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* Posts by Wintermute

53 posts • joined 4 Aug 2009

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Europe: Apple could NOT care less about kids' in-app cash sprees

Wintermute

Personal Responsibility

No one is forced to buy iOS or Android apps. Life goes on quite well without them. If you do decide to buy an app, then it is your responsibility to learn how purchases work on your device.

Complaining to the EU is the equivalent of buying a car without first having learned how to drive. After you have reduced your new car to a smoking pile of rubble on the side of the road, you then blame the person who sold you the car for all your woes.

Are we not adults? Are we not responsible for our own actions?

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Apple Safari, Mail and more hit by SSL spying bug on OS X, fix 'soon'

Wintermute

Test-Driven Development

So with this bug, we see that Apple either does not use TDD at all or lacked a test case for a mandatory part of establishing an SSL connection.

With the proper tests in place, this bug would have been squashed before it was ever released.

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Apple prepping 4K resolution 12.9-inch MaxiPad – report

Wintermute
Go

A4 / Letter-Size Paper at 100%

Some of us have been waiting for a device from Apple that can render an A4 or letter-size piece of paper without needing to scale the display or pan the image.

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Salesforce whips out private-public-ish 'iTunes app store' for enterprise IT

Wintermute

Don't tar Salesforce with Microsoft's blunders

Azure may have had two worldwide failures just this year, which makes the offering from Salesforce all the more compelling.

How many times has Salesforce's cloud gone down globally over its entire history? That's right, never.

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Dark matter: Good news, everyone! We've found ... NOTHING AT ALL

Wintermute
Boffin

Re: Xenon

Xenon melts at -111.8°C and boils at -108°C. For the next experiment, the test apparatus needs to regulate the temperature of 300kg of the element for 300 days within a band of 3.8°C. That's impressive. Who – like me – wants photos of the apparatus itself?

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FROM MY COLD, DEAD HANDS: Microsoft faces prising XP from Big Biz

Wintermute

Code does not rot

Code does not rot. The only reason Microsoft XP is "obsolete" is that Microsoft is declaring it so.

Instead of killing it off, Microsoft could be selling maintenance service for the OS from here until the end of time. End users at home might not pony up the cash, but a lot of tired, overworked Sys Admins would gladly pay protection money so that they get all the latest patches.

It's a pity really. Without adding features, every code patch makes XP a little bit more stable. I would be interested to see where XP would be with another decade or two of patches.

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Google: Now your mom will try to sell you toilet paper

Wintermute
Mushroom

I am willing to pay to be freed from this madness

Here is an idea Google: Why not give us each the option to pay 40 GBP/EUR/USD/whatever a year to use Google services without being molested? When we become the customers instead of the cattle, maybe Google's treatment of the little people would improve.

FYI, the day that I am forced to create a Google Plus profile to access GMail will be the day that I pick a new email provider.

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Google builds crowdsourcing into new Maps code stack

Wintermute

Colourblindness at The Reg?

Those dots are green.

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Dotcom says German authors' society canned Mega launch vid

Wintermute
Unhappy

GEMA is loathsome

About a third of YouTube goes dark in Germany because GEMA objects to the videos and Google slavishly agrees to all their demands. The scope of the material blocked is vast: Educational videos are blocked if a snippet of music can be detected in the background. Self-publishing artists are routinely blocked. Even big Internet sensations like Gangnam Style were blocked. The law in Germany needs to be changed. GEMA is a success but at a huge social cost to Germany.

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Max Headroom style fake celebrity avatar plan seeks Kickfunding

Wintermute
Happy

Good Job!

El Reg needs to work Max Headroom references into articles more often.

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Dell launches Sputnik Linux Ultrabook

Wintermute
Trollface

8GB RAM and 256GB memory

Wow. 256GB of memory. That's awesome! I am going to hold Dell to this one if it's in their literature and not only a screwup on the part of El Reg. Yes, Dell must design me a new machine.

Incidentally, what is this 8GB of non-memory RAM used for? (Not that I care much. With 256GB of main memory, I can easily waste 8GB here and there.)

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Are you an IT pro? It's no longer safe to bet your career on Microsoft

Wintermute
Happy

This is a great article.

It reads like something the BOFH would write.

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Microsoft Surface popped open, poked, prodded

Wintermute

What killjoy did not enjoy your crazy, over-the-top colour descriptions from the earlier article?

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Apple loses UK 'Samsung copied us' appeal: Must publicly GROVEL

Wintermute

Arial? How gauche!

