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* Posts by Long John Brass

116 posts • joined 12 Apr 2007

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Lycamobile launches 'unlimited' 4G for £12 a month. Great. Now where can I get a signal?

Long John Brass

Hmmm ... If they ever add New Zealand to their "feel at home"

Then it would in fact be cheaper to get Cell+Net access from them than from NZ providers

You'd get more data too

13GPB ~= 26NZD

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Long John Brass

Re: @ Belardi -- Who at Microsoft is making up the names... and why do they still have a job?

It was then known as Microsoft OS/2 V1 & V2

Then MS & IBM has a spat & went their different ways

NT 3 was next out the door in that OS line

So NT 1.x & 2.x were called OS/2 v1 & v2; I might be wrong but I believe OS/2 warp was OS/2 v3

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LOHAN chap hooks up with busty stratominx in cosmic pleasure cruise

Long John Brass

Re: Sad episisode in this saga that's ruined it for me

>...re, but this just looks desperate and tacky.

Better desperate and tacky than desperate and sticky; no?

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New Zealand

Long John Brass

To be fair; the thought of Mr Kim.com facing off to our beloved prime minister across the floor of the house, fills me with a certain sense of delight.

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Long John Brass

And then there was three

We're breeding like Mogwai :)

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Is Google building SKYNET? Ad kingpin buys AI firm DeepMind

Long John Brass
Facepalm

Re: ROTM

I for one welcome the return of our ROTM article overlords

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Haribo gummy bears implicated in 'gastric exorcism'

Long John Brass

Doctor Who

Explains why he was giving everyone "Jelly babies"

He truly was/is/will be an evil bastard :)

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We wuz right: Big Blue ARE stuffing System x boxen with ULLtraDIMMs

Long John Brass

and have application working sets in the extended memory

So will that require EMM386 or HIMEM.SYS to work properly?

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Iceotope sounds like a kids' superhero – but it's a UK server-cooler maker that just bagged £6.1m

Long John Brass

I remember a time, when dinosaurs ruled the earth

Was in a big data-centre and they were in the process of installing a new IBM mainframe. The IBM installation engineers had pipe wrenches in their tools kits; Close inspection revealed large pipes labelled "Chilled Water" running into the guts of the beast

The wheel turns eh

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Microsoft to RIP THE SHEETS off Windows 9 aka 'Threshold' in April

Long John Brass
Boffin

My 10 bits

I wonder if at least part of the problem is the slowdown in PC sales. Given that for a long time each year or two the available horsepower at a given price point doubled (At least in terms of MHZ)

Ever since they hit that blasted wall at ~2-3GHZ sales have slumped. Perhaps if they marketed PC in terms of say GIPS (Giga Instructions Per Second) then doubling the core count would give a number twice as big, thus encouraging people to upgrade.

IE: My current machine is 10 GIPS and this new one is 20 GIPS => Must be better

I suspect that part of the upgrade cycle was driven by

Home Machine breeds familiarity --> Adopted by Smaller companies --> rolled out by large companies

An most people just use whatever is installed on the machine they buy.

Rinse; repeat; profit

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Forget selfies. 'Server SAN' is storage world's 2014 TWERKNADO

Long John Brass

Ummmmm

So not unlike a *nix server with NFS then

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FCC honcho: Shifting our crusty phone network to IP packets starts now

Long John Brass

Last mile

I'm assuming they are on about dragging the last mile connections into the 21st century. The back-haul infrastructure would already be packet based, no? IFAIK: SS7 can already do IP back-haul

Or is this just an excuse to ditch any requirements to provide POTS analogue service. Not that I care; I'm currently considering a "naked" DSL plan from one of the local providers. It appears that the local UFB rollout has fibre down the other side of my street, but not mine. Just need to tot up the costs of "naked" dsl + voip vs the plan I'm currently on; then again do I really need or want a "land line" number at all

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Spock-style gadget can SMELL my PEE! Weird gizmos of CES 2014

Long John Brass

HDMI overlay in 3D

Hmmm that might, just maybe finally be a valid use of 3D in TVs. Assuming it doesn't obscure the content "behind" it. Pretty sure I'm not going to stump up for a 3D set when the time comes to replace my ageing unit though.

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Two white dwarfs and superdense star. Yup, IDEAL for gravity lab in the sky - boffins

Long John Brass

Musta been one helluva place to live

In it's hey day

Am I right in thinking ...

Neutron star -- was blue giant?

Hot white dwarf -- Recently deceased G type/Red giant?

