* Posts by david 12

687 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

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Satnav launches are like buses: none for ages then three arrive at once

david 12
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Re: Maybe it's better this way...

For reasons I don't understand, Chicago Transit Authority gave up on skip-stop scheduling. I understand that the Nassau Street subway in NYC still operates as two lines, J and Z.

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Timeout, Time Lords: ICANN says there is only one kind of doctor

david 12
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Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

>The use of "Doctor" for medical professionals is closer to a colloquialism than any other definition,

Accepting your colloguial use of "colloquialism", and your point is? You think medical doctors aren't "real" doctors because of a semantic point?

I take the opposite point of view. Medical Doctors are Real Doctors because they are real doctors. PhDs aren't real doctors because all they have is title pinched from the historical past when the language of instruction wasn't even English.

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david 12
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Re: In the UK Medical Doctors aren't Real Doctors!

In the UK anyone with a PhD is not a real doctor, and only wishes to be called a doctor out of envy. Or (traditionally) so that they can feel justified squeezing into parking spaces that say "Doctors only".

If they actually thought the PhD meant anything, they would be calling themself "John Smith, PhD", instead of trying to pretend that the traditional English qualifier for a medical doctor applied.

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Bank of America wants to shove its IT into an OpenCompute cloud. What could go wrong?

david 12
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Amazon?

Who said anything about Amazon? This has IBM service bureau written all over it.

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FREAKing hell: ALL Windows versions vulnerable to SSL snoop

david 12
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>BTW, why is Firefox the only major browser not affected?

Since "version 33", Firefox has had no support for 512bit keys. This makes FF unsuitable for a small number of specialised web sites, particularly from embedded devices, but also (and this is the reason it was done) makes it impossible to connect to anything using a 512 bit key.

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£280k Kickstarter camera trigger campaign crashes and burns

david 12
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>*For the record, Kamps did not answer the question"

I thought he did. I thought that the answer to that question was very clearly given in the quoted remarks.

I'd be pissed off if I'd lost money in this, and his clear reply wouldn't have made me happy, but it looks like a very clear and specific reply to the question.

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SpaceX lofts two all-electric ion-drive comsats to Clarke orbit

david 12
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>first described by Arthur C. Clarke. ??

Well, I guess "(22,236 mi)" might have first been discussed by Arthur C Clarke, but "35,786 km" was discussed by SF writer Konstantin Tsiolkovsk, and later by Herman Noordung.

Clarkes contributions were:

He wrote in English.

In a popular tech. publication (not science or fiction).

About communications satellites (not space stations or research or gun platforms or anything else).

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Assemblers were once people: My aunt did it for NASA

david 12
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Not a computer programmer

-- a computer. And my Dad told be that it was not unusual for Engineers to marry their computer.

He would have found "Her" and "Samantha OS" kinda amusing.

But yes, I programmed in machine code. Mid 80's and Turbo Pascal 3 inline machine code.

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OLPC spin-off teases modular 'Infinity' computer

david 12
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... And if more people were like you, and willing to accept that without upgrading the cpu footprint, motherboard, video, memory and hardisk, your memory and video and disk access will still be too slow for Win 7, they would still be making computers like that.

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Visa's tokenisation scheme to debut in Australia

david 12
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useless

Looks like yet another mobile phone payment scheme. Which I have no use for.

What I/we would like is a token scheme for business payments. We have that for transfers, but we don't have that for credit card payments, and numerically, most of our actual payments to suplliers are credit card payments. We don't use our mobile phones to make payments to our suppliers.

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US trade bods: No, your iPhone can't detect CANCER

david 12
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Re: Minor slap

Well I don't know if THIS system really works. But particularly in the USA, "really works" is not a defence for unlicensed medical products, so I'd need a cite to believe that this "really didn't work", and I don't see anything in the FTC declaration that makes that claim. I wonder if all the other similar iphone apps have already been withdrawn?

http://www.smh.com.au/digital-life/smartphone-apps/iphone-app-scans-for-skin-cancer-20120122-1qctb.html

http://www.businessinsider.com.au/iphone-app-for-detecting-skin-cancer-2014-5

In AUS, there are iphone cancer classification apps sold only to registered medical doctors and advertised in the medical magazines.

