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* Posts by Stuart Longland

921 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

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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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Stuart Longland
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Re: @Stuart Longland

The problem is that you seem to want something for free when it actually costs something to build. Last I recall, Oracle, not my favourite company by any means, isn't a charity.

So you'd give a company who releases something "for free" permission to install say, a bitcoin miner on your computer on the grounds that they're not a charity?

Oracle make plenty of money gouging their database customers. If providing a clean Java runtime is too expensive, they should reconsider its "free" status.

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Stuart Longland
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Are you listening Adobe, Oracle?

When we download Flash Player, we do NOT want McAffe.

When we download Java, we do NOT want the Ask.com toolbar.

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Man FOUND ON MOON denies lunar alien interface

Stuart Longland
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They probably saw BuzzFeed, decided, "Nope, nothing intelligent to see here folks", and moved on for good.

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BlackBerry claims ugly duckling Passport mobe is a swan in the offing

Stuart Longland
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Seems an appropriate screen shape…

BlackBerry have always been a company that caters for squares…

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LOHAN laid bare in intimate interview

Stuart Longland
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Pint

Anyone else see something wrong with this picture?

http://regmedia.co.uk/2012/11/11/playmonaut_blondes.jpg

So there's the pilot sitting there, with blondes all around, wine glass in hand…and suited up complete with helmet. How's he supposed to drink?

Icon: because placing one of these in front of him would be considered torture.

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Running Cisco's VoIP manager? Four words you don't want to hear: 'Backdoor SSH root key'

Stuart Longland
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Facepalm

Hang on a minute…

SSH keys are asymmetric… there's a public and a private key.

The public key, as the name implies, is quite safe to leave lying around on foreign computers' authorized_keys files. It's the private key you must guard closely.

Surely Cisco didn't do the dimwitted thing of embedding both keys?!

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Saddle up for the Tour de Firmware

Stuart Longland
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Re: Missed some

when I need to warn people many car lengths away.

Probably the best reason for having a horn that loud: you can warn them when you're a good 30 seconds away so they've got plenty of time to react, see you, and take evasive action.

It's basically "I'm coming, please make some room". 120dB sounds like it'd stand a chance against an iPod, something a bell never seems to manage.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Missed some

Epic fail is epic. It's not up to the pedestrian to get out of your way, it is *YOUR* responsibility as the ride to get out of the pedestrian's way.

It depends on where the pedestrian is and the situation in question.

If it's on a shared cycleway/footpath or standard footpath, yes, I agree with you. My preference here is to just throttle back and coast, and wait for a suitable moment to pass safely. Usually an opportunity avails itself in a minute or two and I'm not in that much of a hurry.

If it's a dedicated cycleway with clear signage that says "bicycles only": you better have a guide dog or a walking cane in your hand as an excuse as I won't accept much else. Again, I'll avoid collision, but don't be surprised if I comment on the strange bike you're riding. Disagree with this? Try walking down the middle of a main road and see how far that gets you.

Of course, that particular remark was made to one particular variety of pedestrian: they are in the extreme minority thankfully, but they're the sort that deliberately place themselves in the path of an oncoming cyclist, ignore the alarms then claim (over the top of the aforementioned buzzer) "I don't hear a bell!" whilst continuing to unnecessarily obstruct the path.

Hence my remark selectively deaf. The rules are to share the path. I do my bit, you do yours.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Missed some

Oh yeah, and a bell with a proximity detector so it sounds *BEFORE* the cyclist rides up your backside; the rider is too stupid/selfish to sound it in advance.

My solution thus far: two pairs of LED motorcycle indicators, a 12V 85dB waterproof piezo buzzer, some switches, 4 1N4004s, a NE555, an IRF540N and some resistors and capacitors, wired up to the 12V bus on the bike.

Buzzer starts sounding when the indicators start flashing, it's quite loud up close and the indicators give the pedestrian a clue which side you're going to pass them on.

