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* Posts by Dr. Mouse

1090 posts • joined 22 May 2007

Ford cars to gain prang-preventing radar rigs

Dr. Mouse
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Lawsuits...

Some dumbass american, perhaps the same guy who put his winibego (spelling probably wrong there) on cruise control and went into the back to make a cuppa, will probably sue Ford when he slams into the back of someone. "But I thought it would stop for me".

I agree with AC above, get the eejits off the road (like the guy who pulled out of a junction without looking a few weeks ago, forcing me to try to avoid him, drop my bike, and watch him drive off) and we wouldnt need these gadgets. With the added bonus of reduced polution.

Better still, bring in "Darwins Law": If you do something so stupid you should have been killed, you get executed.

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Sun's solar wind hits 50-year low

Dr. Mouse
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@Paul Stephenson

"Does this mean that some new group of whingers will appear ranting about how we are now not just affecting our planet's o-zone but now also reducing the protective effects of the sun, despite no obvious link?"

Yar, no land lubber. It be the lack of pirates that be doing it. All we pirates know the heliosphere is a noodley appendage of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, ye must all pray for forgiveness for breaking the 8 I'd really rather you didn'ts, me hearties, and he shall once more protect us.

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UK.gov 'to drop' überdatabase from snoop Bill

Dr. Mouse
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Putting aside...

...the breach of my privacy that this presents, especialy given our govts 'interesting' approach to data security, the main objection I have to this is cost.

This govt is practically bankrupt. The NHS gets no funding, the schools have 40-odd kids per class, our taxes keep going up... why the **** are they wasting OUR money on this ****?!?!

Instead of throwing our money down the toilet with rediculous IT projects (dont get me started on the ID cards fiasco!) why not sort out the im[portant things first. Get the NHS back on track. Allow schools to do their jobs propperly. The list goes on, but you get the gist.

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Royal Navy won't fight pirates 'in case they claim asylum'

Dr. Mouse
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The Navy

have converted to the CoFSM. They know that Pirates are also followers, and all this talk of ransoms, terrorists, theft etc. is just propaganda spread by Christians.

The Royal Navy 'warships' in the area are actually used to hold prayer meetings, as it is at least a safe from being boarded by French or Russian seamen (**giggle**, I think I'll leave this in despite reading it back and noticing the double entendre) seeking to persecute our righteous brothers.

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Tilera gooses 64-core mesh processor

Dr. Mouse
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FPU

I agree that missing an FPU is a dent in their usability.

Why not just replace a couple of their cores with FPUs? With the cache architecture they have, it would be a simple matter to run SIMD on a bunch of data in the cache, offloaded and separate to the processor core, queued and shared between cores.

I actualy think this would be great for standard CPUs aswell. Consider a Phenom (for example) with an additional FPU, so a core can just ensure the data is available in L3, and then queue a few SIMD or MIMD routines for the FPU to run. It then gets told when the job is complete, and can grab the data and do what it wants. In fact AMD is probably in the best situation to do this, as it could use designs from ATI's gfx chips to do it.

Oh well. The Tile[Pro] chips are still cool, and I want one (or more) to play with. Bet they'll be out of my price range though...

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Firm threatens action against CCTV whistleblower

Dr. Mouse
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Contradiction

"Stephens said he informed LookC about the flaw on 9 September and went public with the vulnerability on 12 September, via a security advisory on his website"

...

"A problem concerning the live image acquisition by unauthorised internet users was reported to us on 12 September 2008"

So either:

a) Stephens lied about when he informed LookC,

b) LookC lied about when Stephens informed them, or

c) LookC didn't care, ignored the email and hoped Stephens would leave it at that.

And as for:

"The person who highlighted the vulnerability to us also saw fit to publicise the means of hacking the LookC servers on the internet and then to log on to other blogs to point other internet users and hackers to the article. We can only guess at the motivation behind this action but have not ruled out criminal intent"

Assuming (a) above is not true, did LookC immediately check their servers, and warn their customers? Not so far as I know. So Stephens did it for them. Now admins can implement some form of temporary fix to protect themselves (most likely for legal reasons), while LookC play the blame game and try to have Stephens arrested.

Thing is, especialy with such a simple "hack", if an honest person has found an exploit and reporsted it, it is likesly that a DISHONEST person has already discovered it and started using it to their advantage. So Stephens has done you a favour guys, stop bitching and fix your damned product!!

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EFF sues Dubya over warrantless surveillance

Dr. Mouse
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I do love

this new fashion to make a new law, then apply it to before that law was made.

The governament makes eating ice cream illegal, so everyone who ever ate ice cream in the past is a criminal.

