) is stuffed full of fluoride, and when in contact with teeth, it donates fluoride to the enamel - a process known as re-mineralization, because the opposite, de-minerialization - is what happens all the time when you eat food, where acids attack the enamel.

Brush you teeth, then leave it on your teeth for at least 30 minutes. Prolly still doing some good up to the hour mark, but 30 minutes will be fine.

Samsung's Ukraine headquarters damaged by Russian missile strike


I live about two blocks away from the Samsung building.

When that missile hit, I looked out the apartment window (15th floor) and saw the mushroom cloud of smoke rising from the impact site.

I walked down a few hours later, took some photos.

People generally do not post photos, or write about impact sites, because the Russians use that information to assess strike damage and calibrate aiming.

I blogged about it on the morning, it was all happening, writing while explosions were still coming.


I went out yesterday and looked at the crater by the bridge leading to the Soviet-Ukrainian friendship arch, built by the Soviets during the occupation. There's nothing else there, BTW. The area is a nature reserve, a big park basically, also a main road running along the river. Either it was a missile which went well off course, or they were aiming for the bridge. You have to wonder, give it was the Kerch bridge which was hit a few days ago.

On the way up to that crater, to my surprise I passed another - there's a big long main avenue which heads right up into town, and it's how I walk up into town. At a cross-roads, where the park is where I play chess, a missile had struck. That area, it's big old buildings, the Institute of This or That, and this lovely park. I've now seen a photo or two of the impact site just after that missile struck, and I see a car in flames, people running.

Micro molten salt reactor can fit on a truck, power 1k homes. When it's built


Re: Mb99 -> Tc99m

If these reactors are successful and proliferate, the supply of Mb will increase and prices will drop.

NSA super-leaker Edward Snowden granted Russian citizenship


I'm here in Kyiv.

Talking to the people here, the revolution had nothing to do with nationalism.

It was - as it always is - a desire to end oppression and corruption; to have a future.

Yanukovych was Putin's creature. After the failure of violence against the protest, he fled to Russia, and almost immediately afterwards, the Russian movement of forces into the Donbas region began.


I logged in specifically to downvote this repellent comment.

Firefox 105 is here, and it's faster and more memory-frugal


Automatic tab unloading is a disaster.

I'm often low on memory and it looks to me like Firefox is constantly unloading tabs - rather than letting the OS page *other* apps out.

So my user experience is this;

Before : tabs were instant.

After : five seconds to switch between tabs.

It's "browser.tabs.unloadOnLowMemory" to False to disable.

Stand back, the FTC is here to police gig work


Minimum wage laws ban low-value work

Not diving into the deeper issues of how these companies behave (especially as in my experience all large tech companies behave atrociously), I have to say that minimum wage laws have the effect of banning all work which produces less value than the cost of the minimum wage.

There are people with *no job at all*, because the jobs they could do, do not exist, because there is a minimum wage.

I'm of the view if you want to raise wages, either directly give people money from tax or set up training and education programmes; rather than create minimum wage laws.

Goodbye, humans: Call centers 'could save $80b' switching to AI


Re: But they already do...

I remember exactly this from the Co-Operative Bank, many many years ago.

I found if you hit star, or asterix, something like that, you'd short-circuit the questions and go straight to a person, so I always did that.


Those AI interactions are people asking to talk to a human

I may also be wrong, but I'm of the view customer support has never been about supporting customers - any support call to a bank, telco, fintech, insurance company, any major internet company, etc, etc, etc will demonstrate that.

"Customer support" (misleading name) are there to willlessly and with complete lack of discretion or flexibility implement the customer-facing processes created by the company, regardless of whether or not those processes work, and those processes often fail terribly in the face of the complexities of real-life.

I would add that customer support agents never read any prior emails, and when support has been arranged so a different person replies each time, it is impossible to have any kind of dialogue, and this approach is taken by all large companies. These companies could implement bone-throwing monkeys for all the difference it would make to the support they offer; AI will do no harm, because support can't get worse.

