Feeds

* Posts by Paul Crawford

1635 posts • joined 15 Mar 2007

Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Pint

Re: AC 09:48

Poor attempt at trolling.

Incidentally, who cares about MS Office for home use? For the odd letter Google docs is perfectly adequate, and most folk would have a lot more fun with the £200 or so for Win 8 + Office than pointless formatting.

Unless, of course, you are the sort of person who just has to write letters in green ink with odd fonts to make a point?

Here, have a beer and hope your MS fixation gets better in 2014.

6
1
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

@ Adam 1

True, as I bought a replacement printer for a friend who had been sold a Lexmark and discovered it would cost more for a set of inks than a new Epson (that took 3rd party cartridges, unlike the Lexmark).

1
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: It might be virus free, but.....

Oh very safe indeed, as they have another back-up held off site.

In an unmarked building.

That no one publicly knows exists...

3
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Mandatory comment on the resolution

Yes it is low, but it is also small and pretty cheap, so it has *some* excuse for that choice.

Also I personally hate Caps-lock keys, as I am a poor typer and sometimes find I hAVE TYPED A LOT IN CAPS having hit it accidentally when going for the 'A' key. I see little use for that function in this day and age of simply putting titles in bold or larger fonts. Good to see it used for something else, but ideally just get rid of it (or make it smaller and further from the 'A' key).

As for printing, that is a pain not being easy to do locally. While I find it a rare need, it is sometimes needed for boarding passes, Groupon vouchers, etc.

4
1

Skype's Twitter account, blog hacked to spread anti-Microsoft messages

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Skype for linux?

It is the MS way - buy over a successful multi-platform product, then crapify it by making it only work on Windows, and often then not as good as before. Then profit!

9
0

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

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: So..

"All hardware is full of gaping holes"

Not quite, but we are in a position where most systems are so complex they are beyond our collective ability to understand fully to make them properly secure. Add in to that the secrecy of the 'propitiatory' BIOS and HDD firmware and there is little chance to easily detect against boot-time root kits introduced by those means.

"I will bring the beans."

Just no making me squeal like a piggy, OK?

3
0

Blame Silicon Valley for the NSA's data slurp... and what to do about it

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

The underlying problem with IP rights, both in 'the individual' case and in the behaviour of traditional media, is that it relies on actually fighting such problems through the courts. And that costs money. Serious money.

Add to the the financial penalties which, in the US at least, are ruinous to an individual but petty cash to a billion pound business, and you start to see why it is fairly hard for any individual to challenge, but easy for industries (and or their representation groups such as the MPAA, etc) to threaten small innovative players into obedience or destroy them.

Short of settlements being means-based (say 0.1% of one's worth, so few thousand for an individual but maybe millions for a big business or a group they back), and making the court process faster and cheaper, that is hardly going to redress the situation we find ourselves in.

As for the spooks, well they get laws made up to suit what they want to do, so none of this would make any difference.

23
0

Slurp away, NSA: Mass phone data collection IS legal, rules federal judge

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Bollocks

"...as nothing is more apt to imperil civil liberties than the success of a terrorist attack on American soil"

9/11 attack deaths = 2,977 (+ 19 hijackers)

US road deaths = 34,080 (for 2012)

US Gun related deaths = around 32,000 (of those, around 60% are suicides).

Really, it is OK to do ANYTHING in the name of anti-terrorist actions, but damn all about the real killers?

27
0

Android, Chromebooks storm channel as Windows PC sales go flat

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

" further to drop"

It will be good if MS drops to around 1/2-1/3 of new sales, but no less, as that way all main OS (Windows, Linux, MacOS) should get decent support by peripheral suppliers and be designed to begin with for that goal. And that is a good thing for everyone.

8
0

Torvalds: Linux devs may 'cry into our lonely beers' at Christmas

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: James Hughes 1

"all those people who continually bash Linux"

I think you will find this is the same sad AC that always comes up with this sort of thing. Why AC you might ask? Presumably so it is not easy to see their posting history as that would reveal it. At least the knob-end that was EADON was up front about his anti-MS rants.

