* Posts by Steve Evans

2437 posts • joined 17 Apr 2007

Oh, Obama's responded to the petition to pardon Snowden. What'll it be?

Steve Evans

I wonder...

Maybe Ed should change his name to Richard Nixon...

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Steve Evans

Re: wtf do you do with all the icons!

... Display them in a carousel, which orbits slightly less frequently than Pluto!

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Steve Evans

Re: Decisions

It's got to be something like that DrXym... Nobody in their right mind would define a DB field as 9 bit unsigned (or 10 bit signed)...

Then again, they might not be in their right mind!

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Dev probes bad proxies, writes white hat checker, black hat DIY guide

Steve Evans

OT: Horrible captcha

He's got a horrible captcha thing on that testing website... It took me several goes to get it correct...

Identifying pictures with bread in them?! when several of the pictures contain items so small they could be biscuits or toast fingers, another could have been doughnuts/donuts or rolls... A different one showing "street signs" which are a highly national style (US I guess) and included some weird signs which might be found on a US street for all I know.

The sooner the xenophobic captcha designers use pictures which are clear, and internationally recognisable, the better.

- May I suggest avoiding man-made items... How about select all the picture of cats, dog, snakes, spiders, fish, mountains, sea, islands, flowers.

- Or very generic man-made items like motor vehicles, boats, trains, planes, rockets.

Or maybe I should make a British version, with "Select all the cars sold in the 1950s" or "Select the Prime ministers" or "Select all the legal currency"

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Ballmer's billion-dollar blunders: When he gambled Microsoft's money and lost

Steve Evans

Re: Hmmm

Nokia was already in trouble even before they were Elop'ed.

They had been caught on the hop when the iPhone arrived, and although the iPhone 1 had some serious failings which a mobilecentric company like Nokia wouldn't have made, Nokia had all the maneuverability of an overloaded oil tanker, giving Apple the opportunity to fix the flaws and release #2 before Nokia could really come up with any answer.

The N97 was a case in point. A knee jerk touch activated symbian phone, which could have been really good (it had battery life which you can only dream of these days), but it was obviously a rush job, and the flaws doomed it to failure. There were some fixes OTA, but with various invisible geographic agencies in charge of update release, you were pretty much screwed unless you knew how to unlock the phone and switch to generic Euro model (which received updates direct from Nokia).

The support forums were full of Nokia moderator employees with an overdeveloped sense of self importance, complaint posts got deleted instead of solutions offered.

I remember spelling out to one of the moderators that treating customers badly was not the way to retain those customers, and that without customers they wouldn't have forum posts, and without forum posts they wouldn't need moderators. In short be nice to the customers or be out of a job.

I got banned for "disrespecting Nokia".

I dumped the N97 and went out and bought an Android phone.

6 months later Elop arrived, and the decimation began.

I laughed.

So Microsoft (a non mobile company) buys a conceited dinosaur of a mobile company, and they fail to make a success of mobile devices... Hardly a shock.

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Steve Evans

Re: Workarounds

I wonder how hard this would be to block at the MMSC end? Although we all know how much networks like to get off their arse and do something useful... They love acting as dumb pipes, but only when it suits them!

Oh well, given I haven't received an MMS in over a year, I just mangled the details in the APN... That should keep things safe... At least until an update arrives, which I expect won't be long on my Nexus.

I fear for the security of OEM devices though.

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OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

Steve Evans

Re: Nice

Lack of NFC is a bit of a budget cut too far, I suspect that NFC is really going to (finally) take of during the life of this phone. Even the iPhone has it now!

Even stranger omission given the original 1+ had NFC.

The other thing I'd miss is fast charging, but then if you aren't used to it, you probably won't.

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Ashley Madison invites red-faced cheats to bolt stable door for free

Steve Evans

Re: Asking nicely always works wonders

Ah, random down vote... Shall I compare these to a summers day?

Well, in good old blighty, you're a hell of a lot more common than a summers day for a start!

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Steve Evans

Re: Asking nicely always works wonders

DMCA.... So you've shut down all the pages in the USA, and those outside of the USA who are bullied by misapplied US law.