China, US relations further soured by CHIPS Act


Re: Dictatorships sooner or later always invade their neighbours

China is a nuclear power. I may be wrong, but I think this limits the scope of US intervention, at least in China itself.

North Korea is a rogue State, but is economically dependent on China.

Russia has one tenth of the population and one tenth of the economy of China.

For sure China will need a military; but the size of the expansion now, I aver, is in no way related to possible threats from its neighbours.


Dictatorships sooner or later always invade their neighbours

I may be completely wrong, but I think China is going through a massive arms build up right now, and the only reason I can see for this is to invade Taiwan; China is not threatened by invasion and has no defensive need for this buildup.

China is a dictatorship, and dictatorships sooner or later always invade their neighbours, unless it's clear they would lose.

As I say, I may be wrong, but to me it seems madness to supply dictatorships with technology.

I also find it questionable that China, with its massive and pervasive State, is complaining about this act violating the principles of the free market. That feels like Russia complaining that military re-equipment in the West threatens peace.

Airbnb turns its anti-partying tech on American lodgers


AirBnB is a God send, not a worrying thing.

The rental market in just about every country is a living nightmare.

Have you tried renting in Amsterdam? or Stockholm? or Berlin! 25 people turn up to every viewing, and I recall three months notice being common and the deposit usually being two months rent.

State control of rental prices, which is always done to lower prices, destroys supply and after a while the rental market is living hell on toast.

AirBnB provides a way around this, and it keeps being banned; to my eye, it provides a terrible contrast to what *ought to be* against what is, and by doing so, is an embarrassment to States which over-protect tenants.

Over-protection leads to those who *have* a place being feted and those who do not living in a hell of illegal, secondary lets.

Moreover, rent controls do not do what people think they do. Controlling rents, and keeping them low, over a reasonable period of time, reduces wages accordingly, as living costs are reduced. People are not better off by it; *companies* are better off by it, as their wages bill is reduced.

However, it then also penalizes companies, because it becomes impossible to get staff from outside of the rental control area, because they cannot move in.

It makes no actual sense, and I think in general companies would prefer access to talent than a moderately reduced wages bill.

For example, for a while, it was possible to easily rent in Amsterdam : you could take an AirBnB. Plenty of supply, reasonable prices and no deposit!

Then it was (effectively) banned by the State, and now we've returned to the smallest, cheapest short-term rental option being 2500 euros a month for 25m2, and there's very few of those, and the locations are not good.

I worked once in Stockholm. The company hires another company, who have their own stock of housing to rent, and you pick one of these; and the rental contract is between the company who hire you, and the company who own the property. When the gig ends, you also lose your home.

AirBnB provides a way around these absolute insanities and horrors; and then it gets banned.

Government is the problem. The real solution to housing is a plentiful of supply of housing.


False positives and unexpected consequences

I've used AirBnB for many years.

The fundamental service it offers is for me vital and is a monopoly; the "alternatives" really are not, in particular because they have no notion of discount pricing for longer stays.

AirBnB customer service has over time relentlessly declined in quality. They are a living hell, and that was some years ago.

AirBnB log-in is a roll of the dice; there's constant change in their procedures. When I come to log in, I never have any certainty that log-in will work.

I remember a hideous two and a half hour session on the phone with some helpless India woman, working from home, to solve a login problem which AirBnB had created, where, in the end, it turned out you could in fact *ignore* the requirements AirBnB had issued ("do this to complete your log-in") and log-in anyway.

The issues with customer support combined with the issues with log-in; the time came where I could not log in ("we think you're suspicious") *and* the options for handling this were reduced to "click here to contact customer support, who will get back to you in two or three days".

At this point I back-doored my own HTTPS traffic, using my own proxy (mitm) on my own server, so I would always present the same IP address to AirBnB, and this seems to have helped a great deal; I only rarely now have problems logging in.

