* Posts by Peter X

120 posts • joined 12 Apr 2008

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Legend of Zelda cracked with 6502 assembly language glitch

Peter X
Happy

This is fantastic!

Fantastic this is!

Was discovered by (a). reverse engineering the entire code base by hand, (b). noticing an occasional crash in the graveyard and wondering why, or (c). something completely different?

I'd imagine (a). Very impressive whatever the reason though!!

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Inside our three-month effort to attend Apple's iPhone 7 launch party

Peter X
Mushroom

This is the wrong thing to do, but I'd be tempted

I'd be inclined to report fully on Apples competitor phones and make direct comparisons. But (and here's why it's wrong), *always* get the technical specs of the Apple product wrong. Heh... just for laughs.

*If* you did that, would Apple PR be forced to contact you? Just, you know, out of interest. Because that could be really fun!

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Hollywood offers Daniel Craig $150m to (slash wrists) play James Bond

Peter X

Mark Heap

^ Just thought of this one and had to add him! So maybe re-cast Toby Jones as Q? Pretty sure Broadbent can play any role... so we'll have to hang on to him to.

I'm thinking Mark Heap should play his bond very much as he played "Jim" (as in, Jim. Jim from next door) in Fright Night Dinner. Maybe if Wilson the dog can be in it, all the better.

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Peter X

Re: I'M SUPRISED THAT NO ONE HAS MENTIONED THE CUMBERBATCH!

Who?

(continuing the Toast theme!)

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Peter X

Toby Jones

My second choice just because he's so completely un-bond-like, it *might* just work!

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Peter X

Jim Broadbent

Because, I think I'm correct in saying, that's the *only* thing he's not been in.

Seriously - he's in everything! He must have more money than Spectre by now.

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Firefox to banish hidden Flash files – and kill off sneaky ad snoopers

Peter X
FAIL

Re BBC

The BBC news site will play HTML 5 video *if* your user agent looks like something mobile. Otherwise it just says "You need flash to play this content" (or something like that), Which is a bit crap really.

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Openreach boss Clive Selley wants Ofcom to wrap it up already

Peter X

25,00 new homes every week?

Are there really that many new homes every single week? (honestly, I have no idea... but that sounds considerably higher than I might've guessed)

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Graphene is actually self-folding origami, proclaim physicists

Peter X

Re: I've seen that picture before-

That'll be why they didn't zoom in enough to see the green blobs!!

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Student Loans Company burns £50 million in IT project superfail

Peter X

What happens to the deliverables?

When these projects fail, where do the incomplete deliverables go? Surely if they (the gov.) don't intend to use them, they should be available to the public?

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4-day Fasthosts outage: Customers' sites go TITSUP

Peter X
FAIL

very small proportion of our (former) customers

It's been noted here previously, how frequently this turn of phrase appears particularly with not-particularly-clueful-vendors. TalkTalk springs immediately to mind!

Given that these "customers" are likely to be leaving anyway, I think they should have some fun with it... say something like "only customers with very small proportions are affected" or something. It'd be funny!! :D

On a related note, it's *all* their customers then, yes?

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Idiot brings gun-shaped iPhone to airport

Peter X

I can see the future!!! :O

I can see it now... said moron arrives at (say) Brussels airport for his flight home... moments after he enters the building, gun fire can be heard and shortly after, a bomb is detonated.

Luckily, our moron is sufficiently far away to be uninjured by the blast.

There's smoke all around. People are in shock. The shock turns to panic. Mobile phones can be heard ringing as friends and family check on loved ones.

Inexplicably at this point, Steve Jobs is also in the same airport (back story: he never really died and just wanted to live a more normal life... or something. Whatever, I need him for the punch line later on...). Steve calmly surveys the scene trying, liking everyone, to understand wtf just happened.

He see's a young man (our moron), in oddly ill fitting clothes, maladjusted baseball cap, but still with impeccable hair. More mobile phones are ringing. The moron pulls what looks to Steve like a gun from his bag; "perhaps he's an undercover cop", thinks Steve momentarily? But... hang on, why has he grabbed it by the barrel? And he's poking it with his other hand!

