* Posts by Steve Graham

165 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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There's data in your dashboard, so liberate it from Big Auto's grasp

Steve Graham

I believe the paid version of Torque comes with a programming API and the ability to get raw data, so proprietary info is not completely out of reach.

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Boffins silently track train commuters without tripping Android checks

Steve Graham

Well, if I see three Chinese academics with electronic devices on the Moira to Lisburn train, I'll know what they're up to.

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DEEPENING MYSTERY of BRIGHT LIGHTS on dwarf world Ceres

Steve Graham

hex

Did anyone else spot the perfectly hexagonal crater in the GIF animation?

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Debian ships new 'Jessie' release with systemd AND sysvinit

Steve Graham

It's been designed to offer functionality to other packages, so other developers have made their software dependent on it. Young folks not brought up on the pure Unix philosophy: do one job and do it well.

The Debian decision was basically "we don't have the resources to rip out all the dependencies in these other packages, so we just have to go with systemd".

(Yes, I have a beard, and yes, it is grey.)

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Cash register maker used same password – 166816 – non-stop since 1990

Steve Graham

I think you must be mistaken. The mention of "running as adminstrator" implies Windows (probably XP) which means they're talking about a general purpose PC with PoS software running on it.

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JavaScript CPU cache snooper tells crooks EVERYTHING you do online

Steve Graham

Re: cat /proc/cpuinfo

Still on a Core 2 Duo here. No L3 cache.

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Steve Graham

cat /proc/cpuinfo

80% of desktop machines in the world have i7 processors?

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Motorola's 5-incher finds the G-spot: Moto G 4G budget Android smartie

This post has been deleted by a moderator

Urine for a treat this Monday, ISS 'nauts: SpaceX to launch pee-powered coffee pot

Steve Graham

Samantha Cristoforetti was to get an espresso machine last year. Was it lost in the Antares launch explosion?

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Microsoft uses Windows Update to force Windows 10 ads onto older PCs

Steve Graham
Trollface

oops

"continuing through AnticipationUX, Reservation, Reserved, RTM, GA, various Upgrade phases, and, finally, UpgradeSetupFailed"

Why not save time and jump straight to UpgradeSetupFailed?

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The coming of DAB+: Stereo eluded the radio star

Steve Graham

Freeview Radio

I have a couple of DAB radios, at least one claiming DAB+ support, but I actually only listen to digital radio via a TV box attached analog-ly to my amp. (The cheapo box does have a digital-out, but I has no digital-in.)

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Is light a wave or a particle? Beaming boffins prove it's BOTH

Steve Graham

Wrong

Photons (and electrons) aren't "both" waves and partcles. They're something in the quantum realm that we can imagine being a bit like waves and/or particles in the macroscopic world.

When people ask what is "really" happening, they actually want an explanation that they can understand in terms of billiard balls or cabbages, and there isn't one.

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And the buggiest OS provider award goes to ... APPLE?

Steve Graham
WTF?

Put up or shut up

A methodology that generates a result that's so much at variance with common experience needs to come with an explanation. Or at least a theory.

Windows is difficult to make secure because of its structure and complexity, and all the wonderful "features" which seemed like a good idea (to Microsoft) but are now forgotten, but still available (to hackers).

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I'm the wire starter: ARM, IBM tout plug 'n' play Internet of Stuff kit

Steve Graham

Re: embed OS is not exclusively tied to Big Blue's cloud

I was thinking exactly the same thing. A home system which only functions by the grace of someone else's servers in some other country just doesn't appeal to me either.

You'd want a "server" on your home network, but even a Raspberry Pi would be vastly over-spec'd.

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Chrome Remote Desktop adds Linux to supported OS list

Steve Graham

x11vnc

In case you've missed it, you can "export" your current X session via VNC with x11vnc (package in Debian etc.).

Of course, the more traditional model of starting up a brand new session for VNC access may be preferable in some circumstances.

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Linux 3.19 released for your computing pleasure

Steve Graham

"Never install x.0 of anything." Or in this case, x.x.0

My current kernel builds are 3.18.1 (3.18.6 is supposed to be the most recent "stable" version).

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BT coughs £12.5 billion for EE as fourplay frolics pay off

Steve Graham

Re: It'll be up for sale in another 10 years

I used to work for BT, back when they had a mobile operator (later O2) and high-street shops.

“Fashion is what you adopt when you don't know who you are.”

Quentin Crisp

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Enough is ENOUGH: It's time to flush Flash back to where it came from – Hell

Steve Graham

Re: This type of mentality is irrational, bordering stupidity.

You're basically wrong because you ignore the fundamental issue with Flash: it's humongously big and incorporates massive amounts of functionality which hardly anyone uses (or knows about).

If it was just a movie player, which is all that most people ever used it for, it wouldn't have been so difficult to make secure. Even Adobe might have been able to do it.

