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* Posts by Henry Wertz 1

1521 posts • joined 12 Jun 2009

Oh Sony. Have we learned NOTHING from SuperAIT?

Henry Wertz 1
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They haven't learned, no.

As others said, betamax... DAT, Minidisc, ATRAC over MP3. They keep thinking, like "Oh, if we come up with something good but keep strict control we can have 100% of the market!!!!" on things like this, and forget the part of the economics course about demand curves where if an "inferior" good is available much less expensively, many customers will choose that good instead.

And those computers! Man, I've seen a few Sony notebooks and they were all VERY weird. Weird BIOSes, hardware that was non-standard just to be non-standard. You know, I saw one with a fingerprint reader, with a chip fairly well supported on a variety of OSes. But, instead of Sony just supplying some software on their Windows install to make the chip useful, they had flashed in Sony-proprietary firmware that completely changed the chip's behavior so it'd ONLY work with their software.

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Microsoft: You know we said NO MORE XP PATCHES? Well ...

Henry Wertz 1
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Maybe for IE?

I'm wondering if maybe they will release the IE patches (that are common to IE on XP and Vista/7) but just not work on any others?

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Denmark dynamited by cunning American Minecraft vandals

Henry Wertz 1
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200,000 downloads?

200,000 1TB downloads? Damn, that's a lot of data.

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Whaddaya mean, NO REFUND? But I paid in Bitcoins! Oh I see...

Henry Wertz 1
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Refunds?

I'm just not seeing the problem here -- I am a tad dubious that bitcoin transcations in brick and mortar stores will become popular, but in terms of refunds, wouldn't one just get the refund in (since you are in Britain) British pounds? Or perhaps a store credit?

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Thanks for nothing, Apple, say forensic security chaps

Henry Wertz 1
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Yes, thanks Apple!

No seriously, thanks. I'm no Apple fan, but if I wipe a device I don't expect someone to be able to poke around the phone for 30 seconds and recover my data. Apple's device behavior is therefore correct.

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Fresh evidence Amazon is ARMing its huge cloud against Intel et al

Henry Wertz 1
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Cost?

I'd say "cost". The ARM systems will use less power, generate less heat, and so cost less to run per work unit. They may cost less to build as well. Amazon could offer a slightly lower price for instances where one lets it be placed on any CPU, and higher rate if you insist on a particular CPU type.

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Firefox, is that you? Version 29 looks rather like a certain shiny rival

Henry Wertz 1
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A good argument against auto-update?

This seems like it might be a good argument against auto-update... I'm not going to hate on the new UI without using it (although I prefer Firefox's layout to Chrome....). I'm sure I'm going to update my gentoo and Ubuntu systems very soon and end up with Firefox 29, but it's always a rude surprise when you didn't even do an update (because it was automatic), you come in to start up your software and everything's a bit different.

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Go ahead and un-install .Net, but you'll CRIPPLE Windows Server 2012

Henry Wertz 1
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Yeah no kidding...

Yeah, the 2012 interface uses .NET, so .NET has to be installed. That does raise the question though, since Microsoft does say that there may be situations where .NET must be removed, is 2012 Server in fact useable sans GUI?

As for legal issues... well, the previous bundling was a pretty different situation. They were claiming software was inseperable that simply wasn't, using their position in the OS market to take out competition in other markets. In this case, Powershell relies on .NET, and I think the admin utilities rely on Powershell, it really is all pretty inseperable.

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94% of Brit tech bosses just can't get the staff these days, claims bank

Henry Wertz 1
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"C) So it sounds like the real problem is the willingness of these companies to offer a quality pay packages and invest in employee training."

I just posted, but this sums up what I was trying to get at much more succinctly; places don't seem to want to invest in employee training, and instead seem to think they can find applicants that will not need any training.

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Henry Wertz 1
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What I've seen...

What I've seen are firms that rather than listing what kind of actual experience and skills the applicant should have, will just have this list of specific software products, usually a large enough and specialized enough list that the only ones with experience with all of them would be people already working there. Having used some of the specific software, and comparable software for the rest, is not acceptable. These jobs will stay open a year or more sometimes. These will be the firms claiming they just can't find staff anywhere. They seem to think they will find an applicant that will drop right in, without having to "get up to speed" or "be shown the ropes", no matter how specialized the environment is.

