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* Posts by Number6

1216 posts • joined 10 Jun 2009

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Spanish village called 'Kill the Jews' mulls rebranding exercise

Number6
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Only if the place decides to consider changing its name.

Perhaps the Austrian town of Fucking would also consider changing its name to stop amused Brits from stealing their town signs.

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Battle of the Linux clouds! Linode DOUBLES RAM to take on Digital Ocean

Number6
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I have a Linode server, it took me a day or so to set it up as I wanted it last year and it's been up and running ever since. Being able to choose its country of residence is a big plus too, and the bandwidth allowance is much more than I could probably chew up given its normal usage. Making it a VPN endpoint means if I'm out and about with dubious WiFi, I've got a decent secure connection. I can recommend having a VPS simply for that :-)

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Windows 8.1, which you probably haven't upgraded to yet, ALREADY OBSOLETE

Number6
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Re: Confused?

Unless the reporting is completely wrong, this sounds like the best way to tick off your customers I have ever heard.

You mean apart from Windows ME and Vista? (And Windows 8 itself, given how well it's doing in the popularity stakes.)

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Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run

Number6
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We'll know they've really cracked it when they can get it safely down into a launch silo like Thunderbird 3.

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US taxman blows Win XP deadline, must now spend millions on custom support

Number6
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A budget that size means the agency will spend nearly $800 for each desktop it migrates. By way of comparison, the average price of a brand-new PC was just $544.30 in the third quarter of 2013, the most recent period for which IDC has figures available.

Not that unreasonable then, because as well as buying the base machine, it has to be configured for use and probably also needs licence fees to be paid for all the extra proprietary software being added.

Still, MS have performed a small public service here. $30million off the enforcement budget means some people will escape being audited this year.

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It may be ILLEGAL to run Heartbleed health checks – IT lawyer

Number6
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Re: software should be updated to use the new version, 1.0.1g.

Why couldn't they have bumped it to 1.0.2 to make it clearly a new version?

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Number6
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Re: Dodgy website admins

If it turns out that your car, along with others of the same model, have a hidden design fault that causes brake failure then you're probably OK provided you don't know about it until after the event. Once you know it might be a problem, liability is yours if you don't get it fixed pronto.

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Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

Number6
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Re: Why permit the secrecy

The patents are public but the licence deals are commercial secrets. If you know what your competition is paying as a licence fee then you're going to fight to be no worse off when negotiating to licence the same patent. I assume there's a gagging clause in the agreements so we never find out which patents are being asserted, it will take someone with a bit of money to go on a fishing exercise to do enough to encourage MS to talk patents, then reveal which ones rather than sign a gagging clause.

More to the point, how many of those patents really are novel and innovative and how many are the bleeding obvious written in obscure language?

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India's GPS alternative launches second satellite

Number6
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Re: Wrong search term

Why is the EU thing taking so long to get going? Bureaucracy. The satellite doesn't launch until the paperwork weighs more than the launch vehicle.

It's all part of the launch method. Put the satellite on one end of a big see-saw and drop the paperwork on the other end. Obviously it's important to have enough paperwork to provide sufficient launch energy to the satellite.

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USA opposes 'Schengen cloud' Eurocentric routing plan

Number6
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Such as? The whole point of the US objection is that everyone else is planning to use cables that don't pass through the US, so unless they're actually going to blatantly cause mysterious failures in the world's undersea cables, there's not much else they can do. Even ICANN is limited, if they tried to screw the root DNS, the rest of the world has the resources to set up a parallel network. US registrars stop serving DNS lookups, non-US root servers can delegate to non-US servers. It would just encourage people even more to not deal with US internet companies.

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Number6
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Re: @MrT

And it's traveled

Only in the US, proper English allows the double-l.

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Technology is murdering customer service - legally

Number6
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Re: Do I have to talk to someone

I would actually prefer a text chat to a phone too, although I'd prefer some real intelligence on the far side, not the artificial stuff. It has advantages if you need to contact a place while at work too, chat can be a background task whereas a phone call is very much a foreground task. It's also better if the background is a bit noisy, too.

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Time is on their side: NIST's new atomic clock accurate for 300 MEEELLION years

Number6
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Re: Synchronous Power Grids

I remember doing that exercise in the power lab at university (the correct way, bringing the system into sync and then throwing the switch, not the other way). The lecturer told us that in some parts of the world they would just throw the switch and let the grid fight it out even with a big generator, but hopefully in the intervening years there has been more enlightenment.

