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* Posts by Rob Carriere

142 posts • joined 17 Nov 2010

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Oz bank in comedy Heartbleed blog FAIL

Rob Carriere

Re: Foot, meet bullet

All it says is that any coffee they happen to serve will not contain rat-droppings...

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It's 2014 and you can pwn a PC by opening a .RTF in Word, Outlook

Rob Carriere

Oh, I agree. Some days you're a little slow, you say. Well, some days, I pun poorly. So there. 'Tis the nature of me, especially before the coffee...

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Rob Carriere

I love LaTeX and use it a lot, but...

TeX is a programming language. .tex files, including LaTeX ones, are executable content. If you blindly process a .tex I send you, I can read from and write to everywhere in the file system you have access.

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Rob Carriere
Happy

I'm aware of the history of at least two file formats called RTF, both going back several decades. In this case, I was doing simple acronym punnery.

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Rob Carriere
Coat

I've always thought Rich Text Format was misnamed.

It should have been Windows Text Format.

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iPhone 6 FEELS your heat, wetness... and it'll TELL Apple – report

Rob Carriere

Re: Tinfoil hat

But at least it is a stylish cop, right?

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Distro diaspora: Four flavours of Ubuntu unpacked

Rob Carriere

Re: I don't get it

I'd agree with you, except I ran KDE and Gnome 2 in parallel that way for a year or two and every last single update caused trouble that required console-jockeying to resolve -- making this Not Recommended for anybody who isn't a console jockey. I swear they forbid their QA to test setups like that.

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Prez Obama cyber-guru: Think your data is safe in an EU cloud? The NSA will raid your servers

Rob Carriere

"The United States government has to get out of the business – if it were ever in the business – has to get out of the business of fucking with encryption standards," Clarke said.

No, Mr. Clarke. The United States government would have to be seen and believed to have gotten out of that business. Regardless of your political stance on the whole matter, that is going to be a Herculean task in the current environment.

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JavaScript is everywhere. So are we all OK with that?

Rob Carriere

Re: "too expressive in some ways, with features like closures..."

Yes, but it takes a programmer to understand that and the speaker being quoted was an analyst.

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Chrome lets websites secretly record you?! Google says no, but...

Rob Carriere

Re: An OS function?

True. OTOH, I usually expect/want exactly zero of these sites to use the mic or cam. Clicking OK for the one or two exceptions per year I can handle.

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UNSTOPPABLE data GROWTH in storage has ... er, stopped

Rob Carriere

Re: ..market share... graph is strange

Also, what is reported is market share, not actual units. In a market that is changing overall size, that's likely misleading.

All in all, quite the Soviet style statistics.

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Los Angeles' weather is just like MORDOR, says Brit climate prof

Rob Carriere

Re: WTF

Maybe, but checking that your model does not go bonkers when the land masses are redistributed seems like a good idea. He could have just drawn a random map, or used xkcd's idea of the Earth on its side, but he picked Tolkien instead. Works for me.

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Our MOM's LATEST EGGS: 'Looking GOOD', chuckle Indian space boffins

Rob Carriere

Re: Well done India

As you wish. I still respect those who can build stuff well beyond those who sit on wads of largely inherited cash.

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Obama to Merkel: No Americans are listening to you on this call

Rob Carriere

I'm sure that goes on already. The sheer fact that other countries do not (yet) have their Edward Snowdens doesn't mean there isn't anything to report.

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ICANN approves Arabic, Russian and Chinese global domain spaces

Rob Carriere

Re: Not really

Actually, there's several methods for handling that out there already. Punycode has been mentioned in the comments here, there's idnccd and some more. Alternatively, a browser could have a configuration where it changes the background color behind non-ASCII characters to some configurable color. If you're worried about such attacks, you set that color to bright red or something loud like that and your HSBC will stand out like a sore thumb.

You could make that fully general by allowing assignment of colors to arbitrary Unicode ranges.

