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* Posts by skelband

1670 posts • joined 18 Aug 2008

Snowden-inspired crypto-email service Lavaboom launches

skelband
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Re: Thanks for the beer

> Unfortunately not. You missed the discrepancy between the statement "we don't know where our servers are" and "we will render our hard disks useless".

That would be the joke sailing over your head. Didn't think I needed the icon.

Any road up, just because Lavaboom don't know where the servers are doesn't mean that nobody knows where the servers are. Clearly, someone must know where they are, else who built and installed them?

They are clearly setting up a plausible deniabilty scenario. Sticking a few sticks of semtex under the machines could have been a build option.

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skelband
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Re: You lost me at

> Boom

That would be the backup plan. :D

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skelband
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Re: Thanks for the beer

> Hi Bill,

> Can you elaborate on those two comments?

It almost certainly is some kind of self-destruct. Probably semtex under the servers with remote activation.

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Feast your PUNY eyes on highest resolution phone display EVER

skelband
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Stop

> The pressure is always on handset manufacturers to make phones thinner

Is it? I've yet to find anyone that gives a sh*t.

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Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray

skelband
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> 96kHz

96kHz may be well beyond what we can hear, but the sampling frequency must be at least twice the frequency that you wish to faithfully reproduce, according to our dear friend Mr Nyquist.

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NSA denies it knew about and USED Heartbleed encryption flaw for TWO YEARS

skelband
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> It is far from obvious why one source should be considered more credible than the other.

Except that at least one of them has form for very publicly telling outright lies to congress.

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skelband
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> Pretty sure opens source code review is not high on the list of things they are getting paid for.

Since one of their primary mandates is the security and defense of American interests, and knowing full well that they have enormous Internet-related expertise and resources, I would be shocked to discover that the most widely used security protocol library used by pretty much all US websites had not been pored over with a fine tooth comb for just this kind of thing, even if it is to find something that they could use themselves.

It's not like the resources to do that kind of thing wouldn't even be on the cost radar for an organisation like the NSA.

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skelband
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Big Brother

> ...what are they getting so much money for?

To spy for their corporate pay masters of course.

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Cheat Win XP DEATH: Little-known tool to save you from the XPocalypse

skelband
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Re: not to diss open source software

> Oh I've noticed the opposite. I used VMWare from the start, and I hate Oracle... but V-box performance cleaned the floor with VMware. (£0 was just a bonus)

Same here. I guess your mileage depends on what the VM is doing and what the hardware is.

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Apple eyes virtual reality goggle game with patent filing

skelband
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WTF?

So, erm, what exactly is novel here?

Virtual Reality goggles are hardly a new idea.

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Gay marriage foes outraged at Mozilla CEO flap, call for boycott

skelband
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Re: No win.

> And if somebody next would like to marry his or her cat, dog or horse? Why not?

Well if the cat, dog or horse can consent, then why not indeed? Good luck with that.

It's not all *that* long ago when certain induhviduals in the US though that there was very little difference between bestiality and mixed couples.

If, in the near future, we are visited by aliens, we'll be having exactly the same conversation about "mixed" marriages then no doubt :D

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skelband
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Re: Freedom of speech goes both ways here

> Unfortunately there is more than one country where the official view is somewhere between Medieval and Victorian as far as attitudes towards sex and intimate relationships go.

Unfortunately, I fear you may be right.

Like cigarettes, we have exported our despicable Christian religious ideas to the continent of Africa where people are more afraid of what God will think about them using condoms than catching Aids.

Oh and uptightness about sexual matters are a fundamentally Christian idea to do with shame about our bodies and original sin. We could do with losing that particular religious stupidity while we're at it.

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skelband
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Re: Freedom of speech goes both ways here

> I thought he was just against gay marriage? Does "marriage" count as a "human right" now?

Where did I use the term human right?

As far as I'm concerned all things should be possible to all people, unless that action impinges on the exercise of the freedoms of other people. That's the very definition of a free country.

This man thinks that some freedoms enjoyed by one section of the community should be off limits to another and that that restriction should be embodied in law. Fair enough so far...it's a free country with freedom of speech. However, he didn't leave it at that. He performed a positive act to further those aims to enforce his "belief" on others.

