* Posts by Alan W. Rateliff, II

603 posts • joined 21 Nov 2007

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Nork-ribbing flick The Interview AXED: Sony caves under hack terror 'menace'

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Black Helicopters

Re: Tin foil

Holy shit, what is this is just a publicity stunt???

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Much capitulation, such disappointment

I am disappointed that theaters would fold and not show it. I am more disappointed that Sony are folding. Indeed, the cyber-terrorists have won and this sets a dangerous precedent.

What happened to my America where we would thumb our noses at such threats and go forth in full force just to spite the bastards? What would our countrymen on flight 93 say, who stood up and saved so many with their own sacrifice? How disappointed my grandfathers would be, who collectively fought in every war since the Revolution. What happened to our balls?

Anyway, initially, I was not going to see this movie but I decided that if Sony and my local theater would stand up for Right I would plonk down my $8.25 plus snacks to partake.

Well, if Sony is going to lose money by not showing it, maybe it will release to torrent.

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QEMU, FFMPEG guru unleashes JPEG-slaying graphics compressor

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Adoption

Page loading times may not be an issue for super-duper fast connections, but such an improvement means even faster loading times, seemingly instant. Meh, for some, but I can imagine mobile devices will benefit greatly from a high-quality, low byte-count image format. Especially mobile browsers like Opera Mini which reduce the quality of images to accommodate limited data packages.

As for getting it out into the wild, while the landscape may be different today than when PNG was introduced, I remember using plug-ins for Netscape, Opera, and Internet Explorer for PNG to work. A Java plug-in is a start. Now we just see how long it will take for GIMP and IrfanView plug-ins.

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Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: reducing energy consumption

First off, "consommation;" I invoke the spirit of Inigo Montoya.

Secondly, I had a very enlightening conversation with a gentleman who moved from one of those third-world countries over in Africa (maybe second and a-half, really.) During our discussion a number of things became more clear to me. In particular, one thing he mentioned was how he found himself caught up in the excesses that our country has to offer.

A very real solution is to not over-indulge in what we have available to us. A long time ago I saw a bumper sticker which sticks (ha!) in my mind as a perfect summation of our circumstances: "Conservation means doing with less, not going without." I come from a family in which I was constantly hounded about not leaving lights on, water running, etc. Even though we received such amenities for "free" being a military family*, I was taught a life of using what is needed and necessary. Today I live that for the most part, with the understanding that we are also allowed escapades of fancy: if I want to drive to California for AmiWest, then that is perfectly acceptable. If I want to idle my car in the driveway until the tank runs empty I am free to do so, but doing so is wasteful and shameful.

* The military is, of course, paid for by taxes. However, the idea of "free" (as in beer) living in the military is a myth only revealed within the past decade or so when paychecks began reflecting how housing and other amenities are actually deducted from a member's base pay. Once you retire you really begin to see how the military life is not free at all.

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You know where Apple Pay is getting used a LOT? Yes - McDonalds

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Sorry, Mr. Subtitle: No "Super-Size" in the U.S.

Litigation by slip-and-fall lawyers on behalf of people who could not accept the responsibility for their own gluttony -- and who probably still cannot or do not accept their own responsibility for anything -- saw this through.

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iCloud fiasco: 100 FAMOUS WOMEN exposed NUDE online

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Yes.

But the reality is, no one will wake up. Apple will fix the hole, will assure everyone things will be fine, and life will continue while short memories fade. This will all be forgotten in a few months (or sooner) as the distribution becomes less public and falls back into the underbelly of the Internet. Not a single celebrity's life will be ruined by this leak, and besides, they are celebrities and live at a level well above the average person. I mean, I am no Jennifer Lawrence or Leelee Sobieski, so who wants to ever peek at my nudies? Everyone will continue using cloud services, ignoring the rain which falls from them, happily oblivious thanks to the it-won't-ever-happen-to-me mentality.

