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* Posts by rh587

193 posts • joined 23 Mar 2011

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Torvalds rails at Linux developer: 'I'm f*cking tired of your code'

rh587
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Re: Odd timing

"If the kernel can't protect itself against bugs in user-space programs, it isn't a very good kernel. Linus is free to have as low an opinion as he likes of the systemd people concerned, but he does need to change his kernel to address this. It's a DOS attack vector and if it was in Windows then we'd be queueing up to explain how it proves Microsoft's inherent shit-ness."

That. Even if you accept the argument that systemd is special, and should therefore be held to a higher standard in return for privileges, the fact that the system can be DOSed by the absence of any sort of flood control isn't good. systemd needed the fix, but so does the kernel.

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I QUIT: Mozilla's anti-gay-marriage Brendan Eich leaps out of door

rh587
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Re: Animals

"If such a person were promoted to CEO of an organisation and you were a woman/Jew/black person/non bigot would you want him as your boss? If you were a customer would you want to give "him" money? If you were a stakeholder, would you want to build add-ons or supporting tech that enhanced the prospects of his company?"

It's funny, OKCupid were quite happy to throw popups at firefox users, but I don't see them putting their money where their mouth is and stripping out any and all JavaScript from their site and embracing alternative client-side technologies. If they're opposed to any technology Eich is associated that would be a key port of call.

But that costs time and money, whereas an hour embedding a browser detect and pop-up telling users to change browser doesn't really.

Okay, he made a contribution to a campaign that many people considered to be narrow minded and unjust 6 years ago. His statements since suggest a change of heart though only he knows if he's sincere or not.

I do however find it a bit hypocritical to campaign against his appointment as a company CEO when you're quite happy to build your company on the strength of his other works.

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Driver drama delays deep desert XP upgrade

rh587
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Brings back memories of confusion when I built my current desktop. Fired up, installed W7, no ethernet.

WTF? Mid-range Gigabyte gaming board - nothing especially exotic and it can't find the ethernet?

Remind me how many Mobos come without an ethernet port? I'd foolishly assumed that sort of thing would be fairly standardised...

Have to say I've always been reasonably impressed with edimax kit - cheap and feature rich, although their product numbering conventions are fairly horrific. Sure there's a system in there somewhere but blow me if I can figure it out although something along the lines off "bigger = better" seems to predominate - doesn't tell you anything about the kit though.

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iFixit boss: Apple has 'done everything it can to put repair guys out of business'

rh587
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Re: plus ca change c'est la meme chose

"Apple have always done whatever they can to keep repairs and maintenance in house, through strictly limited spares availability to legal means. Ever since the original Macs and maybe even before."

I wouldn't go that far. Mac Pros were obviously just regular desktops, and the original aluminium unibody Macbook has a simple catch to get to the hard drive and battery without the use of tools, and the rest of the mainboard is a couple of screws away. Getting into the screen needs a heat gun to get the glass off but that's the worst of it. As a whole an absolute delight to get into - HDD, battery and mainboard replacements are easier than most laptops of any make.

The iMacs were also not too bad with magnets holding the glass on until they went over to glue. Worst part was lifting the 27" panels out which gave me the fear, and then trying to get the glass back on dust-free.

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The Reg's desert XP-ocalypse aversion plan revealed

rh587
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Re: PDF

SumatraPDF surely? Or Foxit Reader at a push - less lean than Sumatra but the download package and install footprint are both smaller than Adobe, and Foxit doesn't nag you constantly to update thanks to the bloody update processes it runs in the background "for your convenience", which on older hardware is going to compromise performance unnecessarily.

If you are going to inflict something Adobe-based on them then be sure to clean out the update processes that sit in the background consuming CPU cycles, RAM and bandwidth, and just add checking for updates to the admin's weekly maintenance list along with running CCleaner and the like.

And a vote for LibreOffice over OpenOffice.

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Boffins working on debris float models to track MH370 wreckage

rh587
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Re: Looking for what isn't there?

"Even if the only bits of data they were transmitting was the current location of the black box, that would be a vast improvement. Can anyone count how many times they have had these desperate (and expensive) searches for the black boxes?"

The black box does contain a radio beacon.

On land this works great (unless they ditch into a narrow valley that blocks the signal, but generally they don't).

Under even a couple of hundred feet of water (much less than the thousands it could have sunk to by now), radio does not work terribly well. Sonar transponders do exist but are bulky compared to the size of the black box itself and you still need to be within a few kilometres to pick them up unless you attach a hefty power source, in which case you're into such a large device that it likely won't survive impact (or if you've reinforced it sufficiently it'll weigh so much as to eat into the cargo allowance which airlines will only accept up to a point).

The idea of carrying a 3 or 6 cheap EPIRBS on the basis one of them would make it out is not a bad one, and would give the point of impact for sunken wreckage, as well as drifting with floating wreckage until it's battery died. Looking at the Wikipedia page for Emergency Distress Beacons, a water-activated class of aircraft transponder does exist, but perhaps isn't a standard fit for civil aircraft - more for naval SAR usage, recovering ditched fighter and helicopter crews or something?

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Google grabs Gmail-using HTTPS refuseniks and coats them with SSL

rh587
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"So they encrypt them in transit so 'other people' cannot snoop (as easily) but assume that does nothing for THEM mining your data for profit or giving government agencies access via a court order etc.?"

