* Posts by lurker

387 posts • joined 24 Jun 2010

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Ubuntu's Amazon 'adware' feature to be made opt in

lurker

Not a day too soon

"Improved user customisation" as an excuse for adware and privacy violations is getting tiresome now, and coming from a supposedly 'open source' company with an operating system named after a philosophy based on 'human kindness' it was always going to irritate people.

An excellent case study in how to destroy much of your company's built up goodwill for the sake of a quick buck, in my opinion.

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Learn you Func Prog on five minute quick!

lurker

Perl has all the things*. Not for nothing is it known as the swiss army chainsaw of programming languages.

*Somewhere in the bowels of CPAN, if not in core.

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Bitcoin inventor Satoshi 'outed' as Aussie, then raided by cops – but NOT over BTC

lurker

Re: Superb at computer science...

Well, looking at his history he seems to have issues with 'traditional' accountancy practices, which in fact might make him an ideal candidate for the inventor of a cryptocurrancy. The fact that he runs a company which owns one of very few privately owned supercomputers on the top 500 tables suggests he can't be all that bad at bean counting in at least some way.

It's wait and see at this point, but he's certainly an interesting candidate.

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lurker

Re: Tulip Trading

thatisthejoke.jpg

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ASCII @dventure game NetHack gets first upgrade in ten years

lurker

It would be nice to see updates to nethack, I can understand that they are conservative in not wanting to radically change the game 'design', but it would be great to see it given a UI overhaul similar to that recently applied to ADOM (now available on steam!), i.e an 'official' NotEye release.

I know ASCII purists will scream at the thought, but there's a lot of depth in nethack and it's a shame that no kid in their right mind today would give it a second glance.

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Infosec bods rate app languages; find Java 'king', put PHP in bin

lurker

Re: PHP

This hasn't been an issue using the frameworks I have commonly used, perhaps I have been lucky.

And if one takes care to use both input filtering and a structured database interface, it would be necessary for BOTH sets of methods to have exploits in order to inject SQL, which seems somewhat unlikely. I strongly suspect that the vast majority of SQL injections found result from programmers not even making an effort to program defensively, rather than cases where the effort has been made but a library has subsequently been found to be vulnerable.

You're right that it's a risk though, and having such features built into the core language to some extent would be preferable.

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lurker

PHP

Anyone with any sense writing with PHP is using one of a number of MVC frameworks which all provide structured database interfaces giving 'free' SQL injection protection. They also provide input filtering interfaces to HTTP get/post. Using either (or normally both) will ensure with minimal effort that 'Little Bobby Tables' won't ruin your day.

The difference between PHP and C#, Java etc is that in those languages such interfaces come as standard, whereas in PHP you need to make a conscious (although not difficult) effort to use them.

Can't say I'm shocked by the results though, when I started my current job I inherited a huge estate of classic ASP with basically no code reuse (essentially every page was a self-contained application) full of 'handmade SQL' with absolutely no user input filtering whatsoever. But 'stakeholders' never care about such things until it bites them in the ass, unfortunately.

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Hold on, France and Russia. Anonymous is here to kick ISIS butt

lurker

Cloudflare down

Can't currently login to cloudflare's control panel. Looks like they are being DDOSed. Sigh.

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Emacs gets new maintainer as Richard Stallman signs off

lurker

Re: Bloody Emacs...

Emacs a great operating system, lacking only a decent editor.

:wq!

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Licence to snoop: Ipso facto, crypto embargo? Draft Investigatory Powers bill lands

lurker

PGP

So would PGP become outlawed in the UK as a result?

I thought we'd already been through all this in the USA decades ago. Maybe it's time to dust of the RSA algorithm t-shirts. You can't outlaw maths, clueless government is clueless.

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Cyber-miscreants use Brit e-tailers as personal cash machines

lurker

Re: Clueless and pointless

I work at one of the retailers concerned (and was very directly affected by these attacks).

Judging by the language in the email my guess would be that the attacker is almost certainly not from the UK, quite likely eastern Europe somewhere - so $4000 dollars might go a bit further. Unfortunately it would be very difficult to track them down, email communications were through an email anonymising service in Switzerland, the bitcoin wallet address we received has zero transaction history and was likely created for the purpose.

Naturally we didn't and won't ever pay up for something like this. Apart from anything else, although the attacker promised that when paid they would 'never come back', we have no reason to believe them, and you have to suspect that if you coughed up once your name would be passed around as a target which 'might pay up' in future threats. Plus, damn the little greedy script kiddies, not giving them any satisfaction.

The attacks on us at least were quite significant and caused some major headaches not just for us but for upstream providers, and likely had knock-on effects on others connected to the same infrastructure. The disturbing thing really is how easy this kind of thing is for someone with relatively little technical ability to instigate, relative to how much work is involved in defending yourself from it.

