* Posts by John Halewood

24 posts • joined 8 Apr 2009

Office Online rises from ashes of 'confusing' Office Web Apps

John Halewood
Happy

Exactly

Which is why Donald Knuth created TeX in the first place....

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Headbangers have a gas, gas, gas in mosh pits

John Halewood

Re: "beats exceeding 300 beats per min"

" I'm not a metal fan but that sounds more techno's domain. May well be wrong but that seems quite a bit on the high side."

Depends a lot on what someone calls "beats per minute". Base it on crotchets/8th notes, then a blastbeat on a fast song could hit over 300bpm, but it would only be for a very brief interval. And I don't think that 10^5 people ever managed to form a mosh pit either. That either deserves a Guinness World Record or a Darwin Award - not really sure which....

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Microsoft splashes big bucks to blast Google Apps

John Halewood

Re: Hmmm....

Would a 6000x250 spreadsheet work any better on Office 365 though? Somewhat doubt it.

There's still a place for local processing, even if everyone (MS most definitely included) wants you to go to the cloud, mostly so they can charge subscription fees - does anyone else think that we're sleepwalking back into the mainframe era?

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Israeli activists tell Hawking to yank his Intel chips over Palestine

John Halewood
FAIL

Re: Mr Hawking, you should listen to “Palestinian academics”

Wow, that's nearly asone-sided as claiming that the major UK contribution to WW2 was the fact that we invented concentration camps...

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Serial killer hack threat to gas pipes, traffic lights, power plants

John Halewood

Re: An attacker therefore just has to wait for a valid user to authenticate

One of the sites I work with has it's heating system remotely managed by a third party who are suppoed to check 24/7. The system is accessed via telnet and just requires a password, no username. I can vouch for the fact that they use it regularly as I locked down the firewall to only accept incoming telnet from a single IP address. Their stupid monitoring system is on a dynamic IP.

After about the 5th phone call one of their engineers suggested not locking the port down - hopefully I educated him suitably about what a bad idea it was.

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Magic mystery malware menaces many UK machines - new claim

John Halewood

Fishy

There's an awful lot of gaps in that blog post, perhaps most of all: "For instance, in case the attacker would like to open a browser on the victim’s machine, the malware will popup on the RDP session for the attacker a box with the message: 'TODO:Start browser!'

That indicates thay've already got a copy of the C&C/client code, so they should have pretty well profiled what it's doing, and if they can see the "magic" id at the start of it, tha suggests it's not encrypted.

I'd be interested to see how you can run RDP through a firewall to a target machine on an RFC1918 network, unless they've implemented a reverse telnet equivalent of RDP. If so, please open source it 'cos it would make a lot of my job a lot easier and I wouldn't have to bother with VPNs anymore

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Punters rate Apple, Samsung more highly than ever

John Halewood
Happy

Re: "Are we all becoming fanboys? If you broaden the term...................

Guy I used to work with was a classic example of a (wandering) fanboy, going back well before I'd ever heard of the term. When he first joined (late 90s) he was a complete Sony obsessive. After a few years he turned to Microsoft - even got a faeces coloured Zune imported from the US and a Microsoft SPOT watch. These days he's well confused - loves Apple hardware but still besotted with Microsoft software. If you come across a strange individual with a MacBook running Windows 8, it's probably him...

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Hearts, minds and balls: Microsoft's Windows 8 Surface gamble

John Halewood
WTF?

Re: Not getting either RT or Surface Pro

erm....no-one ever heard of RDP? Use that to connect to the corporate data center (if a business)/your home PC and you've got pretty much anything you need for "real work" on any tablet. Not only that but people like me are happy as your quite possibly malware-infested precious only needs access to a single port on a specific IP address and I can ignore the rest. Also when you leave it in the pub after a heavy lunchtime session you don't need to worry about any lost data apart from the last photo you took accidentally when falling over trying to show someone how good your latest shiny thing was.

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Post-defenestration Microsoft: It's the APIs, stupid. And Metro

John Halewood
WTF?

WP8

Not really sure how you can say "now Microsoft has mobiles running on the NT kernel. That's a great achievement.", when the NT kernel was originally written processor agnostic (MIPS, x86, Alpha, PowerPC). If you look at the hardware spec of the machines it was targeted at originally, all of them are completely dwarfed by today's average mobile phone - first NT machine I installed was a 150MHz Alpha with 64Mb RAM. As it's a microkernel architecture, the "achieveent" was really stripping out all the cruft that had accumulated over the years so that it could run on a phone that has the specs of a PC from about 2000 (ish).

Still, at least that old NT 3.51 install was (supposedly) 64bit, apart from the apps. Funnily enough, it's still the same case over 15 years later.

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Lone config file in Mac OS X SIGNALS DEATH OF THE DVD

John Halewood

The only bonus for optical media

...is that the filesystem (ISO9660) is system-independent. With flash, it tends to get formatted with the filesystem of choice on the originating machine (FAT32/exFAT/ext4/HFS etc.), which can be a pain when transferring across platforms. The Apple based peeps I work with who do multimedia stuff, and use several TBs of data for each project they work on, still send the rushes & finished product to the customer on DVD - at least then they know they can view it, and not just on computers either.

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Apple to kick start 'iTV' production in Q2

John Halewood

Re: old enough to remember....

