* Posts by Henry Wertz 1

2163 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Windows 10 now on 75 million devices, says Microsoft

Henry Wertz 1
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How many duplicates?

How many duplicate installs? I'm sure there are plenty of actual installs on real hardware. But check this out...

So, I installed a WIn10 prerelease into a VM, and once RTM shipped I wanted to know if this VM was portable or if activation would screw it up (I have no intention of moving it around, but wanted to know if it'd blow up if I had to replace any hardware, especially after a year when Win7 to WIn10 upgrade would not work). Installed a prelease, later updated to RTM -- activation failed (turns out, after about a 1 day window where upgrades from prelease to RTM worked, one had to go back to Win7/8/8.1 and do an upgrade to Windows 10. Thank goodness for Virtual Machines). So, this counted as an install. Went to a Win7 VM, upgraded it to Win10 (hardware in VirtualBox was slightly different, so this counted as a new install.) Fiddled SLIGHTLY with VM hardware settings, Windows went unactivated, updated again from Win7 (counted as a new install.) Tried moving this from a 2.4ghz Core2Duo to 3.0ghz Core2Duo system to see if the VM was at all portable -- activation failed. I did a Win7->Win10 upgrade on there (counted as a new install.) I discarded this VM, re-installed the VM from the 2.4ghz, but fiddled with VirtualBox's CPUID settings (activation failed, CPUID was different from the 2.4 *and* the 3.0, so counted as a new install.) Fiddled with more VirtualBox CPUID settings (activation failed, but would have counted as ANOTHER new install.) Then, even though Win10 was already activated on the 2.4, I installed a KMS crack on the VM anyway so I wouldn't have to worry about it (I don't think this will phone home and count as any more installs if it's moved around.)

This means their methodology would count my single install of Windows 10 as 6 unique installs. How many people have fiddled with VirtualBox or (god forbid) something like VMWare VMotion where a virtual machine can *automatically* migrate to another computer?

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Silicon Valley gets its first 1Gbps home bro– oh, there's a big catch

Henry Wertz 1
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"Now, about this plan of yours...where is the GOOD part? (And I know I will be downvoted...but honestly, did you think this through?)"

First, your premise is flawed. AT&T are greedy bastards, and already will be making a profit at the lower price, with 0 ads. The ads are just ADDITIONAL profits, not money they are counting on to operate the service. The $29 (or $44, or whatever) fee is just additional money they are charging because they can. If they get no ads served, they will not raise the price. They are charging monopoly pricing for gigabit service, see all these other markets where Google is already there, and AT&T's pricing is magically much lower than it is in Silicon Valley.*

Second, I don't want any ISP (or anyone else) sniffing my traffic; this is greasy at best. And injecting content into websites AT&T does not operate should be (and possibly is) flat-out illegal. If AT&T wants to put ads wherever, they should deal with ad brokers like everyone else.

*I'm waiting for ANY decent service here... CenturyLink (DSL provider, who does not allow 3rd party DSL on their system) and Mediacom (cable company) effectively run a duopoly here, with pricing so high that the usual "expensive last resort" of satellite internet is actually price competitive with their offerings.

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Using SQL techniques in NoSQL is OK, right? WRONG

Henry Wertz 1
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Old School, and Ilya

"There is nothing new here, just Old Skool 2.0.

Ever the cry of those who can't be bothered to learn about what they're commenting on."

I don't know if that was the point, I think the point is that it may be worth finding historical articles on non-relational database techniques in addition to reading brand-new tutorials. Some won't apply, but some will; those who don't know their history are doomed to repeat it. I've seen this before, where some new software or programming technique or language comes out that has attributes closely resembling something that "went out of style" 15 or 20 years ago. Then, all sorts of optimizations, tips and techniques are "discovered" that actually were in regular use 15-20 years ago (but not used more recently because they'd be incompatible or ineffective with what was used in the interim.) In this case, dig up the old knowledge on what techniques helped with pre-SQL database systems, to see if there's anything applicable to NoSQL.

Ilya, with all due respect, I don't know if SQL is even in much trouble. I must agree, even though convential databases are used for it, SQL is pretty unsuitable for lexical analysis, categorization, natural language search, and so on. But, loads of databases are NOT used for this purpose; for example, I can't see someone replacing a database with account #, address, what services they're signed up for, and payment records, with some kind of lexically analyzed searchable system, because they simply are not performing those kind of searches.

deadlockvictim, I know you're quoting lexiclone's old site. Don't know what to say about this, I'm not dubious about Ilya's lexical analysis software, but I am dubious that Ilya has come up with a "One Law of Nature" or done anything with the Bible (I'm sure he analyzed it... but it's such a large body of text, with people willing to accept so little sensible information as "proof" that their technique worked... like a few words, possibly misspelled... that almost any numerological or text analysis technique "works" by that criteria.)

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C For Hell: Data centre meltdown for irate customers as C4L GOES TITSUP

Henry Wertz 1
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Pushing the hardware?

