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* Posts by James R Grinter

82 posts • joined 5 Aug 2009

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Yorkshire cops fail to grasp principle behind BT Fon Wi-Fi network

James R Grinter

Re: Not wanting to defend plod, but

You get a separate public IP address, in a range allocated to BT WiFi (BT OpenZone), from the household users of the BT Broadband connection.

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207 thousand lights-out boxes are STILL hackable

James R Grinter

Re: Maybe more wiring-related than protocol-related

it does share the port, yes. it doesn't share the IP address, so it doesn't take much to realise that you can use a non-routed address range across your IPMI devices.

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IPv4 addresses now EXHAUSTED in Latin America and the Caribbean

James R Grinter

Re: When el reg, when?

Side note: I had to disable IPv6 on our servers recently because Google's GCM servers still don't properly accept connections over v6

(They do now allow you to set v6 addresses in the access list, but it still doesn't seem to work)

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Mens sana in fibro sano: Virgin Media network-level smut filters are ON

James R Grinter

Re: boosting its broadband connection speed to 152Mbit/s

well that's just cos your router isn't managing the upstream traffic very well, or at all. Look for options involving ACK or small packet priority, or settings that will rate limit outbound traffic to the 3Mbps or just below.

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Play.com tech titan snaps up 'VoIP-tastic WhatsApp' firm Viber

James R Grinter

What screwed up Play.com was the change in VAT arrangements for sales from the Channel Islands, no? I can't help but feel that Rakuten didn't do their due diligence on the deal.

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Friends don't do tech support for friends running Windows XP

James R Grinter

Re: ...they can be persuaded to switch to a Mac

Well I've upgraded my Macs since pre OS X days, and brought all the data (and Applications, which worked great until Rosetta was dropped in Lion) with me each time. Usually program preferences too. So Microsoft's upgrade path from XP is a bit of a let down. (Do I have to go and find a copy of Vista to install?)

But it's not my friends who are needing my help, it's my Mum. How do I explain to her that all her files would have to be backed up and restored? To her, that would be a sign that she should have continued saving all her Word docs on floppies all these years... Oh well, she has an iPad now, the PC can be relegated to typewriter duties.

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Android users running old OS versions? Not anymore, say latest stats

James R Grinter

Re: android upgrade debate

For the developer it's about wanting to use the latest APIs, methods, and even the range of UI things you can style have massively improved with the newer Android releases. Alternatively you have to stick with the lowest common denominator, and 20% of a potential user base is not to be sniffed at.

Then there's testing. Testing requires a lot of effort- you cannot avoid checking on the multiple screen sizes and dpi, but then multiple API levels (more than the major Android release milestones), the multiple handset vendor customisations (I've had bugs that surface solely on Sony, and have one right now that only shows up on a Galaxy 3 Note) mean you really do have to test on more than the emulator.

That is, if you want to have useful, working apps on your Smartphone. Perhaps the majority of the Android user base is just happy with themes and spiffy looking program launchers?

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Apple stores? Samsung says two can play at that game

James R Grinter

Carphone Warehouse?

well, that worked out well for Best Buy.

(Ther's been a Samsung shop in Westfield East London since Micro Anvika pulled out. Never seems busy when I've walked by)

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Lloyds Group probes server crash behind ATM, cash card outage

James R Grinter

Re: Tandem

When I wrote some code for "Non-stop" Tandems (TAL, 20 years ago or so, as part of an industrial placement), you had to write the code to synchronise across two CPUs yourself. I think the only thing running like that on those production systems was the command shell. I'm sure it sounded great to whoever got the original sales pitch, but the reality was a long way away.

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Pinterest who? EU rules social network CAN'T trademark its own name

James R Grinter

And just who has heard of Premium Interest and their use of the mark?

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Fanbois, prepare to lose your sh*t as BRUSSELS KILLS IPHONE dock

James R Grinter

Got to wonder what you're doing with them. I've got two MagSafe chargers, had both over three years, and they're still running fine (though new kitten has developed an unhealthy interest in one- it'll be that which kills the cable, if anything)

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Half of all mobes sold in South-East Asia are now smart

James R Grinter

Re: Sad

There's a lot advertised for sale, via Chinese distributors, on Amazon. Many seem to be pretty crap specs (watch out for some that are only 2G!), and the rest - well - bit of a gamble as to what spec they actually are. But you might get lucky.

