* Posts by Roland6

1852 posts • joined 23 Apr 2010

Windows 10: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE to Microsoft's long apology for Windows 8

Roland6
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And the IQ of the author is?

"Given the complexity of navigating Windows though, basing Start menu navigation on search is not a bad idea."

I'd love to know what the author finds so difficult about Start menu navigation; it's been consistent across several versions of Windows since W95 (which simply described the Win3 desktop in menu form).

The complexity of navigating recent versions of Windows is wholly down to the incompetence of developers, especially at MS...

Any one know if the Windows Style Guide has been updated?

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Roland6
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Trollface

Re: Just one thing left to make it good

You kids and your love for traversing menus, Is it really that hard to open cmd and type "C:\Program Files (x86)\Microsoft Visual Studio 12.0\Common7\IDE\devenv.exe"?

Yes! Especially if you're running a 32-bit version of Windows...

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'Fix these Windows 10 Horrors': Readers turn their guns on Redmond

Roland6
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Re: No Control of Updating

>MS seem to consider my PC as their advertising space

They started doing that when they released Office Starter...

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MORE Windows 10 bugs! Too many Start menu apps BREAK it

Roland6
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Re: the 640k quote

> the transition to 32 bits was slow and painful.

We shouldn't forget that MS had to release a patch for XP because it used the 640K "DOS space" to hold the current desktop (wallpaper, icons etc.)

Wouldn't be surprised if some of this code still exists in Win10...

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Roland6
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Re: wtf do you do with all the icons!

>... Display them in a carousel

That would be a useful UI feature, can't possibly implement that, although the major OS vendors could implement a variant that is not as useful. Which reminds me of all the UI innovations over the years that the major vendors have ignored. For example MS with Win8 walked away from the 3D UI concepts publicized in the Windows Longhorn development project (2000~2004 - not to be confused with the Windows build called "Longhorn" that was released as Vista in 2007) and nailed their UI firmly to a 2D single application world; and did it in a way that wasn't particularly helpful...

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BONK! BONK! Windows 10 whack-a-mole – Microsoft still fixing bugs

Roland6
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Re: Meh!

>We therefore can't draw any conclusions as to what might be released to production Windows 10 systems from what such early test users see.

We can, because MS have to have released software to "the channel", so that they can actually sell Win 10 systems on the day. So we can be confident that Build 10240 is apart from some cosmetic version number changes, the "Release to Manufacturing" version of Win10.

What is open to question is what will be in the first "Release to Market" update. Given the number of major bugs discovered and the amount of dev work reportedly still in progress, I would not be surprised to find that the first update is a 3.5GB image download ie. a completely new build, that completely replaces Build 10240...

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Roland6
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>Seems Microsoft with its new CEO has learnt nothing.

On the contrary!

We're just seeing what some in MS have known for sometime, MS have lost the ability to launch a new product to market, hence why they've been saying this will be the last version of Windows...

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Windows 10 in head-on crash with Nvidia drivers as world watches launch

Roland6
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Re: Nvidia at fault?

I would agree Nvidia aren't blameless - on the information we have available and my experience:

On an old XP system, I've had to disable Nvidia update checking, as Nvidia GeForce Experience insists there is a newer driver version, but the version it wants to install isn't compatible with XP (I know because the solution was to totally uninstall Nvidia in Windows safe mode and reinstall the XP compatible driver from the Nvidia website).

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Got an Android phone? SMASH IT with a hammer – and do it NOW

Roland6
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Re: Who intentionally sends MMS messages these days?

Re: What else?

CEX are reporting good business in old Symbian Nokia's...

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Roland6
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Re: Who intentionally sends MMS messages these days?

>On some networks you can't received MMS without first sending one

But don't applications such as Hangouts, Viber et al allow the sending of MMS messages via a different route ie not through the telco's messaging centre?

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Roland6
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Re: Workarounds

That workaround might block one attack vector, but note the vulnerability is in Stagefright - Android's media playback engine. Hence I wonder whether the attack merely needs to get the user to run a suitability crafted video using a viewer that uses Stagefright. The use of MMS is obviously concerning because of the various under the hood (ie. not visible to user and out of user's control) actions that can be automatically triggered via MMS.

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We put Windows 10 on a small fondleslab: STILL not ready, 3 days to go

Roland6
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Re: Pester Power

Interesting that someone is actually trying to upgrade/install Win10 on some entry level Windows devices:

An interesting follow up would be to do similar with:

1. A tablet typical to those MS recommended for using in education (for students starting Sept 2014) such as the Toshiba WT8...

