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* Posts by Steve Graham

108 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Steve Graham

Re: Rust would help, but there's a reason it's not used there

...or except when we deliberately remove checking for performance reasons.

http://article.gmane.org/gmane.os.openbsd.misc/211963

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Microsoft: We've got HUNDREDS of patents on Android tech

Steve Graham

Just out of interest, I formatted a micro-SD card as ext4 and put it in my Android phone. It booted fine and mounted the device entirely as normal (there's usually a VFAT card there).

However, "Turn on USB mass storage" just hangs when I connect it to my Linux laptop, and the laptop sees the USB device but "no medium found". On the other hand, I can connect with adb and copy files to the card.

Not interested enough to pursue further.

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Blighty goes retro with 12-sided pound coin

Steve Graham

Re: iSIS...

...and if the details have to be kept secret, then it's not an effective security system.

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Backdoor snoops can access files on your Samsung phone via the cell network – claim

Steve Graham

Re: Lots of speculation

You've misunderstood my post.

(Also, I've just noticed that I inherited a misused apostrophe from the original post.)

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Steve Graham
Big Brother

Re: Lot's of speculation

If I understand it correctly, the issue here is that the modem software has a relatively high-level interface to the phone's file system. That's different to a peripheral sitting on the same bus as the CPU.

The latter, as you say, is a default consequence of current designs, but the former is a deliberate design decision, and one I find hard to justify for innocent purposes.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

Steve Graham

The bare facts in the article yesterday made it pretty clear that the whole thing is a scam that shifts taxpayers' money into the wallets of a clique of people who are largely technology-ignorant, but savvy in the ways of government and civil service.

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Bad luck, n00bs: Mozilla to splurge ADS inside empty Firefox tiles

Steve Graham

Re: All I want to know is...

My preferred way of removing the existing "tiles" feature is to set the pref browser.newtab.url to "about:blank" (or to the URL of my home page).

Works both on stock Firefox and Iceweasel.

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For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

Steve Graham

I can't work out why the obvious 2-box solution doesn't suit you. It would even allow you to play processor-heavy games and do massive software builds at the same time. :-)

(I speak as someone having 4 computers in the house which are on all the time, plus a netbook and a tablet for occasional use.)

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Yes, HP will still sue you if you make cartridges for its inkjet printers

Steve Graham

What HP printers are really good at...

I live in an isolated house in the country. One Saturday morning, I turned on my laptop and saw an additional wifi ESSID, showing 60% signal. An HP Photosmart printer.

My nearest neighbours' house is at least 250m away. I can only assume they'd just turned on a new printer, with a pretty impressive wifi range.

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Acer C720 Chromebook with Haswell battery boosting goodness

Steve Graham
Linux

Why?

Having read the article and the comments above, I can't work out what the Chrome OS is actually FOR.

It seems to me that for a user anywhere on the spectrum of technical knowledge, you only have disadvantages and no advantages compared with any Linux installation (or even Windows).

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Wait, that's no moon 21.5-inch monitor, it's an all-in-one LG Chromebase PC

Steve Graham

"customers who want a fast, simple and secure computing experience"

This must be a usage of the word "secure" with which I was previously unfamiliar.

(HHGTTG paraphrase)

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BT network-level STOCKINGs-n-suspenders KILLER arrives in time for Xmas

Steve Graham

Re: OK

I already block the Daily Mail site via my hosts file. Prevents me accidentally accessing it if I don't notice where a link is pointing.

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Apple fanbois warned: No, Cupertino HASN'T built a Bitcoin mining function into Macs

Steve Graham
Linux

Re: dangers of 'sudo'

That's the Ubuntu approach. Like many other aspects of Linux, they're going their own way there.

Personally, I wouldn't find it acceptable that the default user has default root access to everything (on submission of the regular login password).

You'll note that the first reason they give for doing it their way is that "The Ubuntu installer has fewer questions to ask." Oh, well that's all right then.

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El Reg's contraptions confessional no.2: Tablet PC, CRT screen and more

Steve Graham

Re: Model M

I grew up on DEC terminals, not IBM. I have a nice LK250 keyboard, which was the PC-compatible version from the VAXmate. It does work (briefly) via a PS/2-USB convertor, but I think it's drawing too much current -- it either just stops, or keeps rebooting. I've always meant to rig up a separate power supply and use it full time.

