* Posts by david 12

664 posts • joined 6 Jul 2009

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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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FTDI yanks chip-bricking driver from Windows Update, vows to fight on

david 12
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>which is plain and simple outright illegal,

I haven't seen charges brought, much less a conviction. I'll wait until I see that before I declare that something is "plain and simple outright" illegal.

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david 12
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Erasing the PID and VID makes the device non-functional.

Erasing PID and VID makes the device functional, and non infringing. The PID and VID are, at the device level, the claim that it is an FTDI chip. The chip can still do everything it could yesterday, except claim to be an FTDI chip.

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david 12
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Re: RS232 is used everywhere in industrial automation

And for that reason, we would be very glad to have notification if we were supplied with and using fake hardware.

No, I don't have a problem with fake hardware dissappearing in a puff of acrid smoke. We bin fake hardware when we are lumped with it.

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Whistleblower behind PM's daughter scholarship leak must wait for fate

david 12
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Speling Error

Soon there will be a press release stating that Frances Abbott is not a child, does not have a pecuniary interest register, and is not a member of parliament.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

david 12
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Re: the "fun" part about systemd

>an init system needs (yes, it's required) an http server running ... Systemd is a lot like the windows registry...

I take it you know very little about the windows registry?

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

david 12
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Killer...

And I don't mean that in a nice way. The article starts by telling us that he's running lean, producing NOx, which has a long known and easily measureable effect of increasing deaths due to respiratory failure in communities around roads, which is pretty much everwhere, and worst where there are the most roads, which is where there are the most people.

The solution is run rich. Which increases hydrocarbon emmissions. Which are cleaned by catalytic converter. Yes, that makes you less fuel efficient. Yes, they know that, but they did it anyway, because they decided it was a fair trade-off for killing fewer people.

The technology to run lean on production cars only really became available at about the same time as people realised that it should be made against the law to run lean on production cars. So no surprise that now, many years later, he can tune this car to run lean. And yes, he can piss on everyone else because they failed to make it illegal to do that to an old car. But he's an a-- if he uses that as an excuse.

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david 12
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Re: Cruise control

>The poor timing of your [Cruise Control] is a classic example of the difference that extra inputs can make ... You can see the brow of the hill approaching but the car cannot.

My CC doesn't work correctly with the car in automatic on a positive grade.

I think that the poor timing on my CC on my GM Cruze is a classic example of a poor product made to a price. Back when people paid extra to get CC on expensive models, I don't think anyone would have paid for this. I certainly would not. It is noticeably worse than any cruise control I've had before. It is 'acceptable' as a 'free' feature of the base model, but it doesn't work as a cruise control except on the flat.

It doesn't work on hills. I turn the CC off for hills. I have to use the accelerator to control the vehicle speed, because the CC doesn't. It lets the car get far too slow, shifts down a gear, then accelerates up hill to well over the speed limit. And, as a matter of policy, the local police like to do speed checks on up-hill straights, where you don't have any excuse for being over the speed limit.

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david 12
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Re: A light foot and wheel geometry works wonders

After working on my own cars and bikes, I was amazed to see a wheel spin, and spin, and spin, and spin, on an upside-down race car. On my cars, you can barely turn the undriven wheels by hand, due to bearing friction, and the bikes were only much better. Evidently race cars have much much much better wheel bearings.

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Torvalds CONFESSES: 'I'm pretty good at alienating devs'

david 12
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"it would surprise if they're talking,"

Given that Torvalds is a Techie, and a Fin, it would surprise if he took offense at all.

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Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft

david 12
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>And in few years it might get to where Solaris has been for years

You mean a hobby?

"only for the purpose of developing, testing, prototyping and demonstrating your applications, and not for any other purpose."

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White LED lies: It's great, but Nobel physics prize-winning great?

david 12
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Lighting levels with High Efficiency Fluorescent Tubes

The design suggestion for using High Efficiency Fluorecent Tubes was to place only 2 tubes on a 3 tube fixture, and to disconnect some fixtures. It is common in shopping centres and government buildings around here.

It is sold as a power saving measure. Perhaps part of the reason they get away with it is that new tubes are always brighter than old tubes, so you don't get a fair comparison when you replace 3 old tubes with 2 new tubes: the new tubes are bright by design, but also bright by newness.

In any case, I would not place 2 bright tubes in a fixture built for 3 old-design tubes: given the choice, I would make my school, government and shopping buildings brighter, because I focus better in brighter light.

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david 12
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Re: Let there be light!

>I suspect the major eco benefit of LED will be the very long life -

Both incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs are available in long-life versions. The first CFL I bought in the 1980's is still going (outside lamp that requires a ladder to change), and I was buying 2000 hr and 5000 hr incandescents just out of laziness (so I didn't have to change as often).

I suspect that people will continue to buy lamps that require frequent replacement.

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Linux systemd dev says open source is 'SICK', kernel community 'awful'

david 12
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Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

>Python ... explicit, unmissable and accepted codes of conduct.