2. A netbook running Win7 (you know Intel Atom N550 and below, 2GB RAM, 1024 x 600 LCD ie. the specification MS demanded if vendors were to get Win7 Starter et al)...

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Microsoft: Hey, you. Done patching Windows this month? WRONG

Roland6
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Re: I guess

Microsoft have released a patch for Windows 10's preview build 10240. As commented upon by others, because W10 hasn't officially been released, it isn't included in the formal patch notices and seems to only be available via the W10 update process.

What amuses me is that MS could (unwittingly) preserve functionality (ie. vulnerabilities) across many Windows versions that enables malware to work, whilst at the same cause problems when you try and use legitimate programmes across the same versions...

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Snowden to the IETF: Please make an internet for users, not the spies

Roland6
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Re: IPv6 privacy @Yes Me

"Tom, you are out of date. IPv6 privacy addresses solved this weakness"

You missed the point, IPv6 was also designed for a very different Internet; one still largely based on trust (ie. we're al friends here - see first comment to this article). The fact that privacy had to be added in latter and that the religious fundamentalists of the IETF still hold sway over the use of NAT, speaks volumes about the added security claims of IPv6...

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Microsoft nixes A-V updates for XP, exposes 180 MEEELLION luddites

Roland6
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Re: Two points to make - Linux & W7

> I have a Samsung NC10 Netbook

Yes, netbooks, much maligned (and rightly so given the specifications of what most vendors shipped) a few years back, are pretty good when coupled with an appropriate OS and function. Given their power consumption and built in battery, they make good network appliances (particularly if you replace the HDD with an SSD), only other constraint is you tend to be limited to 32-bit OS's and 2GB of RAM.

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Roland6
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Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

>Obviously, the real security problems begin when the third-party AV suites start dropping support for XP.

And the real connectivity problems begin when the third-party browsers (ie. Chrome/Firefox/Maxthon etc.) stop being updated for XP and websites no longer support access from older browsers, just as they are increasingly doing for IE8.

But then with no supported browser, XP will effectively become a standalone machine and hence very secure...

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Roland6
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Re: How does this change ANYTHING?

>Really can't see MS pissing about with its "Security Essentials" having any effect on any of those.

Well the only problem I can see is that if you have Security Essentials installed and a third-party suite then if the two AV engines are playing nicely, you may have a security hole due to your third-party tool allowing space for Security Essentials to scan...

So the best action is to uninstall Security Essentials and reinstall your favourite third-party suite (this time it won't find Security Essentials and so will fully enable it's AV functionality). This also has the benefit of getting rid of the red security flag in the system tray and the various warnings telling you that XP is no longer supported.

Additionally, you do need to leave WUP set to "Automatic: Notify me but don't..." to get rid of the other red security flag telling you that your system is insecure because you don't have WUP enabled. This also means that you still get notice of other MS updates such as those for Office 2007, which todate have worked just fine on XP.

Obviously, the real security problems begin when the third-party AV suites start dropping support for XP.

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Sixty-five THOUSAND Range Rovers recalled over DOOR software glitch

Roland6
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Re: Surprised

>Therefore I'm surprised that this problem was not detected before now

I think from your comment the reason could be something as simple as they didn't consider this scenario because it didn't fit with their testing viewpoint,namely security against attempted break-in.

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Roland6
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Re: "creates a heightened theft-by-hijack risk"

Err "The flaw means that doors can remain unlatched even when in the “closed” position so that they can open while the car is in motion,"

I read that as meaning the doors aren't just unlocked but that they can be opened by touching them - like what kids do when they go to look out of the window or fall asleep...

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HP won't ship PCs with Windows 10 preinstalled until mid-August

Roland6
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Re: WIN10 Compatibility Checker

>* Full system backup (already do this anyway).

I'd make that a full disk image copy (including boot sectors and all of Windows 'special files') - Clonezilla comes to mind as a suitable tool (although getting it to create an image of a W7 system HDD that could be restored as a fully working system, did take a few attempts and some fiddling).

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Roland6
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Re: Sensible

>I wonder what manufacturer is going to have the courage to ship any earlier?

Well, it will be interesting to see what the MS store does on the 29th and when MS actually ships a Surface running W10 to a paying customer.

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Roland6
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Re: Omnishambles coming...

>They're not 'forcing' anything.

Yet...