At this point, the moron is shot by _actual_ undercover cops... the last words to float through his vacuous skull being those of Steve: "You're holding it wrong!".

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We'll smash probe into comet 300 million miles away for kicks, er, sorry, ... for science

Peter X

Re: landing at an angle that denied its solar panels vital sunlight

To be fair, I think an RTG does increase the costs quite a bit which is a shame because they are perfect for this kind of thing.

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Fedora 24 is here. Go ahead – dive in

Peter X

Re: GNOME Problem...

^ re Gnome's bloatyness, has this not improved at all?

I'm still running Ubuntu 14.04 on my main machine (2.6GHz quad-core i5), but I've recently been trying to use a Raspberry Pi 3 as my main machine! Yes, the Pi is much slower with many things, especially the browser (albeit Chromium on the Pi 3 is just about tolerable), but the thing that really amazes me is that the file manager (PCManFM) is *considerably* snappier on the Pi than Nautilus is on my i5.

I do appreciate that the i5/Ubuntu setup is running compiz and therefore has a little more work to do... but even so, I'm kind of of the opinion that a file manager really shouldn't be perceptibly slow.

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TalkTalk says 8-month app outage lasting 'bit longer than we hoped'

Peter X

Contract

Can people stuck on a TT contract use this as a reason for escape?

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Windows 10 market share jumps two per cent

Peter X

Re: It's the leap before the deadline

"That Win 1 0 is getting a (small) boost in market share is understandable, the deadline for "not free" is fast approaching."

If that is the case, and I'm not sure it is, but if it is.... would MS not be better just dropping the price of Windows to ~$20. Maybe different pricing for enterprise, but otherwise, just have a single version of Windows equivalent to Pro for use by home and small business users for basically a minimal price to cover media distribution?

That would effectively mean giving it free to OEMs, but at least they might then increase the user base a bit more than now; cheaper PCs, slightly more upgrades... maybe?

In other news, Microsoft might in effect be allowing upgrades to Win 10 after the cut off date, providing you pretend to be are a user who requires assistive technologies!

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As US court bans smart meter blueprints from public, sysadmin tells of fight for security info

Peter X
FAIL

They don't deserve their jobs

So (1). they think that security by obscurity is a useful primary defence layer *AND* (2). they've then given away the very same information that they consider to be their primary defence layer.

Even if they could convince anyone that point 1 is valid, then surely they are guilty of aiding terrorists because of point 2?

They deserve to be absolutely destroyed in court over this level of f*k-wittery.

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Surrey teen charged over Mumsnet hack attack

Peter X

His _own_ toothbrush!

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Embattled 123-reg flings six months' free hosting at angry customers

Peter X

Re: Salt into the wounds

If you were in the sorry situation of having no backups of your own, then way-back-machine or google-cache might be your best option. EXCEPT way-back-machine won't show anything if the robots.txt file is no longer being served (or indeed, if it's set to block bots).

Anyone know what 123-reg have been serving for sites that have been nuked? It would be interesting to see if they do serve a robots.txt file.

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123-reg still hasn't restored customers' websites after mass deletion VPS snafu

Peter X

How many servers? How many websites?

The article says "114,933 servers out of 115,000".... so am I correct in thinking that that's considerably more than "a minority of customers" or whatever 123-reg's original assessment of impact was?

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SQL injection vuln found at Panama Papers firm Mossack Fonseca

Peter X

Re: Onion?

Onion?

I thought it was Orion?

Word-for-word, that's exactly what their admin said. Probably! :D

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Iceland prime minister falls on sword over Panama Papers email leak

Peter X

Re: Didn't realize there were more data dumps to come

Totally guessing, but maybe Mossack Fonseca is just one of a number of companies operating in this [ahem] area of expertise [/ahem]. I'm going to guess there's a *lot* of people suddenly needing to double check their own arrangements, maybe proxy through more than one of such companies, and make sure things are really really air-tight.