No, but that's the choice you make when you select a service to to use rather than a home email server.

At least they're trying to protect us from the numpties who use their email and the like over coffee shop wifi and make it less trivial to snoop on their traffic. Doesn't matter how careful we are if at the other end it's being beamed across Starbucks unencrypted.

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Oxfam, you're full of FAIL. Leave economics to sensible bods

rh587
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Re: Erm... really?

Hmm, downvote. Guess someone from the NUS reads El Reg.

What's wrong? Still smarting from Southampton telling you to bog off. Again. In 2012?

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rh587
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Re: Erm... really?

"Why does a "feed the hungry" charity need to have a position on the Israel/Palestine question?"

Pretty much exactly why a bunch of Student Unions broke away from the NUS over the past 15 years. Their reps got bored of going to the Annual Conference and sitting through days of debates on what the NUS position should be on Israel/Palestine, arms dealing, or other matters broadly irrelevant to students, and only of interest to the few political activists who were practising for a career in national politics.

And paying affiliation north of £60k/yr for the privilege.

They saved their money and poured it into the media departments, sports union, bars and cafe - things that directly improved the facilities available to the students.

The NUS, seeing affiliations dropping are starting to reform before they go bust, but there's a fair few Unions - Southampton at the head of them - who don't see much reason to go back unless it's going to pay for itself (which at the last referendum on rejoining was somewhere to the order of £80k/yr).

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MPs urge UK.gov to use 1950s obscenity law to stifle online stiffies

rh587
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Re: So...

Such a hardware firewall is also trivial to bypass by yanking the main network uplink and plugging it direct into the router, unless your system is playing the role of broadband modem as well.

Of course most people rolling their own today are technical enough that they'll notice the log goes dead about 90 seconds after they popped out to the shops and starts showing traffic again around the time they were expected back.

Average Joe won't know that if it's supposed to be a plug, play and forget solution.

I recall a guy on Dragon's Den touting a slot machine that killed an HDMI connection when it ran out - you gave your kids a weekly "gaming allowance", and the system cut the feed after x-minutes. You could set what a token was worth, etc.

From a technical standpoint I couldn't see how that wouldn't prevent a kid just plugging the cable direct into the TV when their parents were out, or obtaining their own cable from Tesco if you had a retention device on the timer (because the console and TV wouldn't have retention at their ends), or you could just use a component/composite connection or whatever was offered on the back of the console rather than HDMI!

Noticing that the system was being circumvented would require "parenting" to take place, and if you're going to take an interest in your kids like that then you can just tell them to turn it off and go play outside, which is far cheaper and easier as Duncan Bannatyne put in rather more curt terms!

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Help a hack: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit?

rh587
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Re: What's in your ultimate Windows XP migration toolkit ? @ AC

"Anyway, until there was a budget for MS Office of some more recent generation, the new machines all got LibreOffice in hopes it would cover most needs. It turned out to be a huge pain as they had a bunch of frequently used documents that LibreOffice doesn't render correctly. These users are mostly nurses and have very little interest in learning any new software. Free is nice, except when it doesn't work correctly and is confusing to those used to other products."

Fair point, but reading the original article the centre only opened in 2013, and the machines are running XP, which surely means second hand, so there's the assumption the spec is known and they'll all actually run W7. It's a bit astonishing that an AU$3m centre didn't include budget for a half dozen new boxes, which in April 2013 would have been W7/8.

Also from the original article there's a mixed ecosystem of XP and Mac (again, vintage unknown), and a bunch of locals come in to charge their iPads and the like, so although the locals are perhaps naive of the nastier corners of the web they're not stupid, just uneducated and can learn alternative packages.

If the Win boxes are hand-me-downs, we don't know whether they're all identical - some might take W7 and others not. Indeed, if they are second hand, do they have the original XP install media - if the W7 install goes bad can they roll it back, or might Linux be the next move to unbrick it?

It's certainly worth taking a couple of linux flavours, something live for troubleshooting (GParted, memtest, etc) and also to leave there if any boxes aren't playing nice with W7, either as a desktop or relegated as a firewall/network cache box.

Also, I know the article is aimed at the PCs, but if the Macs are a newer vintage, take a copy of Mavericks, if they haven't already dragged it down over the web...

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Shuttleworth: Firmware is the universal Trojan

rh587
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Re: He's right... and wrong!

"How about replacing a camera's firmware to make it a standard UVC device or to make the LED always come on when it is recording?"

My first thought was the Magic Lantern firmware add-on for Canon cameras to provide a whole host of improved functionality for videographers such as being able to turn off the Automatic Gain Control and a bunch of video stuff which for obvious reasons is generally a poor cousin to the stills functionality.

It's entirely proprietary and undocumented - Canon would really rather you didn't, and bought a nice expensive video camera off them as well, so the guys behind it reverse engineered the DIGIC processor by literally just putting an LED on the board and reverse engineering it from the hardware up. Quite a feat of brain power and logic!

If man can make it, man can break it...

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Straight to 8: London's Met Police hatches Win XP escape plan

rh587
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Re: How about ....

The bluff has more credibility since Munich went FOSS. Though they took the best part of a decade to fully switch, and XP support runs out this year next month.