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I thought I was being DDOSed. Turns out I'm not that important...

James R Grinter

Re: Stop wasting the Police & your ISP's time

Setting up is easy. Setting up and running safely... not so much.

But I know that the author has been doing this sort of thing since at least the mid-90s, and I assume he's kept up to date with what is required to do the job in 2013.

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Slip your SIM into a plastic sheath, WIPE international call charges

James R Grinter

Re: Oh dear...

Parts of Lincolnshire are like this (the Notts/Leics borders). You can just about get a phone signal, but you won't get even GPRS

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'Bogus IT guys' slurp £1.3m from Barclays: Cybercops cuff 8 blokes

James R Grinter

Not if they then leave their card in, unattended.

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Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

James R Grinter

Great as a portable device with modem

I had one of the MessagePad 2000s and back in 1997/1998, with the keyboard it was a great little Internet-capable device when travelling! TCP/IP (with PPP and a PCMCIA modem or Ethernet), a simple web browser, and email.

(The eMate obviously more than inspired the original iBook designs.)

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Do you trust your waiter? Hacked bank-card reader TEXTS your info to crims

James R Grinter

Re: Captured PIN

Well never enter a PIN on a swipe transaction of course, but how do we make sure the public know that?

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BYOD is boring - how about working on a games console instead?

James R Grinter

Re: BYOD - A dead end street

Another industry but... My dad was a carpenter/joiner. There were certain tools he was always expected to have/use (chisels, planes, saws, etc), and other often bigger stuff that an employer would provide (bandsaws, circular saws, planing machines) in the workshop. Some things he'd use of his own because they were just better or more comfortable- he could get the job done better or easier.

So I don't really find it too surprising that, if a company is employing staff for their skills and talent, rather than just as "warm bodies" on seats, that they might want to let them use their preferred tools where it is reasonable and practical to do so.

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UK micro pioneer Chris Shelton: The mind behind the Nascom 1

James R Grinter

We had a Nascom-1 at school, in a very elegant wooden box as I recall. One Nascom amongst about 5 BBC Micros at the time.

I seem to remember some very enterprising and more talented and older than I writing a sideways scroller game for it. Dave C? Do you remember anything about that?

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USA reverses iPhone, iPad sales ban

James R Grinter

Re: "Standards-Essential Patents"

If you contribute a technique to a standard, and it gets included, you have to pledge that it will be made available on a non-discriminatory basis to any and all wanting to implement that standard. They can profit, but not single out, over charge some, or prevent some companies from using it.

What doesn't make sense in that?

(Patent trolls of course don't participate in standards making and don't disclose that they hold patents as part of the process of making standards.)

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James R Grinter

Re: A helping FRAND

If by that you mean - do Apple hold any patents that are "standards essential" and licensed on non discriminatory grounds - yes. They hold a number of patents in the H.264 video codec space, and they are available from the MPEG-LA consortium.

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Oracle deploys lawyers against Solaris fix-it duo

James R Grinter

Re: Microsoft isn't far behind

taking the security patches into the "contract only" areas of Sunsolve pre-dates the Oracle takeover.

I think it was pretty short-sighted, too. Oracle merely accelerated the attempt to kill off Solaris, by removing the freely available Solaris update images and Solaris Express.

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Critical Java SE update due Tuesday fixes 40 flaws

James R Grinter

Re: Plugin or runtime vulnerabilities?

This report makes it sound like its in particular classes (or libraries, as we old folk call them).

But libraries that ship as part of the "core" platform, akin to a bug in libc or stdlib (but many times more complex as they're often working at a higher level of abstraction)

As to complaint about Java, show me a language and runtime/ ecosystem that haven't had a history of security bugs or, worse, caused lots of code to be written with security bugs. If you have one, explain why everyone isn't already using it...

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Borked your iDevice? Pay EVEN MORE to have it fixed by Applecare

James R Grinter
Unhappy

Re: Grr...

"They refused to fix my boss' laptop which they admitted had a "bad logic board" causing it to crash dead when an external monitor was plugged in. He had to either splash £750 for a new "logic board" or buy a new laptop."

they replaced a powerbook logic board for me - twice - when it was still under AppleCare, for that very problem: it would put the fans full on and shut down with a temperature error - when plugging in anything 1920x1200 or larger.