If, what was it, 100GB of leaked private photos from Facebook failed to wake up the masses, will this? Maybe we will finally reach the tipping point of a lack of privacy, but what exactly is privacy today, anyway? Especially when we are encouraged, if not required, more and more to use these kinds of services for our day-to-day interactions.

@Anonymous Cowherder: we have been beating that drum for years. YEARS. Still no one hears it. "But it it's private! I can block people!" Sure, a great service with a lock... but it is a shitty lock.

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Sysadmin Day 2014: Quick, there's still time to get the beers in

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Geek culture?

I protest. As the main-stream adoption (corruption) of the term "geek" now requires the inclusion of gamers, it is important to note that not all system administrators are geeks. In fact, to a large degree, gamers rely upon us sysadmins as without us their fun times would be over. Or we befuddle said fun times with useless DRM or Internet connectivity requirements. Which ever.

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Microsoft: We're making ONE TRUE WINDOWS to rule us all

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: One Windows doesn't work!

Actually, I took his comment about his Apple shares to be an indication that Apple is absolutely doing something that brings results. You're both several degrees of being correct, though one more condescending than the other, and I would like to amend.

Now that Tim Cook has signed the Unholy Alliance with IBM, so long as Apple does not over-inflate and confuse its product line (as prior to the Jobsian Product Purge) there is a huge chance for Apple to start biting into the Microsoft enterprise share. IBM has long seethed over the betrayal of the Microsoft OS/2-Windows partnership. Apple has traditionally not pushed into the business arena, but IBM clearly and demonstrably has the ability to take Apple there.

Factor in the recent and growing BYOD and PYOD trends: where enterprise technology once drove consumer technology as "put what they use at work in the home," the explosion of consumer technology is now pushing the opposite way. Whether we like it or not, Apple owns the consumer technology market. Now, whether Cook and Co. can keep that edge driven at least in part by a cult-like following remains to be seen, as he has already missed key product release points, is expanding the product line, and is making changes to product which would have never occurred under Jobs.

I have no use for Apple products in my home consumer life, nor for that matter in my business life. But, if I wanted a safe bet for my retirement investments, at least for the short-term, Apple would definitely get my money.

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Comcast bosses: THAT pushy sales rep was only obeying orders

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

ComCast didn't even ask me...

Many moons ago I was forced to be a ComCast customer as I was in an area in which DSL was the fevered dream of a mad man who had run thin gauge wire from a DSLAM way far away. I suffered with them for almost a year, through outages, various problems, and numerous phone calls during which I was treated like an absolute moron. That treatment is also outside the comedy and tragedy of getting my service activated without the need for a Windows or Mac computer as I only had my Amiga working and available at the time. (Really, why should I have to go to a damn website to turn on my service when it was clearly demonstrated to me after a few calls that it was a simple matter of putting my modem MAC address into my account and pressing a few buttons.)

To be fair, I had one phone call about an outage and the representative first checked to see if there was problem in my area, which there was. She apologized and explained that technicians were working on it and should have it fixed very soon. Which it was. I asked if she had a supervisor so I could gush about the extraordinary difference between her approach and attitude and to what I had grown accustomed.

I finally moved to an area where DSL was available and called to just move my TV service. Though I wanted to eliminate TV and thus ComCast altogether, I was encourage by in-home forces to keep TV. The representative who processed my move order seemed to not be interested in my call, or being at work in the first place. I heard a good bit of gum smacking and it seemed that she might have muted her side several times to address voices in the background which sounded like conversation with her. Finally I asked her if she was at all interested in why I was moving my TV service and not internet, to which she responded as though I had just sprung out from behind a door, saying, "Oh, yeah, I guess so. Why?"

There ya go. This was residential services and, to be fair, again, to ComCast, its business support has been more often than not very responsive. In fact, in a few times they've worked with me on issues which wound up being a premises problem rather than service, just to see if it would be necessary for me to make a trip to the site. But that is support. Accounting has been a nightmare for more than one customer and colleague, to the point that I will never have ComCast in my home or business ever unless the situation is the most dire and I have no other option at all.