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Winamp is still a thing? NOPE: It'll be silenced forever in December

Steve Graham

This is a coincidence. I just uninstalled Winamp from my Android phone yesterday to make some room. (App updates were silently failing. Thanks, Google.) Winamp on Android had an unusually large footprint compared to its functionality.

I don't use my phone for music very often, but I'll look out for something lightweight. The version of Cyanogenmod on the phone comes with Apollo baked in (stupid decision) but its UI is mental.

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Firefox reveals new look: rounded rectangles

Steve Graham

Re: Blimey, it's Chrome

...and removed the preference to hide the tab bar if only one tab is opened.

There's an add-on to return that fuctionality too, but as you say, these are the work of volunteers who might give up the fight.

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Google RIPS aside curtain, exposes Nexus 5 phone, KitKat Android 4.4 coupling

Steve Graham
Black Helicopters

They timed the launch of KitKat to coincide with International Nestlé-free week. "Evil? We're rubbing your faces in it... bitches."

http://info.babymilkaction.org/nestlefreeweek

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Cinnamon Desktop: Breaks with GNOME, finds beefed-up Nemo

Steve Graham

Finding nemo

I just gave nemo a go since I'm never content with any file manager. I don't have GVFS on my system and although nemo runs, some functionality is missing because of the dependencies on GVFS (part of Gnome).

(On my systems, everything is a file in a uniform heirarchy, the way Unix was supposed to be from the start. I don't need no desktop environment attempting to mount devices for me.)

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A steam punk VDU ?

Steve Graham

Didn't Gibson and Sterling already have this in 'The Difference Engine'?

It's been a very long time since I read it, but I seem to remember there was a cinema-sized display composed of a large array of pixels, each of which could show a differently-coloured face under program control.

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Coding: 'suitable for exceptionally dull weirdos'

Steve Graham

If more people had a grounding in basic code logic, TK-Maxx wouldn't get away with the slogan "Always up to 60% cheaper."

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Naughty Flash Player BURIED ALIVE in OS X Mavericks Safari sandbox

Steve Graham

The "Thoughts on Flash" memo was just a smokescreen to cover up the real reason for banning Flash from iOS: with Flash, you can build an application with its own windows, menus, widgets and all that stuff, so it would be possible to violate the coherent look and feel of iOS. Heresy.

Although all that "power" in Flash is a weakness, not a strength, since it makes the product excessively large, complex and, hence, difficult to make stable and secure. And all people really wanted was a movie player.

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Phantom Flan flinger: The story of the Elan Enterprise 128

Steve Graham

I've enjoyed these historical articles. I was a young nerd while it was all going on, buying ALL the magazines and poring over specifications. Eventually, I ordered a Spectrum. Eventually, I got one. Then an Amiga. Then a bare-naked OSI Superboard.

What strikes me is the small amounts of money that brought down the pioneer companies -- debts of a few million pounds in this case. I read recently that Twitter is losing about $150M a year, and is looked on as an excellent potential investment...

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All cool kids' phones run ALTERNATIVE alternative custom Android ROM

Steve Graham

"whole idea that bunch of non-paid programmers of unknown skill level can do better job than paid developers with access to internal documentation is retarded."

Your statement is proven false every day. The entire infrastructure of the internet is built on open source software developed by "non-paid programmers". Oh, except there are a few Microsoft servers developed by the professionals. AND THOSE ARE JUST GREAT.

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Do-it-yourself Dropbox: Western Digital's My Cloud 2TB NAS box

Steve Graham

Re: WD’s servers use to establish a connection from one to the other

How are the NSA going to know what you're doing if you don't route your connections through WD's servers? The survival of democracy depends on it.

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Android adware that MUST NOT BE NAMED threatens MILLIONS

Steve Graham

I have a few free apps which think they have adverts, but they all work OK (and ad-free) with network access firewalled off.

Am I ripping off the developers by skipping their ads? Yes.

Do I feel bad about that? No.