OR, the government makes it legal for a person to drink and drive on their birthday, therefore the presidents friend who got locked up for drink driving after a skinfull celebrating his 50th gets released.

Applying retrospective laws is absolute idiocy. Even IF they keep it so they are allowed to monitor comms in this manner, the guys who did it before (and the ones who made the descisions) should be charged, as they DID break the law. END OF!

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Symbian: Linux unfit for mobile phones

Dr. Mouse
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@AC 22:42

"It is not necessary to use X11 at all, indeed I think it is crazy to do so in an embedded device. Use the framebuffer (direct) or similar."

While I agree that this is the most efficient way to present graphics on a Linux based embedded device, you are forgetting one thing: at the moment, Linux phones will be used mainly by geeks (and I fall into that cattegory ATM, I'm saving up for a Neo Freerunner). These geeks will not all be propper programmers, but will want to be able to port existing apps to their phones. This is easiest to do if X is used.

I am not saying this is good for the future of linux phones, but it is how things are at the moment. They have to pander to their most likely customers, their current market.

Personally, I thing work should be done on a slimmed down X server designed for embedded devices (it may already be done, or in progress, but I havent seen it).

Thing is, a common platform accross your desktop, servers, phone, set top box, in car entertainment system, home automation system, robotic slave and modified microwave/freezer combo (so you can instruct it to load in the required ready meal and cook it, then have the robot deliver it to wherever you are in the house) means you only have to write one application. Sure it may have to be done differently on the different platforms, but the core can be the same, with different interfaces and/or extensions dependant on the platform. I know some people who use Windows Mobile phones for this very reason.

All this will never lead to the most efficient use of a device (whether that be PC, phone, or automated washing machine), but it CAN make the most efficient use of a programmer. And we all know that most geeks are lazy, so guess which wins?

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Axon takes 100mpg wonder car for a spin

Dr. Mouse
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@AC (10:20)

"It's somewhat easier to deal with a cupful of soot than thousands of cubic metres of gas! And it's not radioactive either!"

OK, I appologise for a poor analogy, but I was just drawing a comparison to illustrate that the emmisions figures are artificialy lowered.

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Dr. Mouse
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@Paul Cooper

Quote:

"I have a production VW Polo Bluemotion II that is rated at 88 mpg on the standard system"

1) This is a diesel. Diesels have been capable of 60mpg+ for many years. Therefore 88mpg is not a big leap. Petrol cars have struggled to get 40mpg, and even the Pri(ck)us only gets 45. Therefore a 100mpg PETROL car is definately something to shout about.

2) Diesels produce more of other harmful substances, and the Blue Motion is no different. The Polo gets around this, and lowers it's emmisions figgures, by installing a filter on the exhaust. This is not much different to the carbon capture schemes (or storing nuclear waste for that matter) as it just stores the crap to be dealt with later.

All in all I would be fascinated to see how they have done it. I suppose weight and aero changes will have made a large difference, but I would love to take the engine to bits :)

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McKinnon supporters plan US embassy demo

Dr. Mouse
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Commit a crime...

in the UK, get tried in the US.

Trey Parker and Matt Stone have it right: Team America: World Police. And UK.gov is quite prepared to bend over and take it like the dick-sucking arse bandits they are... Gordon Brown is aptly named.

*sigh* time to look for a job abroad. Now where is there that will stand up to the US... AND wont be invaded because of it?

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OMFG, what have you done?

Dr. Mouse
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AAARGH!

OK, at first I thought this new look was pretty good. After this lunch I have changed my mind...

At lunch I often have a browse through your stories. However, I often turn the font size up so I can sit back and relax while doing so (especially with BOFH)

Not any more. Your new site wont let me.

I agree with the headline: OMFG, what have you done?

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Microsoft will show world+dog how to write secure code

Dr. Mouse
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A few more

"Bush will show world+dog how to speak in public"

"Oil companies will show world+dog how to take care of the environment"

"UK.gov will show world+dog how to keep citizens private data safe"

Sorry, it's just taken me 10 mins just to type those in between hysterical bouts of laughter, my lungs hurt now and I'm going to have a lie down...

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DARPA seeks sticky-goldenballs Casimir forcefields

Dr. Mouse
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I for one...

... welcome our nanoscopic body-wearing robotic overlords

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Brits are Europe's biggest gadget buyers - official

Dr. Mouse
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@ Alan Riaso

"I think we both know Japan and maybe China would come before the UK"

Yeah, they have no stamina in east asia... :D

And I agree about the prices, we pay FAR too much for things in the UK. However, I personaly doubt our spend would decrease if costs came down. We would just buy more.

