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* Posts by Ian McNee

439 posts • joined 2 Mar 2007

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Pipex 'silence' condemned punters' emails to spam blackhole

Ian McNee
Linux

Re: So....

@jonathanb: the reason you probably don't get much spam from Hotmail is that most decent spam filters (like SpamAssassin or those based on it) have rules that boost the spam score of anything from a Hotmail domain - and very sensible that is in my experience.

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Britain has 10 million twits, tweets Twitter

Ian McNee
Holmes

Twats...

...that is all.

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NHS rolls out open-source test results service for renal patients

Ian McNee
Go

Re: Old hat - but the bigger story is...

Two NHS trusts collaborate to produce an open source solution in-house rather than spending millions on a system badly specified by pen-pushers and bureaucrats and badly implemented by money-grabbing private contractors.

I think that's a pretty fucking big story that large sections of the cash-strapped public sector could learn from: valuing skilled staff, delivering a good service and saving money not only for the institutions that developed the system but potentially for the sector as a whole.

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Ultimate simulator to streak into living rooms next month

Ian McNee
Pint

Re: Eleven and a half grand?

Apparently not :-)

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Ian McNee
Meh

Eleven and a half grand?

A mere snip compared to the cost of the alterations to your house required to get it through the front door, along the hall and down the stairs into mom's basement...

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Turing's rapid Nazi Enigma code-breaking secret revealed

Ian McNee
Big Brother

Now where did I put that baseless conspiracy theory...

Possibly a silly condition placed on them by GCHQ securocrats to enhance the mystique of these papers.

The nameless (again pointless security theatre) from GCHQ interviewed on Radio 4 about this was keen to stress the claim that Turing's papers could not possibly have been released any earlier because of their sensitive nature. We are supposed to read into this that GCHQ are: (a) diligently doing their bit to protect Blighty from code-breaking jihadis, Ruskies and Sino-hackers, and (b) emphasising Turing's total genius (while still brushing under the carpet the injustice of the British state hounding him for his homosexuality).

I don't doubt the importance of this work done by Turing and others at the time but it is farcical for GCHQ to engage in a PR exercise claiming they could not have been released decades ago.

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Compulsory coding in schools: The new Nerd Tourism

Ian McNee
Stop

Re: A little bit of knowledge does no harm - it's essential

@Andrew Orlowski: again with the tabloid journalist techniques - you conflate coding and computer science. When I did my computer science degree there was a lot more to it than just coding and though that was way back the 80s it is no different now.

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Ian McNee
Flame

Re: A little bit of knowledge does no harm - it's essential

Quite right. Mr Orlowski seems to be dipping into his pal Toby Young's tabloid journalistic toolbox, in this case making use of the false dichotomy. What most people are arguing for is ICT in schools to be more like computer science and less like ECDL.

Neither Rory Cellan-Jones nor Michael Gove have raised the paper tiger of compulsory coding lessons in schools but this article has certainly has its intended effect of drawing the fire of the Daily Wail commentards below lining up to shoot down not only compulsory coding but also any whiff of equality in education and possibly the return of free school milk too.

For the record: I have no remit for Michael Gove or his party - on the scale of over-educated chinless wankers he is right up there with Toby Young.

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Ten... Bedroom Gadget Treats

Ian McNee
Paris Hilton

Re: @IanMcNee (was: @ Ian McNee (was:jake: you're missing the point!))

jake: I'm still reeling from the idea of your point slipping over my head - are you so flirtatious with all commentards?? I suppose I should just be thankful that your aim isn't better...*ahem*

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Ian McNee
Pint

Re: @ Ian McNee (was:jake: you're missing the point!)

Well spotted Mr Beggar - I am indeed that cynical facetious arsehole!

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Ian McNee
Boffin

jake: you're missing the point!

How else is some marketing wanker going to justify his/her existence if they cannot flog pointless expensive tat to the credulous middle classes?

Just be thankful that one of this ilk has not yet tried to "re-brand" (i.e. new name, couple of paragraphs of snake oil pseudo-science and triple the price) the "gadgets" that make sleep restful and pleasurable: quality pillow, mattress, duvet and sheets.

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Laptop computers are crap

Ian McNee
Pint

Re: Please! Spare us the mobile device willy-waggling!

Alistair: just in case it wasn't obvious my futile rant was not directed at you :-)

And Aaron, did I mention spill-proof? Assuming you've not also flooded your USB ports I recommend a Cherry keyboard - made by serious Germans with plenty of that vorsprung durch technik thingamabob that they have.