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It's 2015 and ATMs don't know when a daughterboard is breaking them

Steve Graham
Devil

Yes! And they run Windows XP! (usually)

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Linux 'GRINCH' vuln is AWFUL. Except, er, maybe it isn't

Steve Graham

What is polkit for?

I don't have polkit on any of my systems. My cursory exposure to it suggested that it merely replicates functionality from more proven and battle-hardened software which I already have.

Am I wrong?

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HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

Steve Graham

Re: price mistakes

According to newspaper reports, Amazon software was marking the deals as dispatched, i.e. complete, while the sellers were struggling to get them cancelled. The Amazon helpline for sellers was not manned.

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Who wants to be A MILLIONAIRE? Not so fast, Visa tells wannabe pay-by-bonk thieves

Steve Graham

La-la-la, I Can't Hear You

"We are confident that our contactless system remains a safe, convenient way to pay."

== "We are not going to bother to fix this vulnerability."

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We're doing great, say dot-London chiefs ... Unfortunately, few agree

Steve Graham

Doomed

Technologically-aware people like us often overestimate how much the normal population understand (or care). They think that "www." is what signifies a website. They don't know what that rubbish at the start with colons and slashes is all about. The bit at the end means little.

And anyway, as any examination of webserver logs will demonstrate, lots of them use a URL by typing it into Google's search field.

"Interesting" URLs are useless already, and will soon become as irrelevant to the public as numerical IP addresses.

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NASA: Spacecraft crash site FOUND ON MOON RIM

Steve Graham

"LRO boffins tell us"

I'm hoping it was actually LRO press people who were so forthcoming with the non-metric units, while the scientists are doing everything properly in the SI system. I'm hoping.

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Mozilla hopes to challenge Raspbian as RPi OS of choice

Steve Graham

While I fully appreciate the nerd value of getting something to run on the 'wrong' platform, I really can't see what use it is. I predict that we will never hear of it again.

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Is your home or office internet gateway one of '1.2 MILLION' wide open to hijacking?

Steve Graham

Online test

Gibson Research: https://www.grc.com/x/ne.dll?bh0bkyd2

It says I'm OK, which is good since I've disabled all access inwards from the internet.

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UNIX greybeards threaten Debian fork over systemd plan

Steve Graham

Resistance is useful

I use the current Debian unstable, and I had to install systemd to satisfy some dependency or other, but I then deleted the files it dropped into /etc/dbus-1/system.d/ so none of its processes ever get started. (And it still has sysv init scripts.) Everything is working fine.

I will be moving to another distro (after nearly 20 years) if/when Debian makes systemd the required init tool.

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Want a more fuel efficient car? Then redesign it – here's how

Steve Graham

Heavy foot?

The first car I had with a fuel-consumption display was a Saab 9000 Turbo. I discovered that, if I took enormous care and managed my acceleration and deceleration, I could get the MPG reading up to 32.5.

However, if I just drove in my normal style, it dropped by a stupendous margin to 31.0.

Yes, OK, probably it was my fault.

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

Steve Graham

1950s technology

The lovingly-rendered image looks a lot like the magnetic mirror designs which originated in the Soviet Union in the fifties, and were taken up by the USA, where decades of work and hundreds of millions of dollars were spent in trying to get them to work.

The last big project, the Mirror Fusion Test Facility, was cancelled when almost complete in 1986.

Plasma confinement is really, really hard. I don't see anything in this new story that suggests they have a solution.

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Chrome 38's new HTML tag support makes fatties FIT and SKINNIER

Steve Graham
Facepalm

So, basically another way for websites to decide that they know better than I do how their page looks on my device?

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Apple's iPhone bonk to 'Pay' app launches on Monday

Steve Graham

I'm not an iPhone user because I don't care for the constraints imposed by Apple's infrastructure and business model.

However, if I did have an iPhone, I'd prefer to use it to make purchases with a fingerprint than use a card with no security at all.

I'd still worry about it being hacked though. Extracting and re-using encrypted credentials is already common currency in the iPhone jailbreaking world.

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Hackers pop Brazil newspaper to root home routers

Steve Graham

Re: add a sticker

That's exactly how it was on my recent Technicolor router from Plusnet. You even get a plastic card with the wifi and admin passwords (both "random" character strings).

I still changed mine though.

I also turned off remote network management.

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Be your own Big Brother: Monitoring your manor, the easy way

Steve Graham

Re: Security?

My setup is similar, although I use the FTP option, not email. Now that you mention it though, I might have a go.

One tip I picked up from somewhere was to use the shell of a cheap halogen floodlight (B&Q, £7.99) as a weatherproof housing for an indoor-type camera.

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Not appy with your Chromebook? Well now it can run Android apps

Steve Graham

Re: android apps on linux ?

I've played around with Android x86 as a virtual machine on Linux. Everything seemed to work correctly -- mouse, keyboard, network, video & sound.