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Top tip, power users – upgrading Ubuntu may knacker your Linux PC

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: 'Twas ever thus

"Was happily using Ubuntu 11.04. Decided to upgrade to 11.10 which promptly went berserk as it couldn't handle the integrated graphics on my old Shuttle box."

Actually, a lot of video drivers were completely wrecked in 11.10 that worked in 11.04; in 12.04 most of these worked again.

I used to run every new Ubuntu version, starting with 8.04 or so. But, 10.10 just broke stuff compared to 10.04; 11.04 came together pretty well; 11.10 was quite broken again, and the real "fix" for it was to upgrade to 12.04. Given this, with 12.10, and 13.xx, I tested them strictly in VMs. I'll go right from 12.04 to 14.04 on my real hardware (which apparently does avoid the specific grub problem here, since it's manifested on 13.10->14.04 upgrades.)

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EU: Let's cost financial traders $400m a day, because EVIL BANKERS. Right?

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: HFTs cheat

"Front running is normally illegal and in most cases unethical but to blame HFT for it is naive because front-running existed long before even electronic trading was invented, let alone HFT."

I blame HFT for it because the existing HFT systems invariably do it, just as I would blame any other trader who frontrunned day in and day out. If the FTC enforced the law and prevent HFTs from doing this, these HFT systems would still do very well due to their superior speed and data processing capabilities, but would be doing it fairly.

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Henry Wertz 1
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HFTs cheat

HFTs do not save investors $400 million a day -- they remove $400 million in profits from the hands of day traders, and give it to themselves.

The big, BIIIIIG thing that really has to be changed with HFTs: Eliminate cheating.

What do I mean by cheating? At present, the HFT systems (at least the successful ones) on NYSE and NASDAQ exploit software flaws in the electronic trading systems to watch orders come in and place it's AHEAD of already in-queue orders placed by everyone else. So, you place an order to sell some stock for at least $5.00 a share, and someone else places a buy order at $5.03. Great, $0.03 per share profit for you! Not so fast -- the HFT system will see your orders come in (NOT predict them, actually see the trades become enqueued), and then use software exploits in the trading floor software to force it's orders ahead of your already enqueued orders and take away your profits. Instead of you selling your stock to the other guy at $5.03, it will buy your stock at $5.01 and sell it to the other guy at $5.03.

Apparently this has been brought to the attention of NYSE and NASDAQ -- they don't care, they are privatized (so they don't have to serve public good or anything), and HFTs (due to trading numerous times a second) are their primary customers, not legitimate stock traders.

The SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) seems to simply be able to wrap their heads around electronic trading in general, let alone do anything to help make HFTs play fair.

In reality, HFTs would still be formidible traders even if they played it straight, but not as profitable as they are now by cheating.

The proposed EU rules don't sound like they'd help much. Well, hopefully the software approval rule, they would have kind of a "type approval" -- make sure the code that actually interacts with the trading floor does not use exploits to cheat, and don't even look at the actual trading logic (which will be frequently changed, needs fast turnaround on changes, and should be proprietary to the trading firm anyway.)

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Samsung Galaxy S5 owners hit by fatal camera error problem

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: first 10 days is when most fail

"You think the problems with Maps and "you're holding it wrong" are worse than a camera that COMPLETELY fails?"

Nope. But they did release phones (IPhone 5c) where, to save about 90 cents, they used substandard motion sensors so all those "tilt the phone to play" games may or may not actually work depending on how bad your particular phone's sensors end up being.

"If Apple released a phone that had a hard failure in such basic smartphone functionality as a camera the fandroids would be screaming from the rooftops about it, but I see excuses are the order of the day when it is Samsung's flagship that fails."

When the above happened, Android fans pretty much DID scream from the rooftops about it, and Apple fanbois dismissed it. *shrug*

That's not to excuse these S5s failing.

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OpenBSD founder wants to bin buggy OpenSSL library, launches fork

Henry Wertz 1
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I hope this doesn't get embarrasing...

I do hope this doesn't get embarrsing -- as in, LibreSSL introducing security bugs and flaws that OpenSSL did not have. I was actually NOT expecting flaws like AC @ post #2 found (failing to check for success of malloc), I assumed OpenBSD code practices would require careful checking throughout. But, I *would* expect possibly missing a higher-level sanity check or two when they start moving and removing chunky chunks of code.

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OK, we get the message, Microsoft: Windows Defender splats 1000s of WinXP, Server 2k3 PCs

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: LAMP users are domestic terrorists

"Fiddle-faddle. Go back to your Ubuntu and its OpenSSL."