We've had other people in the past who sought to impose their "beliefs" on others:

1) That black people should sit at the back of the bus or stand if a white person wants to sit.

2) That atheists should be hounded out of the community, because they are the spawn of satan.

3) That evolution shouldn't be taught in school because the good book says something else.

Thank goodness we only have to worry about gay marriage.

But I think that still qualifies him as a twat.

But that's just my opinion.

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skelband
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Re: Freedom of speech goes both ways here

> He can say what he wants, and so can his employees, customers and shareholders.

Indeed, and nobody has said that he can't continue to retain his bigotted, 19th century beliefs.

All I know is that I wouldn't want to work with him.

I realise that a lot of these beliefs are fairly commonplace in the good ol' US of A and pretty unremarkable. In the rest of the world, we kinda got past all that years ago.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

skelband
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Headmaster

Re: sigh

> "Could care less" or "couldn't care less"?

> Both are correct. One is a common expression, the other is grammatically correct. Take your pick.

Both are grammatically correct.

However, only one of them makes sense in the context in which they are generally used.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

skelband
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> “You folks work this out among yourselves, OK?” But considering that the technical knowledge of some of the participants on these sites is starting to rival anything you could hope to get from the companies themselves, the DIY solution may not be all that bad in the end.

It's interesting that one of the points put *against* open/free software is the lack of support.

Against the above reality, is this really a bona fide distinguishing feature these days?

A lot of commercial companies selling propritary software claim to provide support. What they often offer is nothing of the sort.

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

skelband
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Re: So, let me get this right...

> "Systemd sends excessive data to the kernel logging system to the point where it either hangs or crashes, right? So it's a bug in the kernel then. "

No, this is a critical, hyper-privileged system process which works hand-in-hand wth the kernel. A misbehaving user-space process should not adversely affect the kernel, but that is not the case here.

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skelband
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Re: So...

> It should come as no surprise to any decent coder that turning on debugging can cause a data flood.

Well it might surprise you to find that switching on *kernel* debugging also switches on systemd debugging via a dodgy backdoor resulting in a flood of distinctly non-kernel debug messages.

That was essentially the problem at hand.

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skelband
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Re: Odd timing

> The Open-Source world is full of, shall we say, Differently-courteoused persons. ....

Holy cow that was so funny :D

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Dish and DirecTV deal: Damned if they merge, damned if they don't

skelband
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Mushroom

Re: Dish competitors--

> No, pedantic self absorbed Britons

Erm, that would be the whole English speaking world other than the US then.

> self absorbed

Wow, and that coming from an American I suspect. The irony is breathtaking.

Most Americans don't have a clue that there are any countries other than the US, Canada (those guys that come over the border and buy cheap fuel and TVs from us), Mexico (full of poor people trying to get in to steal all our jobs), Ireland (on with the struggle and thanks for St Paddy's day) and Israel (down with those bastard arabs).

Now I know that the USians have opinions on the English (yes that's right the "English" language) and have at various times tried to correct its many faults by pretty much rewriting the dictionary, but I can tell you that the language is already sufficiently endowed with inconsistencies and strange idiosyncrasies that we don't need people adding any more.

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Meet the man building an AI that mimics our neocortex – and could kill off neural networks

skelband
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Re: "If his bet is wrong, then Hawkins will have wasted his life"

> Personally, I fail to understand how anyone can hope to build an artificial brain without understanding how a real one works.

Indeed, the oft used comparison with the aeroplane is apt here.

We don't build giant birds but we needed to understand the principles of bird flight in order to build aeroplanes and you can only really do this by studying birds.

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skelband
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No mention (that I could see) of Ray Kurzweil.

I read his book "How to create a mind" recently, and one of the main thrusts of his ideas mirrors Hawkins' ideas of time-based analysis/processing.

Kurzweil, if I read him correctly, thinks that memory is essentially sequence based. That memories are time-based sequences, they may well find that they are talking about the same thing.