Sadly, no good with cars, and you still get the odd selectively-deaf pedestrian, so I see a trip to the wreckers to get an old car/motorcycle horn some day.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: What a waste . . .

My bike gets me from my place of residence to my workplace just fine. It may not be glamorous, but it's fine as a mode of transport, and I need to earn a quid somehow.

Sure, I'm starting to fiddle around with a software drum kit… contemplating wiring up some piezo elements to a microcontroller to making up a crude USB MIDI drum kit both as a learning exercise and to give me something better than a keyboard to do the drumming on.

But right now, with my skill set, the likes of Rick Allen would outperform me one handed. So I best not give up my day job just yet!

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Google's Quickoffice taken behind shed ... 'Oh, what's the gun for?'

Stuart Longland
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Taken behind the shed and …

not shot, but rather dismembered.

Still, Mozilla really didn't take off until they took their combined product (aka Netscape Communicator) and split apart the web browser and email client parts.

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Foxconn CEO: 'Suicides weren't our fault'

Stuart Longland
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PC World reports Gou as saying that while some suicides were down to monotonous work, “90 per cent” of the deaths “had to do with personal relationships or because of family disputes”.

And of course, none of those with relationship problems were as a result of coming home in a bad mood due to yet another shitty day on the production line…

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I/O: New Google design language will RULE OVER 'DROIDS

Stuart Longland
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Re: Polymer?

The idea of being able to import elements and use them as extensions to regular HTML is an interesting one.

What I don't know, is how well it'll work with older browsers. There are times this could be useful for some of the projects I do, but then you get some customer who wants it to work on Internet Explorer 5 because they can't possibly move beyond Windows NT 4.0…

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Stuart Longland
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Re: For all the metro haters

The start menu is significantly different, and plenty of people prefer the old one to the new version. But although a side-benefit was them making a consistent interface, imo it still works as a UI in its own right. I like the new Windows start menu ("screen") on a non-touch laptop - now I have the fullscreen being made use of, rather than a postage stamp sized window in the corner. Remember, way back in Windows 95, the point of the start menu was to cascade, so that submenus opened, and took up the full screen. Without XP or Vista (I forget which), they made it remain small, stuck in the corner, with the submenus opening in the same space.

It started with Vista, but at least there you could opt for the old Windows 95-style menu. That was the one and only good thing about Vista over Windows 7: a start menu that could display a hierarchy. Something the clown-pants UI cannot do.

Of course, they've tried something like the Windows 8 start screen before.

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Indie labels: 5 reasons why we're hauling YouTube before Euro antitrust watchdog

Stuart Longland
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Re: Google Mottos

Yeah. That pretty much sums it up - and to think that I once thought about taking a job with The Chocolate Factory...

Likewise. I've been offered positions there a few times. Given their conduct lately I don't feel so bad for turning them down now.

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US Supremes just blew Aereo out of the water

Stuart Longland
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Re: STOP in the name of love...

STOP in the name of love...

.... Before you break my heart!

(Few under 50 will get that)

Damn it, now I can't get Diana Ross out of my head… and I'm only 30! (Still, it was Ray Ellington before…so I guess that's an improvement. I blame Spike Milligan.)

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

Stuart Longland
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Given the monstrosities that many non-programmers manage to concoct in Access and Excel, I can see this biting Simon and the PFY in the bum in a few years.

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You want a medal for writing a script? Sure: here it is!

Stuart Longland
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Re: anyone who writes Perl ...

I've seen obsfucated Python… Code can be difficut to understand in any language.

An example that comes to mind is the faces library for project management.

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Intel, Ford: Project Mobii will harpoon unsafe, unauthorized drivers

Stuart Longland
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Hmmm, Cameras watching the drivers eh? I guess we'll start seeing more drivers wearing full-face helmets soon so as to avoid the cameras.

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Daddy, what will you do in the new security wars?

