* Posts by emfiliane

140 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Aug 2021


Windows XP's adventures in the afterlife shows copyright's copywrongs


El Reg: "Hey, it's Monday and it looks like traffic numbers are low. Let's post a retread of Stallman's essays from 40 years ago and see if we can rile everyone up."

Eating disorder non-profit pulls chatbot for emitting 'harmful advice'


Re: Wrong disorder

No one -- and especially no one calling an eating disorder hotline -- is going to find weight-loss revelation in 'eat less, move more.' We ALL know that. If it's not strictly medical and you can't summon up herculean levels of motivation, you need a coach, a therapist, and as many supportive friends and family as you can get to keep propelling you forward, not some banal tautology. (Or a serious hard drug habit.)

All those hollywood stars and CEOs who shed 50 pounds and get super buff for a role? They sure as hell didn't do it alone, or after being nagged by a chatbot or horrible mother-in-law.


Well, it's a good thing the debt deal includes more cuts to IRS funding. Wouldn't want those pesky auditors poking their nose in and finding out where the money is really going.

1. This crypto-coin is called Jimbo. 2. $8m was stolen from its devs in flash loan attack


It's not just you; most cryptobro and especially DeFi jargon is extra dense to cover for the fact that most of it is smoke and mirrors, and the part that's not is mostly just a harder way to do something we already did just fine. The more they can baffle you with bullshit, the easier they can pick your pocket.

US bill to protect reproductive health data is dead. Here's why you should care anyway


Re: Isn't this already covered by HIPAA?

The trackers aren't considered 'heath care services' for the purposes of HIPAA. One of the things the legislation here would is change that, so HIPAA would apply to them. HIPAA also has a hole you can drive a truck through in the form of state governments and courts being able to force records releases, so another thing the bill does is mandate what data is never collected or thrown away as soon as it's processed, or provides for even tighter sharing regulations than HIPPA. HIPAA merely states that the data that is collected will not be disclosed to an unauthorized third party, except with a court order or for a lawful purpose, so guess what avenue states are pursuing to get that data.

But the second doesn't even come into play until the first does, until then they're acting as if it's no problem to sell all their user data to anyone who wants to buy it, in the grand tradition of Silicon Valley's egalitarian bulldozing of the whole concept of privacy in the name of profits.

That old box of tech junk you should probably throw out saves a warehouse


I wonder if that was a typo, and it was supposed to be 20A. Now that would be well beyond USB, but perfectly good with the ULTRA 5's PSU, which can output 22A on the 5V rail.

Friggen hated those old Optiplexes with proprietary PSU connectors that only had a 12V, I'm going to take a wild guess that's what the story was referring to.

Europe’s biggest city council faces £100M bill in Oracle ERP project disaster


Re: Systems Integrator

They chose Insight Direct and Evosys as integrators, which is like hiring a cryptobro as your retirement planner. They were absolutely boned from the start, at every stage, and frankly the idiots who made the decision to go this way need to be held to answer with more than just being voted out.

Microsoft will upgrade Windows 10 21H2 users whether they like it or not


Re: Windows 11 use has jumped from almost 9 percent in March (2022) to 23 percent in April.

The vast majority of the steady uptick has nothing to do with OS upgrades, forced or voluntary. Most of them are through people buying new computers with Windows 11 either pre-loaded or a day-one update. Most people will just go with what's easiest instead of investing a lot of time or energy into remaking their system in their own image, even if they gripe about the change for change's sake.

Microsoft has earned the derision, but they know through decades of doing this that enough people will just move on that they don't have to care about the holdouts after a while.

Google Cloud's watery Parisian outage enters third week, with no end in sight


Re: Cloud is it

Strip away all the hype, and the value of the cloud is betting that renting your equipment and the ability to scale up and down in five minutes is cheaper than buying it all outright plus provisioning and running costs. For greenfield projects, or a major upgrade, it's worth weighing the different paths.

But for some reason management always wants to replace the datacenter wholesale, despite all the sunk costs that have already gone into it.

When you try to hire a freelancer to write SQL and all you get is incorrect AI garbage


amanfromMars... now that is a name I have not heard in a long time.

I kind of miss his indecipherable points within well-pureed English.

Your security failure was so bad we have to close the company … NOT!


Re: Keyboard issues

Yeah, that's an Intel specific default shortcut, though you can set it for both NV and AMD as well. (Well, you could a few years ago, they change things around enough that I'm not 100% sure now.) Likewise, you can disable it on Intel, because it's annoying as shit when you accidentally do it, or worse, a staffer who thinks they broke the computer.