Funny you should bring that up. Given Ubuntu's Debian base, and Debian's conservativeness, I found that the OpenSSL version on an Ubuntu server is 1.0.0 series, not the vulnerable 1.0.1 series.

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IRS boss on XP migration: 'Classic fix the airplane while you're flying it attempt'

Henry Wertz 1
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NSA and Rice

Re: The NSA. I don't see how (theoretically) finding out the NSA knew about Heartbleed for a while (or years) would effect security researchers' view of them in any way whatsoever. It's widely known now (post-Snowden) and widely assumed (pre-Snowden) that the NSA searches for security vulnerabilities -- and not to go tell the world about them. They are after all a spy agency who favors electronic surveillance. I would expect all spy agencies of this type have some people going out looking for 0-day exploits.

Re: Rice. She was part of a pretty bad administration. Cheney and Rumsfeld in particular really had that supervillain vibe going. But she dealt almost exclusively with foreign relations. Meaning it doesn't make a lot of sense for her to be on Dropbox's board. But, she's not one of those people who spoke out for destroying constitutional rights* and having widespread spying like Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld did ("Total Informational Awareness", anyone?) and like Obama currently does (defending the NSA's illegal programs, and parroting the NSA line on topics even when that line has been proven false, hoping if he repeats these false statements enough the public will believe them.)

*Other than supporting the CIA's illegal "enhanced" interrogations of terrorist suspects.

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

Henry Wertz 1
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Indeed a decent solution.

Indeed a decent solution; I have a Win7 and WinXP virtual machine. With snapshots, if a software install blows up, or an update causes a problem, or you managed to get virus or spyware (I don't use IE even on a Windows system so I haven't had that problem...) then you can roll back to your snapshot. Store your documents on a "shared drive" outside the VM and you don't have to worry about losing files in case you roll back to the snapshot. And don't use the browser inside the VM (or, alternately, have a VM just for browsing that you reset at the end of each use.) This truly keeps Windows in it's place. I'm using Ubuntu (with Unity booted off in favor of the "traditional" desktop) as my host and it's great. But a VM is a VM, you can do it just as well under Windows 8.

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

Henry Wertz 1
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No kidding...

Honestly, no kidding. Can this really be a surprise? I know the result is legitimate but they are after all exploiting a flaw to return 64KB of unauthorized data in the reply.

Do I expect people running security vulnerability scans against world & dog to be prosecuted? Nope. Do I expect most people (including site owners) to even care? No (since it's not a targeted attack but a internet-wide scan... oh and since the ones actually being penetrated are already those who don't keep up on security 8-).

Bad analogy time... I wouldn't expect directly testing these vulnerabilities in the wild (as opposed to just checking the OpenSSL version in the connect string) to be legal any more than I would expect it to be legal to go up an down the street popping people's car doors open and testing the car alarms (as opposed to just gettng the year, make, and model and looking up if they came with a good factory lock and alarm or not). Both can provide useful info -- it'd be a wakeup call to see "x% of cars weren't even locked, y% could be picked in under 30 seconds, and z% did not have an alarm even go off", just as it's useful to know "x% of OpenSSL servers have this vulnerability still." But nevertheless I don't expect it to be made legal.

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BlackBerry ditches T-Mobile US after iPhone advert spat

Henry Wertz 1
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Yeah...

Yeah, when I log into VZW (Verizon Wireless') web site, I get ads just *begging* me to downgrade from an Android phone to an IPhone (and of course, give up my grandfathered unlimited data plan while I'm at it.) I think it's bad form to ignore your customers' preferences.

On the other hand, Blackberry cutting off a source of revenue seems like a dumb move. (Particularly seeing how angry the BB customers got over this dumb move of T-Mobiles...they *were* loyal customers. Emphasis on the were... the other US cell cos current data plans are a downright scam compared to T-Mobile's (they charge about double the price for data plans, and then charge cash overages instead of just throttling your speed if you go over your cap like T-Mo does), I can't see BB users who already deal with T-Mo's smaller coverage deciding now "Oh, I want to pay double to keep using a BB."

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Oracle smacks JD Edwards help site with cease and desist order

Henry Wertz 1
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track record

"Look at that track record – when people are worried about what we will do with Sun hardware and MySQL. We have a bit of a track record."