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What the world needs now is... a Bluetooth-enabled baby's dummy

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Just what we need

Have you taken the wife to see a doctor? I hope that if I ever get that stuck on something, my wife would take me in.

Says the guy on the Internet at 4:30 in the morning. She's snoring, so does it matter?

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Hey, Marissa Mayer: Flexi working time is now LAW in UK. Yahoo!

Alan W. Rateliff, II

More "management versus labor" mentality

I cannot buy into this. An employee knows the requirements of a job up-front, and traditional job requirements are that you work in the office or store or whatever. So you take a job which does not offer work-from-home or flexible scheduling; just because your lifestyle changes does not mean your employer's should, as well. That a business cannot produce a viable business-related reason is, and should be in relation to this law, irrelevant. If a business owner does not want his or her employees working outside of the confines of a physical location or outside of a particular schedule, that should be the final word on the matter.

Some employers may be amenable to the suggestion and perhaps even see it as an opportunity or advantage, while others may not. Like any other situation, if you do not like the outcome you are welcome to leave and find another situation. As well, if a particular business which could greatly benefit from flexible scheduling against its competition does not offer this scheduling, it is doomed to failure.

All this kind of law does is further shackle the hands of the assumed-to-be oppressive business in favor of the poor employee. Little more than perpetuating classic manager-labor disharmony clap-trap, attempting to shift the power to the put-upon labor. I suspect that we will soon see amendments and additions to this rule which make it more difficult to can a flexible employee who is not producing, including laws which make it near impossible to uphold the claim or recall the employee to the place of business for supervision.

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Bane of my life

"There's a theory that if anybody ever manages to understand the universe, it will abruptly end and be replaced by something less understandable. There is another theory that this has already happened. many times. My personal theory is that this explains hangovers."

I have never been formally exposed to that theory, but have in experience. A long long time ago in a burst, a flash of understanding as though the Earth had finished running its millennia-long program and sent its output through my brain... I understood women.

Nothing has been the same since.

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You need a list of specific unknowns we may encounter? Huh?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

We are Alistair

Holy shit. HOLY SHIT. This article is my life in a nutshell. Well, except that I still perform actions considered naive. That is, my Truth Filter(tm) is permanently stuck on the "ON" position. I try not to be a twat about it, executing what my friends endearingly call "Irish Diplomacy," but the truth comes out, nonetheless. I am also perfectly willing to set fire to the conference table and walk out laughing maniacally if it means the impending fuck-up and collapse will not have my name on it and I will not have to support, recover from, or dig out from under the massive amount of shit which will continue to fall unabated.

I have developed the useful skill of planting an idea in the head of someone who is looking to steal ideas and make themselves look good. I will even happily speak with said brown-noser at length about the technicals and how-it-works-isms until his eyes glaze over. Particularly because he will usually buy me whatever food and drink I want during this ritual courtship. Whether or not he understands does not bother me in the slightest as I know once he has "stolen" the idea from me, I will become his in-the-shadow go-to guy to get things done. While he thinks of me as his prey, I am using his own selfish ambitions for Good.

Mind you, this skill also includes the ability to detect when the schmuck is going to pass my idea off to his mate who will completely cock it up, meanwhile I get thrown under the bus while the jack-ass blurts out in tears, "Alan convinced me this was a sure thing!" This part took longer to develop than I would have liked, but experience is the best teacher if you are willing to learn. At the end of it, brown-noser climbs the corporate ladder until he reaches the level at which he can no longer usurp and re-brand the experience and knowledge of others, and I get to be "The Guy Behind The Scenes of X-Project" and a fat check or two.

To be somewhat rhetorical, have you heard of me? Probably not, but you will more than likely get to hear of the guy who rode my train to his next stop. I am a doer and a facilitator; I get shit done so you look good.

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Google Nest slurps your life into the Matrix? The TRUTH

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: I think I'm going to move to hidden cave in the mountains and become a hermit...

Afghanistan is quite lovely, and has some of the nicest and most spacious caves available.