Stuart Longland
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* Operating systems shouldn't be able to run unsigned software - ever.

Okay, so what do you define as "software"? Executable binaries, interpreted scripts?

How do you maintain backward compatibility with existing software/OSes?

Have you any patches for implementing this in Linux, *BSD, etc?

Does your implementation require any specialised hardware?

What do we do about the existing systems?

* Compiler vendors should provide provide the tools for programmers - whether coporate or a guy in his bedroom - to sign software backed by a certificate that identifies them, and with a proper, trusted certificate chain - no self-signed rubbish.

Who do you define as "compiler vendors"?

Who administrates this certificate chain?

I presume you have a patch for the LLVM and gcc teams?

* Certificate revocation lists should be enforced as strictly as is practicable.

Again, who makes these decisions? Can I as Joe User revoke your certificate? Who has to prove what to whom?

* Sandboxing should be made to work properly, stricly enforced, but remain flexible enough to enable programs to do what they need - as long as they've been given explicit permission by the end users

That's about the only point I can agree with. Linux has LXC (the basis for docker), BSD has jails. What does Windows and MacOS X have? What about Android?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: @DropBear

Simply forcing them to log-out and back in with an Admin account is often enough to make them pause and ask "Is this really a wise thing to do?"

I've found Windows 7 is a lot better at handling this case than Windows XP ever did. I can run as a power user on Windows 7 and have it prompt me for an Administrator username and password. If I do something that needs the privileges, UAC will ask me for credentials, it's not a simple "click to accept", I have to enter a password.

Much like typing sudo -s on a Linux shell.

Back in Windows NT days, you set up an Administrator account, then had your users use non-administrative accounts. However to switch between them you had to log out and back in, which therefore encouraged people running as Administrator for convenience. This continued right through until Windows Vista, when they finally got the hint that an analogue of sudo was needed: UAC.

Microsoft have that message now, and with Windows 7 UAC works quite well. I hate many aspects of the Windows 7 UI, however UAC works the way it should have been done from day 1, and is one feature I support.

Their next step should be now, to mandate an Administrator account like the old NT days with regular users using Power User or User accounts, and using UAC to gain Administrator access.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: HELP

hunter2 I think…

http://www.bash.org/?244321

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DISPLAY DESTRUCTION D'OH! Teardown cracks Surface Pro 3 screen

Stuart Longland
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Coat

So… they're saying

that the Surface's screen isn't all it's cracked up to be?

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Apple SOLDERS memory into new 'budget' iMac

Stuart Longland
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Headmaster

No, he means millibits, hence the lowercase m and b.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Imagined use case?

(Seriously: kudos to anyone who can touchtype on a keyboard with totally different alphabet to the one they are writing in.)

When you touch-type, you don't look at the keys.

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Luxembourg patent troll suing world+dog

Stuart Longland
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The hands-free telephone patent…

sounds to me like it's discussing the noise cancellation feature of the phone rather than it purely being "hands free". i.e. using multiple microphones to detect the background noise, then using a phasing network to cancel it out.

Something that is done in a lot more places than just mobile phones.

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Crucial MX100 256GB SSD: Cut-throat competition in flash land

Stuart Longland
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Re: Sold!

I'm a system admin. I have anywhere from 3 to 6 vms running on my work laptop. A 1TB SSD is a handy place to put the virtual disks. And improves the HELL out of the performance of said vms.

Similar situation here… although for me, speed isn't the issue, I need space. I've been known to fill up a 500GB HDD, so my last laptop got upgraded to a 1TB HDD pretty much from day one.

I'd have considered a SSD except most were hideously expensive once you went over 250GB at the time.

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The cute things they say

Stuart Longland
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Re: Some of my anecdotes

Managing Director: I tried connecting to the WIFI network. It didn't work.

Me: Did you try following the guide?

MD: No, I deleted that email.