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DRAM boom-lite coming

Dr. Mouse
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LOL

"There is a DRAM supply glut which has been worsened by the failure of Windows Vista to spark memory increases in PCs"

Is this not because everyone is 'downgrading' their Vista installations to XP? I have performed enough of these to keep me very drunk most of the time since Vista came out. You think theres any chance I could sue MS for turning me into an alcoholic?

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Royal Society: Schools should show creationism 'respect'

Dr. Mouse
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OK

Serious point here, in spite of the sarcastic comments drowning my brain at the moment:

"teachers should convey a message of “respect” for those beliefs while continuing to teach evolution"

Is this not what RE is for? Religious eductation should be taught from the standpoint of respect for others' beliefs. They should encourage respectful debate over the points of view involved, as all religious people will have to do this at some point, and most non-religious people will also (probably when the Jehovahs Witnesses call round).

Teach about Science in Science lessons. Teach about Religion in RE lessons. Is this too much to ask?

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BOFH: Back in the saddle

Dr. Mouse
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Classic

Absolutely top notch. Been a while since the bean counters were brought down a peg or two.

Although I think there could quite possibly be a lift malfunction anyway shortly after the call out is authorised. Unreliable things, lifts, you never know....

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Net-talking toaster to burn news onto bread

Dr. Mouse
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Oh no!

OK, may not be as anoying as actualy saying it, but what happens when your toast comes out each time with something like:

"Do you want any toast?"

"How about a muffin?"

"The question is this: given that God is infinite and that the universe is also infinite...

"would you like a toasted tea-cake?"

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Parents plant spyware to snare sex predator

Dr. Mouse
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Paris Hilton

I don't know...

... why people are p'ed off about this.

Parents regularly interfere in their children's lives. It's in the job description. And it's right. Kids should slowly have the leash let out untill they are grown up and fly the nest.

If you think this was wrong, wheres the difference between that and, say, searching the kids room for drugs because they have been acting suspiciously? Or checking that they have done their homework by a quick rummage through their school bag? It has been done by parents since the beginning of time, and parents NOT doing it is part of the reason we have so many little scroats on the streat now (that and the govt taking away all the parents rights to punish their kids.)

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American Airlines typo dispatches corpse to Guatemala

Dr. Mouse
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@Sam

Funny thing... thats what I saw when I read it first time.

"American Airlines typo dispatches corpse to Guantanamo"

Thought this would be a story about a corpse being accused of Terrorism(tm), maybe by haunting a US military base. Well ghosts have been seen by more people than the WMDs Sadam was supposed to have had...

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45th Mersenne prime discovered (possibly)

Dr. Mouse
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@ Del Merritt

OK, many have pointed out that the 44th Mersene prime was so close to 10 million digits that the 45th is likely to be over 10 million.

Putting that aside, 9,808,358 to the nearest million is 10 million. Therefore you could quite easily argue that the 44th Mersene prime is approximately 10 million digits long.

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Microsoft dishes dirt on IE8 'pr0n mode'

Dr. Mouse
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“InPrivate Browsing”

Is the prefix 'in' not used to invert the meaning of a word?

So InPrivate browsing would be the opposite of private browsing.

Anyhoo, does anyone REALLY trust Microsoft to respect privacy?

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US judge says University can ignore Christian course credits

Dr. Mouse
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Oh no!

A university which wants to have students who are able to think for themselves!!

I have no objection to people beleiving in a religion, I was religious myself untill around 16. But at university, accepting any view as incontrovertably accurate should never be allowed. This does not disqualify religious candidates, I have know several people with good scientific abilities who maintain their strong religious beliefs. But if you havent been taught the required material for the prerequisites of a university course, you don't get in.

I can just imagine their interviews:

Interviewer) What can you tell me of the rulers of Egypt?

Candidate) The rulers of Egypt were blashphemous heathens. The Pharoah enslaved the Israelites for a lot of years, until God punished him.

Interviewer) And what of the Romans?

Candidate) They killed our Lord and saviour, nailing him to a cross

Interviewer) Actually, it is a known historical fact that crux immissa, or cross, was unlikely to be used at the time of Jesus' execution. Historical records state that the crux simplex was used.

Candidate) BLASPHEMER!!!!

Just the sort of thing that would get you into a university...

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Criminals hijack terminals to swipe Chip-and-PIN data

Dr. Mouse
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RE: Said this would happen

"Just as a rough germ of an idea, you could give someone a pen and paper, and ask them to perform a gesture, unique to them, using the pen in such a way that a record is left (and can be retained)"

Oooh, that sounds like a great idea. Lets call it a Symbolic Identification Gesture for Non-Automated Tellers Using Recognition Engines.