I'm wondering if this isn't an issue that shows up when the Juniper (or some links on it) hit 100% load, i.e if they'd had a slightly larger Juniper, or one additional Juniper on site, it wouldn't have happened.. It shouldn't just blow up, but I've heard about some of this higher-speed hardware (25gig, 40gig, 100gig) not implementing flow control, and having to decide if it'll attempt to buffer packets or drop them if a link actually hits 100% load. Buffering can cause unreasonable latency fluctuations. But dropping, some types of traffic will apparently assume perfect traffic delivery, despite using UDP or raw ethernet frames (neither of which guarantees delivery.) That's on top of other potential problems people have already brought up.

edit: maybe not, the NOC post linked to suggests routing issue.

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Spanking Spam King: Sanford Wallace faces jail for Facebook flood

Henry Wertz 1
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It's too bad...

It's too bad it takes apparently 4 years for these charges to work their way through to the court to where he actually gets his jail time.

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What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

Henry Wertz 1
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Greasy

Honestly I don't know if they should have to make a payout just for the data breach -- it really depends on if they were negligent with their security, or if it was fairly up to snuff and the hackers did something really tricky to get the data. (I do suspect the data security was rather lax.) But charging to delete an account, then not actually deleting it? GREASY. They should be absolutely taken to the cleaners for this.

And this is why I do not give a website ANY information unless I'm quite sure I'll never want to take it back. Many sites do not have a "delete my info" option, and ones that claim they do will OFTEN lie and just "make the information inaccessible" or something instead of, you know, actually deleting it.

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Tens of thousands of Popcorn Time movie streamers menaced by anti-piracy fleet

Henry Wertz 1
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What are they being (attempted) sued for?

What are they being sued for? Maybe Norway has one of those "streaming is illegal" laws but US does not.

Bittorrent opens one up to potential problems because you're bittorrent client is actually uploading fragments of whatever file to others, if the file is copyrighted it's deemed your bittorrent client is committing copyright infringement on your behalf. In the US, streaming is 100% legal, the company doing the streaming is committing copyright infringement, the person viewing the stream is not (unless you're using downloadhelper -- naughty naughty!)

There's no 'Oh, but there's a temporary copy in the computer's RAM' type situation either -- this got hashed out with DVDs already in the US. Some weisenheimer (probably Motion Picture Ass. of America but I don't recall) tried to argue the like 8MB buffer in (unauthorized) DVD playback software was an unauthorized copy. They were told to take a hike because a) This is not some superfluous buffer, it's required for playback. b) The buffer is in volatile storage (in other words, it's in RAM... probably a temp file would be covered too.. writing out an .avi or .flv into Downloads would not be covered.)

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Dude, you're getting a few thousand custom Dells!

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: Illegal operation?

Providing customized hardware and support is illegal in EU? I don't get it.

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Spotify climbs down on new terms and conditions

Henry Wertz 1
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Word is bond, and the T&Cs are the word

"I don't see what the big deal is? Yes, they could have been a little bit more transparent about why they wanted the permissions in the first place, but at least they do have reasons for requiring the permissions"

The big deal is, the T&Cs appear to allow them to collect any and all information off the phone, for any reason (or for no reason at all) and to give this data to whoever they want for any reason (or, again, for no reason at all.) It literally doesn't matter what someone at the company claims the intent was, word is bond and the T&Cs are the word. If they had intended for less data to be used for a more limited purpose, they can state more limited data collection and usage in the T&Cs.

To be honest, I wouldn't be surprised if everyone at Spotify didn't have the best of intentions, and just ended up with an overly broad data use T&Cs. But that's the problem, lets say for sake of argument Spotify goes evil in a year. With T&Cs that allow for limited data collection for limited purposes, you'll get a warning something has gone wrong when "evil Spotify" has to update it's T&Cs. With T&Cs already allowing unlimited data collection for any purpose and a vague assurance that there's not too much data actually being collected, you'll get no warning, "evil Spotify" already has T&Cs letting them do whatever they want and can freely ignore whatever assurances they gave previously.

If you're saying "I don't see what the big deal is?" because you don't care one bit about your privacy.. I have nothing to to say in response, except you'll probably regret giving away your privacy sooner or later.

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Canadians taking to spying on their spies

Henry Wertz 1
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" I believe his function is to corral the loony right under one banner"

I actually take this as a sign of the US's broken political system. In normal countries, the loony right have their own political party; the loony left have their own party; there'll be a party that is more or less centrist (which would more or less encompass the "core" of both main US parties), and probably a few parties along the *other* political spectrum (strong state versus individual liberties, which the US ignores in favor of pretending there is only "left" versus "right").

The last several elections, the Democrats will have some bland centrists (meaning "center" politically) and some "we need a giant state for handouts" types, but more or less have kept things under control candidate-wise, having some minimal cohesion. The Republicans, due to the broken political system you'll end up with "we need a big state and military" types, *and* isolationists, *and* libertarians, *and* nutjob religious fundamentalists, *and* whatever Trump is, besides the usual bland centrists, all vying for control of the party, to set the platform, and to get all the candidates. In other words, people that would be under at lest 2 or 3 different parties in a normal country will vie for control and candidacy in this single party.