Cooler white dwarf -- Smaller g type

All in an orbit of about earth norm?

Sunsets there must have been epic!

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HP clampdown on 'unauthorised' server fixing to start in January

Long John Brass
Facepalm

Re: legal?

I remember years ago I actually sat down an read the hardware "contract" that came with some very expensive kit from a vendor who shall remain nameless

The thing that made me laugh was a line in the small print, right at the bottom of the document it said something along the lines of (I can't remember the exact wording)

"This device(computer) is sold on the understanding that it may or may not function as a computing device"

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Mozilla: Native code? No, it's JavaScript, only it's BLAZING FAST

Long John Brass

C Complex?

The C language core is very small, very simple.

But it's the right kind of simple; Simple & powerful

The Libraries on the other hand are many, varied and ummm wondrous :)

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.4: Yamaha retro synth, valve oscilloscope and more

Long John Brass

Re: Quite.

I bought this via the Dangerous Prototypes guys

Although because it has an FPGA on it they wouldn't ship out of the US until I signed my life away & promise that I'm not a "Bad guy (tm)"

Had similar problems when I scored a Papillo FPGA kit .... Hmmm really need to dig that out &have another play :)

http://www.seeedstudio.com/depot/preorder-open-workbench-logic-sniffer-p-612.html?cPath=75

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BT warned: Speed up Openreach repairs or face PUNITIVE FINES

Long John Brass

Re: We can't find a fault

The butane powered ones are better :)

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Cassini spots MEGA-METHANE SEAS on the north pole of Titan

Long John Brass

we'd use far more energy getting there and back

Doesn't matter if we use 100 times the energy getting there and back, just as long as there are commercially viable quantities left in the tanks when you do get back.

IE: As long as it's cheaper to go to titan for your yummy hydrocarbon fix than it is to pump it out of the ground or squeeze it out of rocks, then it will happen :)

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Beijing leans on Microsoft to maintain Windows XP support

Long John Brass

Re: Ubuntu

Ummm ... yes actually; For many years

Have you?

Although I will admit; as my day job is Linux/Unix admin I don't spend a lot of time doing spiffy power-point presentations. Most people are happy if my e-mails contain less than ~10% spelling errors :)

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Long John Brass

Ubuntu

I bet MS would change their mind if Mark Shuttleworth did a press piece saying

"Hey China, we will help you out!" Mass installfest in PRC everyone :)

GNU/Linux + Libre Office + Wine should cover 80-90% of most use cases no?

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Sick to death of Xmas? Try these explosive gift ideas

Long John Brass

Re: My little pony

Finally a valid use for a 3d printer?

you could knock out a my little knackers yard or a happy fun time re-education camp in no time :)

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That toolbar you downloaded is malware? Tough, read the EULA

Long John Brass

An idea for google

Instead of plastering advertising all over the web

When you use their search engine, it mines for bitcoins or whatever

Could this finally be a business model for the likes of twatter?

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WTF is the Internet of Things and how insurers will use it against you

Long John Brass

Re: Reality check

For the most part I agree; "Most people neither want nor care about making their houses intelligent"

No .... most people don't give a shit one way or the other

What people care about is simpler & easier. I don't want to HAVE to program each and every bloody light bulb in the house, I want a smart system that can figure out for itself... when he walks in the door at night he normally turns on these lights, so the system would then start doing that automatically

What I don't want is a system where I have to talk to a thrice damned speech recognition system,

<me> Ok House turn on lights,

<house> Do you mean turn on living room lights? Yes to proceed, no to cancel

<Me> *sigh* YES,

<House> Ok cancelling selection,

<ME> "Aaaarrrggghhhh",

<House> OK turning off heating.

Until you can improve on the UI of a simple light switch, these things are doomed to fail

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NSA-busting secure, open, router seeks cash and code from crowd

Long John Brass

Modular

Was pondering purchasing some kit from http://routerboard.com/; pity there doesn't seem to be many/any ADSL options for the miniPCI slots.

If they make this thing modular; say PCI-104 or some-such then I'd probably buy

It would be nice to be able to pick & choose say base + adsl + wifi or base + extra switch ports

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Bad genes? US watchdog halts 23andMe's handy home DNA test kits

Long John Brass

Re: The nanny state minding people's own business again?

> likely to scare people into radical unnecessary treatment

Right, so who is going to carry out said radical unnecessary treatment?

It's not like you are going to get the test results; nip off into the kitchen for a quick DIY mastectomy

No you would visit a honest to dog sawbones & one would hope they would set you straight before anything tragic happens.