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Elon Musk slams New Jersey governor over Tesla direct sales ban

rh587
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Re: Allow me to comment on another country's practices

I think they have delaerships (which are becoming galleries) - but it's their own network that they own. So you can go on a test drive, chat finance, etc, but you're dealing with a Tesla employee, not a Stratstone employee or Foray Motor Group for Yeovil Ford.

Looks like a normal dealership, but run by the manufacturer.

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rh587
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Re: Allow me to comment on another country's practices

"Here in the UK, you generally buy a car from err a franchised dealership but I'm pretty sure you could go to the manufacturer directly, who would probably point you to the nearest franchised dealership. However, I do know for a fact that I could go and see Arial and buy an Atom directly from them (I live in Somerset rather close to the Arial works)"

My uncle went and visited his Morgan as it was being built. Took delivery at a Jan 1st champagne when the CEO handed him his keys personally!

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Euro cops on free Wi-Fi not-so-hotspots: For pity's sake, don't use them for email

rh587
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Re: SSL?

That would be where you need HTTPS Strict Transport Security which was developed specifically to prevent SSL-stripping MITM attacks.

It's not a silver bullet, but it does at least make your browser shout at you if Facebook or gmail are trying to present as plain http when they should be defaulting to https, and protects against sidejacking and cookie theft. It won't protect against advanced attacks but it bumps off the trivial likes of Firesheep and Idiocy (which hijacks twitter accounts and sends a tweet in less than 130 lines of python).

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Apple to grieving sons: NO, you cannot have access to your dead mum's iPad

rh587
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Yes, probably. But if they don't have access to the iPad, what are the odds of them having access to her email or any other online properties?

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rh587
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Re: Really???

Yup. You can factory reset from iTunes, or on the iPad itself if it doesn't have a PIN set and you just want to clear off the old stuff.

I suspect if you remote kill it from Find My iPad in case of theft it does something more permanent (although I don't know for sure), but simple resets prior to selling/giving to a new owner/user are pretty straightforward.

This guy isn't trying to get access to the iPad, he's wanting access to his mothers AppleID, presumably because he wants access to the apps/music bought on that account. Which of course he is not entitled to, because they were licensed solely to his mother.

A subtlety that is evidently not understood by most of the commentards here. And possibly by him if he thinks the actual iPad is locked and does not himself understand the difference between user accounts and hardware.

You can get into the rights and wrongs of that particular business model separately, but the only thing he owns is the iPad, and he can clean that for his own usage (and his own AppleID) without involving Apple.

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rh587
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Re: A much simpler method

That's not simpler at all. So for every online service (who choose to implement this, which smaller forums or businesses might not), you have to send off the death certificate, which will have to be manually checked by someone before they revert it to your next-of-kin email, which may in fact be out of date if the deceased hasn't kept them all updated over all their online presences.

Like I say, far simpler to have them on a bit of paper in a safe, leave the combination to the safe in a sealed envelope with the will. Executor can then sit down with that list and go "nuke, memorialise, nuke, nuke, nuke, pass over to nephew, nuke".

Whole lot could be sorted in a couple of hours rather than a protracted back and forth process of exchanging death certificates, etc, etc.

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rh587
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"And then, every time you must update your passwords, you will have to update your will too. For a fee."

If you read my post you would see that the simplest solution is to provide the location in the will. Lots of people have a safe or lockbox in their home. Just leave your credentials locked in there, leave the combination in the will. Bonza. Don't have to update the will every time you change a password, but next of kin can get in.

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rh587
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I seem to remember an article about digital inheritance a few years back that was discussing the growing importance of leaving an your usernames and passwords for any digital services or online accounts you wanted your executors to inherit or be able to shut down with your will.

In the case of AppleIDs, "purchased content" is licensed to you only, so officially has no inheritable value. Although that wouldn't stop you leaving the details so your kids can use the software you've bought or listen to your iTunes library.

Whether that's getting into something financial, or simply shutting down email accounts, make sure everyone knows you're dead - they can reply to snail mail that arrives at your door postmortem but not email unless you give them the means to!

Facebook offer a memorialise function that allows the bereaved to get a profile locked off on production of a death certificate, but of course some people don't want that - they'd rather have the account nuked by the executor and Facebook don't really want to do that (not without showing paperwork*). The simpler and quicker solution is to leave login credentials somewhere.

*easiest solution seems to be to leave an envelope with your will containing the combination for a key safe in your house. Then leave your credentials in that safe. Executor can't access it when you're alive without breaking into your house, but can deal with it once you're dead and they have access to your house to do their duty according to your wishes. And you don't have to update the envelope with your executor every time you change your password. Seems a reasonable compromise between security and making life easier for your family rather than having to wrangle with potentially many multiple online services once you've died. What you do with your porn subscription depends on how you want your family to remember you!

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Blighty teen boffin builds nuclear reactor INSIDE CLASSROOM

rh587
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Re: Almost certainly a stupid question...

It wasn't £3k for a fusion reactor. The Headteacher found £3k from school funds for him (cue complaints that he won't fund other pupil's projects!) but the lad had sponsorship from a local electrical firm for various bits of HV switchgear, a bod an Manchester Uni lent him the neutron detector, another commercial firm supplied thermographic gear and he thanks the denizens of a fusor forum for helping him source gear. Those "bits" probably amount to mid 5-figure sums if you want to buy them outright for a back-yard reactor.

