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* Posts by Tufty Squirrel

54 posts • joined 2 Jul 2010

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Anatomy of OpenSSL's Heartbleed: Just four bytes trigger horror bug

Tufty Squirrel

Re: I don't get it..

>> I don't know with Open Source either. What I do know is that it's much easier to go find

>> new holes in Open Source given the motivation as you can look at the source code...

Cobblers. Holes are mainly found by fuzzing, not by poring through source code. Exploits rely on code mishandling user-supplied data - fuzzing involves sending enormous quantities of deliberately broken data at something until it does something it's not supposed to. This is far easier than having to work out what some piece of logic is supposed to be doing, what it's actually doing, and why it's broken in this or that edge case. Chuck a load of crap at a victim machine (that you also control), wait for it to go bang, and then work out what you are going to be able to do while the smoke's clearing.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuzz_testing

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That's it, we're all really OLD: Google's Gmail is 10 ALREADY

Tufty Squirrel

Re: those so called 'killer features'...

> What were you using in the 90s that had those features?

gnus (the mail client in emacs), but IIRC mutt did threading too. And, if I'm not mistaken, so did eudora on the mac.

Spam blocking was a bit more tricksy, but gnus allows you to do that too.

and it does newsgroups.

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Microsoft exec: I don't know HOW our market share sunk

Tufty Squirrel
Coat

3% of mobile devices? Surely that can't be right?

After all, there's all those Zunes out there. They've gotta count, right?

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Windows hits the skids, Mac OS X on the rise

Tufty Squirrel

Re: But do all Macs run OSX?

>> Let's say I have xcode on screen one, photoshop on screen 2. Working in xcode.

>> Now I need to do something in photoshop from a menu. So I have to mouse over to

>> photoshop on screen 2, activate it, mouse back to screen one, select from the

>> menu, mosue back to xcode.

That's not only a fairly contrived example (I doubt many developers have XCode and Photoshop open at the same time for work on the same project), but it's also 100% wrong. I currently have emacs on my laptop's built-in monitor (along with Chrome that I'm typing this into, and a bunch of other crap), and IDA Pro (my old windows copy, running in a VirtualBox VM) on the external monitor. Now, should I need to touch the apple menu bar on the external monitor (rare with VirtualBox, it's got shit-all you'd want to fiddle with anyway, but the principle remains the same), I mouse over to the other screen (well, pen, actually, wacom tablet so no dragging needed), activate the app (one click, the same one you'd have to use under windows or a single-screen mac) and the apple menu bar automagically pops up on the external monitor. I'll grant that for a draggy mouse you'd have extra mileage to get to the other screen, but you'd have that under windows as well.

Horses for courses, really. I use a mac because I like the way it works, it can be made to fit(t) with my workflow. I don't like windows because it can't. A lot of that is probably because it's what I'm used to, that my expectations of how my workflow should flow is at least in part based on the way I'm used to OSX (and MacOS before it) behaving - the same can probably be said regarding your experience and opinion.

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Windows 8.1 becomes world's fourth-most-popular desktop OS

Tufty Squirrel

Re: MS took that to heart and people still complain.

> There is no winning.

But there /is/ whining.

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Your kids' chances of becoming programmers? ZERO

Tufty Squirrel

Re: 6502/6809's rool btw...

EIEIO on the 6502? You jest. It's the PowerPC "Enforce Instruction Execution In Order" opcode. It *might* go back as far as IBM's 801 processor, or more likely the original POWER ISA, but no further. The first time you're liable to have come across this unless you were doing low level AIX development on IBM hardware is when the first PowerPC Macs came out in 1994. About ten years after the 6502 was commonplace.

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iPad Air BARES ALL, reveals she's a high maintenance lady

Tufty Squirrel

Re: I can't replace the engine (myself) in my car either..

>> I wouldn't like to do it like that on a modern car with an engine management system,

No more difficult than any other car engine. Disconnect electrical bits, remove ancilliaries, unfasten engine, remove.

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Pop OS X Mavericks on your Mac for FREE while you have LUNCH

Tufty Squirrel

Re: MAC users aren't that dumb.... ...?

I've got 4 of those lying about somewhere, I think. Want 'em?

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Loathed wiggly-word CAPTCHAs morph into 'fun' click-'n'-drag games

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Less annoying than mangled text?