FWIW, insane as it sounds, LAPD has a dedicated door replacement department, for all the times they fuck up and go to the wrong place or act on an invalid tip. Someone somewhere finally crunched the numbers and figured out it's cheaper than being sued constantly, and probably much cheaper that actually reforming the department.

No idea how it works in other places, but that's at least one known-terrible agency that will still do this.

Tokyo has millions of surplus Wi-Fi access points that should be shared with blockchain, says NTT


Re: Plays havok with the providers

In this case, NTT is the provider, and they have massive fiber infrastructure throughout Tokyo, so at least that part of it won't be a problem.

Given that many US and UK ISPs have been sharing your leased modem out on an isolated network with their own branded wifi, without you having any say in it besides buying your own in a model they don't support (a far better financial choice anyway), NTT is way behind the curve here.

Support chap put PC into 'drying mode' and users believed it was real


Re: Not his first rodeo

Ahaha, love it. In yet more proof that Microsoft must have copied Mac OS wholesale, the Win3.1 and 95 sounds would lock up the system, or at least the shell, in the same way. I once DOS'd myself by making a full five-minute song the startup jingle, at full volume, before the desktop finally loaded. Anytime a sound played, there was no way to cancel once it started, except the big red button.

FerretDB 1.0 offers fresh approach to open source document databases


Re: mongo

I don't think it's entirely fair to lay a shit programmer's abuse at the database's feet, but it's also true that Mongo has earned the well-deserved reputation that PHP and mysql once had: If you make it so easy that any idiot can use it, then every idiot will use and abuse it.

What if someone mixed The Sims with ChatGPT bots? It would look like this


Re: ...could not enter stores after they closed at 1700 local time...

The funniest part is that while the researchers admitted they didn't account for things like the single-occupancy bathroom (or door locks), they completely missed the fact that this is pretty normal behavior in many roommate situations, even if there's barely elbow room for two. Sometimes you both have 20 minutes to get ready for class/work/date/etc and there's just no way to take turns, so, you deal.

Admittedly it's mostly women who are more OK with this, since we're mostly less inclined to roll out of bed into some pants and step out, but hell, that was the pair involved. Accidental emergent behavior. Many games' most beloved bugs are along these lines!

TikTok: Is this really a national security scare or is something else going on?


Re: McCarthyism 2.0

Facebook and Instagram have had "Reels" for over two years now, and they sucked hard at first (more like a Vine than a TikTok), but they're basically a complete clone of TikTok's whole format now.


TikTok is a smokescreen

Take a look at the RESTRICT Act, which purports to ban it -- in reality it's basically the Patriot Act 2.0. Vast new land grabs of power, even more erosion of privacy and rights, while everyone squabbles over a fad app.

If the US wanted to ban TikTok, all they would have to do is legislate a real personal privacy law with expensive teeth, EU-style. All the social media platforms would be caught up in that, but divest themselves of what they could to keep existing.

Errors logged as 'nut loose on the keyboard' were – ahem – not a hardware problem


Re: Nut on the loose

It's best not to come up with a rational reason to excuse this unless it's truly exceptional. I've seen codebases where essentially the entire source is just a long series of try-catch-continue anywhere that a bug was hit at some point. Especially in Java, some people simply cannot wrap their heads around checked exceptions and just default to this pattern for everything instead. (Granted, Java's checked exceptions are badly designed and often misused; then there are the libraries that throw for basic flow control and need to be chucked into a molten pool of steel.)

Microsoft freaks out users with Windows 11 warning: 'LSA protection is off'


An lsass update is in March's patches...

...and in all older versions, that means a guaranteed reboot after updating. It's a critical enough kernel service that if it dies, the OS will warn you that it died and will shut down in 30 seconds. (Remember sasser and its kin?) Windows 11 finally allowed hotpatching with a momentary process restart to even such deep kernel juju... except there's also a new guardian service that watches for any tampering with the process, since it's so critical. Oops, several someones forgot about that.

QA would have caught this in 30 seconds, but now we're the only QA left. Thanks, Microsoft.


It probably took you longer to write that comment than it would have to google it, and find out that it's the kernel module that keeps and verifies passwords and issues auth tokens to local and network resources. It's basically worked in exactly the same boring way since NT 4.0, so your knowledge (paranoia?) is only 25 years out of date, no biggie.

Are you ready to go all-in, head-first, on a laptop? ASUS's Zenbook Pro 16X asks for that commitment


Screen correction:

It's a 3200x2000 screen. 3840x would be for a full 4K screen, and its 16x10 would be 3840x2400. (At least, without stretched pixels, shudder.) This one's labeled as a "3.2K" for that reason.