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Congrats on MP3ing your music... but WHY bother? Time for my ripping yarn

Steve Graham

Re: @ breakfast

I almost only ever listen to shuffled music. A job runs once a day and selects a random list of artists in my collection, and then the player picks random tracks from that playlist. I guess that (a) I have a short attention span, and (b) I lack reverence for musicians.

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Google tentacle slips over YouTube comments: Now YOUR MUM is at the top

Steve Graham

Ever since I installed NoScript, the YouTube comments panel has just shown "Comments currently unavailable.", even though I've whitelisted everything.

I've learned to struggle on and live with this deficiency in my life.

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'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

Steve Graham

Re: Phantom Power

As a US-trained pilot, I read "FAA" as "Federal Aviation Authority", making the scenario even more inexplicable.

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ZTE Open: This dirt-cheap smartphone is a swing and a miss

Steve Graham

Where are all these $80 Android phones which are so great?

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Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Steve Graham
Thumb Up

Re: I wouldn't trust encryption alone personally

What you've just invented is called "steganography". There is a range of software around to do exactly what you are suggesting.

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Windows NT: Remember Microsoft's almost perfect 20-year-old?

Steve Graham

You don't have "multiple single points of failure" on Linux. You do have a fragile ecosystem of configuration files, but few if any of them can cause the boot to fail, because they configure individual applications. (Perhaps somebody can think of one that if corrupted can stop you even getting a GRUB prompt? I can't.)

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1953: How Quatermass switched Britons from TV royalty to TV sci-fi

Steve Graham

Re: "hard for many Britain’s to fill in"

Yes, and we can also do without the fake Americanism of "gotten", thank you very much.

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Finally, someone's fixed THAT Android hole. Was it your mobe network? No

Steve Graham
Alert

While I have no doubt that ReKey is genuine, it does request "full network access" and attempts to phone home on installation, without saying why or asking permission. Not good practice.

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Steve Graham

Re: The Android device needs to be rooted

They do say that it would be possible to use the vulnerability to patch the vulnerability (rather than via rooting) but prefer not to distribute a working example of an exploit (at the moment).

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Steve Graham

Re: "but only the Samsung Galaxy S4 has been patched to protect against it"

According to the patch website, Bluebox scanner isn't working properly.

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What's the most secure desktop operating system?

Steve Graham
Devil

Re: VMS?

My VMS hack was something like this: the VMS equivalent of the "wall" command (i.e. "write all terminals", I forget its name - it was a long time ago) was available to all users, and did not filter escape sequences. Everyone had a VT-100 or similar.

My broadcast contained a sequence that caused the terminal to send a line as if the user had typed it, to copy a modified executable of my own in place of a system one. Then the line on screen was erased and the cursor put back where it had been. It was fast enough not to be noticed in most cases.

The command failed (silently) for every session except that of the actual system manager, of course.

On 1st April, I was able to impersonate a system manager and announce an emergency shutdown, causing panic among those who didn't save work frequently. I got a talking-to in the boss's office for that.

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At last: EU slashes mobile roaming fees

Steve Graham
Happy

Re: Get a local Sim

I've just come back from a month in Italy. Oh how I did laugh at O2's text message on arrival, offering me a massive 15Mb a day for only £1.99 a day.

My TIM SIM was €20 + a €2 top-up, giving me 2Gb for the month (and €5 phone credit). If I'm back in Italy in the next year, I'll only need to top up the €2.

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Opera rewrite comes to Android

Steve Graham
FAIL

Arrrse!

I forgot and updated all my apps when the Play Store asked me, and that included Opera Mobile going to the new Opera. Which crashed immediately on start-up. Every time.

Rather than revert with a backup, I'm trying different browsers.

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Steve Graham

It sounds as though I should stick with the old Opera Mobile for now. My phone is low-powered and short on space, although I'm loath to replace it since it has a lovely little screen. (It was originally an Orange San Francisco Mk1. Now it thinks it's a Jelly Bean ZTE Blade.)

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Impoverished net user slams 'disgusting' quid-a-day hack

Steve Graham

Lester, I had no opinion of you or your writing before this article, but I think it makes you look nasty and mean-spirited. And to me, every additional comment you've made only reinforces that impression.