Will the judge allow 14pt Helvetica instead?

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Pixar open sources production animation code, patents

Wintermute

Why and Why Now?

What would prompt Pixar to give their secret sauce away?

I fail to see how this helps Pixar at all.

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Copyright bot boots NASA rover vid off YouTube

Wintermute
FAIL

YouTube's blocking is a real head-scratcher

YouTube needs help with their content blocking. Yes, I've seen their TEDtalk about how wonderful it all is supposed to work, but experience suggests otherwise: For example, YouTube blocks Skrillex music videos in Germany, despite the fact that TheOfficialSkrillex account belongs to the musician himself.

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Bill Gates, Harry Evans and the smearing of a computer legend

Wintermute
FAIL

Disappointing

As a dues-paying member of the IEEE, I am not only disappointed that this article in the generalist Spectrum magazine is so woefully wrong, but I am doubly disappointed that I in part paid for it.

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More Steve Jobs iPad mini attacks from beyond the grave

Wintermute
Happy

The great thing about Steve Jobs was that he was willing to change his mind, unlike small-minded people who make a decision and then will ignore all contradictory evidence indefinitely thereafter.

If Apple comes out with a 7" tablet, this would be just like Steve would have done.

If Apple does not come out with a 7" tablet, this would also be just like Steve would have done.

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Super-powerful Flame worm could take YEARS to dissect

Wintermute
Joke

lazy team refuses to reinvent the wheel

"it uses various open-source libraries including libz for compression; it is spread out over several files rather than as one executable; and most unusually it uses a database managed by the SQLite library."

Well, I guess someone finally discovered a use for open source software.

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Sony stock slides to 30-year low after record loss

Wintermute

I'm so old that

I remember when SONY was cool.

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Canada failing to sufficiently protect IP rights – US report

Wintermute
Stop

Yet Another Round of American Stupidity

The Americans seem unable to understand that Canada is not part of their country. Someone must have not gotten the memo that the War of 1812 ended with the British colonies north of the USA intact.

Canadian copyright and fair use laws are different from those in the U.S. They are not worse. In fact, in many cases they are more restrictive.

It seems that every time the Americans want to force a new round of stupidity on Canada, they begin by issuing one of these sham reports claiming that Canada is some rogue country with no regard for intellectual property or copyright law. It's up to Canadians to decide if they will listen to this stupidity or not.

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The Ethernet Alliance is thinking fast

Wintermute
Unhappy

blech

There is something horribly wrong with this article but I can't quite put my finger on it.

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Spotify dances onto iPad

Wintermute
Facepalm

Re: Why is it only for premium users?

If Gareth had not of already said it, I would. The doubling of price just to listen to it on an iPad vs a Mac is a big turn off.

I use my fondleslab much more than my Mac at home, the lack of non-premium access is pushing me in the opposite direction, toward dumping Spotify entirely. I only wish Spotify devs read The Reg.

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Hamburg court: Google must police YouTube content

Wintermute
FAIL

Germany Calling

As an expat, an avid YouTube user, and a resident of Germany, I can tell you that GEMA has already gone way too far. Sure, according to German law they are winning, but they are losing the hearts and minds of the people here.

It already seems that half of YouTube is blocked in Germany. I imagine that implementing this most recent victory will block even more.

I don't listen to commercial music on YouTube. I'm usually interested in random videos that involve people talking, but when there is even a short snippet of a song from one of GEMA's artists, the entire video is blocked.

I have bookmarked some of these banned videos and played them when visiting other more enlightened countries. Often, I cannot discern anything musical playing in the videos at all. This makes me think that Google's algorithms are already generating false positives matching GEMA content, blocking more of YouTube than is absolutely necessary.

I did not even know that GEMA existed until I tried to access YouTube in Germany, but I hate them with a passion now for how they have managed to mutilate YouTube into frustrating uselessness. If punishing German residents is their business model, then I hope that GEMA fails sooner rather than later.

If I were a German citizen, I would vote for the Pirate Party in any upcoming state or federal election to help put an end to this GEMA nonsense.

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Internet Explorer nibbles browser rivals, swells by 1%

Wintermute
Facepalm

The big problem here is that there is no way to accurately measure browser usage everywhere. Although the reported number for IE went up marginally, my guess is that the uncertainty error bars out to 95% accuracy are really, really large.

The point is that a reported 1% change is actually swamped by the uncertainty in the figure they are reporting.