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lurker

Re: Plods?

To be fair, there is very little they actually can do about it. But it's a relatively serious crime and still needs to be reported and recorded for the purposes of tracking such events and identifying trends, if nothing else.

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To save mobile web, we must destroy JavaScript, HTML and CSS

lurker

Re: Another standard?

"Seconded. Kill JS and CSS as many times you fancy -stake them, behead them, burn them, slice them, in sequence and in parallel."

I see a lot of people ranting about removing JS without really appreciating what that would mean. Javascript (or more specifically some form of in-page access to XMLHttpRequest or a mechanism which does the same thing) makes a huge difference to how web applications are built. Without these, we would be back in the mid-to-late-90s world of having to press the big old HTML SUBMIT button in order to have anything on any web page change, and full-page reloads for any change to the page content.

Speaking as someone who has been a web application developer since before either javascript or CSS were things, I'm not a huge fan of either javascript or CSS as a language or markup respectively, but that cat is most definitely out of the bag now and cannot be put back, and if they didn't exist similar functional alternatives (with their own sins and issues) would be required. I can only guess that people making these 'remove JS' requests are either wearing rose-tinted nostalgia glasses or lack understanding of how modern websites work.

The project in question isn't talking about replacing javascript anyway, it works simply by using a single 'amp' javascript library to which it expects developers to stick with the goal of increasing performance.

It's not going to work though, projects like these stem from a naive engineering desire to 'refactor the web', and big as google and it's little coalition of the willing may be, I can't see this succeeding.

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Tear teardown down, roars Apple: iFixit app yanked from store

lurker

Re: Bigger picture

"Their market, their rules"

It should not be the case that companies 'own the market', that's not healthy competition, that's monopolistic. Of course this is the entire goal of the walled garden software/content ecosystem, but it would be short sighted to accept it as 'the norm'.

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175,000 whinge to Microsoft about phone tech support scams

lurker

3.3 million people caught by scammers.

That's 1% of the population of the USA. Seems like a lot, especially when you consider that 2.5% of the population is in prison, and probably another 15% are too young or too old to be valid targets.

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BBC joins war against Flash, launches beta HTML5 iPlayer

lurker

Re: About time...

Came here to post the same, the BBC is one of the few places I have to right click and run flash player nowadays (have had it set to not auto-run for a couple of years).

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PEAK FONDLESLAB: Fewer people will use tablets next year – claim

lurker

"fewer people using the things"

"fewer people using the things"

Not sure this is true, fewer people buying does not necessarily mean fewer using, just that the market is saturated and there's really very little reason to upgrade if you have one.

I'm using a Samsung tab 2 from 3 years ago now, and it does chrome and youtube fine, and really that's all I need it for.

As for uses, pretty much all I seem to use mine for is youtube/twitch apps in bed, but that's a perfectly reasonable use-case as far as I'm concerned. The little boy has had quite a lot of use out of it on angry birds and similar, too.

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Brimming with VM goodness: Qnap TS-453mini 4-bay NAS

lurker

Cooling and Noise

It would be helpful to have a description of the noise it makes. It's sounds funny, but the main reason I moved from using things like this to using a larger more traditional PC case for my NAS (home use) is because these things often come fitted with tiny fans running at high RPMs which sound like a bottle of aggrieved wasps. To me, for home use, this matters more than the performance side of things.

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KREMLIN: Google is ABUSING ITSELF, misusing its mighty market position

lurker

Re: Surely the Kremlin would be familiar with rule #1?

True, but when even Putin thinks you're a crazed tyrant, it might be time to stop for a bit of introspection.

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Wangling my way into the 4K gaming club with a water-cooled whopper

lurker

Re: 4k vs VR

I don't think VR is likely to replace regular monitors any time soon, whether 4k, 1440p, or 1080p.

The technology is only really suited for / compatible with some games, using it for extended periods is tiring and a little uncomfortable, and apart from anything else it's not really even out yet.

For the near future I see VR headsets being an additional item for enthusiast gamers, something you have on the desk next to your monitors and use when appropriate.

Personally I'm not really sold on 4K though. I'm perfectly happy with 1440p or even 1080p myself, and given the jump in GPU prices involved in effectively using 4K I'm in no hurry to switch.

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Bloke clicks GitHub 'commit' button in Visual Studio, gets slapped with $6,500 AWS bill

lurker

Re: Nominative Determinism

"If you don't know who he is, you don't develop with Git and you're probably not a developer at all."

Really? I know who Donald Knuth is, and who Kernighan, Ritchie (RIP) and Ken Thompson are, but I'm not a developer because I don't know some (googled this) .NET blogger?

I'm sure he may be a good programmer and a leading light in your personal firmament, but that's a pretty narrow definition of what a developer is.

