* Posts by Stuart Longland

1275 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

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'If people can encrypt their cell phones, what's stopping them encrypting their PCs?'

Stuart Longland
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Yep, and even Windows has had bitlocker for years. (Windows XP had some form of encryption I recall.)

Some USB sticks have also had encryption with varying levels of security from "barely foil a computer newbie" to "near NSA-proof".

So nothing new here.

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And the prize for LEAST SECURE BROWSER goes to ... Chrome!

Stuart Longland
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Re: half truth statistics coming from Secunia.

I had no idea Google rewarded those who report vulnerabilities with a Bounty. I prefer a Twix myself, but hey, chocolate is chocolate.

So long as they don't make the mistake of sourcing it from the US of A.

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2014/10/26/usa_needs_to_learn_about_decent_chocolate/

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Stuart Longland
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Re: I wonder how they measure vulnerabilities in Gentoo and Solaris.

I think Secunia simply counts notices put out by vendors, they don't actually analyze them and apply any judgment. This means that the more conscientious and detailed a vendor (or distro) is about informing their customers (or users), the higher the vulnerability count they will have.

Well, Alex Legler posted this article regarding the state of affairs in Gentoo. Alex's roles include Security.

There he contrasts with probably our biggest competitor, Debian, which features much lower down the list. This makes me suspicious of the stats that Secunia put out, including those for Microsoft OSes. (i.e. is a vulnerability in IE6 counted for Windows XP even though XP users can move to IE8? Windows 8.1 can run Office 97, does a vulnerability in that count there too?)

I think this suggests any stats given by Secunia on OSes other than Windows should be taken with a grain of salt.

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Stuart Longland
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I wonder how they measure vulnerabilities in Gentoo and Solaris.

Particularly Gentoo, since out of the box, Gentoo has practically no packages installed and doesn't even have the ssh daemon enabled.

Solaris is fairly spartan when first installed too from what I remember.

(Full disclosure: I'm a former Gentoo developer.)

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Make up your mind: Microsoft puts a bullet in Internet Explorer after all

Stuart Longland
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Re: This is a good idea

Why would they do that? Windows already has pretty much state of the art kernel design - being a hybrid microkernel and fully modular.

They did in 1993. Sadly they botched it up two years later with Windows NT 4.0 and it's been downhill ever since. Some things have improved, but Windows has changed a lot from its original microkernel beginnings.

The "kernel" is hevily polluted with code that simply does not belong there, as evidenced for example by the recent Truetype font exploits leading to system level code execution.

For all Windows' modularity, they don't seem to push that much. For example, I cannot have a desktop environment without IE being there, not since the release of Windows 98. (Windows 95 and NT4 could, and did out of the box.) It's an "all or nothing" experience, the "all" being the full fat desktop with all the crap, and "nothing" being the Windows Server core, which is not available on any version of Windows other than the "server" edition.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: This is a good idea

Hmm, Netscape had their reptillian mascot "Mozilla"… what would IE's mascot be?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Doctor_Dolittle_characters#The_pushmi-pullyu

http://image.frompo.com/f879fbefc82fbfb99d99c76ead19b643

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Stuart Longland
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Facepalm

Ohh dear, it's the browser Hokey Pokey

You put your web browser in,

you pull your web browser out,

You put your web browser in

and shake it all about!!!

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Stuart Longland
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be fun driving along at 120 and the car suddenly deciding that 40 is better!

Or if some goon holds up a 20 sign in view of the car's cameras…

I am reminded of this sign:

http://gallery.longlandclan.yi.org/gallery.cgi/humour-religion/church-08.jpg/photo.html?

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Israeli boffins hack air gap, fire missiles on compromised kit

Stuart Longland
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Re: But wait...

does there not have to be something already installed on the target System to act as a receiver?

From the article:

Like many air gap bridges, the so-called BitWhisper attack is limited in that it requires malware to be installed on the sending and receiving machines in order for the very slow data exchange to take place.

[…]

Planting malware on air gap machines is easier than it sounds; dropping infected USB sticks and DVDs around a target machine or phishing particular staff members often does the job.

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Apple is picking off iOS antivirus apps one by one: Who'll be spared?

Stuart Longland
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Re: I say, keep picking.

Indeed, any anti-malware software would ironically have to use similar exploits to what the malware does.

These would likely be OS-level exploits, which are Apple's responsibility to fix, not third party vendors.

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Dear departed Internet Explorer, how I will miss you ... NOT

Stuart Longland
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I see. You mean something more like basing your own TCP IP stack on BSD.