(Second one apparently failed because they hadn't put the heat-sink properly back on the GPU, so it failed too. C'est la vie.)

They wouldn't replace an iMac logic board 6 months out of AppleCare though.

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Eric Schmidt defends Google's teeny UK tax payouts - again

James R Grinter

Re: Company Obligations

Andrew Witty (GSK CEO) put this point about shareholders well,

"Everything we do is dominated by the super long-run view. Once we're all aligned around that, I find very little conflict between doing the right thing and looking after shareholders. Because it is not in the shareholder's interest for us to be criticized by regulators or to find for some reason we're not competitive in a part of the world simply because we haven't challenged our business model and reputation is important to them. They want to own shares in companies with decent reputations, and there is all sorts of good evidence to support that. I don't think I've had a significant challenge from a shareholder on these sorts of issues. Where the tension comes in is when shareholders are looking at the short-term. Yes, we want to succeed is in the short-term, but really where we need to succeed is in the medium- and long-term because that is the cycle time for this industry."

[from an interview at http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/phillypharma/202248061.html -- but he's made the same points elsewhere, and often.]

in other words, doing the best for shareholders usually means doing the best for everyone else too (unless you're chasing short-term profit at the expense of the long-term.)

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jQuery 2.0 kicks old Internet Explorer versions to the curb

James R Grinter

if your business is still relying on those come next year, it's your management that need to be put against the wall - no IT staff will have been supporting that kind of decision: it'll only have been bean counters...

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James R Grinter

just under a year to go, for formal end of IE 6

Microsoft IE6 support is slated to finish with the end of XP SP3 "extended" Support in April 2014 - it only offers commercial support for it in XP.

(http://windows.microsoft.com/en-GB/windows/products/lifecycle#section_2)

IE7 lives until end of Vista (April 2017.)

(I always figured this is Microsoft's way of preventing the success of web-based tools, by keeping it alive for as long as possible.)

It would be hard, even for the most sluggardly and hard to manoeuvre of large enterprises, to ignore the April 2014 date and keep running XP past then.

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Review: Kobo Arc Android tablet

James R Grinter
Meh

Re: Kobo has already been where the smart shoppers have ended up.

Their desktop software, the synchronisation options (everyone seems to use Calibre - it's not really a friendly piece of software though), and the whole 'experience' of working with ePubs is poor on their e-readers though.

It's a shame, because if they made synchronisation and management of plain ePubs possible, and did something to allow local wifi-synchronisation rather than just books bought from Kobo, I think they could do really well.

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The ten SEXIEST computers of ALL TIME

James R Grinter

Re: Wot no SGI?

My indy didn't (and still doesn't... I've still got it, though no monitor) split along the diagonal slice. The entire plastic lid is one single moulding, on top of a steel box. I've never seen any as you describe.

It does look good, though the later O2 probably had the edge.

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Library ebooks must SELF-DESTRUCT if scribes want dosh - review

James R Grinter

Re: It really should be simple enough

ours (UK, London Borough of Haringey) uses Overdrive too.

That's why this idea of "running pilots" later this year is strange, because many have already been doing this for a few years now.

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News Corp prez threatens to pull Fox TV off the air

James R Grinter

Re: I'd expect the judge's ruling to be appealed and overturned.

that's the point of the tiny-antenna approach though. They're not re-broadcasting: they're receiving a signal on a single aerial, and sending it to the single customer over a long (through the internet) "piece of wire".

They're not even sharing the aerial, like a communal one on a block of flats (which is very common here in the UK). They're also not sending the transmission to customers outside of the area it could be received in.

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Net neutrality? We've heard of it, says Ofcom

James R Grinter

Re: Switching ADSL

Strangely, it's still easier to unbundle than it is to re-bundle (or to move sideways to another LLU - "side-bundle"?)

I'm really surprised, after all this time, that BT hasn't at least tried to make it easier to get customers back without the customer losing broadband service for a number of days, or needing a home visit. But, they haven't.

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Wealthy London NIMBYs grit teeth, welcome 'ugly' fibre cabinets

James R Grinter

Re: Which is a real problem if some pillock has parked their car on the kerb as well.

Illegal to drive on it. Not illegal to park there, or something like that. (compare and contrast with how upset people get at cycling on pavements.)