>> if it's not intrusive

That's the thing, though, isn't it? Advertising *is* obtrusive. TV ads are mastered to run at a higher volume than the programs they intersperse. Web banner ads are placed and designed such as to demand your attention. And so on.

The response is instamuting the telly every time the ads come on, adblock pro, noscript and other browser addons. Ads are largely speaking offensive (not in a NSFW sense) and intrusive, it's how they are designed, and people try their hardest to avoid them.

So what's this? An adman's wet dream. Ads that not only you can't skip, but that demand 100% of your attention whilst you're not skipping them.

Fuck them. Fuck them anally with a large pole wrapped in barbed wire.

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Tufty Squirrel

Less annoying than mangled text?

Are you completely mental? It's completely evil. It'll do nothing to reduce spam (sweatshops, etc), but will do everything to put more fucking advertising IN YOUR FACE, as though you needed it.

"Bored with typing stuff in? Here's an INTERACTIVE ADVERTISEMENT YOU CAN'T IGNORE OR BLOCK instead."

Advertisers? Out round the back of the shed, two barrels upside the head..

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Double-click? Oh how conventional of you, darling!

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Did you take the GS to a garage?

Ah, Citroen handbrakes. Gotta love 'em. Especially when you've got a flat rear tyre on your BX (yeah, I had the super-cheapo model, if you think the GS suspension was bad you need to try a clapped out BX), and you're parked on an icy car park. Hint - the only way to stop the wheel spinning on the ice is to block it - OK if it's the left hand rear, as you can use a blanket laid under the front and rear wheels, but the right hand rear is basically impossible.

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Bill Gates: Yes, Ctrl-Alt-Del salute was a MISTAKE

Tufty Squirrel

*Some* people?

>> Some people even called the shortcut a three-fingered salute.

Not "some people", it was /everyone/. Everyone called it that. Everyone. Even people like me, who didn't use DOS or Windows, called it that. Because everyone knew what it meant.

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'Occupy' affiliate claims Intel bakes SECRET 3G radio into vPro CPUs

Tufty Squirrel

Re: *epic facepalm*

Exactly.

We (the western world, and probably much of the rest) have a huge problem with illegal drugs. We don't even know the full scale of it, because, as an illegal situation, it's almost entirely underground. The only bits we see are the health and criminality repercussions, which are a secondary problem, not the primary one.

How would legalising help?

The supply chain would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Primary suppliers (the cocaine farmers in South America, for example) would be paid a fair price, improving their way of life. A significant load would be taken off the hands of customs and excise. Drug mules would no longer be risking their lives.

Quality control would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Rather than having drugs cut with whatever shit comes to hand, users would be guaranteed pharmacological grade drugs. Result - less overdoses, less secondary health effects, a huge weight taken off the health service.

Distribution would no longer be in the hands of criminals. Result - tax income, and a concrete idea of how big the problem is. An ability to contact and help those who are dependent, without having to "overlook" the criminal aspect of what they are doing.

FWIW, my grandfather came home from the first world war with half a leg less than he went with, and a lifelong diamorphine addiction that he didn't have when he went. After coming back, he held down a responsible job until retirement, despite twice-daily doses, and finally passed away aged 92. The difference between his addiction and that of the average street junkie was that his heroin came direct from the NHS.

Legalising is the first step to solving the problem. Criminalising is a total abandonment of duty.

So, yeah, this lot might be a bit nutty in some respects, but they're bang on the money as far as drugs go.

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Microsoft: Surface a failure? No, it made us STRONGER

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Ultimately a worry.

>> Microsoft's domination over integrated HW/SW designs will be of great concern for everyone.

Nah.

Look what happened with XBox.

V1 was pretty much a PC in a funky case, and worked better as a PVR than a games console. It tanked compared to the PS2.

V2, the original 360, was awesome, modulo the odd hardware issue. It kicked the PS3's ass so hard MS thought they had won, and started fscking with the interface, making it an ad delivery platform, etc. Result - PS3 is winning again.

V3, the Xbox "one", is dead in the water compared to the PS4. MS have backtracked and u-turned on their plans so often I doubt even they know what their plans are.

Sony are evil, arguably more evil than MS, but they aren't incompetent. MS have both in spades.