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No, Minister. You CAN'T de-Kindle your eBooks!

skelband
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> would you expect to be able to translate it into a dead tree version in French for free? I strongly suspect that would be in breach of copyright law.

If it's for your own use then that would be fine. Copyright breach only applies if you try to distribute it to others.

> Interesting stance by some people here expecting to be able to move their purchased ebook from one format to another.

Your ebook reader or computer already does this, multple times.

- It may arrive compressed - uncompressing makes a copy

- It may be converted to an internal format for a generic display module, say GDI in windows

- It is transferred to display memory for display, which is again another copy.

The problem with copyright laws as they pertain to personal use is that in order to use the document, you technically *have* to copy it and probably multiple times. This is where DRM kinda comes in. Copying is not what the publishers are trying to prevent, it is distribution. What copying is and isn't distribution is the crux of the problem. All these strange little laws and exceptions are skirting round the problem without really addressing the technical problems with trying to do it in the first place.

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Returning a laptop to PC World ruined this bloke's credit score. Today the Supreme Court ended his 15-year nightmare

skelband
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Second mistake: taking out a loan.

More and more I am convinced that taking out loans for anything other than a house (which is bad enough) is asking for trouble.

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British trolls to face 'tougher penalties' over online abuse

skelband
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Re: Political Posturing

> For a "crime" that would be perfectly legal if they had stood outside parliament and shouted it?

There is a difference in law between speech aimed at intimidation or offering violence mental or physical. This amounts to nothing less than blackmail which is also against the law in that the referenced case was about threats of violence against people unless they desist in a particular lawful action.

It is difficult walking the line between free speech and what most people would deem a punishable offence. As ever, the obvious cases are obvious, the grey areas are grey and up for debate.

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iOS 8 screencaps leak: Text editor, dictaphone and 'tips' on the way

skelband
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Can I use your dictaphone?

No! Use your finger like everyone else.

The oldies are the best....at least while people remember what dictaphones are at any rate.

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BuzzGasm: 9 Incredible Things You Never Knew About PLIERS!

skelband
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WTF?

Is there a backstory to this that I missed?

Sorry, totally puzzled.

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Academic blames US for tech titans' tax dodge

skelband
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Re: That's capitalism

> the Great Depression had nothing to do with the excesses of capitalism and everything to do with the excesses of Congress. Just like now.

At last, someone with sense!

During a recession, the one doing all the blaming is usually the one at fault.

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skelband
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Re: The money would come home...

> It's called the Laffer curve if anyone wants to do some extra reading.

Indeed: the harder you squeeze, the bigger the leaks.

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Q. Can your Linux PC run Crysis? OK, it can. But will it run natively? A. Soon, very soon

skelband
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>For me that will probably amount to the same thing.

You know, you're probably right.

We have a dual-boot XP just for games that don't work properly in Wine or don't have Linux equivalents so that probably goes for us also.

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skelband
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Linux

This year might not be the year of the Linux desktop, but it is certainly the year of the Linux gaming machine :D

I for one welcome our penguin overlords...

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My work-from-home setup's better than the office. It's GLORIOUS

skelband
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> Without trying to sound funny, every person in every single department in every single business I have ever worked for comes out with the line that "only I need a better PC and everybody else can make do"

Heh, people being people will always try it on.

They still have to justify the upgrade and in many cases it would not be justified.

Most people are not using their machinery to their fullest extent anyway.

However, if a developer is using a 3 year old machine and they're spending a lot of time waiting for builds then there surely is a case for an upgrade if the company values the time of that developer.

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skelband
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> A) Spend the entire budget on one user on a really nice computer

That's a bit of an over-simplification and doesn't apply to a lot of business situations.

If you are a company that has a sea of desktops all running web-based applications, then you generally run them into the ground because it's not worth upgrading them until you have to.

But if you're a software house and upgrading a developer's PC or a build machine saves even a couple of hours a week of developer's time, the value of that saved time is often *much* more than the cost of the upgrade.

The problem is often one of saving pennies at the expense of pounds and makes no sense at all.

The cost of a machine upgrade for a developer is a one-off expense that you would expect to make perhaps once every 2 or 3 years. 1 hour per week (which could be quite a conservative estimate in my experience) saved over 2 years is more than a 100 hours of developer time. It's the saving that just keeps on giving.