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Microsoft in 1-year Windows XP survival deal with UK govt

Number6
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To be eligible, though, organizations must have in place plans to migrate off Windows XP.

Is there any sort of secret handshake in there that requires the migration to be to newer version of Windows, or is a planned migration to Linux considered OK?

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Can you tell a man's intelligence simply by looking at him? Yes

Number6
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Re: This is all well and good

Horses have a big "agenda".

Not heard it called that before...

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Number6
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In my experience in urban areas in most of Canada and the USA most women go wandering around smiling. They're not smiling at anyone, they're simply smiling pretty much all the time.

Is that because the make-up has set solid?

Will grab my coat and run...

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Judge rules Baidu political censorship was an editorial right

Number6
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Re: I agree 100%

I have thought it through. Whether I agree with the decision to censor the search results or not, it's supposedly a privately-owned system and there's plenty of alternatives that give different results. I choose to use one that I believe doesn't censor its results and tries to highlight when it's been forced to.

To me it sounds more like a group trying to make a quick buck - it wouldn't surprise me to find that Baidu has no US presence that could be hit up for $16 million anyway, so it's certainly not under the jurisdiction of a US judge.

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Number6
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Re: I agree 100%

Me too. I think his telling argument was the "there are other search engines". If you don't like what one corporation produces, take your business/traffic elsewhere. Imagine the fun you could have suing Fox News or CNN for perceived bias.

Baidu is not officially a government organisation, and the free speech requirements only apply to the state - there is no requirement for me as an individual to allow anyone to use my resources for their own purposes, but I have no right to stop them using their own. A corporation is owned by its shareholders and the decision was made on their behalf[*] that their assets not be used to provide certain search results. That's no different to a media organisation such as Fox or CNN choosing to omit information from a story they cover.

[*] If the shareholders disagree then in theory they can remove the decision-makers and put in replacements.

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Amazon is decompiling our apps in security gaffe hunt, says dev

Number6
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Grep?

If there's anything clearly recognisable as a key ID then they wouldn't need to decompile it, just run grep on it looking for embarrassing strings. I'd say they've done him a favour if he really has put his private key in the app for anyone to find.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

Number6
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Re: mac book air screen

Yeah and I'd rather carry a heavy laptop as it works my biceps and gives me back pain - oh well...

I'd like a machine that is as small and light as my Aspire One netbook but has the screen and CPU grunt (and battery life) of my Dell M4800. I think I'd need the assistance of Dr Who for that though.

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You TWITS! Facebook exec erects billboards shaming texting drivers

Number6
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Re: So you turn off the GPS

only the nav app (not Google) and the constellation checker gets access to it,

At least you hope so. In practice you have no way of guaranteeing that.

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Sick of walking into things while gawping at your iPhone? Apple has a patent app. for that

Number6
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Re: Prior Art

I thought I'd seen the idea before.

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Top UK e-commerce sites fail to protect 'password' password-havers from selves

Number6
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Times have changed. I remember cursing my bank because it wouldn't let me use a password containing digits and insisted on A-Z only. Now I curse the sites that insist on adding punctuation to my alphanumeric passwords. Once upon a time passwords were limited to 8 or 16 characters, depending on the system, too.

At a former employer, I once logged into the system and was informed that it was time to change my password Right Now. It would reject dictionary words, but it was clearly using a very polite directory because it accepted 'bollocks' as a password.

I would also refer people to https://xkcd.com/936/ for comments on password security.

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Amazon wants me to WEAR NAPPIES?! But I'm a 40-something MAN

Number6
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I don't think I've ever used an on-line supplier who's managed to deduce what I might buy based on previous purchase or viewing history. Amazon are particularly screwed because I use them as a reference source to look things up, as in "it's available on Amazon" as an idea that something is available. I might be encouraging someone else to go buy, but not me. The fact that I delete cookies a lot probably doesn't help them either. One day I'll write an app that lets me modify cookies and screw with them even more.

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Target IGNORED hacker alarms as crooks took 40m credit cards – claim

Number6
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Re: Minor correction

If they treat their staff better than Walmart then it's worth paying a bit more, especially if the alternative is to shop at Walmart.

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Number6
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Re: what you get for "outsourcing" something as critical as IT Security.

Given my time in the trenches, I'm not sure an insourced monitoring team would have gotten through any better than the outsourced team.

An insourced team in the same building as the senior people does at least have the ability to go bang on desks in person and look the management in the eye. However,they'd probably be stuck in some other office, and wouldn't have that advantage.