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Stylus counsel: The rise and fall of the Apple Newton MessagePad

Tufty Squirrel

Re: The first PDA

It was (and, to some extent, still is) far more than just a PDA. It was a full computing platform, and while people who haven't used them in earnest (I still have, and use, my MP2100) focus on the handwriting aspect*, there was far more to it than just that.

- No "filesystem", just a big "soup" of data. You don't need to worry about where their data is stored in some arbitrary hierarchy of devices and folders, or what you've called it, all you ned to know is what you're looking for. There's nothing quite like that, even now.

- Extreme integration. This lives on, to some extent, in some of Apple's software (for example, highlighting of (fuzzy) dates in Mail.app enabling you to add items to the calendar, etc, but Newton hooked into everything, even 3rd party apps.

- Write anywhere. The handwriting recognition might not have been perfect, but it fit perfectly with the form factor of the handheld Newtons. Keyboards worked too, of course, and would have been good for a "desktop" NewtonOS device. MS might be failing with their "one UI fits all" paradigm, but newton had it in the '90s.

- Expandability. USB, Wifi, Bluetooth, ATA storage cards, all aftermarket "hacks" for the Newton that work very nicely despite the fact they hadn't even been invented when it was released. Quite astounding when you realise the restrictions of the platform.

- Instant on. Really. Totally instant in most cases. Straight back to where you were when you turned it off. Even if that was weeks, months, or even years ago (in which case you might need to boot from cold, but you lose nothing - try taking the batteries out of your Palm pilot and see where that gets you)

What really killed it (apart from the price and the heckling) was the fact it was so radically different from other platforms. It was hard to make it work properly with the "status quo". Sure, you could sync it and keep your data safe, but that was about it. Interop with desktop apps other than calendars and address books was hard to do (and is even harder now).

Newton is probably the closest thing to the perfect computing platform ever invented (eclipsed, possibly, by the Lisp machines). It's a crying shame the rest of the world hasn't managed to catch up.

* The descendant of the Calligrapher cursive recogniser used by the later Newtons is now, I believe, owned by MS, which is why OSX's "ink" recogniser (OSX 10.2+) only handles printed handwriting.

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One day we'll look back and say this was the end of the software platform

Tufty Squirrel

I know it's Friday and all, but hey.

>> a standalone Nokia under Elop, which has been going great guns for the past year.

Since Elop's infamous "burning platforms" memo, Nokia have gone from being the number one mobile supplier (and projected to stay there), the world's biggest smartphone supplier (and projected to stay there) to an industry joke. In the 2 years from 2010 to 2012, Nokia's business fell back more and more on the featurephone market, with smartphones dwindling from 35% to 14% of their output. They currently have around 2% of the smartphone market. That's "stellar"* performance.

If standalone Nokia under Elop had been going "great guns", they wouldn't have been bought out for pennies on the Pound by Microsoft. The only gun they've been wielding is the footgun, and Elop's been using it with great precision.

* as in "brown dwarf"

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That earth-shattering NSA crypto-cracking: Have spooks smashed RC4?

Tufty Squirrel

noise generation

>> Previous revelations have revealed that the NSA routinely stores encrypted traffic transmitted over

>> Tor for subsequent cryptanalysis.

Time for some noise generation, then. A pair of apps that ping-pong encrypted chunks of random data across tor should be pretty simple to set up.

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Tufty Squirrel

SPAFF - Serious Problem Activates Final Failsafe

GOO - Geosynchronous Orbiter Override

SLAG - Satellite Lohan Abort Gizmo

STIFFY - Satellite Technology Imminent Failure Failsafe Yanker

FAP - Failsafe for Aerial Payload

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Why Teflon Ballmer had to go: He couldn't shift crud from Windows 8, Surface

Tufty Squirrel

Alternating versions - cobblers

That one keeps coming up, but it's, amongst other things, :

1 : forgetting Win2K

2 : forgetting that XP was almost universally loathed until at least SP2 ("Tinkertoy interface"), and was pretty much crap until SP3.

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Tufty Squirrel

Re: "he himself"

>> redundancy

Yep, that's what we're talking about.

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'You've had your fun. Now we want the stuff back'

Tufty Squirrel

Sounds like the anti-terrorist police are playing 'softly-softly' these days...