Same with the American lad Taylor - he made friends with physicists from local universities who hooked him up with various bits of equipment that are either hard to acquire or rather expensive.

And as for going off-grid, just building it bigger doesn't mean you go net-positive and start producing power, or else the power companies would be doing it rather than buying coal and gas!

Fusion isn't terribly difficult to achieve (a 13 year old did it, with help), and we've been able to do it in bomb form for decades. Pour lots and lots of energy into the system and sooner or later something gets hot enough to fuse. Tuning your system sufficiently well to go net-positive (without producing a simultaneous mushroom cloud) is another matter.

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rh587
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Re: There's quite a story behind this... :-)

Bussard's work isn't dead. The Navy resumed funding for it in 2009, and much of Bussard's original team are working on it one way or another. They built a WB-7, progressing from WB-6 that Bussard worked on until he died. They seem to be close enough that the next step (WB-8) would be almost production scale, which means a budget of $200m+ rather than the $5-7m they've been clearing in funding cycles thus far.

It's always been a bit low profile because it was funded primarily by the US Navy, so was under NDA. When the Navy dropped funding they could talk, but there aren't that many details available at the moment now they're back under the military paymasters.

One might hope that such technology will still find it's way into civilian markets (even if it means the likes of young Jamie independently developing it in parallel) and won't be restricted to sitting in a handful of Yank subs and carriers.

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Ever get the impression a telesales op was being held prisoner?

rh587
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Re: "Prepare them for a better life"

"I think I'd punch a guard and get banged up for another 3 years rather than do call centre work."

Indeed, I thought there were laws against cruel and unusual punishments?

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Personal Ground Effect Vehicals

rh587
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Such things exist. Basically reworked light aircraft. <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ch2zs-7je_s>James May tooled one around in one</a> of his Big Idea programmes, and yes, they're awesome.

Unfortunately you are in an aircraft (just a really low one, like, couple of feet altitude), and they only really work on lakes/seas (frozen or liquid), or very flat areas.

Not great for personal transport unless you're commuting across Lake Garda.

Not quite sure why noone ever looked at one for fast ferry service to Ireland/Cross-Channel/round the Med.

Can't have appreciably higher running costs than a hovercraft or hydroplane, goes much faster and does away with some of the bouncy/flippy characteristics of hydroplanes such as Bluebird that Donald Campbell ran. Briefly.

Should be quite smooth as you're not in contact with the water.

That said certainly in the western world you probably get into the same beaurocratic mess that flying cars get into of having to maintain multiple licenses and certifications (in this case as a Skipper and as a Pilot).

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Child sex abuse image peddlers dodge UK smut filters and demand Bitcoin payments

rh587
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Re: Innocent?

It's a bit like the fines ten years back on having illegal immigrants in the back of your truck. One chap heard a banging after he'd entered the UK and realised he had acquired some stowaways. Turned round and dutifully pulled back into Dover to hand them over to immigration and received the exact same fine as if they'd found them in the truck without his cooperation.

That set a precedent of there being zero reason for a truck driver to do the right thing. If they're in the country they might as well pull over into a quiet car park, let them out and say nothing.

Thankfully the High Court found in favour of a class action and pointed out to the Home Office that such a policy was not only bad for business but counter-productive in an environment where you rely on the good will and cooperation of the drivers. Rather than "Us and Them" being Immigration + Truckers vs. Clandestine Entrants, "Us and Them" now referred to Immigration vs. Truckers. Which is retarded.

Although the fines are still in place (up to £2k per entrant), they decide how much they'll actually ask for based on the steps taken to secure the vehicle, your level of cooperation, whether the fabric of the vehicle had been maintained to deter illicit entry, etc, etc.

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Reg HPC man relives 0-day rootkit GROUNDHOG DAY

rh587
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Re: err...

Upvote for an interesting service, although when I said on/offline I meant a NAS available over the network permanently (or not, in the case of offline backup - unplugged USB drives that can't be infected until they're plugged into something).

Unfortunately as our rural cabinet is scheduled by OpenReach to receive fibre sometime after the heat death of the universe (if not later), anything "online" (as in, on the internet), is not going to do the business for images or whole disk backups.

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rh587
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Re: err...

"If it's something with admin rights then the only way to protect against it is to have an off-line backup that it can't touch."

It's an interesting point.

My backup regime for my MacBook has been to plug a spare USB3 HDD in when I remember and let Time Machine do it's thing.

I had been thinking it was about time to sort out a NAS both for home streaming/file sever and also as a Time Machine/rsync target so that if I forget/don't get around to plugging in for a couple of days it'll just do it's thing in the background anyway.

With the emergence of ransomware though, my offline drive is looking pretty good right now. It's only plugged in when I do a backup and I generally whip it out fairly shortly afterwards as it's the only thing that drive is used for and I need the port back (or I'm lounging and don't want the drive on my lap), which means it's relatively resistant to ransomware unless I'm incredibly unlucky and manage to pick up a bug whilst backing up (or the ransomware comes with a time delay, which is not beyond the realms of imagination). Okay, it effectively means I only have daily snapshots rather than hourly as Time Machine will do, but for home usage that's not generally of great significance.

