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* Posts by Stuart Longland

964 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

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Intel's Raspberry Pi rival Galileo can now run Windows

Stuart Longland
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Re: Windows fans?

x86 gets hot.

Fans required.

My Pentium Overdrive chip begs to differ…

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Single-threat?

Meh… high power consumption (compared with AVR), slow boot-up time, sluggish storage… I wouldn't say this is any threat to the Arduino market, or the related Raspberry Pi market.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Its no Rasberry Pi

But it's got an x86. And now it can run Windows. Please show it some love.

Even more reason to stick with the Raspberry Pi and Linux. A full-blooded desktop PC slows down enough after a year's usage. I can't imagine how agonisingly slow this thing will run with an SD card for storage.

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Microsoft Azure goes TITSUP (Total Inability To Support Usual Performance)

Stuart Longland
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Headmaster

Re: office 360?

Evidently for you, it's been down 5 days in the last year…

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Stuart Longland
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Thumb Up

Total Inability To Support Usual Performance (TITSUP)

LOL Love it.

May I have permission to officially use this acronym when describing issues to our company's customers?

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The Return of BSOD: Does ANYONE trust Microsoft patches?

Stuart Longland
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Easier said than done.

On Debian Linux it's as simple as ensuring you've got SSH public keys installed in /root/.ssh/authorized_keys then doing:

for host in host1 host2 host3 … hostN; do

ssh root@${host} apt-get install offendingpackage=version

done

Red Hat isn't much different. And of course, there are tools like puppet, chef or Ansible that will automate a lot of that.

Windows has an equivalent, but I think it needs the higher end versions of Windows Server to manage it all. If you're a small business with a Windows NT domain controller (or Samba equivalent), you're stuffed.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: 20th century

So many hardware companies send out buggy "It runs, so ship it" drivers. Drivers clearly not fully following the correct rules in the MS manuals. Then add in the whole rafts of extra weird apps theses same hardware manufacturers throw into the Startup as services or sitting down by the clock in the Task Tray.

Then the OEMs take this, and pour in some proprietary code of their own into the proverbial proprietary soup.

Then there's what we need to get a job done.

Naturally, companies don't test with their competitors' software, they'd rather you just used their own rather than their competitors' programs. So if there's a clash, there's no incentive to assist you with it. A good example of this is VPN clients. Too bad if you need both to get a job done; i.e. company A likes VPN solution X, company B likes VPN solution Y and company C likes VPN solution Z.

Being a systems integrator, we're stuck with having these potentially conflicting VPN clients, which also battle Kaspersky, VirtualBox and in some cases VMWare Player and Microsoft VirtualPC, for control of the host's networking stack.

I look at Windows and wonder how anything works … My work-supplied laptop, a Dell Vostro, dual-booting Windows and Ubuntu Linux, has seen the odd BSOD on Windows 7.

It's been fine in Linux however, has has my own personal Panasonic Toughbook which dual boots Gentoo Linux and Windows 7. I don't use my own machine in Windows often enough to see BSODs, so I can't comment much there.

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Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report

Stuart Longland
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Re: Only a complete idiot...

That the thing is running off 9V and fades suggests it is running from a linear regulator which is turning most of the battery energy into heat rather than useful work.

It's doing useful work… it's warmth is keeping the battery from freezing up!

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Time to ditch HTTP – govt malware injection kit thrust into spotlight

Stuart Longland
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Re: Cheaper than HTTPS?

I just thought of a partial solution. For static content only simply put a SHA value in the URL fragment. The fragment would need to follow a predefined format so browsers know what it is and means. The returning file is hashed and compared, if it differs then reject it.

Yeeessss, but that SHA value will need to be followed by a digital signature of it. Any old goose can feed their modified page through sha1sum (or whatever tool you use) and fill in that value with their own replacement.