...after all, they found a Brazilian and all they did was question him, rather than carrying out a summary execution in public.

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Four ways the Guardian could have protected Snowden – by THE NSA

Tufty Squirrel

It's all a bit irrelevant, really.

Whether or not the black helicopter crew can decrypt information is largely irrelevant. The fact that they can detect that it is encrypted is enough. Once they know that, rubber hose cryptanalysis is enough.

There's 2 use cases.

One is that someone is leaking information that "they" would rather not have out in the wild (Snowden, Manning et al). Once the information is leaked, what they want is to plug the leaks and "deal with" those involved in the leaking. So the whole idea of secrecy is about hiding who you, and your sources, are. Cryptography doesn't help much in that.

The second is that you are transmitting information that you'd rather nobody knows about. It may be that you're cheating on your significant other, it may be that you're planning a terrorist attack. Here you want to keep the information *and* identities secret - at some point the information must be decrypted, so "they" only need to find one end or the other of the chain and, again, apply rubber hose cryptanalysis methods.

Once one or more of the identities are known, all bets are off. Decryption may be possible (if expensive), but rubber hoses are cheap and readily available.

"Don't trust electronic communications" is the only reasonable approach.

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Legal bible Groklaw pulls plug in wake of Lavabit shutdown, NSA firestorm

Tufty Squirrel
WTF?

Re: Intimidation

>> We began trending towards socialism after the "Red Menace" was no longer a threat.

No, seriously, WTF? The US trending towards /socialism/? You're completely mental.

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Despite Microsoft Surface RT debacle, second-gen model in the works

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Wow, it truly is amazing the mis-steps Microsoft is making.

>> Excel is still the best spread sheet.

No, Excel is the most commonly used spreadsheet. It was left in the dust in terms of features by Improv and Quantrix, and still hasn't reached where they were 20 years ago. Excel is probably the number one example of a market leader stifling innovation to the point of holding the market back.

As for Windows RT, I' sure MS will manage to improve on that $900M writeoff.

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The hammer falls: Feds propose drastic controls on Apple's iTunes Store

Tufty Squirrel

Nah, you want to be the one who "surveys" material on the web to make sure it's not breaking Osborne's guidelines on pr0n. Qualifications required : ability to type 80wpm with one hand.

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INVASION of the UNDEAD ANDROIDS: Hackers can pwn 'nearly all' devices

Tufty Squirrel
Paris Hilton

Re: Simple solution

>> SD card blah blah apps to SD card

But you still run out of space. Not space to store applications and documents on the SD card itself, but "internal" memory used by applications and Android itself. My several-hundred-euro tablet running Android has >16GB free on its SD card, but won't check my mail because

"Out of space ... Free up some space and try again"

Fuck Android. It's crap. I've tried to like it, but it's crap.

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Ballmer: 'I call it all Windows, all the time'

Tufty Squirrel
Black Helicopters

Innocent until proven guilty, m'Lud.

As it happens, it's *alleged* sexual assault, and he's not yet been actually *charged* with anything. He, of course, denies the allegations, claiming the relationships in question were consensual, and reckons the whole thing is a put-up-job to make him more easily extraditable to the US.

He has, however, offered to meet and co-operate with the Swedish investigators at his current "abode", or to go to Sweden if guarantees are issued vis-a-vis his safety from extradition to the US. The Swedes have refused both options.

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Windows 8.1: So it's, er, half-speed ahead for Microsoft's Plan A

Tufty Squirrel
Childcatcher

Re: LOL yet another big FU from MS

> Microsoft need to get their heads around the fact that a mouse is not a finger and a finger is not a mouse.

Fingermouse, Fingermouse

The never stop to think a mouse

The always on the brink a mouse

Fingernouse, that's me

I am the mouse called Fingermouse

The mouse with guts and verve

I get past cats so easily with my favourite body swerve

Fingermouse, Fingermouse

I'm a sort of wonder mouse

A hit, a miss, a blunder mouse

Fingermouse, that's me

Won't somebody please think of the children?

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Throwing arms let humans rise above poo-flinging apes to play CRICKET

Tufty Squirrel
Coat

Re: Technical mechanics...

As opposed to "three hours of inaction crammed into five days"

Coat? Yes, mine's the white one.

