* Posts by Stuart Longland

1573 posts • joined 11 Jan 2008

Sick of politicians robo-calling you? Bin your landline, says the FCC

Stuart Longland
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I'm thankful I don't live in the US

… because the purpose of the call would be irrelevant to me.

If the call is not made by a human, and two-way in nature, then by definition, it is abuse of a telephony service.

Telephones are meant to be one-to-one bi-directional devices. If they want a medium that is one-way one-to-many, then they are using the wrong tool, and should be looking at broadcast radio, newspapers, television, etc.

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Websites that ID you by how you type: Great when someone's swiped your password, but...

Stuart Longland
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Re: Surely the main issue is informed consent

Biometrics are not passwords. Passwords change, biometrics don't.

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You must remember: An archive isn't a thing, it's a strategy

Stuart Longland
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SQL database dumps…

I trust nothing less than a plaintext SQL script dump of the database.

Something of the style generated by mysqldump or pg_dump. Then you've got the data in a format that the database is likely to natively understand, or failing that, you should be able to restore with some mild tweaking with regular expression search-and-replace.

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Stuart Longland
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Re: I'm sure for many of us…

I think you might have something there. What we are seeing in the design of UIs in recent years has less to do with functionality than it has to do with fashion.

Yep, said it before, and I'll say it again, it's basically Microsoft saying "If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too".

I find it amusing that dogged immediately latched onto the UI side of the argument. While yes, that has gone downhill in the last 20 years, one point I did raise was the ability of the OS to talk to older-style domains. As I understand it, Windows 7 is the last version to support Samba-3 domains. They officially don't support NT4-style domains on Windows 7 or newer, and require some registry tweaks to make Windows 7 work.

Pretty sure Windows 8 and newer requires ActiveDirectory to work, which means in our case, a move to Samba4, which, is on the TODO list, just not in the near future, and we'll need new computers sooner than that.

There's also a lot of software we use that presently runs on Windows 7, some won't run on anything newer than Windows XP, and we have to support it. So there are good technical reasons why we stay with Windows 7. With more of our work revolving around Linux these days though, it's only going to be a matter of time before Windows is just a VM sitting atop KVM on Linux.

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Stuart Longland
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Who cares? You do. It was you that advanced the proposed advantage that any old WM from twenty years ago works fine on current system. They don't. Now it supposedly doesn't matter because you have found a modern WM that happens to keep you happy.

That is a massive volte-face, not a justification of your position. If your preferred WM was twm, mwm, olwm or any of countless others you are shit out of luck

When I said "want an early 90s desktop", I was referring to the look and feel. That's what affects me directly as a user. How does it appear on the screen? How do I open an application? How do I close it? How do I arrange them on the screen? How do I customise it the way I want it to work? Can you, as a user, tell the difference between a machine running the mid-90s OS, and a modern one set up with the same environment?

How it achieves this does not matter to the majority of users. So not a "volte-face" at all. A misinterpretation on your part, perhaps. Maybe the fact you had to point out some of the enhancements and when they were included are a hint at this fact.

A lot of those old Window Managers do work, I've used a couple. The thing they might miss are things like system tray notification areas: there's tools like stalonetray that fill that role. FVWM works in my case. twm? Well, it was always primitive, but I see no reason why it could not be used even today. I know of companies that still use ye olde mwm just fine. Largely on SCADA.

The point being, I have chosen that look and feel, and I am using a windowing environment that originally came from that era to achieve it. I had that as an option. Microsoft has never given us this option. Yes Windows 95 had the program manager available, but its look and feel was nothing like that of Windows 3.1.

The Windows desktop also tends to make a lot of assumptions, such as assuming the task bar is on the bottom of the screen. Applications seem to assume this too. So if you do what I do and move it to the top, windows tend to cover it (I'm looking at you, WireShark), or some applications try to put a pop-up screen above it, and thus off the top of the screen (I'm looking at you, ClamWin).

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Then there is the Whitespace everywhere

I'll also be glad when the creative (copycat?) types jump on another bandwagon.

Exactly my sentiments when I first saw this. Used to be able to find what I wanted there fairly quickly. Not any more.

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Stuart Longland
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So, version 2.6.5. It adopted EWMH from version 2.5 onwards, and thus no longer pure ICCCM. Now ask yourself why they had to deviate from the prior and well established conventions.

Who cares? It works and behaves (to me, the user) pretty much exactly as it did years ago. So for all intents and purposes, my desktop has "not changed" in so far as it looks pretty much identical, acts identical (from the user perspective) and behaves the way I want.

