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Pristine Big Bang Gas Found

wgibson Re:Psh, as if (220 comments)


more than 2 years ago

How Can I Justify Using Red Hat When CentOS Exists?

wgibson Re:Depends.... (666 comments)

One of your key system daemons has just crashed (SEGFAULT). Restarting it causes yet another crash; what do you do? If you know C coding, you start doing stack traces. If you have a support contract, you call them up.

I'm sorry, but I live in the real world. I can't justify the risk of lost time involved with the options you provide. I will make a copy of the core-dump and the data currently "live" with that daemon, before rolling back to a backup from disk, VTL or tape.

99% of the time, the problem is gone, because 99% of the time the problem will be caused by bad data triggering a/the bug. And most likely, the copy+rollback took about the same amount of time as the phone-call to support would have taken (most often less), and unless you are very experienced at debugging other peoples code it is almost guaranteed to be faster than pulling out strace, gdb and the source.

Of course, there is a reason I say "make a copy of..". After rolling back and getting things running again, I am very much interested in figuring out what went wrong. But now I have plenty of time to either do the debugging, or seek out someone who knows how...

more than 2 years ago

First Fully Electric Manned Helicopter Flight

wgibson Re:Noise? (86 comments)

Well yes, but this is a coaxial design, so combining the removal of the noisy engine, with the noise reduction inherent in coaxial rotor configurations, it may well be noticeably quieter than a "conventional helicopter".

Reduced noise is a second advantage of the configuration - part of the loud 'slapping' noise associated with conventional helicopters arises from interaction between the airflows from the main and tail rotors, which in some designs can be severe.

about 3 years ago

Terror Attack On Norwegian Government

wgibson Re:Troll Attack (401 comments)

As a Norwegian, heavily shaken by the events, I heartily thank you for giving me a good laugh :)

more than 3 years ago

DVRs, Cable Boxes Top List of Home Energy Hogs

wgibson Re:How about heating and airconditioning? (324 comments)

Why do electrical engineers always insist on using non-SI units? The correct unit for energy is the Joule, or Watt-second.

Uhm. 1 Joule == 1 Ws. 1 Wh = 3600 Ws. 1 kWh == 1000 Wh ... I really do not see the problem of scaling the SI-based unit to a more manageable size...

more than 3 years ago

Alabama Nuclear Reactor Gets 'F' Grade

wgibson Re:Yes (436 comments)

... from GP's point of view "classic power plant" != "nuclear power plant". That should not have been too hard to spot...

more than 3 years ago

Google Storage Is Now Available To All Developers

wgibson Re:Tree of invitation links (62 comments)

But at first, when Orkut and Gmail were invite-only[...]

Orkut was invite only? That must have happened after Google took over. When I signed up with the service the sign-up was absolutely open.

more than 3 years ago

How a Leather Cover Crashes the Kindle

wgibson Re:I'd kind of like to read this (280 comments)

My guess: they realized they didn't know how to use a multimeter, and because of that, messed up...

more than 3 years ago

Ransomware Making a Comeback

wgibson Re:No data is actually encrypted..... (202 comments)

See also this post from Prevx:

All the data inside the hard drive is claimed to be encrypted, though this isn't actually true. The only thing that has been overwritten is the MBR.


Attempt by most users and technicians to fix the infection will be to run “fixmbr” to restore the MBR with a clean copy. Sadly it is not possible, because the rootkit wipes out the whole partition table section from the first sector of the hard drive - it is copied out to the fifth sector along with whole original MBR.

more than 3 years ago

Who Invented the Linux-Based Wireless Router?

wgibson Re:Xircom invented the wireless router. (154 comments)

Toss in the concepts Mesh, Authentication, Per-user bandwidth, Integrated Services and you may be closer to what is claimed.

more than 3 years ago

Who Invented the Linux-Based Wireless Router?

wgibson Re:Claims in HTML (154 comments)

So, basically, they describe an integrated outdoor Wireless Mesh router with per-user traffic shaping, running a Unix-like operating system. Even though I personally find applying per-user accounting and QoS in wireless mesh networks a natural and obvious extension, the fact that they do describe a form of throttling/shaping may make finding prior art a bit harder.

more than 3 years ago

Soviet Shuttle Buran Found In a Junk Heap

wgibson Re:Which one is it? (226 comments)

Mod parent up ..

more than 3 years ago

The Ancient Computers Powering the Space Race

wgibson Re:B-2 Stealth (253 comments)

There was definitely more to the A1000 than "emphasis on graphics and sound".

I am no authority on this, and I have no information on the B-2, but I may speculate... The Amiga 1000 was a modular approach, with a replaceable CPU daughter-card, the kickstart ROM replaced by "Writable Control Storage", et cetera.

Also, consider how clocking was done, this may be of relevance to the "equivalent of an Amiga 1000".

All frequencies in the Amiga 1000 are derived from this frequency as it simplified glue logic and allowed the Amiga 1000 to make do with a single cheap mass-produced crystal. The chipset was also designed to synchronize all operations so the hardware always ran in 100% real-time without any wait-state delays.

more than 3 years ago

The Ancient Computers Powering the Space Race

wgibson Re:Best platform for the job (253 comments)

Somehow, I suddenly imagined the Big Red Button as a touch-screen going BSOD just prior to launch....

more than 3 years ago

The Ancient Computers Powering the Space Race

wgibson Re:Part of the Problem (253 comments)


Inquiring about the same, would it make any difference if it was an ARM chip?

Well, no. If it's not designed as radiation hardened initially, it will be a major cost for make it rad-hardened, regardless of the fundamental architecture. And the market for these devices is still relatively tiny ...

more than 3 years ago

Man Gets 10 Years For VoIP Hacking

wgibson Re:Interesting criminal justice system in the US (149 comments)

Simple deportation for a large-scale theft like this is actually somewhat of a reward if the crook had enough sense to move the money he was making off his crime out of the country.

Top that off with a couple of years in prison, those offshore money are going to have grown thanks to a simple thing like interest rate ... So, the result: a rehabilitated person with a nice fat bank account deported ...

more than 3 years ago

Arduino Project Upgrades With 2 New Boards

wgibson Re:oops (113 comments)

But an interesting read nonetheless. Thank you for the fail-paste :D

more than 3 years ago

Google Opens Up Android Codebase

wgibson Re:Source code not really accessible (204 comments)

1) Who the heck uses Git? I know a lot of important companies do, but most people do not.

Quite a lot of people have actually read the manuals of git, and are using it in all manner of projects.

2) Who the heck is going to download 2.1GB just to look at 1-2 files in the source-code? That's just insane.

So don't!

They should make the source browseable directly off their website to spare us all this headache.

Ehm. This thing about documentation. Oh, and the acronym RTFA... At least I did not, and I hope that few others do, have any difficulty locating the gitweb repository at

more than 5 years ago


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