@LarsG: If a perfect pot of tea could make itself, we could never get that damned door open.

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COSMIC BELCH from supermassive black hole stuns boffins

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Coat

Okay, I will escalate this right away.

@Spartacus: Those are gaseous expulsions from brown holes, mate.

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Facebook goes TITSUP across WORLD! Who will look at your cousin's baby NOW?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

I found this funny because of my customers. It is not uncommon for me to get a phone call late in the morning or early afternoon because a customer's email has not been working. Once the problem is resolved I then receive at least one email with the subject along the lines of "Email is not working."

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DANGER MOUSE is back ... and he isn't half a GLASSHOLE

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Trollface

Seems we will under-represent the half-blind population in these exclusionary practices if the eye-patch is removed. Do I smell a boycott and hashtag?

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: BBC Radio 4 Extra

Not animated, and not Cosgrove Hall, but your mention of others shows you watched and finding things on the Internet reminded me of my own "other show" and trying to find it on the Internet.

"The Young Ones." Absolutely loved that program. Later on in life I decided, hey, maybe I can find it on the Internet. While the proper search results have percolated to the top in Google these days, back then... just say that the results were rather heavy and not quite what the Peoples' Poet would have smiled upon.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Load of Shite

And Count Duckula. Maybe this means my DM DVD collection will go up in resale some. Not that I want to sell it, but it could double my net worth.

I am okay with the whole Danger Mouse "Glass" bit, too. It will help to reinforce the idea that the only people who need to use the real-time spying information gathering high-tech stuff are the spooks and plods, and we have nothing to fear if we are doing nothing wrong. Move along, nothing to see here, you can catch it on-line at your leisure.

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TIME TRAVELLERS needed to secure Windows 7

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Combo Upate

Nice. I use this and have turned several colleagues onto it, as well. Our only complaint is that even after a full run there will still be a few dozen updates left in Windows Updates. That said, it saves a massive amount of time to keep a USB stick updated every month with the latest Windows Updates and get them installed unattended after a fresh OS installation.

(I have to sheepishly admit that I have never donated to the project. I keep meaning to and keep pushing it off to a time when I am less busy.)

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Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

My network...

...my rules.

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Still watching DVDs? You're a PLANET-KILLING CARBON HOG!

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Cost of ownership?

Okay, I have not read the report, and I am making a knee-jerk, uninformed post. That said, I am willing to bet the report does not take into account the ownership factor of physical media and the convenience of being able to watch whatever movie or show I want once I own it without being subject to the whims of the content providers and rights holders. (I mean, DVD rental? Is that still a thing?)

Sure, ownership does not affect the so-called environmental impact of DVD manufacture and distribution -- although my Futurama DVDs all say they are "carbon neutral" -- but that ain't my focus, now is it?

I am not just one of those "dark social" people, I am also one of those "dark watchers." (I can do better... come back to me...)

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Fat-fingered admin downs entire Joyent data center

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: that unique sinking feeling

A bit like that feeling you get just as you let go of the car door and at the exact moment realize your keys are on the front seat, innit?

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Jheez, poor bastard. :\

... really go all of us. Even the snotty it-won't-ever-happen-to-me RegTards.

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Still using e-mail? Marketers say you're part of DARK SOCIAL

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: For added irony, on the story's page

Interesting. I am only showing four in Ghostery (with everything turned on for blocking,) on the forums:

Data Point Media, DoubleClick, Google Analytics (obligatory), and Taboola.

The story has 11: Data Point Media, DoubleClick, Facebook Connect, Google Analytics, Google+ Platform, LinkedIn Widgets, Outbrain, Reddit, StumbleUpon Widgets, Taboola, and Twitter Button.

I have ABP turned off for El Reg so I can help pay my way.

I wonder if your ISP is injecting additional trackers? Or maybe I have some being filtered up-stream. (I am posting from a hot-spot without a threat management device, so who knows.)

