* Posts by emfiliane

163 publicly visible posts • joined 12 Aug 2021


Ex-school IT admin binned student, staff accounts and trashed phone system


Re: NerdRageQuit

This might sound painfully cringe but I logged into a few service accounts I knew by heart a few times after my termination from one job, just to make sure than the factory systems I'd set up were still running smoothly and nothing had broken down from a cock-up since. All was good, so I signed off those for good.

Regulator says stranger entered hospital, treated a patient, took a document ... then vanished


Re: Pardon?

Tis the season and all, but you've been watching way too much Die Hard, my dude.

Logitech's Wave Keys tries to bend ergonomics without breaking tradition


Not even one word about the rather... unique... key placements and double-ups?

FFmpeg 6.1 drops a Heaviside dose of codec magic


Re: Version numbers are not what you think

I can confirm that Netflix uses ffmpeg for pretty much everything, and has done since the beginning. They're quite proud of it, and regularly contribute to both ffmpeg and the underlying codecs (like SVT-AV1). Youtube uses ffmpeg for everything but live-streaming. (Maybe even that, now.) Amazon used Microsoft Expression Encoder way back in the day, but I'm pretty sure they use a custom solution developed around ffmpeg now... though Mainconcept AWS systems are offered, so maybe they use that in-house too. No idea what other newer streaming companies use anymore.

All social media companies use something based around ffmpeg at the core. (FB, IG, Twitch, Tiktok, etc) They're way too cheap to pay the kind of licensing costs of a broadcast commercial suite, even a giant like Meta.

Lenovo's USB-C Power Banks pack more heat than expected


Re: 20,000 mAh

The CGS system strikes again!

Bright spark techie knew the drill and used it to install a power line, but couldn't outsmart an odd electrician


Re: "set about installing one"

Daisy-chained Cat5 is one of those "technically it works... if you baby it and never push it too hard" things. So sure, wire tester would show working fine, some quick connectivity tests, but as soon as you really try loading it down it'll just keel over and all but die due to reflections and collisions. It'd be like having a 10mbps hub again.

Bug hunters on your marks: TETRA radio encryption algorithms to enter public domain


Most of these units run on a mobile OS, like Symbian, WinCE/Mobile/Embedded, VxWorks, etc, with updateable software on top. You'd have to go *way* back to find bare-hardware systems. Firmware updates are a fact of life for the departments that use them -- newer ones even do OTA!

In fact, the release of the vulnerability coincided with availability of new firmware across most in-service models and confirmation that major customers had applied them. (There are really only a few big makers, for that matter.)

I have no idea where you guys are getting the idea that these are some black box that once put out into the world, just exists in stasis forever, and can only be fixed by a total upgrade cycle.

Mid-contract telco price hikes must end, Ofcom told


That's the idea and what they'd like you to believe, of course.

In reality, most next-mile equipment will go down with the mains, maybe a minute or two later (just enough to cover blips). I used to have my networking on a battery that could handle ~24 hours, but the internet would still go out along with the rest of the power. It would cost money to actually provide that kind of reliability, when they could just claim it for free and keep lining the executive pockets.

Cat accused of wiping US Veteran Affairs server info after jumping on keyboard


Re: "their cat jumped on the keyboard"

When the kittens came along, I got back in the habit of hitting Win+L every time I step away from the desk, after waking up one day to find my entire downloads folder empty. They love the warmth, and even in summer, cats are all the embodiment of the most "did it for the lulz" coworkers out there.

Techie labelled 'disgusting filth merchant' by disgusting hypocrite


If they don't, there's always That One Bloke who comes to the comment section enraged that it wasn't spelled out.

If they do, there's always That One Bloke who can't help themselves from coming to the comments to make fun of the writer.

Can't win, can ya.

Microsoft to kill off third-party printer drivers in Windows


WIA was supposed to be that original universal printer interface. It kind of almost worked, but it was half-assed -- which could have been fixed and evolved into something useful, excepting printing isn't sexy so it was abandoned instead -- and it relied way too much on manufacturers making their own UI, print preview, workflow, etc, while replicating all of their features from the Win32 drivers. Go figure, they didn't even half-ass it, and WIA drivers are almost universally pure shite, garbage with nothing better than the most bare-bones functions and rarely if ever updated. Not all of it was because of getting a half-assed framework to start with, but it certainly didn't light any fires, so both sides just abandoned it to the perfunctory lip service. Especially since they weren't phasing Win32 drivers out.

I mean, these hardware guys can't make software worth a damn in the first place, good luck asking them to support two separate parallel products that each had unique features and missing capabilities.

The user-mode driver transition was being forced at the same time, and they hated that just as much, but at least in that case they just had to adjust and debug their existing codebase, not start all over from scratch, so WIA barely stood a chance.

