* Posts by Fraser

1578 posts • joined 15 May 2007

IOC asks Olympic spectators to cut back TXTs and tweets

Fraser

Err...

Everything that goes wrong at the Olympics seems to be astonishingly, gob-smackingly, mind-numbingly predictable.

Err... It's very easy to sit at home and say that problems are obvious AFTER the event.

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Microsoft India web store 'hacked by Chinese group'

Fraser

Err...

I'm not sure what your comparison is? Why is a site being compromised like a bake storing money on the floor?

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Fraser

Hmm...

So not so much MS have been hacked as company providing service to MS has been hacked.

I was thinking that it's not very likely that MS would have been hacked since one thing that they are very good at is their own web security, due to the thousands of hack attempts per second that they see.

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Google locks Wallets – no new customers for now

Fraser

@Colin

There is a plan B (in Chip and PIN at least), if the system is down the chip can authorise certain levels of payment.

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Fraser

Err...

If I leave my wallet in the pub, with a signature strip, someone can pick it up and use it after a couple of goes at my signature which is recorded on the card. If it's a chip and pin card with no signature strip, they can't.

I'll go with Chip and PIN, thanks.

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Cable thieves wreak havoc for cops, BT punters

Fraser

The Archers

You know that a problem is serious when Ambridge was cut off from the telephone network for a week due to cable theft just recently.

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Ethernet standards for hyper-scale cloud networking

Fraser

Backup...

I've been a storage designer for nigh on 12 years, it's only in the last year or so that I've been seriously thinking that Ethernet may well be the way forward, rather than SAN attached hosts.

There will for the time-being at least, still be a need for fibrechannel at the server side, but that's only because tape drives talk FC. If tape drives start to talk Ethernet, this could be the death-knell for FC. That said I won't right it off, there could be a lazarous-like recovery, when 8GB FC goes to 16GB that will be great for server-side tapes and disks, but 10GB at the client will still keep Ethernet in that tier.

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Sinofsky shows off Windows 8 on ARM and Office15

Fraser

@levente

I would have loved to own a Courier tablet, I remember thinking at the time that this is the tablet for me. The thing is that I can also see why it wasn't eventually chosen by MS: It wasn't aligned with Windows & Office and MS is Windows & Office through and through. Also, it's massive, they could never have produced it at a price point acceptable to the average tablet buyer. I personally use dual monitors at home and work, I really know the advantages, but the vast majority of people don't and have no interest in doing so, they wouldn't have seen why it's worth the extra money.

I would have loved one running Windows 8, mind.

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Fraser

@Barry

You decided to join us, I was wondering if you were alright...

You're wrong on all of your comments, but thanks for joining us anyway.

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Microsoft to send users 4 critical patches on Valentine's Day

Fraser

@strictly

But Android is bug free, Barry Shitpeas told me so.

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Fraser

Yes, it would

It would also be nice if Apple, Linux, Solaris, AIX, zOS, <insert other OS names here>, also didn't need patching.

It would also be nice if all other OSes got the same reporting as MS do for patching.

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Met thumbed through Oyster card data up to 22,000 times in 4 years

Fraser

@SRS

I didn't pick up on the lack of judgment either way, sorry about that... While there are a lot of people who only use paper tickets once, anyone with a season ticket from outside London has a paper ticket and these are typically valid for a month or a year.

The thing is, though, that as I read the story (and associated stories), the use of information is less about tracking people over more than one journey, rather about placing someone at a particular point in time, because of a particular event at a particular place.

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Fraser

@AC 1516

Likening the Met to the Stasi is just absurd, you obviously don't know anything about the Stasi or have never met anyone who lived in that (or any) police state.

I also find your lack of faith in humanity symptomatic of a general corrosive cynicism sadly found in many Internet forums.

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Hack attacks on US could spark military action

Fraser

@AC 0918

Well, I looked up heterograph in both Dictionary.com and my rather large OED, it's not in either, so I have to ask: What are you talking about?

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Christmas shoppers hit by BT fire

Fraser

@ah

Sorry but gas suppression is very common, there is very little danger of suffocation with a well installed and maintained system. The amount of oxygen required for combustion is much bigher than that which is required for respiration.

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Microsoft answers Google MapReduce with 'Dryad' beta

Fraser

@ac

Also, they may only have 5 in the top 500, but the hooks into Excel suggests they are going for existing small to medium shops, rather than new large ones.

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Car immobilisers easily circumvented by crafty carjackers

Fraser

err...

My car's immobiliser needs to be physically touched to a pad near the ignition, which would seem to be rather more secure. Of course the lid is made of fabric, which is rather less secure, but there you have it...

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Google morphs Gmail into Microsoft backup service

Fraser

Missing the point

Unless I'm missing something:

This isn't a backup, it's an online replica, a DR position - There is a very important difference between DR and backup. If I delete something a backup can retrieve it, an online replica automatically deletes it too.