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Apple buys indoor mapper WiFiSLAM

James R Grinter

Re: Huh?

quite, the author is comparing apples and oranges whilst desperately looking for an el-reg headline.

This is about dealing with lack of GPS signal when indoors: using WiFi detection approaches in a smarter way.

It's got nothing to do with gazetteer data (which Google has also taken from third-party companies too. The Thompson and Yell data was always woeful and poor. Apple seems to have an on-going problem with how Yelp's data maps to real locations - I'm guessing something is trying to map based upon the postcode, but in some cases it seems to be a consistent offset error.)

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ITV catches up with TVCatchup

James R Grinter

Re: the answer

Unfortunately the prices the broadcasters pay for shows, even the ones they commission, factor in things like how many times they get to show them, how much it costs to show them again (performing rights can be an issue, too, there) and who has the rights for DVD distribution, foreign distribution, online, etc.

For really old material, each production may have had entirely different contracts involved, and they may already have sold or licensed distribution rights to some other company.

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Official: Sky to buy O2 and BE's home broadband product in £200m deal

James R Grinter

Smoother un-LLU process coming up?

Maybe this is going to be the impetus for BT sorting out their 're-bundling' (moving back from an LLU'd line) process? There's going to be a lot of disgruntled Be and O2 customers wanting to return to BT.

Having just gone through the hassle the other week, to return from an ex-Bulldog (C&WW) line, it would be about time...

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Cloud doctors, DevOps and unconferences: Pass the Vicodin

James R Grinter

Re: The main point of DevOps

Get the development teams to work with the operational teams, so that they have something that can actually be 'operated' as a coherent system. That's the key...

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Sorry, Apple-haters, but Cupertinian doom not on the horizon

James R Grinter
Facepalm

the lower-spec "iPhone Cheapo" *is* the "high demand" iPhone 4.

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Dyson alleges spy stole 'leccy motor secrets for Bosch

James R Grinter
Happy

Re: I like both brands.

A rumour I read recently about the demise of the Dyson washing machines was that a supplier massively increased the cost of one of the key components and they just couldn't source another (bit skeptical about that.)

Anyway.. sadly (because I have one too) Dyson are finally ending maintenance on them as of the end of this year as they say spares are now getting thin on the ground. Mine's been pretty good in the 8 years I've had it (no torn clothing or any of the other stories I've read), though the engineer has been out to repair it a few times (the door lock seems to be a particularly problematic part... it's just starting failing in a different way, fortunately before the deadline) - but each time the service has been excellent.

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OpenSolaris axed by Ellison

James R Grinter

no, it really isn't.

"Plus, since Solaris itself is BSD-based, there is considerable cross-pollination happening between those two branches of UNIX." -- no, it really isn't (maybe you're thinking of Solaris 1 aka SunOS 4, but that was done and dusted by 1995, going EOSL in 2003. It isn't common BSD heritage that has lead to ZFS and DTrace being picked up by FreeBSD and Mac OS X - the latter not a BSD kernel either.)

Solaris 2 has USL heritage all the way through the kernel, although significant amounts have been replaced and even the 'SysV init' scripts have been deprecated for a while now. It's a stable platform that doesn't crash in the spectacular ways that I've seen some 'Enterprise' offerings give up, repeatedly, under heavy load.

IMHO they got some things wrong (numerous mis-attempts at improving TCP stack performance, failure to fix packaging, poor systems management tools, and what were they thinking when they gave us SMF?) but, that said, at least it's not HP/UX or AIX. Those really are abominations, travesties of the "Unix" brand, that should have been killed off ages ago.

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London tenders for speed cameras

James R Grinter

TfL red routes

Well, TfL are responsible for 'red routes' in London - these are arterial routes that are (meant to be) free of parked vehicles, and some of which are treated as race tracks by some drivers.

Certainly the ones near me could benefit from this - because standalone speed cameras are so easy to spot (signs before them, bright yellow high visibility boxes, markings on the road, same place year in year out) all the regular users know where they are and can slow up for them: and they do.

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Cracking software retrieves iPhone 4 passwords

James R Grinter

Don't they just do a brute force attack?

