* Posts by MacroRodent

884 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Perhaps the AIpocalypse ISN'T imminent – if Google Translate is anything to go by, that is

MacroRodent
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Re: Dog Food

My first reaction went like who is this Alpo and what has he done now? "Alpo" is a male first name in Finland. Having "I" and "l" look identical in common fonts is indeed idiotic.

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MacroRodent
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Selling machine translations

Last year it was reported in the main Finnish daily Helsingin Sanomat that Amazon had started selling Finnish-language e-books that were translated with Google from English classics. The samples shown were obviously hilarious or groanworthy. I have no idea if they kept doing it, one probably needs a Kindle to check that (no trace on the Amazon web site when I looked just now).

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Krebs: I know who hacked Ashley Madison

MacroRodent
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Re: salted duplicate check

No, that is NOT correct. In fact, storing your salt in the database alongside the passwords would be bad practice. You store it elsewhere and just query the database for the salted hash, not do it all on / within the database. All the database needs is the hash, not the salt.

In any case, you need to store each user's salt value in plaintext so that you can use it when the user logs in. From this point of view, it is irrelevant if it is the same database, or a separate one for the salts. So all the salt values are available if you want to check if the user's candidate password is already in use by someone else.

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MacroRodent
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Boffin

salted duplicate check

How do they tell how many users have the same password, if they're using salts, PBKDF etc and not just MD5 or SHA1? Weak.

If salted hash is used, the salt values for all existing passwords are necessarily stored in the authentication database along with the hashes. So the check for same password simply salts and hashes the candidate with each of them and checks if the resulting hash is already in the database.

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What Ashley Madison did and did NOT delete if you paid $19 – and why it may cost it $5m+

MacroRodent
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Big Brother

Re: But... do people *really*

Many people live in apartments/flats/tenements. AC's comment re 5 or 10 m accuracy would smear the location across many possible units. So plausible deniability there.

On the other hand, if you live in an even slightly isolated location, GPS location (or a location deduced from WIFI hotspots or cellular towers) may reveal your true identity even if you used a fake identity for registration. Does not have to be a mountaintop in Montana, just a house with enough space around it to make the nearest neighbour, cafe, or a busy street over 20m or so away.

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Windows 10 market share growth slows to just ten per cent

MacroRodent
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not cause for celebration

winning nearly six per cent of a global market in a month is quite a feat.

Considering how it is pushed as a free upgrade, with an "update" icon pushed to even Windows 7 machines, that is not such a wonderful feat.

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NASA reveals Cassini probe's last glimpse of Saturn's icy moon Dione

MacroRodent
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Happy

rollercoaster ride

before the 'Grand Finale' where the craft will become a celestial flipper and dive through the pebbled world's rings.

That is going to be fun! Too bad Cassini cannot shoot HD video of this dive. I guess they will aim for one of the gaps in the rings, but it still risks hitting a stray chunk of ice, which probably is why this is done last.

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Intel's Compute Sticks stick it to Windows To Go, Chromecast

MacroRodent
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Linux

Re: Windows Tax again

Is 1GB of RAM really such a limitation? Does your application really need the 2GB version?

Beside the point. If I want to have 2Gb machine instead of 1Gb for running Linux, I shouldn't be forced to buy Windows alongside it. And given the choice, one really should use the bigger machine for Linux, if one wishes to use modern desktop software on it.

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MacroRodent
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Unhappy

Windows Tax again

The RAM's soldered on so forget upgrades and ponder buying the Windows version and installing Ubuntu rather than making do with a wimpily-specced machine.

Seems the Windows tax is taking on new forms...

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Android apps are flooding on to jailbroken Win10 phones

MacroRodent
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Re: Remember OS/2 Warp

* The OS/2 environment only catered for 2Gb address space in virtual memory. Win32s made a completely pointless memory access outside that which caused a crash on OS/2 but was OK on Windows 3.x.