Oracle *does* have a track record with purchased product lines -- make sure to get license fees whenever and wherever possible, and eliminate support options that are not through Oracle (for a fee of course.)

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Tesla in 'Ethernet port carries data' SCANDAL

Henry Wertz 1
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I'd guess none

"More interesting is the question just how much source code Tesla should be releasing under various open source licenses, but isn't. ®"

I'd guess none, honestly. If these devices are running Intel Ubuntu there'll be nothing they've customized, just an install with (I assume?) a bunch of unnecessary packages removed Whatever UI these are running is probably custom and not required to be open source. If it's ARM, if it's not one of the ARM setups Ubuntu supports, you can get the BSP (board support package) from the vendor -- these companies do all have source for their BSPs up -- you can likely copy the ubuntu for ARM userland right into that, make sure ubuntu doesn't try to update your kernel, remove excess packages and you're done.

Do they have GPL disclaimers in the manual? The LG and Samsung TV manuals I saw had a whole list of what kernel, nanox, ffmpeg, etc. they used, but they were bone stock.

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

Henry Wertz 1
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I'll do what I wish with items I purchase

Well, personally, I will always prefer DRM-free, and absolutely will not buy anything where I cannot remove the DRM. Luckily most DRM systems are easy to crack. I will do as I wish with items I have purchased and will not have bureaucrats and big businesses strip away my personal use and fair use rights.

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Windows 8 BREAKS ITSELF after system restores

Henry Wertz 1
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Don't use common sense

"When it comes to Windows, I'm a bit of a retard... I always try to approach it based on common sense and generic principles of the past,"

First off I love your solution to use Ghost.

Anyway... I found the best approach to Windows issues is to NOT use common sense. Common sense and logic work on a system that behaves in some logical matter and some consistency. Windows does not, particularly when something breaks. I end up googling the specific problem and trying things to fix it -- all to often, it's changing a COMPLETELY irrelevant setting, or toggling some option off then on (or on then off) -- which of course should do nothing since the end result it is set exactly the same as it was. Or some undocumented setting, which common sense will never point you towards. I mean, recently I fixed *printing* from IE on someone's computer by updating the VIDEO driver!!! OK, so newer versions of IE use the GPU acceleration.. but that was already turned off due to it not working on this system! So IE (apparently) decides "what the hell, I'll just use the GPU for some reason for printing even when set to not use the GPU acceleration at all."

You would not find this poor of QA on software shipping with any MacOS or Linux version. Don't get me wrong, Ubuntu and Gentoo certainly can break, but there'll generally be a sense of logic to the root cause of the problem and solution... "Oh, the problem is with foo... I had to tweak the settings for foo... or reinstall foo... or upgrade or downgrade foo".

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German freemail firms defend AdBlock-nobbling campaign

Henry Wertz 1
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Oh yeah!

Oh yeah! I forgot to address the article! Anyway...

1) Yes, add-ons can be compromised and it's good to let people know about this possibility.

2) However, it's real greasy if it's just looking for adblock then trying to FUD people. Just be honest, say this site costs money to operate and you'd appreciate people not blocking the ads. And, if you have pop-ups, GET RID OF THEM.

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Henry Wertz 1
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Re: "Merely...make money"

"The act of viewing something on a computer screen is publishing (i.e. making a copy). Technical issues/limitations to one side, you should see the content as the creator intended. DELIBERATELY altering that content is creating a derivative work without license and against the law. This is the same reason why PVRs that can auto-skip adverts (the things that PAY for the content) are not available - breach of copyright."

It's already been decided that an in-memory, working copy of whatever does not count as a "copy" for copyright purposes. Otherwise, just playing back a DVD would require special permission of the copyright holder. Also, you seem to have a grave misunderstanding of copyright law. Nobody here is altering the content, they are refusing to load 3rd-party content that is unrelated to the page being displayed. Also, you do not need a license to create a derivative use for private use, as you are not actually distributing any copyrighted work at that point.

That said, I *only* block pop-ups, they are illegitimate in that they load content outside the scope of the page responsible (i.e. in a different tab or window.) Other adverts? No, I don't block them. If a site is too ad-heavy I just don't go to it any more (I haven't had to leave a site for this reason in a while though; I think site operators now realize if they go too crazy with the ads they'll lose too many viewers, and porn and pirate sites have "valuable" enough content that viewers put up with excessive ads.)

Also, I have a PVR that will automatically skip ads. Why aren't many on the market? Some kind of gentleman's agreement, as near as I can tell.

