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* Posts by David Hicks

1243 posts • joined 22 Apr 2008

Debian 6: Have your Debian and eat your Ubuntu too

David Hicks

Have you been living under a rock?

Let's see...

Maemo is/was debian based. That's a phone OS, by the way. Pretty embedded. And then there was the hacked around debian that came on my NAS, the WD Sharespace, and what came with the sheevaplug which was ubuntu. You could run debian on the Openmoko. You can run it on the Playstation 3.

As far as I can tell, RHEL doesn't even support ARM or MIPS, only x86/64, Itanium and POWER variants, so it would have to be very hacked around for a lot of embedded use.

Maybe in your line of work you only see RHEL based systems. I'm guessing that's because you mostly work with Power chips then?

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David Hicks

I've found debian to be better than ubuntu for a while now

I speak as a software developer, not your granny and what she can use, so please read with that in mind. Debian, for me, has *just worked* for a number of years now, in a way windows hasn't and ubuntu hasn't either.

The install process was not quite as polished or painless as either of those, but the end result was I didn't have to spend days tracking down third party drivers (windows!) nor did I have to rebuild alsa from source every time the OS gets upgraded because the one that ships with the OS doesn't recognise the headphone port (ubuntu!).

I've run debian on everything from a 266MHz arm NAS device to a z series mainframe. Awesome, solid, OS.

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NBN will turn retail borderless, says Conroy

David Hicks

Since moving here I have noticed that the online presence...

... of the average business in Aus is not wuite up to what I expected, coming from the UK.

You get used to it pretty quick though, and I quite like actually going to the shops now. it would be nice if the price of stuff came down though. It seems that nearly every imported good is ridiculously pricey because some distributor has an exclusive deal and can't be worked around, or the law protects 'official' import channels and makes all others illegal. This seems to apply to everything from books to computer equipment and is justified under some misguided notion that it protects Australian businesses.

When something can be ordered online and shipped to you for 50% of the price in the shops here, something isn't right, and it sure as hell doesn't put Australian business at an adantage.

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What sealed Nokia's fate?

David Hicks

You're right, there must be different N900s

I guess I got one of the good ones, that boots up reasonably quickly, takes decent pictures, works well as a GPS, does flash fine, if a little slowly (yours doesn't?), and works brilliantly not only as a net device on its own but also as a 3G wireless modem for my linux machines.

I'll agree that the manufacturer totally lost it though.

Instead of incrementally developing the OS, adding stuff, making improvements and fixes and delivering them (the usual linux model), and then delivering improved hardware as and when they could, they ended up doing the same thing that killed Openmoko - "Oooh! Shiny! Let's ditch it all and start again!". So you end up with two years of no real progress, no released devices and no income. In the meantime the managers who weren't directly responsible for screwing up the maemo unit were busy screwing up the rest of the company and whoops, suddenly the 'next big thing' doesn't have the time to mature, despite the fact it's 7 years old.

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Sony threatens to ban PS3 jailbreakers from network

David Hicks

Why so many rabid folks?

It's Sony's right to ban whoever they want from their servers. Absolutely true.

Doesn't mean they aren't arseholes for doing it.

Remember kids, just because something is within the law doesn't make it good, nice or proper. A lot of people feel that they own the ps3, that linux and the network were advertised features, and that, hell, if they want to run non-approved software on it then whose business is that. Same as with the iPhone, same as anything else.

As for the cheating - PC game services somehow survive and prosper with in an open system, why not the PS3?

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David Hicks

It never got quite that easy

You still needed a way to install it, that's not provided by the default firmware and needed to be unlocked.

And that wasn't quite all, don't know the specifics, but there were still one or two keys to be found when the lawsuit kicked off, and all has gone relatively quiet since then.

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Apple cripples iBooks for jailbreakers

David Hicks

I agree

I'm not really sure.

Do I have to sign a license agreement before they take my money?