Next thing they will be telling you, again without actual facts, that Windows is much more secure, etc.

13
3
Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Linux

Re: And cry you might

Welcome AC, now just you go and enjoy your lovely working copy of Windows with its _NSAKEY built in, nice to be pre-lubed, eh?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NSAKEY

7
9

British Second World War codebreaker Alan Turing receives Royal pardon

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: All hail Turing, but pass the sick bag for royal connection

History is a funny thing, and you have to considered carefully why things are the current way. They brought back Charles II in 1658 after Cromwell's death because it was considered better to have a monarch with prescribed powers (largely ceremonial since) than a Lord Protector with no limits.

Looking at it another way, she was actually around at the time of his conviction, so is that not a better choice to offer a pardon?

And it gives less opportunity for the slime-ball that is Dave Cameron to appear 'good'.

0
0

We don't need no STEENKIN' exploit brokers: Let's FLATTEN all bug bounties

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Unhappy

Sadly what I think is needed are new liability laws that make software and device manufacturers liable for failing to fix disclosed bugs in a reasonable time scale and for, say, five years after the device was on sale.

I'm looking at, for example you HTC, for your crappy phones with little or no updates, and you, most phone networks, who add all sorts of crapware and then don't pass on any underlying OS bug-fixes because of that.

And also without causing endless trouble for users by the fix being incompatible and needing a "factory reset". I mean, come on Android (and others) you are using an underlying OS that already supports modular updates and bug fixes (and has done for years and years). Why, oh why, can't you use that mechanism?

15
0

DJANGO UNCHAINED: Don't let 'preview' apps put you off Fedora 20

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: the header bar.

Sadly all GUI developers seem to be suffering the same syphilitic brain problem of removing anything and everything of use, and hiding the remaining features in stupid non-obvious places.

Desktop morons abound (Gnome 3, to a large extent Unity, Win8 TIFKAM).

Web browser morons abound (Firefox, Chrome, etc all removing menus and options that you might actually want to use).

Cloud services buggering around the same way, like Google's docs, etc, having things make more Fisher-Price and hiding them behind icons that mean nothing (WTF is the matrix of squares that now pops up the other services supposed to represent?)

A pox on them all :(

33
0

IT bods: Windows XP, we WON'T leave you. Migrate? Chuh! As if...

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Whither Windows?

XP in a VM is isolated from underlying changes to hardware or, by and large, to the host operating system. You could use Win7/8 or any one of a range of Linux distros, depending on your use-case and licensing costs, etc.

In my experience the XP VM runs as well, if not better, under Linux as natively (intensive graphics aside) and you can save & restore from backup in minutes if corrupted. You can also have several VM, each with different software that won't play happy together, and run the one you need at a given time.

As such, you can also run RAID on the host machine for better availability, etc, and the workings of that need not concern the VM, it just sees the virtual disk as a file stored somewhere.

As for time, skill, etc, needed, well this is El Reg and folk here are discussing how they choose to solve things. If you don't know then find someone who can advise and implement, and pay them for it. Simplez!

1
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: @Paul Crawford AC 14:28

"tied to the MAC of the network card in said computer"

In that case a VM of XP might be your saving, as you can then assign a MAC address matching the original card to it. Of course, if it used other hardware factors (e.g. C: drive serial number, etc) that may not work, but it is well worth trying.

1
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

@Goat Jam

While I can't speak for the AC above, my own reasons for sticking with "old software" vary, in some cases the cost is sometimes just not worth it when it is hardly used and/or not business critical.

But more often it is not the "few thousand" for a new copy/license, it is the years of work and business processes that are disrupted by the new version being different in subtle through to bloody annoying ways. That can cost WAY more than the new version would.