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The legacy IE survivor's guide: Firefox, Chrome... more IE?

Rob Carriere

Re: Creepy

It's not actually a 100%. If the attack depends on things that changed since XP, it won't work on XP and you can breathe a sigh of relief. If the attack uses features and code common between XP and the later Windows, it will work on XP and the bad guys score.

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Space boffins boycott Kepler 'scope talks after US bans Chinese guests

Rob Carriere

Yes, that is really freedom. You might want to look up the word in a dictionary.

I'm not suggesting you should become a Marxist --I have no need for Marxists-- but freedom means that others have to the right to disagree or to read the stuff so as to form a reasoned opinion or even to read it because it makes them laugh. Their right, their choice, their time. None of your business.

And, once we're done frothing at the mouth, just how likely do you think it is that papers about astronomical pictures will be 'Marxist screed' anyway?

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WIN a RockBLOCK Iridium satellite comms module

Rob Carriere

DISASTER

Device to

Insure

Safe

And

Sound

Termination of

Effort at

Rocketry

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Rob Carriere

DEATH

Device to

Eradicate

All

Threats to

Humans

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Curiosity looks up, spies Martian double-mooning

Rob Carriere

There have been tides for all those years, just not the liquid water ones that you're thinking of. The Earth's Moon actually stretches the solid Earth, the oceans and the atmosphere. The rock tides are so small you can't see them without instruments, the air tides are also are invisible to the unaided human observer, so we tend to focus on the water tides as 'the tides'. But the other ones are still there.

Similarly for Phobos and Mars. There is no liquid water to make water tides, but there are both rock tides and air tides. And as already shown above, they're actually comparable in size to the ones we have here.

Or in other words, the forces are there and they will do things; the mere absence of liquid water won't make them go away.

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UK investigators finger emergency beacon for 787 Heathrow fire

Rob Carriere

Re: Wait

Certainly, but they might not have a non-flamey version lying on the shelf. Different device, likely different shape and so on. So that's the solution you want to work towards, but not an immediate one.

Until then the question becomes, which is the greater risk: the aircraft crashing and rescue being hindered by absence of an ELT, or the aircraft catching fire by the presence of one. Note that on-board fire-fighting kit proved insufficient to the task -- you really don't want this happening in flight. Give the rarity of crashes, reducing the risk of fire is almost certainly the smarter choice.

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Ubuntu 13.10 to ship with Mir instead of X

Rob Carriere

Re: BULL!

Actually, I have an early '90s book on X11 programming upstairs somewhere and it starts with the expectation of the original X11 team that in two to three years understanding would have advanced to the point where X11 would be outdated. That doesn't sound like they wanted their work to be enshrined as some never-to-be-touched-again ideal. If anything, they're probably disappointed it took so long.

Now maybe Wayland is the better successor, maybe Mir is. I have not studied either in depth, so no opinion. I do find it hard to imagine that the existence of two alternatives can be a bad thing at this point, though.

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Hubble spies unlikely planet being born in hostile neighborhood

Rob Carriere

Re: Who said it was natural?

And they'd be aiming for something, say, the size of a small moon?

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We want to put a KILL SWITCH into your PHONE, say Feds

Rob Carriere

Re: Bad idea

"The more they overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

-- Scotty

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What do you mean WHY is Sony PS4 so pricey in Oz?

Rob Carriere

Re: just 'cause

Read silent_count's message again: He never said he was talking about a profit tax. Import duties, for example, would fit his bill.

Now, if you want to argue this runs afoul of all sorts of trade agreements, then you might have a point.

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Signatures no good at protecting databases, says Juniper

Rob Carriere

Re: Another technique

The tricky bit is avoiding false positives -- read: pissed-off customers.

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Graphene QUILT: A good trampoline for elephants in stiletto heels

Rob Carriere

Re: Cutting it?

You did bring your lightsaber, right?