Now the Mopira UWP framework is the new attempt to make everyone wholesale start over with a globally shared functionality, but being a standard created by the most craven leeches in what's now a dying field, they've designed it so they can add hooks everywhere to upsell you. Some of the drivers are genuinely good and stick to the more sensible default, make media keys and other shortcuts both effortless and configurable, hook straight into apps that support it well... and then there's HP, of course. Sigh.


Re: Does that mean...

Microsoft just won't include them in the installer or the automatic check via Windows Update.

However, if HP doesn't bother to update them over time and the certificates expire, then you'll have to go through some heroics to get them installed without your system acting like it's a janky beta test. Drivers are pretty locked-down these days, even user-mode ones.

Pokémon Go was a 'success disaster' and Niantic is still chasing another hit


Re: The buzz has worn off

Each of the games has fairly different mechanics based on the same basic concept, some of which make more sense to the original material than others. None of them can be called "the same game" at all, though we'd all lump them into the clone category.

Heck, they might have even achieved more success with straight reskinned variants of the exact same game. A lot of PGo players I've known tried both Ingress and WU, leaving them because they weren't really the same game, and what was different about them wasn't hooking them.

FreeBSD can now boot in 25 milliseconds


Re: Full circle?

Xen restarted modern paravirtualization (in old times *everything* was a little bespoke), and didn't even get unmodified host virt until version 3.0, when it also got 64-bit. It was around the same time that VMware decided to throw into the PV world, and aside from Linuxes and Unixes went so far as to get Microsoft to make a few kernel changes just for them.

Then PV dried up and effectively disappeared a couple years later, scrubbed from both of their marketing materials. I guess the 64-bit and processor VM support really did obsolete the whole idea.

Amazon Linux 2023 virtual machine images still MIA


Originally the idea was that Amazon Linux was going to be the most tightly integrated with AWS features across the board, needing less configuration and being easier to deploy for various tasks.

It ended up being just a very badly maintained fork of RHEL that was always way out of date, and constant broken promises about what would be added or when updates would be released. Despite that it probably sucked even more life out of RHEL, since Amazon has usurped Microsoft's crown of embrace, extend, extinguish.

I regret ever trying to make use of it, as the main thing it led to was hours of googling how to work around its idiosyncratic limitations that other distros didn't have.

High severity vuln in WinRAR could allow code to run when files are opened


Re: Yes, but...

Igor, bless his heart, is a genius at fancy maths and dirty coding tricks, not so much software engineering or UX. It's a throwback to that age when all compression and encryption code looked like that, heck, most software in general, and it's probably the only reason I've visited Sourceforge in years. Unrar (the only free and open source part of rar) has been cleaned up dramatically over the years compared to early releases, so it's not that ugly anymore, but it started in a quite dire state. Too bad Igor declines pretty much any code contributions, including cleanup patches.

Microsoft DNS boo-boo breaks Hotmail for users around the globe


Microsoft "Executive"?

Now you're really watering job titles down, El Reg. Senior Design Manager isn't even the top slot for a single product, that's Design Director, and that's not even close to C-suite.

Sucks for the dude and all, but he was middle management, not executive.

Sextortion suspects on trial after teen victim dies from a self-inflicted gunshot wound


Re: Modern Yoof Culture

It's like "rofl", you're not really rolling on the floor laughing, just kinda mildly chuckled. Mild embarrassment = kms.

But at the same time, if you're really going to, and there's already a shorthand for it, well....

Techie's quick cure for a curious conflict caused a huge headache


Re: "Ever done a little thing that made a big mess"

Why exactly would you think that a "sticky" IP address & server is some Windows thing and not RFC compliant? I think you need to reread the standard, specifically section 3.2.

Google Street View car careens into creek after 100mph cop chase


Re: Florida driving license

Same way you spot anything that's completely unlit: An OH SHIT moment when you get close and slam on the brakes.

Most traffic light overheads are in cities that have some kind of lighting, though, and are at least a little visible from a distance if you're paying attention. If the whole neighborhood's power is out and dark, well, that's a solid reason to treat driving through with an abundance of extreme caution.

Boris Johnson pleads ignorance, which just might work


Now wondering if he went to them after announcing cracking the code, "er, wotsit again? There's an old one at home with some very personal pics on it, y'see. Help a bloke out?"

Quirky QWERTY killed a password in Paris


Re: All your QWERTY belong to us...

Keyboard layout has nothing whatsoever to do with locale settings, not in Windows, Linux, Mac, or any other system I know of. You can have the layout that matches whatever your keyboard is while all of the proper settings for date, time, spelling, system language, etc are as you expect.

Can noise-cancelling buds beat headphones? We spent 20 hours flying to find out


On the other hand, the Galaxy Buds are $109 (some colors even less), so we're not talking a big bargain for what sounds like a fairly serious setback in overall audio experience.

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.