The users don't see the TCP/IP stack, they do not directly interact with it. They DO, directly interact with the web browser. It's that "blue E", or "Google" (as one former employer of mine called it; he ran IE6) or "Facebook" (what some people call it)…

TCP/IP underpins it all, but it's all but invisible.

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Stuart Longland
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IE4

The funny thing about IE4 wasn't just the browser, or ActiveDesktop…

Who remembers:

- Frontpage Express (ironic since there was nothing express about it, in fact it made website development awfully laborious)

- Microsoft Comic Chat (did anyone EVER use that online)

There was a whole suite of crap that came with that browser. All for what?

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Stuart Longland
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Errm yes, big difference between releasing their code as open source, and basing one of your strategic projects on open source code.

.NET for sure is now open source. Microsoft is free to pick and choose what contributions it rolls into its commercial distribution of .NET, and is free to license the code it owns in .NET (pretty much all of it right now) under any license it wishes in addition to the open-source ones.

It'll likely be business as usual, just now you get to see some of the innards.

IE being based on WebKit would be akin to Ford outsourcing the design and build of their engine to Honda.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Fun with ActiveDesktop

DHTML = HTML DOM + JavaScript.

JavaScript on its own was barely capable of feats like mouse roll-over effects and annoying marquees in the status bar and title bar. There was also document.write().

DOM changed a lot of that, where you could control "layers" by JavaScript. Of course every browser had its own API back then so it was a cross-platform nightmare.

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Stuart Longland
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French teaching…

I beg to differ: the Internet emerged despite Internet Explorer, in the same way that I passed my French O-Level despite the worst efforts of my school’s hopelessly inept French teacher. Even the visiting student assistant would ask us kids what he was saying.

That isn't because the teacher in question just spoke "pish" did he?

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Stuart Longland
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Devil

Re: Fun with ActiveDesktop

Just try clicking on your desktop "icons" when they flee from your mouse!

Ohhh you are EVIL!

I like it!

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Stuart Longland
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True, no risk of a re-badged WebKit though. WebKit is open source software, originated from the open source community, in stark contrast to the origins of both the Gecko rendering engine in Mozilla or the Trident engine in IE.

I really doubt Microsoft would put their crown jewels in an open source project like that. The NIH roots run too deep in that organisation.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Wow.

Or that dreadded "ActiveDesktop" that IE4 foisted upon us.

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Metadata retention is no worse than STALKING: Turnbull

Stuart Longland
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The private investigator can be asked to leave.

Someone who is seen loitering about a premesis can be asked to leave the area, which then means they need to collect such evidence by other methods. Restraining orders can be taken out on individuals too.

The same is not true of this data retension scheme where in we don't even have to know that it is happening. In any case it is likely to produce a lot of noise.

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Lighty and flighty: Six sizzling portable projectors

Stuart Longland
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"It's not 1080p, WAAAH!"

Seriously people? The LCD panel used in these projectors would literally fit in the palm of your hand.

You seriously expect a panel that big to do HD? They might get there eventually but for now there's a limit to how small they can make a pixel.

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Cloud music streams outpace CD sales for the first time, says recording industry ass. of America

Stuart Longland
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Well, duh!

Vinyl records don't have silly DRM on them. A lot of CDs out there are non-conformant to the Red Book standard and thus aren't true Audio CDs, therefore they cause all sorts of problems with various CD players.

On top of this, more devices these days are lacking the CD-ROM drives necessary to play CDs. For these, digital download is more convenient.

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Internet Explorer LIVES ON, cackle sneaky Microsoft engineers

Stuart Longland
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Re: OK, I think I've got it...

How does "not covered in shit" fit into that explanation?

Does that character represent Apple? They seem to have a teflon hide that can do no wrong these days…

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Hmm...

Microsoft are again thinking with their head in the clouds, whilst banks who's main systems are coded in languages 30 years+ are hardly going to be swift to develop something that curretnly works just becuase the Redmond lads and lasses have have a brainstorming session around a table full of sweets and fizzy pop.

Ohh yes, and Internet Explorer was very big 30 years ago.

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Cortana on Windows 10 is all talk, no apps shun, says Microsoft

Stuart Longland
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Interesting article recommended by Cortana…

how the number of bugs is going UP… considering there are other Windows 10 articles that could have been chosen.

The question is, sure the apps are all talk, but are they any action?

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PIRATES and THIEVES to get Windows 10 as BOOTY

Stuart Longland
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Windows for free?

Given none of the stuff I use runs properly in it, I'd consider that as paying exactly what it's worth to me.