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Report: Android malware up 614% as smartphone scams go industrial

Tufty Squirrel
Thumb Down

>> They get what they deserve, especially since Android tells you that an application has

>> permissions to send SMS under a large heading that says "services that cost you money."

The problem is 3-fold, and categorising those affected as being somehow "deserving" is both condescending and hideously unfair.

1 - Pretty much *every* application demands a raft of permissions. As a user, you have no way of knowing *why* they are demanding those permissions, or what, exactly, the application will do with them.

2 - The user (self included) wants to run the application (it's why he / she has downloaded it in the first place, doesn't necessarily understand what the permissions mean, and is already used to simply clicking through without thought (see 1 above). So they simply click through without thought.

3 - Android doesn't give any option of "install this app, but disallow this subset of the permissions it's asking for". It's either "install the app, and give it what it wants", or "don't install the app". And the user, as previously noted, /wants/ to install the app.

I would imagine that the percentage of apps which fail to be installed at the point they've hit the "wants these permissions" screen of the installer is vanishingly small. Android's "wants these permissions" thing is far to little, and potentially worse than the "do nothing" option.

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When Apple needs speed and security in Mac OS X, it turns to Microsoft

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Hmmmmmmmm

While it may technically sneak in as a virus, Leap/A is/was not much of a danger - it involved several manual interventions on the user's part to get in, after all - quoting from the article you linked:

>> it requires user interaction (the user has to receive a file via iChat, and manually

>> choose to open and run the file contained inside).

Oddly, last week I was asked to fix a friend's mac, which had started behaving oddly. The problem? His wife had installed Avast!

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Review: Beagleboard Beaglebone Black

Tufty Squirrel

Mainly because pretty much all the other A10 boards out there are using the Allwinner reference designs, and those don't expose the SATA either. When you're making peanuts on boards like this, and it really is a dog-eat-dog world, there ain't much time for designing and debugging new boards. Hats off to the Cubie guys for doing it.

Another one to watch is Olimex. They're about to release - the betas are all sold out - their A20 board, which is basically their original A10 design with the A20 plugged in (not the A10S board, the A10S doesn't have SATA). They also have an A10S board, which is pretty nifty if you don't need SATA or the grunt of the A20. Olimex are cool guys, too.

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Tufty Squirrel

Re: Pi Power Supplies

The issue with micro-usb is twofold.

The first is the shift from switchmode regs on the alpha boards to linear regs on the production ones. They use more power than is necessary to get the job done.

The second is that the market is flooded with crappy chinese USB cables, and USB "PSUs" which are, in fact, chargers. Charges my phone, right, must be good enough to power the Pi? Wrong. 500mA USB supplies abound, 2A ones don't. Especially not ones that actually put out what they say they put out. Added to the fact that the power coming in is often marginal in terms of voltage levels and regulation quality, it's a recipe for, if not total disaster, at least a lot of confusion. And there's been a lot of confusion.

The alpha boards, on the other hand, took anything from 9 to 16v DC (from memory), which leaves a lot of voltage headroom, and it's hard to find super-low-power DC bricks in that kind of voltage range.

Like I said before, the decision was understandable, if a little naive in terms of performance expectations of real world chargers and cables, but it was still (IMO) a bad decision. And yes, when a "marginal" cable can pull the whole power system down, that's a problem with power design.

As for edjerkayshun, the Pi's been a runaway success. Perhaps it hasn't made massive inroads into the classroom, but it's raised awareness of the problem, shown that something *can* and *should* be done, it's shown teachers that they have the power to do something, even if it's not directly Pi-related.

Yeah, the majority of Pis have been sold either to the clueless tinkerers brigade, the vast majority of whom are underusing it in their "hacks" in the same way they would underuse an arduino, and a lot of the rest oversold to those with expectations way above what $35 buys you. But even that's a win. Because it's shown there is a market for affordable "dev boards", from the teensy 3 (cortex-M) all the way up to things with multicore Cortex-A SoCs.

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Tufty Squirrel

Re: And you missed...

WRT the power issue, I criticised the decision to go micro-USB with power on the Pi when it was announced, and I stand by that criticism. It was an understandable decision, but a bad one, even ignoring the poor quality of most micro-usb "power supplies" out there.

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Tufty Squirrel

Re: And you missed...

