* Posts by Steve Graham

186 posts • joined 21 May 2007

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Remember Netbooks? Windows 10 makes them good again!

Steve Graham

Re: Pah!

My "media player", permanently connected to the television and sound system, is an Aspire 1 netbook with Atom N270.

My armchair device for looking up stuff on the internet while watching television (that's what people use tablets for, right?) is a Samsung netbook with dual-core Atom N570.

Both running Linux. It would be crazy to try to put Windows, any version, on them.

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How to get root on a Linux box, step 1: Make four billion system calls

Steve Graham

CONFIG_KEYS is set in my Linux kernel build automatically from the dependency logic, which is quite complex, so I haven't yet found out how to unset it.

It seems to be something in NFS, wifi or bluetooth. The latter two might apply in Android as well.

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Rejoice, Penguinistas, Linux 4.4 is upon us

Steve Graham

I tried a FreeBSD distro, GhostBSD, recently and I was surprised at the amount of Linux crap in it. No systemd, certainly, but polkit, consolekit and even pulseaudio. There may have been more.

Obviously, like Linux, it worked perfectly well once they were disabled.

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Longing to bin Photoshop? Rock-solid GIMP a major leap forward

Steve Graham

Re: "save" functionality

In case other readers interpret what you said as hyperbole: yes, that was EXACTLY the reasoning expressed. GIMP developers think "power users" are too stupid to understand compression and data loss.

I found a couple of scripts to do "save current" and "save as..." and put them into the main menu above the official ones.

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Meet ARM1, grandfather of today's mobe, tablet CPUs – watch it crunch code live in a browser

Steve Graham

memory corruption

My first ever job -- in 1981 -- was writing VLSI design software on VAX/VMS. CIF files ring a distant bell, but I can remember nothing more.

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Rdio's collapse another nail in the coffin of the 'digital economy'

Steve Graham

"streaming is like roll your own radio" - no, it's not. There are no radio stations which play only the music I want, at the time I want, in the order I want.

I worked out through last.fm stats that if I'd paid my most-played artiste at Spotify royalty rates for all the tracks played, it would have cost me around £17. But, in fact, I'd bought 13 CD albums, roughly ten times as much.

(As a musician myself, I'm well-aware that the "music industry" is designed to enrich the industry, while any money that actually gets to the writers and performers is basically leakage; but that's another matter.)

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Faked NatWest, Halifax bank sites score REAL security certs

Steve Graham

Re: The banks can help here

Something like securesite.co.uk, isn't it? In a pop-up. About as credible as haliflax.co.uk

I couldn't believe the stupidity of that design when I first saw it.

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Smuggle mischievous JavaScript into WinRAR archives? Sure, why not

Steve Graham

Re: Why do pepole reply with posts like this? Because.

And, indeed, nowhere in the article was it mentioned that the vulnerability is in one Windows program, not all software which might be able to open that kind of archive.

0
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BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

Steve Graham

User Agent

Can someone suggest a user agent string that gets past the BBC gatekeeper? I've just tried several, and while it seems to be what the code is using to decide, all have been refused.

Wait, I'll pretend to be an iPad...

[EDIT] Yes, Safari 8 on iOS 8 was accepted to opt in. Now to see if it works (Firefox 38 on Linux really.)

[EDIT2] No. Even with mediasource toggled in about:config.

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World finally ready for USB-bootable OS/2

Steve Graham
Unhappy

ancient

Some time in the last century, I was a project manager running several software development teams. One of the team leaders delegated ME to write the OS/2 to mainframe comms code for his project, because he said he didn't trust anyone else to get it right. I think that was the last production code I ever wrote. (Which shows how old I am.)

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Wileyfox smartphones: SD card, no bloatware, Cyanogen, big battery – yes to all!

Steve Graham

Re: Say it is true

With a screen that big, it practically is a laptop.

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Spotify climbs down on new terms and conditions

Steve Graham

peer-to-peer

Since we're beating up Spotify, did you know that their streaming works by peer-to-peer sharing? (The Windows desktop client anyway.) So they're using YOUR bandwidth and cpu cycles to send music to other users.

I was trying out the software one day and noticed about 40 outgoing connections, with IP addresses that resolved to home broadband links all over Europe.

10
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ZTE Nubia Z9 Mini: The able Android smartie the company won't sell you

Steve Graham

I'm on my second budget ZTE and it serves my needs well enough, but there have never, ever been Android updates for it. Given the recent vulnerabilities, that's not a good thing.

(The only relevant download on their website is the user manual.)

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Mozilla testing very private browsing mode

Steve Graham

Re: I'm in

I've got a screen grab where Amazon recommended me "Pigs Ears 50 Quality whole ears Top Quality 100% Natural dog treets" (sic) because I'd bought "Authentic Indian Spice Spoons".

Artificial intelligence at its awesome best.

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Steve Graham
Linux

Re: So...

Come to the Dark Side. We have candy. (And penguins.)

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Budget UHD TVs arrive – but were the 4Kasts worth listening to?

Steve Graham

Re: Wot not FreeSat tuner?

Nope. My £50 Openbox receives Freesat channels identically to those from the other two satellites my dish is pointed at.

However, it doesn't meet the requirements to be labelled as Freesat, such as the text service and automatic channel updating.

0
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Acer Revo One RL85: A pint-sized PC for the snug

Steve Graham

Fugly

The high-gloss white plastic of the shell is hideous. I know there's a fashion for Apple-like white objects but this design would have been laughed off the stage at Apple.

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Firefox 39 bites four critical bugs

Steve Graham
Facepalm

Better games performance. Couldn't have put it better: that's exactly what I don't need in a browser.

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UH OH: Windows 10 will share your Wi-Fi key with your friends' friends

Steve Graham

Re: F**king Madness

Android stores the passwords in plaintext. There are apps which will display them, or you can hoke through the file system.

So every time you enter the new password for a visitor, they take it away with them.

1
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Google IS listening: Binary blob banished from Chromium build

Steve Graham

When this story broke (in the Independent; I didn't see any mention in The Reg) I checked my Chromium installation and found it was an earlier version which didn't install the voice search extension. Good.

However, it had silently downloaded and installed Google Wallet under my user profile.

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Yep, it's true: Android is the poor man's phone worldwide

Steve Graham

Marketing

There are four market segments: the stupid poor, the stupid rich, the clever poor, and the clever rich.

To make large profits, you should aim your product at the stupid rich.

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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?

4
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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)

4
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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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