Also the node-locking may not be tied to the physical machine, more likely it is a parallel port dongle on an XP box that serves the software (like one of my CAD packages). A new PC with an additional parallel port card may solve hardware failures with much less disruption than a complete change, but moving from W2k/XP could be far more difficult.

7
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: "won't be able to hang onto the past much longer"

My own choice is to run XP in a VM and then it need not have full, if any, internet access.

The host machine can be your choice of course, but mine is Linux for a range of reasons. Without wanting to start yet another pointless OS willy-waving contest, my own reasons are freedom (both as in speech and as in beer) and the far smaller number of attacks. Most of the stuff I need runs fine (email & web, compilers, etc) and the Windows-specific stuff can stay in the VM.

Should the VM get hosed, then it is deleted and the backup uncompressed in minutes. Should my host hardware change, well the VM need not care and mostly the recent Linux distros "just work".

Sure it is not perfect, and unskilled staff need training to master the "two computers in one" setup, but then if you change from XP to Win 7 (or God forbid Win 8's TIFKAM) then you have a lot of training as well to deal with anyway.

15
2

Don't listen to Snowden ... Intel: We've switched on CPU crypto for Hadoop

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Bollocks, say I.

Of course, with a suitably fitted tin-foil hat, I could postulate that Intel CPUs keep a cache of recent AES keys that can be accessed by some secret instructions so that user code can reveal them in a way that software implementations of AES could not.

You would need native code execution to exploit this, of course, which is hard to do outside of a few US-friendly suppliers of, for example, web browsers. Oh yes, there is Adobe Flash after all on some 90% of machines...

3
1
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Bollocks, say I.

"AES is an official American encryption standard"

You seem to have forgotten the part where it was created by Belgian cryptographers and subject to estensive world-wide analysis before being adopted. That is how it should be (but not always Belgian, unless we are looking at a two-horse race with the Swiss for chocolate).

If you were pointing at the dodgy elliptical curve standard, or the secret Intel random number generator, then you would have a valid point...

10
1

IBM hid China's reaction to NSA spying 'cos it cost us BILLIONS, rages angry shareholder

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

"getting caught was the issue"

I beg to differ here.

We know the NSA, GCHQ, etc, are spies, that is their jobs. And if they occasionally asked for secret 'favours' of big companies in their home lands we would not be terribly surprised either, nor be calling for action.

No the big point here, and I mean BIG POINT, is the sheer scale of their involvement and apparent contempt for the spirit of the law (even if they can wriggle out of prosecution).

Basically they treat us all as criminals and have weakened or subverted the very standards that were supposed to protect us. It time we are sure to find organised crime, or other nations, using those same flaws against us.

It is good to see IBM and other major US companies taking a multi-billion dollar hammering, as money sadly is only thing that seems to make politicians act these days.

3
2

Is it a NAS? Is it a SAN? No. It's Synology's Rackstation 'NASSAN'

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Where's...

I can see the efficiency of block level sync, and ZFS support replication using the same principles, but my own paranoia is that a software/firmware bug on one that trashes file systems is then block-replicated to another much as RAID would do between disks.

While that is a low probability, it still makes me happier with the option of making snapshots and syncing the file system across. Of course, no gain if you are using a block-style access (iSCSI or raw database sort of thing).

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Synology Issues

It is odd to see how a NAS could break the disk short of a major overheat.

However, I have had a number of 1TB Samsung HDD die on me, typically they would go off-line (SATA time-out, even SMART not showing status) and need a power cycle reset then come back with all data OK, but the up-time was getting shorter and shorter so I swapped them for other HDD and let the RAID rebuilds deal with it.

0
0

It's true, the START MENU is coming BACK to Windows 8, hiss sources

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Too late

"In the end they got Vista more-or-less working properly"

Yes, and then they sold it as Windows 7 rather than upgrading the poor suckers who had been visted.

9
1

Developer CEO 'liable for copyright infringement' over unlawful tool

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Nicho

You seem to be mistaking stealing, where you deprive the owner of their property (a criminal act), with copyright infringement, where an unauthorised copy is made but the original is still there (a civil act).