I'm thinking if I got a NAS, rather than a simple in-box Raid 1/5 for redundancy (depending on the number of disks), might as well go for performance with Raid 0 and just have an offline USB HDD sat on top of the box that I plug in once a day to back up everything. Paranoia? Yes, a bit, but ransomware that mullers one machine is bad enough. To muller your network storage and backups as well just adds insult to injury.

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Apple fanbois DENIED: Mac Pro deliveries stalled until April

rh587
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Re: American QA?

New production site, staff training, unforseen production problems with the casing or funky extruded heat sink? Dozen and one potential issues.

The Taiwan lines are designed to produce 10 million identical iPhones, and then crack open a box of 32GB flash chips instead of 16GB chips and do the exact same thing another 10 million times. And then they do another 10 million generics for a Chinese brand selling them into the domestic market. It's tried and tested.

The "custom" options on a MacBook or iMac are no such thing - they'll just do a "smaller" (still 6/7 figures) run on the more esoteric combinations.

The Pro is MUCH smaller volume and to some extent built to order. I imagine there's a lot more hands on work and less automation involved than in the consumer products, and where humans are involved, you can get one-off errors (as opposed to automated errors which are usually repeatable and trackable, unlike someone distracting an operator for 30 seconds and ballsing up a single specimen).

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rh587
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Re: Supporting professional Mac users?

"It looks like you can't actually buy a Mac Pro, old (it's not obviously available on their website) or new, at the moment from Apple here in the UK."

Funnily enough, when Ford launch a new car, they typically take the outgoing model off their website, even if they're still fulfilling existing orders and some dealers have stock on their forecourt.

Outstanding stock notwithstanding, if they don't make it any more they're not going to be advertising it.

Also, they stopped selling the old Mac Pro in the EU a few months before the new version was announced because they got nobbled on some technicality to do with the cooling fan as I recall, and they obviously weren't going to rework the product just for the relatively few sales they'd have in those months in one market region (given that Timmy Cook had announced they had something "really great" coming out and most people would be holding on for the new product anyway).

That said, obviously that doesn't excuse the length of time they left the old Pro malingering without a substantive update (beyond incremental CPU bumps), and then repeatedly pushing back deliveries when they finally did scratch around in the corner and produced something new for the Pro market. I'm far from a fan of his, but Steve would never have stood for it. The board meeting would have been along the lines of his legendary mobileme.com tirade.

Seeing as Tim is the integration god who made all the supply chains "just work", I think he'd be sweating it if Steve were still around and on his case.

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Frenchman eyes ocean domination with floating, mobile Bond villain lair

rh587
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As opposed to the windage on the slab side of a conventional vessel?

All vessels have windage, which is why ROV carriers and Scientific vessels have substantial bow and/or stern thrusters to help maintain station.

A design like this one with a massive keel and slender above-surface portion will be quite efficient - it'll be subject to ocean currents, but should resist wind effect and wave action quite well (unless it's a really heavy sea).

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rh587
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Re: Maginot

Have a look at RV Flip.

Vertical vessels with deep draughts and a small cross-section exposed at wave level are remarkably stable and have some niche scientific applications where you want a really stable instrument platform.

In terms of "sail area", this is relatively streamlined compared to the slab side of a supertanker.

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Apple's Windows XP moment: OS X Snow Leopard left to DIE

rh587
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Re: 2007 hardware obsolete?

"What utter rubbish. The reason PC sales are tanking is that a 5 year-old (and more) machine is still perfectly capable of running the applications the vast majority of users actually want to run."

PC sales would include desktops, which go on forever.

If you get 5 years out of a laptop you're winning.

In that time most people have some combination of the battery going on the fritz, the screen (or cable) going funny, the cooling degrading or the hinges breaking after about 4 years.

I pushed my old Toshiba laptop for 6 years before building a desktop, but I had to change the cooling fan after 3, and it was essentially a desktop for the last 2.5 years as the battery had died and then the replacement fan went as well.

Current inherited Macbook needed a new screen assembly last year (age 5), and a RAM/SSD upgrade. The battery is working... -ishly.

The boss's laptop went squeaky pop after 4 years when the mainboard cracked from thermal cycles (he used it as a DB development machine and it did some hefty duty cycles).

We had Pentium 4 desktops going on the best part of a decade until we finally replaced them last year, but laptops? Nope.

Apple have set new standards for longevity with rock solid unibody construction... and then gone back on them as they've prevented you changing out your HDD for an SSD, glued in the battery, soldering the RAM on and just generally being a pain.

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rh587
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Re: What are we waiting for?

"It would be okay if the hardware restrictions were less draconian. I have a MacMini as a backup machine and although it's Intel (Core 2 Duo) it's not able to use anything more recent than Lion."

Blimey, that is picky. I'm running a Late-2008 MacBook and that's handling Mavericks fine, despite also being Core 2 Duo!

It's was the first of the aluminium unibodies, and eminently upgradeble with a simple catch to get at the HDD - now SSD - and battery, and just a couple of screws to get at the RAM. An elegant design that Johnnie Ive should be ashamed to have dropped in favour of the glued-together modern equivalents.