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Why IP telephony is about more than just saving money

david 12
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zero downtime

>and oneday when your small company grows a bit and moves

>moves to bigger premises you have zero voice downtime.

We down't get zero downtime from our VOIP system even staying at the same premises.

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NBN Co's HFC build will be DOCSIS 3.1 ready, but use 3.0 only

david 12
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Nodes?

>Arris nominated to provide cable termination and passive equipment.

And then the article quotes Aris on nodes: "Arris CTO Joshau Eum said the nodes for the network will be "shoebox"-sized" and "Key products used in the build will be Arris' E6000 edge router, CORWave forward path transmitters, OM4100 optical receivers"

At the risk of being obvious, nodes and edge routers are not cable termination and passive equipment.

And yes, you were being very foolish if you ever thought that you were ever going to get anything other than a nationalised TV service.

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Apple: Fine, we admit it – MacBook Pros suffer wonky GPU crapness

david 12
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Re: RoHS?

>something to do with using lead-free solder?

Lead-free solder is more difficult to use, but it is possible to make bad joints with any kind of solder, including tin-lead. The failure isn't "because they used silver-solder", it's "because they didn't do the job properly".

And FWIW, my guess would be that the difficulty traced back to no-clean flux, rather than silver-solder.

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Royal Mail's Colossus move gets ex-WREN's stamp of approval

david 12
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WRENs

From the USA one of the WAVEs on related work recalled her induction in Washington DC ("I joined the navy to see the world, but all I saw was DC"), unfortunately I can'd find the reference, so I'm recreating from memory:

"We had a tough introductory talk about security. This was followed by another man, who we expected would give us a warm introduction, perhaps a prayer. Instead, he told us not to expect to be treated differently because we were women: If we talked about our work, we would be shot."

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Superfish: Lenovo ditches adware, but that doesn't fix SSL megavuln – researcher

david 12
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Re: About that root certificate...

I think, and other readers are invited to correct me, that the problem is that all clients have a known, installed, self-signed root CA certificate. If you have an identical copy of the root certificate (something that is normally kept secure, and probably off-line), then you can generate SSL certificates for anything, knowing that they will by accepted by any Lenova client.

So now you can do your own Man-in-the-middle attack on Lenova clients. And this problem is not corrected by removing Superfish, only by removing the well-known root CA certificate.

Question: if this is correct, does Superfish reject (on the internet side) it's own well-known root CA certificate? If so, web browsers on Lenova clients only become insecure when Superfish is deactivatated?

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david 12
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Re: IT IS THE SAME ONE IN ALL CASES??

Yes, I thought the article was particularly unclear about that. Perhaps instead of writing

>Obtaining a private key from one Lenovo laptop would

...the author could have written...

"Obtaining the private key from any Lenovo laptop would "

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Australian government may take leave of its census

david 12
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Re: Look before you leap

>Just look to the cancellation of the long-form census in Canada.

No suggestion than the census be cancelled in Aus. No suggestion that it be replaced by a "voluntary household survey". Or by universal internet access.

And as to business requirements... the whole point of the suggestion is that the money could be better spent meeting business requirements by moving from a 5 year cycle to a 3 month cycle.

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Ethernet patents claim smacked down by US judge

david 12
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Re: Judge invalidates two expired patents??? (July 1992 + 20 yrs = July 2012)

1992 would be prior to the 1995 fix to the American Patent system, so it would be 17 years from the issue date. Technically, it is possible that the patent wasn't issued until much later (1998 plus?): such patents were called "submarine" patents, because you didn't know the technology was patented until you were torpedoed years later.

No idea if that applied at all here.

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'Revenge p0rn' kingpin Kevin Bollaert faces 20 years in jail

david 12
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identity theft ???

Where did "identity theft" come into it?

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Why Windows 10 on Raspberry Pi 2? Upton: 'I drank the Kool-Aid'

david 12
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Re: When the music died

>"Well, yes I do now, but back then I expected it to be included in the OS

> as it was in every other OS I had encountered thus far. The idea I had to

> get my wallet out again to buy what I assumed was already in their didn't

> occur to me."