Google: Turn off Wi-Fi calling, VoLTE to protect your Android from Samsung hijack bugs


Wifi calling on? Really?

Unless you're often spending your time in the basement or a remote chalet, you should turn Wifi calling off anyway, unless you prefer dead air pickups, constant echo, warbling, and stutter, and total inability to receive verification calls and texts from most sites.

Biden wants to claw back, flog off 1.5GHz of spectrum


Re: Paws off FM radio.

Also what other uses are there for the broadcast FM spectrum other than FM radio?

Literally almost everyone would like a bite of that. The bandwidth is low, the penetration is high, it's an ideal spectrum for a vast host of services. Right now it sits (in the US) right in between radar, radioastronomy, TV, and aircraft navigation and information systems. There are tons of other services that don't need a lot of bandwidth that would kill for a slice of the VHF spectrum.

Check out Codon: A Python compiler if you have a need for C/C++ speed


If you're already using NumPy, then you're already on the other side of Raymond Chen's proverbial airtight hatch -- you've already made significant adjustments to your code to fit them into NumPy's optimized C routines, and there's not really a lot Codon can do for you.

Interfaces that can return any random type are very rare and a nasty code smell, though. Most of the time it's always either just a [type], a subclass thereof, or None.

If it works and is fast and it works with the libraries you need, and it would take you twice or ten times as long in C, why go straight to C? (Admittedly C++ is starting to look much more Pythonic these days.)


The biggest difference is most likely that Cython will only use static typing if it's explicitly written, otherwise you still incur dynamic typing overhead, whereas Codon uses black magic to infer the types from a generic Python file and thus needs no extra work for massive speedups. The paper's pretty interesting, but reminds me that I'm a mere mortal, not a real computer scientist.

Oof, checking their website, the automagic just forces 64-bit ints and ASCII strings, that's going to give a ton of speedup but simply not work for many of the specialized applications where massive speedup would come in so handy.

On the other hand, baked in threading and no GIL (except when interfacing with CPython) is a real nice addition.

Intel buries news of GPU cuts and delays in low-key Friday post


The one bright point is that they didn't announce major cuts or schedule pushes to Arc, so Battlemage just might(!) be on-time-ish. Makes sense, it doesn't suck as much as their HPC offerings, even if those may have provided a lot of interesting hardware layout over the years. (Or maybe not, Intel can be very siloed.) But of course, nothing is set in stone on the consumer side, either.

Who writes Linux and open source software?


The author of the piece knows the audience; those lines were quite obviously trolling. And some of the more rabid MS-haters bit, because they simply cannot help themselves. It wouldn't be El Reg without its stalwarts and Usenet sensibility.


Re: This is old news ...

Raw driver support is obviously critical, but I've worked with Intel engineers assigned to several different completely unrelated open-source projects. They've made a bunch of their proprietary math, HPC, video, etc accelerator libraries open source, with whole teams dedicated to them, sometimes even assigned them to new stewardship entirely (SVT-AV1 was transferred to Alliance of Open Media, for instance) while still retaining most of the original Intel-employed team.

After less than half a year, Intel quietly kills RISC-V dev environment


Re: If it's not x86 it's not Intel

Itanium was The Future for Intel and HP(/Compaq/DEC) at the time, along with a number of other companies that steadily lost faith. It was certainly not deliberately shit, the entire company was re-oriented around it while Netburst ran its course. Then the Itanic sunk, even if HP tried to bail it out for years, and nothing else has been "The Future" since then. (Although x86 itself has certainly seen many interesting new internal designs.)


If it's not x86 it's not Intel

Wow, Intel at least gave ARM a few years before axing the divisions both times it tried to branch out. (The i960 and XScale were quite decent for their time and purpose.) One bad quarter and fledgling RISCV department is already cut down mercilessly.

Next up, the DGPU line, after finally delivering competitive midrange performance after many years of hard work and neglect. Can't let any non-x86 line see success.

US Department of Energy solicits AMD's help with nuke sims


Your first thought on seeing some of the specs for what will be one of the highest performance computing clusters in the world, is hey, let's invest more in some vaporware from the 00's that never panned out and may not even be theoretically possible. Even ReRAM, which was tagged as a memristor but never proven to be one, had as its greatest promise the possibility of stacking, if anyone could make the process work; 3D NAND and HBM eventually filled that role.

There's still a paper or three a year from labs looking into it just in case, but anything compelling about the idea is long since done.