Ah, you may be right re: USB, I believe Gordon's done great work there. I've not tried the latest firmware or kernels, I tend to spend my time in the bare metal world.

However, the documentation is *definitely* lamentable if you're not relying on Linux to deal with all that "hardware" stuff. Unless you happen to have datasheets available for the USB controller, SDIO controller, full explanation of how the GPU interacts with the CPU, etc, in which case a good deal of people would be very happy to hear from you.

Yeah, yeah, the (linux) code is the documentation, you say, but that doesn't cut it when you're coding to the metal. Especially when the code in question (a shining example being the USB host code drop from Synopsys) is shot full of bugs and implemented in what appears to be the least efficient way possible.

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Tufty Squirrel
WTF?

Re: Cost.

> The Raspberry Pi is most likely a re-branded Japanese product

Is it cobblers. It was designed in the UK by guys working for Broadcom. The problem with the Pi's documentation isn't to do with translation, it's to do with getting Broadcom (and the various IP vendors) to release it.

As for video performance, I'm almost certain the videocore blows the SGX out of the water /generally/ in terms of processing power. It certainly does in terms of H.264 (and certain other codec) decoding, as the SGX has no specific video decode hardware.

It's often better to keep your mouth shut and have people think you an idiot, than to open it, and prove it.

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Tufty Squirrel

And you missed...

Documentation - The Sitara chip has copious and usable documentation. The Broadcom unit on the Pi doesn't. The SGX530 has a technical reference manual. Broadcom's videocore doesn't, at least not outside of Broadcom.

Power - The beaglebone is far more flexible in terms of powering. PSU "issues" are one of the major issues with the Pi.

USB - The Ti chip does not, as far as I'm aware, use the same undocumented, buggy, USB host IP the Broadcom one does. Even with the recent fixes, simply using a USB keyboard and mouse on the Pi will eat around 10% of your CPU. ADD USB networking or anything more meaty, and you don't have many cycles left.

So you get slightly lower HDMI resolution, but everything else is made of win.

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Sneaky new Android Trojan is WORST yet discovered

Tufty Squirrel

Non-problem? Hardly.

>> you have to download and install the malware - which means you have to agree to the permissions it needs to run.

Quite, but how many people actually take any notice of, or understand, the permissions warning screen? After all, if you've downloaded <x>, it's because you already /want/ to run it - Android doesn't give you any option of "stop this application doing this, but it might compromise functionality", it's all or nothing, "install it or don't". Everyone I know, *myself included*, hits "install it". So all you need is something that people *want* to run, and you're on a load of devices.

Your issues 2 and 3 are largely moot because, once you have code running on a machine, you effectively have physical access. Privilege escalations are hardly unknown, after all, and Linux kernel + Android runtime provides a pretty large attack surface, especially given the likelihood of anything having been patched since the device left the factory.

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Look out, fanbois! EVIL charger will inject FILTH into your iPHONE

Tufty Squirrel
Pirate

Re: Trusting ANYTHING plugging into a USB port....

I strongly doubt that "it doesn't mount as a mass storage device" is going to save you. It's more likely to be posing as a HID device or similar.

That's how I'd start off, anyway.

Allegedly.

6
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Apple's next OS X said to be targeted at 'power users'

Tufty Squirrel

Re: Confused

>> One of the major areas it doesnt work for me is I cant see how to drag a copy to a new folder,

>> it always seems to be a move op, maybe i need to cmd click or something.

Yep, the option (alt) key swaps between move and copy - the default when dragging on the same volume is to move, hold down option and it becomes a copy (with a helpful little green "plus" on the dragged icon), when you're dragging to another volume the default is a copy (with plus), and the option key turns it to a move (the little green plus goes away)

Finder's still shit though. Pathfinder is loads better, and its "drop stack" feature is a godsend.

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Tufty Squirrel

Menu bar

Nothing particularly wrong with a single menu bar - it gives you a fixed target to aim for with an effectively infinite height. See Fitt's law. The only time it's really an issue is when you're dealing with multiple screens, with Apple's implementation keeping the menu bar on the "primary" screen at all times - providing an option to move it to the currently active screen might be faster for mouse users (an /option/ as tablet users of the wacom kind would probably prefer to have it fixed as in the current implementation)

NeXTStep's pop up menus were nice, arguably nicer than any other solution, but suffer slightly from the fact they are invisible in normal use.