It's completely insane. The company which allows me to move around the world blocks me as a suspicious login because I move around the world.

All large companies (and a lot of small companies) are complete and utter madness from the end-users point of view; Support function to deflect and ignore all reports of issues provided by end-users.

In general, this doesn't matter, because most companies are not monopolies.

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


"David JC MacKay", "Sustainable Energy"

There's a free book (Google it and you should fine it) by "David JC MacKay", titled "Sustainable Energy", from I think 2007.

He looks at how much energy we need, and what for, as a single country and as a global civilization.

Then looks at how much energy we could make from each type of renewable - both in theory (10% of the UK covered with wind turbines) and practice..

Conclusion is this : there are only two renewable sources which can provide country or civilization scale energy.

One is nuclear, the other is solar in deserts.

(And when we say solar, we mean installations 100km square).

The USA can do both, in the UK it's nuclear only, unless we want to put solar in North African deserts and trust those countries to be stable (and Tunisia, the only real hope there, is now heading back to dictatorship).

We need to replace more or less our entire energy generation plant with nuclear, and we need to do it, stat, NOW.

As an aside, carbon capture from the air is a complete white elephant.

The problem is you need energy to do it, you need a *lot* - country sized installations - and of course it need to be *renewable* energy.

It's a non-starter. We've failed now to replace our existing plant, which is not far from capacity, even remotely with renewables.

I recall we had to roughly double it for country-wide carbon capture.

This is not on the cards, which mean carbon capture is not on the cards.

Anyway, none of this is going to happen. Mass nuclear or mass renewables just is not going to occur in anything like the time frame needed.

As such, catastrophic climate change will occur, and by the time it's so bad people will bite the bullet, it will be about two or three decades too late.

We are stuffed, and many billions are going to starve and dehydrate to death.

Why Intel killed its Optane memory business


m.2. 110mm

I would have killed to get one of these in my laptop.

I wanted it so bad. Money no object - this stuff was the *best*. The sustained IO was phenomenal.

The problem was the m.2. form factor was 110mm.

I have a 13 inch laptop, always - absolutely no 13 inch laptops go to 110mm.

NASA's CAPSTONE silence down to a software flaw


> After all, in space, no one can hear you blue screen.

Ooooooooooooooh that deserves a comment :-)

+1 thumbs up

New to me :-)

Tuxedo Pulse G2: Linux in your lap


Re: Nice guys, laptops are from China and from Taiwan


But at the same time, knowingly buying a laptop made by a State-owned Chinese company? couldn't do it.


Nice guys, laptops are from China and from Taiwan

I came pretty close to buying from these guys last year.

I spoke to them quite a bit and I think well of them. They're on my list to check in the future, when I come to buy again.

Very nice feature is they can laser engrave your keys, can you can pick a font - and, indeed, which glyphs go to which keys, allowing you to produce your own custom keyboard lay out.

However, I have supply chain concerns, and I realised that the laptop I was interested in comes from a Chinese State owned company.

China is off the map for me now, simply because of Hong Kong, but also because of supply chain concerns.

Tux do offer some laptops from Taiwan, and I would have been down with that, but they were out of stock.

FedEx signals 'zero mainframe, zero datacenter' operations by 2024


Part of their plan to move to zero deliveries by 2024

My most recent experience with Fedex : package arrives in country, Fedex do not notify me in any way and two weeks later they ship it back to the USA.

COVID-19 was a generational opportunity for change at work – and corporate blew it


This outcome in inherent in a hierarchical organization and distribution of managerial power.

Managers hold in the workplace the decision making power.

They are held responsible for the results of their team, or teams.

They will then naturally want as much control as possible, to maximize their influence over the progress to these goals - for it is their neck on the line - and that means having people in the office.

Once Covid passes, back in the office workers go.

This outcome in inherent in a hierarchical organization and distribution of managerial power.