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Henry Wertz 1
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Re: I hope that we're watching this in the States

The US has no hope in this kind of matter as things stand now. So, the Liberals and Conservatives are both supporting a Canadian surveillance state, and NDP opposing.

Well, in the US, if people wake up to these types of abuses, what are they going to do about it? in the US, both main parties (Republicans and Democrats) give minimal lip service to opposing a massive surveillance state (at best, some talk about how great it is...), while doing NOTHING WHATSOEVER to even slow it down (obediently passing every surveillance bill they are asked to.). Without reforms there is no 3rd party to pick to kick these bums out of office, like there is in Canada. Don't get me wrong I'm voting 3rd party, but I'm realistic about the candidates chances. There are two reasons for this problem:

The US's broken political polling system pretends 3rd parties do not exist (polls don't even give a choice of saying "none of the above", as far as these defective political polls are concerned, you are either voting for one of the main 2 parties, "undecided", or not voting at all.) So, people see polls claiming all voters are voting for the 2 main parties.

Second, there's a sick attitude in the US that you are "throwing away your vote" if you vote for someone you want in office, if they don't have a significant chance of winning. It's even stupider than that, because you have counties where it's like 75% Democrat or 75% Republican, people will come out to vote Democrat in a 75% Republican county (or vice versa), but those very same people will claim it's "throwing away their vote" to vote for someone they actually want in office if they are 3rd party. A corollary is the sick argument "A vote for (3rd party candidate) is a vote for (whoever.. if it's a Republican saying this nonsense, the Democratic candidate, if it's a Democrat the Republican candidate.)", which is obviously bullshit since you're not voting for either one.

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'Unexpected item in baggage area' assigned to rubbish area

Henry Wertz 1
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They vary

"This weeks column has gone right over my head, is 37 to young to be getting the innuendo jokes? "

I don't think so. He references Beavis and Butthead, and they would turn EVERYTHING into an innuendo, sort of. "Hey, go mow the lawn!" "Hehe... mow". "Go get some lunch" "Hehe... he said get".

That said... I must agree, those self-checkouts are CRAP. I favor employment and use a live checkout every time. They do vary though -- Hy-Vee's more or less work, and although the display was rather sluggish you could actually scan items and shove in money as fast as you want, and I saw it complain about the weight once but didn't interrupt the checkout process anyway. Walmart's is basically garbage, very slow, it makes you wait for it to catch up before you do anything (who wants to pause like 5-10 seconds between scanning each item?), it constantly is whining about wanting items removed and re-added to the checkout (and just stops dead until you do), and even worse I saw it flat-out crash out in mid-checkout when someone was trying to use it. I refuse to even use it.

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Mobile 'fault' forces BA flight into unscheduled Russian landing

Henry Wertz 1
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Trollface

Heh

Hehe... "personal device".

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Win8 inventory glut? Yep, it's all Microsoft's fault, says HP

Henry Wertz 1
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Slow sales too.

"Hazarding a guess but the very short dev-test-preview loop was far too short and the pipeline too long to work correctly."

I think this supply pipeline also has become "longer" than usual, as inventory of Windows 8/8.1 systems have built up on the warehouses and store shelves.

"Why not reload the excess computers with some flavor or other of Linux? The sellers and re-sellers might come out ahead a buck or two by being able to sell them in a timely manner."

It seems like the OEMs etc. should do something, stick a nice Linux distro on there, or throw Win10 on them as the case may be. But maybe the inventory of Win8.1 systems is still draining out fast enough for them, I don't know.

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Microsoft will explain only 'significant' Windows 10 updates

Henry Wertz 1
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Linux and patch policy

"Have you tried explaining to her that Linux allows her to do a bunch of stuff the average user has absolutely no interest in while losing highly desired abilities?"

Not really, because the people I usually talk to want to use a web browser, play facebook games (flash), mount usb sticks, and play videos... maybe light word processing, pulling photos off their phone or camera and sometimes printing an scanning.

Anyway.. as for the policy of not describing these cumulative updates, I'm guessing there are just so many changes throughout the system that it wouldn't be useful to enumerate them all. I mean, when I had a VM with Ubuntu 14.04 on it a few months before release (like February or March or so), each and every update was listed in update manager, but there were like 100 a week so it was honestly not that useful.

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Intel building Xeon into lapwarmers as designers, content creators call the shots

Henry Wertz 1
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Sounds like the old Alienware systems

Sounds like this would go into something like the Alienware systems of old. Some of them had dual hard drives and dual SLI video cards, and usually an option of some desktop processors to gain that extra bit of speed, never mind the intense heat. Apparently the battery life on one like that was about 30 minutes, I for sure would not have wanted that much hot air (let alone the hot computer itself) anywhere near my lap.

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All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

Henry Wertz 1
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Nice!

This board and chipset really sounds like a beast.

I did have one system I overclocked, to very good effect, without CPU speedup at all. I had a K62-450 (450mhz), which I found under stress test of rebuilding firefox was not even stable at 475mhz. But, I could set it from stock 4.5x100mhz to 4x112mhz, and it was rock solid. The 12% RAM (and PCI, it was based off main system clock on this system) speedup must have knocked off a wait state or something because the benchmark speedup was closer to 25%.

