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* Posts by Tim Bates

849 posts • joined 1 Mar 2007

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Data retention means telcos risk Privacy Act breach, Pilgrim warns

Tim Bates

Also copyright?

In some variations on the theme, email headers were mentioned. Subject lines are a work composed by an author, and my understanding is that technically is covered by copyright laws.

If the government mandated retention of these emails, where does my right to control copies of my works fit into the proposal? It's somewhat ironic that the George Brandis was not that long ago banging on about illegal copying of content on the internet, and now wants to copy my content just in case I do something naughty in the next 730.5 days.

"I'm not pirating TV shows... I'm simply retaining copies in case they turn out to contain terrorism material and the police need them for evidence. I promise I'll delete it in 2 years."

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Yosemite Siri? Apple might plonk chatty assistant on your desktop - report

Tim Bates

Re: Or like original Star Trek?

"But windows gestures are a decade old."

But none of them invoked a digital assistant. There was a gesture usually given during the closing of the Office Assistant, but that's as close as it's been in the Windows world.

Although I do wonder if double clicking on the system tray icon for something like Virtuagirl would count as prior art... That's a gesture. And it technically is an assistant... A single purpose assistant, but the patent didn't mention how many purposes it needed.

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Tim Bates
Joke

"Anyone with a real operating system won't see it so it's all right."

Anyone with a real OS didn't see the Office assistant back when it was around either, because WINE didn't run MS Office back then....

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Officeworks recalls dangerous USB charger

Tim Bates

Re: Tested?

"or a dodgy brother's import?"

Well following the links I finally got to a proper recall report... The importer is Ingram Micro. Ingram usually keeps the dodgy brothers employees in their customer accounts department, not the product selection department.

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Help Australia's PM and attorney-general to define metadata

Tim Bates

Re: The biggest lie is accessibilty

Not to mention that the same week they're talking about this, someone else announces a database of 1.2 billion user accounts has been collected by hackers... Where exactly are they planning on hiding this data so that it's more secure than anything else in the world? And what is their plan for when MY metadata gets leaked to Russia, China or the NSA?

Oh, and isn't Brandis also obsessing over internet piracy? Would pirating my email headers give me grounds to sue him?

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Whoops, my cloud's just gone titsup. Now what?

Tim Bates

Cloudy places have their uses.

"Cloud" services are good when they're things you don't need live 100% of the time. Like overnight backups. As long as it works 99% of the time, it's not a big deal.

But for anything you need instant access to at random times, the cloud is not it. Think about how many things can break between your keyboard and the cloud provider's hard disks. Add in the number of people who can cock up a config or damage equipment between you and the cloud provider, and the whole deal looks really stupid.

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UK.gov's Open Source switch WON'T get rid of Microsoft, y'know

Tim Bates

Re: It's not Open Source it's an open standard

"My email that goes back 15 years that started life on a 50Myte hard drive in windows 95"

Somehow I doubt that size. Even my poor family had a 486 with a 120MB HDD years before Windows 95 came out.

But I agree on the point - you just copy everything over. I don't know of many businesses or government departments that just abandon their data as technology changes.

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HP settles suit with popstar Chubby Checker over todger tester app

Tim Bates

Was Chubby Checker (the musical bloke) in the business of estimating the sizes of sausages aswell as the musical bit? Or did the app use the guy's image aswell, thus causing the confusion required?

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iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple

Tim Bates

Re: Really?

> Intesting, because in Australia, 80-90% of shops do it.

Yep. And most banks are steadily replacing the aging fleet of non-NFC terminals with modern contactless enabled ones as they fail. Some are still keeping their old dialup terminals going, but others are rolling out replacements there too. And with the Telstra 2G network being shut down soon, almost all mobile terminals will be contactless by this time next year.

> How many commentards have even *seen* a cheque in, say, the last 10-15 years?

I see cheques nearly every day. They're still quite popular out this way, particularly with older business people. At a guess, approximately 1/3 of payments made to my workplace would be cheques.