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Windows XP fixes flaws for free if you turn PCs into CASH REGISTERS

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Even better idea

I will not argue that XP is out-dated and Windows 7 is a very viable replacement in most scenarios. However, I will argue that I have a Dell Mini 9 (NetBook) running Kali Linux and it runs very well and is quite usable.

("Out-dated" is subjective, and I have made posts in the past regarding situations when moving away from XP or older operating systems may not be effective or cost efficient, so I will not bore with them here.)

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

XP x64 screwed?

If it is true, I am pretty pissed about this. XP x64 has always had a different update and support road map than XP, being that it is built on the same core as Server 2003 (for instance, the latest service pack for XP x64 is SP2, matching that of Server 2003.) XP x64 and 2003 have always used the same updates, but if Microsoft is preventing new 2003 updates from loading on XP x64, as indicated by the website offering the registry tweak, then that is another big "screw you" to its users. Yeah, so maybe not many people are actually using XP x64, but that seems all the more reason to not deliberately prevent updates.

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Apple haggles with ISPs for fast lanes to its own websites – industry guru

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Like a motorway, perhaps?

No, it's not. Here's the real road-way analogy.

ComCast City residents want products from Apple City and NetFlix City. More product starts to flow in from Apple and NetFlix city as the residents of ComCast City consume, and ComCast City gains revenue and new residents as a result.

The roadway from Apple and NetFlix city is paid for by their respective traveling residents, including more capacity from source to destination, and bigger better on-ramps.

But ComCast City says not so fast, you too. Our population has increased because of the product you are selling to us, and instead of using the funds we receive from our residents we want you to pay for our off-ramps and maybe even build up our infrastructure.

Now, if the residents of ComCast City who are there because of the easy access to Apple City and NetFlix City product, they will eventually move away. At least, this is how it used to, and should, work. Instead, ComCast City places additional tariffs payable at the city limits for the incoming product. History readily reveals what happens when onerous tariffs are put in place on imports, and ComCast City will eventually realize the deleterious effects.

The whole thing as ComCast wants it is ass-backward.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Paying extortion...

Content providers need to tell ISPs to go fuck themselves. No, really. If ComCast customers cannot stream from iTunes, YouTube, or NetFlix, but someone on AT&T can, seems to me the market would adjust to the fact. If everyone would band together against extortionists like ComCast then ISPs of that ilk will check themselves.

I see notices on satellite and cable networks every so often about how such-and-such channel will not be carried by such-system and to call to get them to carry the channel. The consumers then call and force such-and-such cable or satellite system to get their act together. Of course, if the channel or network is being bitchy, well, they lose out. It all balances and the consumer wins.

But then, we see on a nearly daily basis how ComCast feels about its customers. (To some degree I wish I lived in one of those countries where a post like this could get me in the hot-seat for disparaging the company, because I have plenty of stories and personal experience with ComCast to make its collective heads spin. To the point that I will never have ComCast service in my home if my life depended on it. I left cable TV eight years ago and have never looked back.)

(This could be an opportunity for a competitor, like say Google Fiber, to mosey on in with service which does not extort content providers.)

Of course, it's people like me who are the target: the cable cutters. The ones who do not subscribe to a 189 channel bundle on cable or satellite of which on average 17 channels get watched, instead choosing to cherry-pick what we want from Internet content providers.

Once again, the aging, dinosaur, antiquated business practices run to Daddy Government for protection against the big bad consumer who no longer wants their product. I cast off my wool cap long ago, and thankfully we have a few elected officials who actually get it.

Hey, ComCast and others who would follow in the same steps: adapt or die, asshats. You can only abuse your customers for so long. To you extortion victims: grow a pair, for crying out loud.

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'My house is on fire m8 lol' ... 911 texting tested in the US

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Trollface

Re: Meanwhile . . .

Wait, are you talking about ObamaCare?

Victim -> "Sm1 brk in2 hm husband shot I'm hiding in basement"

911 -> "Police on the way; does your husband have bronze, silver, gold, or platinum Healthcare plan?"

Victim -> "WTF?"