No? Then I'd say I own that copy of the software, and like a paperback book, can scribble in it and alter it to my heart's desire as long as I don't give away or sell copies, or claim it was my work.

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Sony tweets 'secret' key at heart of PS3 jailbreak case

David Hicks

I donh't think he did much wrong either

But given what's going on at the moment you would have thought some common sense was a useful skill in a PR droid. Maybe not though.

OTOH how many people outside of techy circles even know what a crypto key is, let alone what one looks like?

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iPad TWO: What, already?

David Hicks

After hours of peering at SSL hex dumps

I wasn't thinking very metaphorically. So sue me!

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David Hicks

Why is there what appears to be a razor ad?

In the middle of the story?

Weird...

So Apple finally caved and are putting a forward facing camera in the new one?

Well let me be the first to say DUH!!!

This form factor is perfect for video calling, they missed a trick with the first model. Unless of course it was part of the plan all along...

New iPad 2! Does all the shit you assumed the first one would do!

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Sony expands legal offensive to more PS3 hackers

David Hicks

Boycott affect them? Maybe not

However if I cease to give them any of my money, I know I'm not funding this bullshit.

So it would be nice to see this behaviour boycotted out of existence, I'm well aware that will never happen.

It's enough for me that I'm not helping them harass people and destroy ownership rights.

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Microsoft re-org: more code, less death by PowerPoint?

David Hicks

Holy Crap!

A big corporation promoting the technically literate, and what's more those from within instead of taking part in the usual "Musical Execs" game.

Colour me amazed.

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Anonymous pwns security firm that probed its membership

David Hicks

For all that it's mostly an army of me-too morons

It would appear to have a very competent special forces unit as well, most likely made up of disgruntled and amoral black-hats with proxies and botnets all over the place.

Piss them off at your peril, it would seem.

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Newest PS3 firmware hacked in less than 24 hours

David Hicks
Linux

@Cameron

Sorry, sarcasm doesn't always come across well on the internet.

I was protesting that no, they're not good, they don't let you do what you want with your hardware at all, and that this sucks.

I wouldn't have such a huge objection to the whole thing if they released an easy way to run an alternate OS, from the ground up, so at least you could use the hardware in the way you wanted. Instead they do their damnedest to make sure you can't run your own stuff on there at all.

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David Hicks

Nowhere? Really?

So that's why they release that open edition of the system software?

No PSN but run what you like?

Or even bootloader documentation so we can put linux on it and be done with it?

Sure Sony are telling you what to do with it, and trying to prevent you from using your hardware as you see fit. At every turn.

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Marry Microsoft, analyst tells Nokia

David Hicks

Jaysus....

Nokia were once the driver of the phone market. The only way to ever get back there is to start driving it again. For that they need maemo/meego.

It's that simple.

Signing up with MS would be the last straw for a lot of people. Nokia always did things their way, and their way was great. The last few years have seen an explosion in the number of models they sell, all very similar and all equaly behind the curve. Make something new, pretty, slim and meego based. Please.

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World shrugs as IPv4 addresses finally exhausted

David Hicks

How would that help?

Unless they're moving to IPv6 then you'll still need an IP address whether it's dynamic or static!

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Archos 101 8GB Android tablet

David Hicks
Linux

Finally, something in a decent size!

All the other android tablets seem to have come out in 'not much bigger than a phone' or 'too big for your pocket but not big enough to be useful' sizes, this one actually looks the right size.

The camera on the front is perfect because the 'killer app' for these things has got to be video calling via skype or similar.

That it's missing 3g is no great shame, and the price is significantly less than apple's too. May actually have to look into this...

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UK.gov braces for Anonymous hacklash

David Hicks
FAIL

Legitimate protest and crime

"Legitimate political protest involves no crime."

What on earth are you on about?

If the laws are bad then legitimate political protest can certainly involve crime as currently defined. Look at the civil rights and suffragettes movements. Look at all sorts of things.

I'm not saying it's the case here, but sometimes you have no choice but to break the law in order to make a legitimate protest.