Sometimes you have to let dead ends die.

Three seconds of audio could end up costing Fox $500,000


That's not how it works; EBS worked by Teletype notices, and later by phone calls from the white house or from the network HQ, that had to be authenticated by called back. Now it's a digital broadcast. It's never been "if you hear the tone anywhere else, start broadcasting it immediately," however that could possibly work.

Heata offers free hot water by mounting servers on people's water tanks


The patent does not inspire confidence...

"The method may comprise pushing a frame through the insulation to cut an aperture in the insulation. A flange on the frame may define the depth to which the frame is inserted. The method may further comprise removing the insulation from the aperture and exposing a surface of the tank."

I hope they mean fiberglass blankets, but I imagine some installer will be keen to see how far he can shave down the side of the tank for a better conduction.

2002 video streaming patent holder sues Amazon and Twitch


Re: Patently

While most software patents are bunkum, I don't believe you know what HLS is, if you think it's a solution anyone "would have arrived at it using common sense," or how many competing designs and protocols it eventually beat out. HTTP streaming, and streaming in general, was still an incredibly hard nut to crack that companies were bashing their heads against for at least a decade at the time, and a number of wildly differing schemes were created to try to solve it.

Over time the field has winnowed down to RTMP and HLS because they were the best and most fully-developed technologies out of the whole field. RTMP's licensing fees were significantly higher, so HLS got a lot more popular. There's also SRT/RIST which are more recent patent-free FOSS protocols, but how far they'll go remains to be seen. (Especially since HLS goes out of patent later this year -- which I'm sure is what prompted this lawsuit.)

Rust projects open to denial of service thanks to Hyper mistakes


Maybe, just maaaaaaaaybe, the library should fail safe, instead of failing open. Make a limit the default and require anyone needing more to explicitly state that, instead of starting with no limit and an obvious resource exhaustion problem, but then burying the proscription against that in the individual function docs.

Saying "don't do this" but then making it the default behavior is one of the most asinine security practices ever. What exactly did they expect to happen?

Non-binary DDR5 is finally coming to save your wallet


Re: Fine by me

Asynchronous dual channel's been common for at least five years, too, at least on enthusiast/workstation boards. It's not a RAID-0 like classic dual-channel, but when accesses line up across differently sized chips, it still can be. I doubt Windows or Linux try to optimize memory placement to the widest segment, but on the other hand, I doubt enough people are running apps that have a noticeable benefit from multi-channel access on a system with soldered DRAM.

Sucks to be us.


Reading betwixt the lines

This is really saying that demand for ever-larger DRAM is softening in a historic way. If the demand was there, then they would keep making ever-larger chips and their customers would buy , whatever the cost, as has always historically been true. DRAM OEMs and vendors will make and sell whatever their customers are buying. Statements like:

"Doubling of DRAM capacity — 32GB to 64GB to 128GB — now produces large steps in cost. The cost per bit is fairly constant, therefore, if you keep doubling, the cost increments becomes prohibitively expensive," Lam explained. "Going from 32GB to 48GB to 64GB and 96GB offers gentler price increments."

have never not been true. In fact, cost-per-bit would historically be higher for the largest chips. So what we're seeing is a serious flattening of workload DRAM needs, from a nearly exponential curve as bigger data processing gobbles every byte you can throw at it, to linear or less. And maybe GPU compute is hitting the mainstream, so more of it at higher speed is baked into those rather than the base platform, instead; I haven't seen the statistics on that, but it wouldn't surprise me if ML was making major inroads into the more traditional server market. Insanely high SSD disk access times must be tilting the cache-vs-storage tradeoff these days, too.

Or perhaps this is just a sign of the gathering post-pandemic tech recession, but even in previous tech recessions, the OEMs always told their customers to suck it up and buy larger, since workloads only perpetually increase.

(In desktop/laptop computers, this seems to have played out years ago; 8-16GB has been the norm on systems since 2017, and shows no signs of budging.)

MariaDB uses SPAC to begin NYSE trading in a tough market for public offerings


Re: So now that MariaDB is just another corporation

Random Pet Shop Boys allusion made my entire night.

Commercial repair shops caught snooping on customer data by canny Canadian research crew


Chucklefucks like this

give the entire field a bad name, especially since most are looking for sexy pics and usually can't help sharing them around. Not just the idiot 20-yos, there were plenty in their 30s and 40s who got their kicks that way, like there aren't a billion sexy pics just a google away.

Full disclosure: When I've told people they can't store their iTunes library on their network folder, back in the heady pre-Spotify days, I've been known to first snag an album or two.