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Pirate Bay evades Italian blockade

Dr. Mouse
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A tip...

for the italians. Only the trackers can realy be blocked in this manner, so for these use an anonymising proxy. For the rest, torrents use IP addresses, and they cannot block ALL the IP addresses of all the peers.

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Hull falls off the internet

Dr. Mouse
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@Roger & Martin; Be Unlimited

Nope, was a serious problem, which racked up a 49-page post on the forum in only a few hours, and set the record for number of people online on the forums

And it wasn't just HTTP traffic. I beleive it was a routing problem to the US, as UK sites (most of them anyway) were fine. I ended up connection through a mates PC by VPN, and many people said they were VPN'ing into work to maintain net access.

As far as I know it wasn't just Be/O2, but I'm not sure. It was fixed in a few hours AFAIK.

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Secret of invisibility unravelled by US researchers

Dr. Mouse
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Coat

Here you can see...

... a jet in all it's glory. Now, turn around... turn around... you, you need to turn around.

*Audience turns to face the opposite way*

*Roaring noise similar to, say, a jet taking off*

Behold! I have made the jet invisble!

</south park reference>

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McKinnon UFO hack 'looked like cyberterrorist attack'

Dr. Mouse
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Team America: World police, judge, jury and exectutioner

Firstly I must say:

s/reinforces the fact that a lone individual who is motivated can cause significant damage to the military preparedness of this country/our network is so insecure that anyone who wants to can get in/

Second: The guy was in the UK. He was using a computer in the UK. He should be tried in the UK.

That the US are trying to extradite him is tantermount to saying "Our law is best, everyone should follow our law". That the courts in this country are allowing the extradition is like them saying they agree with that viewpoint. We truely have become just another US State :'(

This would set a dangerous precedent, and should have been quashed. The first judge involved should have laughed in the face of the lawyer bringing the extradition request, long and loud, tried to recover composure, then laughed some more.

The WRT the "leaving the door unlocked" argument: The internet is a public place. This is more like leaving your mobile on a bench in a public park. Yes, the person is still guilty of theft if they take it, but it is your own bloody stupid fault for leaving it there.

In fact, as he did not actually take anything, this would be more like him picking up said mobile, having a look through your contacts, pictures, text messages etc. to see if there was anything interesting. Then he left a note in your inbox calling you names, put it back on the bench, and left. This is also illegal, but the cops would probably laugh at you if you wanted them to do anything about it...

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Lies, damned lies and government statistics

Dr. Mouse
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A few comments

1) I completely agree with the article. The govt do manipulate statistics, and most people have such a limited understanding of maths that they just swallow it whole. It is all about telling people what to think, and those who cannot think for themselves (the vast majority of the population...) lap it up. They don't realise that 72.6% of statistics are made up.

2) My only problem with speed cameras is that they have no brain. It does not take into account that speeds will naturaly vary. OK, they allow a little margin, but this is not enough.

If you are stopped by a cop for speeding, you can explain yourself. Take for instance the time I was stopped for doing 36 in a 30 zone. I had just driven back from university, motorway all the way, a 2 hour drive. I had only been off the motorway a mile or so, and it was night, with no other traffic about. In these circumstances, your perception of speed is altered. I was not intentionaly speeding and, just before the cop pulled me over, I had noticed and was slowing down. The police talked to me for a couple of minutes and let me go. They understood that a little common sense is necessary. If it had been a camera, £60 + 3pts, no questions.

3) They are a distraction. I have heard of one guy who ran someone over because he was looking at his speedo going through a speed camera. They make many people think about their speed more than the road (actualy about their wallets, hence their speed).

4) Because people don't want to be fined many people drive at 5mph bellow the speed limit while going through them. This will wind up many people, the ones who know you are given a small margin, and angry people are more likely to take risks, and taking risks increases the chance of having an accident.

Myself, I am a reasonably calm driver, but it does irritate when you have to slow down to way bellow the speed limit when you were sticking to it, then you see the car in front zoom off at 5-10mph above the speed limit as soon as they have passed.

5) Not admitting you are guilty is a crime (I know this is not quite accurate, but it's close enough). I have one friend who was 'caught' by a speed camera. She knew there was a mistake, so she filled in the form, didn't sign it (because signing is admitting guilt), and sent in a form stating that she was driving but she wasn't speeding. In this case it was a mobile camera, outside a school where she had stopped to drop her kid off, 50yards away from where she stopped. She had only just turned onto that road, before stopping, so it could not have been before she stopped, and the car could not possibly have reached 30 before the camera. In any case she does not break the limit.