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KCOM-owned Eclipse FAILS to cover up the password 'password'

Henry Wertz 1
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Similar but different issue...

One thing that has bothered me, some Active Directory-based systems have these policies that are like "Not the same last x passwords, also not the last x passwords with minor changes." "Last x passwords" just involves storing the hashes and making sure they don't match. But minor changes, doesn't that mean it is in fact storing several old passwords in plain text?

Anyway, it's better that eclipse is now X'ing out people's passwords on this page. But I'd really like to know if they are still storing plain-text passwords (probably they are.)

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EU eyes UHF spectrum: What do you think, biz bods... broadband?

Henry Wertz 1
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PLEASE!!!

Please, EU, I beseech you... you've been beat to it on the 700mhz band, don't split it up differently just to be different! Thank you very much.

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Nominet goes titsup after update to WHOIS tool

Henry Wertz 1
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How many people?

I'm just curious how many people even noticed this outage? Any outage is bad, but other than a complete Internet outage or DNS outage... there's only a few services I'd think most people would even notice were down for 10 minutes... maybe E-Mail, twitter, or Facebook, where the users expect constant streams of updates shooting onto their phone. I'm quite sure I wouldn't notice if GoDaddy dropped dead for 10 minutes.

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FreeBSD 10.0 lands, targets VMs and laptops

Henry Wertz 1
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Agreed re: Hyper-V

I've got no plans to switch to FreeBSD, or OSX/iOS for that matter. But I must agree with the various commentors re: Hyper-V... supporting Hyper-V or not is not indicative of any kind of "legacy status." I would think an OS adding additional virtualization support is actually, if anything, an indication that there is still support and development going on for it.

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US govt watchdog slams NSA snooping as illegal, useless against terrorism

Henry Wertz 1
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It's illegal and unconstitutional

The people saying this has been upheld as legal -- well... two big things here:

1) The NSA officials covered by the mainsteam media (here in the US at least!) recently have been intentionally conflating the phone call metadata program (which although troubling, is probably legal) with the NSA's numerous illegal and unconstitutional data collection programs (indiscriminate collection of E-Mail, some fraction of voice calls, texts, etc., which is inarguably unconstitutional and therefore illegal). The collecting of foreign leader's phone calls and such -- as emabarrassing as it is for the NSA to have been caught red-handed at it -- is actually the type of activity the NSA is supposed to be doing, they are fully authorized to do this. I won't be at all surprised to find foreign intelligence agencies have (at least attempted) to do the same to Obama and pals.

2) The judges that said THOSE programs (bulk E-Mail, call, and text collection among others) are legal simply failed to do their job, they did not uphold and defend the constitution or the law as they are bound to do. If you look, they will not come up with a single LEGAL argument for these illegal programs being legal, they will say some nonsense like "These programs are too important to declare illegal". That is, rather than judging the activities and comparing them with the law, they will simply say that the gov't can do literally anything they want if it's "important". Truly, these judges should have disbarment proceeding began against them.

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'I don't understand why they feel like they own the word CANDY'

Henry Wertz 1
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Surprised about LogMeIn

I am among those surprised about LogMeIn suddenly going non-free. The one minor bit of good news:

One place I do IT for has a paid LogMeIn account, which has a few "free" computers on the account (the "free" ones don't allow for checking logs and so on but do allow remote desktop; the plan they have was short 3 computers, the next larger paid plan covered way more computers than they have). After reading about them cancelling free service with essentially no notice, I figured I better log in and check! There's a notice on the account page, if you have a paid account they are NOT cancelling the tacked on free computers, and you can still add and remove them as you wish as well.

Still, I don't think it's that cool to cancel with essentially 0 notice... and furthermore, LogMeIn working so easily for remoting into systems behind NAT gives it such an advantage over their competitors, that I doubt very many people would have found alternatives to LogMeIn even given a month's notice anyway.

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4K-ing hell! Will your shiny new Ultra HD TV actually display HD telly?

Henry Wertz 1
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Sony and OTA

"Some of the 4K sets that have shipped already have HDMI 1.4, though Sony for one is promising upgrades. Whether it will deliver is another matter."

Yeah I'll believe it when I see it. My friend got a (early model) Sony DVD player, labels all over it stating that it is software updateable. Once he got some DVDs that would not play on it (due to software incompatibilities), he goes to ask Sony about the update. "What update? Just buy a new DVD player". It was software update*able* but Sony did not release a single update for it.