But that's the problem, I'm running it third hand (inherited off my brother who had it second hand) instead of buying a new one!

There are some fairly salient hardware issues. Other brother had to replace the audio capture card for his home studio when his PPC Macbook died and he replaced it with a new Intel model. Only connects via USB but the absence of Intel drivers that didn't generate massive hiss was a bit of a killer!

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Q&A: Schneier on trust, NSA spying and the end of US internet hegemony

rh587
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Re: Why all the fear?

Government snooping is one thing. Governments actively undermining my security is another.

For instance:

Lets say I secure a system using RSA products to make it difficult for unethical competitors (I'm looking at you China) to compromise commercially sensitive information or original research.

I find the NSA have nobbled the encryption so they can snoop if they choose to (why would they want to? Who cares about me?).

If China has realised the product is flawed (nobbled or accidental) they will undoubtedly look to leverage that.

Outcome is having spent money and effort on trying to secure a business, the government is potentially exposing me to my foreign competitors.

If they think my company is committing fraud or doing something dirty they can get a WARRANT and they can come and take the servers away and forensically examine them. IN PRIVATE.

As opposed to examining them in the town square where anyone is at liberty to come peer over their shoulder.

We're not (just) talking about people emailing Aunty Mabel, we're talking about compromising business services and corporate intelligence. Although the idea of them snooping through nudy photos between husband/wife boyfriend/girlfriend is equally unsettling.

The answer - ultimately - is open source reference algorithms in open source software that multiple mathematicians and software engineers in multiple countries, some working in industry, some in academia, can independently sign.

And then use it for everything, including emails to aunty mabel.

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What the world really needs: A telescopic SELFIE STICK

rh587
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Re: @AC - Not actually a new idea

"Never heard of them being used for a selfie, but no problem, set the camera on a 5 second time delay and get your pole out. I suppose your phone won't have a monopod/tripod boss though, but duck tape is your friend."

I saw a Japanese/Korean (they were wearing a Hello Kitty backpack and a lot of Pink) tourist wandering around Paris with something similar last year posing in front of the Louvre Pyramid, so it's not new. What may be new is the integration of shutter release rather than a pole with an iphone mount - guess they had it on a timer.

Struck me at the time as a very easy way to acquire a new phone. All the skill in pickpocketing is rendered obsolete in this newfangled age of consumers offering you their electronics at arms length :(

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Woman claims she was assaulted in Google Glass 'HATE CRIME'

rh587
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@Grey Ham

"I don't believe wearing your Google glasses "all the time" is going to help your situational awareness.."

An app opportunity there shurely?

GPS tracker querying a database and popping up warnings

"Did you know 5 people have been mugged on this street in the past 4 months?"

"Warning: You are entering an area where wearing Google Glass may attract bodily harm or ridicule."

"Warning: You appear to be wearing Google Glass. Please remove headset and pretend you don't have it."

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SpaceX set to try HOVER LANDING for re-usable rockets on March ISS mission

rh587
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Re: Best of luck...

"If the boffins at SpaceX even come close on this next mission, the next obvious step is possibly a sea based platform, then try for land."

I doubt it. Sea based platforms are expensive, whether custom-built or repurposed oil rigs. SeaLaunch won't want them within a thousand miles of Ocean Odyssey in case it goes bang, lands on the wrong bit of Odyssey, falls over when it lands or otherwise makes a mess of the place.

Drop it gently and precisely into the sea to prove you can, then move to a land site, which can amount to little more than a sodding great concrete pan in the middle of the desert with a road to truck it out - a hell of a lot cheaper to build than a sea platform and much less expensive to rebuild if you break it (how?), with nothing of value in the surrounding area if it all gets noisy!

One of SpaceX's cost cutting endeavours has been to launch from a pretty bare pad - roll the rocket out of a horizontal shed, tip it on end and light the blue touch paper. None of these massively expensive and very complex launch towers or service structures. They can pretty much go from anywhere with a bunker for Launch Control and a big fuel bowser, which makes logistics much simpler when you want to land a rocket on end in a wide open desert.

Of course that'll have to change when they go manned because the 'nauts will need to get up to the capsule at the pointy end (unless they load them in and then tip it up!?), but I don't see them building stuff like the Shuttle or Apollo service structures. Bare pads are cheap (relatively speaking) and they've designed the vehicles for them. No need for sea platforms and the like.

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Cable thieves hang up on BT, cause MAJOR outage

rh587
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@M7S

"Dont repair it, replace with fibre as and when this happens "

I did think that when OpenReach fixed our line just before Christmas (not theft, just storms). But of course compared with replacing a segment of copper with copper, it requires updating the hardware at both ends. You can't lay FTTP to replace someone's busted copper link if you haven't got an infinity cabinet at the end to plug it into. Did we want it fixed today, or in 18 months after they'd got planning permission, sited a new cabinet, found a power supply to run the active electronics, etc, etc.

@Big-C

"Since when did severing fibre, bring any scrap value from copper cables?"

Probably collateral damage. If the damage was along railway lines (a good place to run trunk fibre as they have big conduits already which makes installation cheap rather than having to bury it, and it tends to connect towns and cities in a fairly straight line), then the conduit is usually packed with a mix of railway signal gear, power lines and fibre alongside - some collateral damage is to be expected when they extract the copper in the fastest way possible. Slice the lot and pull on anything with metal in the middle.