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Bash on Windows. Repeat, Microsoft demos Bash on Windows

Peter X
Happy

Re: Hell is indeed freezing over

However, there will still be a lot of impedance mismatch between the Windows and Linux universes. Anyone who does not want to fight with strange compatibility quirks at every turn will still use a real Linux distribution to get work done.

It's an interesting one that... because initially when I heard about this, I thought that this is the "embrace" phase, and next things will be written to target the Microsoft version of Linux. But it is perhaps more likely that open-source projects that currently target Windows and Linux, can now just focus on Linux and thus be more reliable and easier to maintain?

I certainly think that's what cross-platform open-source projects should be looking to do!

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Microsoft to add a touch of Chrome to Edge

Peter X

Documentation

Have MS made their extension documentation public yet? I'm just wondering if it's the same as Chrome or if they've [ahem] extended it in some way.

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A Logic Named Joe: The 1946 sci-fi short that nailed modern tech

Peter X

If he didn't mention porn or cats then he was waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay off the mark!

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Mozilla will emit 'first version' of Servo-based Rust browser in June

Peter X

Even if it is just an early preview, it does represent (to me anyway) the most interesting this Mozilla has done in years. I'm particularly interested in seeing how it performs on low-end hardware such as a Raspberry Pi.

They really need to change the name "browser.html" though because, to be blunt, its fucking stupid. Seriously.

Also, they might want to think twice about calling anything Graphene, because that's just a name used for things that show promise but don't actually exist.

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Clive Sinclair Vega+ tin-rattle hits £300,000

Peter X

Re: I could order one

If only you'd waited... you'd have waited (IIRC) about 3 _extra_ months, and when it arrived you would've also got a letter offering money off a roll of thermal paper for a ZX Printer. I never took them up on that offer!

The Spectrum was great though... so maybe I can start to begin to consider thinking about maybe letting that incident from 30+ years ago... go. Maybe! :D

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Sir Clive Sinclair in tech tin-rattle triumph

Peter X

Re: 30% chance of failure?

I seem to recall some games were terrible because they used "turbo loaders" (increased baud rate) and entirely didn't bother with error correction, so even the original cassette was hard to load.

Using a Multiface One to deal with - (ahem) - creating backup copies, worked much more reliably because it just dumped the RAM image out.

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Ready for a nostalgia kick? Usborne has put its old computer books on the web for free

Peter X

Re: Machine Code For Beginners

The name Toni Baker rings a bell. Was the cover of that book mostly dark green / black and I think the text was gold/yellow? If so, then that was the book where I *finally* after a very long time, managed to grasp Z80 assembler.

UPDATE - I used "Google" (whatever that is) to find it: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Mastering-Machine-Code-Your-Spectrum/dp/0907563236

That was totally my bible when I were a kid - so thanks Toni Baker!

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Ex-TalkTalker TalkTalks: Records portal had shared password. It was 4 years old

Peter X

Re: ICO should open another investigation.

"Some of these reports can be somewhat humorous. For example: 'Customer answered door wearing an adult nappy'."

Doesn't sound like this private data is needed for the bisness purpose that TT is supposed to be providing.

If the customer concerned had these details leaked* and this particular bit of information, I'd say [IANAL] they'd be sue the crap** out of TT.

* No. Just no.

** Still no.

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Smart toys spring dumb vulns. Again. This time: Cuddly bears, watches

Peter X

"Johnny, what have I told you about not talking to toys?"

Honestly, when you step back from it and look at it... it's sooo stupid putting internet connectivity in these things not least because local data-storage and raw CPU power aren't particularly expensive these days.

It probably won't change, at least not whilst it's mere childrens privacy being violated. Once we have a high-ranking GCHQ/NSA operative's super-secrets stolen by their own childs toy bear*, *then* maybe they'll start to take it seriously!

* (note to self... contact Charlie Brooker about a possible Black Books script entitled "Rupert-Gate: the tale of an entire government brought down by actions of a rogue soft-toy")

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Uni of Manchester IT director resigns after chopping 68 people

Peter X

Bird-skeleton

...is titled "Crucified Hope".