The fact MS keep re-re-re-issuing KB 3035583 (GMX) without any real explanation, and have reclassified the Windows 10 nagware patches, KB 2952664 (now on it's 17th release) and 2976978 (now on it's 12th release), as 'Important', indicates MS are either determined that as many people as possible upgrade and/or are worried the W10 take-up will be worse than Vista or W8...

It does look as if the only 'safe' way to do updates from MS will be via WSUS, as presently these KB's aren't in the WSUS list...

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Roland6
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Non-Story!

"It will be a minimum of two weeks after Windows 10 ships to Windows Insider members and as possibly as long as a couple of months before HP product running the OS becomes widely available."

There is nothing new, only those who think they should be able to rush out and buy something the moment a product is launched will be disappointed.

I'm surprised that it will be that soon. Given various reports about the status of the builds MS have been releasing, it does seem that MS will be working on W10 until the last minute. In fact it would not surprise me to see that the version unveiled on the 29th is for launch purposes only, because the team is still working on features and bug fixes...

So HP, as a major OEM, the last thing they will be wanting to do is to risk releasing a duff PC, for whatever reason as they will not be wanting the publicity that results, nor the costs of fixing all the 'broken' systems and dissatisfied customers. The only way they can prevent this is to take W10, as released and test it on a system for real, which will take time.

Also for all those "back-to-school", "off to college/university" purchases that will be made in August/September I suspect that most (sane) people will be playing safe and buying W7 or W8.1 systems running Office 2013/365 etc. - all of which will still be in support when the student graduates in a few years time.

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Windows Server 2003 support deadline is TOMORROW – but thousands don't care

Roland6
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Re: More stats please

Well some I suspect are network appliances running WS2003 ISA Server (VPN, Firewall etc.).

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Roland6
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What was meant by the final paragraph?

"Another huge support deadline has almost passed but IT directors and their tech suppliers should taken note – end of support dates for Windows Server 2008 and 2012 are looming. You’ve got less than five and eight years respectively to get your houses in order."

Given the context is the upgrade of WS2003, I read this as implying that business'es should also be preparing for the migration of existing WS2008 and 2012 workloads and hence these platforms are not suitable targets for a WS2003 migration. But wait a moment WS2012 is MS's current server offering, WS2016 isn't expected until next year!

So is the implication that enterprises should be getting their house's in order by migrating away from Microsoft server? But as we know from feedback on other ElReg articles, there are very few OS's that do offer 10+ years of guaranteed support from the day they are released, thereby ensuring platform stability for a number of years. Platform stability isn't something, I've seen cloud/(x)aas providers trumpeting; particularly over a 10+ year timeframe...

So is the suggestion that no one wants to say on record is: run your WS2003 for another few years and then migrate to WS2016?

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Apple snuggles closer to IPv6

Roland6
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IPv6 Leakage?

Reading this article, I could help but think about the recent article about VPN's which showed that because of a lack of joined up thinking, many client systems were leaking information over their IPv6 stack. It would seem that this implementation of IPv6 DNS will leak by design.

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Roland6
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"Apple's been a long-time supporter of IPv6, having first introduced support for the protocol in 2006"

So what does that make Microsoft, who first shipped an IPv6 implementation back in 1998 and then included a production ready stack in XP-SP1 in 2002? I'd say Apple are relatively new member of the IPv6 ready club.

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Attention dunderheads: Taxpayers are NOT giving businesses £93bn

Roland6
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Re: Tim omitted the obvious explanation... @DaveDaveDave

I suggest you read the Guardian article, the headline figure is based largely on sourced numbers (either directly or through calculations based on such numbers), hence the number hasn't just been plucked out of the air. However, what is questionable is whether the total figure has any meaning or validity and the interpretation being placed on this total figure, namely this is tax revenue monies the government would of been able to collect (and use otherwise ie. for welfare and benefits) if it didn't 'fund' all these subsidies to 'rich' businesses...

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Roland6
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Tim omitted the obvious explanation...

Whilst I agree with what Tim wrote, I think he omitted an obvious explanation for the headline figure and why it is being framed as "Taxpayers are handing businesses...", namely, because the sums involved are known.

I've seen exactly the same logic, as used in the Guardian article, to justify cutting back on tax allowances, pensions tax relief, etc. where monies are notionally, or actually, collected by HMRC and then "given back". This message goes down well in those quarters where people either have no aspiration or wear their social conscience on their sleeve and disengage their critical faculties... Obviously, applying exactly the same logic to tax credits and benefits just isn't done...