Most "power users", of course, have the majority of common menu command shortcuts committed to muscle memory anyway and rarely use menus on any platform unless they are using graphically intensive apps like Photoshop where they have a hand on the pointing device at nearly all times.

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iPads in education: Not actually evil, but pretty close

Tufty Squirrel

Programming on fondleslabs is certainly possible...

... but far from optimal. As well as the (platform specific) solutions out there (codea, pjs4ipad, and so on), there's a whole bunch of web-based IDEs for various programming languages which work relatively well on tablet devices. The main downside being that programming is generally text-based, and, as such, programming environments require large amounts of text input. Perhaps our mutant-thumbed txt-generation can handle text input using an OSK, but I can't...

The only concrete and usable implementation of a tablet-based programming environment I've come across so far is "Lisping" (http://slidetocode.com). There'e a load of research projects out there as well, but nothing particularly solid yet AFAIK.

0
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Bash Street bytes: Do UK schools really need the Raspberry Pi?

Tufty Squirrel
Paris Hilton

Flawed, yes

As someone who's been following the Pi from the start, and who has one here...

Yes, it's flawed. All products are, and when something is developed to a budget as tight as the Pi, by enthusiasts, you can expect a few "rough edges". The ones that can be smoothed, /are/ being smoothed. It is, however, revolutionary, in two ways.

The first is in the way it has pushed the issue of computer science to the fore. Even if the RPi Foundation had never managed to get a single board out of the door, the questions it has raised, the awareness is has garnered, have made the entire project a success.

The second (and incidental to the original aims of the Pi) is the massive kick up the arse it's given the "developer board" producers. Instead of being stuck with crummy 8-bit "hacker" boards, we have an avalanche of ever-more-powerful ARM--based SBCs at affordable prices, as companies have realised that if they produce something at reasonable prices, they'll sell by the barrowload.

There's been quite a lot of fail in the Pi's timeline, and it may never be a success in the classroom. But if it succeeds only in getting scratch more widely adopted, even on the previously Word/Excel/Powerpoint boxes, it's won.

Paris, because I''d kick her up the arse, too. Or something like that.

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Firefox offers glimpse of new tablet version

Tufty Squirrel
Thumb Up

But surely...

...that's another WIN for Opera. It could only get better if it also blocked comments on youtube, and replaced the entire contents of the Daily Mail's site with a giant flashing purple cock.

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Acer insists fondleslab 'fever' is fading

Tufty Squirrel

@Buck Futter

"lack of configuration knowledge" is a fail right there. You shouldn't have to "configure" an OS to run on a particular platform, you should just install it. That's part of where Windows fails for me, and always has : you have to jigger with it to get any sort of acceptable performance.

It's also part of why I stopped using Linux.

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New GPL licence touted as saviour of Linux, Android

Tufty Squirrel

Florian Meuller

...couldn't find his hindquarters with both hands and a flashlight.

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SQL survives murder attempt by mutant stepchild

Tufty Squirrel
Facepalm

Once you start using InnoDB...

...the benefits of MySQL go away. With full relational constraints imposed, it's slower than Postgres. Not to mention that "relational constraints" in the MySQL world doesn't necessarily mean the same thing it does in real databases. Truncation (i.e. modifying data) rather than raising an error is the norm in the MySQL way of thinking. Yes, there's "strict mode" but that's enforced client side, not server side. Wanna dump some crap in your database? Turn off strict mode and have a ball. Or use "INSERT IGNORE".

Triggers? Make me laugh. Constraint checking? "Parsed but ignored". Transactional DDL? Nope. Transaction locking behaves "oddly" (but, I'll grant you, predictably). Inserting nulls into non-null fields? Check.

I could go on. I usually do. Facepalm because that's what MySQL is.

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Oracle seeks 'billions' with Google Android suit

Tufty Squirrel
Paris Hilton

Write once...

...run for the lawyers

Oracle need to die, and Android needs to get better.

Paris, because she's nearly as dumb as Ellison

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Popular sites caught sniffing user browser history

Tufty Squirrel
Coat

deserving what you get

>> if you go to a site called YouPorn, you kinda deserve everything you get...

You mean "copious quantities of porn"? That's what I'd hope you get.

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