I have the user experience I chose. The fact that it achieves this with more modern techniques is a win-win: I can have the modern applications that go with it, but with mostly the feel of what I've been used to for years.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: I'm sure for many of us…

People here have been crying the same tune since WinXP launched. "lol fisher price, I'll never use it". They always do.

Yep, first thing I turned off in Windows XP was the "fisher price" UI. That and changed the start menu back to the old classic (Win95-style) one.

When Vista released, I did the same, turned off Aero, switched the start menu back.

When 7 released, I tried to do the same. I turned off Aero, but then found they had removed the old-style start menu, much to my annoyance. Thankfully there's ClassicShell, and also thankfully, I don't need to use Windows all that often.

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Stuart Longland
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Want an early 90s desktop with modern applications? No problems: install one of dozens of window managers, set up .xinitrc and it's just like the old days.

Have you actually tried it recently? A lot of classic Unix apps have been royally shat on by the Linux community who seemingly show blatant disregard for anyone using anything else. Many apps simply don't work correctly on a strictly ICCCM-compliant WM. Examples that come to mind - both Open- and LibreOffice will tend to dump core (and keep open documents locked) if you have the temerity to close the app via such a window manager. Firefox can't even maximise properly on some systems - it gets bigger all right, it just ends up four times the size of the screen.

Let's see… I'm typing this in Firefox 37 running within FVWM 2.6.5 on X.org server 1.16.4 and Linux kernel 4.0.2. I also use Gnumeric or LibreOffice for the office suite just fine and numerous other applications such as The Gimp, Inkscape, and of course gVim.

So yes, I have tried it, in fact, it's what I use now and have been for some time. FVWM was a very common desktop in the early-mid 90s, and still around today. The modern version is pretty much as things were years ago.

As for downloads, I get asked where I want to put something, that's how I've always done it for close to 20 years and how I intend to keep doing it.

Documents are put where I want them, not where the computer thinks they should go, this works with our business work flow, where we have separate directories for each project on a file server. A local ~/Documents tree would need all sorts of fancy synchronisation to work. Instead, we just mount CIFS from a server and throw it in there. Job done, no fuss.

Your only honest answer to the above will be, "I have no idea whatsoever." Just like 99.9% of computer users faced with the choices *you* are referring to. Apart from a small percentage of computer geeks, "choice" means "confusion". In a managed environment, the IT department will understand the choices and make suitable ones for the users. In an unmanaged environment, the user will either need to hire a professional or end up making bad choices, so it makes sense for Microsoft to make choices on behalf of its *non-professional* system users.

It's a big reason why the masses have not taken to Linux. Installing Linux usually involves making a choice or answering a question that the average home user does not even slightly understand, which immediately brands it as "too difficult".

You're right of course. We should remove all possible choice, because people find it too confusing. We should mandate that everyone's computer should be exactly the same, right down to every bit on the hard drive/SSD, look the same, work the same, have the exact same CPU, exact same RAM, exact same amount of non-volatile storage, exact same peripherals, same OS, same software.

Or perhaps you can realise that life is about choice. If they want to choose whatever desktop environment their OS comes with, they are free to make that choice on Linux. Windows and MacOS X you just get force-fed whatever Microsoft/Apple think is appropriate at the time.

I'm not saying people should be forced into choices, but they should always have the personal right to decide for themselves what works for them.

How will commecial software devs test their software against windows 10 if windows 10 keeps changing all the time?

If companies' Linux support for devices is anything to go by, I will be telling Windows 10 users: welcome to our world. A world where a company does a port of their driver to a version of the kernel, leaves it 18 months, then wonders why you're filing tickets about the driver they haven't bothered to maintain. I battled Moxa over this years ago.

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Stuart Longland
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I see it as trying to copy the opposition. Opposition in the IBM PC clone market, not the personal computer market in general, unless Apple have a backflip on MacOS X on non-Apple kit.

The alternatives are gaining popularity, and fundamentally because they give users choice. Want an early 90s desktop with modern applications? No problems: install one of dozens of window managers, set up .xinitrc and it's just like the old days. Want something shiny? KDE and Gnome are right there.

You pick and choose what you want, and crucially, choose when to update.

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Stuart Longland
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I'm sure for many of us…

…it indeed will be the last version of Windows we come in contact with. Shortly before reaching for the install media for something workable, whether it be an earlier edition of Windows or something else entirely.

In the short term we're staying at Windows 7 at my workplace. No point going any higher as the newer stuff won't support our domain. (Samba3; yes, replacing it is on the TODO list.)

More and more of my colleagues are now dual-booting Linux, it used to just be two of us, now four, out of a department of 8. One of the remaining 4 regularly runs a Debian VM … the cautionary first-step to dual-booting, and all are getting more exposure to it daily.