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Not sure if you're STILL running Windows XP? AmIRunningXP.com to the rescue!

Number6
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Re: Sigh

I had the misfortune to use Windows 8 for a week, the highlight of which was to temporarily lend the laptop to someone else whose machine wouldn't drive the projector available for his presentation. I just sat there and smiled knowingly at all the things he tried to do but failed.

Now back to a Win7 machine, which I brought home for the weekend to set up the Linux VM for everything that doesn't insist on Windows. I wish a few more places would port their stuff to Linux, it's chicken and egg at the moment where people stick with Windows because of the software and vendors won't port because they don't see enough people using Linux. If MS insist on continuing with their headlong plunge into the Windows 8 approach, I can see a lot of people would make the switch away from MS if all their favourite programs would run on Linux.

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US govt: You, ICANN. YOU can run the internet. We quit

Number6
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Re: Oh the Humanity!!!

That might be to our benefit. If the system isn't broken then either they argue about snacks or try to do something that will break it.

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Wireless charging standards war could be over 'as soon as 2015'

Number6
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If you build the transmitter coil into the cradle then you get the same effect. It doesn't have to be a flat pad. It does mean it's not built in though, given the varied size of phones, so you still end up with the cradle plugged into the cigarette lighter socket.

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UK's CASH POINTS to MISS Windows XP withdrawal date

Number6
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Secure OS

I think they should go back to the text-mode OS/2 machines. Very reliable and modern hackers probably haven't even heard of it. It would probably work really well on hardware capable of running XP, too, just like installing Linux on an older laptop.

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Number6
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Re: Maybe it's the wannbe lawer in me but....

Well, if you find a client who wants to pursue that line, make sure he pays up-front by the hour.

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Number6
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Re: WTF is a USB "encrypted slot"??

What it needs is to be mounted at 90 degrees

OK, now you're imagining things.

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Police pen shortage threatens Irish public order

Number6
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Re: Re. Saves the pen issue straight away!

I thought the custody suit was the outfit with the arrows on it.

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Why can’t I walk past Maplin without buying stuff I don’t need?

Number6
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Feeling Old

I remember going to the Maplin shop when they only had one, in Southend. We were visiting relatives in the area and I persuaded my father to make a side trip.

They've gone well downhill from those days, now it's mostly overpriced tat and the component business is almost a sideline at the back of the store. Also, back in the day, the likes of RS and Farnell didn't deal with individuals, whereas now they will. I remember the local electronics shop in Bath would order stuff from RS for people.

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Number6
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Re: If you think Maplins is bad ...

I was in there this morning. They've been rearranging the local one, so the big signs hanging from the roof aren't necessarily above the items you'd expect. Still, it's a good excuse to wander round even more. Some of them are themed, too, the San Jose one and the Palo Alto ones spring to mind here.

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Squidge-droids maker updates iRobot for SUCK, SCRUB action

Number6
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I don't know how available they are in the UK (Amazon.co.uk has them, so probably) but the Neato robot vacs score better than the Roombas in most reviews. They've got a laser scanner that maps their surroundings and run back and forth in an efficient pattern compared to the random walk of other robot vacs.

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How a Facebook post by blabbermouth daughter cost her parents $80,000

Number6
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Re: Something doesn't add up here...

I really don't understand how your judicial system can have gone so wrong. You have courts which can remove the right to freedom of speech, and the right to a private life. You have law enforcement agencies which can actively instruct officers of other law enforcement agencies to break your own laws. You have laws which allow the words of your police officers to become legally binding orders which citizens must obey under threat of physical force, and imprisonment. Where the fuck is the land of the free?

Sadly the UK is not much better. If you're in a public place the police can order you to obey them under threat of arrest. If social services decide they don't like you then your right to privacy is very limited, and then you're banned from talking about issues.

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Number6
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Re: Something doesn't add up here...

A decent lawyer should have got that "breach of terms" claim thrown out easily. Giving the guy an $80k settlement on the grounds he tell *no one* is impractical at best and would have required the entire immediate family sign the non-disclosure at worst.

The IRS would have to sign too, they tend to want to know about large sums of money because they want their share of it.

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RSA booked TV's Stephen Colbert to give the final speech. This is what happened next

Number6
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A Classic

Well done Stephen Colbert. Just like the court jesters of old, who'd use humour as a sort of code to tell the King what his subjects were thinking. I wonder if we'll ever get a Youtube video of the whole thing?

