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* Posts by MacroRodent

726 posts • joined 18 May 2007

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Scientists skeptical of Lockheed Martin's truck-sized FUSION reactor breakthrough boast

MacroRodent
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Re: Game changer

"For over 150 years all the life changing major innovations came from America"

So wrong I suspect you are trolling. But one thing U.S. did exceedingly well is putting ideas from elsewhere into practice. E.g. the first automobiles with an internal combustion engine were made in Germany, but Ford in the U.S. turned them into an affordable product.

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MacroRodent
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Re: To the skeptics...

"and that killed the last big international attempt"

Uh, isn't the ITER project still going on? Pretty big, and international.

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Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'

MacroRodent
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Windows

Re: Branding bugs

"Who are the 23% of Windows XP users?"

My guess: unsophisticated home users whose existing computers work well enough so they don't feel the need (or cannot afford to) upgrade the hardware. The same people who could be seen running Windows 98 still in 2008...

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MacroRodent
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Branding bugs

Seems it is obligatory these days to give major vulnerabilities cool logos.

The "XP not affected" bit was a let-down. Here I was thinking the major advantage of Vista and later was tightened security. Seems it was not.

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Shh! Bose and Apple ink SECRET deal to settle 'noise-cancelling' suit

MacroRodent
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Re: When

1978? If the technology is that old, it should be off-patent by now. Even if Bose patented it sometime in the 1980's.

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Netscape Navigator - the browser that started it all - turns 20

MacroRodent
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Boxed set

Netscape was the first an only browser I actually bought off the shelf in a computer store. I think it was version 3.0 and the year perhaps 1996. Wish I had kept the packing, it might be a collectible today. It definitely was the best browser at the time. IE was yet a joke compared to it and Mosaic was falling behind.

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'Bill Gates swallowing bike on a beach' is ideal password say boffins

MacroRodent
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Not compatible

I think using a long phrase is a good idea, Unfortunately, most places that expect passwords severely limit the length, and even if they don't may require numbers and special characters which may be hard to include naturally in a phrase, and may reject spaces. The example would have to be something like "Bill@Gates2swallowing#bike/on!a!beach" to be accepted in them.

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Adobe spies on reading habits over unencrypted web because your 'privacy is important'

MacroRodent
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Re: Or it would have if I'd let it...

This isn't about Adobe Reader, it's about Adobe Digital Editions

Nevertheless, my trust in the company vanished entirely after reading this article. I'm going to delete all Adobe software from the computers I have control over, as much as feasible (it may be that removing Flash plugins from the home computers could cause too much domestic disturbance...).

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Inflatables in SPAAACE! ISS 'nauts to enjoy bouncy castle spaceship

MacroRodent
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Re: Well this is fun but...

I'm really looking forward to the next bit of news about progress on Skylon. I realise it's very complex engineering,

I have always felt the concept of taking in air at Mach N+1 and liquiefying it in microseconds is something that makes even cold fusion seem plausible in comparison...

(But I hope I am wrong... the idea is cool if it works ;-).

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How much is Microsoft earning from its Android taxes again?

MacroRodent
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Re: Microsoft scrapping WP royalties

Chromebooks are cornering the lower end of the laptop market

Tablets, actually, and big smartphones. I don't think I have seen anyone use a Chromebook, but my morning commute in the Helsinki local train is full of people staring at tablets and smartphones, with a sprinkling of laptops. They now clearly outnumber people reading newspapers, magazines, or books.

No wonder the paper industry is in difficulties.

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Nokia Lumia 735: Ignore the selfie hype, it's a grown-up phone

MacroRodent
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Crash!

Article: "This is the first Windows Phone to crash on me, reading a page on the Times website. I've clocked up thousands of hours with Windows Phones, and never experienced a crash before;"

Then you have been lucky. My Lumia 710 does crash occasionally. Granted, it usually is many months between crashes, so I'm not really complaining (my old Symbians crashed far more often). But I have decided never to buy a phone that cannot be hard-reset by removing the battery. Software is just too hard for mere mortals to get right...

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So long Lotus 1-2-3: IBM ceases support after over 30 years of code

MacroRodent
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Notes

" developing the Notes email system, "

Notes is not just an email, but also a document management system and database. "Groupware" is the term used at some point, I think. It did what "intranets" do these days (or at least that it how it was used at the corporation where I worked), but required its own client.

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

MacroRodent
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Re: Peak operating system?

Very true! The role of an OS is basically manage the hardware reliably, provide some common services a lot of programs use, let the user start the programs he/she really is interested in and switch between them, and otherwise STAY OUT OF THE WAY! Earlier OS'es often failed in some of these areas, so new versions were justified, but now all major OS'es cover the basics. Nobody (except a few nerds) is interested in running an OS itself, it is the applications that matter. And an OS upgrade frequently ruins the experience here. No wonder people stick with XP...