I thought of something similar over the weekend, but I came to the realisation that it will only work for fairly small files, as the client has to receive the entire file before it can begin verification. This isn't a problem for small things like logos, stylesheets and JavaScript. May not be a problem for the page content either.

However, for any streamed content it's a no-go, and you can forget being able to view a photo before it's fully downloaded.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Cheaper than HTTPS?

Not if the browser is expecting to see a signature… Current HTTP/TLS implementations do support using HTTPS with a NULL cipher, so it's in theory, possible.

The trick would be telling the server when to serve up a page using a strong cipher, and when to serve up a page with the NULL "cipher". The browser will see https:// in the URL and begin TLS negotiation, so filtering out the signature there isn't going to work.

Sure your private email text might warrant encryption (the provider won't know how sensitive it is before they send it to you) but the JavaScript, stylesheets and logos: cryptographic verification should be good enough.

This still leaves the issue of trusting the TLS certificate in the first place… sure you could embed a fingerprint in DNS, but crims can poison that too.

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Google's so smart it's discovered SHARKS HAVE TEETH

Stuart Longland
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Shark bites, that's what we thought of when people talked about "terabytes" back in my day!

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The internet just BROKE under its own weight – we explain how

Stuart Longland
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Re: Thoughts from a mere user ...

Indeed. Name a Linux-based router that supposedly does NAT but not firewalling… In the Linux kernel, and this has been the case since kernel 2.4 days and possibly earlier, netfilter is responsible for all packet filtering and NAT.

Both come under the same subsystem. Just because they don't expose knobs and dials for you to tweak does not mean the feature is absent from the device.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: You don't need NAT for IPv6

But it is not a firewall.

It might be implemented by a firewall - that's how I do the NAT between two of my networks - but that doesn't make it a firewall; a firewall does many things besides NAT that may well not be implemented by a NAT box.

Not a firewall? So then if I gain control to the system at the other end of your WAN link I can just do a:

route add -net ${yournet}/${yourprefix} gw ${yourip}

and just keep playing with the ${yournet} bit until I hit paydirt?

No. Any NAT router worth its weight will do at least some firewalling, such as permitting only packets from existing connections inbound. If it doesn't, take it back to the place of purchase as it is unfit for purpose and a security liability.

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It's time for PGP to die, says ... no, not the NSA – a US crypto prof

Stuart Longland
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Re: PGP is like Democracy ...

The open source part is WHY the thing is trusted

since no open source cryptography project has ever had major security issues...

True, but at least in the open source world when the problem is found (and it still can take time), it's impossible to sweep under a rug… a company can just stick its fingers in its ears and yell "La la la la!"

There are probably equally heinous bugs that rival HeartBleed in commercial software that will never be fixed. We'll not know what they are because it's in the companies' interest to keep it all hush hush.

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Password manager LastPass goes titsup: Users LOCKED OUT

Stuart Longland
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Re: I solved this a while ago:

I did see this some time back.

I just use a purely software solution on my laptop: GnuPG.

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Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness

Stuart Longland
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Re: Ugh. Best of luck to all concerned

Network down? Surely you jest… networks don't go down!

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Tech city types developing 'Google Glass for the blind' app

Stuart Longland
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It may be something the government subsidises.

If enabling blind people to get out and more easily and independently get around means they can more effectively hold down a job, then this will help fund the service being subsidised.

I just find it a little sad that we can't trust a passer-by to provide the information this fellow is racking up phone bills for. Blindness usually isn't a big impediment to conversing with people, not compared to say, deaf/mute, and I would have thought most people could be trusted to get basic facts right.

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Japanese boffins invent 4.4 TREEELLION frames per second camera

Stuart Longland
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Now you really can watch grass grow, paint dry and lattice vibrational waves waving…

… and a politician with his mouth shut!

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Shuffling Zombie Juror – aka Linux kernel 3.16 – wants to eat … ARMs?

Stuart Longland
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Re: can't wait to upgrade..