Twitter engineer calls out Elon Musk for technical BS in unusual career move


Re: He’s fired

The salute emoji is a widely recognized tribute to a fallen companion, and solidarity, not sarcastic or mocking (unless used ironically so). The Twitter slack lit up with thousands of them when the layoffs started processing, lots of screenshots out there.

Europe wants Airbnb and pals to cough up rental property logs


Re: It had to happen

They don't care about tracking down every off-the-books transaction that ever occurs, they know it's impossible. They're interested in huge companies that potentially facilitate and record many thousands of those transactions. Low hanging fruit and all that.

Think Korean chipmakers will buy Arm? Think again


> Qualcomm is the other semiconductor company that had previously expressed an interest in buying a stake in Arm, but at this juncture, that seems unlikely given that the two are now embroiled in a bitter legal feud over the terms of Arm's architectural licenses.

Buying out a company to end a lawsuit is an age-old business practice. All of the tech giants have done it at least once.

Linus Torvalds to kernel devs: Grow up and stop pulling all-nighters just before deadline


Have you ever used git? When you merge a branch, every commit from that branch comes in, and depending on how you do things that can be anywhere from one to a thousand commits. Linux doesn't squash commits, though individual contributors can (but mostly don't), but Torvalds is only going to review the final state of the overall commit (unless something isn't right and something distinctly interesting appears in the git log of the branch).


Re: Err

You as a new contributor would get a pass, if anything it's almost expected. You as a regular contributor would be held to higher standards.

The message is telling you to step up your professionalism and step back from absolute deadline-oriented perfectionism, so that you get extra review time. Because unlike an essay deadline, your code is going to be reviewed throughout the RC process and you will have an opportunity to fix bugs, but preferably not rewrite the entire thing from scratch to solve an undiscovered problem. (That's a push to next release.)

I get it, I'm this way too, but sometimes your boss has to set appropriate expectations to manage timelines properly.

Intel Alder Lake BIOS code leak may contain vital secrets


Re: 2.8 GIGABYTES of source code??!!

Uncompressed size is 5.8 GB. Most of it is not source code, there's a full SVN repo that's stupendously huge, along with the files of the most recent commit, a complete build environment for several different platforms, and a large chunk of the code is various OS-level drivers to interact with the actual UEFI. But yes, it is still pretty huge.

Noberus ransomware gets info-stealing upgrades, targets Veeam backup software


Re: Solution seems to be obvious

> Did I read the article the right way? Or can that be exploited without auth as well? Or an auth-bypass?

That is the problem, many methods are known to extract the saved local SQL auth keys as long as administrator access is available, so whatever chain is necessary to acquire admin access.

Once there, it's all dependent on whatever access the account has to SQL, and the Veeam roles of whatever it can access (easily extracted and decrypted from SQL tables) has to anything. If the SQL account isn't set up to deny access to the Credentials table, it can read all accounts and encrypted passwords. At that point you only have the SQL/Veeam roles assigned, and hopefully they've done the only possible reasonable thing and set up separate accounts for the administrative and client sides of each, or else it's trivial to get full access.

Otherwise, they also have to find a way to elevate on the Veeam server in order to extract or purge the backups of all systems.

A match made in heaven: systemd comes to Windows Subsystem for Linux


WSL did the work of init before this; now Systemd will do what it does, replace init, if you elect to use it.

Dump these small-biz routers, says Cisco, because we won't patch their flawed VPN


Re: Hard-/Software expiration date

Meraki's buyout was one of the most crushing experiences for me, what was a disruptor was now about to be a cash cow, and that's exactly what happened. They weren't perfect, but they were leaps and bounds better than competitors at the time.

Ubiquiti has resisted buyouts, but they've continually climbed up the enterprise mesh networking ladder and left your average one-off buyer behind, where they used to be the instant automatic buy for one or a handful on a site.


I was all set to be mad

...but a set of basically throwaway small biz devices released in 2011? They're basically consumer routers with a Cisco Enterprise flash and support contract on them, sold for an extra couple hundred. It's not going to kill a SOHO to replace them, and compared to most SOHO devices that get 2-5 years of updates, 10 years is actually pretty damn good. Most probably already have, whether hardware failure or being hamstrung by a 1x1 Wifi N.

I can rage all day at every provider of entry level hardware, from consumer to enterprise, for abandoning it long before its useful life expires, but that doesn't actually seem to be the case here. You can swap in any $5 router with L2TP server from Craigslist and you wouldn't notice.