The Soviet economy faced this exact same problem when-ever an effort was made at decentralization - it meant the managers held responsible for meeting plan targets no longer controlled (or controlled less) the direction of the factories and farms and so on,that they were responsible for, and so they fought it tooth and nail. The fact that centalization as a whole absolutely did not work made no difference to individual managers, because they were still being held responsible for meeting plan targets, had their bonuses and promotion prospects based on meeting or exceeding those targets, etc.

If you have a hierarchy, and you distribute managerial power via that hierarchy, and then set goals and rewards to the managers, why on earth would they do anything to lessen their control of the part of the hierarchy below?

HMRC tool for measuring IR35 status is so great, employers are ditching it in their droves



In court cases, one of the most important considerations with regard to employment status is "Mutuality of Obligation" - whether or not the employer is obliged to provide more work, and the worker obliged to accept.

For an employee this is true, for a contractor it is not.

The CEST tool *assumes* mutuality of obligation is in place.

Case completely, utterly and totally unfit for the purpose of determining employment status.

It is however completely fit for what I cannot help but think is its real purpose, which is to classify as many people as possible as employees, to literally scare them into tugging the forelock and handing over that much more of their pay in tax.

Luxembourg judge hits pause on Amazon's daily payments of disputed $844m GDPR fine


Re: I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

I - even I, with my expectation that people will support, fight for and defend lunacy and dribbling madness - am staggered by the downvotes on this post.

Amazon have provided CCPA information which requires *every single one of the untold numbers of people making such requests to manually download over sixty files* - and something like 15 people so far think objecting to this merits a downvote.

What God-damn drugs are you on?

I had forgotten what some people are like, and this has been a helpful reminder.


Re: I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

> They could have done what you suggested but all the law requires them to do is make the information available to you.

Which they did not. Manually downloading more than sixty files is constructive obstruction.

> as it seems you cant be bothered to put in a little effort to do the downloads

Get stuffed. I'm not an idiot and downloading more than sixty files is completely and utterly needless, both for me, and for the untold thousands of other people in the same situation.


Re: I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

There are untold numbers of people issuing CCPA requests to Amazon.

Do we say then it is better that *each and every one of the those untold numbers of people should manually download more than sixty files*, rather than Amazon doing *just once* the trivial bit of work to put all those files into a single archive?


Re: I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

Quicker, to have *every single person* issuing a CCPA request to Amazon produce exactly the same code to do the same job - compared to Amazon doing the necessary work *just once* to put all those files into a single archive?

(And this assumes all the people issuing a CCPA possess the necessary coding skills, which they do not.)


Re: I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

> Sorry, but I can't see what's wrong with such a response?

You must work for Amazon ;-)

You try manually downloading *over sixty files*, one by one, by hand, in your browser, and see how far you get.

Amazon could just have well have provided a single archive file with all those files in.


I may be wrong, but I think Amazon deliberately obstruct CCPA requests

I tried, I think starting about two and a half years ago now, to get the information Amazon keep about me, from Amazon, via a CCPA request.

I have yet to succeed.

I may be wrong, but I am of the view Amazon deliberately obstruct such requests - the nearest I managed to get to the data was a web-page with *over sixty individual download links*, with Amazon telling me they expected me to manually download each file (and, later, that "We will do not more than we have done; we look forward to seeing you back on Amazon.com").

Amazon customer support has usually been appalling - disconnected, arrogant, conceited, unresponsive, and almost always unable to read any ticket history - although occasionally with a single person who would be helpful, but it's not been enough to actually get hold of the data.

AI surveillance software increasingly used to make sure contract lawyers are doing their jobs at home


I stopped buying from Amazon about a year ago.

Every time I read a story like this, I'm happy that I did so.

No day in court: US Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court rulings will stay a secret


This is not a conversation for a surveilled medium

I have strong feelings about this matter, but I'm very guarded these days in what I write electronically where I criticise the State.

When you know your neighbour has a rifle and you do not, you become increasingly conscious of doing anything to upset him.