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Apple beats off troll in German patent fracas

Number6
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Re: "Not that a two-billion bite would have damaged Apple all that much"

I suspect that as it was a European court and a European patent, a win in Germany would have asked for EU-wide damages, or at least helped them claim damages in other EU countries on the strength of the German verdict.

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Number6
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"We are more than astonished by the dismissal especially because this court, just like other courts in Germany and the UK, found a myriad of infringements of the 100A patent,"

Translation: "Damn, didn't see that coming, we were sure we were going to win. Clearly the court is wrong because it didn't agree with us"

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Facebook cans Windows and Firefox Messenger apps

Number6
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Don't let the door catch you on the way out...

Nothing like a bit of notice for those who were using it. Or is it like an insurance company, sending the renewal through almost too late for you to shop around and find something cheaper? Trying to push people onto WhatsApp, perhaps?

Not that I ever used their messenger stuff, there's a limit to the number it's sensible to use and I never saw a latecomer like that as worth it on computers.

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UK spies on MILLIONS of Yahoo! webcams, ogles sex vids - report

Number6
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Re: @Graham Marsden

Enough people are starting to question all of this activity. I guess it's a form of revenge if everyone starts declaring GCHQ people to be a pervs based on bits of news like this.

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DARPA wants help to counter counterfeits

Number6
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Been through this recently, some counterfeit diodes. An x-ray shows they look quite different inside to a real one, almost like they put a lower-current (smaller, cheaper) die in the bigger package.

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UK citizens to Microsoft: Oi. We WANT ODF as our doc standard

Number6
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Re: Very long term @Number6

I wasn't thinking of deleting the originals, merely providing versions in the latest standards. Keeping the original work, and a means of reading them, is important in case of conflict. Very few people read the original Magna Carta, but the text is available in different formats for everyone to view.

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Number6
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Re: Very long term

Technically you don't need the format to endure that long. What you need is a set of standards that are robust enough that one can run an update program on your current set of documents that will convert them reliably into something reflecting the new standard and maintain the same appearance and formatting and be able to trust that it's done so without needing to visually inspect every document.

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Number6
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Data Format, not Applications

There's nothing to stop the government using MS Office to generate the documents, assuming it's capable of producing ODF files that conform to the spec (i.e. MS wrote their plug-in correctly).

All that is being consulted on here is the format to use, not the applications.

In practice, however, once they've specified the open file format, it's not that great a leap to shift to the cheapest (including support costs) option for generating those files, and I guess this is what MS is afraid of. There are costs involved with using Libre/Open/Star Office, but there's likely to be competition for providing that support which should help control costs. If a large user such as the UK government shifts over, expect others to also take the plunge, providing a bigger market for support organisations.

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Facebook pays $19bn for WhatsApp. Yep. $45 for YOUR phone book

Number6
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Re: The cost per user just went up...

I'd also like to thank Facebook for freeing up a few precious MB on my phone by their actions.

I'd like to free up a few more by removing the pre-installed FB app from my phone but that's not quite so trivial. I haven't given it any data even though I keep finding that it's running and force-kill it, so who knows what information it's already uploaded on the offchance that it can use it? (Interesting question, given that I never gave permission, so I would hope the anwer is 'none'.)

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Curiosity now going BACKWARDS

Number6
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Perhaps there has been cumulative damage to the front suspension over time and it's less able to absorb shocks compared to that at the back.

It needs to make a call to the AAA (Alien Automobile Association) to see if they can come fix it.

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Reg HPC man relives 0-day rootkit GROUNDHOG DAY

Number6
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Re: err...

If it's something with admin rights then the only way to protect against it is to have an off-line backup that it can't touch.

Perhaps with the large disks available now, we need to go back to the VMS approach of versioning files, so that if I change a file, it keeps a copy of the previous one until I explicitly purge it. If that's built in to the file system then it makes it harder for someone to scramble all the files because it would only create new copies, the old ones would still be there. Provided there are several hoops to jump through to do the purge, it would be hard for the trojan to remove old copies.

As a side benefit, you could have an external audit device attached to which the filesystem would write a log entry time it changed a file so you'd be able to track back and see what changed. Being a write-only device from the perspective of the main system, and not being attached to the network in any other way, it would be helpful in forensic analysis if something bad did turn up. Obviously it can be defeated if a trojan can disturb the filesystem drivers, but even then there's a good chance that it would have to do that by overwriting the driver file on disk (which would create a record) and then forcing the system to reload it.

I guess it comes down to how paranoid you are, what performance penalty you'll accept (AV scanners do load Windows machines quite a bit) and how much you're prepared to pay for a bit more security.

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