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Stuff the delays! PM chuffed to have BT's superfast broadband in his constituency

rh587
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Re: Just because they give it to you

"The ASA say BT can continue to call it "fibre broadband", as the data travels over fibre for MOST of the distance towards your home, until it comes in to your house."

Presumably since most consumers are using the internet for YouTube and Facebook, and since most of that data comes from the US, or European DC outside the UK (ignoring edge filers, CDNs, etc), even without FTTC the vast majority of the travel distance is on fibre - by that measure standard ADSL and dial-up is "fibre broadband"!

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Mac Pro fanbois can rack 'em and stack 'em like real sysadmins

rh587
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Well if you're running an Apple-specific application that requires OSX then you haven't got much of a choice unless you're going to build a bunch of beige hackintoshes, but in a Production environment that would be fairly reckless. if you're rendering a big Motion/FCP/Compressor project then neatly racking your Mac Pro cluster with your storage beats having them littering the office floor.

It's niche and you're hardly going to fill a data centre with them - more like a small rack with half a dozen in the corner of the edit suite to send jobs to. Amazingly there's even a few rackmount storage systems in the 78-98TB range coming out with Thunderbolt ports in addition to 10GB ethernet and FC, so you can plug your cluster straight in rather than having TB>FC adapters hanging off the Pros. As TB2 can serve as an interconnect between Pros, it has the potential to form a surprisingly efficient parallel cluster.

You're not going to build a supercomputer out of them, but that's not the intention. It's supposed to be easy for less-techy creatives to set up without having to learn how to manage FC switches or getting into anything too hardcore. Data centre and supercomputer bods will scoff, but it's not designed for them or their workloads.

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rh587
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Re: Hmmmm

For the new Pros, I remember seeing an article back last year for horizontal racking.

As for Macs as servers generally, I recall going down into the Google Labs exhibit in the London Science Museum. Peering into the smoked glass server box that all the exhibits fed into, I was amused (given Cupertino and Mountain View's mutual animosity) to see the whole lot was powered by rackmount Mac Minis and Mac Pro towers. No idea if it was running OSX, but I can't imagine you'd pay a premium for Apple hardware just to run Linux on it.

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Google warns Glass wearers: Quit being 'CREEPY GLASSHOLES'

rh587
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Re: don't get it

People want to pay to put a HUD on their face. A camera adds functionality for things like Augmented Reality, or just replacing a separate bullet cam/GoPro.

As for invading people's privacy, I don't get this. Okay, sure you could walk around with it recording, but you'll fill the storage pretty quick. This idea of streaming it back to Google to run facial recognition just doesn't hold water - who has data plans that would permit that (and not burn through your allowance in about an hour)? Even if Google applied some magical compression the constant transmission would kill the battery. Most mobiles can barely last a day even just making a few calls and some light browsing.

Streaming 720p for 10 hours? Show me the AA-sized cold fusion reactor.

Yes, you could manually just record everything you see - you being creepy rather than google, but that's no different to leaving your phone poking out your top pocket recording video, wearing a button cam or covertly recording sound from a pocket. You can't blame google if users do that - just as you can't blame Apple or RIM if users of their phones quietly leave the voice recorder running to capture your conversation without telling you.

Yes, they could run facial recognition on a video stream. It's technically feasible, but it's not going to be underlying the system. And if they tried to sneak it in under the radar (sometime in the future when we all have unlimited 6G connectivity) you can bet a clean version of android would spring up to side-load just as SRWare Iron popped up as an alternative to Chrome.

More to the point, why would they try and sneak in a system to harvest video and run facial recognition? That's expensive both in bandwidth and compute. Glass doesn't even have GPS unless you've paired it with a phone that does, so in it's unpaired state it doesn't actually know where you or it are.

It'd be far easier to build a surreptitious GPS tracker into the Android kernel, and quietly listen in to your phone's microphone for voice recognition - you know, the one in your pocket that could be pinging your exact location along with an audio feed from an open mic without even the owner knowing, never mind the people around them.

Lat/Long are just a few digits - far smaller and easier to process than running computer vision to match a person against a location, and quietly streaming audio back would be far more effective for conversation analysis than disjointed snippets of conversations as someone wearing a Glass unit walks past.

I get the privacy concerns, but if Google wanted to track and spy on everybody, there are far more effective ways than trying to harvest data from a handful of headsets (compared to the number of Android handsets they have in circulation).

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rh587
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Re: Balanced view

Give it 5 years and I could see it as a replacement for audio guides in tourist locations - pick one up in the Tower of London and use augmented reality to overlay the stages of development - how it appeared in 1100/1200/1600/1700/1800, insert a few period ghosts wandering around, etc.

Or it could be interesting in art galleries - a not insignificant number of paintings have under-drawings where canvases were reused or rough work was painted over. Get in front of a painting and have Glass provide AR versions of the underlying layers, or more information than they can fit on a little card.

I also recall standing in one gallery where they only had 2 of the 3 sections of a triptych. Some means of pulling up the 3rd would have been nice (although they could also just put a miniature version up on the wall for people to look at).

Both those are more rental-oriented of course rather than wandering round the streets wearing them...