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skelband
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As others have said, pinching the pennies on computing equipment, especially for developers is a false economy and is a tiny cost in the grand scheme of things.

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CIA hacked Senate PCs to delete torture reports. And Senator Feinstein is outraged

skelband
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Re: Blimey.

> Seems unlikely that we'll see some CIA bods prosecuted for Treason, so my money is on no one taking the rap and no significant change taking place...

Someone should be going to jail for a long time for this.

But I think you're right. The law only apply to us plebs. Our overlords play by different rules.

Isn't this kind of thing what the writers of the US constitution had in mind?

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Vodafone Germany looks to provide end-to-end encryption with SIM signatures

skelband
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Re: The service will not be offered to individual subscribers

> Why? Is my privacy worth less?

I have to admit that bit did puzzle me.

Why would they make the distinction?

If it's a service that people want and they can offer it at a price that people will pay, why on earth wouldn't they do it?

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Bugger the jetpack, where's my 21st-century Psion?

skelband
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Re: It's actually quite a tricky spec.

> I go the impression that EPOC's "publish and subscribe" model was a big contributor to battery life.

I dare say you're right.

EPOC was very much the event-driven OS.

I programmed for the Series 3a and the HC, and the rugged variant "Workabout".

The really cool feature (for HC and Workabout) was the changeable end-caps which gave you serial and parallel ports and various other 3rd-party hardware interface goodies. The interface spec was a published standard along with the driver interface so it was fairly straightforward to program for, and yet again the event driven architecture.

EPOC had the "feel" of a well-designed and thought-out implementation which I guess in large part spawned Symbian in the same vein.

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Does Apple's iOS 7 make you physically SICK? Try swallowing version 7.1

skelband
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Trollface

> Siri also has added what Apple describes as "new, more natural sounding" voices, both male and female, in Mandarin Chinese, UK and Australian English, and Japanese.

Confirms what I always suspected, American is not very "natural sounding".

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Fee fie Firefox: Mozilla's lawyers probe Dell over browser install charge

skelband
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Re: Mozillidiots

> In exactly the same way Coca-Cola can't insist that shopkeepers selling their product have to paint the walls blue.

Why not? Other than requiring something that is outrageously unreasonable or illegal, a supplier can make whatever demands they wish for the use of their trademark.

You state the above as though it were extremely outrageous, but consider the conditions that Apple might dictate regarding the environment in which their equipment is displayed, the marketing materials, colour scheming etc.

Trademarks are in essence all about branding and reputation and Mozilla have just as much right to dictate the way on which their trademarks are used by others.

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Boston court confirms Peeping Tom's right to upskirt

skelband
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> Now, getting close, taking out the camera and flashing her butt at point blank... that's a no-no. It's all about common sense and respect.

I totally agree. However, this is not an edge case. As in the article, the guy was plain and simply either a jerk or a sociopath and can't tell the difference between what is obviously OK and what is obviously not.

My comment is rather about what is less obvious and is probably at the root of most adolescents' (and many adults if I was honest) fears about approaching women or men that they are attracted to.

Other than the embarrassment of a rebuff, will they be accused of inappropriate behaviour for the approach even if it is sensible and purely conversational?

What is commonsense to some is not necessarily the same to others.

I just worry about overly broad legislation interfering with the normal run-of-the mill encounters between people trying to navigate the myriad conventions, customs and uncertainties of how people relate to each other in sexual matters.

Really all the legislature can do in the specific case of the article is deal with the problem of people snapping under women's skirts, specifically. Although this kind of reactionary legislation is difficult, I don't see a better way.

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skelband
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The situation regarding looking and exposure in society is incredibly complex.

In this case, I think most people can agree that the guy was deliberately being a dick.

Lots of other cases are rather more grey.

If a woman wears a short skirt, is she inviting attention or does it just make her feel good, or does that good feeling stem from an evolutionary urge to have men pay attention to her?

If the attention isn't overtly "jerky", does paying attention to a strange woman make you a creep merely because the attention is not reciprocated, and not a creep because it is?