Or are you one of those that thinks direct action is always wrong and that laws should be changed for the better through the democratic protest?

In which case.... ROFL. The very idea of democratic change for the better directed by the people! I've rarely heard anything so damned hilarious!

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Scareware mongers cough up $8m to settle fraud charges

David Hicks
Flame

Fraud? Settled?

How the F*CK do you "settle" a fraud charge. After scamming hundreds of thousands of people out of money there should be jail time, total asset seizure and a good faith effort on behalf of the government to return the money to the people who were deferauded.

Not a fine and a promise to be a good boy from now on.

Jesus christ...

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UK tech retailers are rubbish

David Hicks

Bust?

I thought PC world and the likes were more likely to go bust because they're losing so much money.

Even the 'normal' folks don't like them any more. It's now common knowledge that they're overpriced, their stuff is behind the times and they don't know what they're talking about.

Buying from an established online firm (and there are many) is every bit as safe.

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Israeli firm readies pocket-friendly desktop PC

David Hicks
Linux

Linux on ARM is not new

I've been running it for a good 5 or 6 years now. It supports dozens of devices and multiple processor variants.

Not to mention the millions of Android devices out there in the world.

Sorry to say it, but that's rather an ignorant comment...

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Samsung N350 dual-core netbook

David Hicks

Dual core good

Battery life - bad but not terrible

Hard drive instead of solid-state storage - lame.

Apart from the new processor, things really haven't progressed much since the eee901, nor have the prices dropped.

I don't care if you're in the "make 'em cheaper" or the "make 'em faster" camp, some real progress on either of those fronts would be good!

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The Last Airbender up for nine Razzies

David Hicks

Vampires Suck....

Actually does deserve to be on the list because it was as slow and bad as the films it took the piss out of.

The main actress does a *fantastic* Mary-Sue (sorry, I mean Bella) Swan impersonation, to the point where "Vampires Suck" is a close contender for being actually as painful to watch as "Eclipse"

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End of the line for ID cards

David Hicks
Big Brother

See you in ten years

Maybe 20.

But it'll come up again, oh yes, because the people behind the scenes still want it, and politicians always seem to cave to them in the end.

In some ways the credit crunch is a very good thing as there seemed to be no other way there was ever going to be a check on government profligacy or invasion of privacy.

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Computacenter joins cloud club

David Hicks
Flame

How is this new?

Haven't you been able to outsource your email needs for two decades now?

Seriously, screw "the cloud"

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Nokia C7 smartphone

David Hicks
Linux

C'mon Nokia! Change the game!

And whilst you're at it let's have Meego punted into centre stage eh? Between phonezilla and chipzilla you'd think there would be something worth selling by now!

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When one oligopoly screws another

David Hicks

Not a truly free market

"If there really is gross profiteering going on, then vendors will appear who are able to.undercut exiating retailers. If they *don't* appear, that tells you that gross margins may be good, but that nett margins aren't."

Part of the problem seems to be that parallel imports by retailers are either illegal or otherwise prevented, probably through some perversion of IP law (Remember Lik-Sang in the UK anyone?)

So if the wholesalers are gouging, and if you try to buy from another country you get the law pointed at you.... what is there you can do?

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Adobe (finally) makes it easier to delete Flash cookies

David Hicks

Better Privacy, Adblock Plus and Cookie Monster

Firefox extensions, people should use them. Better Privacy allows control of LSOs, Cookie Monster lets me control normal cookies and ABP lets me control what content my browser loads.

This set allows me to have some confidence that I'm in control of the information being stored and handed out by my computer.

For instance, there's no need for facebook to know when I'm visiting other sites, yet they do because of the facebook buttons you now find everywhere. Solution - facebook content and cookies are blocked outside of the facebook domain.

LSOs are deleted on closing the browser, most sites don't get to place cookies at all and I don't retrieve or run behind-the-scenes javascript from google or doubleclick.

As a result the web is a faster, cleaner experience.