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Ian McNee
Flame

Please! Spare us the mobile device willy-waggling!

Yeah mildly entertaining article that is occasionally original. But...

"My laptop is so fab it's better than your telly and has a hard drive so big that I backup the internet...yadda yadda yadda... *snore* ...and it's even colour-cordinated with my iPhad and has a dock for my iDrone and a slot for my coke spoon and..." Oh fuck off and die already.

My laptop comes in a large metal box with screen attached by a flexible cable rather than outdated fragile hinges, contains standard components that are fast, quiet, reliable, cheap to replace if they go wrong using a single standard screwdriver, it connects to a multiplicity of peripherals (full-size spill-proof keyboard, mouse, etc.) connected via standard interfaces without need of hubs or expansion cards. Oh and it has the unique property that I cannot take it to the sofa/pub/party/anywhere else and thus fails to annoy my friends/family by intruding on the time I spend with them.

I should add the my use-case is defined by the fact that I am not so important that the entire population of the internet has to be able to contact me 24/7/365 via Twatter, Farcebook et al so clearly my laptop would be no good for individuals less insignificant than me.

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Student's Linux daemon 0-day triggers InfoSec Institute outcry

Ian McNee
Linux

Re: The media once again trolled by charlatans?

@diodesign: (is that you John??) Yes, from your article it does become clear to anyone vaguely familiar with Linux security and bug tracking that the problem was (it's been patched already M$ trolls!) with wicd rather than BackTrack. That was my immediate thought (having recently played with wicd after failing to get f***ing Network Manager to play nicely on a Fedora laptop recently).

The problem is that your headline: Student stiffs penetration tool BackTrack Linux with 0-day screams "Ooh! Clever InfoSec Linux White Hats Caught With Pants Down!" - and with your pedigree in reporting security stories recently we know you can do much better. We all drop the ball now and again :-)

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Anonymous turns its fire on China

Ian McNee
Headmaster

Re: Carefull, be vary carefull - it's not that simple

@kirovs: read the article...

"...the group’s messages on Pastebin and posted on the defaced sites will largely have failed to reach their audience given that they were written in English.

Anonymous seems to be working on the latter issue, however, having sent a tweet out calling for help from would-be translators."

Chinese hackers? Perhaps not after all.

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Ian McNee
Stop

Re: Carefull, be vary carefull - it's not that simple

Both the anons and some of the commentards here seem to have a very naive view of Chinese society based on the one dimensional picture painted by western governments and media.

Whilst there is exploitation, repression and social unrest in China (ummm..and that's so different from the USA et al how??) there is also a lot of popular patriotic support for the country and the national government as well - largely based on the huge economic advances China has made over the past three decades.

That popular support is unsurprisingly reflected in the hacker culture within China e.g. the Honker Union. If I were one of the anons that participated in this rather futile defacement spree I'd be more worried about having my life pWn3d by patriotic Chinese hacktivists than some kind of reprisal from the Chinese authorities.

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30-year-old global temperature predictions close to spot-on

Ian McNee
Headmaster

Re: I'm confused...

Rufus: you are clearly very confused - I don't think anyone is arguing that things taking on human form (anthropomorphic) causes climate change. Rather the argument is about human beings causing (anthropogenic) climate change.

On this point this review of the predictive value earlier models based on the premise that CO2 is a climate change driver is yet another convincing straw breaking the pseudo-scientific back of the deniers.

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Mac Java hole exploited by wild Flashback Trojan strain

Ian McNee
Stop

Re: April Fool??

Yes, yes, yes JDX - we all know that, but it's not quite that simple is it?

The key information here is that exploits have been found in the wild so there has been a period of time when machines may already have been compromised and this compromise will likely not have been detected - certainly not by lay users who are the main target of this advice. In that situation using your banking website (or any other that uses sensitive credentials) at all is utterly foolish.

Even if the machine is currently clean it's a stretch to imagine most lay users will take this advice as meaning closing all other browser tabs and web-enabled applications that are potentially vulnerable. Any advice other than not using this software until it is patched is irresponsible.

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Ian McNee
WTF?

April Fool??

"Some banking websites mandate the use of Java, in which case security-conscious Mac fanbois can re-enable Java for the duration of their session before turning it off again, the Finnish security firm suggests."