Mainly because of patch porting.

In general an embedded system needs a few custom drivers (or driver customisations). These are often hard to port because kernel interfaces etc change. Once you have a stable platform it is often hard to convince management (or customers) to refresh their kernel at great expense when they see little or no benefit.

Bearing in mind the original author specifically mentioned laptop and desktop, not embedded…

There's a good number of SoCs that are actually quite well supported in the Linux kernel. Take this embedded device for example:

http://wiki.embeddedarm.com/wiki/TS-7670

It ships with kernel 2.6.35. It took me a couple of days to come up with this:

http://bne.vrt.com.au/technologicsys/

And that supports nearly everything on the device.

Technologic Systems based their kernel on what Freescale shipped, so it's not their fault that the kernel was ancient. Freescale have a habit of doing this, they did it with the i.MX27 too, and even there, I remember getting about 80% of the thing going on the latest kernel of the day (and before DeviceTree too).

The support for the i.MX286 used in this device is so complete in the mainline kernel, I have to ask whether maintaining a separate branch is any less resource intensive then perhaps writing the one or two drivers that might be missing?

The beauty of Linux these days is you can just update the kernel, keep the rest more or less the same, and roll back easily if things go pear shaped. Kernel didn't work out? Just reboot, choose the older one in the boot menu then uninstall the newer one when you're booted.

It's the Windows equivalent of running a Windows 8.1 kernel with a Windows 7 UI, with the ability to roll back and forward kernel updates with just a simple reboot.

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Russia: There is a SPACECRAFT full of LIZARDS in orbit above Earth and WE control it

Stuart Longland
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How long before they try this with a human?

Could you imagine the ribbing the kid would get in school on earth?

Teacher: So Billy, where were you born?

Billy: points to the ceiling excitedly On a space ship!

Classroom bully: Billy's an Alien! tee hee!

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Brit kids match 45-year-old fogies' tech skill level by the age of 6

Stuart Longland
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Facepalm

Re: Channel 4 New Surf Olympics

I read "surf olympics" and was immediately picturing the three on surfboards out in the ocean…

I of course forgot about "surfing the web".

I think I'm getting old!

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Microsoft throws old versions of Internet Explorer under the bus

Stuart Longland
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Re: Best Browser

'yum' beats your 'apt'.

Really, how about pacman?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: this is terrible

You can still vent your spleen at those who insist on ancient web browsers…

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Stuart Longland
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Joke

Re: Best Browser

I thought a comment like that would emerge…

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Yahoo! will! deploy! end-to-end! email! crypto! by! 2015!

Stuart Longland
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PGP eh?

I wonder how they store the private key?

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Hey guys. We've got 1.2 BILLION stolen accounts here. Send us your passwords, 'cos safety

Stuart Longland
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Joke

Leaked code?

(Note, I'm a bit rusty on my PHP)

<html><body>

<?php if (!(isset($_POST['username']) && isset($_POST['password']) && isset($_POST['email']) )) { ?>

<form method="post'>

<p>Enter your log-in details to see if your credentials have been stolen</p>

Email: <input type="text" name="email" />

Username: <input type="text" name="username" />

Password: <input type="password" name="password" />

<input type="submit" value="Check Now" />

</form>

<?php } else { ?>

<p>They have now!</p>

<?php } ?>

</body></html>

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Microsoft KILLS Windows 8.1 Update 2 and Patch Tuesday

Stuart Longland
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Re: As it turns out

What I'm trying to say is, it feels such a relief to no longer depend on Microsoft.

I emigrated from the Microsoft world across to the world of Open Source some years back… initially I just spent holidays there, but in 2001 I packed my bags and moved there permanently.

I'm in a much happier place. A place where I can give as well as take. A place where I'm in charge of my own destiny.

Of course, I do sometimes travel back to the Microsoft world, but in most cases those are work-related business trips.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: How long until a functional update

(Watch India's employment soar as tech calls from the masses go through the roof!)