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LG: You can stop hiding from your scary SPY TELLY quite soon now

Long John Brass

Damnit

Now I'm going to have to setup a transparent outbound proxy to filter all outbound http(s) traffic

Yay; whackamole with all the devices I purchased that are trying to spy on me :(

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3D printing: 'Third industrial revolution' or a load of old cobblers?

Long John Brass

Re: The post-stuff age

> However they will never be a 1-per-home item.

Can can very clearly remember when they said the same of computers :)

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Long John Brass

Re: Yes, a "solution looking for a problem"

Last board I made I used the following

Laser print the layout to std paper

"Iron" layout to the PCB

Carefully in a sink "dissolve" away the paper, leaving the plastic behind

etch the copper board using a solution of

white vinegar

Hydrogen Peroxide (~5% stock from the store)

table salt

The etch is slow as hell; it took an hour or two, but other than the hydrogen peroxide ... no dangerous chemicals (and at 2-5% the peroxide ain't that dangerous)

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Vint Cerf: 'Privacy may be an ANOMALY, now over'. And it's no secret I think that

Long John Brass

I suspect

That this will for the most part resolve itself

Currently if a young'un does something stupid, which then gets posted to FaceBork etc al then the biggest risk is a future employer harrumphing about bad behaviour of the young'un in question. Not that the old fogey did do that shit themselves, Just that FaceBork etc didn't exist in the stone ages

As the working population ages more and more managers will themselves been featured in the various social media websites doing stupid shit; Attitudes towards youthful indiscretions will I suspect ease.

Perhaps in the future a sparkly clean social profile will looked upon with suspicion

Then again, perhaps not; people in general are somewhat stupid

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Long John Brass

Re: So fix it!

But they kinda already do

#!/bin/bash :)

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Fed up with Windows? Linux too easy? Get weird, go ALTERNATIVE

Long John Brass

Re: latency

+1 from a southaner.

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A steam punk VDU ?

Long John Brass

What about a miniature version of this?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Split-flap_display

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Torvalds suggests poison and sabotage for ARM SoC designers

Long John Brass

I say, steady on old chap; No need to get vicious :)

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Long John Brass

A hero

He just says what most of us think/mutter under our breath

Be honest, how many time have you been tempted to LART someone?

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Penguins, prepare to get SPACED OUT: Ubuntu 13.10's Mir has docked

Long John Brass

Re: X window system

Agreed ... The single most usefull feature of X11 is the ability to run a remote graphical front end.

Some retarded installers are GUI only & when you are installing on a remote server you need to be able to forward the remote session. VNC/RDP are nice, but overkill for most things.

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Punter strikes back at cold callers - by charging THEM to call HIM

Long John Brass

Asterisk for the win

I've installed Asterisk and a ATA for the house land line

It answers, plays a ringing tone then one of the standard messages (Blue eyed polar bear)

It stops telemarketers dead in their tracks :)

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Terror cops swoop on couple who Googled 'backpacks' and 'pressure cooker'

Long John Brass

If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

If you want a picture of the present, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—forever.

Our beloved PM (NZ) has recently tried to invoke Al-Qaeda in trying to get the latest snooping bill though

1984 was supposed to be a warning not an instruction manual.

I wonder how long it will be before the sheeple get pissed off & demand changes

“WAR IS PEACE, FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH”

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You MERCILESS FIEND... you put that audio file on AUTOPLAY

Long John Brass

Evil idea #21

A website that plays quiet random sounds *skritch* *scratch scratch* *skuttle*

I'm thinking of something similar to some of the sound effects from Doom II

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Back up all you like - but can you resuscitate your data after a flood?

Long John Brass

spherical cows in a vacuum

Some cliché's

No battle plan survives contact with the enemy.

Cheap, fast, reliable; Pick any two

My favourite solution to the DR problem is to use the DR systems as part of the QA or integration testing cycle.

That way you know that the DR rig actually works; DR then involved switching out the QA/Int DB's for the Prod copy & running a few scripts that swap any configs that need to be changed

Actually managed to convince one client to implement the above & they even agreed to live DR test once a year. Once a year for a week or two Prod would migrate over to DR & run there for a week or so then migrate back. First time was hairy & scary ... got easier after that :)

Old prod kit would move to DR(Qa/Int Test) then to the dev/test racks. I believe the dev systems should be slow (Keeps the Dev's honest)

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Godmother of Unix admins Evi Nemeth presumed lost at sea

Long John Brass
Unhappy

Re: "The boat was last heard from on June 4"

Yep a month without contact is bad. But boats have been missing longer than that & still turned up with crew still alive.