911 -> "We can only send an ambulance if he has a Gold plan or above. If he has lower, please enter your credit card number or verify your DREAM status."

Victim -> "FFFFFFUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!"

Okay, okay. This may seem to denigrate our emergency and health services, but that is not the case at all. In fact, it is to poke at some of the stupid regulations and requirements our providers have put upon them for various situations and scenarios.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: There are some abuse scenarios too

Forget phone calls, the next mobile phone virus can DOS emergency services with SMS. I did not see anywhere (admittedly, I did not look very closely) that this service will support MMS, but I suspect it possible. I wonder when some baddie will DOS 911 services with anonymous SIP calls as well as SMS.

In any case, I see this as a good supplement to 911 calls, but at the same time a phone call can contain valuable investigative information in determining time-line of an event, such as ambient sounds, gun shots, voices of perpetrators and (though we are loath to think it) dying declarations of victims. Perhaps phones could be configured to start a video recording (including audio, of course) once a text is sent to 911.

Or an app. Send a text to 911 and the phone begins sending regular MMS video clips. The idea of recording is good, but the phone has to then be retrieved in order for the video to be useful. Never mind me, just thinking aloud.

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Next Windows obsolescence panic is 450 days from … NOW!

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Virtualisation

I did a lot of your second migration path there: virtualized 2003 (especially SBS, R.I.P.,) then migrated to 2008R2 (or SBS 2011.) At this point I have all but three customers on 2008R2 or SBS 2011. One customer actually already bought SBS 2011 but will not/cannot purchase upgraded hardware, one customer is planning their budget in-line with the 2003 end-of-life, and another customer just does not care.

For myself, I figure I will have replaced my aging Core2Quad system running XP x64 by the time 2003 is retired. I have already moved to Windows 7 for just about everything else. And, for those of us El Reg reading-types, seriously, a Microsoft Action Pack really is worth the $400 a year. (Mind you, Microsoft has been rather bitchy these past few months and removed ALL previous software versions -- if you would rather use 7 over 8.1 or have a machine that cannot run 8.1, too bad.)

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US mobile firms cave on kill switch, agree to install anti-theft code

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Only in America...

Sure, but only early adopters. Eventually the product will become so commonplace that it will become a standard feature.

1
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The... Windows... XPocalypse... is... NIGH

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Glue USB ports?

Given the Ghostbusters bit, I guess Trevor might be exaggerating about gluing the USB ports. I could just as easily disable USB in the BIOS. Saves me the trouble of hanging a PCI USB card anywhere and having to pull out the screw driver to open a case.

In most environments I am able to keep cases fairly clean. In others, opening a case is an archeological expedition through layers of dead skin cells, the mites eating them, hair, dander, fur, spider webs (sometimes owner-occupied,) dead bugs, maybe a small rodent, etc. Ick.

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VMware patches man-in-the-middle vSphere vuln

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Likelihood of attack minimal...

Right. TJX and Target were both protected networks, not exposed to the public, too.

3
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'Yahoo! Breaks! Every! Mailing! List! In! The! World!' says email guru

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Yahoo shmahoo YES THIS

"Otherwise, one is constantly playing with the filter to let the spam leading domain traffic through, then catching merry hell for the spam coming in."

This is pretty much what I have to face. Though I catch hell either way: someone's legitimate email gets blocked because of a very poor reputation of the delivering server, or a shit-storm of spam from those servers. It is difficult to get the affected customers to understand either scenario, so I just lower my head, say "yes, ma'am" and "yes, sir," and try my damnedest to keep things operational.

I believe this is the lot of the email administrator.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Yahoo shmahoo

Not to mention just ridden with spammers. No other service trips up our anti-spam system as much as Yahoo!, to the point that eventually Yahoo! servers just get blocked out-right because the amount of spam coming from them is far greater than the amount of legitimate email. I clear out the scoring cache and blocks, and within 30 days the internal reputation is so bad I have to do it again.