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Sun lets loose with THREE record eruptions in 24 hours

Rob Carriere

Re: But hang on

11 year cycle. Distance between min and max is a half-cycle.

11/2 = 5.5.

2013 ish + 5.5 = 2018 ish

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Rob Carriere

Re: Bleeding obvious

I wants me some of that ceramic! I think you've just invented Puppeteer Hull Metal.

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Rob Carriere

Re: Minimum?

Different time scales of minimum and maximum.

NASA is talking about the maximum of the current 11-year cycle. The people who argue we're moving into a protracted minimum mean that the current and several following 11-year cycles would be much weaker than usual, some perhaps to the point of being undetectable.

In other words, NASA is saying "This is maximum of the decade", the minimists are saying "These maxima will be the smallest maxima of the millennium". These two statements do not contradict each other.

Now whether the minimists are correct and whether such a minimum would have effects on the climate, is a matter of some controversy.

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Apple asked me for my BANK statements, says outraged reader

Rob Carriere
Thumb Down

Re: "she emailed over copies of them... and then immediately began panicking"

"Thus I could be 100% certain that at the very least - the email was going to *someone* at Apple."

Yes, because no one has ever managed to hack DNS.

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Adobe kills Creative Suite – all future features online only

Rob Carriere

Re: Somebody PLEASE!!!!

For a Photoshop-only situation, that may work. Although, as close as I can figure it out, Gimp is still missing some features that my graphics friends consider indispensable, such as a seamless PDF process.

And Gimp is comparatively mature. Any studio is also going to want Illustrator & InDesign & friends. Good luck finding adequate competition there.

Somebody like me on the other hand, who just needs to occasionally slap a bitmap into submission, I've switched to Gimp years ago and never looked back. So this is going to be a serious case of YMMV, but I suspect the majority of the professional CS users will be stuck like a yacht in the middle of the Sahara.

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Black-eyed Pies reel from BeagleBoard's $45 Linux micro blow

Rob Carriere

Re: There is more to Linux than Ubuntu

@Steve Davies 3: So it is, and yes, you caught me skipping subheadings. The flimsy excuse is that my RSS reader seems to encourage that, but it's a flimsy excuse.

I'm still confused as to the relevance of the particular objections given to the article at hand, though.

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Rob Carriere

Re: There is more to Linux than Ubuntu

I'm sorry to hear life's so frustrating to you, but would you mind explaining what relevance your opinion of Ubuntu has to the article?

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Ofcom to UK: Really - you're using the same password for everything?

Rob Carriere

Re: Email account password probably "very important"

In the sense you mean you always only have a single password. Even if your partner had eidetic memory, that wouldn't stop a crook from using the password reset feature.

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Boffins: Tireless star spurted deadly jets for half an hour at a time

Rob Carriere
Thumb Up

QoD

You beat me to it, so have an upvote.

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Raspberry Pi space jaunt ends in dramatic mountain rescue

Rob Carriere

Re: Proper backronyms required

Maybe because they already have a REHAB?

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Under the microscope: The bug that caught PayPal with its pants down

Rob Carriere

Re: Oh FFS

It's a lot worse than that. On a system the size of PayPal's (or even on a system a tenth that size, for that matter), there should be a framework in place that does this stuff for you, will ye or nil ye. The art of programming in the large is making sure that is easier to do things right than to do them wrong.

So either somebody broke out of the framework and this wasn't picked up in QA or there isn't an adequate framework. Either way, they have a structural problem.

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Forget the invisibility cloak: Boffins invent INVISIBILITY FISHNETS

Rob Carriere

You better know exactly at what frequency those alarms operate. A quick scan of the paper says that if the actual frequency is off by 10% from the design frequency of the cloak, the cloak's pretty much useless.

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Curiosity out of safe mode, doing science again

Rob Carriere

Re: Wot no checksums?

The price of bandwidth doesn't enter into it. The equipment on Mars and on Earth, the distance between the planets and the position of the Sun fix the maximum total bandwidth.