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MacroRodent
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Boffin

Cliboard in proimpt (Re: Can't wait)

> i was lamenting he lack of clipboard support in the command prompt only yesterday.

Actually using clipboard with keyboard in command prompts does work in Windows 7, (and was in XP also). You need to enable "Properties" -> "Quick edit mode" in the window menu of the command prompt. The keyboard shortcut is unfortunately different from the usual Windows way: To get command window text into clipboard, you paint it in the window, then hit Enter. To enter text from clipboard, you press the right mouse button.

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SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches

MacroRodent
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Re: Because the flaws were very different

The best solution would be to kill the function inheriting feature entirely. Other shells do not have it. Should try sometime what happens if I disable it, I suspect RHEL would still work fine.

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Bash bug: Shellshocked yet? You will be ... when this goes WORM

MacroRodent
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Too pessimistic

"Scan your network for things like Telnet, FTP, and old versions of Apache (masscan is extremely useful for this). Anything that responds is probably an old device needing a bash patch.

This looks like alarmism. As others have noted, embedded Linux systems usually use Busybox. Even if the shell feature from Busybox is not used, some light-weight alternative to bash as the system's /bin/sh is likely.

In addition, many network devices run some variant of BSD, which has never had bash as the default shell.

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Patch Bash NOW: 'Shellshock' bug blasts OS X, Linux systems wide open

MacroRodent
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Re: Can you hear that sound?

I think the article answers this already when it says the dash shell in Debian and Ubuntu is not vulnerable. This is a Bash-specific bug.

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Bracelet could protect user herds from lurking PREDATORS

MacroRodent
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The obvious flaw

This assumes the user is more or less continuously typing or using the mouse. What if he just pauses to think? Or suppose the computer is used to monitor something and the user is normally expected to enter commands only occasionally.

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Will Europe's ISPs unmask anonymous IP infringers?

MacroRodent
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Lobbying

The voice of the media industry lobbying can be heard loud and clear here.

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Troll hunter Rackspace turns Rotatable's bizarro patent to stone

MacroRodent
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Re: Another feature I could live without...

"a form factor like the Nokia Communicator"

or like the Nokia N97 and some other Nokia phones, that can work both with touchscreen and the keyboard, because the screen is left outside when folded. I known the N97 is widely considered a lemon, but at least I found the the follow-on N97 Mini stable and a very usable after it reached the "fully patched" state a couple of years after introduction. I only stopped using it when the connection between the screen and the rest of the phone became unreliable, making it impossible to answer calls. The downside of having any hinges in the design...

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Moon landing was real and WE CAN PROVE IT, says Nvidia

MacroRodent
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models

Sorry, but to my eye the models in the space scenes in "2001" do look a bit clumsy now, like put together from an Airfix kit. (Despite this, it still is the best science fiction film I have ever seen).

Speaking of models, I recently learned that the "Eagles" (flying moon transporters) in the "Space: 1999" TV series from the 1970's were filmed in part using full-size models that could actually fly! Take that, Star Wars!

One of them is still kept in working order by an enthusiast (http://www.scifiairshow.com/ships-eagle4.html)

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Lumia rebrand begins: Nokia's new UK web home is Microsoft.com

MacroRodent
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The market share in Finland

... will probably plunge after the re-branding arrives here. So far Lumia phones have done much better in Finland than anywhere else, due to the familiar name, and the wish to support the home team.

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4K-ing excellent TV is on its way ... in its own sweet time, natch

MacroRodent
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Joke

Tan from Dolby?

So does it have an UV channel? IR channel?

Actually, having more colour channels could be a real improvement for simulating reality. Imagine the screen showing a scene in Sahara and actually feeling the heat...

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Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please

MacroRodent
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The real agenda

Google search is popular because it still is the best. I occasionally start Bing because it is activated by the search key of my WP7 phone, but very often it does not find stuff that Google finds, or the results are less relevant.. And other search engines like "DuckDuckGo" are usually "meta searches" that ride on Google's back, and would be nothing without it.

Perhaps this is precisely the reason for the News Corp complaint: If search engines are crippled, they and other publishers can act as gatekeepers of information, just like in the good old days.

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Hawking: Higgs boson in a BIG particle punisher could DESTROY UNIVERSE

MacroRodent
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Hmm,

If some particle collision can trigger such an intergalactic doomsday, then it should already have happened, since the universe contains objects like black holes, supernovas, magnetars etc that spout more energetic particle beams than we can ever hope to generate. So I'm not worried.

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Snowden shouldn't be extradited to US if he testifies about NSA spying, says Swiss gov

MacroRodent
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Unhappy

Re: direct flight

>And Russia could retaliate by banning that country's airlines from flying over Russia.