I contact Yahoo! in the past and the response was chilled. I was told that Yahoo! email is a free service and their users are free to use other services if the outbound mail servers are over-weighted for spam filters or just plain blocked. I also tried to obtain a list of their outbound servers to try to introduce balance. Crickets.

The problem is Yahoo! does not just provide free accounts. It also provides egress for SWBell, AT&T, SBCGlobal, and other email accounts for paid services. But they all route through their standard Yahoo! servers, and even worse they wind up going out through servers which seem to be marked for bulk email transmission. Unless its definition of bulk in email context is different than the rest of the world.

It is difficult to care about a service which does not seem to care for its users.

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SPARC and Solaris will live until at least 2019

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Better than I expected

Customer service: yup. Still can't get a support contract for my machines.

@Evil Auditor: I have a few Sparc machines which I still have fun with. An SS20 with dual 200s for home play, a SS20 clone (Axil 320) with dual Ross 100 and 512MB RAM which is an actual production machine, and an IPXstation which runs like a champ but takes FOREVER to compile anything useful (and is also limited to Solaris 7.)

Really fun stuff. I feel more comfortable with Solaris than other Unixes, for whatever reason.

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Animals

"If not, can you see how this man's bigoted beliefs, publicly expressed and acted upon negatively impact his employer!"

Your statement assumes that his opinion on gay marriage is, in fact, bigoted.

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What took you so long Apple? 26 remote exec bugs die in OS X Safari

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Yet no updates for many working apples

I thought Apple pulled Safari for Windows back in version 5, anyway?

Microsoft's failure with Vista in regard to drivers wasn't necessarily the driver model not being supported (vendors don't really have a choice in that matter,) but that Microsoft kept letting the release date slip so few vendors were willing to invest in drivers for the release. ISTR reading that a lot of the native Vista drivers in the RTM release were Vista-wrapped XP drivers.

Later on I found that a lot of x64 drivers were interchangeable between XP x64 and Vista x64. And so far as that goes, even Windows 7 has limited support for some XP video drivers, which allows older systems (laptops running 845s, etc.) to have at least functional video which doesn't prevent the system from going to sleep. Just no Aero. Darn.

Anyway, yes, XP is a cooked goose. Not that it isn't a capable stable operating system in its current form, but in my experience Windows 7 is a much more capable (and compatible) OS on all hardware I throw at it. I appreciate there are some instances where moving to 7 is impossible -- Trevor Pott lamented in an article today about a CNC machine, and I have seen a couple of old plotters running an XP-based controller.

I see this a similar to back in the mass movement to 2000 and XP with older systems which could not run anything newer than Windows 98 or NT. Eventually those systems were replaced as they broke down beyond repair or newer replacements were offered off-lease or otherwise less expensively, but in the meantime special policies and rules were put into place for those machines. Granted, the threatscape has changed drastically since then, so more special provisions need to be taken.

Heck, if the coming Windows 8.1 update does indeed fix up the UI, it may wind up installed on my six year-old Latitude D430.

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IBM PCjr STRIPPED BARE: We tear down the machine Big Blue would rather you forgot

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: Floppy drives

Right, the Amiga can handle a lot of formats and there are tons of examples on AmiNet. The DSDD format for Amiga is 880k via MFM with more sectors and no sector gaps as the controller reads a full track at once. DSHD in the Amiga is 1.76MB, but the speed is 1/2 normal as Paula is limited to 250kb/s. This requires a special drive to reduce the rotational speed when an HD disk is inserted, as well as communicate to the OS that the disk is capable of more sectors per track.

I have copied over plenty of CP/M, MS-DOS, and 1581 disks using my Amigas, including modifying the hell out of the 1020 5-1/4" drive to read 1541 disks and other formats. I have a third-party 5-1/4" drive which is capable of HD floppy reads. Fun stuff.

Also getting to play with TI-99/4A stuff these days, which are really throw-backs in terms of floppies: original SSSD 90k and what-not on the original WD1770-series controllers. Woohoo!