If you really want round-the-Sun radio coverage, you shouldn't be looking at error codes, but at some relay satellites in Earth's orbit around the Sun, but lagging or leading Earth by a significant amount. Then between Earth and the satellites, one should always have line of sight to Mars.

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Rob Carriere

Re: Wot no checksums?

All forms of error correcting code have a price in bandwidth and the more correction you need, the more you pay. There comes a point where it doesn't make sense anymore.

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Microsoft begins automatic Windows 7 SP1 rollout

Rob Carriere

Re: Useful Service Pack

Just to the 'just out of interest' portion of your post: Take a look at apt-cacher or apt-cacher-ng.

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En Garde! Villagers FIGHT OFF FRENCH INVASION MENACE

Rob Carriere

Re: small cells?

@AC15:47: "I just feel sorry for the land-locked population of luxembourg who get many countries to roam with."

Try Baarle-Nassau/Baarle-Hertog one of these days. Half of the town is Dutch, the other half is Belgian. On some roads, you cross the border a dozen times in a couple of hundred meters. Great fun watching your satnav go gaga as it can't keep up with the 'Welcome in ...' messages.

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Ubuntu 13.04 beta touts search privacy - before it hooks in eBay, IMDb etc

Rob Carriere

Re: Of the things I'd like to see in the next...

I just checked: It's gnome-system-monitor under Unity. Mostly I do ps auxg | grep commandname and then kill, though; that works under any desktop system, including the 80x24 variety. :-)

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Rob Carriere

Re: Question

I'm not sure what qualifies as a button in your book, but the download for the Kubuntu version (with KDE rather than Unity) is right there on the website. Adding the stock GNOME manager on a Unity install is one extra package and if you really want, you can set up your system so that you can select a different desktop every time you log in.

BTW, I agree with your 'tinfoil' position: that switch should default to off. But, as long as the default position of the switch is the only issue, I'll live with it. (At some indefinite time in the future; for the time being I'm still on 12.04 LTS and when people ask my opinion, that's the version I recommend.)

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Rob Carriere

Re: oh joy, more bloat

Hmm...might I suggest running an OS of the 2010s on hardware from at least the 2000s? My 5 year old laptop does these "couple of minutes" in an instant and I have more than a few applications installed...

Also, I appreciate that you don't like Unity. That's fine, this is Linux, you have a choice -- and XFCE is a good choice. But would you mind not confusing your opinions with objective truth? Some of us do like Unity; I think it's easily the best desktop I've used in years -- I don't give a hoot about desktop configurability and I love how it lets me keyboard everything while the stupid deskrodent gathers dust. So, you use XFCE, you're happy; I use Unity, I'm happy; now if only we could quit calling each other names and swearing in the process...

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Prepare for 'post-crypto world', warns godfather of encryption

Rob Carriere

Re: Improvement, not perfection.

Sure, better is always possible and better is always good.

The problem with security relying on 'better' is that one single error, made one single time, is enough. Security by Perfect Human is a very dangerous illusion.

Of course, none of that is saying that we shouldn't always try to become better, you're 100% right there.

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Rob Carriere

Re: It's about people, not technology

You're entirely right, but I find a theory that we can educate people into permanent flawless behavior amazingly optimistic. Certainly I am nowhere near clever enough to never make mistakes.

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Rob Carriere

@AC15: It wouldn't be at all good against that. Which is exactly the point: Shamir is arguing that it is much easier to insert a virtual bug today than it was to insert a physical one back then.

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Look out! PEAK WIND is COMING, warns top Harvard physicist

Rob Carriere

Re: This should not be a surprise.

Collecting energy by burning straw men is even more efficient.

Exactly where did OP mention coal or oil? He may have meant that, or he may have been referring to solar, or, for all I know, to a secret scheme to build a 150 million km pipe and suck the heat right out of the sun...

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