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All aboard the Skylake: How Intel stopped worrying and learned to love overclocking

lurker

I'd love to be able to justify an upgrade but like you my 2500K is still more than capable of everything I ask of it, without even needing to overclock it so far.

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lurker

"1.2 Billion PC Gamers"

That's a nonsense figure. I doubt there are 1.2 billion PC owners, let alone gamers.

That would be about 1 in 6 people being a PC gamer - which might be feasable (just) in rich first world countries, but is hardly a likely statistic when you consider the relative poverty which much of the world lives in.

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Slippery, slimy find: LEGGY, WRIGGLY fossil shows SNAKES weren't legless. Or ARMLESS

lurker

Re: Sankes [sic] with legs are still around

I feel hidden vestigial pelvis bones and legs are not quite the same thing.

However if your point is that this is not actually news which "upset the applecart in the world of palaeo-snake boffinry" that's obviously correct, that's just El Reg trying to make this more exciting or fit in a colourful boffin-based turn of phrase I guess.

I guess the actual 'news' is that a fossil has been found which confirms something we already assumed to be the case due to circumstantial evidence.

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OnePlus 2: The smartie that's trying to outsmart Google's Android

lurker

Re: $60.00(USD) difference

Could be worse. Apple charge $125.00(USD) for the same upgrade (16 -> 64) on the iPhone 6.

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Mozilla loses patience with Flash over Hacking Team, BLOCKS it

lurker

Re: The best bit is....

There's also a flash banner on the front page of el reg.

I've had flash disabled in chrome for a year or so now, can't say I've really missed it, everything worthwhile runs without it and I can elect to run it in the rare case where I need to.

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King's Bounty (1990): Enter the kleptomaniac dragon

lurker

Yeah HoMM2 was the high point, 3 was 'okay' but since then (and the ubisoft buyout) they have increasing levels of polish but decreasing levels of charm.

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Google drives a tenth of news traffic? That's bull-doodie, to use the technical term

lurker

Re: How many of these are using Google as their address bar?

"Duh?

Am I the only one who just clicks on a URL in my favourites list?"

That was the norm back in the 90s. But I suspect that most people (like myself) found at some point that ever-growing favourites folders are cumbersome, and become a crutch rather than a valuable tool.

Nowadays I only tend to bookmark very specific pages, usually reference pages which required a bit of digging to search up.

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Apple will cut down 36,000 acres of forest in 'conservation scheme'

lurker

Re: Forestry != woodland

It's due to the 'intellect distortion field' which surrounds the devices.

How else do you think they sell so many at that price?

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IS 'hackers' urge US-based jihadis: 'Wipe yourselves out trying to kill 0.00005 of US forces'

lurker

Re: Actually I think el-reg have the point entirely.

If El Reg really understood the point of terrorism - and in particular the fact that media coverage is what makes it 'work' - they probably wouldn't have written anything at all on the subject.

I'm not saying western media should censor themselves and not cover terrorism. But the fact that the amount of coverage is so completely out of proportion to the actual effect (when you compare e.g deaths through road traffic vs deaths through terrorism) is precisely how terrorism works - essentially people like to be scared, governments like people to be scared, terrorists like people to be scared, and the media like to be profitable and can do by facilitating all of the above. It's just the rest of us who don't profit from this equation of misery.

I do take your point though that if you have to write about it, it's better to write a 'two fingers up to terrorism' article than a 'hide under the bed the terrorists are coming' article.

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lurker

I think you're missing the point of terrorism, which has absolutely nothing to do with achieving a traditional military victory such as could be judged based on a 'us dead vs. them dead' calculation.

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Analyst dons Tim Cook mask, thinks: Glass went well for Google. Let's do that, too

lurker

Glass

Strange how many people completely fail to understand the point of Glass, which was never intended to be a commercial product at this stage, being more in the way of an R&D exercise. Par for the course for the BBC News, but you might expect a bit more acumen from a 'tech' news site.

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One's speedy, one's a fat boy: WD and Toshiba spin out new HDDs

lurker

Re: Maybe I'm ignorant, but?

Thanks a lot, very informative answer, cheers for taking the time :).

However, with SATA, unlike SAS/SCSI, the drives aren't on a shared bus, they are each cabled individually to the controller, rather than being on a chain, so wouldn't a SATA raid controller be able to speak to all drives simultaneously using the full SATA bandwidth? Or do SATA controllers acually share bandwidth between the attached SATA devices?

I can see how it would make sense though in the scenario you initially described, where a controller could maximise thoughput by interleaving the dumping of drive-ram-buffer-sized chunks of data very quickly over a highspeed interface.

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lurker

Re: Maybe I'm ignorant, but?

That doesn't really explain it. There is no reason why RAID would require a much higher interface speed than the disk is capable of. The raid CONTROLLER would obviously require a higher interface speed, but not the drives connected to it.