Sorry Microsoft, this ship has sailed.

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Gay emojis? GAY EMOJIS?! Not here in Russia, comrade

Stuart Longland
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Re: Strange

They're just putin-up with it for the time being.

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Stuart Longland
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The irony being…

… computers were first conceived by a homosexual. Yet they don't seem to be shunning them.

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Git a load of this: GitHub now valued at $2 billion

Stuart Longland
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Re: Where's the value?

Probably the fact that Github offer private project hosting for commercial users for a fee. Thus they see that as a means of raising revenue.

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Microsoft admits critical .NET Framework 4.6 bug, issues workaround

Stuart Longland
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Re: Nothing to worry about, move along

O

Yes, that's what most of us say when someone's been foolish enough to mess with that flag without understanding it.

(Speak from experience: try compiling glibc with -O3 and see how far you get. Did it once with Linux-from-Scratch, never again.)

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World-beating TWO-QUADRILLION-WATT LASER fired by boffins

Stuart Longland
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To be fair I don't think he needs that much power to take on those foes.

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Hole in (Number) Two: MYSTERY golf-course pooper strikes again

Stuart Longland
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Re: Must be a man because the poos are so big?

Must be a politician, they're the only humans around that are that full of crap.

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Desperate Microsoft PAYS Win Server 2003 laggards to jump ship

Stuart Longland
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Re: Got to stop those Linux/BSD migrations whatever the cost...

Fortunate then that Windows Server doesn't have a GUI unless you choose to add one.

Unfortunate then that some "cowboy coders" think that a server application is a GUI application running on the server's desktop, thus requiring the GUI.

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Sydney adopts 'world's first' e-ink parking signs

Stuart Longland
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Re: Fantastic!

Probably a wireless wide area network. So you'll need to know the APN and authentication credentials.

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The Lazarus Effect: Saved by Linux and Cash Converters

Stuart Longland
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Maybe time to go to proper Debian

Kali Linux looks like it's doing the job for now, but you may want to give proper Debian a look.

You may be able to bring in the desktop environment and other tools via the repositories, however installing Debian Jessie is probably going to be easier. Alternatives to consider would be Linux Mint, Ubuntu, Mepis…

For the moment though, that machine and OS has got you out of a hole, if nothing else.

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It’s DEJA VU: Customer forgets to tell us about essential feature AGAIN

Stuart Longland
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Missed requirements

He tells me the development project launch date has been pushed back again. Apparently, during user acceptability testing, the customer suddenly remembered something jolly important that they’d forgotten to mention at the start of the project, some 18 months ago. As I understand it, the customer was only vaguely apologetic and insisted that the problem be fixed before go live. And it’s the fifth time they have done it.

In our business we call that a variation order. Didn't declare the requirement up front? Sure, get your cheque book out…

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SCORCHIO! This JUNE was the SIXTY-SIXTH HOTTEST on record

Stuart Longland
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Indeed, some of us have been enjoying quite low temperatures.

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E-commerce enterprises gently told to update those protocols ... or else

Stuart Longland
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Care to elighten us on what PFS is? Google is not helpful.

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TITSUP: Apple Music, App Stores, iCloud, iTunes, Radio, iBooks

Stuart Longland
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Re: Total Inability To Provide Usual Purchases

Speaking of stuffups, is it odd to anyone else that this is about Apple's software, yet the screenshot is of the Tomahawk media player running on Ubuntu?

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Total Inability To Provide Usual Purchases

We need a backronym for mammaryglandup...

Nice to see you're keeping abreast of possible alternatives, but I'm not sure that one would stick. It's a bit too much of a mouthful.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Never mind the tits up

To be fair, some of the young people they have working for them may have never heard of Pink Floyd, instead listening to some heathenous rabble they call "music".

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Jeep drivers can be HACKED to DEATH: All you need is the car's IP address

Stuart Longland
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Re: A start, but...

Or how about, $5000, per car, per week or part thereof that said car is left vulnerable and $1M per crash that is attributed to said vulnerability.

If there's 10 cars that are vulnerable and they take 3 days to address the security issue, that's $50000.

If there's 1000 cars and they drag their feet for 8 weeks, $5000 × 1000 x 8 = $40000000 ($40M).

That might encourage them to stop and think. I can't think of a good reason why you should be able to control the steering/brakes/accelerator from a position other than the driver's seat either.

The nasty bit about this is that it'll probably kill or maim those who have nothing to do with a Jeep other than being unfortunate enough to be near one when one misbehaves.