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Apple 5S still best-selling smartphone 8 months after launch

Tim Bates

Re: As Winston (reputedly) once said...

"and it's clear why people prefer Apple once they have used it."

Maybe in the Apple user camp... The more I use them, the more I wonder how the heck anyone puts up with them. Some of the ways they do things is not only the opposite of the norm, but the opposite of common sense (for example the upper case keys representing lower case is plain retarded).

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Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

Tim Bates

Re: Did he really say this ?

"Have a group of OS's rather than one, and 2 for tablets FFS......"

A couple of us at work were talking about that last week, and figure it's time for someone at MS to have the balls to do with Apple did with OSX - complete restart based on a *nix system.

We figured a nice Windows (7) style GUI on top of a popular distro, a few tweaks to various things that aren't quite there in Linux and it's basically done. As a bonus, they could then offer the same MS Office on Linux as they sell for Windows, the same IIS for Linux as Windows, etc. Imagine being able to whack Exchange onto a perfectly good Linux server!

We weren't 100% serious of course... But given how Windows 8 went, it could actually work out better.

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Voteware source code review 'could lead to hacking'

Tim Bates

Re: Once a trouble maker always...

"I think there should be a law against electronic voting because it will never be reliable."

Human counting is also potentially unreliable, as seen in many corrupted nations. Even in Australia we've had paper votes go missing... It can be accidental or intentional, just like with electronic systems.

I personally think the electoral system in Australia is broken anyway. With what seems to be 99% of people thinking the Prime Minister is who they voted for, thanks to the media, there's almost no reason to care if the counting is flawed.

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Tim Bates

"We know that Boris Johnson got the job, but we don't know that he was actually elected."

I don't follow London's Mayoral politics, but I gather Boris didn't care. I think he said it was verrry niiice.

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Child diagnosed as allergic to iPad

Tim Bates

"Anyone whos blood pressure goes up using a device most grandparents can easily use MUST be overweight or at least have a bad cholesterol problem, so my point still stands."

Or perhaps they do different things on them. Does your grandma get asked to configure the perfectly reasonable things Apple or MS decided weren't needed?

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New leaked 'Windows 8 screenshot': The Start Menu strikes back

Tim Bates

Re: The start screen is a pile of crap on a big screen.

"It slows you down because you have to move the mouse too far."

Especially if you right click something on the start screen... You're going to take a road trip with your mouse for that.

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Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users' throats, says US CERT

Tim Bates

Re: Humourous

"itself is now quite a nuisance"

In what way exactly? I run the free version on a few computers, which does understandably try to sell the paid one twice a year, but it rarely bothers me unless I've given it a reason (like downloading a dodgy file).

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Tim Bates

Re: Are you listening Adobe, Oracle?

At least with Java there's a registry key to prevent it installing the malware when updates come out. Pity it's not set by default since Oracle think distributing malware is OK.

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'Cortana-gate' ruins Satya Nadella's Microsoft honeymoon

Tim Bates

Re: Learner drivers

You mean people use their indicators where you are? Luxury!

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Sneak peek: Microsoft's next browser (thanks, IE Developer Channel)

Tim Bates

"nippy compared to Chome, which is now a dog on slower machines"

What? I just installed it on an old EeePC 901 and it runs quite well. Are you using a 486 or something?

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Student promises Java key to unlock Simplocker ransomware

Tim Bates

Re: Really?

"Google could modify the OS to create a randomly named file in a random location, then any program that attempts to modify it gets blocked."

So when I go browsing MY phone to find where I copied that file I need, I can then lock out my file browsing app when I start to wonder what the "do not touch this file.dat" is for and end up deleting it because it looks dodgy/useless?

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Microsoft poised to take Web server crown from Apache

Tim Bates

Re: how many...

"How many of these so called active websites are in fact OWA portals / SBS remote access gateways / ActiveSync gateways?"

Quite a lot if they just did a crawl of the internet.

To be fair though, similar things could be said about how many Apache servers are just a webmail interface or some other locked out staff only business convenience. Probably less common, but still some out there.