The Tasman sea is a very shitty place to have problems, very rough, very windy

But as long as all the hatches were closed; even getting rolled shouldn't have killed the boat

Yachts have large chucks of lead on the bottom of the keel to help them right themselves

Depending on the design the two easy way to kill a boat of that vintage is to either loose the keel completely or if the mast steps through the deck then breaking a mast can rip up said decking letting in vast amounts of water

If the keel is the bolt on type they can fail & let water in that way, if the keel is integrated into the structure that should happen.

Haven't seen anything discussing the design of the boat so the various failure modes are just pure speculation

Personally I hope they all turn up safe & sound, but as you say a month has gone; It isn't looking good :(

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FRBs and variable forces: a big week for astronomy

Long John Brass
Alien

GSV?

Could be a GSV accelerating away from us?

We really need to keep an eye out for a signal that increases in frequency; indicating something heading our way

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El Reg encounters mObi: R2-D2 for retailers

Long John Brass
Terminator

Hacking potential

Slip in a new firmware & sit back and watch the resulting fun/chaos

Change the code from if isHuman() then avoid(); to if isHuman() then chase();

hours of fun I tell you :)

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AARNet hits 40 Gbps to USA

Long John Brass
Trollface

New reg unit requred

How man NSA data slurps is that?

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Not all data encryption is created equal

Long John Brass
Big Brother

Nothing new under the sun

This problem isn't new, I remember the paranoid freak-outs everyone had back when I was running a BBS back in the early 80's. the NSA/GCSB etc are watching us, recording our BBS sessions .... *sigh*

There is no such thing as 100%; 100% safe?, Nope; 100% secure? Nope.

Secure your data by putting it in a safe, wrap that in concrete & dump it in the middle of the ocean?

Someone could still get at your data, wouldn't be easy, but it could in theory be done.

So what is to be done? As many have already suggested, it's all a matter of cost vs ease of access, complexity

SSL/TLS covers many session based encryption problems not just https; pops, imaps & smtps all come as standard on most servers & clients even if they aren't always enabled/allowed by $yourVendor

If you don't want Yahoo or Google handing over your e-mails, set-up & run your own , Yeah I know that's beyond most home users, but surely not most el Reg commentards :)

The problem really comes down to this...

Every time $badThing happens people scream and yell that $someOne should have done something to stop $badThing

This is why the work at large is going from free -> police state

The other problem is the lie we tell ourselves and our children

"What to $otherPeople want?" ... well they are "just like you" they want what you want

This is why politicians are deathly afraid of everyone around them; they assume that everyone is a power hungry socio-path, "Just like them"

Mines the one with the keys to the Faraday shielded bunker in them

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Long John Brass
Happy

Re: Can't even get into my router to monitor it as its locked down by the ISP....

Then treat the router as part of the internet.

Place a router of your choosing between your and the ISP supplied one and harden that

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Remote code execution vuln appears in Puppet

Long John Brass

Meh!

Any config management system should be on a management only subnet & not visible to the world or even to the local infrastructure

Still ... looks like I'll be doing a round of systems patching today :)

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Bjarne Again: Hallelujah for C++

Long John Brass
Flame

Re: If God had meant us to use C++

Count yourself lucky

I taught myself basic back in the day (when an 8k machine was big)

Then at Tech I learned COBOL, RPG-II & second year PL/1, Pascal & PDP-11 assembler

I think the COBOL & RPG-II stuff did me real harm :)

First job was working with DataBus from DataPoint (Imangine a cross between COBOL & Assembler, combining the worst elements of each)

I liked PL/1 though; But once I started playing with C my life started to detox; Never managed to fall in love with C++, the Syntax was too much like a TECO command line

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Windows NT grandaddy OpenVMS taken out back, single gunshot heard

Long John Brass
FAIL

Pity they won't open source it

I guess VMS will join the ranks of the departed

RMS/XA, AOS/VS, RSX, RSTS

There should be a rule that once support for these old OS's is dropped that the source code gets released

Some sort of software escrow

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Fedora cooks up new Linux for Raspberry Pi

Long John Brass
Mushroom

Re: @Rampant Spaniel

vi for the win!

vi has saved my life a few times for the same reason

vi will run on even the most ancient systems, over the oldest crustiest dumb terminal

nano gives me the shits & I hate that Debian now makes it the default editor

First thing I always do is purge nano from every machine

I will admit that vi is a shit to learn; but once you've come to grips with it you won't want anything else :)

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