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OpenOffice project 'all but dead upstream' argues prominent user

Henry Wertz 1
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"Yup. that's the Linux/FOSS world in a nutshell. It's reminiscent of the 'Peoples Popular Front of Judea' scene in Monty Python's The Life of Brian."

It's not really. This happens pretty regularly... a project splits, one branch becomes much more active than the other, but the less active branch keeps going at least for a while. It's not "27 crappy apps", and it doesn't end up with a bunch of people wasting time on an inactive project... it's inactive, most of the development effort goes into the active one. Simple as that.

Does anyone know, at this point, what are the big differences between Libreoffice and OpenOffice anyway? I mean, a few years ago they looked exactly the same to me (other than LibreOffice having a box that says "LibreOffice" instead of "OpenOffice" when it starts up 8-)

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Antiques in spaaaaace! Retired space shuttles cannibalised for parts

Henry Wertz 1
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I assumed it WAS for 8086s

"Next time: the 8086 "

Actually, I was surprised to read they were pulling tanks, I assumed they were pulling electronics for the microchips. Two reasons they have the kind of tech they do:

1) In space, anything past about a 486-era chip* beings seeing significant problems with errors due to the level of cosmic rays and such in space.

2) Looooong development times, along with technology reuse.

*As the process used to make the chip was shrunk, bit errors increased -- slightly under earth conditions but excessively in space conditions -- I read a Pentium in orbit would misexecute several times a day, so I have no idea how bad a i7 would be. The PowerPCs, MIPS, etc. that are on satellites now use several features to mitigate this.... First, some use different materials (they used to use silicon-on-sapphire which helps a lot.) Second, I think they still use much larger than typical process sizes (no 22nm for sure... a 486 was about 800nm.) This is one reason they end up using PowerPC and MIPS so much, because the die size can be kept reasonable using much older processes. Third, some chips duplicate the instruction pipeline, if there is a mismatch it can be backed up and re-executed (some don't have this, if it's part of a system that is run in duplicate or triplicate anyway, then it could be overkill.) But you get the large process size for free if you just use antique chips 8-)

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Ex-Prez Bush, Cheney sued for email, phone spying during Olympics

Henry Wertz 1
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Not a partisan hack

" partisan hack hasn't bothered to sue the current President or his cronies even after Snowden shows that universal blanket surveillance is going on and even actively protected by the likes of Pelosi."

This suit is over events in 2002, so suing the current President for it would not make sense. This is no partisan issue, insofar as both main parties seem to fully condone the US being a surveillance state.

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One in eight mobile calls in India drops out __ ___ middle of your chat

Henry Wertz 1
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Not to rub it in...

Not to rub it in, but I've had like 2 dropped calls in the last 15 years. 1 was when a tornado went through town, when the power down the block went out the call dropped, then I heard a generator kick on I guess at the cell site and the service came back up.

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Biz that OK'd Edward Snowden for security clearance is fined $30m for obvious reasons

Henry Wertz 1
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Fined for incomplete background checks

" So...they are being fined for not being precog enough?"

To me, it sounds like USIS was fined for vetting people they did not do a complete background check on. Of course the feds will use this opportunity to imply there was dirt to be dug up on Snowden, but ultimately (whether these background checks would have affected anything or not) they are being fined for not doing what they were being paid to do.

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Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

Henry Wertz 1
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Other competition..

The other competition for this (besides other PCs) is the ARM TV sticks. I got one like a year or two ago for $80, and it's down to closer to $50 now. The one I got shipped with a slimmed down Ubuntu -- I found the slimming unneccessary and installed the regular (non-Unity) desktop, that ran fine too. This isn't like the ARM version of Windows where technically it's Windows based running on it but none of the usual software -- very few Linux software is x86-specific*, even looking through the software catalog to install more software, you wouldn't know this was an ARM if someone didn't tell you.

*For that matter, qemu-x86_64 is supposed to allow running 32-bit or 64-bit x86 Linux binaries on (in this case) ARM Linux, although you then need to have 64-bit or 32-bit x86 libraries installed somewhere (Just like 64-bit x86 Windows and Linux need 32-bit libraries to run 32-bit apps.)

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Enjoy vaping while you still can, warns Public Health England

Henry Wertz 1
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Moral crusade

As OP says, it's some kind of temperance movement kind of thing. To be honest, if tobacco had never been discovered, perhaps everyone would have been better off. But, it has been discovered, plenty of people enjoy and/or are addicted to it. I'm a libertarian, in my view if they aren't harming anyone else (by blowing smoke right in their face) then it's none of my business to tell them what to do. But others just want to be able to tell everyone else what to do, and if they can't do it directly, they seem satisfied by just increasing restrictions year-after-year to get what they want.