You expected the new CEO to not look after his pal's back home?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Oh come on, don't be too hard on them

You mean, their equivalent of `git revert` takes that long?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: "allow you to leave your touchpad active even when a mouse is connected"

Are MS talking about two independantly controlled pointers on screen?

I can't see any possibility of that causing confusion.

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Stuart Longland
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And meanwhile in Munich…

They run "Windows? Nein!"

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BAD VIBES: High-speed video camera records your voice from trash

Stuart Longland
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Re: Tinfoil hats...

What, we'll start seeing the medieval helmet brigade next?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Er....

But here I thought they were trying to recreate the real sounds off old silent cinema (no chance at only 24fps). Silly me...

Especially since the older ones were 18fps not 24fps.

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African samba queen: Don't cut off pirates' net connections – cut off their FINGERS

Stuart Longland
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Pirate

And so what do they cut off if their alledged pirate happens to be a quadruple amputee?

Pirate icon: because many were famous amputees.

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White Hats splat Black Hat chats: Talks on home alarm flaws and Russian spy tools axed

Stuart Longland
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Re: Talk amongst youselves

Not to mention the 'write' command, or if the target machine has X running:

DISPLAY=:0.0 xmessage hello

Used both more than once.

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Plane grounded so cops can cuff semi-legless passenger

Stuart Longland
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Re: Did they.....

They told her to hop it!

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Microsoft: IE11 for Windows Phone 8.1 is TOO GOOD. So we'll cripple it like Safari

Stuart Longland
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Re: I think the HTTP_USER_AGENT has had its day

And just how many webmasters do you know who actively use this environment variable to decide what to dish up?

I don't think it'd break as much as you think it would.

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Stuart Longland
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Boffin

I think the HTTP_USER_AGENT has had its day

Once upon a time, if you wanted to see what browser someone was running in a CGI script, you inspected HTTP_USER_AGENT.

It was a string of the form: RendererName/Version (other detail)

Dead simple. So Lynx was Lynx/whatever, Netscape (with the Mozilla engine) was Mozilla/whatever, NCSA Mosaic was NCSA_Mosaic/whatever… etc. The "other detail" was usually platform-specific information such as OS.

Netscape became dominant, and so everyone wanted to be like them. So they started announcing themselves as "Mozilla". Internet Explorer has been doing this for years. In fact from day one, despite being, based on NCSA Mosaic.

So the industry settled on using Mozilla/whatever, then in brackets, announcing their true identity. Now I see, we're going to be lied to yet again, MSDN reports the following user agent string for IE11:

Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Trident/7.0; rv:11.0) like Gecko

"like Gecko" but not Gecko. What's wrong with InternetExplorer/11.0 (Windows NT 6.3; Trident/7.0), Microsoft? Scared to use your real name in public?

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Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays

Stuart Longland
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Re: Your name on the coffee 'cup'

"You are being served by Jesus."

Great…now I've got Jesus Jones stuck in my head. I best get moving, my workplace will want me right here right now.

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Android busted for carrying Fake ID: OS doesn't check who really made that 'Adobe' plugin

Stuart Longland
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Quit whining, splash the cash, and get an iPhone. All your troubles will be gone.

So where do I plug in my external antenna and where do I go to install these .apk files I've built?

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China in MONOPOLY PROBE into Microsoft: Do not pass GO, do not collect 200 yuan

Stuart Longland
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Re: Surprising

I thought Office already ran on Linux via Wine?

Painful, buggy, and there's probably something buried in the Office EULA to forbid it. I hardly think this is an acceptable means of running an application. I'll bet there's no technical support from Microsoft if you go this route either.

And Office certainly already runs on Mac OS-X and on IOS.

On the latter point I have to call bullshit, on the grounds that I doubt IOS has the necessary support to run a GUI desktop application as it was purely designed for network devices.