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Google tramples over Euro data protection law – French watchdog

Wintermute
Unhappy

Google's New Goal of "Stickiness"

I wish Google would stop aspiring to be yet another stupid Internet portal. If I wanted a service like that, then I would have signed up with Yahoo years ago.

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Google plots Chrome web password maker

Wintermute

LastPass

Go search the Security Now podcast archive on GRC. There's an episode about LastPass where Steve Gibson explains why it is cryptographically strong. LastPass is the solution. It's been out there for years. If you are not using it, then you are really missing out.

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Microsoft schedules Kinect for Windows launch

Wintermute

Do will there be drivers for Mac OS X?

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NEWSFLASH: Chips cheaper than disks

Wintermute
Meh

Spinning disks are cheap at twice the price.

Unless you work in one of those small edge cases were SSDs actually make sense for how you use a computer, HDDs are still the way to go.

The MTBF issued by SSD makers might be really high, but my experience and those of others (see The Coding Horror blog, for example) would suggest that when SSDs fail, they fail hard. As in "you just lost everything" hard.

Despite what SSD makers would have you believe, it's still a nascent market and the long-term reliability of those SSDs are an unknown.

Go for it guina pigs. I will wait for the stats to roll in over time.

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FCC's net-neut rules now official

Wintermute
Go

GIves a Government Override

The three rules are good, but I would remove the word 'lawful' as it gives the U.S. Federal Government a veto on what can be sent over the Internet.

Yes, yes, I know that 'lawful' was probably stuck in there to placate U.S. media lobbies, but it could also allow for a future Chinese-inspired Great Wall of America.

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How are we going to search our hard disks now?

Wintermute
Thumb Up

Thanks, Andrew Orlowski, you have made my day

Hey Andrew,

You put to words how I have been feeling all weekend since I learned that Google Desktop is being killed. There is no equivalent to this program, and the built-in search in Windows are brain dead compared to Google Desktop.

Can we petition Google to turn Google Desktop into a commercial product? Maybe if we all ofter to pay 50USD / 50GBP / 50EUR (depending on where we live), Google will decide to keep this "unprofitable" program in development.

Quite honestly, I was blown away by the quality of Google Desktop when it came out, and to this day I can't believe that Google has been giving it away for free.

/ Wm

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Google does a mean spring clean

Wintermute
Unhappy

Farewell Google Desktop, we'll miss you

Nothing, absolutely nothing searches Outlook mail quicker and easier than Google Desktop Search.

The workflow is:

1. CTRL CTRL

2. type in your search terms

3. hit ENTER

I read the blog announcement on Friday, and immediately downloaded one last no-longer-to-be-revised copy of Google Desktop.

Such an excellent piece of software. It will be sad to see it go.

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Dutch CA banished for life from Chrome, Firefox

Wintermute
Go

Tempest in a Teapot; move along people, there's nothing to see here.

The real story here is that Public Key Infrastructure (PKI) works: DigiNotar cannot be trusted and so those who maintain the mainstream browsers have removed it from the lists of trusted root certificates.

If there is any lesson to be learned here it would be to create a well-defined, repeatable revocation process for everyone to follow so that future cases can be handled with speed and ease, both of which are necessary for a breach like this.

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Microsoft unveils file-move changes in Windows 8

Wintermute
Alert

What!? Undeletable Files?! Impossible.

@Semaj

Killing handles to open files?

You should REALLY try Process Explorer from Mark Russinovich, formerly of SysInternals and now part of the Borg proper.

Workflow:

1. Open Process Explorer

2. Press CTRL+F

3. Type in the name of the wayward file

4. TA DA! There's the program that's holding it (usually Adobe Acrobat Reader)

5. Kill the process and the file is deletable.

Honestly, is it that hard?

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Rumbled benefits cheats offer sensational excuses

Wintermute
Unhappy

This is merely government misdirection

The real crimes are bankers pushing their private debts onto the government, then forcing the public to accept austerity measures to pay for them. All the supposed savings to benefits programmes won't add up to a thousandth of the money that could have been saved by letting bank fail.

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Star Wars fanboys to restore Tatooine Homestead

Wintermute
Coat

This article has me worried

This Star Wars stuff seems to be getting out of hand.

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So, what's the best sci-fi film never made?

Wintermute
Happy

Does Cyberpunk count as Sci Fi?

I'm still waiting for a cinematic masterpiece based on a book titled "Neuromancer" by author William Gibson.