She was summoned to court, but she was too unwell, in hospital, for the court date, so she sent a letter pleading her case. She was not done for speeding. She WAS convicted of "failing to disclose driver details", which is a pile of tosh as she DID tell them that she WAS driving. Hence 6 points and approx £200 fine.

This is only one of many similar case I know of. It becomes a case of guilty untill proven innocent, and the courts do not listen to those damn lying maniac speeding drivers. The camera is always right.

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BOFH: Smash + grab

Dr. Mouse
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Outstanding!

Says it all...

(as does the coffee currently spreading across my desk. Mantal note: do not consume beverages or food while reading BOFH)

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Congestion charge means less traffic, more congestion

Dr. Mouse
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Motorbikes

@ Steve' comment:

"by comparison to other motor vehicles they are (per seat) the least efficient users of fuel"

OK, let us make some assumptions from the start. An efficient car, a diesel, will do about 60mpg (probably less around london, but we'll use this), and carry 5 people. This equates to 300 personmiles per gallon. It takes up 1 'unit' of road area.

A regular, petrol car will do about 35mpg, and carry 5 people =>175pmpg @ 1 unit of road area.

An efficient commuter bike will do over 100mpg, normaly over 120mpg around town, and carry 2 people, giving 240pmpg. About 4 could fit in the space of the above car in congestion, so it takes up 1/4 unit of road area.

So far, the diesel is on top in fuel usage, the bike in people per unit road area. However, there is a catch: How many cars do you see full? I don't live in London, but I rarely see a car with more than 2 occupants. I also rarely see a bike with a pillion.

So rejigging, giving the car the benefit of the doubt and taking 2 occupants, and assuming the bike is not carrying a passenger, this comes down to:

Deisel car: 120pmpg, 0.5 units road pp

Petrol car: 70pmpg, 0.5 units road pp

Bike: 120pmpg, 0.25 units road pp

This gives the bike the edge. Do your maths before commenting.

As to "they try to sneak through gaps in traffic", it's called filtering, have a look in the highway code. They have a perfect right to do this. And, if they are allowed to use bus lanes, this won't happen anymore (or at least as much), nor will them getting stuck.

And "They wait for the lights in ASL", do you know how many times I have seen cars do the same? Or wait on hatched areas, park in bus stops, use bus lanes... There are always going to be idiots on the road, or people who don't think the law applies to them (and the vast majority of them, even in proportion to the numbers of a vehicle type on the road, are car drivers).

I do not live or work in London, and do not want to, but these apply to every major city I have worked in.

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Why flying cars are better than electric ones

Dr. Mouse
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@Big_Boomer

"Move the jobs nearer the people (ie. get your companies out of the cities) which would help reduce emissions AND costs for most companies. Not only that but us workers would not have to waste 3 hours every day travelling in and out of a stinking, noisy, overcrowded city."

This is the answer. Almost everyone has ADSL/some other broadband. Using this & phone/video conferencing etc, almost all office workers would be able to work from home, reducing travelling for workers, and required office space for companies. With cost savings to both, the time savings for workers, and the reduction in traffic and carbon emmissions, everyone is happy.

I used to take this into account when working out my hourly rates for contracting, and a lot of co's were quite happy to take me on for a reduced rate, working from home, plus pay me expenses and travelling time if I needed to go into the office.

Of course many people would not be able to use such methods (e.g. workers in shops, manufacturing... etc) but it would remove a large quantity of traffic from the roads, so make life more pleasant for the rest of them.

Then push for more shopping over the internet (govt subsidies?), and you are another step closer.

There is one small catch. I remember a film where this had happened, and everyone became introverts who never left their homes, and hence the human race was dying out through a lack of sex. It may have been a porno though...

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Next Debian's 'Lenny' frozen

Dr. Mouse
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YAY :D

YAY!

This is why I use Debian excludively on my servers. The development cycle is rock solid.

Debian stable tends to be a little behind the curve. Software included tends to be slightly older than Fedora, for instance. Yet because of the strict and solid release cycle, it is incredibly stable.

Because of this, I would ALMOST be willing to just whap Lenny on my currently etch (well, etch and a half, I have a custom 2.6.24 kernel) main server. I say almost... Nothing's foolproof, so I will of course be testing on a sacrificial machine first...

My current employer has standardised on SuSE and I detest and despise it. Give me Debian any day.

My personal choices come down to Debian Stable for servers, Ubuntu for stable desktops. Then I tend to use Debian Testing & Unstable and Fedora for experimental boxes. My employer wouldnt listen, and caused me endless hours of work getting SuSE to work to the same standard! And don't get me started on YaST...

