* Posts by Pirate Dave

674 posts • joined 25 Oct 2008

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Dr. Dobb's Journal sails into the sunset - yet again

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"the last print edition was dated February 2009."

Oh, that explains why it stopped showing up here at the office. I just checked, and yep, that's the last one I have on the shelf. Main story was "Computing in the Clouds". And a pic of some dude named Stephen Beal. The Feb 2009 issue was really, really thin - only goes up to page 48. I've seen thicker sales brochures from Walmart...

Sad, as DDJ used to be fun to read.

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El Reg's mighty rocket spaceplane Vulture 2 arrives in US of A

Pirate Dave

FAA

So what was the problem with the FAA that you alluded to the other day? Is it resolved yet?

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Win Server 2003 custom support: That's NOT going to be fun

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: I think that the following is the key issue here..........

"If you have a 10 year old pc running W2K on a bit of old hardware day in day out, without failing, why replace it and risk it falling over every day, because someone says you need the latest version."

10 year old PC?? Newbie. Mine's at least 12 years old. I swap the fans out every 3-4 years, and swapped the hard disk around 5 years ago. But Windows 2000 keeps on chugging away as my WINS server. In fact, when I last checked in August, it had been running non-stop for 3 1/2 years. Guess it's time to change the fans again.

I've thought about virtualizing it onto new hardware, or even moving WINS to a 2012 box. And probably will at some point. But shit, how can I beat a server that's been running 24/7 for almost 4 years. That's Netware 3.x territory...

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Microsoft: Hey, don’t forget Visual Basic! Open source and new features coming

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: @AC

You're vaguely pointing to the dark, ugly underbelly of VB back in the 90's. It was SO easy that the Business jocks could suddenly pass themselves off as "Programmers" just by sticking together a few VBXes/OCXes and a Data control. I guess for them it was a step up from Excel macros, but it still made a large contribution to tarnishing the whole "Programming in VisualBASIC" world. It wasn't really "programming", it was sticking together other people's modules with just a smattering of glue logic (that they probably found on someone's GeoCities website).

But there was some decent programming going on in other parts of the VB world. Karl Peterson has(had) a site devoted to a lot of cool stuff that folks had done in VB6 (google "classic VB"). VB as a TOOL was quite adaptable to many things in the hands of a semi-competent hacker.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Gambas

I looked at RealBasic as an alternative to VB.net back in like 2002-2003. It looked useful, but didn't have context-sensitive help, which is bummer when you're trying to remember the parameter order for built-in functions.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Eh...

I agree- VB6 was a Golden Child for MS. Back in the days of VB 3 (when I got on board), the main alternative for doing anything in Windows involved C++ and lots and lots of the Windows API. It took, what, like 15-20 lines of C++ to draw a window using API calls? Where in VB, it was click, drag to size, and there you go.

I've never been much of a C/C++ programmer (having come up in the days when the local colleges taught Pascal under DOS), so VB was the way around having to learn the vagaries and quirks of the Windows API. Luckily, I branched off into SysAdmin-land before that became detrimental to my career. :)

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Eh...

I confess, I still use VB 6 for one-off projects where I want/need a GUI for whatever admin tool it is I'm writing. I looked at VB.net when it came out, but realized it lacked the "elegance" of old-school VB (if such a thing can be said about the older VB). It seemed like a franken-language - kind of like Java or C++ but with a BASIC-esque "front-end". There didn't seem to be much "VisualBASIC" left to it.

And in absolute truth, most of my VB6 projects would probably compile under VB3. I never really got into the "new" OO stuff they came out with in VB 4 and 5. I only use VB6 because it spits out much faster code than VB3.

With PowerShell, I no longer have as much need of VB 6, since I can reduce most admin things to scripts. But every once in a while, I'll need a GUI for something.

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systemd row ends with Debian getting forked

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Problem?

" 'Doesn’t include systemd' is not a real problem.”

No, it's a solution to a solution that was looking for a problem.

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Feds dig up law from 1789 to demand Apple, Google decrypt smartphones, slabs

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"Has Microsoft spoken up about beefing up their handset encryption yet?"

Yes, I think they sent an email about it to all 6 users.

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LIFE, JIM? Comet probot lander found 'ORGANICS' on far-off iceball

Pirate Dave

Re: Secret mode?

I forgot about the IDSPISPOPD code. Yep, that might have been better suited.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Secret mode?

"engineer who built it to unlock a secret extra power setting dubbed "desperation mode."

Let me guess - they had to type in IDDQD ...

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Microsoft adds video offering to Office 365. Oh NOES, you'll need Adobe Flash

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Why Flash?

I wondered the same thing - talk about not eating your own dog food...