Of course, no book would live up to my high expectations, but I'd still enjoy watching it and being disappointed.

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Steve Wozniak ready for return to Apple

Wintermute
Paris Hilton

Woz back at Apple is one of the worst ideas The Reg has ever floated

Steve Wozniak made some clever microcomputer designs using the newly-available, cheap, IC components back in the 1970s, full of obscure little hacks and kludges to squeeze the last bit of power out of those low-count circuits.

So he made one design and it took off. The Apple II was one of the original Big Three of the 8-bit computer world. But here's my point: So what?

I'm sure that the Woz is a friendly and personable older technie, but everyone nowadays has some strange washed-up old uncle who still likes toying around with tech like he is still 15 years old. Steve Wozniak had his moment of brilliance three decades ago.

Paris is the icon here, because even Paris isn't dumb enough to try making another infamous video when she's fifty years old.

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Junk mail down 1/3 since Rustock botnet takedown

Wintermute

The Real Problem

Isn't the real problem that it is impossible to secure computers running Windows?

Wake me when OS X, BSD, UNIX, Linux, et al experience similar problems.

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Microsoft spends $7.5m on IP addresses

Wintermute
Coat

The Silver Lining

It's just nice to see Nortel being relevant for one, albeit fleeting, moment.

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Dutch courts: Wi-Fi 'hacking' is not a crime

Wintermute
Paris Hilton

Interpretation of the Ruling

So, it's the right ruling for the wrong reasons? This leaves me conflicted.

Paris because she's often conflicted.

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Visa goes all P2P in US

Wintermute

There are alternatives to this VISA e-mail thing

If anyone is interested in a completely anonymous peer-to-peer payment system that does not require any intermediaries at all, then I recommend you google the words BitCoin and BTC.

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Why Nokia failed: 'Wasted 2,000 man years' on UIs that didn't work

Wintermute
Thumb Up

Excellent

It's articles like this that keep me coming back to The Register year after year.

Keep up the good work.

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Apple frees iOS 4.3 two days before iPad 2 Arrival™

Wintermute
Thumb Down

4.99 is infinitely more than Zero

If we had never had free dev tools on the Mac, then we'd have no reason to complain. But even for a few bucks vs zero pisses me off, and I'm probably not the only one who feels this way.

Does Apple really want to fragment their developers, with some people opting to stay with the older and free V3 while others use V4? That's possible but not in Apple's best interests. And who's to say that 4.99 in the developing world is manageable? Argh.

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Nokia: free phones for developers

Wintermute
Stop

Trying to buy developers

Is it a bad thing when even the promise of free phones doesn't excite me enough to develop for this platform?

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That's Schmidt: So long to the Google chief who wasn't

Wintermute
Coat

No more good puns?

He's worth keeping, simply so that Googlers can continue e-mailing people messages that start with "Schmidt my CEO says ..."

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Amazon invites 5 terabyte mondo-files into the heavens

Wintermute
Joke

5 terabyte mega-files

Your headline hurt my head:

5*2^40 * 2^20 bytes = 5 242 880 tebibytes

where tebibytes once equalled terabytes before HD manufacturers (and then clueless users, and then OS makers) ruined everything.

I was disappointed to read that we can only store 5TiB files on Amazon. Still, I guess that's better than the old limit.

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Empire Strikes Back director Kershner dies at 87

Wintermute
Go

The Prequels are so bad that they demand an explanation

If you've ever wondered what is wrong with the prequel Star Wars movies, I have found someone who has taken great care to explain it all:

http://redlettermedia.com/phantom_menace.html

http://redlettermedia.com/clones.html

I recommend that you throw away your copies of The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones and watch these instead. In fact, although I could not imagine ever suffering through either movie ever again, I have rewatched the reviews. Now that's something.

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Google's 'instant' search springs keyboard controls

Wintermute
Grenade

Here's an idea: Why not let web browsers navigate web sites?

Wow, look here everyone! Google has invented keyboard navigation! This is such an innovation!

To paraphrase "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.'" we could say "Those who are ignorant of web browsers are condemned to reimplement them in javascript, poorly".

Okay, ridicule aside, here is my beef with Google's keyboard navigation: This feature belongs in the web browser, so that you can use it on any and every website accessible on Earth. I know of at least one Norwegian web browser which has had full keyboard navigation for more than a decade.

It's a pity that the ignorant masses need Google to hold their hands like this.

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