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UK BOFHs face psychometric dissection

Dr. Mouse
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Something is wrong with this statement...

"Most of the admins I've ever dealt with were kind of "difficult". They need to learn to think like the users do and speak the language the users speak, as anyone should do for their customers"

Erm, we have a contradiction here: THINK like the USERS?!?!

Users do not think.

And speak the language the users speak? I know many languages, including English, German, a bit of French, C, Perl, Java... Not once have I been interested in learning to speak Moron.

What is needed is for the users to learn a little about the equipment they are using, not use us to do their jobs for them, and not assume that the CD-ROM drive tray is a suitable storage area for their toast, with a thick coating of jam, and not bother to clean off drippings of said jam and crumbs before inserting their Britney Spears album. It was their third CD-ROM drive, I had just joined the company, and got a tirade of "These drives are obviously crap, get me a better one". When I took it apart to check, I found said jam and crumbs, along with coffee stains and a peice of months-old chicken. I had to calmly explain that placing food and beverages on the CD-ROM tray was a bad idea (yes I managed not to yell "You F**KING MORON" at him), and HE had the cheek to report ME for being disrespectful and DEMAND that I be disciplined!

Later that month, an internal investigation found large quantities of what would now be classed as "extreme porn" was found in his home directory, and his disciplinary was short and swift... Strange how fate can sometimes solve your problems for you isnt it?

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Re-jigged Intel mobile Linux stack dumps Ubuntu

Dr. Mouse
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6 of one, 110b of the other

I cannot say I see the point here. Myself I use Debian for servers, Fedora for experiental systems (It tends to be cutting edge, but not always completely stable), Ubuntu and a few others for stable destops. I find that, from a user's point of view, there is very little difference. From a development point of view, DEB is easier to use and make, and RPM has no significant advantages. But the margin is so slim that I can't see a benefit of switching just for packaging reasons.

Sounds more like they are hiding political reasoning behind a half-baked technical smokescrean.

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Rogue SF sysadmin coughs up passwords

Dr. Mouse
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"become a bit maniacal"

What, like a politician by any chance?

And I agree, the initial confusion was probably misspelling, leaving the caps lock on, or general stupidity. And as for remote access, I also agree that it was probably for remote admin so he could do his job better. I have left back-doors open into systems when I have been admining for just this purpose.

Of course, I am an ethical man and have always closed them up when I left the job ;)

God save us all from eejits, erm, I mean users.

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BOFH: The PFY wants a reference

Dr. Mouse
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PFY dropped the ball.

He did a good job by putting his own phone# for the reference, but then to go out and not divert hist phone to his mobile?! Noob mistake that!!

Unless of course Carnifex is right, and this is all just bait.

This could get interesting...

PS: Simon, you very nearly caused severe problems at my work. If I dont get my weekly fix of BOFH, I get very irritable, which is not good when the MD of the co who has just bought us out is visiting from the states. Any chance of a warning next time? An irritable mouse is a ticking timebomb. And don't get me started on those damn librarians....

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Mono man accuses Mac Gtk+ fans of jeopardizing Linux desktop

Dr. Mouse
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Why, oh why?!?!

Why, Gavin, did you say "Linux on the desktop remains, as ever, stuck somewhere in the distant future."?

It is a comment that is CERTAIN to stir up all the MS, Apple and Linux preachers into a frenzy. These people shout their own oppinions as if they were fact, and completely ignore any evidence thrown their way unless it supports their own argument (in much the same way as Politicians).

The VAST majority of people use Windows, mainly because it their PC had it installed when they bought it, but that doesn't change the fact. They use it, get pissed off when it crashes, or when a virus forces them to get a techie in to reinstall, then carry on using it. There is no denying it.

However, Linux is gaining market share in the desktop arena. And it is getting closer to being ready. Linux-for-Eejits (aka Ubuntu) has gone a long way to help in this. And for those who just surf/email/word-process etc... it is a great option. I know of many people who love it, some who like it but need windows for specific software, and some who hate it. But you cannot deny that the Linux Desktop market is growing.

You may disagree with me on the next point, as it is just my opinion. I have been using Linux for about 10 years now, and I beleive it is now actualy READY for the mainstream. Before you Windows fanatics come back with arguments about recompiling kernels, hardware compatibility and such, I would ask if you have actualy tried it recently? The last year or 2 have seen leaps and bounds made in compatibily, and I cant remember the last time I had to compile a driver or myself for mainstream use. Of course, I do recompile my kernel, use experimental drivers and software etc, but I dont HAVE to to make the machine work, it is my choice.