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Mosaic turns 20: Let's fire up the old girl, show her the web today

Steve Graham
Black Helicopters

The Olden Days

I worked for BT from the 1980s and had access to "fast" connectivity via the X.25 network. My first internet activity was via a BIX account (Byte magazine) which was a bulletin board, as was common at the time, but they had a gateway onto the actual internet (I forget the details).

I do remember dealing with Microsoft in the mid-nineties. They wanted us to build them a dial-up bulletin board network to compete with Compuserve, even though it was obvious to anyone who had a clue that the concept was a dead duck and the internet was the coming thing.

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Notebook makers turn to Android in face of Windows woes

Steve Graham
Linux

Re: Notebook TV anyone?

You buy them from China. They are the size of a pack of chewing gum and there are dual- and quad-core ARM processor versions. They all have WiFi, USB and HDMI; and most have Bluetooth. Some have webcams. Cost is from about £30 to £50. They run Android, of course.

One on-line source is http://lightake.com

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New rules to end cries of 'WTF... a £10 online booking fee?'

Steve Graham

whack-a-mole

Ryanair have already dropped the additional card charges and replaced them with a fixed "administration fee" which is not part of the headline ticket price, but which is always compulsory.

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CCTV hack takes casino for $33 MILLION in poker losses

Steve Graham
Pirate

Universal Plug'n'Pray

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2013/01/29/cctv_vuln/

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Gnome cofounder: Desktop Linux is a CHERNOBYL of FAIL

Steve Graham
Go

Me too

My everyday computing experience is exactly like what de Icaza reports: "Machine would suspend and resume without problem, WiFi just worked, audio did not stop working, [...] without having to recompile the kernel to adjust this or that, nor fighting the video drivers, or deal with the bizarre and random speed degradation".

That's Debian on... a Thinkpad.

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Torvalds asks 'Why do PC manufacturers even bother any more?'

Steve Graham
Linux

storage?

Linus is going to do "git repositories" on a machine with 64Gb of "hard disk"?

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Health pros: Alcohol is EVIL – raise its price, ban its ads

Steve Graham
Pint

Have they even MET a problem drinker?

I'd be prepared to bet real money that a minimum price per unit, if introduced, would have absolutely zero effect on alcohol's health and social problems in the UK. (I'd also be prepared to bet that the promotors of such a policy will be the last to keep good statistics before and after to be able to tell the difference.)

Consumption is clearly very weakly linked to price, if at all, as anyone who has actually known a problem drinker will be aware.

As someone noted above, countries where alcohol is relatively more expensive actually have worse problems than those where it's cheap. But it seems to me that it's a North-South divide, with us unhappy Celts, Anglo-Saxons and Scandinavians abusing the drug, while our merry Mediterranean neighbours don't (so much).

In other words, it's a cultural and social problem, and those are always slow, difficult and expensive to fix. Which is why politicians want to do something quick, easy and cheap (for them) instead. It won't work, but they're "doing something".

One thing I particularly resent is putting the additional cost to the consumer into the pockets of the supermarkets, as if they needed it. The morality of it would sit better with me if the prices were increased through taxation.

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Germany's RTL pulls free-to-air channels off terrestrial TV

Steve Graham

Re: Small problem with satellite

Freeview is available over much of Ireland as well. I'd heard that unavailablity of some Freeview channels on Freesat was more a matter of thrashing out commercial disputes than directly about licensing and overspill.

Irish TV on satellite has chosen to address the issue of licensed material by adopting Ka-band transmissions rather than K-band, because the higher frequencies can be focussed into a tighter beam, covering Ireland only.

Unfortunately, this means buying a new (less-common, therefore expensive) LNB and installing a new cable for it.

(I'm in Northern Ireland. I can receive Irish DVB-T both on the local Freeview broadcast and directly from across the border. I get RTL from satellite!)

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'Mauro, SHUT THE F**K UP!'

Steve Graham
Mushroom

kernel oops

Changes by that same developer broke my USB television stick a few versions back, until I discovered new Make options that only appeared if you enabled building of modules for remote controls (I don't have a remote control).

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