I can't see any reason how that could have missed any...

When I have 5 minutes to waste I'll just confirm it's all gone for you...

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Microsoft to spoofed Skype users: Change your account passwords NOW

Steve Evans

Skype security is a joke...

My account is set to only accept incoming chat requests by those on the contact list... It still gets several a month from <female_name><random_number>

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Home Office kept schtum on more than 30 data breaches last year

Steve Evans

Amateurs...

Even after all the taxi cab laptop incidents, unencrypted information is still being allowed to leave the building!

Are there any details on the punishments handed out to the employees concerned? Given the way these leaks were hushed up, sorry, I mean conveniently not mentioned, I would suspect the punishment was very light.

Taking unencrypted information off site and losing it should be gross misconduct. Hell, just taking it off site and not losing it should be gross misconduct.

As for the stuffed shirts who allow this joke of an IT operation to continue, they should be retired.

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Goodbye Vulcan: Blighty's nuclear bomber retires for the last time

Steve Evans

Re: Aiming Error

Whilst the Junta wouldn't have cared about their citizens, and the submarines could have levelled most of the cities without warning, there is a lot to be said for a visible presence as a "message", and a Vulcan bomber turning up on your doorstep is one hell of a visible message!

I still remember seeing a Vulcan at an airshow back when I was a lad, it came low over the car park, setting off every car alarm as it approached and roared over the crowd before pulling up into a near vertical climb... I remember it clear as day, and I think it will remain with me as one of the most "WTF!!!" moments of my life, it cast a shadow over the crowd like the arrival of the independence day mothership and then climbed in a way it no right to do so!

The cars shook, the ground shook, my camera shook and I shook... I was awesome!

TBH they could have sent one down to the Falklands with no bombs and an aux fuel tank in the bay instead and just given the airfield a fly past at 200 feet...

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RAF Eurofighter gets a Battle of Britain makeover

Steve Evans

Re: Five minutes of internets sleuthing..

Thank you Clive!

Needless to say, when you look at the gorgeous original shot, all the "evidence" of photoshop are revealed to be nothing more than Lester over compressing his JPEG...

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Messerschmitts, Sinclairs and a '50s living room: The Bubblecar Museum

Steve Evans

Re: The Peel P50 is back in production.

I wonder if they took any tips from the P45, like a reverse gear?

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El Reg knocks a fiver off 16GB USB stick

Steve Evans

Re: Sorry, too small, too slow.

Interestingly, when I went for a look at the Grixx, their "grixx" account on amazon is selling the 64GB for £14 ish, but no sign of the 128... However, there was a 256GB, which unfortunately had "Not currently available" marked against it...

Not sure quite what is going on there, maybe a new one coming out?

7dayshop had the 128GB listed though.

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Tesla Powerwall: not much cheaper and also a bit wimpier than existing batteries

Steve Evans

Re: Inverter?

The DC to AC inverter technology would be basically the same. The only difference would be the kind of protection the inverter provides for the batteries, aka, how hard it will suck the life from them!

In the case of these Tesla systems, it sounds like the answer is "very gently", which mean only a low capacity inverter is requried, which is actually cheaper (less amps is easier to work with).

Other things they might have done is play about with the supply voltage to the inverter. If the batteries are run in parallel and feed the inverter a higher voltage, it means the current is reduced for a given load. (Watts = V x A), and current is the bit that makes all the inverter bits expensive. Most off-grid solar inverters run from 12v or 24v DC battery stores, which means the current for a 1.5KW kettle on a 24v system (assuming 100% efficiency) is over 60 amps (double that for a 12v system), which is more than the current an entire house uses on 230v mains, so you can imagine the size of the conductor required... and then you have to switch it into an oscillating form and feed it into a step up transformer, so the oscillator needs to be beefy and so does the primary winding of the transformer!

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Stubborn 'won't fix' Google U-turns on Chromecast vid judder twitching-eye blunder

Steve Evans

There's an annoying tendency for US companies to do this...