It didn't ocour to me either. Fortunately, the free tools MS and others provided allowed me to continue programming as I had before, on a series of main frame, mini, & micro computers.

I take it you didn't actually try very hard: what I can't tell from here is if you even actually owned a copy of Win 3.x and Win 98, or if you are just making it up.

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david 12
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Red Cool-Aid

Rasberry of course.

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Pull up the Windows 10 duvet and pretend Win8 and Vista were BAD DREAMS

david 12
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Re: @ Kubla Cant -- Not too sure

Funny, all the copies of unix around here came with a generic GUI.

Even Linus T doesn't think that unix == the kernel.

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Want a cheap Office-er-riffic tablet? Microsoft Windows takes on Android

david 12
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Re: Good for the price

Between Google and MS, it's like deciding who you want to barrack for / root for in the Middle East. But, apart from that:

Google does let Outlook work, without disabling "security". You need to enable "two step verification", register your device on you Gmail account, and save a separate password in Outlook.

and IE probably does let you use other search engines. If it's like any recent version of IE, the search engine registration process is a bit strange, and Google doesn't fully support it outside the USA.

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Remember Corel? It's just entered .DLL hell

david 12
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Interesting how many vulnerabilitie are found in .EXEs

...but this isn't a vulnerability found "in" an EXE or a DLL. This is a "search path vulnerability" which is part of a a DOS / Windows 3 design decision, thoughtlessly replicated to this very day, particularly by cross-platform developers: The decision to put the Application (EXE and DLL) in the same folder as the application Data ( BMP/JPG/DOC/DAT )

Originally, because you wanted, if possible, to put everything on the same floppy disk. Still, if thoughtless, because different platforms have different customs/rules for where user data should go, and where applications should go, and there are still people who just dump averything in together.

The vulnerability descibed her is that "the DLL search path includes the current directory". This was the default case on Windows for many years.

Is this just a description of the way old Windows application software works, or a special case of Corel being worse than everyone else when run on a current version of Windows? Dunno without more details.

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Three expat Brits explain their move to Australia

david 12
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Yes, the casual chauvanism from Aussies can be pretty strong, and often totally unaware. But on the other hand, it's been 30 years since I was in a group that was entirely or even mostly 3rd generation Aussies.

Russion, Polish, Italian, Greek, Vietnamese, Chinese, Slav, English, NZ, Islanders, Filipino, American, Canadian, Turks: Management, professional, or factory floor: if they weren't born overseas, their parents were.

My current workplace has only 1 (one) person with grandparents born in Aus, and 50% of the management positions are filled by people born elsewhere. You could find different, but it's not exceptional.

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Healthcare: Look anywhere you like for answers, just not the US

david 12
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Re: @Tim Worstal

An article on a complex subject, but unfortunately long, discursive, cheap, and poorly assembled. Would have done better at half the length or twice the content. 7 out of 10.

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david 12
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Re: I don't get the mentality of the US healthcare consumers.

I just explained that through a manageable level of taxation I was eligible for free healthcare, so if I had to have open heart surgery it would all be done free of charge etc. etc....

You think if it's that expensive then why are so many Americans against paying for something like the NHS through taxation?

Historically, the NHS was very poor at paying for heart surgery, compared to any other 1st world country, including the USA. Heart failure was on the list of "we just let you die" disorders.

It's unfair to judge the NHS just by Heart Surgery -- it was very good at things like broken arms -- and it is particularly unfair to judge the NHS by the health care they offered 40 years ago, but since you ask: the NHS had a reputation problem, and it hasn't entirely lived that down.

There is also a fairness/equity argument that wasn't addressed in this article. It is absolutely critical to any analysis that you understand that the NHS was unfair and inequatable by American standards. Difficult for UK citizens to get their head around the fact that Americans really do take equity and fairness seriously, when the culture is so different. Two countries seperated by a common language etc etc. The current American argument about American health care is that it is so unfair and inequatable that perhaps even other systems are no worse, but don't let that confuse you about why they didn't adopt the NHS on the UK model.