Whilst there is some validity in looking at the amounts of money given out or back, there is a danger of taking this to the next step and say that a business offering a discount to it's customers is costing the taxpayer and hence that business should be paying taxes based on some notional GRRP (Government Recommended Retail Price) rather than on the actual amount invoiced and receipted...

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From doodles to designs – sketch it out with a stylish stylus

Roland6
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Alternatives

It would be useful to also take a look at the various solutions that permit you to actually draw/write on paper and that information automatically transferred to the computer. Yes, basically we are looking at variations on the Anoto pen (ink written on to special paper), pressure pads like the Wacom range, co-ordinate measuring systems (either in pen or pad) that record pen movements.

The advantage of these tend to be that the resolution isn't limited to that of the display and (where real ink is used) there is no user perceived lag between nib movement and ink appearing on paper.

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Flash HOLED AGAIN TWICE below waterline in fresh Hacking Team reveals

Roland6
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Re: So frustrating

Well it is definitely frustrating that only half the story is being publicised.

From what I can gather from two websites:

Existing (Windows) users of MalwareBytes Anti-Exploit are protected from (ie. no update required):

CVE-2015-5119 - Fixed in Flash version 18.0.0.203.

CVE-2015-5122 - Flash v18.0.0.203 is vulnerable

They've yet to report on CVE-2015-5123, which has distinct differences to the above and so it would not be wise to assume anything.

Users of Trend Micro's Browser Exploit Prevention feature in the Endpoint Security component of their Smart Protection Suite, are protected from:

CVE-2015-5119

CVE-2015-5123

With CVE-2015-5122, Trend Micro advise users to disable Flash.

Whilst it seems neither of these products presently totally secure's a system against all three, (although both will run happily on a W7 system), we do have here clear evidence for the value of these browser monitoring/hardening tools.

So if you need Flash, there are good third-party tools out there that will help you to increase the security of systems you lock down.

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UK politicos easily pwned on insecure Wi-Fi networks

Roland6
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Re: There are ways of mitigating some of this - for example, a low cost Android device

I think you are thinking of the Alcatel-Lucent Nonstop Laptop Guardian which has been around since 2007. However, whilst it is now a software solution and has been ported to cheaper hardware than the chunky PCMCIA card it was launched on. Whilst is isn't a cheap solution, it is used by others such as BT in their MobileXpress offer.

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Roland6
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Re: No SSL/TLS?

Remember SSL/TLS VPN is vulnerable at session establishment time to MitM, particularly if you're not using PKI and 802.1x certificates.

What the article omits to mention, is whether the devices being used were personal or official HoC IT supplied devices and hence should be secure by default...

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Microsoft rains cash on OpenBSD Foundation, becomes top 2015 donor

Roland6
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For the amount of press and publicity MS are probably celebrating at what can be achieved with a contribution from petty cash.

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We tried using Windows 10 for real work and ... oh, the horror

Roland6
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Re: That's in in a nut shell

"Their is no reason, good or bad, why the GUI needs to be part of the operating system."

The problem is that MS need to create some element of newness and consumer sparkle to the OS every few years (hence why W10 will not be the last version of Windows) to avoid becoming just another IT company.

However, what you suggest for the separation of OS from GUI, is exactly what business would like as it creates stability, and enables innovation on this platform, like we saw with XP and 2003...

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Roland6
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Re: Waiting for SP1?

>"From what I understand from Microsoft, Home users won't have the ability to decline or defer updates to Windows 10 - patching will be automatic, mandatory, and continuous. And this won't be limited to security fixes"

Screenshots here make it seem like it will be similar to current - customizable"

The screenshots are of Windows 10 PRO.

Otherwise I agree we do need to actually see some evidence or basis for the original claim. Suspect we may have to wait until Home is released when we can take a look at the settings provided for WUP. But if correct, I'm sure a firewall rule will be sufficient to block daily updates...

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Roland6
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Don't see any real work being done or even attempted...

Whilst there is much that will be made of the UI/UX a big part W10 will be it's ability to support the mundane stuff, namely existing applications like Office 2010/13, so it would of been useful if Andrew had attempted to install these or even attempt to use the Office 2016 preview versions his build included.

Remember whilst W8/8.1 has a poor UI/UX once someone understands the basics and if necessary has ClassicShell installed, they simply live with it and get on using MS Office/LibreOffice, Oracle/Sage etc. etc.