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Steve Evans

That's not the issue... The problem is a difference between the display frame rate of the TV and the source frame rate.

I don't usually see the issue here in the UK as my sources are usually 30 or 60 fps, and the TV can handle 60 fps.

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'Hiding our wristjobs from Apple stores ain't easy' – iThing retail boss

Steve Evans

Re: "Ma'am, I am so sorry, you are absolutely right." ... he is interning in my office

And yet it's still technically illegal in the UK, as its below minimum wage.

Unfortunately in some industries it was the only way to get a foot in the door with a hope for a real job at the end. So the intern doesn't dare complain, and the company isn't going to grass itself up! You can guess what happens at the end of 99% of the internships can't you?

Yup, out goes one intern, in comes another.

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Google TUGS Nexus 7-INCHER from its online store

Steve Evans

Re: Knew this would happen...

And that's enough to confuse the El Reg headline writer, announcing the withdrawal of the 2013 model from the web shop, whilst the tag line refers to the 2012 model. Maybe they should have used a very accurate screen size for the name... The 2013 is a fraction of an inch bigger... The Nexus 7 1/32th ;o)

BTW, my 2012 N7 suffered at the hands of Lollipop (it's been handed down to other family members), but with the arrival of 5.1, a complete wipe, and only reinstalling things that were actually needed, it's actually become usable again, although still not as fast as it was on kitkat (the crap flash is probably the main issue here). Rather reminded me of Windows 95 (nothing like a fresh reinstall to get things moving again).

My 2013 N7 always had a clean wipe install every few upgrades, so never collected the level of "fluff" the 2012 did. The 2013 hasn't put a foot wrong software wise, although I do have occasional auto rotate fails, which I believe is due to cracks in one of the ribbon cables inside (reseating it fixes it for a few days). I really should just order a replacement cable for £15!

Still more than happy with it. 18 months of daily use, been dropped a few times, sat on dozens of times (glad I bought a case), and everything bar the rotation is still working perfectly. Amazed the battery capacity has held out TBH, it really get some abuse.

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Steve Evans

Knew this would happen...

Keeping the Nexus 7 name between generations has completely confused your minds!

The original, 2012 Nexus 7 and the MkII 2013 Nexus 7 are completely different beasts. Different processor, chipsets, ram, screen, case, in fact the only thing they had in common is the name.

The 2012 Nexus 7 has been out of production for years. This is the model with the tigra chipset and the slow flash issues reported by many, especially with the 5.0 release of Lollipop.

The 2013 Nexus 7 is the one which has just disappeared from the store. This newer model runs Lollipop like a rocket.

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Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

Steve Evans

Depends on the source of the magnetic field... If the field is generated by a constant DC source, the field will not vary and you will have to move something to induce the current in the secondary winding.

If the primary is fed by an alternating source, the field is continually forming and collapsing, and movement is not required.

That's why transformers don't work on DC, and why electro magnets don't work very well on AC (they keep dropping things 100 times a second as the phase changes and passes 0v).

So rest assured, RFID readers have an oscillator feeding the coil a nice wobbly current, and the magnetic field will be oscillating along with it.

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KABOOM! Billionaire fingers dud valve in ROCKET WIBBLE PRANG BLAST

Steve Evans

Re: hes got money and he is going to spend it

Whilst "hitting" land is a much bigger target, you still require near zero vertical and horizontal speed at touchdown. Without near zero horizontal, the moment the base touches the ground and gains zero horizontal, it'll tip over...

... Unless you mount shopping trolley wheels on the base of the fins...

Hmmm....

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You dirty RAT! Hong Kong protesters infected by iOS, Android spyware

Steve Evans

@ProperDave

I'm so glad I'm not the only one!

Even when I transfer to new devices, I use APKsend to retain the old "none invasive" version of several apps... Although when it came to Facebook, and their habit of "forcing" you to update the mobile app, I ditched it completely and just use m.facebook.com instead... I suspect that might be a bit longer lived given it's the access method for feature phones... How long it'll be before I have to hide the fact my phone is a fire-breathing smart phone from the user-agent string is unknown.

