* Posts by Daniel B.

3008 posts • joined 12 Oct 2007

Sorry, kids. Microsoft is turning Minecraft into an 'educational tool'

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Missed the boat...

Not sure which game that could be. The other one I know is similar to Minecraft with the whole "build stuff" thing would be Terraria, though that one doesn't have a "creative" mode. It does allow you to build stuff, but it's a 2D sprite game so it doesn't fit the "high resolution" description.

Playstation 3/4 has had the LittleBigPlanet game since 2008, which is indeed heavy on the creative angle (and also has the "creative mode" part). LBP2 came out sometime around 2011. LBP3 came out on 2014, IIRC it has even more new stuff so that might be the thing (given how the PS4 is now the main nextgen console).

Then there's Fallout 4, which isn't really focused on creativity but it does allow you to build stuff in your "house".

EDIT: Ah, my stepson to the rescue. It seems it might be DayZ, H1Z1 or similar games that seem to have been "inspired" by Minecraft. But they only resemble Minecraft on the "survival" aspect, he's not sure if they also have the creative stuff.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Bore them now

Learning Word, Excel and Powerpoint is something that can be done in a matter of weeks. For some kids, maybe even days.

Ok, the more complex Excel stuff might take a wee bit longer, but most stuff is pretty much quick. I had to teach older adults on the marvels of the modern Office suite 11 years ago, and even the older ones were quick to catch on.

I do wish that ICT involved at least some kind of programming these days. Back in the 80s and even early 90s, it would usually involve some kind of programming, either BASIC or LOGO. MS Office is extremely boring, push that stuff down to higher level education.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Educational Games!

Properly made educational games can actually be fun. It's just that we're used to the crappy ones.

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2015 was the Year of the Linux Phone ... Nah, we're messing with you

Daniel B.
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Boffin

I'd like to point out that Maemo under the N900 was going pretty strong. Nokia's blunders on marketing made it be less of a hit, but the people who did buy it were happy with it. The real reason why Nokia's Linux variants went dead is the Elopocalypse.

Even the N9 got rave reviews, and that one was released after the Elopocalypse.

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Microsoft gobbles Chipzilla's Havok 3D physics unit in cloud gaming play

Daniel B.
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FAIL

Re: Cloud gaming...

"It isn't on Xbox - the actually do use cloud resources to assist with gaming performance and offload functions."

... the console that's currently losing the current gen console wars? Well, good for those who decided to remain with the DRM wifebeater. Everyone else doesn't care.

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Daniel B.
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Alert

MS playing nice? Yeah, right

"further integrate Havok physics into its Azure-powered Xbox One Cloud."

That sounds like it's soon going to become "unavailable" for the PS4. Especially given that their crappy console is losing 2:1 in the current gen console wars, even after they backtracked on their draconian DRM power grab. So pulling off a desperate dick move wouldn't be surprising at all.

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Motorola cut in half! But still alive, and ready to live again

Daniel B.
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Re: Motorola

Well, the other half of Motorola is still pretty much alive, as Motorola Solutions (sans the Networks part, that was indeed sold to Nokia Networks).

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Star Wars BB-8 toy in firmware update risk, say UK security bods

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Interesting

Not much of a vuln, but it can result in a MiTM attack. Wonder what kind of firmware would an attacker want to load a Sphero BB8 with?

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Brazil gets a WTF WhatsApp moment

Daniel B.
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Maybe not 90% but over here in Mexico City, even the low income proles have some kind of smartphone these days. Cheap Android handsets go for 1000 MXN, which is somewhere around a month's worth of minimum wage.

Wouldn't be surprised if this were also the case in Brazil.

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Daniel B.
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Re: "...sad to see Brazil isolate itself from the rest of the world"

You are severely underestimating the power of Whatsapp in the Latin American countries. Over here, it is pretty much the one true IM application across all smartphones. I'd also expect a similar outcry if the (already unpopular) Mexican government were to block Whatsapp over here.

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Cisco forgot to install two LEDs in routers

Daniel B.
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Re: Wait...

Yes. To solder LED just type

solder led

To unsolder it,

no solder led

:)

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Revenge porn 'king' Hunter Moore sent down for 2.5 years, fined $2k

Daniel B.
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Re: Retrospective law?

Which is why he wasn't convicted by the new law, but previous ones related to hacking.

Nobody got convicted by the new law, unless they were still doing revenge porn by the time the law passed.

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Daniel B.
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Well...

Imagine how much better the world would become if Zuckerberg, Gates, Andreessen and all of these other socialist losers disappeared.

He's a right winger. That explains a lot. Only a right winger would think revenge porn is a good business model.