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UFOs in the '50s skies? CIA admits: 'IT WAS US'

david 12
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conspiracy theories

And my theory is that one reasons Americans are so prone to accepting conspiracy theories is that conspiracy was standard government procedure, and everybody knew it.

From the outside, these were all "UFOs", but remember that pilots / and airline passengers / were routinely being briefed and cautioned.

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30 years ago today, the first commercial UK 'mobile' phone call was made

david 12
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They weren't all wankers

I can remember an engineering student being called out of lecture because the production line had stopped. His company, which had allowed him to be offsite for further study, had paid for the phone.

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Office MACROS PERIL! Age-old VBScript tactic is BACK in biz attack

david 12
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fixed-point arithmetic

Every time I think that the discussion can't possible get any dumber, I meet another programmer who thinks floating point shouldn't be used for money calculations.

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Git thee behind me, Git crit security bug!

david 12
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Re: So is it Git or GitHub?

Or is it the font-sensitive file systems? A casual reading of the announcement indicates that ...

A client on a font-sensitive file system could overwrite ".git/config, causing problems for clients on font-insensitive file systems.

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Gigabit-over-TV-cable spec DOCSIS 3.1 passes interop test

david 12
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In Aus the CATV rollout was in the 90's. I've seen/heard no complaints about the physical condition of the cables.

The real issue (though you wouldn't know it here), is that some people don't have adsl or cable, and for some of those, wireless is not suitable. These are the people who were hoping that the original central-committee "three year plan" was something more than wishfull thinking.

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Brits conned out of nearly £24m in phone scams IN ONE YEAR

david 12
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Re: line open

2-3 minutes! (now reduced to 10 seconds).

On the old analog system, the line would stay connected for (long time) to (forever). In Aus this led to some very large call charges when mobiles first became popular. But AUS long ago went to something like 45sec for landlines, and almost-immediate if either of the phones is a mobile.

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Is the government's NBN policy changing your vote? Greens Senator Scott Ludlam thinks so

david 12
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Not because of the NBN

The Green position on the NBN only demonstrates how red and populist and ignorant they are. But since the Right is hostage to the Country party, and the Left is hostage to industrial unions, the only way to vote green is to vote for the Greens.

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Randall Munroe: The root nerd talks to The Register

david 12
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obligitory xkcd reference ...

I know there must be one, but I'm not scholar enough to find it.

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You stupid BRICK! PCs running Avast AV can't handle Windows fixes

david 12
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"Defence-in-depth security and Schannel hardening"

But no explanation what that means. Not mentioned at all in the "list of fixed issues"

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Leaked screenshots show next Windows kernel to be a perfect 10

david 12
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Re: Are they dropping legacy apps???

For the vast majority of Windows programmers, compatibility is handled by your compiler and runtime library.

Apart from a tiny number of open source app programmers, there are no awful programmers who rely on the major version number to determine whether their apps are compatible or not. And that number is tiny because the vast majority of open source apps run on a unix emulation layer, and have no regard for native os features.

But "9" is a magic number, because if we go back to the 90's, some "awful programmers" relied on the "9" to detect windows 95 and 98 -- particularly in scripts, and often not actually programmers at all, but that was at a time when it was possible for random people to do programming (unless they were using unix).

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Home Depot: Someone's WEAK-ASS password SECURITY led to breach

david 12
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2 factor authentication

"Enterprises should adopt 2 factor authentication for vendors who require access to their corporate networks and applications"

This. Standard, off the shelf technology. At this stage, failure to use 2 factor authentication for remote access by associated companies isn't surprising, it's just pathetic.

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Firefox decade: Microsoft's IE humbled by a dogged upstart. Native next?

david 12
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OS integrated browser was MS's point of failure.

It had it's good points as a design decision: you can see how popular "content on the desktop" is with IOS and Android. And we now get the true complaints that Outlook and Word don't render HTML like a proper browser -- because they have there own "office browser" technology because of the IE monopoly consent order meant they couldn't use an OS-integrated browser component.