Is Netflix still reliant on Silverlight or have they gone to something else?

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NOKIA - Not FINNished yet! BEHOLD the somewhat DULL MYSTERY DEVICE!

Pirate Dave

Re: maps and..

"I don't like being a normal user in the Android system."

Amen to that...

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The NO-NAME vuln: wget mess patched without a fancy brand

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: All these linux-y vulns coming out of the woodwork

Maybe this is fallout from Windows 8. It's such an ugly, unloved mess that even the crackers have quit doodling with it and moved on to cracking Linux.

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Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE

Pirate Dave

"According to Professor John Long at Flinders University"

Just to be sure, that's John Long, not Long John, right???

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FBI boss: We don't want a backdoor, we want the front door to phones

Pirate Dave

Re: What a fuckbag

Fuck yeah!!! Have an upvote.

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Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Wow...

I've been busy the past month or two and haven't had time to keep up with LOHAN, but geez, it sure has grown. CNN, Die Welt, corporate sponsors, and Lester now a TV celebrity? Hard to believe this started with paper straws, pressboard and hot melt glue so many years ago...

Congrats and beers all around (since I know that's where it REALLY started).

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Kmart apologizes to customers after month-long security breach

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Kmart security breached...

Credit card processing hacked. Total number of affected customers may climb into the dozens...

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Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS

Pirate Dave

I thought..

a key requirement to becoming a cheerleader was being able to ride a pair of balls... so what's so new about this?

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Microsoft splurges 2½ INSTAGRAMS buying Minecraft maker Mojang

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"how does all that user generated, user financed and user owned content and architecture continue under Microsoft?"

Embrace

Extend

Extinguish

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Starship Troopers beat Aliens, Robots AND Chuck Norris to WIN in a FIGHT

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Fluff

All the rest is fluff - the real question has been answered - Ninjas beat Pirates.

Damn! :(

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Good luck with Project Wing, Google. This drone moonshot is NEVER going to happen

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Why?

I can maybe understand the self-driving car thing as some Googolian's "personal project" to demonstrate his utter pwnage of the phrase "boffin", but why would Google want a fleet of automated drones flying around? I can understand Amazon's burning wish for such things, but what does Google get out of it? They don't sell much except our search history and the contents of our gmail accounts. Certainly we aren't expected to wait for Google search results to arrive by drone, are we? Or is this how they intend to return search results to diehard users still running IE 6 and Firefox 3.x?

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

Pirate Dave
Pirate

"Microsoft are just somewhat ahead of the curve."

Only if they are marching backwards...

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Felony charges? Harsh! Alleged Anon hackers plead guilty to misdemeanours

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Punishing the wrong people.

Yeah, great idea, because the Sysadmins are the ones who wrote the buggy OS/services/programs, so they should be the first before the judge. Pure genius.

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Insert coin to continue: GameOver ZeuS zombie MUTATES, shuffles back to its feet

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Takedowns

" that botnet takedowns could only deliver a coup de grâce if bot masters were excuted."

There, fixed that for you.

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NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Crusoe

My thoughts exactly.

If you've got your grain of salt handy - the Wikipedia article for Transmeta states that Nvidia had bought a license for some of the IP back in the day. It also says Intel has a perpetual license to ALL Transmeta IP.

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IBM boffins stuff 16 million-neuron chips into binary 'frog' brain

Pirate Dave
Pirate

so

Eventually Dr. Sbaitso could analyze himself? What's he going to do if he says a cuss word to himself? That could get noisy...

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African samba queen: Don't cut off pirates' net connections – cut off their FINGERS

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Pirates?

Here I was, clicking into this story thinking this person had a fix for the real pirate problem - you know, the guys in boats off the coast of Africa who kill, steal, etc. But no, she wants to cut peoples' fingers off for stealing music? That's a bit daft. It's just entertainment, a way to while away the time until death takes us, nothing really real about it. Fix the real pirate problem, then maybe learn to feed your starving masses, then worry about the freetards stealing music.

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Mars rover 2020: Oxygen generation and 6 more amazing experiments

Pirate Dave
Pirate

RIMFAX

"the Radar Imager for Mars' Subsurface Exploration (RIMFAX)"

Which was a replacement for the cancelled "Radar Imager for Mars' Jurassic Observation Box"

But cheers to them anyway. I look forward to seeing the pics.