Really? Re-enable a critically vulnerable piece of software for which there are exploits in the wild to allow internet banking transactions?? I *HOPE* F-Secure are yanking your chain on this, that's the daftest bit of security advice I've heard in ages!

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Internet Explorer nibbles browser rivals, swells by 1%

Ian McNee
Flame

Re: Tablet effect?

You may have a point about the stats but let's not pretend that the iPhad-fondling Nathan Barleys of this world are "tech savvy" - unless "tech savvy" now means that you need an app to decide what superfood salad you're going have for your lunch at Silicon Roundabout.

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Terrafugia flies first prototype: Flying cars 'within a year'

Ian McNee
Alert

Re: good idea

I'd be far more worried about some numpty getting frustrated stuck in traffic on his way home on a Friday afternoon and trying a take-off from the hard shoulder of the motorway - a much more likely scenario and just as likely to cause multiple fatalities/injuries and widespread disruption.

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Apple Store staff outnumber queues as new iPad goes on sale

Ian McNee
Gimp

Re: just out of interest

Yes - on the forehead: iMugged

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Underwater Greek volcano brewing Lara Croft style earthquake

Ian McNee
Coat

Missed Subhead Opportunity?

Hot wet Greek action leads to huge bulge and imminent earth-moving eruption?

No, sorry - too obvious even for Vulture Towers.

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iPlayer repeat fees threaten BBC earthquake

Ian McNee

Re: Hmm

Andrew: surely the problem with the BBC (or parts of the BBC) moving towards one of the more commercial models is that the institution is them on the slippery slope to becoming A. N. Other content/service provider. In the current political climate that route may ultimately lead to wholesale privatisation of the BBC.

Instead the BBC needs to grow a pair and push itself as the excellent public service that it is. We can all find things that we detest about the BBC, whether it is crap shows on BBC 3, Jonathan Ross's (ex-)salary or the occasional office full of Nathan Barleys, but when you look at what the BBC provides in total and how much these services are used by people in Britain and beyond it is not only astonishingly good value it is also widely accessible. Even on a crude TV comparison with the likes of Sky and Virgin Media the BBC wins hands-down on the content it provides at the license fee price point.

However Ian Bonham's suggestion is interesting - though not going to happen with the current generation of free market politicians squatting on both sides of parliament. Hey-ho!

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if year > 2013 then PC != Personal Computer

Ian McNee
Stop

And in other news...

...in 2014 and beyond there will continue to be large numbers of people who are not "tech-savvy punters" who do not define their existence by "operating online through social network tech" and remian militantly indifferent to the possibility of tweeting the colour of their new shirt/latest turd/*insert pointless bollocks here* 24/7 from every location on the planet.

And I will be happy to count myself one of them. And my PC will continue to be a physical box of standard components.

</rant>

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Game Group shares slide under a penny

Ian McNee
Boffin

Re: Bigger than Apple and Farcebook combined??

Astonishing! You don't say?! The article has been ammended - it originally stated £300/share peak price.

You'll find that if you wait long enough other things in the world around you are also subject to change.

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Ian McNee
Headmaster

Bigger than Apple and Farcebook combined??

So if Game is worth £1.7m with each share at 0.5p, back in 2008 when each share was £300 the company was worth £102bn? That's some retail games outfit! Did you mean the shares peaked at 300p perhaps?

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Lenovo recalls 160,000 all-in-one PCs after blaze warning

Ian McNee
Mushroom

YouTube...

...or at the very least a PlayMobil reconstruction.

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LulzSec SMACKDOWN: Leader Sabu turned by feds last summer

Ian McNee
Coat

Re: Now, here's a thought...

Intercepted by whom? NotW or The Sun??

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FSF fandroids fight to 'free' Android from Google's forepaws

Ian McNee
Linux

Re: Do these guys really think that's large ...

And so do other large corporations who are the main contributors to significant open source projects: IBM, Intel, Red Hat, Amazon, Oracle (grudgingly perhaps!), etc. - as Tinker alludes to, it is mainly vendors from other sectors, like the mobile manufacturers, who insist on bolting proprietary binary blobs onto things like Android to make it work with their hardware.

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Ubuntu 12.04 hits beta, brings smooth Unity for marching masses

Ian McNee
Headmaster

Re: Typo?

Don't be silly - as any fule kno ELUA is a Hawaiian license agreement.

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Motorola Defy Mini rugged Android smartphone

Ian McNee
Linux

Re: What do you expect? Yes but you're missing the point...