Actually, I was including Python when I wrote "insults from people who didn't understand the question, much less know the answers, including some people who thought they were very experienced experts".

The Python newsgroups were marked by the extraordinary delusion that they were polite, helpful, and supportive. Which was true only in comparison to groups like the kernel community.

Let me be explicit: The Python comunity was NOTHING LIKE helpful, supportive, informative, or even generally correct, when judged on an absolute scale, or when compared to the the Microsoft newsgroups. As in "can I go here and get a true and correct answer to a common question?"

Microsoft killed off the newsgroups, and the volunteer community. But, while it lasted, it (and the onetime Borland community) demonstrated that volunteer technical communities aren't all populated by assholes.

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david 12
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Re: Assholes seem to be part of the deal for success in the tech world

>Linux has Linus

>Apple had Jobs

>Microsoft had Ballmer

I spent years in the microsoft.public newsgroups, and they were nothing at all like the alt.comp newsgroups.

microsoft.public.* was populated by volunteers with a willingness to helpfully answer boring simple questions, including from some very experienced experts.

alt.comp.* was marked by insults from people who didn't understand the question, much less know the answers, including some people who thought they were very experienced experts.

I agree with the characterization of the Open Source and kernel communities. But it is shared and pre-dated by the BSD community, so I don't see that Linus is in any way the source of the problem.

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Pen-testers outline golden rules to make hacks more €xpen$ive

david 12
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Re: let me see if I've got this right.

>Unfortunately two very common apps - Word and Excel - have scripting built in

And trivially disabled for users on Windows platforms: dunno about the modern (cloud) versions or the Mac versions.

And I've worked with Excel and Word scripting. Many people use Excel and Word scripting: many people don't. Unless your Network Admin is in a building on the other side of the <whatever> and doesn't give a <whatever>, it is trivially easy (in a Windows environment) to whitelist people or apps that need scripting, and block everything else.

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Bash bug flung against NAS boxes

david 12
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Re: Synology users Ok

--Which also points to the limitations of using the well-known test script to test your shell vulnerability.

The shell you test may not be vulnerable, but the other users and other services my be using some other shell.

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Vertigan killed FTTP but the battle for scalable FTTN has not begun

david 12
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So borrowing costs nothing?

And borrowing for the NBN does not displace borrowing for other infrustructure?

Your expectation of economic illiteracy would be breathtaking, if it wasn't taking place in a thread about the NBN. Here, we expect nothing else.

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Windows 10: One for the suits, right Microsoft? Or so one THOUGHT

david 12
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>multiple virtual desktops

>Another key feature is multiple virtual desktops. The engineering for multiple desktop support has been in Windows for years, but has now surfaced for the first time. Mac OS X and Linux desktops have this feature, so the puzzle is why it has taken Windows so long to catch up?<

Because F*ing virtual desktops are F*ing useless. Yes the engineering has been there for years: yes you can install multiple desktops on Win98, 2K, XP, XP2p2, Vista, or Win7 (dunno about 8). No, hardly anybody ever does, because it's a worthless feature.

Even on a non-Windows PC, where the broken X-Windows derived interface means you need to have a separate screen to get a proper separate window, only self-important sys-admins and self-imagined development gurus use virtual desktops.

Demonstrably more useful is a Large Virtual Desktop, as on the iPhone or on the Kaypro Osborne 1. That was never supported by Windows, or by third-party add-ins: it was only ever supported by Device Drivers from card makers. Does Win10 support that technology?

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Student pleads guilty to Frances Abbott 'secret' scholarship leak

david 12
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Special treatment?

Hello, actually a bit suprised to see the sub-header. Because at the time, the almost unanimous opinion of the ABC (not generally known as a hotbead of Abbott support) was that Frances Abbott was a legitmate contender for the scholarship in 2011, and that the attack was a sexist assault on a young woman merely because she had a family attachment.

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NBN Co says Melton test not valid, likely uses processes developed there anyway

david 12
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For those of you who haven't been there yet, Melton is both non-representative, and a good place to do base-line studies. It is a plain, flat, boring landscape with recent infrastructure.

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Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers

david 12
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Re: Java as a crutch

FF doesn't run Javascript exploits? Thank God I can get rid of NoScript -- Everyday more of the www refuses to run unless it can first check that you have a 'supported' browser.

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Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around

david 12
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RE: nitroglycerine.

>At the other end, the battery evolves metallic lithiun,

>which is the equivalent of the petrol in your car turning

>into nitroglycerine.

Metalic Lithium contains both an oxidiser and an oxidant? Allowing it to release energy without using an external oxidiser like 'air'?

I wish people wouldn't casually compare explosives with single components of two-part reactions.

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China is now 99.8% sure you're you, thanks to world's-best facial recognition wares

david 12
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"The systems already in place ... dramatically cut down on [immigration] wait times, much to this correspondent's delight."

Not that I'd noticed. Rather the opposite. Immigration wait times are noticebly longer now than they were back when immigration used to just look at your face, and at your passport, and then stamp the passport.

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