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Senate introduces USA FREEDOM Act to curb NSA spying excesses

Pirate Dave
Pirate

FREEDOM

F is for Fighting

R is for Red (ancestor's blood, in battles they shed)

E we elect them

E we eject them (in the land of the Free and the home of the brave)

D for your dying

O your overture

M they will cover your grave with manure

This spells out freedom

it means nothing to me

as long as there's a PATRIOT Act

(Apologies to Dave Mustaine)

Repeal the fucking PATRIOT Act, that would be a start. Then we wouldn't need these new laws to curtail the abuses from older laws which had taken away freedoms from our orignal laws. You don't untangle a string by putting more knots in it.

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Facebook: Want to stay in touch? Then it's Messenger or NOTHING

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: The less they care

Don't forget Microsoft in your list of big companies who care less about their users...

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Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Meteor?

I think I saw a documentary about the dinosaur extinction earlier this summer that said the dinos weren't wiped out by an asteroid, but rather were turned into some sort of metal by extra-terrestrials. We are apparently using that metal now to build mechanical devices and shape-shifting robots. It's all very scientific and high-tech. The documentary was horribly filmed, the narration was awful, and the re-enactments were second rate, but overall, it did provide a glimpse into the death of the dinosaurs. And it seems that one of the shape-shifting robots has been sent on a deep-space mission to find the "creators". Not sure what that's all about, but there you go.

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PayPal post-checkout cash slurp a FEATURE not a BUG

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Paypal's business model is crookery

PayPal wasn't so bad back when eBay would let sellers request/accept money orders or checks from buyers. Back then, you could totally avoid the shitpit that was PayPal. But now they are pretty much the only method that eBay will let us occasional sellers use. And they still suck.

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Nadella: Yes I can put 2 THINGS FIRST. I will say them at the same time – CLOUDOBILE

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: There should only ever be one thing "first" in business...

...the customer. ???

Maybe MS is way ahead of where we think they are, and they've already made the facebook-jump to their "customers" being the companies buying ads on Bing or selling software on XboxLive. We are the "product". That's what it sounds like from their "cloud first, mobile first" crap.

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July 14, 2015. Tuesday. No more support for Windows Server 2003. Good luck

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: What's the real danger ?

Worms will be my primary worry after support ends. Things that get brought onto the network and work their way through it via bugs in netbios or IIS or whatever else the black hats can think up. All of my Internet-reachable stuff is 2012, but I do still have quite a few 2k3 servers kicking around doing various little things. So I'd say make sure your remaining 2k3 servers are in their own DMZ so the local desktops can't infect them. That's what I'll be doing here. Although hopefully I can chuck all of my 2k3 boxes over the next year or two. Too bad, as I liked the simpler Win2k-ish interface on the 2003 server.

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New research: Flash is DEAD. Yet resistance isn't futile - it's key

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Ah...

too bad, I was hoping "Flash is DEAD" was referring to the product from Adobe...

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BOFH: You can take our lives, but you'll never take OUR MACROS

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Bean counter and Excel

Our head bean counter has been here for about 12 years and I don't know that he has yet created a NEW spreadsheet. It seems that all of his spreadsheets are just new copies of spreadsheets that the prior head bean counters had created. Which makes sense in a way - why should a man who is both a skilled brain surgeon and an obviously God-gifted rocket scientist need to know how to create a spreadsheet? But back to the point, this HBC loves to link spreadsheets. In fact, I think his spreadsheet for this year's financials probably links back to the original spreadsheet from 2002. All by way of the intervening 11 year's worth of spreadsheets, which are all themselves interlinked in a recursive fashion. So he frequently complains that "my PC is slow". Yeah, it's not hard having Excel read 23 different spreadsheets at once or anything. All while the guy has at least 20 different windows opened for things like Internet-radio, email, several Word documents, numerous instances of Explorer and Firefox. And other, unrelated spreadsheets.

Head Bean Counters - definitely make me wish we'd scrap all the desktop PCs and go back to VT100 terminals...

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FCC to spend $2 BEEELLION to install Wi-Fi in US schools

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: ERATE

I feel your pain man. I work at a private college, and we wanted to put in a VOIP system, but our aging fleet of HP 4000 switches from 1999/2000 weren't the ideal basis for that. It took us 5 years of looking around and cost us around $100k to put in new backbone and VOIP switches (VOIP and switches are all Avaya). They are nice though, really fast. But they are expen$ive.

My other thought when I read this article was - well, it's nice to put APs all over campus, but if a school only has a few megabits of connectivity back to the County (or directly out to the Internet), well, who's going to pay for faster access? I would think the pipes that a school has currently are sized for the current traffic requirements. Add WiFi everywhere, and I'd think you'd need bigger pipes and a more costly bandwidth allocation. So yeah, the Gov will splash a few billion one time for the WiFi, but then the schools have to pay the ongoing Internet charges. In metro areas, that's probably not too expensive, but out in the boonies, the local last-mile folks sure do think highly of their fibers...