It is rumoured that could happen any day anyway for EU countries, as a counter-sanction.

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Before I Go To Sleep turns out tense enough to keep you awake ...

MacroRodent
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tired plot device

"you’ll realise that the whole thing is one of those situations that depends on certain key individuals not saying anything about things you’d kind of expect them to talk about"

Sounds like the "Harry Potter" films then, where most of the messes could have been avoided if Harry, Dumbledore and others hadn't been so fond of keeping secrets.

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Jony Ive: Apple iWatch will SCREW UP Switzerland's economy

MacroRodent
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Re: Bang on

The people gawking at their screens all the time are not going to be too interested: a watch is too small. Hasn't Ive noticed the phones have been getting larger rather than smaller, to allow for a decent screen. A traditional watch has a different task, it just shows one piece of information so its "screen" can be small.

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What could possibly go wrong? Banks could provide ID assurance for Gov.UK – report

MacroRodent
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Re: Meh

" Not being able to access the government's website using your bank login details is correctly known as a 'minor inconvenience'."

Well, it could mean queuing for hours at an actual office that has cut the staff to a minimum because everyone of course uses the internet service.

This is also a matter of principle. Private companies should not be allowed to act as gatekeepers to governement services.

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MacroRodent
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Re: Meh

Yes, it works, but the downside has been that the Finnish banks (being commerical operations) are very reluctant to provide net banking credentials to people with credit problems, who nevertheless have a need to access governement services like everyone else (or even more). This turns it into a human rights issue.

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Scared of brute force password attacks? Just 'GIVE UP' says Microsoft

MacroRodent
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Re: Some valid points ...

"different high-entropy strings for each website and just store the password in your browser"

Who in this day and age uses the new from just one device? Granted, some browsers have "cloud sync" features, but that opens its own can of worms...

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MacroRodent
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SOME password strength validation still useful

I mean, if you don't stop people from using reportedly common choices like "123456", "password" or "qwerty" as their password, even the online attacks have a good change of success. But I agree torturing people with rules like "must contain uppercase, lowercase, numbers and punctuation" should be stopped.

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Is that a 64-bit ARM Warrior in your pocket? No, it's MIPS64

MacroRodent
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Re: RISC, not IRONIC

"And while code density is less of an issue now than ten years ago, [...]"

I recall compiling some programs for MIPS and some other CPU:s back in the 1990's, and the MIPS exes usually turned out to be around twice as large as the i386 or VAX ones. But this was not a big deal even back then.

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MacroRodent
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Boffin

RISC, not IRONIC

From article: "Ironically, MIPS and the new ARMv8-a (PDF) instruction sets are conveniently similar: for instance, they both have a fixed register that always contains a zero value, they both have tons of general purpose registers, each instruction is the same width, the program counter is not directly accessible, and so on."

I don't see anything ironic here. These are the features that actually distinguished RISC processors from CISC in the first place. Every real RISC architecture implements at least some of these, especially the fixed-width instruction format and the large number of general-purpose registers.

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SHARE 'N' SINK: OneDrive corrupting Office 2013 files

MacroRodent
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Windows

Re: lol, "tight integration."

"The question is, why is the OS messing with the data at all?"

Indeed. I always thought OneDrive is just a bit store when used via the syncing feature, but Microsoft seems to have "added value" to it. I use OneDrive (hence the icon) but approach it with Windows7 and LibreOffice, and have not seen any corruption so far.

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Software bug caught Galileo sats in landslide, no escape from reality

MacroRodent
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the bug

Wonder what it was that time? Probably not feet vs metres confusion, like in the missed NASA Mars probe, since both the ESA and Russia are thoroughly metric.

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Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store

MacroRodent
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On a phone, the Interface formerly known as Metro works pretty well. A small touch screen operated by fumbling fingers is a low-resolution input device, so the "Fisher-Price" approach is actually sensible... But it is indeed mysterious why Microsoft thought it would make sense on a desktop.

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Brit Sci-Fi author Alastair Reynolds says MS Word 'drives me to distraction'

MacroRodent
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Re: So what is wrong with...

What's wrong with EDLIN? Well, if I remember correctly, EDLIN could deal only with one 64k block of text at a time. To handle a larger file, you had to manually switch between the blocks. One reason why in the MS-DOS era, I always installed MicroEmacs to any new PC I encountered. At one time had a personally customized version of it that fixed some irritants in the original (possible since it came as C source).

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MacroRodent
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Get a distractionless wp

I recall once seeing a review of some "distractionless" word processors. The idea is that the word processor offers just one text window with minimal decorations and other distractions, meant for writers that want to fully concentrate on the text.

Too bad I cannot right now remember where I saw it. (Thought it was lwn.net but nothing turned up when searching there).

None of them were household names, which is not surprising since their users are a rather specialized group. I think the idea has merit.