Unless ElcomSoft have changed their software significantly, its approach to cracking the actual backup password (the 'iPhone Password Breaker') seemed to be that of a brute force attack (with a few attempts at shortcuts). This new feature just seems to then go on to decrypt the data that represents the on-device keychain (NB. 1Password uses its own data store. Though we have no real way of knowing if it's any more secure.)

My understanding of iPhone/iPod touch backups is this: If you apply a password to the backup of the phone (in iTunes, it's an option when the phone is plugged in) then this is used to encrypt the phone's in-built key (the one that is actually used for the encryption.) Further, the device does the encryption of the data on the way out when being backed up, and it only provides the key encrypted with the user's password from thereon (which is why you can't remove a password once you've set one, without wiping the phone with a full restore.)

I suspect, if you have a copy of the key on disk from before you set a backup password - e.g. in an earlier backup (from a restore point, or via TimeMachine maybe), then it's straightforward for ElcomSoft's 'iPhone Password Breaker' to decrypt your backup. Otherwise it has to crack it the hard way (still not too hard if you used a dictionary password or something a few "st3p5" away.)

None of this prevents just copying the data out of the device directly, per previous reports, if you actually have access to it (perhaps they've fixed that with iOS 4, and/or iPhone 4. There haven't been any attention-grabbing reports about it yet.)

Can any one corroborate, expand, or correct?

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French operator pooh-poohs iOS4

James R Grinter

Disabling spotlight indexing

On the 3G, as reported by others, turning off the Spotlight search options (Settings > General > Home Button) and switching off/on again definitely makes a difference. How much is hard to quantify, and reports are mixed as to whether it's ok if you turn them back on again afterwards.

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Freeview reaches out to EPG-less DVR owners

James R Grinter
Thumb Up

You get what you pay for...

I'll stick with my 10 year old TiVo! I've still not come across a Freeview PVR that can better it's interface.

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Apple to shrink MacBook Air

James R Grinter

This is Digitimes...

Has anyone kept score of the number of DigiTimes claims that ever turn into reality? Just askin'...

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Ex-Amazon 'Master of Disaster' animates server Chef

James R Grinter

Smartwhat?

No, not new.

I'd never heard of Smartfrog before (though it seems it's been around a while)... but I have heard of CFengine, Puppet, even Chef and rPath. There's also the "DevOps" approach to the problem.

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Apple to sell unlocked iPhone 4

James R Grinter

Re: Obvious question

is it really half the cost, though? I can see an HTC Desire on sale for £399 (inc VAT, unlocked, P&P extra). But that seems to be a 512MB model

(Do they really come with that little storage as standard? That seems rather penny pinching, even if a good 16GB SD card is only another £20-£30 or so.)

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Net shakeup looms as IPv4 resources start running low

James R Grinter

ISPs - where's my IPv6 service then?

Until ISPs are actually able to offer it for home and business, we're going nowhere.

(There's no/few "home" grade consumer DSL modems that'll support it yet, either.)

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Apple MacBook Pro 15in

James R Grinter

Re: shiny plastic magsafe connector?

Likewise, I got the new model connector with mine too. Apparently the new connector is designed to better relieve the cable stress (and also with a stronger, more robust, PVC-free cable). But there's some debate on whether it disconnects quite so easily.

The higher-res 1680x1050, "antiglare" display option - or non-shiny, as normal people would call it - is very nice. They've opted for a silver, recessed surround finish - which might even be what is actually underneath the glass of a glossy version - and the lettering picked out in Black. It hurts that they charge an extra 40 quid, though I suppose it's a charge to pay someone to remove what's already been assembled, and perhaps to cover a higher wholesale price if they know they're going to sell less of that panel.

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Adobe clutches chance to bury Steve Jobs 'hog' insult

James R Grinter

Using Quicktime? Just about everyone.

'Basic' says: "Who the hell wants to use quicktime as a format? It's awkward, doesn't play well on anything except a Mac and (let's be frank) pretty annoying"

Well, anyone using the open standard H.264 video format, which uses a container format that looks rather like QuickTime (because it essentially is.)

(QuickTime is a container, not a video codec.)

Adobe Flash needs an API that supports individual hardware decode of frames, rather than pushing the entire H.264 stream through (as already supported by the QuickTime API for a long, long time) because they need to be able to compose other graphics on top: those writing the ActionScript behind many of the Flash-based video players want to be able to add DoGs, adverts, etc. on top of the video "on the fly."

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