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Please be seated at your FOUR-LEGGED PC

Tim Bates

Re: Bah!

I wondered the same thing, although in my version, I was more worried about someone accidentally opening the drawer and quickly returning a half-open box of paperclips or staples they borrowed yesterday.

Personally I prefer the woodgrain look many DIYers have done in the past. Looks more like a desk and less like a portable BBQ.

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iDevice gizmo-snatcher Oleg... you must be taking the Pliss

Tim Bates

Re: Ahem El Reg: Please Properly Educate Yourself About Apple

OK, so after reading a few posts saying this, I'll pick this one to reply to...

Apple states they lock accounts. That is not rate limiting. If you don't see any difference, read on...

Say you've got a list of a million account names, and Apple will lock an account after 5 failed logins. That's 4 million login attempts without getting caught. Because it's not rate limited*, you can do that in however long it takes Apple's servers to process things, and no accounts get locked still.

Now add in a list of known common passwords and you've got a fairly good chance of getting into a significant number of accounts.

*Apple may rate limit - the point is the account locking isn't rate limiting.

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Tim Bates

Re: Please enter a Unique Username ...

"demanded that the username is an email address."

A major website I was looking at the other day had a list of security tips. Among them was to ensure you don't use the same username and password on multiple sites. Guess what they required your username to be....

(For the simple folk, they required your email address - something most users won't have the option to just make up another one).

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Office website HACKED: Passwords, addresses, phone numbers slurped

Tim Bates

Re: Ubiquitous passwords

"There is no guarantee of quality of security when using sites like these, and some kind of security audit kitemark type scheme, possibly linked to the site's SSL certificate so that browsers could be configured to avoid all the amateurish sites is sorely needed."

And where exactly do you think the average online store owner will get the money required for such audits? Or are we considering a half-arsed script run remotely by Verisign to be enough to call it "audited", thus invoking a lovely sense of false security?

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It's Google's NO-WHEEL car. OMG... there aren't any BRAKES

Tim Bates

Re: Bar Transport

"As you point out, there's quite a complex set of advanced skills required to operate a current generation vehicle safely."

Driving well is not really a skill so much as an attitude. MANY people I know who have the attitude of "get from a to b" are crap drivers. It's not that they don't have the time or ability, but simply don't care. Not caring about driving is a major cause of danger on roads (not caring about sensible speed, not caring about indicating, not caring about other road users, etc).

There should be an attitude test before being given a license. If you're not that keen on driving, don't!

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How about printing your electricity?

Tim Bates

Re: umm, no

"Yep, there is this obscure patent filing from crApple covering the tech."

No, no... They're printing onto paper with square, pointy corners. Apple only patented the rounded corner rectangle.

Of course there is still the whole printing angle they could come back on. They did use an HP Deskjet, and we all know the last of the Stylewriters were HP Deskjets. Given the US patent system, that's a valid patent right there. Just some paperwork to fill in and Apple will be the proud owner of a patent on inkjet printing.

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Apple wheels out sueball cannon, again

Tim Bates

Re: This isn't about phones looking like each other

"It's about phones containing features that are patented (like data detectors)."

Yeah... Exactly. Some of those are completely insane patents of course, like touching a touch screen, but a US government department approved it so it must be valid, right?

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Telstra asks users to be its next backhaul network

Tim Bates

"The reason that the average mobile user out side the capatal cities uses less data is its so fu%king slow."

The reason it's so slow is the retards in Telstra shops sell 3/4G mobile modems to customers that would be better served by ADSL. In some cases they even switch people from working but old ADSL plans to poor value 4G plans. And they usually sell them a USB modem, ignoring the fact people use wired Ethernet for desktops, multiple computers and even printers.

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FINGERS CROSSED: Apple and Samsung said to be hammering out settlement

Tim Bates

Apple coming to a sensible agreement over patents? I doubt it. Their past history suggests the have a messed up view on the value of patents - ie, the ones they own are worth 10x what anyone else's are, regardless of the contents.