The Commodore 64 shares video and system RAM, but things seem to work much better than the PCjr, even at a lowly 1.02MHz. Could be because the VIC-II video processor was designed specifically for this purpose. It also asserts ownership of the RAM buss when needed against the 6510 and the Commodore 64 Programmer's Reference Guide talks about this contention. I think the only time it really becomes a problem is handling tapes as the timing is extremely critical, so the VIC-II display is disabled.

I had a brief flirtation with the PCjr as my aunt had one. I picked up one up later in life after I had move on to the Commodore 128. A cheap home-made circuit board and I was able to use the PCjr monitor with my 128's RGBI output. The PCjr wound up somewhere else. "Shamus" simply did not hold the same fascination as before. Not to mention the flat double-row of pins disguised as peripheral ports with nothing to differentiate between components other than the number of pins in a block -- made it feel cheap to me, like IBM said "let's put a lot of technology through this beast, but here at the very end we'll just make it seem like poor version of a Heathkit."

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Mozilla takes Windows 8-friendly Firefox out back ... two shots heard

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: @ Not That Andrew

"You have no idea how relieved I was when my custom GUI migrated with the latest FireFox update from my 3+ years old layout/images etc."

Not for lack of trying, mind you. Every major "Nightly" release changes something in the GUI which moves stuff around and resizes other stuff on me. The new curved tab "feature" does not really sit well with me, though I handle it. What I really miss is the add-ons bar at the bottom, as now I do not have access to some of my favorite add-ons which still otherwise work even after over 9,000 iterations of Firefox, and the page title in the window title bar.

DOH! I take the latter back... I just found the "title bar." Now if I could just as easily stumble across a way to REALLY disable to built-in media player (directshow and the other media layer setting just didn't fix it.)

Firefox alphas -- adventure waiting to be discovered!

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Alan W. Rateliff, II

Re: no surprise here

"It solves a nearly nonexistent problem (boot sector viruses -- I haven't even seen one since I owned an Amiga!)"

Oh, thank $_DEITY! I am relieved to know pre-loading rootkits were just figments of our imaginations.

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EVE Online erects mashed-up memorial to biggest space fight in history

Alan W. Rateliff, II

Un-salvageable?

I am curious whether making the Titans un-salvageable will affect the game economy. This move would also prevent the ships' owners unable to regain parts and ISK, would it not?

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Tesla is on fire! Model S car sales are red hot – just like their chargers (yow)

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Has potential but too expensive

You mean like an over-valued bubble? Sorry, I'm a tad bitter from my experiences in the last decade.

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Target hackers: Woohoo, we're rich! Um. Guys? Anyone know how to break bank encryption?

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Er - too much information?

Good info. Now I wonder how that pad interfaces with the POS. The pad is capable of displaying messages and advertisements, which means there is some kind of assertion from the POS terminal. If that data transfer can be abused it could be possible to break a few things.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Er - too much information?

Putting aside whether or not the terminal needs to communicate the PIN to the gateway, think about this: the malware used in this breach scraped RAM used by the POS software to capture data in-process. Since you have to enter your PIN into the terminal to use your debit or Redcard, the assumption is that the pad does not handle the PIN itself but rather hands that off to the POS terminal, thus putting that PIN into RAM. Seems they missed one minor detail and knowing this they will not make the same mistake next time.

I have popcorn waiting for the Great Reveal of how the malware got into the system in the first place.

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How the NSA hacks PCs, phones, routers, hard disks 'at speed of light': Spy tech catalog leaks

Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: @Phil O'Sophical

When the iPhone was introduced I knew it would be a stellar success. Not because I am an Apple advocate, but because I saw what happened with the iPod, I know the iFanboi mentality, and I have always noted how Apple just "gets" the user experience.

Top Men came to similar conclusions as I for much better reasons than I.

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: Ok, not so quick and easy

And from where do you think we will obtain trust-worthy hashes?

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Alan W. Rateliff, II
Paris Hilton

Re: hahahaha

"Well it's still less-worse than Russia"

Pfah! Putin expressed his jealousy.

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