Tip of the week: make the MD feel and look competent - it will do your career a world good. If junior, being on a first name basis with the C-suite is good for frightening the shit out of other people's line managers, and if you are more senior when Mr MD moves on to be CEO at Much Nicer Place Pty Ltd, he might even take you with him.

Many a career has been fast tracked by being the guy from IT that the CEO / MD / CFO calls when he needs help.

I can't recall quite how we resolved that. Either I showed him the link to the wiki or I came in and did it for him. I do not recall which.

Same workplace, this happened recently to one of my colleages. We support a number of SCADA systems operated by various mining companies. They all like using these RSA SecurID tokens for their VPNs. These are a time-based token with a 3-year battery life.

Australia?

Yes

Mining industry?

Yes

I'm guessing this was about four years ago. We had the same circus. From memory, we got that software you needed from the manufacturer.

No, it happened to us last week. I believe it is resolved now, I have no idea what happened.

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Stuart Longland
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Some of my anecdotes

The year was 1996… we had two computers in the (primary) school library, both around 386 class. Both fitted with sound cards and CD-ROM drives. Both had 5¼ drives too.

One had a tray-loading CD-ROM drive. The other took a CD-ROM in a caddy. (And yes, I still have some of those caddies, and some SCSI Plextor CD-ROM drives that take them.)

When one student was confrunted with the caddie-loading CD-ROM machine, and a bare CD, how do you get the CD into the machine? Well, it fits in the floppy drive!

----

The year was 2009. I was doing volunteer network administration for Asperger Services Australia who had appointed a new president. Supposedly from an IT firm. I was studying at uni at the time: Bachelor of IT (Software Engineering) / Bachelor of Engineering (Electronics: Telecommunications). My father was also involved with this group at a high level, he too has similar qualifications.

We were conferring with this person, I can't recall the full context, possibly something related to 3G networking or some such, but then he dropped a clanger:

President: I can't understand how these radio waves don't bump into eachother!

My father and I just looked at eachother flabbergasted! If we had told this bloke the truth (i.e. they do bump into eachother), it would have blown his mind!

----

I was at a radio club meeting when one of the other members wanted to show off some digital slow-scan television software on his laptop. So he gets a laptop out, plugs it into power, grabs a mouse and plugs that in, turns the machine on.

Then wonders why his mouse isn't working. A quick look around the back, he "plugged" it into an Ethernet socket.

----

At my present workplace, we were using WPA{,2}-Personal for the WIFI network. I wasn't happy about this, so I decided to duplicate the WPA{,2}-Enterprise system I use at home, but using an LDAP back-end for RADIUS.

After a bit of tinkering, I got it working, set things up. Now we have mostly Windows 7 machines here, and Microsoft likes making connections to WPA Enterprise difficult when the RADIUS' TLS key is produced from a self-signed certificate authority. Not a problem on Linux, MacOS X, iOS or Android, but Windows has always been a pain.

So I produced a short guide in our intranet Wiki site on how to connect one's Windows 7 laptop to the staff WIFI with the view that later, we would make our old WIFI network a guest WIFI with limited access. The link was emailed to all staff.

Managing Director: I tried connecting to the WIFI network. It didn't work.

Me: Did you try following the guide?

MD: No, I deleted that email.

----

Same workplace, this happened recently to one of my colleages. We support a number of SCADA systems operated by various mining companies. They all like using these RSA SecurID tokens for their VPNs. These are a time-based token with a 3-year battery life.

Some tokens for one company's network expired. So we put a request in, and soon enough, new tokens arrived. So he tries to set up one of the tokens, then discovers he can't set the pin number.

So whilst on the phone to their helpdesk, they ask for his computer's hostname. They wanted to remote into his machine to deploy the software needed.

Now, I as network administrator, would love to know how they think they can, bold as brass, just stroll through our two firewalls into the machine in question when it can't connect to their network directly to install a piece of software.