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Glassholes beware: This guy's got your number

Pirate Dave

I was wondering the same thing. If you know the MAC prefix, just reserve a special pool for them in DHCP and give out leases with bogus gateways and/or DNS. Problem solved.

Although I do like an earlier commentard's suggestion of traffic-shaping them down to 1kbs. Sweet...treat them like we used to treat P2P file sharers...

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New development in 'stadium-sized' FLYING SAUCER orb invasion

Pirate Dave

Re: Hope it all...

"orb envy" ? What's the Navajo word for that?

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US broadband providers holding last-mile traffic ransom, ISP alleges

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: I'm confused

Yeah, that makes sense. But still it seems a bit like Level 3 is trying to overstep their bounds by (almost) naming-and-shaming. I mean, if they were in a court case or something, and this came out as part of their testimony, I could understand. But to just volunteer the info out of the blue as a way to nudge the ISPs into buying fatter pipes, eh, that seems a bit much.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

I'm confused

Why would a transit provider give a shit if the consumer-facing ISP is giving the consumers shitty service in the last mile? That's the ISP's problem, right?

Or am I missing something?

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Google's self-driving car breakthrough: Stop sign no longer a problem

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Am I really the first...

to ask if Google's robot-car CPU is built on a foundation of the Three Laws of Robotics? I mean, I don't imagine it has a real Positronic brain, since that might be too high-tech even for Google, but still, the Three Laws would be a good starting point for any self-driving car, no?

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DeSENSORtised: Why the 'Internet of Things' will FAIL without IPv6

Pirate Dave

Re: Maybe what the world needs

>"something that has been looming for the last 20 years.."

And that's the point of my earlier posts - in 20 years of this looming issue the only answer we've gotten from "those who know" is a solution that is horrible overkill for the problem at hand (and seems to be used and evangelized primarily by those with a bit too much zeal for said solution). Christ, even Microsoft eventually admitted Vista was a miss and a step too far.

As long as we admins have the option to not use it, a lot of us will choose that option in the vain hope that someone from the "those who know" pool will come up with a better solution. Or we retire. Or IPX comes back from the dead. Either is an acceptable alternative. If Google, Facebook, YouTube, Amazon, Ebay, et a,l switch to IPv6 overnight, then yes, we admins will follow along the next morning, grumbling in our beards, and life will go on.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Maybe what the world needs

>You are free to suggest a protocol that is better than IPv6

I think I did just that a few posts ago.

"They" would be my upstream ISPs and the Internet in general.

I hate to inform you of this, but I specifically disable IPv6 on all of my machines.

Now I will give you that perhaps my "extra octet" idea isn't very good, since 5-byte words aren't very common to CPUs or compilers and would require quite a bit of extra processing (compared to IPv4) to accommodate that extra byte. Would it be worse than IPv6 for performance? I don't know, but I doubt it. I would think it would be slightly worse than IPv4.

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Pirate Dave

Re: Maybe what the world needs

"Unless you are configuring a router or a DNS or DHCP server, you should never even *see* an IP address, let alone have to type one in or remember it."

I'm a Network Admin. Seeing, typing, remembering, and assigning IP addresses is my job.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Re: Maybe what the world needs

Considering how slow the adoption of IPv6 has been, I'd say all hope really is lost. Looking that those figures for IPv6 traffic, it's apparent nobody much wants this overly complicated protocol, and until they shove it down our throats with absolutely no alternative available, a lot of us won't use it. There's no benefit, only a lot of pain.

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Pirate Dave
Pirate

Maybe what the world needs

is IPv4.1. Add an octet to the current 4-octet IP4 addresss and work from there. That would give us 253 more Internets or thereabouts. But would still be comprehensible by those of us who aren't Mensa members. Let the IETF figure out how to map/divide/segment the new Hypernet(tm), then let the software and hardware folks start tweaking their stacks to make use of it. One extra byte would require lots of work to implement, which would be good for keeping folks busy for a few years.

And here's the first suggestion: 1.x.x.x.x would map to the current IPv4 address range.

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LOHAN's Punch and Judy show: The big fat round-up

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Why Baconur?

Why did you guys decide to do the test flights in Britain (where there seems to be lots of houses and fields and people and property lines) instead of Spain (where there seems to be lots of empty, uninhabited land)?

Top work though.

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UFO, cosmic ray or flasher? NASA rules on Curiosity curiosity

Pirate Dave
Pirate

Too bad

we can't suggest to the CIA/NSA that there are terrorists on Mars. It might give them something to do besides spy on us earthlings. They've obviously got a surplus of manpower and high-end hardware at their disposal...

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