* Posts by Hairy Scary

19 posts • joined 17 Jun 2009

Feds crack multi-million scareware ring

Hairy Scary
Happy

@ pricer

I had that problem on a friends machine, even in safe mode no exe progs would run ---- got malwarebytes installed by renaming the installer extension to .scr, once installed, renamed mbam.exe to mbam,scr -- it then ran and cleaned up the infection.

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HP ProLiant power supplies 'may die when dormant'

Hairy Scary

The Most Likely Cause

Is our old friend the electrolytic capacitor. Although our servers rarely failed (they were never powered down unless for maintenance), we had lots of 2 year old desktops fail to start after holidays. They were under warranty so Dell supplied replacements for all the failed power supplies (well over a hundred of them).

I had examined one of the failed supplies and found that the cause was faulty capacitors. this is very common nowadays, the power supplies run at fairly high temperatures and when they are switched off the capacitors die when they cool down then the supply won't start when power is re-applied. In one case I started one by warming it up with a fan heater then powered it up -- got the machine running until a replacement supply was available.

I have seen the same thing in other equipment as well, sometimes after a power outage some switches would fail to power back up, the cause was faulty caps in the power supplies and I would just replace the caps with good quality high temp ones and get the thing back up and running in an hour or so. Often part of the cause was higher than normal temps in the power supply due to seized fans.

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Naked at 30: Osborne 1 stripped to its chips

Hairy Scary
Boffin

It's Easy To Fix

Because, as you have a vertical line, you must have EHT for the CRT which comes from the line output transformer. This means the line output stage is working, its just the line scan coils that are disconnected, that will almost certainly be a dry joint on the PCB where the scan yoke leads connect or possibly at the scan coupling capacitor or line linearity coil. It can't really be much else other than an o/c scan coupling capacitor.

How do I know this? well, the college I worked for had lots of Osbornes and I used to repair them when they broke down. Most common fault was the extension card for the double density floppies working loose (these things were carried between rooms regularly which probably explains that), next was the display which could fail to work due to dry joints at the line output transistor connections or by the vertical line due to joints as described earlier.

Once I had to make a new system rom for one (by copying a good one from another machine) as the suspect one was partly corrupt (would boot to the Osborne startup screen but would intermittantly fail to load the o/s from disk) -- that took a while to diagnose.

One other task I had to do was calibrate all the floppy drives so that disks were interchangeable between all machines -- there were quite a few that would not reliably read disks from other machines until this was done.

Most of our Osbornes worked with external monitors (to ease eyestrain on the students).

When carrying machines between rooms I always carried two at a time, that way both arms stretched by the same amount :-) happy days indeed.

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Ubisoft undone by anti-DRM DDoS storm

Hairy Scary
FAIL

No sympathy for Ubisoft

Last games I bought were Doom3 and Prey -- place disk in drive, wait till it installs, find and enter the serial number --- enjoy! That's he way it should be, I have never bought (and never will) any game that needs "activation" to work or needs an internet connection to stay active. The only niggle is that you need the disk in the drive to play (though he addon game to Doom3 did away with that)

I had the savegames folders copied to a backup drive so if disaster struck (hard drive failure) I could re-install and copy in the saved games.

I can re-install my games any time I like, don't need to depend on the companies activation servers still being on line to run them.

If Ubisoft ever remove the ridiculous DRM I will probably buy some of their games, till then forget it!

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China's doomed attempt to hold the world to ransom

Hairy Scary
Happy

@ Steve Evans

Oh but what about phosphors for the up and coming laser TV sets sonny!!!

As you say " Technology moves on".

http://www.reghardware.co.uk/2010/01/13/prysm_launches_laser_telly/

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Ofcom talks to spook firm on filesharing snoop plan

Hairy Scary
Big Brother

@ AC 14:26

They probably wouldn't ban encryption, it is possible that they might just divert encrypted packets coming from non-business IPs to \dev\null so encrypted stuff simply won't go anywhere.

That would solve the problem of trying to decrypt anything.

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Conficker smites Oxford Brookes network

Hairy Scary
Unhappy

@ amanfromMars 1

The file could not be read as the language interpreter could not be found.

|.

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Sony pulls plug on cabled power

Hairy Scary
Happy

@ AC 16:51

It's not down at 50Hz, it's high frequency so there will be rf interference radiated. there's nothing new in this, as other posters have said, it's high school physics.

About 40 years ago I had a setup for doing this -- I had a tungsten filament bulb with a short length of copper wire connected to it's terminals -- I would leave it sitting on the table using the copper loop as a support holding it upright. Much to peoples surprise, it would suddenly light up.

Hidden under the table was a high frequency oscillator with a purposely designed tank coil sending the output upwards, the copper wire on the bulb formed the secondary of the transformer picking up enough energy to light the bulb easily (almost to the point of burning it out).

No idea of efficiency, it was just done for a laugh, you could pick the bulb up and it would remain lit -- it would get dimmer as it was taken further away from the table though.

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Small biz told to sort TV licences for PCs

Hairy Scary
Happy

Yes it is possible

To pick up signals radiated from a TV set.