Or "The Crucified Hope of Gerry Pennell" these days I'd imagine.

His Wikipedia page says he's an IT Executive and he studied maths, but I can't see anything else - presumably he did something else to qualify him for these jobs?

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You've seen things people wouldn't believe – so tell us your programming horrors

Peter X

Re: Lower to uppercase

I appreciate that was probably very old code... but you do realise that changing case in ASCII is just a bitwise operation? You could probably speed up your old code ten-fold! :D

That said, I just did a Google and discovered people on stack exchange marvelling at such wonders. Makes me feel old!

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TalkTalk CuffCuffs 'ScamScam CrimCrims'

Peter X

Re: "We are also reviewing our relationship with Wipro."

"We are also reviewing our relationship with Wipro."

I think this piece of management-speak actually means they're negotiating terminating the contract due to supplier (Wipro) breach... but it depends how much they're prepared to drop versus their utility as a scape-goat for PR purposes.

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US rapper slams Earth is Round conspiracy in Twitter marathon

Peter X

Trumps America

Once Donald Trump is president, this will be normal everyday life.

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BBC risks wrath of android rights activists with Robot Wars reboot

Peter X

Also, if I enter a bot called "The Clarkson", do you think they'll just ban me outright? 'cos I think that's a really good name!

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Peter X

Spotty overlords

Still giggling at that one!

So I think I'm right in saying that in the previous series, the robots were just remote controlled things? Will that be the case in the new series, or will they be completely autonomous? Or a bit of both?

[SPOLIER]

Don't the fly-wheel-bots always win?

[/SPOLIER]

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Rebels defeat the Empire (again) by giving BB-8 an API

Peter X

Not the droid I'm looking for

Is Tickle available for, you know... 'droids?

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Doctor Who: The Hybrid finally reveals itself in the epic Heaven Sent

Peter X

Great episode.

That said... he could've saved himself a billion or so years if he'd just punched a smaller hold in the crystal wall. Pretty sure he only needed a hole he could wriggle through rather than a whole archway to walk through! :D

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Peter X

Re: @d3vy

I was seeing Pertwee too. I think it was the velvety jacket and permed grey/white hair!

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Fifth arrest in TalkTalk hacking probe: Now Plod cuff chap in Wales

Peter X
Facepalm

What with TalkTalks down playing the impact, have they actually got a case any more?

I thought the official story was that only a handful of customer details were lifted, and in any case, there were no bank details... so it almost seems like the police are wasting money investigating this surely?

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EE plans to block annoying ads on mobile network

Peter X

Re: It's not about the customer

Exactly this. It's the same as when the service providers were complaining about BBC iPlayer and this like using too much bandwidth, basically trying to frame it so they can charge people on both ends of the wire*.

It should be illegal to tamper with content over the wire*.

* you know what I mean! :D

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Openreach boss quits BT in midst of split uncertainty

Peter X

He's one of them there fair weather CEOs.

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TalkTalk hired BAE Systems' infosec bods before THAT hack

Peter X

BAE... bah!

I think that El Reg is being too nice to BAE. An *Evil* reporter would point out to BAE how they really fk'ed it up with TalkTalk given the fact that they not only got hacked, but apparently with vulnerabilities so easy to hack a child could do it. Because that *is* the reality of it. Kind of makes BAE look like the last company you'd want to use to secure anything. Perhaps BAE would like to comment on that?

Also, given that we don't know the details of how the hack occurred, and given how BAE had been contracted only months before, is it not possible that BAE itself was in some way responsible? I.e. bad advice left TalkTalk *more* vulnerable than it was before, or even worse, maybe a BAE employee, privy to inside information, leaked something?

Just a ThoughtThought! (me Walk[walk]s away whistling)

Oh... whilst I'm posting, don't know if anyone saw that BBC Panorama about hackers that was on recently, but the guy who the US is trying to get extradited for hacking (you know, he looked like Rodney's mate, Micky from Only Fools and Horses), well he seemed to think that TalkTalks site was still vulnerable. Whilst that isn't exactly concrete evidence of incompetence at TalkTalk, he (Micky) does still have slightly more credibility than TalkTalk do!