You also seem not to have comprehended that this was about saving a copy of a video stream that, I am guessing, you already paid for. So it is not even depriving the copyright holder of revenue, but simply doing what is perfectly legal in other cases (see the judgement(s) in respect to the original VCR use) and what most people see as "fair use".

8
0

Weird PHP-poking Linux worm slithers into home routers, Internet of Things

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: @sabroni

That "three line post" is but a continuation of the same tedious vague claims made by (most probably) the same AC over and over again.

Just as tedious as those who claim Linux in invincible to every Windows hole found.

5
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: admin admin

Most folk are not El Reg readers, they just buy some modem thingy from the local store and plug it and it just works! Great!

Of course, no Wi-Fi password and default admin log-in, but why make it hard for your users then would have to support them?

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: @ AC 14:14

Ah yes, a report from 2010 is conclusive evidence of Linux vs Windows today?

And did you actually read it?

"But should be the out-of-date Linux server the only reason of this huge amount of defacements?

Yes and no.

We were talking about local kernel exploits, but the first problem is in the website code. For example, we received too many single defacements due a remote upload flaw in OsCommerce CMS, that allows the defacers to upload anything to the CMS folder without a proper credential check. When this flaw became public, the develop­ers had a too much time to fix it, but the fix appeared few months later. Pity.

Year after year, the developers are still coding by an unsafely, keeping tons of the remote and local file inclusion and the SQL injections, that the attackers use as the first step to gain the access into the server OS."

That read to me as if the web developers and tools are the biggest part in such attacks. But hey, you don't care when having a good rant?

17
0

HP’s ENORMO-SLAB: The Slate 21 MONSTER tablet

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: impressed

True, 1080 is not that much, but:

(A) This is a £340-ish thing, not a near £1k ultrabook with piss-poor 900 lines.

(B) There is very little above 1080, some monitors have 1200/1440/1600 but cost £300/500/1000 sort of price for the monitor alone.

Overall I am impressed by this and can see it suiting a range of folk for basic computing needs, particularly for the likes of my elderly parents for whom even a 15" wide screen laptop display is simply too small, and for whom paying >£1k for a 17" laptop is just not on.

5
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Fondleslab?

At this sort of size it is not just a fondle, more of an orgyslab...

4
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: More is not enough!

None of your new-fangled pentodes, sir! We want triodes, and bright emitter ones at that!

0
0

Poor Intel TV dies on vine, its fancy pop-up shops turned into cafes, cinemas

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: "refocus on its traditional markets."

I was in PC World recently (UK box shifter of computer & TVs etc) and noticed that there was about 3 times as many customers looking at the range of Apple & Android devices as were looking at Windows laptops, even though the latter has over twice the space allocated to it.

Of course, that may not match actual sales.

6
0

Those Xbox One first-day glitches: GREEN screens of DEATH, disc crunching

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Pint

Have an up-vote for "Tiles 8.11 for fondlegroups"

3
1

BOFH: Resistance is futile - we're missing BEER O'CLOCK

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: "Dueling Banjos played on bagpipes is bloody brilliant!"

The Ride of the Valkyries played on banjos - now that was scary!

0
0

LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Legal liability

I hope this is picked up in the USA as they have class-action lawsuits to make it worth while for the lawyers to go after them for compensation.

Sadly the worst likely to happen here is a ICO slap on the wrists. I hoped the BBC and so on would cover it on national TV, that would be fitting punishment for the company - to have its amoral behaviour aired the way its customers where being aired.

7
0

Qatar whips covers off giant footballing vagina

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: So what?

Better than the goatse one they almost chose for the London Olympics:

http://boingboing.net/2007/06/04/london-2012-olympic.html

0
0

Microsoft zaps self in foot with WinPho/Office remote control app

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: "THat it doesn't work with ARM"

I think this is the point of the cynicism. MS so much want people to support WindowsRT and then can't be arsed to do it themselves, that says a lot.