It is rubbish as you both say - and even so my old Defy with creaking Android 2.1 kicks an iPhone into touch at half the price. As for the joke that is WinMo there's no point dignifying that suggestion with a response!

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Ian McNee

Re: New niche - just be a good phone?

That's what I got the original Defy for and I'm still very happy with it: it does all the useful stuff with a handful of apps, has a good battery life and is not totalled by pocket fluff, being used in the rain or the occasional knock. And as it's not trying to be a games console or wide-screen telly or fashion-victim tablet it's quite compact.

One thing that does gall me is seeing Motorola subsequently bring out the Defy+ and now this Defy Mini both with Gingerbread while the Defy is stuck with Eclair (2.1) - yes I know there is CyanogenMod for the Defy but we ought not to have to resort to that. There are good enough reasons (such as the security enhancements in Gingerbread over predecessors) to expect that Motorola should pull their finger out and provide this kind of support in the form of official updates.

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41-megapixel MONSTER mobe shutters Nokia knockers

Ian McNee
Headmaster

Re: Oh dear

I think you'll find that "interopliation" is considered a clear sign of a debauched soul in many parts of the world and is even a crime between consenting adults in several less open-minded societies.

Interpolation however is usually just a marketing gimmick and therefore simply a crime against the Nathan Barleys of this world, i.e. barely a misdemeanour. Caveat emptor.

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Melting Arctic leads to snowy winters

Ian McNee
Stop

Nurse! Nurse!!

He's stopped taking the tablets and he's shagging the vacuum cleaner again!

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Belkin Keyboard Folio case for iPad

Ian McNee

Re: Re: £400 + £100

...and a Transformer Prime has a higher-res screen, faster quad core CPU and 32GB storage.

And it's cheaper than a 32GB iPhad 2.

And it has a gazillion real-world free apps that make sense on both tablets and laptops.

Overall a tricky choice really.

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Ian McNee
Stop

Amazing!

All we need now is to come up with a catchy name for this typo-touchy-techno-mashup! Err..."laptop"? Correction: overpriced underpowered walled-garden laptop.

Meh.

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Climate scientist admits lying to obtain 'Denialgate' docs

Ian McNee
Stop

Re: Re: Warmist

@Chet Mannly:

Like most FUD-merchants you repeatedly pedantically pick over the words of some one commenting on an issue rather than addressing the actual issue itself - because you have no *evidence of merit* to challenge the actual issue.

Picking apart the words of Prof. Phil Jones from a BBC interview or Audrey S. Thackeray here does not alter the fact that the BEST study (the most comprehensive and rigorous review of recent temperature data) showed that the planet continues to warm.

Add to this the recent NASA studies that demonstrate that it is non-condensing greenhouse gasses (CO2, methane, etc.) that are the major root cause of warming, in contrast to the amplifying effect of water vapour, and your alleged "open mind" is exposed for what it really is: denial by FUD.

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Marlinspike asks browser vendors to back SSL-validator

Ian McNee
Go

Very Timely

The situation is worse than CAs with conflicts of interest and hacked CAs: if a CA sets out to do bad stuff it can pretty much go ahead and do it. By the time the act is discovered and certificates revoked millions or billions may have been stolen or people locked up, tortured or dead (think bad govt. controlled CA).

Trustwave has just been caught with its pants down on this (http://www.h-online.com/security/news/item/Trustwave-issued-a-man-in-the-middle-certificate-1429982.html) but naturally they are claiming that they only did it with good in mind and nothing could possibly have gone wrong, but they say(!) they won't do it again anyway.

Yup, I'm reassured too!

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Hackers may be able to 'outwit' online banking security devices

Ian McNee
Linux

re. re. The answer is obvious...

Quite right - and going on from that the most secure protocols are those that are open and used billions of times every day as then the inevitable flaws will be found and fixed.

The alternative is a bit of closed source code knocked-up by your bank who have a vested interest in claiming that it is secure and will use expensive lawyers against anyone who claims (or even demonstrates) otherwise. See Bagged and tagged's post above and the link to the truly excellent Light Blue Touchpaper security blog.

Give me a secure open source OS and a secure open source browser every time.

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Plus is king now: Google shutters more products

Ian McNee
Pint

*ARF-ARF*

Gutted I missed that - well done sir, award yourself a pint!

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Ian McNee
Go

G+ a "suburb service"

I never thought of it like that - marvellous Freudian typo-profundity!