As for 4K itself... I think it's pretty useless personally, it seems like this'd need quite the large screen for it to possibly make a difference. But, if people are interested in buying, they can go ahead.. That said, it seems logical if Netflix can get a 4K stream into 15mbps, that OTA it should be doable in ~15-20mbps. (I won't say 15mbps, necessarily, because an over the air broadcast should expect a much higher data error rate, and so have more error correction, compared to an internet stream.)

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Google, Netflix ready next weapon in net neutrality battle: The fury of millions

Henry Wertz 1
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The lie of the big ISPs

I don't know specifically what Verizon Wireless' plan is -- if they plan to put the screw job to people, or if they are just trying to get out from under the 700mhz C band throttling prohibition (when Google started bidding, they got the FCC to put this "no touching the data" prohibition onto the C band specifically.) VZW is using 4G LTE on this band -- VZW's throttling on 3G on other bands only kicks in when the cell site is loaded enough your usage is actually slowing down other users, not 24/7; a few users on howardforums reproted using 500GB-1TB *a month* on this so I could see mere usage-based throttling being not that big a deal, even for these heavy users. On the other hand, if VZW cripples their internet access by pretending Hulu, Netflix, Youtube, etc. are something either they or I should pay extra for, I will quit paying for this service on the spot.

On the other hand, AT&T has been downright WHINING that Youtube and Netflix are "freeloaders" -- conveniently not mentioning that they pay BIG BUCKS for their physical connections to internet exchange points, AND pay for the traffic already as well (if traffic is even in both directions, typically there is little or no charge as it's a wash -- but if traffic is mostly in one direction then they get a nice fat bill already.) This is what Google should mention if they aren't already, that they do pay for their internet connections just like everyone else.

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Two guilty over 'menacing' tweets to feminist campaigner

Henry Wertz 1
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Fair enough

I'm glad CPS didn't stick with their previous "Meh no big deal" stance. All kinds of general abuse and name calling? Trolls do abound. Threats of violence as she received? That's another matter entirely and I'm glad they did something about it.

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Amazon, Hollywood, Samsung: PLEASE get excited about 4K telly

Henry Wertz 1
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When seeing demos, don't forget they are demos

When seeing demos, don't forget the demo-makers KNOW people will be looking at how sharp they are. They will therefore make their videos exagerratedy sharp, and usually screw up the contrast to make things look "vibrant" too. Obviously the 4K TV *will* be sharper, but you really can't compare a demo video to what you typically watch on any TV.

Before my parents (non-HDTV) CRT TV died, their neighbor came by... this ad for a TV came on, she got all excited and said "Look how sharp the picture is on that TV in the ad!" I had to break the news that the ad is being displayed on their EXISTING television. They were just cranking the contrast and sharpness up for the TV ad.

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Optical Express 'ruined my life' attack site wins Nominet takedown battle

Henry Wertz 1
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"Am surprised - the libel laws being what they are in the UK - that this hasnt gone further."

For libel laws to apply a statement has to be false. If information is damaging to your business, but true, then no dice.

My question, (allegedly... I don't want anyone getting in libel trouble!), do these clinics have an unusual failure rate, or have they found the dozen failures out of numerous treatments (I assume quite numerous if they are at 15 minute intervals!)

I found the one post on there particuarly troubling where the LASIK (or LASEK? I didn't know they were different...) machine failed mid-treatment, and they ended up with a crease on their eye. I would hope A) These machines would not fail mid-treatment, period. B) Does the "crease" mean that the machine moved the laser to a "safe" position WITH the laser on, burning eyeball as it went? I would hope any fault it'd immediately turn off the laser.

At any rate... *shrug*. They are not violating the domain rules, so that's that.

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Coca Cola slurps millions of MAC addresses

Henry Wertz 1
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"When will someone tell America that Coca/Pepsi Cola is just water with sugar, fizz and marketing added.

It is not a national institution, to be defended."

Normal Americans don't view cola as a national institution. That's the 'Mercans from places like Texas that believe that. Those weirdos refer to any carbonated beverage as "Coke".

So, I still don't know why Coca Cola Corp. needs MAC addresses -- won't they be using IP (hopefully IPV6) anyway? Whatever random vendor provides ethernet chips will already have plenty of MACs.