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rh587
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Re: Photographs / Recording Video

@Charles Manning

"You want to record me then I'll say what I think right into the mike."

Ah, you're one of those plebs who stands around gurning behind news reporters doing a location piece... only you also lean over and shout into their mic?

Yes, you do need to catch up with the rules of good society.

Whilst I don't really get the attraction of Glass, if you're walking down the high street and an "Explorer" is walking down the other side, you're probably not even going to notice that they're not wearing conventional glasses (unless you're paying unusual attention to them), and even then, how will you know if they're recording or not?

Do you you make a habit of walking up to people and shouting in their faces on the off-chance that they're wearing a recording device of some description? Or going up to every store CCTV camera you happen to pass and shouting/gesticulating at it?

"Sure we might not be able to stop them legally, but we can make it unpleasant for them to infringe."

Infringe what? You have no right or expectation of privacy in a public place. If they started following you around (for an extended period, not just because they happen to be walking in the same direction as you) that could constitute harassment, but we're all entirely at liberty to set up in the street and start snapping away, whether that's with a chunky SLR or Glass.

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Object to #YearOfCode? You're a misogynist and a snob, says the BBC

rh587
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Re: Twitter, Facebook, Minecraft, youtube, Snapchat, and hundreds of TV channels

In it's defence, YouTube has empowered to some extent a new generation of film makers, doing things with on a shoestring budget that wouldn't have been possible 20 years ago.

Of course, it has degenerated. For narrative storytelling or anything "arty", the likes of Vimeo have carved a niche away from cat videos and children biting their brother's finger, but YouTube still has gems and certainly the wider userbase.

If you live in one of their favoured cities (such as London), YouTube have even opened small studios where indie fim makers can access equipment and expertise for their projects, and are now providing an in-browser video editor and a library of rights-free music so you can get started without having to shell out a lot for software or getting nobbled for inadvertantly using someone's music. That leads to

Like Minecraft it has an active element, one that could lead to a career in film making, photography or associated creative arts.

That was an expensive hobby to get into in the days of film or tape and dedicated hardware. Now you drop files onto your laptop and edit, colour grade, etc, etc.

It might even lead to an interest in coding if you end up writing python scripts to generate behaviours in the likes of Blender.

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WD My Cloud EX4 four-bay NAS

rh587
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Re: I keep looking at these NAS devices

Disk server?

I can see a lot of small offices with 3-10 staff working on email, excel and word-processing. They have no servers per se - laptops or desktops. Their website is probably hosted by a local web design company, and none of them are IT bods, but they want a central repository for shared files that can also be easily backed up onto a single fat USB disk and taken home to protect against fire/theft (as opposed to going around everyone's machines and slurping off the bits they need backing up).

Plug and play NAS solutions are far easier than setting up a Windows Server box and configuring RAID settings. They're not trying to stream 1080p to 3 laptops and the TV, just a file server.

Yes you could do it cheaper stuffing a spare box with a stack of disks but that requires:

a. Time

b. Technical ability (or even more Time if you've decided you're going to learn how to do it on the cheap).

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Elderly Bletchley Park volunteer sacked for showing Colossus exhibit to visitors

rh587
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Re: An amazing experience will be lost

"I will be voicing my displeasure to the Heritage Lottery Funding, and if anyone has details of the Bletchley Park Trustees, I'd like to understand exactly what they think they're doing, because their responses thus far, in my opinion, have been entirely inadequate."

List of Trustees at:

http://www.bletchleypark.org.uk/content/about/BPTrust.rhtm

No individual contact details but since it lists a mini-bio for each I'm sure everyone on here is capable of tracking down such things.

As for the CEO, I'm pretty sure the Trustees have fairly firm grounds to dismiss him on charges of bringing the organisation into disrepute if they took a mind to it.

One bit of devil's advocate I would play is that building your attraction on the experts who were there at the time isn't a long term strategy, because sooner or later nature will take it's toll (noone lives forever).

So you do need to ensure you've got attractions that will stand the test of time regardless of who is manning them (although even younger guides need to be properly trained, not just a numpty who can say "and here we have another information board you might like to read"), and also that your buildings don't fall over - rustic dishevelment only goes so far.

That however does not mean it needs to be oriented as a "Key Stage x approved learning resource" to the exclusion of all else, nor that the gift shop needs to be filled with tat.

Nothing wrong with Visitor Centres for a bite to eat, nor Gift Shops if they've got relevant contents (books on maths and ciphers/codebreaking, codebreaking kits - including kid-friendly but not dumbed-down stuff, not just hefty degree-level tomes, relevant electronicry to support TNMOC , etc). It's just they usually burn all their money on a shiny building and then run out of time to source decent merchandise.

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rh587
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Re: Sad, sad, sad.

Doesn't sound like you're prevented from from seeing Collosus per se. Merely that if you go to Bletchley, you have to pay separately to go into NMC to see Collosus, which is lunacy. Everyone involved needs their heads smashing together with the force of a Bombe, or just firing. There should be a simple "site pass" that covers the multiple attractions/museums on the site.

It sounds like NMC have been lobbying for just such a site pass and revenue share scheme but Bletchley have declined. Of course we don't know what those discussions were like or whether either party were being reasonable with what they wanted percentage-wise.

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