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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

Daniel B.
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Re: It's not the language

Not completely right. The overuse of JavaScript cruft means that a lot of web stuff is not being checked server side and this is highly insecure. All due to idiots who think everything web must be made in JavaScript.

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Big names settle out of court with CryptoPeak in HTTPS patent spat

Daniel B.
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I guess

I'm betting the companies that settled did so because they know this is probably going to be the last patent troll case for some time now.

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Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

Daniel B.
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Re: Tinfoil hats

BUT... What if it did this for a new service to send you an ambulance if it noticed you had been in a crash (detected by g sensors) but it had to go through your car manufacturer and not direct to the emergency service to ensure it wasnt being spoofed or for verification of the alert before wasting the ambulances time.

It's called OnStar, and not only is it opt-in only, it's a paid service.

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Daniel B.
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Re: I Can't Seem to Find

Your version probably still has the older "diagnostic tracking service" named version of that "feature".

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Daniel B.
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Re: Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service?

Windows Application Network Kernel Experience Recollection Service would be a far better name for that service, wouldn't it?

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Daniel B.
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Re: The leopard's spots...

This is not ZDNet, El Reg is most definitely not a pro-MSFT site. There are a few MSFT shills, but a majority of the commenters, or staff, they do not make at all.

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Daniel B.
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Re: FTFY @Timmy

Well, there's the thing that there are always a lot of "a.c." comments with decidedly pro-MSFT defense arguments, which is a clear sign of corporate shillings.

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iPhone, Windows 10, lonely nights – sound like you? Dump Siri and have a date with Cortana

Daniel B.
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Boffin

I wonder...

How many users are actually interested in switching out Siri for Cortana? If you are going to use a voice-activated AI, you might as well use the one already baked into the OS. I don't see Google offering OK Google on iOS and WinPhone.

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Hi, um, hello, US tech giants. Mind, um, mind adding backdoors to that crypto? – UK govt

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: um

And here I thought it was one of those AACS keys that are doing the rounds through the 'net.

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At Microsoft 'unlimited cloud storage' really means one terabyte

Daniel B.
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Re: Well... @sandtitz

Google, Amazon and Dropbox all offer unlimited paid storage. If the 75TB users move to the other providers they'll probably have to scale back or implement more expensive tiers.

They should do it if they can't deal with the load. I wouldn't be surprised if either of those services were to have a 100TB user, it is pretty much bound to happen. Hell, it has happened even outside the tech world; American Airlines once gave away a $250,000 AAirpass that would give you free flights for the rest of your life. Guess what happened there?

"pretty much nobody uses OneDrive anymore."

You know, comments like these need to be backed up with some sort of factoids.

I did a survey a year ago, when checking out cloud storage options for one of our clients. Nobody used OneDrive, or SkyDrive ... or even knew that Microsoft had a cloud storage offering at all.

I thought that was what Google does with its annual service purges.

Google usually does that to their free stuff. Microsoft, however, does it with their paid stuff as well, and even to mainstream products. Just ask anyone who was involved in the Windows Mobile/Windows CE ecosystem.

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Daniel B.
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Re: @dan1980 "It's not just that they should have expected this to happen;..................

I'm also amused at that. Ed Bott is an outright MS shill, down to being one of the few ones who actually defended Windows 8's GUI. If he's mad at MSFT, it's quite telling.

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Daniel B.
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Well...

Good riddance. Yet another reason not to trust Microsoft on any of their offerings. Sure, offering "unlimited" data storage is a stupid, unsustainable thing, but scaling it back to 5GB when Google offers 15GB seems to be Microsoft yet again missing the boat. Hotmail remained at 2MB while Yahoo went 250MB, then Gmail offering 1GB and such ... by the time MS started offering measly 200MB accounts, most of its userbase had already jumped ship.

Maybe this time MS just doesn't care, as pretty much nobody uses OneDrive anymore. I did use it, but mostly back when MS was still trying to compete in the social media stuff with MSN Spaces. It is precisely because of MSN Spaces' death that I haven't considered MSFT's "cloud" stuff at all. MS has a bad habit of killing off stuff at random, or rolling back benefits.

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Microsoft Windows 7 Pro: Halloween Horror for PC makers next year

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Hm...

It isn't at all like updating completely different branches. It would be understandable if it were XP or the Win9x branches, which were actually too different to the current Windows releases.

Even Apple manages to release security updates to older releases, IIRC Mountain Lion (from 2012) is still getting updates. Oh scratch that, the latest security update is only for Mavericks and later. But still, Apple is perfectly OK with supporting at least two versions backwards ... which in the MS world, would be Win7 & 8.x, so there's that.