Unless of course, you meant iOS, which is of course, a completely different OS.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Mac?

Are the Mac and Android versions functionally equivalent to the Windows version?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Surprising

Nope, not illegally tied, because there are ports of Windows to ARM… and historically they had a version that supported other architectures like MIPS and SuperH.

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GoTenna: How does this 'magic' work?

Stuart Longland
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Re: No, point to point only

So it's castrated packet radio… even better. A bit like my Garmin Rino then.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Sounds like packet radio to me

I was just thinking that … Basically a TNC with a Bluetooth interface.

I already have an equivalent that does text messaging on 145.175MHz* with 5W transmit power, just lacking in the Bluetooth connectivity.

(* Australian National 2m APRS frequency.)

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PROOF the Apple iPhone 6 rumor mill hype-gasm has reached its logical conclusion

Stuart Longland
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Boffin

Re: Colours?

Not more expensive: it's just an RGB LED. Depending on how you control it depends on how many colours you get.

Plain GPIOs? You'll get 8 "colours": Black (off), Blue, Green, Cyan, Red, Magenta, Yellow, White.

PWM? You get a very large selection of colours, depending on the resolution of the PWM module. The PWM output appears "analogue" if fast enough to the human eye, and 8-bits resolution is sufficient to fool most people.

Where it becomes more complex is in the software: the Linux kernel leds_class would represent that RGB LED as 3 separate LEDs as a virtual directories under '/sys/class/leds'. Each directory would contain a file called 'brightness' which you adjust between 0 and the contents of a second file, 'max_brightness'. Or, you'd write to the file named 'trigger' to make it flash according to some event.

As for cost, it's maybe 10c extra, and the engineering time, maybe an hour. In this world of trying to drive costs down and big volumes, these niceties are usually the first to be culled.

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Cops nab suspect using CREEPY facial recog system

Stuart Longland
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Re: Latex Masks

So 6 guys walk into a bank with these on....

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=srcN8Ctvvs8

Let's see 6 guys tolerate wearing those for more than 5 minutes on a typical Brisbane summer day.

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LG unfurls flexible SEE-THROUGH 18-inch display

Stuart Longland
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Re: Really useful

I have a monitor here that actually featured a removable back panel.

http://www.geocities.ws/hinv.geo/sgipics/flatpanel/sgi4.jpg

The idea was you took the back off, and slapped it on an overhead projector for presentations. 1024x768 pixel resolution, and not bad clarity.

Sadly, the proprietary cable that hooks it to the computer has a few broken conductors, and I'm not sure how to get it apart to repair it, but the monitor otherwise works, as does the computer it came with, even if I have to keep punching its MAC address into the PROM prompt every time I fire it up.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Transparent screen? Silly idea...

You think people will see through that marketing promise then?

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Insecure AVG search tool shoved down users' throats, says US CERT

Stuart Longland
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Re: Are you listening Adobe, Oracle?

Are people *still* not using ninite.com?

Debian invented the Advanced Packaging Tool back in 1998. Why is it that 16 years later, we still don't have an equivalent for Windows?

Why can't I create a file (or have the system add a file), say, C:\WINDOWS\apt\sources.list.d\adobe.list, then a front-end just does an 'apt-get install adobe-flash'?

Windows update? Yeah sure, just 'apt-get dist-upgrade'. Done.

No, instead we have the old DOS-like system of everything having its own separate installer, bundling up lord knows what, which we have to go to separate download sites to download individually, and manage dependencies ourselves. C'mon Microsoft, if I wanted to do that, I'd use Slackware!

And before people bring up the Windows Store: show me where I can download a copy of the Windows Store for, say, Windows 7. How about downloading a copy of Firefox and LibreOffice via the Windows Store? Can they throw up a "Windows Store" repository like they do for YUM and APT, and just have us download a small text file that gets added to the "Windows Store" app's list of repositories like is presently done in APT/YUM?

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