So the real question which this article hasn't shed much light on is does the OS (W10) get in the way of doing real work? Or will it need third-party add-ons to make it usable...

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Apple spared from paying a day's revenue in patent damages bout

Roland6
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Re: Blame De-Judge

Be interested to see a transcript of the case as it seems no one is actually giving any details just what was wrong with the original instructions, I therefore suspect Apple have gambled on an interpretation of the transcript based on a legal technicality.

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Roland6
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Well given the Court has no real knowledge of how the Jury agreed on the damages figure, lets hope the new trial jury decide to stick two fingers up to both the judge, for effectively interfering with a jury and Apple for also trying to game the system, by awarding an even higher level of damages...

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KILLER! Adobe Flash, Windows zero-day vulns leak from Hacking Team raid

Roland6
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Re: 18.0.0.203 is out

I was a little confused from your comment, were you referring to the 'fixed' version of Flash or are you referring to some IP address that you're now blocking? :)

Yes it is the fixed version (for Windows and OS/X):

https://helpx.adobe.com/security/products/flash-player/apsb15-16.html

Aside: What I found a little worrying was that Flash 18.0.0.194 on Windows, even when explicitly requested to look for updates, didn't see the new version. I had to explicitly download it from the Adobe website, which did update my installation. Whereas Chrome at some stage quietly updated the Flash plug-in to 18.0.0.203.

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Roland6
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Hacking Team's lax security is starting to deliver the goods!

Whilst we tend to focus on the criminals...

It is beginning to look that within the 400GB of data extracted from Hacking Team are exploits that have been known in certain circles for a long time, but which have not been previously reported and hence effectively made public.

It will be interesting to see what other similar exploits are still to be found within the Hacking Team's data; this discovery certainly makes it worthwhile security experts taking the time to trawl through the data.

Whilst this is unlikely to impact those who's systems have already been compromised by tools supplied by companies such as Hacking Tools, it will help make any future deployments of such tools by such companies/agencies much harder.

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Ford's 400,000-car recall could be the tip of an auto security iceberg

Roland6
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Re: The more of this I read @James Hughes 1

"Modern cars are much more fuel efficient, have better quality interiors and more features. They are also safer and often cheaper to maintain, as they go wrong less."

Whilst I know what you're getting at, remember the main reason modern cars go wrong less is because of advances in materials science and mechanical engineering. However, whilst my 13 year old Ford Mondeo is still going strong with 250k miles and the mechanic anticipates it being able to reach at least 300k, there are doubts about the life left in the 'fancy' stuff ie. the electronics, sensors and associated stuff. Because for the last two years my main costs have been replacing various parts of the 'fancy' stuff which are rather expensive.

Comparing this car with my new Ford, my impression is that whilst the new car may also mechanically be capable of doing at least 300k, the additional electronics most probably mean that it will never achieve a similar length of service because electronics will age quicker than the mechanical parts...

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Roland6
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Re: Just You Wait

>When the self-driving cars have taken over, we'll just notice that the roads are rather empty, because all the vehicles have taken themselves off to the workshops.

No, they'll be stopped all over the place because they've "blue screened" whilst applying the lasted critical OTA update...

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Roland6
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Re: "Getting it right first time"

@Chris 17

Depends who's is releasing it. Just because an ota patch has been released doesn't mean it actually does what it is intended to do - you need only look at some of Microsoft's critical Windows updates that were released several times before they actually got a version that worked...

What we've seen with software over the decades is that by making it quicker and easier to code and likewsie release said code, so the quality of code has gone down, whilst the size has dramatically increased.

By having an "air-gap" between your car's systems and the Internet, you automatically make the distribution of updates more difficult and time consuming. This in itself provides (some) motivation to improve the quality of updates, particularly if the manufacturers are reimbursing the dealers for the time and parts consumed in doing the recall update, as it is not in their interest to require a second or third recall...

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Microsoft SLASHES 7,800 bods, BURNS $7.6bn off books in Nokia adjustment

Roland6
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Pint

Re: I'm starting to lose track of this

>It'll still run on RasPis' – no risk there for Microsoft!

What an inspired strategy! Windows for the PiPhone/TyPhone

Which given David Hunt and Tyler Spadgenske have effectively put the design and software in the public domain means it has the potential to be the phone equivalent of the IBM PC... Shame it's 2015 and not 1981...