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You – yes, YOU – can now 3D print your very own Paul McCartney

Stuart Longland
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Coat

A plan with Wings?

Or is this another band on the run?

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Musk: 'Tesla's electric Model S cars will be less crap soon. I PROMISE'

Stuart Longland
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Re: locations

Must get confusing when they need to buy real gas (LPG or CNG)…

Especially as the 'L' in 'LPG' stands for 'Liquified'.

True, but that's because of how compressed the gas is. Let it out of the bottle at room temperature and it soon returns to being a gas.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: locations

PS: Yes I know gas is short for Gasoline, but come on.

Must get confusing when they need to buy real gas (LPG or CNG)…

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Network competition? Puh-lease. It's all about the Apple-Android Axis of Fondle

Stuart Longland
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Re: Difference between forked Android and other Linux derivatives?

Is there really a substantive difference between forked Android and say Ubuntu? They are based on the same OS, with a different GUI layer.

Errm… no. Same kernel, different userland. You will not find glibc/elibc and X.org on a typical Android (Google or AOSP) device. Android uses its own C library (bionic) and its own runtime libraries. Very different, it's not just the GUI.

Ubuntu would be more likely to be based on elibc (glibc fork) and will either use their Mir UI server or (less likely) X.org.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: In before the flame war.

No one but you care about ext4 formatted sd cards on a phone. If you are the type, then you'd also be the type to root anyway. At least you have that option. No other OS will give you that option.

Speak for yourself. I'd like ext4 support on SD cards too…

How about this -format as FAT. Problem solved.

Demonstrate symbolic links, Unix file permissions, ownership and files over 2GB working on that FAT SD card first, then you can claim the problem is solved. The closest you'll get is umsdos which I haven't seen in Linux for the better part of 15 years.

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Mattel urged to scrap Wi-Fi mic Barbie after Register investigation

Stuart Longland
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Re: So....

So it's "Parry meets Eliza" one more time then?

https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc439

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Ad bidding network caught slinging ransomware

Stuart Longland
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Re: Sort your shit out advertisers

Years ago, when the medium was restricted to print

Years ago, advertisers spammed your fax machine with lists of 'sale' items, causing it to run out of paper. They were just as shitty then as they are now.

Years ago I didn't own a fax machine. Our first "fax" machine was a multi-function printer, prior to this if we wanted to send a fax, we used a scanner and a modem attached to a computer.

That said, unsolicited commercial communication, whether it be by telephone, fax, email, post or other means, is a different matter to what is being discussed here in that it is unsolicited: you have not made prior contact with the sender. In many countries, this is covered by existing legislation.

As for The Register and other ad-supported sites, your browser made a "GET http://forums.theregister.co.uk/…" request to this site, ergo, you chose to receive that page and the ads are part of it. I think it's the collateral damage that some of these ads are doing which we're objecting to, whether it be visual distractions, unwelcome sounds or malware.

A move to ban all formats apart from (baseline) PNG and JPEG images which are then either imagemapped or hyperlinked to one or more destination pages would not only address the above issues, but would also allow the ad to be shown to a wider audience.

I'm yet to see a graphical web browser made post-1998 that does not support the formats I'm suggesting. Malware isn't impossible with these formats, but relies on vulnerabilities in specific implementations which are wide and varied, unlike Flash for which there are only a small handful of implementations (I know of two: Adobe's implementation and Gnash) that seem to be universally exploitable.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Sort your shit out advertisers

I think we give the advertisers way too much latitude.

Years ago, when the medium was restricted to print, ads were static, didn't do anything when you poked them, and if you were lucky, were printed in colour with reasonable resolution.

Then the web came along, and so we could have ads that you could click on to take you to another site. Image maps meant different portions inside the ad could take you to different pages.

Then GIF89a came along, and the web became this flashing mess of distracting adverts. Thankfully Java never caught on as an advertising platform.

Then we got Shockwave Flash, which Adobe eventually acquired when they swallowed up Macromedia. So now ads could not only move, they could also play sound and video and be interactive!

Great. The underlying technologies have also been found to be egregious security holes.

Time to turn back the clock I say. If advertisers can't get their message across in a single STATIC hyperlinked image, they don't deserve the advertising space.

If I think your ad looks interesting, I'll click on it to have a look. Otherwise just accept that I'm not interested and move on.

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Facebook-owned, Billy-no-mates FriendFeed starves to death

Stuart Longland
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Is there *anyone* outside of Google and Facebook who has ever heard of FriendFeed?

I knew it existed because of this project.