6
1

Amazon, Facebook, Google give Cisco's switches the COLD shoulder

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Don't buy Cisco, Extreme, 3Com, HP, or Intel gear.

Really, they gouge you on everything they can, to the extent of locking out rival SFP units "because they can":

http://www.toad.com/gnu/sysadmin/sfp-lockin.html

If they had a supported list that included any rival's products then you might have believed the quality assurance bullsh*t...

0
0

Right, that's IT: We'll encrypt INTERNAL traffic to thwart NSA - Yahoo

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

The point is?

Really, when the US gov can ask in secret for the data and pretty much compel any US-related business to comply, what is the point in them huffing and puffing and putting in SSL links that, most likely, use a certificate that is from a potentially compromised issuer?

The issue behind all of this is judicial oversight, or more precisely the lack of. We, the public, should expect privacy unless there is "probable cause" for investigation, and that should be properly signed off by a judge after considering the supporting evidence and not rubber-stamped en mass and in secret.

Fix that, USA, and maybe some trust will return. Until then everyone should treat all USA-based companies as fundamentally compromised.

11
0

Om-nom-nom-nom! Google's Cookie Monster DEVOURS MORE DRIVES

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Data export?

Do they also allow you to export all your data on to HDDs to move to another provider if needed?

1
0

Microsoft, Cisco: RC4 encryption considered harmful, avoid at all costs

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

To add I that used: https://www.ssllabs.com/ssltest/index.html

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge
FAIL

Banking dissapointment

I tried online-business.bankofscotland.co.uk and while it got an "A" overall as it used 256-bit AES on modern browsers, it also got this:

"This site supports only older protocol versions, but not the most recent and more secure TLS 1.2"

Looking further, it lacked both 1.1 and 1.2 so no BEAST attack mitigation.

1
0

Linux backdoor squirts code into SSH to keep its badness buried

Paul Crawford
Silver badge
Headmaster

Re: AC 09:45

"You're posting AC, why not just name it?"

They did - read the title of their post.

6
0

Oracle unzips plan to wave cloud erections at Canadians, Germans

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Oh yes, as a USA company Oracle promise not to share your data secretly and this "may meet regulatory or end-user requirements".

Except of course they have to or executives will face jail time, even if it is hosted in Canada.

Next...

2
0

Microsoft founder Paul Allen's money man wants Redmond to break up

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: @JamesTQuirk

Using a VM is a good solution as long as you only need "standard" I/O such as serial ports (on normal Baud rates) or parallel.

If you have any special I/O cards, or rely on something odd in the settings of normal I/O (as I found trying a non-standard Baud rate that the UART chip should support) you are likely out of luck with a VM.

0
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Good Idea!

"I run Windows 7 Pro' 64-bit. It has a 32-bit Windows XP VM to run all that stuff, no further development required"

And what happens to your XP VM come April 2014? Oh yes it goes out of support so no more bug-fixes for the same flawed code that later Windows share. How well protected is your 64-bit system from malware in the 32-bit VM?

Can we have a new 32-bit Windows that is supported?

One that supports 16-bit applications?

One that supports older 32-bit drivers for legacy hardware?

Oh, you just told us that is a waste of space...

3
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Listen to the money men...

That depends on whether you want to make money, and on the time-scale you are interested in.

1
0
Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Re: Good Idea!

"let's drop the waste of space 32-bit versions"

What, you mean the only version that can run legacy 16-bit software that a few businesses actually need?

Oh well, they might as well let those companies invest in dosemu on Linux to get continued support.

6
5

No, it's NOT Half-Life 3 – it's Valve's lean, mean STEAM MACHINE

Paul Crawford
Silver badge

Good luck to them.

Here is hoping they provide what the customer wants.

And that customer is the one buying the machine, not the advertisers and other business hang-ons that have made the new Xbox-one and PS4 such shitty options.

7
0