In the US, the anti-smoking movement began with attempts to just say they wanted to stop people smoking. This was pretty unsuccessful; the number of smokers dropped as people became aware of the health risks, but nowhere near zero. It moved on to claiming the goal was to reduce second hand smoke, but the goal really has been a long-term goal of banning all smoking. So, first the reasonable moves were made of making sure airflow was good enough that non-smoking areas didn't just get big ol' clouds of smoke from the smoking areas, and that people didn't smoke right next to the entrance/exit. Fair enough. It didn't take long for this to expand to "no smoking at all indoors" and extensive outdoor areas where smoking is banned, still with the claim it's due to second-hand smoke when in these conditions, it's actually not.

If you see the ban on snus, it shows an extension of this -- it's not smoked (no second-hand smoke); unlike chewing tobacco, no spitting. And due to how it's processed, it has much lower carcinogen levels than other smoked or chewed tobaccos. But, it's banned in most of the EU, and there are pushes to ban it elsewhere.

Vaping, I think restrictions on it make it clear what the real motives of these people are.

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NSA-resistant email service Lavaboom goes BOOM! (we think)

Henry Wertz 1
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Hmm...

I guess it's a fair question... the warrant canary hasn't been updated. I'd guess it's due to funding but....

On the one hand, you would HOPE that if they are in the process of closing up shop due to lack of funds, SOMEONE would be able to say "The warrant canary died of natural causes, we're simply closing up shop".

On the other hand, I HAVE seen and heard of those businesses where, instead of wrapping up the business in an orderly fashion when it becomes clear they aren't going to pull through (or attempting a restructure if possible), they'll just run the accounts right to zero, no recovery plan, but assure the (now unpaid) employees that things'll work out if they stick with it. Needless to say in those circumstances, people tend to just walk off the job and things are NOT wrapped up in an orderly fashion. I would fully expect the warrant canary person to just walk off without so much as a post in these types of circumstances.

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Conference Wi-Fi biz fined $750k for jamming personal hotspots

Henry Wertz 1
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For real

"Why didn't someone just set up a hotspot to broadcast deauthentication frames for the official wifi?"

This. I would view this behavior as offensive behavior that violates wifi standards, and attempt to disable the malfunctioning equipment. First, I would try to crash out just the deauth software alone. Barring that, I would try to crash their access points in their entirety. As a last resort, time for the scorched earth policy, they cannot possibly complain about the same tactic being used against them as they are using against everyone else, so I'd feel free to deauth their access points until such a time as they quit deauth'ing everyone else.

To the conference company: No you don't have any vigorous legal arguments, the FCC rules are very clear that your devices must accept interference from others AND must not unnecessarily interfere with others. Sending forged packets to disable other's use of the wifi spectrum is clearly interference. End of discussion. You should have known better, but good on you for not trying to waste your and the court's time pursuing whatever nonsense legal argument you think you had. And thank goodness the FCC is getting some teeth about this kind of nonsense 8-)

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Indian Mars probe beams back 3D canyon snaps

Henry Wertz 1
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I'm impressed as well

It's also impressive to have the mission actually get to Mars successfully, particularly on a first try.

For whatever reason, the failure rate of missions to Mars has been extraordinarily high, to the point that "alien conspiracists" just assume the craft are being disabled. I don't assume that, but nevertheless... Venus has harsh orbital conditions (very strong sunlight), and a crushingly high-pressure, hot enough to melt lead, acidic atmosphere, and even so (after the 1960s when failure rate was almost 100%), late 1960s to present the failure rate of missions (including landers!) is only like 10%. Mars? Also near-100% failure in the early-to-mid 1960s, but late-1960s-to-present mission failure rate is still nearly 50%. So kudos on a successful mission!

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Microsoft replaces Windows 10 patch update, isn't saying why

Henry Wertz 1
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Does seem like a bad precedent

Does seem like a bad precedent, to now have updates with no indication of what they do.

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Ofcom coverage map: 7/10 – must try harder next time

Henry Wertz 1
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Cellphone apps, and cell breathing

There are cellphone apps that will try to collect data and generate a map. There are pros and cons compared to a computer-generated map. The pros, the areas I was in the coverage maps was accurate, and one of them has a speed map in addition to just signal strength. Cons: If no-one has been there it's not mapped. Some cities appear to have blanket mapping, but you zoom out much and probably 10% of any given carrier's coverage has actually been mapped by anyone.

One big problem with modelling is cell breathing. This is the tendency for the site's coverage to reduce under load.

GSM (2G) does not suffer from cell breathing, you either have free timeslots or you don't.

CDMA (as used here in the states) and WCDMA both suffer from cell breathing. For any user on the channel, every other users traffic adds to the noise floor they have to deal with. The devices then have to transmit at slightly more power to be heard over the noise, which makes the noise floor ramp up more. As this noise floor ramps up, users at the edge of the site coverage are no longer able to use the site at all, it's coverage shrinks. This cell shrinkage does affect the signal strength shown on the phone, bad cell shrinkage can mean 2 bars of service overnight and "no service" at peak times.