But IE offered "multiple tab browsing" by putting each new tab (each new window) into the taskbar at the bottom of the screen -- a break with standard (and very successfull) Windows design of putting application menus on the application window, not on the main screen.

FF grabbed the day and put the multiple-tabs where God and Windows intended them, at the top of the application window.

You can see where MS came from: if the OS is the browser, then the multiple tabs are multiple OS tabs. But you can also see that at some stage they forgot that they had user tested the Win98 GUI, and copying older inferior screen designs was not going to be an improvement.

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NSW Govt spends half a million dollars on XP support

david 12
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Windows NT = 21 years old (ok with patches and SPs its not quite that old but you get the point)

... no, what exactly is the point?

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Disney wins Mickey Mouse patent for torrent-excluding search engine

david 12
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Re: What happened to USER requests?

>There's a 'verbatim' button ... that appears [TO] deliver the results I was looking for.

It doesn't deliver the results I was looking for: obviously, it doesn't deliver any results that are not in the index, which I guess means that it is (now) impossible to search on "punctuation", which is important for code searchs. And there are a number of other searchs (which I can't remember now) which used to be possible and are not possible now.

This is different that it was when I was a boy: Google has, I guess, "optimised" their search engine as well as their search commands, and if it is better for finding popular search items, it is definitely worse for finding specific information, which was one of my particular use cases.

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david 12
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Re: Disney patents internet search censorship

Only if you, your users, or your search engine, is based, used, or has assets in the US.

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Windows XP market share FELL OFF A CLIFF in October

david 12
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FUD from MS is working on most people.

Only have one 95 machine, one '98 machine and one 2K machine in production now. Expect that in 15 years will probably only have XP machine left.

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FIFTEEN whole dollars on offer for cranky Pentium 4 buyers

david 12
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Re: Stanford MIPS ???

>It blows the 386 out of the water

For certain values of "blows out of the water". But the points I was trying to make are repeated in the article you reference:

>RISC processors couldn’t tap into the huge, non-portable software installed base except under emulation

That is, they ran slower.

>This allowed the Pentium Pro to reach a clock speed of 200 MHz

The simpified die design did not, at expected, allow the MIPS machine to clock faster than CISC machines

>The Pentium Pro combined an innovative new out-of-order execution superscalar x86 microprocessor

Those were the compiler ideas which were the other half of how RISC computers started out faster than existing CISC computers.

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david 12
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Re: Stanford MIPS ???

"This design eliminated a number of useful instructions such as multiply and divide ... the chips could run at much higher clock rates."

In practice, the advanced compiler design, much higher clock rates and cheaper silicon didn't translate into a fundamental advantage in end-user speed.

It turned out, firstly, that you could get the same clock speed on silicon that did include "multiply and divide", and secondly, that you could implement in silicon the compiler techniques that Stanford MIPS pionered to work around the limitiations of their simplified-instruction, deeply-pipelined design.

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UK smart meters arrive in 2020. Hackers have ALREADY found a flaw

david 12
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"If you physically own a piece of hardware you can compromise it,"

The headline is one step more imaginary than the article, which is one step more imaginary than the BBC article it is based on. Only the Spanish know what the original researcher said, but this quote is attributed: "If you physically own a piece of hardware you can compromise it,"

Yes, I've only got plastic seals on my meter to prevent me bypassing it. No, it's rather more difficult to "hack for fraud" than my old meter, which could be slowed down with the simple placement of external magnets.

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david 12
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>wonder whether their "smart meters" will be smart enough to realize that there are PV "solar" panels

Yes, modern meters don't let you silently flow power back into the grid. You have to reach an agreement with your supplier, part of which is installing a meter that meters the amout of power you flow back into the grid. In areas where there is a lot of power flowing back into the grid, the supply voltage goes too high, so the supply companies have to limit the amout that is allowed to be connected.

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david 12
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Re: Soon you will be able @James Micallef

>And they did that because they were told to by the Uberfuhrers of Brussels,

...Who did that because the companies wanted improved meter reading. Brussels, of course, added in more features and more demands, which increased the price and vulnerability of the meters. The companies agreed, as the price they were willing to (have you) pay in order to get permission for the new generation of meters they wished to install.

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