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lurker

Maybe I'm ignorant, but?

What exactly IS the benefit of a 12Gbit/sec interface on a device which tops out at maybe 200MB/sec read speed?

Faster access to cached data I suppose, but surely the benefit from that 12GB/sec will be relatively small with a 128M cache on a 4GB disk?

This is a serious question btw, I don't really know my SAS, and I've never really fully understood why companies pay so much more for SAS drives over SATA, though I am sure there must be a reason?

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Apple's strap-on will set you back just '$5,000' – what a BARGAIN!

lurker

Re: Apple and Rolex

How many recharge cycles do you think the iWatch will survive before it too needs replacement or servicing? At one recharge for 18 hours use on the wrist tablet, my guess is the Rolex / Omega would win that particular comparison.

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lurker

Re: Apple Watch Sport Edition

@Scott Earle

The swimming pools in Cupertino are all filled with dollar bills instead of water anyway, so I guess it just never occurred to them.

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Scary code of the week: Valve Steam CLEANS Linux PCs (if you're not careful)

lurker

In all honesty, I consider anything which deletes Adobe Reader from my PC to be a good thing, it's just a shame it stops at only removing the installer.

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DANGER: Is that 'hot babe' on Skype a sextortionist?

lurker

Re: Posting indecent acts on YouTube?

As posted by others, the threats are not hugely credible, but they don't need to be. There was a BBC news article last month mentioning a socially awkward 14 year old boy who killed himself due to falling foul of one of these rackets and believing their threats that they would 'ruin his life', very sad.

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HORRIFIED Amazon retailers fear GOING BUST after 1p pricing cockup

lurker

Re: price mistakes

I'm guessing it must have been the ResellerExpress software marking it as complete i.e. shipped. I've written software to integrate with Amazon, and normally that's definitely something the company listing on Amazon has to do itself.

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Trousers down for six of the best affordable Androids

lurker

Re: Boring selection

The form factor is basically dictated by the screen. Basically if you think about it a smartphone is a screen with as little plastic/material around the edge and as little material on the back as possible.

They don't all look alike because they are copying iPhones. They all look alike because that's the nature of a mobile touchscreen device.

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Languages don't breed bugs, PEOPLE breed bugs, say boffins

lurker

Re: ...the differences in code quality between languages are pretty small...

I've certainly seen plenty of garbage code written in both.

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Swedish 'Future minister' doesn't do social media

lurker

It seems I am under-qualified

A degree and thirty years of programming experience means nothing, clearly I should be posting about my lunch on FaceTwatter and uploading amusing photos of my cat on instagram if I want to be a true "IT Authority".

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Jeff Bezos rolls up another $437m, lights Amazon's cigar with it

lurker

Re: How much did they blow on Fire phone?

Amazon also have a business outside of 'cloud services', several in fact.

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'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail

lurker

"Self Proclaimed Leader"

"I am the Pope". There you go, I am the self-proclaimed leader of the catholic church and it's billions of believers across the world.

Kid could easily just be a random skiddy from 4chan with delusions of grandeur, whose big mouth got him in trouble.

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Poverty? Pah. That doesn't REALLY exist any more

lurker

Re: But is a fluid definition a bad thing?

"Which, actually, it seems to be. The solution to absolute poverty is free markets, trade and capitalism. so let's have those until absolute poverty is gone and then we can think again about relative poverty."

Well you've just written a long article saying that absolute poverty is indeed gone. So in fact what you are saying is it's now time to address relative poverty?

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Apple's SNEAKY plan: COPY ANDROID. Hello iPhone 6, Watch

lurker

Re: Square watches

"A round watch is round for one reason, it uses hands. If you watch doesn't have an analog face then it doesn't need to be round."

All quite accurate from the perspective of pure logic. But anyone who thinks that the value of a watch is determined by function alone clearly knows nothing about watches.

Round watches look nicer. And you would expect Apple of all companies to know this, after all, they practically exist in their modern form as a result of having rounding the corners off computers and gadgets!

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lurker

Re: Square watches

That actually surprised me, I'm not an apple fan but didn't expect them to come out with something so.. pedestrian. The moto watch looks loads better, costs less, and I still wouldn't want one.

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Greater dev access to iOS 8 will put us AT RISK from HACKERS

lurker

Pretty much that. Freedom, or security: pick one. Kidding yourself that Android is more secure is just delusional. And that's speaking as someone who'd choose android over the apple alternatives any day of the week.

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Moto 360: Neat gizmo – if you're a rich nerd

lurker

Re: How about a watch that has the correct time?

Yes but if we're viewing it as a pure chronology device, I'd prefer a watch which never needs recharging but occasionally needs to be set, to one which has to get juiced up every 24 hours but never needs setting.

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