LTE doesn't have actual cell breathing, but can have a similar effect depending on how the site is tuned. LTE uses "resource blocks" (slices of the LTE spectrum and timeslots) to send data to your phone. If you get a clean signal you get highest data rate in each resource block, if not the amount of data you get in each resource block is lower. This is where site tuning kicks in, once a site hits full load it can be tuned entirely for speed, for range, or in between. A site tuned entirely for range will try to give every user a minimum mbps, this helps make sure speeds don't crap out until the signal is quite weak, but means when you are near a cell site, you might be getting considerably lower speeds than you would on a site tuned for capacity because distant users are using up many resource blocks. A site tuned just for capacity (maximizing site mbps), will give resource blocks to the closest users. If the site hits capacity, nearby users get the best possible speeds but distant users will then get few or no resource blocks (it'd still show the same signal strength but not get any data.) A policy in between would give you some kind of intermediate behavior.

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China shutters 50 websites for spreading explosion 'rumours'

Henry Wertz 1
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Anybody know what the rumors were?

OK, the sites were pulled. Just curious, did anyone see what kind of numbers were listed on these sites before they were pulled?

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Linux 4.2 release 'possible' for next week, if Linus feels good

Henry Wertz 1
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I'd prefer x86 to work

I suppose in terms of total installations, there's probably more ARM Linux installs (Android and all that) than x86, but I think it'd be preferable to make sure x86 is all nailed down before final release.

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IT jargon is absolutely REAMED with sexual double-entendres

Henry Wertz 1
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Error messages

The software I wrote recently makes a SOAP call and displays the response. For a few known errors, it shows a reasonable error message. For unknown errors i was inspired by the Amiga, it shows "Guru meditation error:" (and whatever error response the SOAP call returned.)

I liked the "xv" picture viewer's error handling. So, in a typical program you try to save to a full disk, or print to a non-existant printer, and it'll pop up a message like "The file failed to save" with an "OK" button. In xv, with any error message the "OK" button says "That sucks!" 8-)

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DIGITAL DOPING might make you a Tour de Virtual cycling champion

Henry Wertz 1
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How durable is your GPS?

First, I thought GPS information included altitude, do these generally use GPS altitude or the one out of a database? I see three main potential sources of error here. First, in case of strong GPS signal, does an app use GPS location as-is or assume you're following a road or path? With an accuracy of a few feet, every time the biker went around around a parked car or someone along the bike path or anything, a system using GPS location would record a few extra feet compared to one assuming you're going dead straight along the road or path. Second, GPS filtering. I've seen those devices where the GPS location does just seem to jitter around a bit (well especially some phones). It can be totally stationary, claim a foot or two accuracy, but jump around 5 or 10 feet. The app's handling of this kind of thing could be important, I assume apps all handle this to avoid false movement. But if it overfilters, it could subtract some legitimate movement and reduce the measured distance. Third, weak GPS handling. Does the app try to use these 100 foot accuracy fixes and filter them to estimate location? Dead reckoning until the GPS gets better? Use a road and path database even if it doesn't for stronger GPS? Can it use the accelerometer?

Second... cheating by putting the GPS car? Really? How rugged are these GPSes? I'd just shoot if off the front with a slingshot, and pick it up Mad Max style when I catch up to it. I'd be getting 90MPH speeds in no time hahaha. For a quick sprint, launch the GPS with a trebuchet 8-).

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Budget UHD TVs arrive – but were the 4Kasts worth listening to?

Henry Wertz 1
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They might wait!

"And you can bet on even bigger numbers to come, as first generation flatscreen adopters prepare to re-enter the market, as part of the traditional (replacement) cycle of life."

They might wait! The *early* early adopters bought panels that supported composite, VGA, and DVI, then got the royal screw job when "they" decided for rights restriction purposes that most HD devices would only actually output HD via HDMI. They then had to buy quite expensive adapters to use the panel properly. I've heard of plenty of these people deciding "Hell no I'm not buying a 4K panel just to be screwed again", they plan to wait quite a while to make sure HDMI 2.2 is REALLY all they need, that they won't just decide in 6 months "Well, actually you need HDMI 3" or something.

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Would YOU make 400 people homeless for an extra $16m? Decision time in Silicon Valley

Henry Wertz 1
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I'd take the $39 million

I'd take the $39 million. It's plenty to retire on anyway, and a good way to avoid people losing their homes (or, since mobile homes are after all mobile, having to move it to another mobile home park.)

And as a practical matter, who is going to fill these $40,000 a year jobs if there's no affordable housing in the area for them to live in?

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Two weeks of Windows 10: Just how is Microsoft doing?

Henry Wertz 1
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Blurry?

Blurry screen? Try messing with Cleartype. It's supposed to do some kind of sub-pixel font rendering with the individual R, G, B, elements in the LCD to increase readability, but for some people it just makes it blurry. There's some option or two in there to fiddle with, and it can be turned off. The bigger that 1920x1080 screen is the lower the DPI. I'd assume the lower DPI screen, the more likely the Cleartype will just make things look blurry instead of more readable.

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You've been Drudged! Malware-squirting ads appear on websites with 100+ million visitors

Henry Wertz 1
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How this usually happens

There's three ways this usually happens.