Apparently they didn't have an installer file that they could just send us. It had to be deployed via their network tool, which presumably assumes the machine is joined to their domain, not ours.

It was pointed out that we were not employees of the mining company, the machines were not supplied by the mining company, and that we were external contractors brought on to provide technical support.

Next, they have us a procedure which involved entering a number into the token. Great. Except there's no keypad or interface to enter anything into this token.

I think the problem was eventually resolved.

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Stuart Longland
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Sadly, despite turning that knob to full, the user didn't get any more intelligent.

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SPIDER-TROOP, Spider-troop, does whatever a spider troop can

Stuart Longland
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Re: If it's so good...

Workplace health and safety… I don't think anyone had any say in the matter.

It didn't look like a combat situation.

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

Stuart Longland
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Mmmm, how long until we kiss AMPRNet goodbye…

I don't hear of much IP networking over radio these days, 1200 baud isn't very attractive today for that task even though it'd be more than appropriate for short simple messages.

I think the 44/8 network will soon go public domain as should many other /8's too. I did enquire with IANA regarding an equivalent v6 prefix but apparently there are no plans.

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Kiwis get cracking with gigabit residential broadband

Stuart Longland
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You're correct of course, it's a chicken and egg problem.

The user's don't access the high-bandwidth content because the infrastructure can't support it. The content providers don't set up datacentres to supply high-bandwidth content because there's no users to justify the cost.

You highlight one big limitation, being the uplink to the rest-of-the-world. There's no point in addressing that as there's no demand from the users: even if Netflicks were to set up shop in NZ, the kiwis would get poor performance due to the limited bandwidth of their connections.

This would take away that bottleneck. Big content would have viable infrastructure to create a local mirror of their content for the NZ market. That would theoretically generate the traffic needed to make a higher-capacity uplink more viable, assuming the services were compeilling enough to get people interested.

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'CAPTAIN CYBORG': The wild-eyed prof behind 'machines have become human' claims

Stuart Longland
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Trollface

Re: "he installed a chip in his arm"

Nah, it's just there to balance the one on his shoulder.

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Everyone can and should learn to code? RUBBISH, says Torvalds

Stuart Longland
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Re: Depends what you mean by 'code'

Music and Japanese might seem useless to you, but it's hardly a blanket statement you can apply to everyone. Coding is no doubt the same ...

Indeed. My point was, those were two examples where, for me, the money spent in trying to educate me on those topics was largely wasted.

There are kids that were in my class, and did shine in one way or another. So it wasn't that the teaching was bad, but I showed very little aptitude in those subjects. For those that did well, it was clearly worthwhile. For me? I'd have been better off spending more time on mathematics.

As for programming, I can recall once after school messing with an old Commodore 64, and arguing with someone about the spelling of the keywords. She was making fun of the point I was spelling a keyword as "GOTO" (emphasising the point with her pronounciation; got-o), rather than writing "go to". The fact that the computer understood BASIC and not English was one logical fact that was completely lost on this person.

Now this was a person in the sort of age bracket being spoken of here: primary school age. If they can't grasp the difference between writing English text, and writing machine instructions, then I don't give them much hope in doing anything low-level with a computer.

By all means, provide some exposure to the subject, but forcing it upon the kids is totally the wrong way to go about it. The one's who don't get it will just get bored and disrupt those who may be genuinely trying to make a good go of it.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Some kids will pick up logical thought ..

No, they go on to become CEO, implement a stack-ranking system, laugh off competitors with truly innovative products then finally after they realise they got it wrong, try and fail badly to correct the situation by once again applying the same flawed logic, only to finally resign from the position 10 years later.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Depends what you mean by 'code'

Two of my most useless subjects:

- Music

- Japanese Language

On the music front, I never got to the point of being able to play the recorder that was prescribed to me, it was not much better than a whistle. I certainly couldn't figure out the sheet music and still can't. (e.g. there's 88 keys on a piano keys, but only 5 lines with which to represent notes ordered C, D, E, F, G, A, B… WTF?)