Way back in the 60s I knocked up a small device with a hand held aerial. It could easily receive the radiation from the timebase circuitry in a tv from inside a car being driven along the street -- you could tell which room the set was in (the aerial was very directional) and you could tell which station was being viewed if you had a tv receiver with you to compare the timebase sync with. I was passenger in the car, not driving just in case anybody thinks I was using this thing whilst driving!

I knocked the thing up just to prove it was possible to those that said "na, it cannae be done"

Have never tried with a computer (none were around back then) so I don't know if such a device would pick up anything from a modern LCD type display -- maybe I should build another one to see if it's possible :-) .

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Dell boxes VGA cable to within an inch of its life

Hairy Scary
Boffin

Have To agree

With Steven Knox, the most likely cause is poor contact in the connector on the projector -- often the cause is one of the contacts being pushed back inside the connector with the result it barely makes contact hence wiggling the cable makes the colours change as the contact makes and breaks.

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Blogger silences Google ads with death and destruction

Hairy Scary
Happy

Ads? I see no ads

I have always used gmail via Thunderbird -- no ads -- general browsing, Firefox with adblock+, NoScript, Request Policy and Flashblock thrown in for good measure -- no ads (unless I want them)

Simples --- yea, where's that meerkat icon o_o

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Booming scareware biz raking in $34m a month

Hairy Scary
Happy

WTF

Something wrong here --- I just read, and was able to understand, a post by amanfromMars.

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Apple accused of lowering cone of silence over iPod flame out

Hairy Scary
Happy

@ elderlybloke

Many years ago I witnessed an exploding electrolytic capacitor go straight through the ceiling of the workshop, it would have gone a lot farther than 10 feet if the ceiling had not been in the way. The "explosion" was caused by the capacitor "gassing" internally until the pressure blew the aluminium can off.

With the ipod all the battery had to do was produce gas pressurising the ipod casing until it ruptured turning the ipod into an irocket.

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Amazon sued for sending 1984 down Orwellian memory hole

Hairy Scary
Big Brother

@ Jeffrey Nonken

If you own a Blu Ray player, yes, Sony can revoke the keys that allow your disk to play any time they like, it's done by including the necessary instructions embedded in new disks so that playing them can render a previously bought disk unplayable.

I don't know if it has ever been done though, it's just the mechanism to do it is there.

Also normal DVDs can cause problems -- I have a disk here (a freebee with a newspaper last year) when I went to play it it came up with a message "Due to copyright restrictions this disk cannot be played". WTF -- I think it was because I tried to play it in my PVR whose player is also a writer (for recording TV shows) and some kind of DRM kicked in.

Thing is, now I can't play any DVD in the player, all I get is a message telling me what region code the disk I insert has but none will play even though the region code matches the player's setting. However, TV programs can still be recorded and played.

Needless to say I haven't bought any DVDs since as I cannot play them now so DRM that behaves like that is just losing them customers.

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Panasonic patches cameras to block rivals' batteries

Hairy Scary
WTF?

Built In Obsolescence

One problem with this sort of thing is that Panasonic will probably discontinue the battery pack when their next camera comes out which, of course, will use a different pack. As you won't be able to get a third party pack you will either pay a fortune for a Panasonic pack (if you can get one) or bin a perfectly good camera.

There's a lot to be said for cameras that take standard AA Ni-MH cells.

It's a bit like the Lexmark printer I bought a while ago, after a year the ink cartridges started increasing in price -- they reached £50 for a black and colour and there were no third party equivalents -- I binned the printer and will never buy a Lexmark printer again. The one I have now (Epson) is only costing about £8 a set (black and three colour third party cartridges).

Oh look, shiny new icons

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Don't call me Ishmael

Hairy Scary
Happy

Some More

A place I worked in had NCR tower servers named Basil, Sybil, Manuel, Polly and The Major.

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That Digital Britain report in full

Hairy Scary
Happy

The Great Switch Off --- Don't Panic

Well, after reading the new article it seems my 40 year old home made AM/FM set will go on for long enough yet (+ all the others that are kicking around the house).

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Hairy Scary
IT Angle

@ Len

Yes, DAB+ will be a big improvement over DAB as it is more resilient but at 64Kbit it will not be as good as FM listened to on a good quality Hi Fi system.

I have encoded a high quality source to MPEG4 at 64Kbit, play both back through the Hi Fi and you certainly notice the difference. The reason is that MPEG4 is a lossy compression, the lower the bitrate the more the loss. However, DAB+ at 64Kbit will sound the same as FM on a portable or car set so for most people it will be good enough (even AM in the car is good enough for me), only people that listen through good Hi Fi systems will notice the poorer quality. There is still the problem of high power consumption, your portable AM/FM jobbie will run for months on one set of batteries (assuming decent sized batteries like "C" cells) whereas the DAB set only a few days.

One problem with DAB+ is DAB -- all those people that bought expensive DAB sets will find them useless in the near future as DAB stations will go off air to be replaced with DAB+ and the majority of sets cannot be upgraded to decode DAB+, some later ones have a USB connector so they can have the firmware upgraded via a PC (if the manufacturer puts out an upgrade).

What's the IT angle? -- upgrading your DAB set using a PC of course!

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Phorm incinerates $50m in 12 months

Hairy Scary
Pirate

Die Die Die

Do us all a favour Phorm -- curl up and die -- the sooner the better.

That is all

Pirate because I'm a privacy pirate.

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