Dodgy sites, you have dodgy ad brokers that'll just put up whatever ad. You know the ones I'm talking about, they'll usually have incredible numbers of popups and popunders too.

Sites that are not dodgy will deal with some reputable ad brokers, but they may deal with some other ad brokers, those may deal with some, usually when these get a dodgy ad slipped in it's 4 or 5 layers deep down that chain. Typically the ad brokers stop doing business with the offending broker (and one "further up the chain" may stop doing business with the one that passed the ad to them, and so on.)

Third method, tampered javascript. The javascript served by one of the ad brokers to do the actual ad brokering is tampered with, the ad broker's ads are clean but the tampered javascript loads dodgy content instead of (or in addition to) loading the legit ad.

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US appeals court: Yes, Samsung ... sigh … you still have to pay Apple

Henry Wertz 1
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Better lawyers

"Have they even started the process to get a reconsidered amount yet?"

Yeah, they (per the article) already got it cut from over $1 billion to $550 million.

Too bad Samsung didn't get better lawyers.

Samsung's lawyers kept making procedural errors, Apple's lawyers would raise an objection, and the judge would agree and render some piece of info Samsung wanted to admit inadmissable. It happened so often I did begin to wonder if the judge wasn't an Apple fanboi... but, I think it's just as likely he's a strict stickler to procedure over letting all information be admitted (which is probably just as well, otherwise if Apple had lost they would have just pointed to the procedural irregularity and gotten a mistrial or something anyway.)

I recall one point, one of the VERY phones Apple showed in a photo showing Samsung phones were copying the rounded corner of Apples, Samsung pointed out that very phone had already been on the market over 6 months before the IPhone even shipped. But, they did it too late, after the discovery phase, so the judge invalidated it.

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175 MILLION websites still powered by Windows Server 2003

Henry Wertz 1
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95-era code

"and if its in Vista you can be pretty sure its in XP too,

and if its in XP you can be pretty sure its in W2K too,

and if its in W2K you can be pretty sure its in NT4 too."

I really am not sure about that. Vista is pretty bloated compared to XP, XP is bloated compared to 2000, and 2000 is bloated compared to NT4. Quite a few of those vulnerabilities, the entire subsystem they are exploiting probably doesn't even exist in NT4. Not to say I recommend this "use NT4 because it's too old to be vulnerable" strategy.

No comment on people still running 2003, or whatever. I won't judge, I mean, 95-era on through about XP (so a good 7 or 8 years), Microsoft seemed to almost encourage very sloppy programming. There were all sorts of monstrosities from this era that would just be this inseperable wad of maybe some actual executable code, and Visual Basic for Applications scripts, and DCOM, and ActiveX, and it'd do some bits in Office 95 or 98, and on and on. You did have people on Slashdot and probably on here saying these had better be rewritten from basically day 1, but the day's finally come where they'll probably find they cannot get it to run in Windows 2012... so they'll have to keep running 2003 forever or finally rewrite their junk.

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Samsung phablet phrenzy brings mobile payments into the age of WIRELESS TAPE

Henry Wertz 1
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"No doubt that this has been patented, even though it's the same technology used in those line audio to cassette tape adaptors we all had in our cars before in-car CD players became the norm ten years ago."

I have one in the car now actually. It has a tape deck/CD combo, and needless to say I don't have either tapes or CDs sitting around in the car. The tape adapter works fine with he headphone jack on the phone. My parent's car is in the "no man's land", new enough to no longer have a tape deck (CD only) but too old to have bluetooth.

Anyway, I don't plan to buy stuff through the phone. But, I think this is clever. It doesn't require stores to get new hardware, doesn't have the excessive range of RFID, and is still contactless (I honestly don't know how big a problem reader wear actually is on card readers, but it's still good to reduce potential problems.)

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ZUCK OFF: Facebook nixes internship after student embarrasses firm

Henry Wertz 1
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Depends on the company

"Isn't the issue that he made freely available the tool to exploit the problem, rather than informing Facebook privately and letting them fix the bug in advance? That's what security researchers do usually, isn't it?"

Depends on the company. Companies that try to hide the existence of bugs, claim bugs are features, and put off indefinitely fixing bugs, do not get this courtesy.

That is the problem, Facebook did not even consider this a security bug or leak. This "bug" was probably fully documented to "trusted third parties" to be able to get this info.

I wouldn't be surprised if this behavior wasn't in the fine print, but A) People don't read the fine print, and then are utterly shocked when behavior is revealed that was explicitly covered by the fine print. B) Others assume that the fine print is a "cover your ass" and covers every POSSIBLE activity, and naively assume this stuff is not actually being done. And facebook was clearly fine with that.

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Police use RIFLE AND TASER to relieve man of iPhone case

Henry Wertz 1
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Trollface

"And 'dispose" of it safely"? Is there special handling required for a case?"

Yeah, don't point it at anyone on the way to the trash can.

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Rise up against Oracle class stupidity and join the infosec strike

Henry Wertz 1
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Industry pressure

I agree with not working on projects I know will be insecure.