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Europe could be drowned in 'worthless pop culture' thanks to EU copyright plans

Steve Evans

Re: "People speak different languages, the group reminded Kommissar Ansip"

"They'll probably insist on making it the form of English we speak on the left side of the Atlantic so as not to show favoritism."

Not a problem. Thanks to TV imports, most native Brits can handle US English without any issue, and at the same time switch into "British" slang to be completely incomprehensible to you yanks when we want to be ;-)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PgPH0tYXJrA

As for your "spelling", that's even easier... Just switch the browser or word processor's region to US, and it'll auto correct English into a 'merkin.

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Steve Evans

Re: "People speak different languages, the group reminded Kommissar Ansip"

The problem with Esperanto is it has genders for tables and chairs... So the English and Hungarians immediately look at it as "stupid". The genders won't match Spanish and Italian (because even Spanish and Italian can't agree!), so that will get confusing too.

It's not French, so the French won't touch it.

To be honest, picking anything except English for a boundary crushing language across Europe would be insane. Half of the world speaks it either as a first or second language, and most of Europe already have more than a passing familiarity with it. The Scandinavians and Dutch speak English better than half of the UK, the Germans aren't far behind, and a recent trip to Italy had the phrase book collecting dust as almost everyone we spoke to apologised for their English, and then proceeded to converse without issue! Even waitresses spoke such good English we were able to have proper conversations and have a laugh and joke. Maybe the older generation were a little less fluent, but the youngsters were superb.

Learning Esperanto would just limit the ability of any non-English speaking person of doing any business outside the Esperanto zone.

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Steve Evans

Re: "People speak different languages, the group reminded Kommissar Ansip"

A mixed hybrid language, made up of every language spoken in Euroland...

Hmmm...

Oh hang on... That's pretty much the definition of English!

Superb (As they say in France, although in this case they probably wouldn't).

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Fancy six months of security nirvana for free? Read on...

Steve Evans

Re: What, like Mac users?

Plenty of nasties about for Macs... My other half continually collects browser hijack and unwanted plugins on her Mac.

Plus of course there are all the nice cross-platform nasties like java/javascript exploits, acrobat, flash, word macros etc etc...

But you're okay... aren't you...

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Ford: Our latest car gizmo will CHOKE OFF your FUEL if you're speeding

Steve Evans

Re: Why does the UK pander dangerous drivers?

Because sometimes the posted speed limits are totally inappropriate.

There's a road near me (an A road) which used to be a 60mph zone... It's now a 40mph with a 30mph in the middle where there are some houses. I don't object to the 30mph with the houses, that's sensible.

They also added pedestrian refuges in the middle too, which narrows the road.

I have driven it almost daily for over 20 years. The accident rate has increased. Why? Because now when you are stuck behind a tractor (or granny, or Mr/Mrs 35mph everywhere, or more usually the local idiot on his horse and no helmet - Yes, there is someone that stupid), you can't pass easily. The road used to be wide enough for 3 abreast (it's almost straight), now thanks to the pedestrian refuges, it's not, so you either have to be very quick, or time it so you go right over to the far side of the road, the wrong side of the traffic islands.

Oh, but at least the pedestrians are safe... Yes, hundreds of them... All crossing the road... I've never seen a single one... BECAUSE THERE IS ONLY A PAVEMENT ON ONE SIDE OF THE ROAD!!!! (The other side is just a grass verge and fields).

I can't help but think a councilor has a house down there...

That is why people ignore speed limits... Because often they just don't make any sense... A bit like the "fog" warning signs on motorways when you can see several miles, and have barely even seen mist in months.

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Steve Evans

Ah the joys of "letter of the law" enforcement...

It seems to be the solution to everything... The fact that someone driving past a school at 3am in the dry doing 35mph is far less dangerous to anyone and everyone than someone driving past the same school at 29mph in pouring rain at school kick-out time (yes, I know, the chances of being able to do anything more than 5mph getting past all the parked 4x4 is slim at best!).

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BT gently returns to mobe biz with cheap SIM-only swoop

Steve Evans

Re: Do the BT plans allow tethering?