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TRANSMUTATION claims US LENR company

MacroRodent
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Facepalm

Re: I thought I recognised this as previously debunked junk

What gets my BS detectors going about emDrive is that the proposed machine is so simple that replicating the results should be feasible even by fairly modest laboratory equipment, and it shouldn't cost much. Get a tunable microwawe source, then do some metal bending. So why don't we get a flood of success reports?

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Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE

MacroRodent
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Re: Scanning Photodisk

"Full frame camera with a macro lens. It won't be cheap."

Yes, something like that. Or just any kind of digital camera that can take macro shots. The disk negatives probably have less than 5mpx worth of image information. The negative is just 11x8 mm. Too bad my current Canon compact camera (SX230HS) cannot focus that close.

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MacroRodent
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Re: Flash

"Most people are too thick to know how to turn off the flash...."

Reminds me... back in the 1980's Kodak tried to push disk-format film camera: A cartridge held tiny negatives arranged around a wheel. At some point I bough one at a flea market out of curiosity, and exposed a few disks. The camera was rather stylish (not unlike in appearance to some compact digital cameras decades later, in fact I suspect it would be mistaken for one today), but clearly it was meant for "too thick" people; There was absolutely nothing to adjust. And getting to the point: The camera had a built-in flash that always fired. No way to turn it off! The flash and other functions of the camera (automatic exposure and film transport) were powered by a battery that was not user-replaceable, and did not need any replacing at least during the time I used the camera.

(The image quality was rather grainy, because the negatives are about the size of a Super-8 film frame. Now I'm wondering how to best scan them... My flat-bed scanner does not have enough resolution, and there is no way to crunch the disk into the film scanner.)

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MacroRodent
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Re: Other phones are available

It's not just Kate. I have noticed many other people seem to use iPhone as a synonym for a smartphone, or indeed any mobile phone. Oh well, sign of the times. I remember when "Nokia" was misused the same way.

(Wish I could be there).

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Docker kicks KVM's butt in IBM tests

MacroRodent
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Not surprising

An app inside a container is essentially native: Same CPU, same kernel for all containers. There is just a more isolation between the processes compared to the case without containers. So if most benchmarks did not run at native speed, there would be something seriously wrong with the container implementation.

I find the container approach way more sane than virtualization, unless you really need to run different operating systems on the same machine.

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Google's ANDROID CRUSHING smartphone rivals underfoot

MacroRodent
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Linux

Re: Today, smart phones and tablets........

>"Linux is the OS of tomorrow."

> And it always will be.

Actually, as you wrote that you absolutely certainly used directly or indirectly one or more devices with the Linux kernel in it. Note that includes all Android phones, most consumer routers, a good chunk of telecom network elements, servers, smart TV:s, and so on and on...

Linux _is_ the OS of today, it has just arrived in a way that most consumers have not noticed. Resistance is futile...

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Spin doctors crack 'impossible' asteroid hurtling towards Earth

MacroRodent
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(there's some odd effects that can do this)?

Yes, actually. Uneven pressure from sunlight. This was mentioned some time ago when an asteroid was observed to break apart because it started spinning too fast. There was an ElReg article about it which I'm too lazy to dig up now. Hopefully the same thing will happen to this one, before we need to bomb it.

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MacroRodent
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Mushroom

Blow up a nuke but _not_ on the asteroid

Trying to blow it up is of course silly, but some a-bombs nearby could be used to deflect it without breaking. The idea would be to use the blast of heat to ablate material from the rubble pile so that the reaction nudges it from an Earth-hitting orbit to a missing one. Probably better use several smaller bombs to make the operation "gentle".

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Murder accused DIDN'T ask Siri 'how to hide my roommate'

MacroRodent
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Holmes

Re: I'm more impressed

By the fact that the phone logged the light was turned on and off and for investigators went into the phone and found that information.

I wonder why on earth would the phone log things like that? Just because it can? Some developer has not thought through all the consequences.

The low volume is just in case you have to explain why you didn't answer an incoming call.

My explanation for not answering is usually that the battery was flat and I left the phone hooked to the charger.... but I suspect that this event too would be logged in iPhone (I have a Lumia instead - I wonder how many details that one logs).

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Microsoft: Just what the world needs – a $25 Nokia dumbphone

MacroRodent
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Re: If it can execute J2M...

there probably still is more J2M Software out there than software written for Windows Phone.

Not so sure about that these days. In any case the Windows Phone software is likely to be more useful and usable: less limiting environment. So it is a bit of an apples and oranges comparison.

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MacroRodent
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Not cheap enough

Here in Finland (generally an expensive country), shops frequently advertise bottom-end Nokia or Samsung dumphones for around 25 € (and no carrier locking). Now if the price for the new Nokia had been below 10 €, that would have been interesting, and could really have created new classes of customers.

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