Interesting! I remember this problem of Win32s not working on OS/2 (which I used at home at the time), but though it was just related to the hocuspocus Win32s had to do to make 32 bit applications run under the 16-bit Windows 3.x, which itself was layered on real-mode MS-DOS. But having Win32s do something just to be incompatible does sound like typical Microsoft tactics.

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MacroRodent
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Windows

Remember OS/2 Warp

... which ran Windows 3.x applications so well most vendors saw no point in porting properly to the platform. Same will eventually happen to WP10...

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CAUGHT: Lenovo crams unremovable crapware into Windows laptops – by hiding it in the BIOS

MacroRodent
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Been looking for a replacement laptop for the living room...

but after this and the earlier security fiasco, it will not be a Lenovo, even if I got one for free. (I will probably get another HP).

What on Earth were they thinking?

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Cisco hands license-busting troll-hammer to THOR

MacroRodent
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Facepalm

Preview of the The future of software development

Sounds like will have more lawyers working on this, than engineers. A stellar example of how software patents advance the Progress of Useful Arts....

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Boffins: The universe is DOOMED and there's nothing to be done

MacroRodent
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Which is it?

I would actually prefer that slow heat death to the "Big Rip" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Big_Rip)

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Opera Software asks fat lady to stay shtum for a bit, but keep humming

MacroRodent
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Unhappy

Re: figures

Shouldn't have killed Presto.

Sadly, it seems Presto was dying before the change. The last pre-WebKit Operas had problems with a large number of sites, Facebook included. Evidently most people who knew about the nuts and bolts of browser engine design had left the house, or could not keep up. Now at least the basic browsing works again.

Or maybe the web has become so complex that it is simply infeasible for a small project to field an independent browser engine.

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Windows 10 wipes your child safety settings if you upgrade from 7 or 8

MacroRodent
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Childcatcher

Re: I have an alternative

Another is OpenDNS (www.opendns.com). If you have a home router, you just set the IP from that page as its DNS server (usually possible with the management web interface), make an account for yourself at OpenDNS, and set filtering for your network. The beauty of this is that it applies filtering to all machines that connect to your home WLAN, whether laptop, pad or phone, without having to install or even configure anything on them. It works by banning domains from getting resolved (they redirect to a "tut tut" page). There are many categories to filter, although I have found that adding filtering for anything but just "pornography" makes it too puritanical, and even then it occasionally bans some pages I wouldn't have a problem showing my kid. Culture-dependent, I guess. But mostly the filtering is at this setting is appropriate.

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MacroRodent
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Big Brother

Re: Disgracefull!

Microsoft might not care about stopping kids getting into trouble online [link]but it sure as hell wants to know all about it anyway.

From all the entries there, this looked scary: "Speech, inking and typing". Everyone has idiosyncratic patterns here. Knowledge of this data might make identifying you possible even when not using Windows, or any computer at all. Microsoft might just as well request your fingerprints!

The linked-to article notes "Like it or not, Microsoft isn’t alone here. What Windows 10 is doing has become common and normal across the web, Android, iOS, and other modern platforms." Well, Linux & BSD distributions do not (except Ubuntu tried something with searches sent to Amazon, and sparked a firestorm, not sure if they do it any more). Of course the tattling starts if you run Chrome on Linux, but that is an issue with the application. Privacy conscious people can use some other browser.

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UK.gov issues internal 'ditch Oracle NOW' edict to end pricey addiction

MacroRodent
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Re: remotes

To be fair Libre/Open Office isn't as good as MS Office, I've been trying for years to reconcile the issue but it doesn't come out in the wash.

I beg to differ. It is nothing but a matter of what you have grow used to. I have mostly been using OpenOffice and LibreOffice for years, and now trying to MS Office for some project is driving me nuts. LibreOffice just fits my way of working better, and gives more support for producing a consistently formatted document. Maybe there are some places where MS Office wins, but I don't know of any other than being more compatible with the MS Office file formats. This advantage would disappear if more people used OpenOffice, LibreOffice or other tools that properly process OpenDocument formats.