I do appreciate music, and I have even performed some I learned by ear on radio before (around 1995, played Rod Stewart's Sailing on one of these). I won movie tickets for that effort. That's about as far as it went.

The irony being now I'm starting to get into drumming, if only to fine-tune my sense of rhythm for the purpose of morse code training.  I guess I've got a more "rhythmic" bone than a "melodious" one. Here, I've got the likes of Mick Fleetwood and Jon Farriss giving me a few hints by way of analysing the spectrograms of their music in Audacity to pick up the patterns and get my timing up to scratch.

As for Japanese, I sort-of remember how to say hello, something about someone having an itchy knee, a guy named Roko, then it got a bit rude! Studying aspects of the culture was worthwhile, but not learning the language.

I rather suspect that trying to teach someone whose passion lay in either of the two above subjects how to code, being of a more artistic mind, would be similarly unproductive.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: arehole

Spend some time with some kids, and you'll find that some will pick up logical thought, problem solving, deduction, and enjoy it… these kids will go on to do well in technical disciplines… and others will struggle with the concepts regardless of how they're presented.

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Ukrainian teen created in lab passes Turing Test – famous nutty prof

Stuart Longland
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Re: What's the opposite of a Turing test?

I wonder what would happen if this "character" met up with his forebears PARRY or ELIZA.

Those two did get chatting one day, it didn't go well.

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DOCX disaster recovery: How I rescued my wife from XM-HELL

Stuart Longland
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Done something similar

Back in 2003, I can't remember the full circumstances but I think I managed to hose X, so I was stuck at a command prompt with no GUI, and needing to know where my next lecture would be from an OpenOffice Calc file.

(Yes, Linux laptop. I was too poor to afford anything more than a Pentium II and no one in their right mind would touch Windows 98.)

I recall unzipping it and then doing a grep for the approximate text. I was then able to open a text editor on the file, look for the text, and found the information I was after.

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Could a 'Zunewatch' be Microsoft's next hardware foray?

Stuart Longland
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Re: "The Zunewatch, as it will most certainly not be named"

Xwatch sounds a bit badass, though.

Xclock maybe? Except it already exists.

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I am NOT a PC repair man. I will NOT get your iPad working

Stuart Longland
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Headmaster

Re: Duck & Cover - Generalizations Follow

How about "There Is…"? There, see? Double negative is completely redundant.

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Patch NOW: Six new bugs found in OpenSSL – including spying hole

Stuart Longland
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Re: Quick to fix in Open Source, but it leaves questions.

"You ever tried reporting a bug to level 1 help desk support? (The only people one can reach, as it happens?) "

It depends on what kind of customer you are.

One that bought their product.

" their OpenVPN implementation"

Oh, an open source code... beware of those who employ FOSS not because it's better, but because it's cheaper to do so...

Mmmm, yes, OpenVPN is open source. Netcomm's web interface, isn't, and it's that, which was preventing us from configuring OpenVPN properly.

Once we knew enough to hack up Netcomm's scripts to do what we wanted, it worked. But, I had to get through their L1 support first.

Then they superseded that model, and we had to go through the whole exercise yet again.

"Most helpdesk systems are designed to sweep bugs under a rug. "

Change suppliers. You're using the wrong ones. I have several I can access their bug tracking system and see what others have submitted - maybe non everything, true, but almost. Sure, maybe I have to pay support - but not always going the cheaper way is better.

Ohh, we're doing that already. I suspect we've bought our last Netcomm modem now.

We've found one, at the recommendation of one of our clients which looks good as an off-the-shelf router, and we've also found a supplier for industrial computers that sells some low-cost Linux-based devices, some of which can do 3G and could easily run OpenVPN along with any software we want. (Debian/ARM-based OS, and we already build our software for Ubuntu.)

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