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IBM hid China's reaction to NSA spying 'cos it cost us BILLIONS, rages angry shareholder

Henry Wertz 1
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IBM supports the NSA

"I really can't see how that suit could succeed given that corporations are not allowed to reveal that they even have dealings with the NSA in the first place."

It isn't about that. It's about 1) IBM failing to reveal their horrible sales drop in a timely manner.

2) (per the article) "IBM lobbied the government in favour of a bill that would allow it to share customers' data with the NSA,"

I think they are taking the piss with #1, if IBM had revealed months ago their sales had plummeted, the stock would have just dropped then instead of now. #2 is a valid complaint though, IBM is effectively being hostile towards their customers with a move like this, and therefore hostile towards shareholders.

Given this information, I would never buy an IBM product -- I know "everyone" is probably tied in with the NSA, but I really don't need to support companies that actively lobby for further NSA involvement.

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Apple fanbois warned: No, Cupertino HASN'T built a Bitcoin mining function into Macs

Henry Wertz 1
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Re: Pwn n00bs

OK, he gets into this system (his own) and the first thing he does is delete system files? That is pretty funny, he really did get what was coming to him 8-)

(N.B. for anyone who is wondering, although 127.0.0.1 is standard localhost address, 127.x.x.x all actuallly connect to localhost.)

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Henry Wertz 1
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Really?

I thought "sudo rm -Rf /*" was the command that magically made iphones waterproof. (Yes some idiots a few months ago believed -- I think because people on 4chan said so -- that some ios update would magically make their non-waterproof iphones waterproof.)

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Anglo-Australian cricket brawl spills over into coding clash

Henry Wertz 1
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Yeah...

Yeah, to me (from the video) it looked like the *game engine* was working well enough, but the game tuning and player behavior was incomplete. (I'd guess the falling over might have been due to excessively slick grass?) If it's as poopypants says, that some developers walked out, that plus not enough time for the remaining developers to "get up to speed" could really explain all these problems. edit: That said, I have not used Unity, so I can't say how easy or hard to use it actually is. From what I've heard, some game engines over the years were pretty hard to use (even if the results ended up being pretty nice.)

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Weird PHP-poking Linux worm slithers into home routers, Internet of Things

Henry Wertz 1
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">But the security company warns that ARM and MIPS flavours of the Linux worm may be available,

What does that mean "may" be availabe ? There "might" also be a new supervirus capable of destroying mankind. There "may" also be no need to purchase anything from Symantec.

"

I took it to mean the exploits of PHP are not relying on code injection or stack smashing or the like that is platform-specific, and the x86 ELF binary it is currently pulling also is not doing anything x86-specific. So, the exploit could just as easily try MIPS and ARM binaries as well.

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We're making TOO MUCH CASH, say CryptoLocker scum in ransom price cut

Henry Wertz 1
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"My own suggestion remains integrated multi-round anti-spammer tools that would allow volunteers to disrupt every part of the spammers' infrastructure and pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices. "

You already can disrupt the spammer's infrastructure, if you have the skill to break into it, and are perfectly free to pursue their accomplices as well. I'm sure not going to stop you. Here in the US, you are even allowed to DIRECTLY take them to court and demand damages (instead of reporting them to the FTC and having the FTC do nothing with spam reports, which is what most people do.) If they are stupid enough to spam from the US (and don't pay the settlement), you can then send martials out to take their stuff until you get enough to cover the settlement; if they don't have enough stuff you can put liens on their buildings and vehicles.

Anyway *shrug*. My Gmail doesn't seem to get much spam (other than EBay's psuedo-spam... why would I want to be told "There are 179 items I may be interested in this week". Umm, no, shotgunning out hundreds of products is not a way to get anyone interested in anything.) I started running a Bayesian filter on my other E-Mail account over 10 years ago and it works great too. And I'm, you know, NOT RUNNING WINDOWS so I am not succeptable to worms and viruses.

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HEADS UP, text-flinging drivers! A cop in a huge SUV is snooping on you

Henry Wertz 1
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"Re: It's really sad

Radio is electronic. Are we allowed to change stations?"

Well, if it's one of those stupid touch screen setups, you really shouldn't be. These are defective by design and really should not be permitted on the road. Mine? Buttons and knobs, I don't have to look down to change it.