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Samsung stuffs 2 TERABYTES into flash drive for ordinary folk

Stuart Longland
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Re: GIMMIE!

Yep, I do use my DVD drive, oddly enough. Been using it for audio books lately, but also get the odd data CD or DVD that needs reading.

About the only option I might have, may be via the ExpressCard slot but I'd have to research it. Quick search seems to suggest that adaptors exist for this, and that Windows 7 has problems booting such a set-up however Linux should be doable using it as cache for the spinning rust. Just a bit tricky setting up the initrd to make it bootable.

However, I'm in no rush. I can either rush out, spend $500 on a 1TB mSATA disk, possibly as much as $50, and a good few hours of my time to make it work, or I can just sit tight a little while longer.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: 10yr Warranty?

Given thant Samsung just announced yet another loss for thr 7th straight quarter, will they still be in this business(flogging whole drives rather than just the chips) in 10years?

Will any bits of consumer kit even be able to take 2.5in drives in say 5 years?

A valid point, however a long warranty period suggests they are certain the drive won't fail in that time. If the SSDs were truly unreliable, their own warranty claim stats would soon tell them. The beancounters wouldn't allow a 10 year warranty to be placed on a drive if there was a high probability of it failing in that time as the financial impacts of having a large batch of drives fail would be ruinous to the company.

Like all such kit, keep good backups and all will be fine.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: GIMMIE!

phuzz writes:

Why not buy a smaller SSD for your OS and programs, and keep your data on the cheaper spinning rust?

James O'Shea writes:

1 my laptop doesn't have enough space for two internal drives and I'd really rather not haul around an external drive

James has nailed the problem. If you can figure out how to cram a second SSD into this machine, you'll be on the money.

If it were my desktop, I'd invest in 7200RPM 3TB+ drives, in fact it wasn't that long ago that that I upped it to two 4TB drives.

The desktop is fine, and most of the time it is in stand-by mode. I wake it up using Wake-On-LAN triggered by a dial script in UUCP: if I want to toss a file on there, I can either use grunt-uucp to send the file there, or I can use uux to ping the machine, and just wait a moment for the machine to wake up and access it via SSH.

My laptop however, I do not have the same luxury. External drives are good, but they have their inconveniences. While I could build a cradle to attach the external drive and a USB 3 hub to the back of the screen, the 2TB SSD option is a better one.

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Stuart Longland
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GIMMIE!

I've been watching from a distance. Right now, 1TB (spinning rust) is holding my data but the drive has always been a little on the slow side.

1TB drives aren't that compelling, at that size I'll just put up with the little bit of sluggishness. However, above 1TB, then things start to get interesting.

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Proxyham Wi-Fi relay SUPPRESSED. CONSPIRACY, yowl tinfoilers

Stuart Longland
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Indeed, fox hunting is a very common past time of many radio HAMs.

If they can do it at low bands like 6m, they can do it at 900MHz with ease. If enthusiasts can do it with home-built antennas and $100 hand-held radio receivers, imagine what the likes of the FCC/Ofcom/ACMA/… can do.

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New Horizons mission to Pluto prepares for terrifying silence on Tuesday AM

Stuart Longland
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Most distant human remains?

He gave his blessing to the mission in the 1990s, and after his death the family released the ashes to be built into an inscribed container on the spacecraft.

I guess that makes his human remains the most distant human remains from human civilisation, and also breaks a few world records speed-wise.

Hopefully ET doesn't confuse the ashes with cocaine and try to snort them. (I've heard of people doing this.)

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Surviving Hurricane Katrina: A sysadmin's epic DR (as in Didn't Realise) odyssey

Stuart Longland
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Communication in a disaster

Make sure you have a plan to communicate with people. During a serious regional disaster you will not be able to call anyone with a phone in the affected area code.

Can't agree more with this, although some might think I take this to extremes. (Hey, it's good exercise and it's fun hearing people's responses from 1000km away, "Did you say bicycle mobile? Wow!") In short, it has to be a BAD disaster for me to not be contactable by someone.

In short, don't assume the usual telecommunications services will be operating normally. They may be up, they may be heavily overloaded. If they are working, do everyone a favour and keep your calls short. Text messaging might be worth using instead since that doesn't need real-time network delivery. It may also be worth investing in a few CB sets too, they may not go many kilometres, but it beats yelling!

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The slow strangulation of telework in Australia

Stuart Longland
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Re: AMEN!

Ring your ISP and get them to put you on symmetric. Grown up providers will ask a few questions about your usage, but since you are using a business class service it shouldn't be any problem.

You are using a business class service, aren't you?