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TalkTalk boss: 'Customers think we're doing right thing after attack'

Peter X
FAIL

Encryption? No... we've got OBFUSCATION!

In todays BBC article* on the subject, apparently the business community is pleased with TalkTalk's performance... and apparent retention of most of their customers.

Dido/TalkTalk PR machine is/are now trying to defuse the lack of encryption with:

"I can confirm that we're compliant with all encryption requirements for the industry, but actually it's not just about encryption," she said.

"So one of the reasons why none of our customers' credit card details were stolen in a way that means they can be used is because they were more than encrypted.

"They were what's called obfuscated - obscured. So that nowhere in the system did we actually hold all of their credit card number.

So yeah, it's all about obfuscation. It's better than encryption. Riiiiight!

* http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-34786786

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TalkTalk incident management: A timeline

Peter X

Re: christ

Not wishing to detract from beating up TalkTalk, but since people here might have an answer, I have a question...

Q. Why don't credit-card companies tell providers NOT to store card details ever, and instead, issue them a token on receipt of a valid card number? E.g.

Customer (unwisely) decides to sign up with TalkTalk. Enters their contact details and card number on the TT website and agree to (say) a sign up fee of £X and recurring debits of ~£Y based on call-usage etc.

For £X, since it's a one-off, TT don't need to store a card number. For ~£Y they do currently because they need to debit the customer (usually) once a month. So instead the card company supplies a token (like a disposable card number) but this one is constrained such that ONLY TT can use it... so even if it leaks, it's useless. And it could be further constrained by number of debits per month, or limited value ranges.

I've wondered this for years... basically whenever a leak ends up in the news. It's an obvious solution, so I'm guessing there's a good reason it's not implemented?

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Slacker vendors' one-fix-a-year effort leaves 88% of Androids vulnerable

Peter X

Re: Moto G

Is your 1st gen. Moto G a 3G or 4G model? I've got the 3G one and I've still not seen any updates to 5.0.2, which given the number of security issues Android has had this year, is a bit of a concern.

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Hurrah! Doctor Who brings us a bootstrap paradox treat in Before the Flood

Peter X

Re: Hmmm...

At the end of part one the major question left unanswered was why the one person who hadn't been inside the ship was spared by the ghosts. And in part 2 this was used to dramatic effect to... go and find a phone?!? What a waste of a good plot point.

I believe Clara said something about him not having "the signal" in him because he hadn't seen the message, so presumably that meant he wasn't worth turning into a ghost because he couldn't be used to transmit the signal. They did kind of blast through that point rather quickly though!

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Apple's iPad Pro: We're making a Surface Pro WITH A STYLUS over Steve Jobs' DEAD BODY

Peter X

Re: Embarrassing

In fairness, Steve was correct in that a stylus was a crap *primary* input method for a small handheld device such as a phone. But for tablets, particularly for people artistically/design inclined (like many Apple customers), a Wacom-like, full-bells-and-whistles pressure/angle sensitive, isn't a bad *optional extra*.

So whilst *every single* report has mentioned the stylus, and "oh Steve said they were wrong"... blah blah... I do think it's a useful addition.

A keyboard on the other hand is crap idea for a tablet... acceptable as a third-party add-on for a small sub-set of users who do find a use, but for the majority, if you really need a keyboard, get a laptop, and then it'll sit better on your lap when you're using it.

I've not heard if Apple got a place to store the "Pencil" in the device? Because where the Surface Pro 3 seems to be largely well designed, the thing that always made me laugh was how the storage place for it's stylus was... on the keyboard... which always struck me as being a typically MS-not-quite-as-well-thought-out-as-it-should-be solution!

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Hacktivists congratulate Daily Show's Jon Stewart via Donald Trump's website

Peter X

trump.com

Visit www.trump.com

View source

Feel strange urge to "pupulate variables"

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