Maybe some day...

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MacroRodent
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remotes

Instead of actually running Linux desktops, an even better plan would be to switch users to remote Linux desktops. Easier to manage, and you avoid the hardware compatibility hell of installing Linux on diverse desktops and laptops, whose manufacturers care less than nothing about Linux compatibility. The clients could in fact be cheap "landfill" Windows laptops, because the only application of interest is the remote client (VNC or similar) that requires very little memory or CPU power. If the machine breaks, it is simply recycled and the employee goes to get a new one at the office depot. Support costs would plummet.

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Nokia sells HERE maps to Audi, Daimler and BMW for €2.8 billion

MacroRodent
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Re: Hmm.

Got HERE maps and navigation free with a Lumia, but it is good enough I might pay for it in the future. I expect the car makers have a good motivation to keep HERE maps up to data, I like these new owners much more than I would have liked Uber or some Chinese outfit.

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Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

MacroRodent
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Windows

Return of the Program manager

... Pinning does work well though, as a way of organizing the apps you use most. You can drag them around and form named groups as you would expect.

Am I the only one who is reminded of the Windows 3.* / NT 3.* "program manager" by this? (For youngsters: it was a window that contained the icons for starting apps, before the "Start" menu was introduced in Windows 95. Yes, you could arrange the icons to named groups.)

(We need an icon for old fogey).

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

MacroRodent
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Holmes

the 640k quote

just a huge amount of Internet lore

I seem to remember hearing about it long before everyone and his dog started using the Internet. I think it is a real quote (probably taken out of context, or distorted), but the original exists only on paper in some computer magazine from the early 1980's.

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OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

MacroRodent
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WTF?

Zap

Laser rangefinder? Somehow this makes me uneasy. Will you go blind if you take selfies?

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Feel like you're being herded onto Windows 10? Well, you should

MacroRodent
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Trollface

Re: Meanwhile....

Less people use BSD, OSX and Linux on the desktop than use Windows Phone so they must be totally irrelevant.

On the other hand, far more people use Linux on their phone or tablet (Android and some rarer variants) than use Windows Phone. Also, practically all network devices run some form of Linux or BSD internally (Windows is completely nonexistent in this space). Plus innumerable consumer devices like navigators, smart TV:s etc. run Linux. So Windows must be totally irrelevant...

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GOOGLE GMAIL ATE MY LINUX: Gobbled email enrages Torvalds

MacroRodent
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Re: I guess they picked the wrong guy to test the spam algorithm on.

Uh? systemd != kernel

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Did speeding American manhole cover beat Sputnik into space? Top boffin speaks to El Reg

MacroRodent
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Re: Very interesting story,

Considering that state of the art of that era was vacuum tubes, which intensely disliked high G acceleration

You are thinking of the variety used in living room equipment, with thin glass and delicate insides. Ruggedized equipment used much more sturdily built ones. I have a very small tube from a WW2 German military radio (probably) somewhere among my assorted junk. It does not even have a socket, just wires coming through the thick glass and says "Wehrmacht" on the label.

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Vale Matti Makkonen, SMS dreamer

MacroRodent
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Re: @Champ (was: 160 chars)

Universality, as in supported by every phone and carrier (after the early years) compensates for the shortcomings of sms. There still is no convincing replacement. For example, to send WhatsApp I must know the recipient used it as well, but he might prefer some other system. Sms avoids this problem by being part of the standard. That is how telecommunications was done in Makkonen's day. Slower-moving, sure, but interoperable. Seems quaint in the internet age...

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Cisco gobbles OpenDNS, sorts out cloud security portfolio

MacroRodent
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IntimateDNS

I use OpenDNS at home (to filter pr0n from the kid - at least until he wises up and learns about DNS and how to change the name server setting :-), and have enabled the statistics. It is eye-opening how much one can deduce about browsing habits from even rough statistics about the DNS lookups (and also the staggering amount of tracking and advertisement lookups). Something that could be pure gold for advertisers, and also various spooks or other shady characters. I'm keeping an eye on whether OpenDNS keeps its integrity. Any alternatives if it goes sour?