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Apple sells more mobile PCs than Dell

Fraser

@I hate bad stats

"where the average mac is kept in use much closer to 5-7 years"

Do you have anything to back that up? Pretty much all the Mac users that I know replace their machines on a standard PC users cycle ie: 3-5ish years. In fact most of them are onto their 2nd Intel Mac and scoff at my G5. (Not a scientific selection, I know.)

Incidentally my G5 is about 5 years old and increasingly irrelevant, Apple just don't want to know about it either hardware or software wise. My HP Desktop is about four years old and still going strong, with no likely replacement for a good while yet.

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The year's best... HD TVs

Fraser

All I want...

All I want is to repalce the old ageing 16" widescreen CRT in the front room with a nice small (20"ish) freeview HD LCD, how long till these are available?

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Xbox modder prosecution dropped like white-hot potato

Fraser

generic title...

There is one place where you can't do what you want with something you own and that's modifying a replica weapon (legal to own) into a weapon that can fire live ammunition. There are specific laws which govern this, however it does set a precedent for the law specifying what you can and can't do with what you own.

The issue with modifying your own hardware (which I believe is totally legal in the UK) is what you end up with. If you do it yourself for your own interest, fine. If you copy games that you don't own and use that on your modified hardware, not ok. If you provide a service modifying other people's hardware, for profit, enabling them to run copied software, also, not ok.

Like I said above though: If lots of people do this, it's likely that the cost of the hardware will go up, but maybe the royalty costs for the game producers and therefore the end user cost will go down...

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Fraser

I tend to agree..

I tend to agree: Modify and arse around with your own hardware as much as you want (don't expect the hardware manufacturer to support you though!) but don't run a service modifying hardware for money - especially when that service is clearly an 'allow you to play copied games' service. This guy appears to have been very lucky that the local law and their lawyer messed up the case.

Also - if a lot of people start modding hardware, don't be surprised if the price goes up, what with the cost model of games subsidising hardware.

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NFC mobe-touchpay trial does end run round handset makers

Fraser

Not Japan

Japan is a primarily cash based society, so that would pretty much count it out for any electronic payments trial.

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Horror AVG update ballsup bricks Windows 7

Fraser

MSSE

I dumped AVG after many years for MS Security Essentials, on both a Vista 64bit box and an XP x32 Thinkpad. I now find both machines faster and MS' software found a few nasties (nothing particularly serious, mind) on my Vista box that AVG didn't.

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Apple Mac Mini with Snow Leopard Server

Fraser

@Annihilator

I think that the question implied licensed and supported. As you can't run OS X server on anything without an Apple logo your install isn't either, even if you've stumped up the cash for it. (shame on Apple etc, etc...)

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Steve Jobs embraces Google's bastard grid child

Fraser

Hmm...

I'd be interested to know what they are going to use to serve it. Stacks of mac minis in racks? I think not. I also wonder if it'll be a Mac OS job or running under Linux? If it is Mac OS, will it be running on commodity Intel servers and/or under a virtualisation layer?

Sadly, I suspect it'll be running on Linux, I say sadly because I think the writing is on the wall for Mac OS Server.

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Mozilla rages at MS, Apple and Google's 'trojan horse' tactics

Fraser

@Circadian

"...Now, for a piece of software that has just started up, how does it know that a plug-in has been installed sneakily by another app acting as admin, rather than the user choosing to install it? Really, how?..."

Presumably there is a directory where the plugins live? In which case, really simply, it could just look to see if any files have been added since last time it was run.

If you want a bit more security round it, the program could store a list of cryptographic hashes of the plugins which have been legitimately installed and that way detect tampering with existing plugins or the list of previously oked plugins.

The problem is that FF doesn't seem to be even trying here.

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Fraser

Err...

Surely if FF has a plugin present that wasn't there earlier/last time it was running, it should be flagging up waning messages?

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Xbox modder can't claim fair use, says judge

Fraser

@Semaj

What about modding a replica weapon? They're legal to own in the UK, but the act of modifying one to be able to fire live ammunition would be illegal. Offering a service to do this would also be illegal. Owning the device after such a modification would also be illegal.

Of course modding a piece of hardware to allow it to play copied software isn't really anything like as serious as modding a replica weapon, but the analogy stands.

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Attachmate gobbles up Novell for $2.2bn

Fraser

SFU

I installed Services For Unix a few months ago, it's pretty good actually.

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Anti-bullying charity demands more laws on cyber-bullying

Fraser

Really?

Like the Goth guy and his girlfriend who stood up to their bullies, one of whom is now dead the other was very closely beaten to death? (there are many other examples, this is just off the top of my head.)

I hate this "stand up to bullies, they're just cowards" thing, often they're not. Often they're hard cases who take pleasure out of picking on weaker individuals, especially when they have backup. I was also bullied as a teenager, because a local hard-nut thought I was gay. I had to put up with abuse, physical and verbal, knowing that I could do nothing to defend myself because he was far harder than I. Even if he wasn't harder than me, I had (and am proud to still have) no idea how to fight someone, I would have had my head kicked in.

