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Journal: Circular Refuge on reddit 4

Journal by Some Woman

It's a happening place. There are upwards of 3, maybe 4 posts a day!
You should join us, if you like.

http://www.reddit.com/r/CircularRefuge
(message mods to join; can't let the riffraff on reddit in! Just our very own special riffraff.)

Comment: Re:Illegal and Dangerous? (Score 1) 200

by Cyberdyne (#47392191) Attached to: The View From Inside A Fireworks Show

I say try because in a battle between a jet engine with the power to push 400 tons of steel into the sky VS a drone I'm going to put my money on the jet engine lasting long enough for them to turn around and land again.

You might want to rethink that after being reminded of jet airliners being brought down by birds - not an ounce of metallic content, just a few pounds of meat and soft lightweight bones - or the 747 which almost crashed after all four engines failed from ingesting some ash. (Fortunately, they happened to be relatively near an airport and were high enough to glide for over a hundred miles, which bought them just enough time to restart an engine while they had been preparing to ditch in the ocean, buying them enough time to limp to the nearest runway - although all four engines were damaged beyond repair.)

For that matter, the French Concorde which crashed in 2000 was destroyed by a single thin strip of metal, 17 inches long and just over an inch wide, less than four ounces: essentially, a slightly larger than average metal ruler. It didn't even go into an engine, it just burst a tire - violently enough that the ten pound lump of rubber ruptured the wing and number 5 fuel tank, causing the crash which killed everyone on board.

That was a single 4 oz strip of metal hitting a tire. A pound of bolts or nails will destroy the engine - or a metal drone engine that size.

Comment: Re:Annoying. (Score 1) 347

A business called "BT Wholesale / aka OpenReach"

Actually, BT Wholesale is a separate unit from Openreach. Openreach manages the 'final mile' services: all the copper wire, the local exchange buildings, and some but not all of the equipment in there. A few UK ISPs build their services on top of Openreach's products directly: TalkTalk and Sky, for example, went and installed their own DSLAMs in those exchange buildings, paying Openreach to connect the copper wires to them. BT Wholesale also takes those Openreach products, adds in their own national backbone and offers a service to other ISPs: they'll install a fast fibre backbone link to the ISP's premises/facilities, and connect the customers through that to the ISP.

This can cause problems; my own ISP is a BT Wholesale customer, so when I had a fault earlier this year they had to report it to BT Wholesale, who passed it on to Openreach to deal with. Openreach came out and tested their bit - my phone line, and the VDSL equipment on each end - and found nothing wrong there, so closed the fault. After six visits, BT Wholesale (or rather, BT TSOps and the Adhara Ops team at Adastral Park, where the fault got escalated to in the end) eventually found the problem was on their own backbone (a faulty router was corrupting traffic between certain IP addresses - one of which happened to be a core router at my ISP).

I agree with the overall approach, though, having a separate and regulated entity run just the local loop portion. (In practice, Openreach is still a part of BT - hence I got a sales pitch from at least one of the six Openreach engineers about BT Retail being a better option. Against all the rules - Openreach are officially supposed to be neutral - but could that ever really happen in practice while they're still the same company?)

Comment: Re:About time! (Score 2) 306

by Cyberdyne (#46827511) Attached to: ARIN Is Down To the Last<nobr> <wbr></nobr>/8 of IPv4 Addresses

Others such as Eli Lily or the UK Gov Dept of Pensions really don't need so many addresses

Someone in the UK government pointed that out recently - it turns out that "Dept of Pensions" allocation is actually used across most of the government as some sort of VPN extranet with various external contractors. Apparently, since they all use different RFC1918 blocks internally, they can't all be VPNed into any single RFC1918 block: they needed a globally-unique block for that purpose.

British Telecom uses the 30.0.0.0/8 block for managing all their customer modems - that block is actually allocated to the US DoD, but they don't allow external access to it anyway, so there's nothing to stop you using that block internally yourself as long as you don't need to communicate with any other networks using the same trick. Better than wasting an entire /8 of global address space just for internal administrative systems - or a /9, like Comcast grabbed back in 2010.

My inner geek - who cares about efficiency - would love to see all the legacy blocks revoked. I'm sure the DoD could use 10/8 instead of 30/8 quite easily for their non-routed block; the universities could easily fit in a /16 instead of a /8, or smaller with a bit of NAT. Still, we should be moving to IPv6 instead now: give each university and ISP a /48, or /32 for big complex networks needing multiple layers. I just have a nasty feeling we're in for a long time of CGNAT spreading instead - where we currently have ISPs that don't offer static IP addresses, in a few years they'll be refusing to issue anything other than a NATted 100.64/16 address.

Comment: Cutting out the middleman... (Score 1) 6

by MonTemplar (#46698939) Attached to: Reminiscence XP

...yeah, if I've gotten a slipstreamed install disc with SP3 on it, I could have saved myself a lot of time when I did the same experiment. *shrug*

Out of interest, which version of IE did it have after install completed? I see you were prompted to upgrade to IE8, but my memory is hazy on whether IE7 was ever included on later XP install discs.

Comment: Re:XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (Score 1) 7

by MonTemplar (#46688293) Attached to: Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

But XP? Not so simple. XP has lower system requirements, it works well on systems that are dog slow under 7. It's STILL BEING SOLD for that very reason, and the machines that ship with it will generally not work with other versions, either from lack of resources, lack of drivers, or both.

I'm aware you can still get XP discs second-hand or ex-stock here in the UK - Amazon lists several versions, although some look suspiciously like they may be OEM versions that are tied to specific brand/model PCs. I'm not aware of any PC maker here in the UK offering an XP options, though - maybe Windows 7, for business systems and workstations.

Ultimately I will probably just put Slackware on the machine that's running XP now but if ReactOS were a little more mature I might use it instead.

I recently wiped my old (2003 vintage) laptop, which originally came with XP, and installed Linux Mint - considering the machine's specs, it works fairly well.

I've read about ReactOS, but given the slow pace of progress I regard it as curiosity rather than a viable alternative.

Comment: XP is (nearly) dead - long live Windows 7! (Score 1) 7

by MonTemplar (#46682747) Attached to: Tomorrow Windows XP dies, long live Windows XP!

Seriously. I remember trying out the preview version on my then-XP-running PC back in 2009, and being blown away by a) how much easier it was to install and get going, b) how well it ran all my existing software, c) how it let me finally use all of the memory installed in my machine, d) how much better it was than Vista. I pre-ordered a copy soon after, and the rest is history. Now, on my Mac, I have my Windows 7 VM for running various applications I still use.

Installing Windows XP today is not nearly as fun as you might think, particularly if you've got a pre-SP2 copy. When I tried it, I had to manually install some patches just to get Windows Update working, then some more before I could install IE8, and some more before I could install MSE. And then all the patches to bring the whole lot up-to-date - that took hours and hours to finish. I'd only recommend trying it if you're installing onto a machine that you don't actually need to use for a good while.

As for the 'but it's tried and tested" argument for hanging onto XP, I would point to the number of flaws that are still being uncovered in the Windows codebase, many of which are also in XP. Yes, you can mitigate against some by hardening your system, running only as a standard user, etc. - but for most current XP installs that will probably mean extra aggravation caused by third-party software written back in the Bad Old Days that expects to run with full admin privileges.

The only excuse for continuing with XP, to my mind, other than sheer obstinacy, is where you've got systems that absolutely, positively require XP running on physical hardware - specialised hardware or software that won't work via a VM because they need direct access through physical ports. Such systems should be segregated from local networks and the Internet as much as possible.

"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN

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