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Supreme Court ignores Google's whinging in Java copyright suit

MacroRodent
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The take-home message is...

... do not base your business on any API or language owned by another company! Either go for open standards, a spec controlled by a benign nonprofit foundation, or roll your own. Relying on interfaces copyrighted by another company now means that company has you by your testicles. You cannot rebase on a 3.part implementation of the API.

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Apple wants to patent iBeacon stalking

MacroRodent
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Nokia had it first...

I recall looking at a bluetooth app much like that in a Nokia feature phone a decade ago. Nobody used it, probably because they thought it too creepy, and it was dropped. To bad I don't remember what it was called.

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We need to know about the Internet of Things, say US Senators

MacroRodent
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Big Brother

Re: Smart TV

It will still be connected to an external network: where do you think the pretty pictures and sound come from?

But over-the-air TV broadcasts, whether analogue or digital, are one-way only. Hard to spy on you that way. Of course it is likely that at some point in the future it will be decided that OTA broadcasts are redundant, because most people watch TV only over the Internet, and the bandwidth is repurposed for cellular networks. Then indeed it is time for the privacy-conscious to throw out their TV:s...

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MacroRodent
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Smart TV

It is getting difficult to NOT buy a "smart" TV, if you want a TV big enough for comfortable living room viewing... At least the one I recently bought to replace a 20-year old tube set has no built-in WLAN interface (a bit old model), so I can reliably cut the connection.

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This whopping 16-bit computer processor is being built by hand, transistor by transistor

MacroRodent
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Re: stack based

Sure! Zap, ping etc. made the Oric easier to get started with, as I remember in C64 you needed peeks and pokes for sound effects. Sadly my Oric 1 (64k) does not boot any more, I suspect the EPROM has lost its contents.

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MacroRodent
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Re: stack based

The 6502 is not a stack-based machine. It does support a stack for push, pop and subroutine call instructions, but so does almost every other microprocessor. I think the 6502 can be best described as an accumulator machine, where all arithmetic and logical instructions require one of the operands to be in the accumulator (A) register. (The first CPU I ever tried programming in machine language, on the Oric 1, which is why I go on about it...).

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MacroRodent
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Re: Quite a challenge

The 6502 does everything in 8-bits width, except addresses. An opcode byte is optionally followed by an 1 byte immediate value, or a 1 or 2 byte address. I'm guessing that it has 2-bit field in the instruction byte that causes it to load 0, 1 or 2 following bytes to a register determined by rest of the opcode (and increment the PC). If performance is no big concern, shouldn't this operand loading sequence be implementable with a simple state machine? Though I must admit my knowledge about CPU design comes from one mostly-forgotten university course a quarter-century ago... (the final exercise was creating a paper design, which was not even simulated, never mind built.)

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MacroRodent
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Quite a challenge

...building a 16-bit system. Doing a 8-bit design would have been less than half the work. If he had chosen to clone the 6502 or some other early 8-bit CPU, there would also have been lots of existing software to run. But maybe he considered it too easy.

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Killer ChAraCter HOSES almost all versions of Reader, Windows

MacroRodent
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Re: Does this also ...

The font handling in Linux kernel is trivial, just fixed-width bitmap fonts. Should be easy to check.

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So what are you doing about your legacy MS 16-bit applications?

MacroRodent
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DOSBox

Another alternative is DOSBox (www.dosbox.com). Runs on Windows and Linux (and various other systems as well). This is a software-only emulator, but so is dosemu as well, if you run it on a 64-bit Linux system (the reason is the VM8086 feature that dosemu uses to run MS-DOS code at native speed on 32-bit Linux does not run in the 64-bit mode).

DOSBox is a bit easier to get started with because it includes its own built-in MS-DOS clone (unfortunately it is a bit behind the times, for example it does not support the long file name extension).