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North America down to its last ~130,000 IPv4 addresses

Roland6
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Re: value of class A network on resale market

"And old IPv4 hardware is likely to be IPv6-unaware."

Well there is much new hardware that is also IPv6 unaware: many consumer-grade DSL routers, current generation IoT devices etc.

Additionally, I would be cautious of assuming that an early implementation of IPv6 will work nicely with whatever finally gets deployed in the coming "year of IPv6".

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Linux on the desktop is so hot there's now a fight over it

Roland6
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Re: Citrix helps get Linux on the desktop

>MS will hardly miss the desktop OS fees

Not so sure about this, given their desire to have Windows everywhere.

What I find interesting is how many companies having deployed 2012 RDS solutions, go out and buy bulk standard Windows desktops to use as RDS clients, rather than VDI thin clients based on Win7 Embedded or Linux.

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Migrating from WS2003 to *nix in a month? It ain't happening, folks

Roland6
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Thanks for the clarifications, I think we just have different SME client experiences, hence when dealing with an IT person who thinks it's okay to do service outage stuff during office hours, I've found it best to talk to the business and then talk to them... Likewise when dealing with clients who have outsourced parts of their IT to a third-party, who (the third-party) will tend to do stuff when it is convenient to them...

Also to me "Taking the financials server down for an hour at 3am to hump it up a few Windows versions is not a major outage." would be a major outage with one of my client's, as their Financials is a full MRP system and hence is only supported on a restricted suite of platform software. But the main point which I think we agree on, is that you need to have some form of change management process which gives you a framework in which to make such decisions and communicate appropriately, even if at times the only business visible output is a line item on an invoice.

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Roland6
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"If I upgraded a system without the proper change notice and it didn't work I'd roll back the VM/revert to the old VM. "Proper change notice" is a function of larger organizations. "

Gosh your clients obviously have low expectations of IT and don't do much with it!

I don't make changes without directly consulting the business (given they are paying my bill, it makes sense they understand the value I'm contributing). In small business'es the nerd's if there are any and the on-site IT support person have generally little understanding of the business. So asking the business, means that I don't shutdown the RDS server on the morning when they are using it to complete a major bid application before it's deadline... And given it's a small business asking the business usually only means making a couple of phone calls, obviously once you've gained agreement from the business you can inform the 'nerds' of when things will happen so that they can send out the formal notification emails etc.

I'm not sure what you mean by "Proper change notice", I use what you may regard as "Proper change notice's" because they act as checklists to my thinking about the change. Yes not all fields are completed and several are cut-and-paste of 'standard' text and no I don't use a full Prince2 change forms/process. They also provide a record of my thinking that I can put before a client to explain why I'm approaching a change in a specific way, and so also provide yet another tangible example of how I am adding value compared to those who think IT is more important than the business that funds and uses it...

As I've said elsewhere, one client gave the IT support person a formal warning for shutting down the RDS server at 11am without consulting the business...

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Wanna go all Gandalf – YOU SHALL NOT PASS – on Windows 10?

Roland6
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Re: It's a conspiracy

"Trevor, a large number of users will not have Windows as a "free" upgrade, so they're definitely going to be bricked if they get auto-updated.

Anyone else who updates without backing up first runs a fairly high risk of losing data. That applies to ANY update of ANY operating system. "

Don't disagree with you, for evidence we need to look no further back than the W8->8.1 update.

I had a client with a number of HP laptops that shipped with W8, but even a year after the release of 8.1 HP hadn't shipped 8.1 drivers and stated on their website these systems didn't support 8.1. This didn't stop MS via WUP attempting to update these systems...

And yes at the point WUP told the user it was updating to W8.1, it gave them a maximum of 4 hours to do whatever before it forceably went ahead with the update... Interestingly, MS didn't ask at this point whether the user had backed up their system prior to it going ahead with the update, so they must have been confident that they had minimised the risk of data loss directly caused by their action.

"Microsoft is NOT going to take that risk on everyone's behalf by upgrading them while they're asleep. Surely you don't think it will, do you?"

So in answer to your question, Microsoft will take a risk on everyone's behalf if it deems it acceptable.

However, the biggest risk (in my experience wrt to the loss of user data) isn't Microsoft, but the approach taken to recover the system. The on disk recovery tools tend to direct the user into doing a re-image without first giving the option of recovery, so a total loss of user data. If the user takes the bricked system to the professionals, the majority of these will simply reformat the HDD with a new install without first bothering to mount the disk under another OS and recover the user data...

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