Given it's a limited data allowance, common sense would say "why would they care how it is used"...

...Except we all know common sense has gone out of the window when it comes to data tethering.

With any luck they'll rely on the SIM "tethering not allowed" flag, which is just a quick hack to bypass on a rooted Android.

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BT Home Hub SIP backdoor blunder blamed for VoIP fraud

Steve Evans

Re: A few at fault here

2) I've seen plenty of small businesses supplied with the terrible Home Hub 3 (even worse, the type A).

TBH, the VOIP fraud attempt volume is quite staggering. I've recently been playing about with Asterisk, and wanted to test by connecting to it externally, it was flooded with attempted call attempts (lucky that I'm not so new in telephony that I had unrestricted outbound permitted!).

It truly was a staggering volume... It didn't gradually ramp it, it was just there! attempts to dial 9nnnnnnn, 00nnnnnn etc etc... As I said, I didn't have any outbound routing configured, so they didn't go anywhere... But I did decide to have some fun with them by sending back 60 seconds of recorded ring tone... (I know, probably did nothing, but if it held up one if their spider threads for 30 seconds, it's a start!).

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Ten things you always wanted to know about IP Voice

Steve Evans

Re: No SIP app required on modern Android hand sets

Which is why I specified the "standard" google dialler. OEMs have a terrible habit of leaving bits out with their (usually pointless) reskin. I've been a Nexus boy since HTC stuffed me and left me on gingerbread. Never regretted it.

It's the same with the camera apps, very few of them add anything over the standard Android one these days, but quite often skip a few things.

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Steve Evans

No SIP app required on modern Android hand sets

The standard google Dialler can handle SIP perfectly since at least Kitkat. I've got multiple SIP accounts configured.

It takes some finding though...

Open the dialler, Settings (...), Calls, Calling accounts, Internet calling (SIP) accounts.

Here you can opt to have it log in continually and be a true two way (inbound and outbound), which can be a bit heavy on the battery, or just outbound, which will allow you to at least call someone back from your SIP number and appear to be in the office.

You'll want to set the "call with" option in calling accounts to "ask first" to do this.

As for call quality, I'm not sure why the OP says it's substandard... Maybe in the early years it was, but I've been using SIP as a primary business provider for years, and the only issues experienced have been from a LAN switch fault. The more modern codecs far exceed the audio bandwidth of the traditional phone network, so a SIP to SIP where all parties support that codec is going to sound far better.

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Complaints against ISPs and mobe firms are up by a fifth — reports

Steve Evans

Home Hub 3

Until BT stop supplying the known faulty Home Hub (especially the HH3 early, type A, variety), they will continue to get bad publicity.

I personally had a type A which would periodically just stop routing wifi (this at a time when the TV advert said they had the best wifi coverage), initially I added an external AP, and eventually binned the whole thing.

My brother had a type A which simply stopped processing DNS requests.

And a friend has one which seems to have a NAT table capacity of about 4 devices, whenever another device connects, it has a fit, everyone loses internet connection, and eventually it comes back (for a while at least).

In fact I can't think of a single person using a HH3 who hasn't had a problem!

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Google adds evil-code scanning to Play Store

Steve Evans

Re: Google Apps

And why does the facebook app have permission for, well pretty much everything?!

So much so, that since I got Lollipop (and lost Xprivacy) I've only used m.facebook.com to interact with the crowd, I won't have their app anywhere near my phone without a leash!

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BBC: We'll give FREE subpar-Raspberry-Pis to a million Brit schoolkids

Steve Evans

Teaming up for Barclays to promote tech...

Too funny... All the Barclays apps refuse point blank to run on rooted Android devices... So whatever you do, don't become too techie and want to fiddle with your devices.

They seem to spend a huge amount of time and effort to detecting rooted devices, every time a way to hide the fact is discovered, it's quickly squashed by the next release of ping-it et al.

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German music moguls slammed for 'wurst ever DMCA takedown spam'

Steve Evans

Even worse, the one country (Germany) is issuing a DMCA (US law) which may not even apply to the website they are sending it to!