And I'm guessing that businesses are going to avoid Windows 10 thanks to the "mandatory updates" feature. It's just a matter of time before an update bricks the OS, and no sane businesses want to suffer that.

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Spanish town trumpets 'Clitoris Festival' thanks to Google snafu

Daniel B.
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Re: Spanish in Spain

That would be Castellano.

It always amuses me that the Spanish language is known as Spanish everywhere but the actual country where the language was born.

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Iranian hackers ease off on US after friendly nuke chats, says NSA

Daniel B.
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Interesting

So it seems the Iran deal is indeed working. Just don't tell Republicans that. They're too busy bashing Obama.

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Cuffed Texan woman holsters loaded gun IN VAGINA

Daniel B.
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Re: Could that really have gone off?

The article says it had a bullet in the chamber, so yes, it seems it was cocked. Probably not the smartest thing to do, but then, she was probably under the influence of the other stuff she was hiding.

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Cash-happy BlackBerry slurps one-time rival Good for $425m

Daniel B.
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Happy

Interesting move

Good is the solution that ate up Blackberry's market share in previous years. With this move, they just got it back. Not really surprised.

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Oracle laying off its Java evangelists? Er, no comment, says Oracle

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Java is pretty much alive and well

A lot of server-side web stuff is running it. Its just that the client-side isn't that hot anymore. Oracle's gobbling up of Sun and the subsequent asshat lawsuits may have a lot to do with that.

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Popcorn time at Popcorn Time: More vid slurpers hauled into court

Daniel B.
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Re: Theft != Copyright Infringement

In much the same way that drink driving != possession of an offensive weapon (to the letter of the law), but both could potentially result in many years in prison if someone dies through your actions. And "big media" call that manslaughter.

Except your analogy breaks down, as both cases have the same effect in the sense that someone's life is endangered by both actions.

Actual theft has a direct and immediate negative effect on the owner who has been deprived of his stolen object. Copyright infringement may or may not have a negative effect on the author, distributor, or brick&mortar store that sells the infringed work.

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Daniel B.
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Re: Case dismissed?

Looks like the MPAA is having a Goebbels moment where they're now believing their own lies, and forgetting what the law really says.

Is this a revival of the stupid lawsuits from the '00s, where single moms get slammed with six-figure fines? Oh yeah, bring it on. If there's something we really need in this world, is more bad *AA publicity.

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At LAST: RC4 gets the stake through the heart

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Good luck, with some devices embedded management servers...

Being honest, AES was standardized in 2001. It has been FIPS 140-2 validated for at least 10 years, maybe even since 2001 as well. Any device built in this century could and should support AES, or at the very least 3DES (though I'd disable that shit cipher as well server-side).

RC4-only devices would be those from the 20th century.

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Ashley Madison hack miscreants may have earned $6,400 from leak

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: What?!?

I'm betting it wasn't even the "Impact Team" the one blackmailing people. Anyone who grabbed the AM dump could have done it. Of course, anyone paying would be simply stupid as the info is already out there and thus, available to everyone. The "epic dump" was released on August 16; anyone paying after that date (or asking for blackmail money) is just wasting their time ... or their money.

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What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Hmmm...

The hackers seemed to pretty much have root/superuser/admin access to the entire AM IT infrastructure, and "the database" mentioned there is a live/running one. So, it's pretty safe to say encrypting the data at rest wouldn't have stopped them gaining access to it, since they could access it via the running application.

If the encryption had been made at the application level (that is, it is decrypted by the application itself, but stored encrypted in the DB), it wouldn't have been in cleartext in those dumps. Because they were made with mysqldump.

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You CAN'T jail online pirates for 10 years, legal eagles tell UK govt

Daniel B.
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Re: Of course it will work...

Please give some examples of any such cases?

Jammie Thomas. It's in the link on my previous comment. Notice that 24 songs are worth $222k USD according to the MPAA/RIAA. So you might download 5 songs, but the Recording Industry Ass of America will find a way to turn them into something worth over 1000 USD anyway.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: 10 years?

And remind me, why is this a reason for treating online copyright infringement any differently than offline (physical) copyright infringement, which is the actual point at issue?

Because online copyright infringement is mostly not done for profit. Copyright infringement, and in fact the whole concept of "copyright" was built upon the idea that you would own the rights to sell copies of stuff you created for a limited time (the "limited time" has been subverted by every single copyright extension where the term is "life + something" as opposed to "a fixed length of time"), and it was made to avoid someone else making a profit off the original creator's work. For a limited time. Once those works fell into the public domain, anyone would be able to copy 'em and make a profit.