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In assault on American values, Lockheed BLASTS PICKUP with RAYGUN

Stuart Longland
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Re: @4ecks - If we can solve the power supply issue…

No just lots of people who wished that cyclists would read and obey the current highway code.

That works both ways… it's that same law that says though shall pass cyclist with a minimum 1 metre clearance. 'Least here in Queensland it is.

'Course I'd like ot not have to use roads or footpaths: I've got some money sitting here, who do I send it to to make it happen?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: How to cause injury with low power lasers

Question is: can you upgrade both to better effect? Maybe try with a high-power torch and a tiger some day.

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Stuart Longland
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If we can solve the power supply issue…

I'd like one for the bicycle. That'll ensure drivers keep to the 1m clearance rule.

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FREAKing hell: ALL Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop

Stuart Longland
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Absolutely - it's high time they cleaned out all the legacy code they licensed from UNIX that keeps having these holes in...

So you'll be doing away with the convenience of directories ("folders" for you post-Win95 folk)?

You'll be doing away with the BSD-inspired TCP/IP stack?

In fact, bring it on. Getting rid of TCP/IP in Windows will mean no more Windows on the Internet and probably a vast reduction in the amount of crap we non-Windows have had to endure ever since you folk got here!

And don't get me started on supposed rewrites, if I had a dollar for every time ${WINDOWS_RELEASE} was a ground-up rewrite I'd be able to buy Microsoft several times over by now.

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What’s new in Office 2016 for Mac (and why it doesn't totally suck)

Stuart Longland
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Re: Do I see what I think I see…?

I realise it's a standard Apple thing to have a menu bar up the top of the screen, and it's not where on the screen it's positioned, just its mere existence.

A menu bar seen on a Office installation is something I have not seen in nearly 10 years on Windows.

I'm just questioning if it's the real deal or if the menu items are stripped down to uselessness merely to tick a box for Apple.

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Stuart Longland
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Do I see what I think I see…?

… a menu bar? Up the top of the screen?

Or is it an illusion?

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Canadian bloke refuses to hand over phone password, gets cuffed

Stuart Longland
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Re: Okay, so they ask to see my laptop.

Or just confuse the hell out of the scammer:

http://bin.longlandclan.yi.org/~stuartl/scammer.ogg

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Okay, so they ask to see my laptop.

"TURN ON THE COMPUTER"

To which I'd reply: Look, see, power LED is on, screen is ON, text is on the screen, kindly define what YOU mean by ON.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: @Stuart Longland - Okay, so they ask to see my laptop.

You're clearly a dangerous subversive for not using a proper all-American operating system

Probably even more suss for using a netbook with a Chinese CPU (Loongson 2F).

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Stuart Longland
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Okay, so they ask to see my laptop.

As it happens, it might be my netbook which runs Gentoo Linux (cannot run Windows), and is mainly used as a means of downloading photos off SD cards onto the internal hard disk. It features no GUI as I only need to use command line tools like cp/mv, or access an email client (mutt) over ssh.

So I boot the machine up, and turn the machine over. They are confronted by this:

This is zhouman.unknown_domain (Linux mips64 3.17.2-zhouman) 05:32:57

zhouman login: stuartl

Password:

stuartl@zhouman $ _

Okay mister border guard, what now?

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CONFIRMED: Tiny Windows Server is on the way

Stuart Longland
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Re: Tiny Windows Server

Yep, a tiny computer running an OS with an even tinier application market.

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Stuart Longland
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Sadly, these days too many cowboys get let loose near too many computers with the usual results…

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Google Chrome suffers brain freeze on Android Ice Cream Sandwich

Stuart Longland
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Mushroom

Re: Moving on..

This is the main issue with Android. As soon as the manufacturer decides they can't be arsed supporting a model anymore, you're stuffed

Which in my experience has been about 5 microseconds after the product leaves their factory and about 5 years before it stops shipping.

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Sysadmins: Step away from the Big Mac. No more Heartbleed-style 2am patch dashes

Stuart Longland
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Facepalm

When I read "Step away from the Big Mac"

… I was thinking some Apple-branded server.

I was not thinking so-called "food".

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Curiosity rover RENDERED ARMLESS by short circuit

Stuart Longland
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Well, it would appear this problem will have some NASA engineers rather stumped.

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Ford to save you from BIKE FITNESS HORROR

Stuart Longland
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Re: "there is no derailleur....so the prototypes are fixies"

Indeed, and in hilly terrain, I expect that 200W motor to drain the 9Ah battery in mere minutes. 35km range? Not likely.

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