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Archos 43 16GB Android PMP

David Hicks

Sounds great

Now what sort of 3G sigal does it get?

Oh I see, it's not a phone.... doesn't cut it for me then, device convergence is the way to go at that size, IMHO.

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Western Digital My Book Live Nas box

David Hicks

Amazed at the transfer rate

As I have a WD sharespace and it can barely manage half that. They must have finally put a decent processor in the thing, because the sharespace hits the CPU limit when chucking out 24MBps, and that's using ftp. Samba and scp are even worse.

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DARPA working on eyes-in-the-back-of-your-head hat

David Hicks

I could have sworn I've already seen

... glasses with wing mirrors.

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World+Dog says 'no thanks' to 3D TV

David Hicks

Where's the content?

I bought a 3d tv months ago. Besides Monsters vs Aliens that came with the tv (and doesn't work in a PS3), where's the content?

Go into a BluRay shop and you just can't find anything 3D. There are very, very few PS3 games available in 3D. To drive a 3D tv from a PX you need a bang-up-to-date nVidia card and even then it dowsn't work for everything.

People will buy as and when 3d is no extra cost and there is actually something to watch on the damn thing.

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Gifts for the Geeks

David Hicks
WTF?

I'm sorry but ... a USB endoscope?

Holy moley.... why?

Also zero points for guessing what this will be used for in reality.

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SGI forges overclocked servers for Wall Street

David Hicks
Boffin

X86 not the answer perhaps?

Doesn't the Power architecture clock much higher these days?

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Google Maps for Droid phones becomes a LOT better

David Hicks

Sod the roaming charges

Roaming charges or no roaming charges, being able to use a GPS system when you can't get a mobile signal is important for it to be really useful.

Well, important to me because sometimes, just sometimes, I leave the city and end up lost in places with no network.....

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Apple iPad vs... the rest

David Hicks
Thumb Down

Perhaps the smartbook could have worked

If, instead of showing them off at CES and the like for several years in a row, one or two were actually released.

Yes, I know there's the Toshiba AC100 now, but it's too little and too late, they should have been out in '09 when the manufacturers were proudly showing them off.

As for the iPad - is it the only 9-inch tablet so far?

The others seem small by comparison.

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Asus Eee PC 1015PEM

David Hicks
Linux

Agreed

The only netbook I'd be in the market for now would be a revamped 901.

9 (maybe 10) inch, a decent amount of solid state storage, 2+ GB of RAM, nVidia Ion GFX, decent battery life. I can cram linux on afterwards but would prefer not to give money to MS.

Yeah, the 901 was and still is a fantastic machine. I've replaced most of the parts in mine over time so I now have one with 2GB of RAM, 68GB of fast solid state storage and a replacment wireless card and camera so it's now MacOS X compatible :)

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UK Man cops to £500,000 iTunes royalty scam

David Hicks

500,000?

For 6,000 downloads?

83 quid a pop? Good lord.....

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Grand jury meets to decide fate of WikiLeaks founder

David Hicks
WTF?

YES

Of course they're supposed to go and solicit information. Get it any way they can, it's called journalism.

You think investigative journalists just sit and scratch their arses until someone drops all the info they need on their laps?

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David Hicks
Flame

If any of this corruption and dealing is news to you

You were probably inadequately cynical in the first place.

Humanity and its leaders are as corrupt and tribal as ever. You only have to read all the people who attack Assange's character or rant about national security to realise that a lot of folks still worship authority and power structures, and anything that upsets the alpha monkeys upsets them too.

If these people didn't behave like little emperors and didn't classify anything and everything as a matter of course, we wouldn't need wikileaks. But they do, they behave like power-drunk arseholes, using OUR money and OUR mandate, without considering that they should ever be responsible to us.

I hope when Assange does meet his sticky end, ior gets himself disappeared, that more people will wake up and smell the bullshit.

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WikiLeaks.org resurrected in US of A

David Hicks
Flame

That's a mighty convenient assertion

People will die if we reveal the dirty games governments play!