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Users folder vanished after OS X 10.9.3 update? Here's a fix

Tim Bates

At least it was still booting

We don't see many Macs in our shop, but the last 3 months or so, we've had a series of Macs, all with the same problem - did updates, now it won't boot. In each case, the filesystem was too messed up for Mac OSX to read or repair it.

We booted a Linux live CD, mounted the disk, copied their data off, and factory restored the silly things.

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Australia targets software maintenance costs with Drupal plan

Tim Bates

Re: Makes a lot of sense

"Most of the PHP-based CMS have a very long list of CVEs"

That's hardly surprising since most of those are also free, which makes them extremely popular.

Increased popularity means increased attention, which means more eyes looking for bugs.

My home brew CRM has zero reported security flaws. Doesn't actually improve it's security.

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Linux distros fix kernel terminal root-hole bug

Tim Bates

Re: Don't forget the design

"Since Windows 2008 you can run a server without the GUI. It looks your Windows knowledge dates back to 1995."

I'm not a Windows Server person, but doesn't that option simply provide you with a graphically windowed command prompt instead of using Explorer? It's not running Windows without a GUI. It's running a terminal as the shell for the GUI. Totally different thing.

Happy to be corrected, but the screenshots of Server Core I saw look like a GUI (albeit a lame one) to me.

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You'll hate Google's experimental Chrome UI, but so will phishers

Tim Bates

Re: @PaulR79 "Never click links for banks etc in emails"

"Banks do this all the time. Ever had a phone call from your bank that starts "I just need to ask you some security questions to confirm your identity"?"

I hate those. I don't even suggest I'll call back. If it's important, they find a way to ID themselves to you. And if they can't do that, they tend to revert to old fashioned paper in the mail.

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Reg hack hacked off by iPhone 5 repair notice

Tim Bates

Re: Don't get too excited ...

"Apple's "water" sensors are nothing more than bits of paper that turn pink when exposed to water, for example condensing humidity after coming in from the cold in cold climates, or going outside from over-air conditioned buildings in hot climates."

Uh, and that condensate causes water damage. It's not really unfair to blame it on water damage when condensation has formed INSIDE the device.

As questionable as Apple's ethics are, this is a perfectly normal exercise in self protection. And Apple aren't the only ones doing it. Practically every phone has them, digital cameras have them, and even some external HDDs have them. Even our old VHS player manuals all talked about possible condensation damage if moving between hot and cold areas. It's not rocket science - just plain old regular guy science.

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Tim Bates

Re: Genius Bar

"You've never seen the "tracer-t" guy then..."

Ow! My brains!!!! Somebody just stabbed them with so much wrong information. It'll take weeks to push that brain damage back out again now!

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USB reversible cables could become standard sooner than you think

Tim Bates

Biggest complainers always talk about charging...

The charger my old Samsung phone came with (a B2710 for anyone wanting to know) has the cable leaving the micro connector off to one side rather than centered. After using it for a week, I never got it the wrong way around.

The biggest issue I have with USB isn't getting the plug the right way - it's simply finding the tiny connectors in the first place.

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Call of Duty 'fragged using OpenSSL's Heartbleed exploit'

Tim Bates

Wait?!?!

Ummm, is this just that thing where the game name was changed on Steam?

Here's a possibility for everyone... Maybe someone who had an authorised developer account simply did it to make a point, or to raise the profile of the game's name.

As far as I have gathered, only one publisher has been effected, and only 2 or 3 games. Certainly a good way to raise the profile of your game's title - the entire internet is talking about CoD now.

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Seagate brings out 6TB HDD, did not need NO STEENKIN' SHINGLES

Tim Bates

Re: Capacity

"but now the old measuring system is starting to look downright stupid"

You know what would look stupider? Marketing drives as 3725GiB instead of just keeping it a nice round 4000GB.

And does anyone really look at their free space on a blank HDD anymore? Most people just start shovelling in the pirated movies, TV shows and porn these days and only worry about free space when their OS starts hinting about it.