Most of what passes as copyright infringement these days has the whole "profit" part cut away, which is why it wasn't even considered before the DMCA and similar laws. Yes, it does hit content creators, but the "1 illegal copy == 1 lost sale" rule gets kinda murky there. Sometimes, that illegal copy causes the "pirating" party to actually buy a legit copy later down the road. Yet the RIAA/MPAA trade bodies still want to slam these kind of infringment cases under the same case as actual copyright infringment cases (i.e. the ones made for profit). Which ends up causing really stupid things, like that single mother getting $222k fines for 24 songs. A far milder option would be to simply ask the person who has the illegal copies to "go legit", that is, actually purchase the stuff at normal prices, not magic inflated prices. Then maybe, MAYBE you'll get some goodwill back from the people you alienated in the first place.

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Daniel B.
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Facepalm

Re: I'm sorry

Yes. If one person downloads a movie and another sells millions of dollars of pirated software, you don't want the law to allow no differentiation between how you treat both of them.

Yet most "copyright infringement" laws have been modified to have the opposite effect. 20 years ago, sharing music wasn't copyright infringement because nobody was profiting from that. A couple of draconian laws later, single moms get slammed with six-figure fines and tractor owners might face jail time if they try to tinker with their tractors.

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Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: Not silly at all

Suppose someone stole the physical money without assaulting you, would you want someone to be treated less severely because they used a computer to do it?

That's exactly how the law works today. Theft + assault is dealt with more severely than simple theft. Breaking and entering a residence when the owner isn't at home is a lesser crime than breaking and entering when the owner is home.

We spend half our time complaining about how the law and patent system applies a double-standard just because something was "done with a computer". Well now the law is catching up.

Um... we spend half our time complaining that companies are getting patents for stuff that shouldn't even be patentable, like software. The law is just getting worse.

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Another root hole in OS X. We know it, you know it, the bad people know it – and no patch exists

Daniel B.
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Boffin

This is expected behavior when trying to write to page 0 ... from userspace. The way I understood this vuln, the NULL pointer makes it way down to kernelspace calls, and there is where the writing occurs.

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Spain triumphs! Fascist anthem hails Spanish badminton champ

Daniel B.
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I'm still miffed that Spaniards were so stupid as to let the PP win the past general election. That's like Germans re-voting the Nazi Party back in.

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Crazy Chrysler security hole: USB stick fix incoming for 1.4 million cars

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Re: No wonder we are running out of IPv4 addresses

Every single device connected to the net should have its own publicly routeable IP address. NAT was a hackjob implemented to alleviate the IPv4 address shortage ... but instead, network engineers saw that as "extra security" and took that at face value.

Of course, NAT "security" is bollocks, and this hack proves it if the devices are connected to a NATted network. The faster we migrate to NATless IPv6, the faster we get all the security theater mentality away from IP addresses.

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Even Microsoft thinks Outlook is bloated and slow

Daniel B.
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Go

Re: Where is the real Outlook substitute?

Zimbra don't seem quite there for my needs yet, though looks interesting for those that have an open-minded IT crowd.

Zimbra has ... served us well. The payware version even d0es calendar syncing IIRC.

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Nokia will indeed be back 'making' phones – and it's far from a foolish move

Daniel B.
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Boffin

Um...

Actually, they were far better on "doing a secure smartphone OS" business, even though Symbian was the one that actually did their flagship OS. It was the iToys becoming popular that sent most smartphone OSes off the rails.

Nokia smartphones were able to last more than 24 hours on a single charge. That's an impossible feat with "modern" smartphones...

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Daniel B.
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Happy

Re: It's the devil's work

The guy responsible for said axing is no longer CEO at Nokia. I'm guessing this is going to be less of an issue these days; in fact, Nokia might actually embrace Sailfish this time 'round.

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Red Hat bolts the stable with RHEL 6.7

Daniel B.
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Boffin

systemd!

The main reason we're all sticking to RHEL 6.x is systemd. You can say it, El Reg. It's no secret.

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China wants to build a 200km-long undersea tunnel to America

Daniel B.
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>China has a number of ambitions train projects in the pipeline, including a 270mph maglev from Shanghai airport to the city

"In the pipeline"? That Maglev has been up and running for over 10 years!

And it isn't even Chinese tech, it's German tech. Of course, the Chinese in all their pirating glory "invented" some knockoff tech that was suspiciously similar to Transrapid's one. Searching for "Zhui Feng" will spit out "pirated from German tech" as its first hits.

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Daniel B.
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Re: The Chinese and Russians are going to build it??

"That is just the way of doing business for them in Mexico, for anybody. I would have been surprised if they did not."

Nah, for what I've read, China has far worse corruption problems than Mexico. As bad as some corruption scandals may be, contracts actually have legal binding and deals don't require becoming spunk-brothers with contractors.

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