As for regulation, I think different industry standards would solve companies seemingly lax attitudes to security. If insurance companies began to change the business insurance so the business had to follow secure practices if they expected data loss to be covered... and if the credit card companies actually enforced PCI DSS security.. then this kind of thing would happen far less often than it does now.

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Want Edward Snowden pardoned? You're in the minority, say pollsters

Henry Wertz 1
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He is a whistleblower

"So anyone who calls Snowden a hero or a whistle blower has it wrong. Sorry, but what exactly did he blow the whistle on?"

Illegal NSA spying programs. Nobody really needed to know the EXACT specifics of the NSA spying programs, but the fact of the matter is the NSA et. al. (instead of simply saying "no comment" or "it's classified"), would flat-out LIE about the scope of their spying capabilities, and about the scope of future plans. Some programs, nobody knew about publicly before the Snowden files. Some programs, there was public info already but many dismissed it as pure paranoia due to the scope of it until the Snowden files confirmed it. Snowden explicitly said this, perhaps you got your news off TV only if you never heard about it.

" Compare and contrast his actions with Ellsberg. Ellsberg had access to the information. Snowden didn't. So Ellsberg didn't break the law(s) by stealing the information. He didn't have to."

So, what then do you think the point is of having whistleblower protection laws? Whistleblowers almost always have violated corporate security, ignored company NDAs and confidentiality clauses, and often times broken laws that prohibit leaking out proprietary corporate information, when they whistleblow against companies. I seriously don't see the difference here. If you want to claim Snowden didn't whistleblow, come up with a different argument, the argument "it's not whistleblowing if you break the rules" is basically nonsense.

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Henry Wertz 1
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Distorted news coverage

I think the reason you see the poll results you do, is due to distorted news coverage in the US. The TV "news" coverage mentioned Snowden pilfering files, going to Russia, and lots of coverage of various talking heads saying he "needs to be brought back to the US and brought to justice" or some such. No mention that he went to Russia as a last resort, no mention of the NSA's illegal spying programs to provide context as to why Snowden did what he did, and no quote from Snowden or any supporters (just plenty of quotes from government talking heads.) Furthermore, while there have been plenty of revelations and confirmations based on the Snowden files, the old media has scrupulously made sure to not mention any of these.

If I only got information from the old media, I suppose I'd favor taking Snowden back and putting him on trial too, since the coverage has been SO slanted, both of Snowden himself and of the illegal NSA programs* themselves.

*When some NSA lawyer made a nonsense circular argument claiming their illegal programs are legal (they seriously had a lawyer argue "These programs are legal because I say they are", with no point of law pointed to to support the claim), the old media made sure to cover "NSA programs are legal" rather than covering the fact this nonsense argument was IMMEDIATELY debunked.

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ANIMALS being CUT UP to make Apple Watch straps

Henry Wertz 1
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Overpriced leather watch bands exist. Film at 11.

Title says it all. No criticism of El Reg, but I seriously don't consider this news.

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Apple and Google are KILLING KIDS with encryption, whine lawyers

Henry Wertz 1
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"appropriate balance" means taking away your rights

I'll just point out, any time someone talks about "appropriate balance", this means they want to take away your rights. I'm perfectly willing to take the odd chance that the occasional crim walks, if the alternative is to live in a totalitarian police state. I will not give up my encryption, and neither should you.

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ZTE says it won't allow exec to appear in US court over arrest fears

Henry Wertz 1
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It's the 21st century

It's the 21st century, request deposition by video conference.

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Germans in ‘brains off, just follow orders' hospital data centre gaff

Henry Wertz 1
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Follow orders

"“the good old Germanic tradition of 'brains off and just follow orders'.”"

Works the same here. I've heard of *TWO* cases here where a room full of computers got the air conditioning removed at the university, then stuff started melting. The people performing the work orders are so used to getting work orders that are totally daft, they are not going to question them, and to be honest I don't expect them to question them. The blame is fully with whoever was daft enough to issue a work order, without asking whoever "owns" the room why the A/C is there. Of course, in both cases here it was "Oh, this A/C isn't even venting outside so it's wasting electricity", with no regards to the equipment inside some closet. In one case, they NEVER got whoever to authorize reinstalling the A/C, so the $10,000s of hardware just sat there turned off!

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Intel left a fascinating security flaw in its chips for 16 years – here's how to exploit it

Henry Wertz 1
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Not ironic

"(ironic that NT & UNIX & OS/2 etc could use a 1995 Pentium Pro properly but Win95 went slower on it)."

Not ironic at all. Intel assumed by the time the Pentium Pro shipped that contemporary OSes would be 32-bit (recall the PPro was under development for years before it shipped). So they made sure it ran 32-bit code very quickly, they made sure it *could* run 16-bit code but didn't worry about the speed of it. NT, UNIX, and OS/2 were full 32-bit OSes, Windows 95 was a shell over 16-bit DOS so it ran like crap on it. Intel was a bit pissed at Microsoft at the time for continuing to ship DOS shells instead of NT-based Windows exclusively. The Pentium2 actually ran 32-bit code *slower* than a Pentium Pro, it was just reworked to speed up 16-bit code.

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