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NSW government gets into the smartphone case business

Tim Bates

Ummm. No NFC?

The Galaxy S3 and S4 do NFC, right? As do Note 2 and 3 (did the first one?) and various other non-Samsung devices. Surely a single app for all these Androidian users would suffice?

I'm no expert on how that all works (though reading my friends' credit cards with my phone is a neat party trick), but it can't be as complicated as trying to market phone wallets to S3 users, can it?

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Tim Bates

Re: Ridiculous

If it helps you, I thought that was what the patent was going to be about...

While you're calling prior art, feel free to add in this post - whereby I describe additional data from the GPS, accelerometers and other sensors to assist in determining various parameters relating to the object and it's position in relation to the phone.

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Dashboard Siri! Take me to the airport! NO, NOT the RUNWAY! Argh!

Tim Bates

Fail

Am I the only one wondering if people will be a little pissed off when their $100,000+ car no longer has a functioning stereo because the spastics at Apple decided a 2 year old car is too old and we should all upgrade to the latest Ferrari?

And this isn't just Apple and Ferrari - every bloody new car seems to have a non-DIN stereo that assumes you're going to have an iPhone 4S for the next 20 years.

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Passenger jet grounded by two-hour insect attack

Tim Bates

Re: What worries me more is...

I'm not a pilot, but aren't the captain and copilot purposely shown the reading from their own sensors as an additional check outside the computer? Or are they very trusting of computers now?

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Microsoft claims x86 hypervisor market lead

Tim Bates

Useless

This is another one of those graphs showing licenses sold and the price of said licenses... That declining "others" could well be used twice as often as Hyper-V but costs far less for all the graph tells us.

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Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

Tim Bates

Re: Pah!

Chuck - verb: throw (something) carelessly or casually.

Chock - noun: a wedge or block placed against a wheel or rounded object, to prevent it from moving.

But yes, I agree. It would make more sense to lay these garbage cans down in a rack so the air moves the right way. Cooling already looks questionable in these new Macs without having a switch or router rack mounted above them.

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Devs angrily dismiss Absolute Computrace rootkit accusation

Tim Bates

Re: Insidious menace

Ugh... Tell me about it. We repurposed an old Toshiba laptop recently at work. Not even a business model - just a mid-range home model. Damn thing keeps popping up virus warnings because Absolute keep sneaking their malware back in.

I sent an email to Toshiba and Absolute. Standard waste of time replies - Toshiba would love to help me put the factory image back on, and Absolute more or less told me it was there for my own good, so shut up and go away.

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HP 'clarifies' firmware/support contract rules

Tim Bates

Re: What's wrong about that?

On thing that's wrong with it is the fact that the announcement came basically at the same time they implemented the new policy. Existing customers may not be included in the new scheme (I don't know), but the information given implied existing customers may not get updates later in the system's life.

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Tim Bates

Cisco products that require support contracts for firmware are more like full operating systems though, not boot firmware. Cisco's charges for IOS updates are more like Apple's charges for OSX updates.

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London's King of Clamps shuts down numberplate camera site

Tim Bates

Re: Scary Stuff

"A QR-code of the numberplate would be quite small, and could be done in the form of a window sticker that is suitably reflective, and can be mounted on the rear and front windscreens (avoiding muddy numberplate syndrome)."

You've never seen a car with a dirty window? A few km of proper dirt road will cover the windows in most cars with enough dust (or mud if it's been raining) to prevent stickers on/in the window being clearly visible.

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Just as we said it would: HP clamps down on server fixers

Tim Bates

This could be interesting...

What are they doing for servers purchased BEFORE this came into effect?

Are they leaving up any firmware updates they had previously posted so customers can still get updates to the time this came into effect?

It will also be interesting to see how they react to Australian customers who invoke the Australian Consumer Law too (businesses buying for their own use are consumers under this law). If HP knows of a fix in firmware, they could be forced to supply it for free even if the warranty is over.

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