I am on a business class service, so this is a possible option. It was more of a problem before we switched ISPs: I couldn't do any ringing up as I wasn't the account holder and wasn't the one paying the bills.

This has changed, I am listed as the account holder, and I receive a monthly bill that, come July, I multiply by 12 and pay in a lump sum.

I can go ADSL2 Annex M, which gives a bit more upload oomph at no cost (other than a newer modem that supports it). Internode offer SHDSL, I suspect I'll need a new router to deal with that, and I'm not sure where to source one from. This will need research.

If NBN is coming in a few years, I'm probably better off sticking it out a little longer and doing the switch then. If it'll be closer to 10 years, then it might be worth jumping to something like SHDSL in the interim.

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Facebook casts a hex with self-referential IPv6

Stuart Longland
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Joke

Re: Why isn't theregister available over IPv6?

You can't spell "The Register" or "El Reg" in hexadecimal in a way that's easy for people to recognise.

I mean, who wants to try and work out 2001:0db8:5468:6520:5265:6769:7374:6572 or 2001:0db8::456c:2052:6567?

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Stuart Longland
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The face:b00c subnet…

… is not new, it was mentioned in RFC5514.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: I'd like some dead beef

On one of my OpenVPN connections years ago, I recall using a hardcoded MAC address of c0:ff:ee:ad:d1:c7 to ensure a consistent IP address.

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Mars rover Opportunity shuns dodgy flash chips, relies on RAM

Stuart Longland
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Re: Those panels are asking for "wash me"

They're too offended after our last stunt.

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Evil NSA runs on saintly Linux, Apache, MySQL

Stuart Longland
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Not entirely surprising

NSA developed the mandatory access control framework, SELinux, which Red Hat have shipped in their distribution turned-on by default for years.

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How a Cali court ruling could force a complete rethink of search results

Stuart Longland
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Megaphone

Re: Irritating

Yes, and if I put - on a keyword, I DO NOT WANT TO SEE IT!

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Awoogah: Get ready to patch 'severe' bug in OpenSSL this Thursday

Stuart Longland
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Non-Windows you say? Are you implying that this doesn't affect the Win32 port of OpenSSL?

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ONE MILLION new lines of code hit Linux Kernel

Stuart Longland
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Re: Yes but

Yep, I agree there. I once wrote code for a machine that had 512 BYTES of RAM. (Not kB, bytes)

Microcontrollers with a few kB of storage are not going to run a Linux kernel. Anything that runs a consumer or server edition of Windows however, will probably not have a problem storing 100MB+ of kernel driver modules.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Yes but

OpenWRT comes immediately to mind. I think their kernel on most architectures isn't that much more than a few meg.

Debian on i386 has a kernel that on its own is only about 3MB. The driver modules occupy 81MB, most of those aren't loaded unless required.

If your storage is a 256MB SD card or flash chip, then I can see why 81MB is a problem. Most users haven't had this problem for about 20 years.

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Stuart Longland
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One MEEELION lines…

Does this mean we jump to version 5.0 now?

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Reg hack survives world's longest commercial flight

Stuart Longland
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Coat

Re: You lucky poeple who sleep on planes

I used to sleep "like a baby" on flights, from infancy right through my teens. Sadly that ability, along with several others, steadily deserted me over the subsequent decades.

Yes, and no doubt the people who share a dwelling with you rest easy knowing they won't be woken up by someone crying for milk at some ungodly hour of the morning.

I myself used to sleep like a log, kept waking up with my head in a fireplace.

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Stuart Longland
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Re: Polar Routes

Photos or I don't believe you.

I guess he didn't bring his polaroid.

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In-flight slab-fondling and mobe-stroking in Australia at last

Stuart Longland
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VH-OGA

Is it just me? When I see that call-sign printed on the side of the plane, I imagine the radio operator to look like a cave man…

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BOFH: Don't go changing on Friday evenings, I don't wanna work that hard

Stuart Longland
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"But it won't affect anything!" the Boss simpers.

To which I'd reply, "IF it won't affect anything, then why are we bothering?" Clearly the intent is to affect something, probably to try to correct an issue, and hopefully not create an issue.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Stuart Longland
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Re: A Stalker's Dream

No, Charlie only access to Mary's WAN connection. It doesn't work as a LAN gateway at all.

And for a typical WiFi router, with standard settings, those equate to being one in the same. The intent might be for WAN access, but the reality is on many routers it's just layer two bridging onto the LAN. This is particularly true of consumer kit, they don't call them SOHOpeless routers for nothing!

In the hypothetical situation above, John has given away the keys to Mary's network, she might've well printed them out and stuck them on a sign in her front garden.

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