As for Macs, I WANT ONE, but I can't afford it. When I have used OSX, I have found that it is slick, pretty, and all-round excellent. However, while the cost of a Mac is so high compared to my own DIY PCs, I cannot justify it. Having very little experience with Macs, I will not comment further.

In summary:

* MS Fanatics: try a recent Linux on your desktop so you can make INFORMED comments rather than just slagging it off and regurgitating heresay.

* Linux Fanatics: Get of your high horses, you are making everyone hate you.

* Mac fanatics: I hate you you rich bastards! :P

* All of the above: Get a life!!

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Irate sysadmin locks San Francisco officials out of network

Dr. Mouse
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"the system, which is up and running but inaccessible"

hmm... Looking at earlier in the article:

"Meanwhile his former bosses were unable to access San Francisco's new multimillion-dollar FiberWAN"

So, at the start the system was inaccessible. It didn't say it was down. So what has changed?

What they are saying is "We haven't done jack shit".

BTW, I agree that this BOFH was probably set up by his PFY, who will now receive a promotion, a huge pay rise, and exclusive access to the cattle prod. Meanwhile, BOFH gets time in the slammer to plot his revenge...

I also agree that it was probably triggered by the lack of a BOFH article this week. I nearly flipped out from withdrawal myself. Shame on you Simon, causing so much damage!

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Court cheers warrantless snooping of e-mail

Dr. Mouse
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Re: Damn,,,

Quote:

"Seriously, anyone who sends email and expects nobody else to read it, and their privacy rights to be protected is a bit of an idiot"

I completely agree. It is likely that your email will have passed, plain text, through multiple SMPT servers before reaching you. Anyone on one of those servers, or sat in between with a packet sniffer, could have read them.

Email is not secure. Realy, the only thing which can make it so is encryption. And, as mentioned above, most people cant be bothered.

Things get even worse when you start looking at VoIP. Unencypted audio packets, floating accross the net. I wouldnt be surprised if cops were allowed to capture these without a warrant, as they are floating around where anyone can see them.

It is up to YOU to ensure you have a secure communication channel. If you haven't, don't say anything which might incriminate you.

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MS takes Windows 3.11 out of embed to put to bed

Dr. Mouse
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@Greg

Yeah I helped set up a similar set-up while on work experience. Worked great! Everyone had the same setup. And if they needed a different config, copy the old and modify. The IT tech was greatful for years for me suggesting it (so old hardware ended up being thrown out in my direction, often before they needed upgrading :D so many servers in my attic, untill my parents complained about the noise and the electricity costs of running a datacenter at home), untill the company decided to "upgrade" to Windows 2000 (yes they skipped 9x all together).

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EU accidentally orders ISPs to become copyright police

Dr. Mouse
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I haven't

read the document, but just from your quote:

must promote "cooperation" between access providers and those "interested in the protection and promotion of lawful content".

This reads to me more like they should be cooperating to provide lawful content. Not necessarily to stop UNlawful content.

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eBay Australia ditches PayPal scheme

Dr. Mouse
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@AC

Yep, thats what I do too.

I always list paypal, but specificaly state that paypal fees must be paid by the buyer. I am not a company, I do not see why I should pay their outrageous fees, on top of listing fees, final value fees etc.

I also have a friend who got screwed by this rule. She listed a big, bulky item on eBay, stating that it was collection only, cash on collection only. Ebay removed it, saying "posting cash is not safe". After several emails back and forth they threatened to suspend her account if she did not stop asking buyers to post cash, even though she never did in the first place!

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BOFH: The admin gene

Dr. Mouse
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It works both for good and evil....

The abilities to detect problems before they are a problem, fix things by merely being within 10 yards, and break things in ways that noone would ever consider possible, can be a curse.

For example, when a luser calls you saying "Its not working". You walk all the way accross the building, click the same button they have (or they say they have) been pressing, and it all just works as it's supposed to. You put it down to idiocy on the part of the luser. Then they call an hour later, you do the same. Repeat untill the luser gets so pissed off he tells your boss, who insists there MUST be a problem, and you spend days looking for a fault you know is just a PEBCAK.

Discovering problems early makes work for you, when you COULD just wait for the kit to blow up and have it fixed under warranty.

And as for breaking things in unpredictable ways, well, it's fun but once again it creates more work for you.

I wish I didnt have the gene. Things would be a whole lot simpler....

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Linspire CEO defends Xandros buy-out

Dr. Mouse
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Paris Hilton

LOLololol....

OK, I find this comment thread very funny.