LOL.

It must be hell living in fear like you, constantly wondering which nut-job is going to push the button this week.

The truth is that more open government, more accountable government with less secrets, would have to behave better. Yes, there is a need for secret communication between ambassadors and central government, there's even a good case for espionage. What there's not a good case for is the sealing of anything and everything, for decades. because it might cause someone some embarrassing, or it might reveal that the way our governments run things does not live up to our ethical expectations.

Yes, I'm sorry, I do have a moral code, and anyone getting my vote needs to demonstrate at least a significant overlap with that.

To be able to cast my vote responsibly I need to know what's going on, unless there is an immediate and compelling security reason not to. Most of the stuff released by wikileaks does not meet that criterion.

Or are we just supposed to vote for people on the strength of what they say and how they appear?

Are we to continue to be treated as children by those in power?

And if so, what is democracy but a game used by the empowered way to put down revolution?

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Grey marketing is great - if you're the importer...

David Hicks

It's Lik-Sang again...

It's sickening that companies can source stuff from all over the planet, taking advantage of materials, labour and tax regimes as they see fit, but when someone else notices a business opportunity in a similar vein, they get sued.

Just more proof that the western world is in thrall to big business.

There does seem to be a way around it though - set up a website in the foreign country, but aimed at the UK market. Surely that can't be illegal yet?

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Visa approves wireless payment chip

David Hicks

Ummm...

As far as I know Chip & Pin hasn't been compromised, and I used to write Chip'n'Pin transaction software so I'm fairly well acquainted with the cards and their standards.

The only attacks I've read about are either hilariously impractical or rely on legacy support for the magnetic stripe.

I know, I know, new technology is scary (and I have severe doubts about the wireless system if it really is as quick as it's made out to be) but EMV is pretty secure.

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Mozilla vows Google 'Crankshaft' riposte

David Hicks
Badgers

I still think too much goes on in the browser

Yes, you can do some neat stuff now, but on the other hand javascript leads to massive amounts of bloat, pages that load horrifically slowly as scripts and content are pulled from a huge number of different servers, not to mention new and innovative ways to track people.

I don't use noscript (yet) but javascript loaded in from third party sites is not allowed in my browser.

I miss the days when the web was a dcocument display tech...

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Anonymous attacks PayPal in 'Operation Avenge Assange'

David Hicks
Flame

They have as much right to do this

As the governments of the world have to take my money and kill in my name.

None whatsoever.

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Most coders have sleep problems, need 'hygiene and care'

David Hicks

I wouldn't like to extrapolate from anecdotes

But I 'suffer' from the same. Give me a block of time off work and I turn pretty much nocturnal in only a couple of days.

Not that I actually like it that way, waking up late afternoon with most of the day gone and then staying up all night at the computer when the rest of the world is long asleep, it just seems to be what I gravitate to. I've always had trouble with mornings and get most of my best stuff done when everyone else has gone.

I've worked with others like me, but I've also worked with the opposite - talented coders that are in at 7am every day, bright eyed and bushy tailed. Freaks!

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Maude: Gov contracts 'made my eyes water'

David Hicks

Quite the opposite

The right has always been the home of small government, it's the left that are associated with economic and legal control-freakery.

I don't ever think the damage of the last labour administration will be undone, but anything to get away from the "Nanny knows best" years by making government more transparent and accountable is a good thing.

If the conservatives could shake some of the cow-towing to big business and the pandering to religious interests, they'd be about perfect in my book

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David Hicks
Pirate

I think my honesty and deceny may have run out

After informing them twice.

I'd have been consulting my own lawyer to see what my options were and the likely outcomes at that point.

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Wiseguy ticket scalpers used botnets to outwit Captchas

David Hicks
Flame

Bastards

Arseholes like these are the reason that tickets sell out ten minutes after they go on sale, and then immediately appear on ebay and other sites.

Hanging's too good for 'em.

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