Doubt that - ATV (aka Alternative TV) was a punk band in the late 70's and I don't remember them getting any hassle.

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John Halewood

Re: old enough to remember....

Doubt that - ATV (aka Alternative TV) was also a punk band in the late 70's - don't remember them getting any hassle from Lew Grade's henchmen.

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Pacific nation prepares to flee rising seas

John Halewood

Re: What's all this then?

In fact, whilst the three main islands have actually increased in size (due to human influence) over the years, another two uninhabited islands have sunk completely. The main issue is the loss of fresh water - as the sea level comes up, more of the land becomes saline (which is what is happening) and growing crops becomes impossible. Once you've run out of fresh water sources whether or not you're swimming with the fishes or just paddling becomes pretty irrelevant.

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Peeking up the skirt of Microsoft's hardy ReFS

John Halewood

Rather confused by the fact that this will come out for the server version of the OS, but is missing features (that they have "chosen" not to include) such as file level encryption and quotas which are exactly the sort of things it would seem to me that you're likely to want in a server rather than a desktop. Maybe they're opening up the market for a bunch of third party products to provide the missing bits?

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Smart meter SSL screw-up exposes punters' TV habits

John Halewood

Actually it's just as likely to reinforce what you're doing as hide it: classic scenario (long since known in the electricity industry), Eastenders/Coro/whatever finishes, a couple of million households put the kettle on (in the same way that lots of dogs in my 'hood seem to get walked by blokes between 19.30-20.00). If you've got a house with several people doing different things at once, then it would be more difficult, but with a big enough sample a statistical analysis will pull an awful lot of trends out. Someone would have to put a lot of effort into it, but it's probably more accurate than the old TV detector vans.

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Microsoft and Samsung uncloak slimmer Surface

John Halewood

So with a 40" screen and 1920x1080 resolution, you get a pixel size of around 4mm. That's going to look really ugly when you're even vaguely close to it, surely?

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Microsoft gives Phone 7 Mango jailbreak its blessing

John Halewood
WTF?

eh?

"Last December, Microsoft blocked unlocked handsets from receiving updates, but said it wouldn't brick them".

So they only brick vanilla phones with their updates then? Sounds like a very good reason to jailbreak...

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Behind Microsoft's $15 Samsung Android royalty claim

John Halewood
WTF?

patents

The patents Microsoft seem to be going after are it's old FAT/VFAT patents (which must be nearly exhausted by now) for any system that's got an SDcard on it (after all, you can't pop them into your PC to transfer stuff otherwise 'cos Windoze won't support ext2/3/4 etc. and who's fault it that?), and such wonderfully stupid stuff as patent 6,370,566 from 2002, "Generating Meeting Requests and Group Scheduling From a Mobile Device." Erm, so M$ owns your calendar on anything "mobile". They also own a lot of other patents on things that are completely obvious and trivial, have been done for years on normal computers but M$ have inserted the word "mobile" into it and got a patent on it (although presumably they changed a few bits to justify the difference, or no-one at the patent office bothered to look).

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Spam volumes show massive drop - but why?

John Halewood

Greylisting

Dunno about reduced spam volumes - on 3 mail servers on a quiet backwater of t'internet (serving about 50 or so domains) I'm still seeing an average of about 1 spam every 5 seconds. Fortunately thanks to greylisting, most of these never get as far as the DATA phase, but it doesn't half decrease the load on the servers (and there's always a couple of legit senders with broken servers who don't understand a 4.x.x "try again later" message).

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Cops raid man whose Wi-Fi was used to download child porn

John Halewood
WTF?

erm?

"About 201 million American households use wireless networks to connect to the internet." Phew, Amerika seems to have got a lot bigger all of a sudden, there was only about 115 mil a couple of years back. Obviously immigration is out of control, or did they take over Europe while we weren't looking?

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BBC might pay for Tory broadband promises

John Halewood
FAIL

eh?

100mbps? That's easy. Even my ancient US Robotics Sportster managed 33Kbps, and that's years old.

Yeah /pedant as always, but one of these days someone will go quoting these figures and then make it real. You can just imagine the Tories going "Yeah! We've delivered 100mbps broadband to the entire country", and then making excuses for you getting about 1 char/sec out of your internet connection.

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Police want new remote hard drive search powers

John Halewood

Remote?

I guess what they actually mean is sending it off to someone else to do the analysis because they haven't got the resources in house to do it. Or they haven't got the money for the duplicate disks that I hope they use (the first thing you ever do in a forensics analysis of a disk is to duplicate it and work on the duplicate - if you don't do that when it comes to court any half decent lawyer will claim the evidence has been tampered with).

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Brutish SSH attacks continue to bear fruit

John Halewood

firewall?

The easiest way to prevent this is surely just to firewall off your sshd port to only allow trusted hosts. OK, PITA if you're using dynamic IP addresses, but that's easily avoided by choosing the right ISP.

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Google taps your IP address for Starbucks targeting

John Halewood
Alert

GeoIP

Trying to use an IP address to get a location is always going to be flaky. The worst I came across was a customer who had an ARIN address despite being in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. GeoIP et al thought they were in Texas. Result - no access to all the BBC UK only sites and a lot of confusion. Thanks for that Global Crossing (although to be fair to them they did get the routing right and didn't send the UK-UK traffic via a transatlantic link, which I've seen before)

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