Clearly context is important as well. Someone wearing swim wear (men and women) at the swimming pool probably have an expectation to not be ogled at. However, at the beach, perhaps the situation is different. How does one tell if a man or woman is actively looking for attention or just wants to be left alone?

It's really difficult to legislate in this area. Since we are sexual creatures and we all do on occasion crave sexual attention, we should be aware that despite the fact that we would all love to be left alone when we want and have attention paid to us when we want, mixed signals can and do lead us into all sorts of uncomfortable situations where we misinterpret the signs.

I would be very wary about drafting overly broad legislation in this area. The best you can do is cope with the obvious cases and let us all learn from experience for the grey areas.

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skelband
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Facepalm

Re: Too vague a law to be useful.

> The trouble is that you dont understand US State Law.

The trouble is, you don't understand humour.

> This an intern level mistake.

For AC above who evidently thought I was being serious (really?), erm, no it was a joke.

I thought the sarcasm would have been obvious, but I was evidently mistaken.

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skelband
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They need a new law:

"It is hereby illegal to be a jerk."

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Women! You too can be 'cool' and 'fun' if you work in tech!

skelband
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WTF?

> after a study claimed that the lack of women in ICT roles was costing the European Union billions of euros.

When I read this I thought they were trying to say that more women in IT would result in lower wages.

At least I *hope* that's not what they're saying.

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Dell charges £16 TO INSTALL FIREFOX on PCs – Mozilla is miffed

skelband
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Facepalm

Re: ...and?

> Wow, a company charges to do things

As stated by others above, the provisioning service is totally automated. There is NO HUMAN INVOLVED...

<sob>

...<slits wrists>...

Oh God, sorry I can't do this anymore. IQ level of respondents too low....

I can't bear it any longer...

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skelband
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> As a large company if you are going to offer an additional option its probably not worth charging much less than £16 for anything.

As others have stated above, you charging money for a manual process is fair enough.

But you can't compare it to a fully automated process that involves no-one at Dell actually installing the software. The installation will be performed by automated provisioning tools. There is no extra effort involved by anyone in installing Firefox on these machines since no actual person is involved.

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skelband
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Re: RE: service charge

> Yes. And I'm sure they install the OS and all of their utilities from scratch as well. Do you not think it's quite likely that they have this automated?

Indeed.

If the commenter thinks that Dell employs people to sit in front of a laptop installing software by hand, then they must be seriously naive.

If Dell have even an ounce of sense, all of this would be automated by tools. I would be surprised if people were involved at all.

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Labour calls for BIG OVERHAUL of UK super-snoop powers in 'new digital world'

skelband
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I actually disagree. I've heard this argument before and it's flawed.

The problem with this kind of logic is that what would otherwise be perfectly legitimate behaviour (looking at pictures) becomes criminalised, withtout even getting into the boundary conditions of the popular traditions of Japanese anime and cartoons of what look to be "children".

The problem that society has is the abuse of children, not the viewing of pictures. Our obsession with pictures makes us think we're doing something noble while doing very little to actually deal with the problem.

By focusing on this, we lose sight of what the real problem is and fail to deal with it.

As we can see in this case, clamping down on paedophiles looking at pictures has made not one jot of difference to the problem of child sexual abuse because it just doesn't get to the gist of the problem at hand.

One reason for this is that is is much harder to detect people looking at pictures than it is to detect child abduction and abuse, despite the enormous amount of money and effort being pored into it.

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skelband
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Mushroom

I really do wish the politicians would stop banging on about paedophiles. I couldn't really give a shit about people that look at pictures as long as they keep their hands to themselves.

All these paedophile soundbites are just a smokescreen for the real problem of the abduction of children and forcing them into sexual slavery.

But then that's a really difficult problem to solve, with much of it being perpetrated in foreign lands.

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Jobless mum claims Spanish councillor told her to 'go on the game'

skelband
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> Furthermore, the party noted, there are currently no municipal jobs available to locals, irrespective of age.

The implication being that they are only hiring non-locals?

Assuming that you're not para-phrasing here, it does seem a strange way of putting it.

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