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Ian McNee
Meh

Indeed...

"Of course, it's a move that also means Google can finally start to plump up those user metric figures over at Google+" - the cynic in me interprets that as: "fluff the stats to pump our share price" al la Farcebollocks > $50bn nonsense.

Still Gmail, Docs, Android integration, Maps/Street View, etc. remain handy enough to sacrifice a chunk of one's privacy for. However I won't be sentimental if & when alternatives like YaCy mature and we can leave the Chocolate Factory behind. Glyn Moody had some excellent thoughts on this recently: http://www.h-online.com/open/features/What-should-free-software-do-in-2012-1401813.html

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World music sales slide despite digital dividend

Ian McNee
Stop

Missing interesting data: net revenues

Surely one of the advantages of download music sales for content providers & copyright holders is that the distribution costs are substantially lower than for CDs.

And of course when it's revealed that net revenues for music sales rose as a result of lower costs the Recording Industry Ass. of America and the like will stop bitching about file sharing killing the music industry.

And then I woke up...

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Peeking up the skirt of Microsoft's hardy ReFS

Ian McNee
Flame

LVM is not what *YOU* think it is - it *IS* aggregated storage

Try to engage your brain before you call someone else stupid. Yes we *ALL* know that mounting disk partitions in a filesystem is not aggregated storage.

Look up LVM - Logical Volume Manager. If you don't know how to use Google here's a link: http://www.centos.org/docs/5/html/Cluster_Logical_Volume_Manager/

LVM *IS* aggregated storage, it *IS* used in enterprise storage solutions, it has been around in Linux since the late nineties and has been a mature product for 5+ years.

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Ian McNee
Linux

Because Micros~1 doesn't want to slip more than ten years behind Linux?

The kind of features they are including with their "new" file systems put Windoze on a par with Linux in the mid-noughties as opposed to NTFS's equivalence to the mid-nineties.

Aggregated storage? Jeez! Amazing! I forget how long ago I first toyed with LVM on Linux!

So we may have to use our Windoze VM for a while to retrieve data from borked ReFS storage while waiting for stable kernel drivers. No biggie.

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Phages: The powerful new bio-ammo in superbug war

Ian McNee
Black Helicopters

Correct me if I'm wrong...

...but my impression (admittedly from a rather old TV programme about Soviet phage research and use - Horizon from the late 90s?) was that the major advantage of phage therapy with reference to bacteriological resistance was that the phages, being DNA-based organisms themselves, were also capable of adapting by random genetic mutation to changes in their potential host bacteria.

It would seem to me that the approach of the Israeli lab would be one that the drug corporations would be happy with ("Don't worry, we can genetically modify a new phage for that and charge you an arm and a leg for it!") whereas the Soviet approach was much more low-tech and capable of being reproduced in local medical facility labs: the cataloguing and storage of collections of evolving phages used to treat infections prominent in that locality.

However good this "endless supply of ammunition" is, it is the way in which it is used that will determine if it benefits the rich few who are already over-treated or the large majority of humanity who are genuinely at risk from infections like TB or simple infected wounds.

As I said I'm not a medical professional in any way, I'd appreciate some enlightenment on this. And Wikipedia is down protesting SOPA! Panic!!!

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Fujifilm Finepix X10 compact camera

Ian McNee
Thumb Up

A lovely camera but...

...for a compact it's so darned big!

I've been angsting over a new compact for a while and it was between this and the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX5. Both are excellent performers for image quality, features/manual control and build quality. I was tempted by the optical viewfinder of the X10 (the lack of which seems to me to be the LX5's only failing) but when you pop it in a moderately robust case to take into the hills, etc. it's enormous. Also the 24mm wideangle of the LX5 is very handy.

p.s. I know you can get a hotshoe optical finder for the LX5 - but it's £170!

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Vodafail riles ACMA again

Ian McNee
Alert

More to the point...

...what is "spruiking" (Playmobil reconstruction?) and is it illegal back here in Blighty or just in the colonies?? Get the Reg Vocab Crime Desk on it, we should be told!
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AMD speed-bumps, unlocks chips for desktop, notebook

Ian McNee
Meh

AMD could try ramping production too

Have you tried to get hold of A8 APUs over the past few weeks? Rare as rocking horse poop! Having built a box to order with a Fusion APU they seem to me to offer excellent value for all-round use but if AMD can't meet demand Fusion is not going to save them against Intel in the desktop market.

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