I've also booted the same generic x86 live CD on a netbook, but that was not fully functional. However, the same site has builds for some specific machines.

http://www.android-x86.org/

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Hacker publishes tech support phone scammer slammer

Steve Graham

Yes, but...

Ammyy Admin is supported software. The next release will surely fix this vulnerability now that it's published.

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Rubbish WPS config sees WiFi router keys popped in seconds

Steve Graham

I bought a Netgear DGN-1000 a few years ago. Disabling WPS was disabled (if you see what I mean) and the company explicitly announced that they weren't going to issue a fix. (They expected owners to buy a newer model.)

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Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can

Steve Graham

Re: And about 2 years later ...

I remember using Yggdrasil, which a quick check on Wikipedia suggests would have been 1993 or 1994. I don't remember paying $99 for it though!

Early Slackware as well. And then Debian -- I definitely remember the version numbers being in the 0.x range -- which I've stuck with for 20 years. Seems to work.

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Windows Registry-infecting malware has no files, survives reboots

Steve Graham

Re: "a tool Microsoft uses to hide its source code from being copied"

Not "alone", really. For example, the Gnome infrastructure in Linux is based on a binary "registry" which needs specific tools to access it.

I think human-readable configuration files (even XML) are always a better and more resilient approach.

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14 antivirus apps found to have security problems

Steve Graham

Android

Ironic that the anti-virus companies were whining recently that the sandboxing in Android made it impossible for them to do what they'd like to.

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You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad

Steve Graham

Auto brightness

Um... doesn't it have TWO "ambient light sensors"? I call them cameras.

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Tails-hacking Exodus: Here's video proof of our code-injection attack

Steve Graham

Exodus: Hey, NSA, we've got a great new Tails vuln to sell!

NSA: Nah, sorry guys, we've already got it.

Exodus: Hey, Press, our morally upstanding company is helping users!

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BMW's ConnectedDrive falls over, bosses blame upgrade snafu

Steve Graham

How hard can it be?

It would be interesting to know how the system is implemented, given that it's only pairs of mobile devices swapping data. You could even design it to be "server-free" by using SMS messages, which I believe will often arrive at their destination.

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Facebook pays half a billion dollars for firm that slaps ads on videos

Steve Graham

Re: Maybe I missed it...

"Monetising other people's content and keeping the cash to yourself sounds pretty repugnant."

It's worked well for Google though.

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David Cameron wants mobe network roaming INSIDE the UK

Steve Graham

I'm an O2 customer, and at home I get marginal signal on 2G (when I leave my phone at a specific spot in the kitchen).

But that's the best coverage of all the operators. People who visit usually have no phone connection at all.

I'm certain that the other network operators are NOT EVER going to build new infrastructure around here. There's not enough population to make it economically viable -- the O2 coverage is probably just a fluke. However, if O2 were getting revenue from roaming, they just might see it being worth their while to upgrade.

So, basically, it seems to me that the argument that national roaming would discourage investment is the exact reverse of the likely outcome.

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New XSS vuln hits eBay as rubbish passw0rds persist

Steve Graham

Re: Is it just me...

...plus a limit of 20-characters is unneccessary unless you're actually storing them for your millions of customers.

Another worry about "proprietary" implementations is that when I changed my password on PayPal (also 20-chars max) and used a character outside the 7-bit ASCII range, I was told that I could not have "an accent" in my password. Actually it was a symbol, but a hashing algorithm shouldn't care, right?

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Apple 'rainbow' logos set to fetch $10-15K at auction

Steve Graham

A couple of years ago, I got good money on eBay from a set of the rainbow logo stickers which I'd found among random rubbish in the loft. I think they had originally come with an early Apple laser printer whose documentation I'd taken home to study in an effort to get the bugger to work.

So, yes, the fans will buy anything.

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Boffins run iOS apps on Android hardware

Steve Graham

Re: Drink up

A thumbs-up for the coinage of "fumbleslabs". I'll bet it turns up in a Reg hardware review soon.

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Surprise! Google chairman blasts EU's privacy ruling

Steve Graham
Big Brother

Maybe the army of staff the Google recruits to deal with a billion removal requests can also document the millions of Romanians and Bulgarians who flooded into Britain at the start of the year? The Daily Mail said they'd be filling every bus, train and plane.

(Correction: Page 23, column 4.)

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Gigabyte Brix Pro: You don't need no steenkin' Xbox... when you have 4K-ing amazing graphics

Steve Graham
WTF?

How in the name of all that is holy do you need 500Gb for a Linux-based system?

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ZTE Open C, the Firefox OS mobe you'll almost want, now on eBay

Steve Graham

This looks very similar in spec and appearance to the ZTE Blade Q Mini which I just bought (for a similar price). Stylish and well-made -- I'm happy with it.

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