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Zoinks! Is that Mystery Machine Apple's SELF-DRIVING FAMILY WAGON? You decide

Steve Evans

Rented to Apple...

That rather gives away what great manipulators of the media Apple are...

If they *really* wanted to do it in secret, they would have got an Employee's mother to rent it privately... Or maybe just go buy one?!

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Polish chap builds computer into a mouse

Steve Evans

Re: Why induction charging?

Did anyone see any mention of battery size/runtime on that page?

To me that was the glaringly missing detail. Along with the weight of course!

Looks interesting, but I can't help wondering how that HDMI cable is going to stay connected, I didn't see any additional locking mechanism on it.

Could be interesting at the right price, but then again, I could probably build my own... Base of an old mouse for the optical, Odroid-C1 for motherboard (Quad core ARM, LiPo built in), wifi USB dongle and I'd just need to sort out the wireless charging coil on the base and the ability to operate as a mouse to a 2nd system (probably just software) and the job's done.

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What do UK and Iran have in common? Both want to outlaw encrypted apps

Steve Evans

Let them lead by example...

Once I see HM gov and all it's tendrils stop using encryption, I will follow.

(The taxi laptops are not enough proof, sorry)

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Google unveils Windows 8.1 zero-day vuln – complete with exploit code

Steve Evans

Re: Good on them for releasing information about the vulnerability

@A/C that's a bit of an unfair comparison given many of the Androids out there aren't running under google's control of updates... They've already released fixes to bugs in Lollipop, which hasn't been released for 90 days yet, so yes it sounds fair.

If the likes of LG, Samsung, HTC etc, decide to "fork" Android and add their own bits, and control when their users get updates, that's not Google's fault! Cyanogen manage to roll Google's updates into their builds and get them released pretty quick, so why do the huge corporations find it so challenging?

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Steve Evans

Re: Good on them for releasing information about the vulnerability

@H4rm0ny, I'm sure they shared the proof of concept code with MS on the day they filled the report.

The 90 day deadline is to get MS to pull their finger out and fix it... Otherwise you know the paper shufflers would push other shiny things in front of it in the queue.

Having stated a 90 day period, they have to stick to it, or the whole "threat" loses credibility, and any sense of urgency is removed from the next one.

Would they hold it back a bit if MS asked, who knows. Maybe.

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Tesla parades sleek model body and fab batt at Roadster fans

Steve Evans

Do you think they'd mind me burning 100 miles of range running a pair of 15" speakers linked to the throttle position, so it can sound like a dragster instead of a milk float?

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Steve Evans

Now I know the roadster was based on the Lotus chassis, but that photo looks like the new body has been pinched from Norfolk too!

It's an Exige with the engine cooling scoops smoothed over!

(Which isn't exactly a bad thing).

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No, I won't SNORKEL in your server room at STUPID-O'CLOCK

Steve Evans

Was anyone here involved in the tube equipment room cock up?

The one that involved in it being flooded with quick drying concrete earlier this year?

That's gotta be a good story (involving pneumatic drills no doubt!).

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Blind justice: Google lawsuit silences elected state prosecutor

Steve Evans

a-ha!

I knew something wasn't right when the verge posted a pro Google article!

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El Reg Redesign - leave your comment here.

Steve Evans

Re: You guys getting old and NEED BIGGER TYPE?

Oh thank god it wasn't just me... My first reaction was to check I didn't have a zoom of 150% set!

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Steve Evans

Re: ARGGGGGGGGGGGH!

Ooooh, that's a point... I might be able to fix it (on the desktop at least) with some abuse in tampermonkey.

BTW, what's the android mobile app like? Has it got any better? Last time I tried it it didn't last an hour before the bin summoned.

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Sinclair is back with the Spectrum Vega ... just as rubbish as the ZX

Steve Evans

Re: f it's a true clone, it'll start shipping in July at the earliest

"And supply will be severely restricted due to unanticipated excessive demand. The opportunity will be taken by someone selling a clone of the old BBC micro to push a few units."

Why would I need a clone? The original one still works!

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