Let's look at some examples:

"Linux is as usful as a computer full of cow Manure"

Firstly, the vast majority of serious servers out there use Linux, or some other *nix OS. I think what you meant was "Linux ON A DESKTOP MACHINE is as usful as a computer full of cow Manure". This is also wrong, but not as wrong as your comment. For the basics, from surfing the internet to office apps, email, listening to music, watching DVDs, Linux is on average as good as Windows. Some parts are better, some are worse.

When you want to run the latest games, Windows is normaly the only option. I say normally, because WINE and Cedega do an incredible job with some, especialy older games. I know for a fact that the EVE Online client ran about 50% quicker under Cedega than on Windows about 3 years ago when I was playing it. But the only reason Windows is necessary for this is that games are written for Windows. It's catch-22. There are not enough users of Linux to make it worthwhile for games to be developed for Linux (as with a lot of commercial software). But people don't move over because they can't run the software they want. This is NOT a deficiency of the OS, just a numbers problem.

"The OEM deals and the channel add value to the consumer. It prevents people taking home crap."

Vista anyone?

Seriously though, OEM deals are what help MS monopolise the desktop OS market. They REMOVE value from the customer, because the customer doesn't have a choice. If they could get the same machine for £100 less with linux, and all they did was surf the net, email, watch DVDs etc. they would do it. Which would mean more people would be using Linux. Which would mean more companies would develope for Linux. Which would mean more people would use Linux....

"Many basic framework-like things (X comes to mind) are still lagging"

Xorg is actualy more advanced than the display components of Windows. Check your facts.

"many require you to compile kernel modules or to compile your own kernel "

I would beg to differ. Using Ubuntu on my desktop, with all up-to-date brand new hardware (normaly the sticking point because Linux drivers historically have lagged Windows drivers), everything worked except for one. My network card didn't work. This actualy turned out to be more of a problem with dual-booting to windows, as the windows driver was disabling the network card when it shut down. Apart from that, everything worked straight from installation. For a windows install on that box, I had to install windows, then install all the drivers, then install my applications.... A full day's work with myself having to be there constantly, as opposed to a half a day where I could leave it working after the first half hour.

A lot of the comments here are obviously based on preconceptions, which are based on how Linux was 5+ years ago, I suggest you all try it. Or keep your uninformed, ignorant comments to yourself.

Oh, one last thing. I can't believe how few people have made jokes about the 'touch more people' quote. I am very disappointed with you all.

Paris because she always want's to touch more people.

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Dr. Mouse
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Coat

OLPC

As far as I can remember the OLPC project is installing Linux. So at least it will reach out and touch a lot of children....

Mines the long dirty mack that I am still wearing, I don't want to take it off just yet :P

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BBC begins fresh Freeview HD TV trial

Dr. Mouse
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@ Why not just ditch terrestrial TV broadcast ?

How to piss off half the country in one fell swoop.

For myself, I have a custom DVB-T DVR (actualy as part of my file/firewall/voip/mail/everything server). It means I get all the TV I want, when I want, without paying Sky/Virgin, and without having to ask the landlord if I can put up a satelite dish.

We have been using terrestrial TV for so long now, everyone has an aerial. I for one would be anoyed if they didnt continue to develope it. However, I do think OFCOM should allow freeview to have the current analogue TV bandwidth. There'd be no problem with HD DVB then, plenty of space without affecting the current muxes.

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ICANN approves customized top-level domains

Dr. Mouse
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Thumb Down

Oh dear...

This is going to be trouble.

As mentioned above, what happens when someone registers a tld which corresponds with the name of a comp on your network?

For example, I name my computers after cartoon mice in general. My main server is mickey. So, when Disney decide to register a TLD of .mickey, and they use just this for info about mickey mouse, I am screwed.

Why oh why are they doing this? There are already too many TLDs. Oh yeah, 6 figures is the reason. Someone should grab ICANN by the short and curly's before it's too late.

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The war on photographers - you're all al Qaeda suspects now

Dr. Mouse
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I am not at all surprised...

It is very difficult to convince the police that they are wrong about a point of law.

Take housing law, for example. I was harrassed by my landlord at a previous dwelling. They wanted me out of the house. I felt threatened, and had already taken legal advice. In this case he was committing a criminal offense under both harrassment laws and housing laws. I called the police and informed them. The cop who showed up told me it was a civil matter. Even when I showed him the relevant laws from the litterature I got from the housing advice place, he still insisted that the landlord was breaking no law.

The problem is that cops THINK they know all the law, but they are not lawyers/judges. They do not go to university, or even college, and learn about the law. They have no idea. It is up to the persons soliciter to prove that they didnt break the law. In the eyes of the police, everyone must be guilty of something, so prove you are innocent. Go on, prove it.

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