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How Music Got Free and Creatocracy

MacroRodent
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No cracking needed

reports that the Germans’ meticulous memory for details deserts them for a year or so, by which time their software has been cracked and has become the standard.

Cracked? As I remember it, the early MP3 software was based on Fraunhofer's reference implementation, which wasn't exactly a secret, being an attachment to the MPEG standard (and before it was published, probably circulated quite widely with the drafts and other working documents for the standard, as is the usual practice).

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Chrome, Debian Linux, and the secret binary blob download riddle

MacroRodent
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Re: minor quibbles

>All so Red Hat can steal other's work and cash in.

That is quite uncalled-for. Whatever one thinks of Red Hat products, it still is one of the largest sponsors of open source software developers.

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Philae warms up nicely, sends home second burst of data

MacroRodent
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Re: It does seem as if its a bit of a hole

Given that the probe woke up because its getting warmer and is on a ball of ice and dust, it's hardly surprising that its position has shifted slightly as the environment around it warms up.

I wonder if there is any serious risk of some kind of geyser becoming active under Philae, and literally blowing it back to space? I don't suppose it has been attached in any way to the comet now. I believe the original plan involved screws that drill into the comet, but they did not work.

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EU MEPs accept lonely Pirate's copyright report – and water it down

MacroRodent
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Re: “The commercial use of...

There is also some tower in Paris that keeps appearing in many photos taken there. Will they all be confiscated now?

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Confusion reigns as Bundestag malware clean-up staggers on

MacroRodent
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Black Helicopters

Purging the plaque

But in this case it might be they do not dare to use anything from the old installation, except possibly the cables! Backups? Could be infected (eg. if most of the documents are DOC files, as they probably are). . Servers? Disks? The worm might be in the firmware.

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Undetectable NSA-linked hybrid malware hits Intel Security radar

MacroRodent
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Re: No of course not

If we have to assume NSA can force any vendor to do things like that, then there is no solution. Even if the firmware were burned into real ROM, and unmodifiable by anyone, we would have to worry about NSA forcing manufacturers to pre-install their malware. That way lies madness...

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MacroRodent
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Shouldn't signing firmware prevent this?

- assuming the signing process is done competently: good algorithm, long keys, keys kept secure. I think many manufacturers already do this, but apparently not all.

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Kaspersky says air-gap industrial systems: why not baby monitors, too?

MacroRodent
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Re: Baby monitors?!

If you are within 30 meters of your baby, then don't you have a pair perfectly functional baby monitors attached to either side of your head?

They are not enough.The point is getting to attend to the baby when he wakes up but before he starts crying at full blast.

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MacroRodent
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Re: Baby monitors?!

Your use case sounds more like a general webcam. For me. a baby monitor was a voice-activated radio that alerted me when the sleeping baby was waking up. Range beyond 30m or so is pointless (in fact possibly harmful), one has to be near enough to respond. The main security threat would be a denial of service that disables the alerting, since for obvious reasons there would not be much to eavesdrop on in the room the baby is sleeping in.

In this case, I don't see any benefits in internet connection, but there are downsides in the form of decreased reliability.

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MacroRodent
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Baby monitors?!

Are there really internet-connected baby monitors? It seems to me a prime example of an item where internet is a bad idea anyway, simply because if you go further from the baby than the range of normal wireless, you are too far already.

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FBI: Apple and Google are helping ISIS by offering strong crypto

MacroRodent
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both ways

Encryption helps also those who resist ISIS. In ISIS-controlled area they are the ones you want to hide things from! Also, If there was a mandatory backdoor, well-funded bad guys like ISIS would probably take advantage of it.

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Your servers are underwater? Chill OUT, baby – liquid's cool

MacroRodent
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hard drives?

What about hard drives? I think they still have a hole with a filter for equalizing air pressure inside the shell, and will certainly not work if full of oil. Of course not an issue if all your storage is solid state.

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