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World's most advanced rootkit penetrates 64-bit Windows

Fraser

@Goat Jam

You can get UAC to ask for a password, I used to have it setup for this, but as I pay attention to my UAC box I thought it was a bit overkill.

It's not setup by default, though.

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Fraser

@ender

"...Problem with NT's design is that until Vista you were encouraged to run as admin..."

You really weren't, if you went on any MS courses, or spoke to anyone at MS they'd tell you not to run as admin, just because your pre-installed version of Windows came with an admin level account, didn't mean that MS encouraged this.

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Kinect hacked for OS X

Fraser

@AC

I know that putting together a driver for an undocumented piece of hardware is hacking and I am very impressed that this has been achieved so quickly. The problem that I have is that, while I know that this is hacking the device, I just associate hacking hardware devices with opening them up and getting out the soldering iron. It's probably due to a background in engineering and electronics and I certainly don't want to belittle what this guy has done.

I'd really like to know how this has been achieved so quickly, as even reverse engineering a driver would seem to be an impressive task, but if the datastream were to be encoded or obfuscated in some way, this is a far more impressive task.

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Fraser

Err...

When it's said that Cinnect has been hacked, is this more akin to someone having written a driver for it (in itself not such an easy task), or is there a whole load of cracking of encrypted datastreams etc.? I am presuming that there is no physical change to the hardware.

It's just that I don't really see writing a driver for some hardware as hacking that hardware and I'm curious to know what's actually been done.

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Xbox Kinect costs just £35 to build

Fraser

@AC What's the story...

Higher resolution would require much more processing power and data down the USB, it's likely that it would be an exponential price increase for a linear resolution increase. That is if the USB could handle the extra bandwidth requirement.

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Fraser

Also...

You could make the price hike larger by just looking at the value of sand for the silicon and oil for the plastics, etc. You'd probably get down to a quid or two.

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Global warming is actually good for rainforests, say boffins

Fraser

Furthermore

There weren't that many dinosaur cities near the coast.

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Seagate and Western Digital sued by patent ambulance-chaser

Fraser

Agreed...

I'm sick of this everything should be free, no-one looses out if a patent (or copyright) is taken attitude.

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How I built a zero energy cost, zero carbon home server

Fraser

ESXi 4.1

I've consolidated all of the servers I use (about four) down to a single CentOS/VMware server v1 box, which has three WDC green disks (one for backup VM) and typicall pulls about 30W. I am currently in the process of converting it to ESXi 4.1 running from a USB stick. The UI for ESXi is much nicer and it's a load faster, also with running it from a USB stick, the WDC Green drives will be able to use even less power as they intelligently spin down.

I have considered using solar PV and batteries to power my MythDora box, which is solid state with mass storage provided by a VM, but I just can't get the numbers to add up. It looks like I won't even be able to use the amount of energy embedded in the creation of the PV cells in their lifetime, I'm hoping that the next generation of PV will remedy that.

Furthermore, I'm probably going to virtualise the mythdora back end if the USB passthrough on ESXi works better than previous versions.

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MS freebie anti-virus scanner auto-downloads provoke more anger

Fraser

Hmm...

I've just removed AVG from a family member's ageing Thinkpad which runs XP and put MSE onto it. The result is that it goes much, much faster, I have had AVG as my scanner of choice for a long time now, but it's just getting too slow. MSE also picked up a couple of nasties that AVG hadn't on its first scan. I have had a similar experience with my Vista/64 box.

If they want me back as a customer, they need to make their product better, it's that simple.

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Hacker unshackles Kinect from Xbox

Fraser

@Stephen

You are held hostage, you have to pay a randsom in order to get your phone freed from a network. The only difference is that they let you move to a different provider for a fee, whereas console hardware manufacturers don't let you. My point is that both seem to be a basically fair way of selling a product, assuming that you understand the cost model prior to purchse.

As an aside - I've never paid more than about £20 above the cost of my monthly contract for a phone (even smartphones) what's with people spending hundreds on them?

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Fraser

@Tom

That was kind of my point - the phone usually costs next to nothing because you're locked in to using it with a particular network (at least for the duration of the contact.) In the case of consoles or console add on hardware, you're locked in to using that hardware how the manufacturer wants, or buying only software which has paid a royalty to the console maker, in exchange for it costing next to nothing (in real terms.)

As it happens, I don't think that this device being cracked serves much potential other than cool points for the hacker, it's certainly interesting but I can't see any use for it.

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Fraser

@Goat Jam

re: If you can't sell it for an honest price... etc...

Do you own a mobile phone?

Did it cost £500?

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Treasury asks for advice on eMoney

Fraser

€250?

Due dilligence should come in at somewhere over £50 (so somewhere around that value in Euros) The reason that we don't have anything larger than £50 in the UK is because of money laundering being a lot easier with larger physical currency. The €500 note was just removed from circulation because it had become the criminal's choice of bank note. I have no doubt that the €200 will probably go in the not too distant future for the same reason.

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