Anyway, I think quite simply they should just have a blanket "distracted driving" law that is enforced rather than these specifics. They can then just make it clear that texting is covered under the definition of distracted driving, instead of making numerous specific laws. I do hope the parking lot and rest stop thing doesn't include *parked* cars. Not parked? Yeah, they should be ticketed, as they are still not paying attention to where they are going.

I almost feel that they should not bother with the unmarked vehicles -- distracted drivers are usually so distracted they would not notice a full-blown marked SUV anyway, and this in and of itself is clear evidence they were very distracted.

These are just details though, distracted drivers are highly dangerous and should have very stiff penalties.

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Guess which major US telco ISN'T cracking down on premium SMS spam?

Henry Wertz 1
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"> In most of Europe, as far as I am aware, it is strictly "who initiates the call, pays for it."

In the UK there are "Reverse Billing" systems (generally for adult services) whereby you text a number and receive a certain number of texts back which can be charged up to £1.50 each IIRC. But it's not somethng that's forced on you, you have to opt in by texting them in the first place and you can opt out at any time."

That's how it is in the US too, people are supposed to sign up to a service first, then get billed for the texts they receive back. I think in some cases, people simply do not pay attention and sign up for something not realizing it costs. But, in other cases, the companies are simply committing fraud, and fraudulently claim you signed up for their service. Of course, the cell cos are all to happy to scoop up your info for the NSA, but will not use the exact same records to make sure you actually texted a premium rate SMS provider before they start billing you (apparently, preferring to get rid of the whole mess. Which is fine with me.)

As for being charged for sending or receiving SMS in general? Not really a problem, the cell cos here in the US have such bad pay-per-use rates (25 cents a text or more?) that people who don't text generally have texting disables, and everyone else buys a big bucket of texts or unlimited texts. Verizon for one is also quite aggressive about tracking down and suing text spammers.

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Company selling you out? You've been TUPE-ed

Henry Wertz 1
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You guys are lucky.

You guys are lucky. Here in the US? No rights whatsoever. You are transferred, nothing is guaranteed. The only IT union I know of here is in Las Vegas, so that doesn't apply here. If your small company is being bought out, this is probably good for you. Otherwise? Not so much.

Outsourcing? Heh, the outsourcing and temp agencies here are one and the same. The company holds on to at least 75% of what they are paid, and then provide a pittance of benefits. (When i worked a while as a temp, I had a few vacation days -- unpaid -- and an offer for me to pay for worthless health insurance* (they wouldn't chip in a penny) so they could technically say they offered insurance.)

*How worthless was the offered insurance? $1,000 deductable, then it'd only cover the NEXT $1,000. No coverage for glasses, medicine, or dental coverage. I think it even exempted hospital stays. It was so poor, when I looked at the terms it was actually PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE to get back more in covered medical treatment than you were paying them in insurance premiums.

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Sonos and I: How home media playback just gets SO FRUSTRATING

Henry Wertz 1
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Does your TV not have audio out connectors?

First... your TV probably has audio out connectors. Why don't they just make a little box that takes that and pipes it -- wirelessly -- to the speakers? I do realize it's not as cool as being 100% wireless, but it does make the wires like a foot long rather than running wherever to the speakers. Even if a TV has wifi, I do not expect it to support proprietary wifi systems... these speakers are, after all, proprietary. I do, however, expect it to have speaker out jacks.

Secondly... I don't know why you are having problems with products that send video and audio to the TV? 1) just run the audio cables somewhere else, or 2) run the audio out from the TV to wherever you want the noise to go. (See paragraph above.) Given how ugly things tend to get when wifi is kludged into an otherwise wifi-less product, I for sure would not want wifi support grafted onto most of the stuff I have that makes noise.

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'Scientists are coming to space with USBs which are infected'

Henry Wertz 1
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They specify Windows machines aboard ISS

They specify Windows machines aboard ISS, I thought the Russians had been using some Linux or BSD. Anyway, it seems the current supplier for the US side at least supplied machines with XP (for personal use.) The ones for any control use run Solaris. Since XP is going out of support, the vendor plans to replace the XP systems with Debian.

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Sony's new PlayStation 4: Early faults ENRAGE some buyers

Henry Wertz 1
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What proportion are HDMI problems?

I wonder what proportion are HDMI problems? Those, the solution can be to simply have the manufacturers finish the ports off straight away rather than leaving them all jagged, hopefully Sony starts having them do that ASAP. At least it sounds like people with port problems can clean the port up themselves. If you take out HDMI problems, are the other ones frequent? I don't know.

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